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Unread 02-22-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
sphippler
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1976 CJ7 
 
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is it worth rebuilding a th400 yourself

I have a 76 cj7 with a 304, th400, and a quadratrack. When I first bought it, it was pushing tranny fluid out of the dipstick tube. I cleaned out the vent tube and it helped but didn't fix the problem. The whole time the transmission has been slipping during initial take off and shifting kind of funny for a while. It seemed to shift pretty solid but occassionally just driving down the road it would down shift for a second and then upshift. The last time I tried to drive it, I put it in reverse and it kind of started to roll backwards, then I put it in drive an it wouldn't move, then it wouldn't move in any gear, it was like it was in nuetral. I checked the fluid level, it was good.
1) is the transmission dead
2)is it worth rebuilding myself or just paying someone. I'm fairly mechanically inclined but never attempted a tranny rebuild. The cost of a rebuild kit (from autozone), torque converter, fluid, set of retainer clip pliers, repair manual, and a clutch spring compressor tool is about $500. I got a quote from a tranny shop for a rebuild is about $900 (I'm stationed in Hawaii, every thing's expensive). I wonder if the extra $400 is worth the peace of mind that the work is done by someone with experience.
Since I've never done it I know there's going to be a lot of little things I wouldn't know to check or to watch out for.

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Unread 02-23-2013, 12:16 AM   #2
carnuck
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The stator in the torque converter went out. (or the rear sprague went out) I had the same problem with my old Pontiac Gran Prix with a 455 SJ (ended up swapping it into an '81 Firebird that had a dead 301) When I shut it off after racing it puked fluid all over under the hood. I ended up putting a Lokar locking dipstick tube in it and a new/used converter.
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Unread 02-23-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
my_304_cj7
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Does your quadratrac have low range? If so did the lever get knocked into neutral?

*I know this is a long shot and you probably would have already checked but sometimes it's the simplest solutions.
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Unread 02-23-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
timgr
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Oil puking from the dipstick tube is a common failure. Look here - https://www.google.com/search?q=site...ient=firefox-a

You can fix it. Generally just fixing a problem (not rebuilding) is pretty cheap if you do the work yourself. Don't be scared of automatic transmissions - they have a lot of parts, but if you are careful and put them back the same as they were, repair is not difficult.

GSMikie on the IFSJA forum has a video that shows you what to do - http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=125886
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Unread 02-23-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
sphippler
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actually I havn't checked the hi/low lever on the transfer case, ill do that today.
the fluid level is fine so what ever was causing the fluid to push out the dipstick could also cause the jeep to not move at all?
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Unread 02-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
RenoF250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
Oil puking from the dipstick tube is a common failure. Look here - https://www.google.com/search?q=site...ient=firefox-a

You can fix it. Generally just fixing a problem (not rebuilding) is pretty cheap if you do the work yourself. Don't be scared of automatic transmissions - they have a lot of parts, but if you are careful and put them back the same as they were, repair is not difficult.

GSMikie on the IFSJA forum has a video that shows you what to do - http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=125886
Yes, they are not bad you just have to keep everything clean and put ALL of the parts back in the RIGHT place. On .055" ball where a .060" ball is supposed to go and you will have problems but most of the balls and other little control parts can be accessed from the bottom so if you screw up you can fix it in the Jeep.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
sphippler
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this is an update on the transmission situation. It slips a lot in reverse but it will drive around but it will not go forward at all. Im assuming it is done. Ive been looking around for rebuild kits since used jeep parts are pretty rare here in Hawaii.
any recommendations for where to get a rebuild kit?
or what to look for?
any recommendations on how to books or dvd's?
any advice in general?
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Unread 06-14-2013, 10:43 PM   #8
holliewood61
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A th400 is about the easiest auto to rebuild next to a 2 speed glide. If you have any mechanical ability at all you should be fine. I'd say try and tackle it yourself. Take pictures as you take it apart, and be sure to soak your new clutches in tranny fluid before you install them. There are plenty of videos on you tube to walk you through the rebuild as well.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 01:10 AM   #9
sphippler
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does anyone have any recommendations for specific kits? I've looked at quite a few and they all come with different things and most don't even state what they specifically come with. Or what should I look for in a kit?
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Unread 06-15-2013, 04:41 AM   #10
thompsoj22
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before you pull it apart

check pump pressure in all gears, this is a good diagnostic tool to determine the problem. i have rebuilt automatics with varying degrees of success ranging from perfect to degraded/finicky. it really helps to know what is causing the issues, pump pressure, valve body, worn bands, worn clutch packs. there are seals and packings in auto trannys that can make or break the rebuild. ie if they leak internally you lose pressure for bands/clutches. i do recommend a "quality" remanufactured valve body so you can simply R&R that component and it is quite likely a machine shop will have to surface the pump cover even with a new pump.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
popascj7
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I went to a transmission supply house for my kit, they told me it's just a standard turbo 400 rebuild kit. You can get just the gasket kit, or complete overhaul kit with new clutches gaskets and seals.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #12
rplivin
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The monster transmission kits are great. They come with high quality parts and the people are easy to deal with also. The th400 is a very simple Trans to build only problem is the bushings in an auto Trans you do better by taking and having them done by a Trans shop if you don't have the tools. Also while it's apart good time to upgrade the sprag and one way roller in it. Several videos and books for it. For manuals look up ATSG. Good luck.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 11:29 PM   #13
Pacfanweb
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To specifically answer the question, no...it's not worth rebuilding an auto tranny yourself.

Maybe R&R it yourself, and take it to someone to be repaired, but it's really not worth the learning curve to do this one job. This is one of those jobs that it makes far more sense to pay an expert to do.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 12:05 PM   #14
Cutlass327
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Yes, I agree with Pacfanweb.

If you do it yourself, you may have to buy special tools (dial indicator, seal installers, etc.) which in the long run that $400 may look good, especially since they will probably give you a warranty with it. Just make sure to flush the trans cooler properly and use a new/reman'd torque convertor (or have yours flushed) to remove any sediments from the old clutches.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 03:14 AM   #15
sphippler
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I would like to point out that I am currently stationed in hawaii and I've called around and if I remove the trans my self I was quoted 1200 to 2500 at four different shops. So you need to figure that in to the question "is it worth rebuilding yourself". I just ordered a master rebuild kit, torque converter, and a manual for $250 and I've watched two hours of how-to videos on line. In my opinion it's worth the risk. I've looked around for used manual transmissions to just replace it. I would need to also replace the transfer case and rear axle if I did that. And in Hawaii if youre not looking for 2000 to 2013 nissan or honda parts youre not going to find it.
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