What To Do When Your Remanufactured Automatic Transmission Arrives

Posted by on Friday, February 1st, 2013

The scenario: You are a shop owner. The transmission in your customer’s vehicle has failed. You made the smart choice of replacing the transmission with a re-manufactured unit instead of one that was just simply rebuilt. You know the differences and the importance of you and your customer’s decision. You placed the call, ordered the transmission and now the delivery truck has just pulled up with your parts. Now what?  Here is what to do next.


newly rebuilt transmissions get ready to be shipped


The very first and most important step is to check the transmission for shipping damage. Is the box or crate damaged? Is there fluid leaking out? Has a damaged box been re-taped together? If you see any of these things do not sign for the transmission. Reject the shipment and immediately call your supplier. Once you sign for the transmission you own it, regardless if it’s damaged or not.

Carefully remove the transmission from the box. Get another person to help you remove the transmission so you don’t hurt your back or drop the transmission. Don’t throw away the box or crate just yet. If for any reason you need to return the transmission, it will be best to reuse these items. You can also use it to return the core.

Carefully set the transmission on your bench. Check to see if any bolts are loose. If you find a loose one call the supplier for instructions. Install any of the items you plan to reuse from the original transmission. Common items that get reused are dust shields, dip stick tubes and rubber mounts.

Make sure the face of transmission is clean. Inspect it for dirt and burs. Remove any dirt from both the face of the transmission and the back of the engine block. If you find burs in either surface use a very fine, flat level file to dress them. Check and clean the back of the crank shaft hub, and use a small piece of emery cloth to clean up the hub.

Make sure the converter is seated properly on the pump of the transmission. Make sure you turn and push on it to make sure it’s fully seated. You should feel it move two times; once when the torque convert hub hits the pump, and again when the slots in the torque converter hub line on and seat with the pump drive lugs. There should be at least a ¼ of play between the torque converter mounting lugs and the face of the flex plate once the transmission is installed.


Check to make sure torque converter is seated properly



The next step is to install the transmission. Be careful when hoisting the transmission up into the cavity of the vehicle.  Whatever you do, do not use a jack on the thin bottom of the transmission pan! After all, most of them are made for thin, easily damaged sheet metal. You can easily bend the pan, and you may even knock the filter lose from the valve body inside the transmission which will kill the transmission and void your warranty.

Make sure the transmission is seated firmly against the back of the engine and that the dowel pins are lined up correctly before tightening the bolts. Torque the transmission bolts to the manufacturers recommended specs. Over tightening the transmission can crack the case and void the warranty. Finish the installation by installing and torquing the torque converter bolts, the cross member, linkage and drive shaft. At this time, also reconnect any electrical connectors and the transmission lines.

Adjust any linkage such as TV or kick down cables.

Install the correct transmission fluid. Check it cold and start the vehicles. Let it run for 30 seconds, shut down the motor and check the fluid level again. Run the car through the gears on the lift. Check the transmission fluid again. Look for leaks and listen for funny sounds.

Be sure to check the fluid level multiple times


Drive easy the first 20 miles to let the bands and clutch wear in. Check the fluid level one last time.

That’s it! The only think you need to do now is hand the keys back to the owner and enjoy a beer after all your hard work!

A transmission will not last forever, regardless of how well you take care of it. If a decision has to be made to replace a customer’s transmission, I highly recommend you consider a re-manufactured transmission as your first choice. They differ from a rebuilt transmission in the fact that they are as good as a new transmission at a greatly reduced price and often include modifications and upgrades that make them much more durable. A re-manufactured transmission also comes with a much better warranty: three years compared to 90 days for a rebuilt transmission.

2 Responses to “What To Do When Your Remanufactured Automatic Transmission Arrives”

  1. [...] might have put into the transmission.  Stronger, bigger, better. This is one of the main reasons a re-manufactured transmission is better than a new transmission. Most rebuilt transmissions do not include new hard parts, and if they do, you are charged extra [...]

  2. [...] replace it with a rebuilt transmission. Instead replace it with a re-manufactured transmission. Re-manufactured transmissions are just as good as a new transmission for a whole lot less [...]

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