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Friday November 9th 2007

Transmission assembly: Part III

Reverse input drum and input drum sitting in front of the transmission case, ready to be dropped in.

And they're in.

The 2/4 band goes in.

It's in.

Pump is installed.

Now for the valve body and such.

Oh, I also put news seals and o-rings on the 2-4 servo and then installed it. Didn't take any in progress pics, as it was late and I was frustrated (had to take the tranny apart a couple times because I wasn't getting the proper end play. I didn't see anything wrong, though, so I don't know what the cause was/is.. I'll continue figuring that out tonight).

Valve body separator plate and gaskets in place. Check balls placed in their respective holes.

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Friday November 9th 2007 (Entry was updated on Friday November 9th 2007)

I added smileys to Teh Blog.

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Friday November 9th 2007 (Entry was updated on Friday November 9th 2007)

Unreasonable requests
So this one lady at work asks me to look at her computer. She shows me the Excel startup screen, where on the right hand side there's the "Getting started" tab. On the bottom it shows the last 5 or so opened documents.

She tells me she doesn't want to see those documents listed there. Okay, I say, and close the dialog box. She tells me no, that's no good enough. So she closes Excel, and starts it again. Again the Getting started dialog box comes up with the previously opened documents. She says "see, it's still there". I tell her she needs to open a few other documents, and those will replace the ones currently listed. She says no, she doesn't want to do that. She just wants those off the list! She says she deleted the files so they shouldn't be there! Again, I reiterate the fact that once she opens a few other documents, they'll be gone. I even show her by opening a document.

This isn't good enough for her. She wants them off without having to open some other documents.

So I do the only thing I can think of that would solve the problem and stick a post-it note on the screen so it covers up the list of previously opened documents.

Apparently this wasn't good enough either!

I tell her again that she needs to open some other documents, and that's the only solution to her problem.

I don't know if it's some kind of OCD thing or what, but she was all upset about the documents showing up on the recently used document list!

This happened right after another lady asked me to help her with her computer... She was trying to complete a shipment using FedEx software. It wouldn't let her do it, and instead prompted her to restart the software to install an update. She clicks OK and again tries to click "Ship!". She gets the same dialog box and gets all frustrated, basically blaming the software. I tell her she didn't do what the dialog box requested, that she needs to close the software and open it again for the update to install.

Guess what? She does what I say, and it lets her finish the shipment. A freakin' miracle, eh? Just RTFM, you know?

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Thursday November 8th 2007 (Entry was updated on Thursday November 8th 2007)

Transmission assembly: Part II 3/4

First of all, I apologize for the messy workbench! I'll clean it up once I'm done with Red's vehicle.

Did a little more tranny assembly last night. Put the pump back together.

After inserting a new bushing in the pump and cleaning it, it looked like this.

Then I installed the pump vanes and stuff. That spring is pretty tight, so it was a bit tricky to get in. I used a pair of channel locks to compress it, then shoved it in.

The two pump halves are bolted together. Bolts are only finger tight for now. You'll see why a bit later. Notice the slick pump holder.. It's the old reaction gear sun shell! Up until now I'd been using it as a stand for the torque converter to drain. It's very multi-functional!

The reverse boost valve and sleeve/springs.

They go in here..

All inserted..

Then lock 'em in place with the snap ring. You have to push in with the snap ring pliers since the springs will keep the sleeve sticking out a bit. Once you push it far enough in, you release the ring and it snaps in to the groove. Voila!

The torque converter clutch (lock-up) valve parts. They go in the same way as the reverse boost valve and its hardware.

Here's why I didn't tighten the bolts earler. The two pump halves need to be properly aligned, or they won't fit into the transmission case. A giant zip-tie wrapped around the two lines them up perfectly! Much cheaper than buying the proper tool, especially since I already had the zip-tie. :o)

New seals on the pump (stator, actually.. but it's part of the pump). Again, these are one piece teflon seals, so they need to be put on like the input shaft seals I did earlier. Once put on using the transparency paper, they need to be resized. I used the same zip-tie as I did for the input shaft seals for this.

Once again, for final resizing, I inserted them into the part they normally go in.. The reverse input drum in this case. I also slid the reverse drum onto the input shaft to keep "resizing" the input shaft seals.

Only the valve body and 2-4 servo left now. Then final assembly.

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Wednesday November 7th 2007


Bench pressed 290 lbs at the gym last night. Was pretty easy, actually. So easy, in fact, that I decided to try 295 a few minutes later. Didn't quite get it. I'm thiking if I'd gone for 295 right away instead of 290 first, I probably would have done it. Still, another 5 lbs more for my personal best.

Only 10 lbs to the goal of 300 now!

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Wednesday November 7th 2007

Transmission assembly: Part II 1/2

Didn't do much tranny work last night. All I did was install the teflon seals on the input shaft.

Warming the seals up in a cup of hot water. Makes them a little more flexible and as such less likely to tear.

Sliding the 3rd seal on. You can see the 2 I've already slid on already in place. Notice the transparency paper wrapped tightly around the shaft. This protects the seals from damage, and also makes them a lot easier to slide on.

Resizing the seals. When you slide them on they expand. Being teflon, they don't really snap back to proper size again like rubber would. So you have to resize them. For this I used a zip-tie tightened around them. You don't need to leave the resizer on for long, as the seals conform to the new shape/size almost instantly.

And for the final resizing, I installed part of the pump on the input shaft. This is how these two parts go together in the end anyway, so what better way to resize the seals to the proper size than to use the part they're gonna seal against when it's all together?

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Tuesday November 6th 2007 (Entry was updated on Tuesday November 6th 2007)

Saw Zaw
What the heck is a saw zaw? I saw an ad on Craigslist that advertised a "saw zaw. in good working condition." for $35.

A google search informed me that Saw Zaw is a toy from K'NEX:

The ad had a picture of a reciprocating saw, though?

I guess they were selling a "Sawzall".

I'm surprised it wasn't a "Craftsmen" brand saw at the same time. It always amuses me then people are selling "Craftsmen" brand stuff.. Don't they even look at the label on the stuff they're selling? It clearly states "CraftsmAn".

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Tuesday November 6th 2007 (Entry was updated on Tuesday November 6th 2007)

Transmission assembly: Part II

Overrun clutch going together.

The forward clutch is in, the forward sprag and front sun gear (gear sticking out of the middle) is installed.

Forward clutch pressure plate and retaining snap ring are in.

3/4 clutch pack is in. Notice the spring deal in the top center. This is the 3/4 clutch release spring (one of 4). The ATSG manual says to leave these out, but I decided to leave them in. I figure the tranny worked just fine with them in there for 137.000 miles, so they can't have been that bad. I suppose GM had some reason for putting them in.

The input drum is all assembled. At this point, I air checked the apply pistons. They all tested good. Here's a video of the 3/4 apply piston being air checked. You can't see any external movement with the other pistons, so I didn't see the need to make a video of that.

The reverse input drum in the parts washer. I didn't disassembled this all the way, since I don't have a new reverse apply piston. Since you use reverse a lot less than the forward gears, this piston doesn't wear out anywhere near as fast as the other ones. So instead of taking it out and risking damaging the lip seals when reinstalling, I just left it in place.

The old reverse input clutch assembly.

The reverse input drum all assembled with new frictions and steels.

Next comes overhauling the pump and installing new teflon seals on the input shaft.

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Monday November 5th 2007

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
I've read people say it was as interesting as watching someone else play an RE video game. I think I'd have to agree with that. I can't tell for sure, since I've never watched anyone play an RE game, but I can only imagine it's pretty boring.

Overall there was very little to get excited about in this movie. It wasn't even "scary".

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Monday November 5th 2007

From Craigslist:

used radiator and antifreeze please read
Date: 2007-11-02, 7:46PM EDT

i have a used Radiator and 1 1/2 gal's of used Antifreeze
it came from a Dodge Spirit but it will also fit a plymouth Aclam
plymouth horizon and dodge omni. or any car what has a 4Cyl 2.2 or 4cyl 2.5L motor. its your free! i just need it gone ASAP.

here is the story why im geting rid of it
will about 6 months ago it had a lit leak but i put stop leak in it
and never had it leak again but my Wife wanted me to replace it with a new
one befor winter. like i side nuthing wrong with the old one
please E-mail me if you would like it and we can meet someplace so i can give it to u. if you have any questons feel free to E-mail me also. FREE!

Thank you!

A used radiator that has a leak "plugged" with stop leak (which doesn't "fix" for long), and some used anti freeze that's now also full of stop leak? Yeah, good luck giving that away, buddy!

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Friday November 2nd 2007

My bad: Fixed!

Fixed the wonky snap ring last night. Didn't take long at all, really. I'm getting more familiar with how this thing goes together, so I don't need to reference the manual as much.

All fixed!

Figured I'd take some pics of the clutch packs while I had them out..

Here they are soaking in transmission fluid while I fix the snap ring issue.

Took a picture of the new reaction gear sun shell too.. you can see the sun gear sticking out of the center of it.

The input drum sitting in the parts washer.

The parts that were inside the input drum. Pistons, clutches, snap rings, return springs etc.

A close-up of the 4th clutch piston. Notice the lip seal..

My low-buck piston installer. A piece of transparency plastic. This protects the lip seals on the pistons and keeps them from turning over on themselves during installation.

Turns out, though, that GM went to one-piece stamped steel pistons with molded on seals in 1993 or so, and the seal kit I got only has seals for the earlier type pistons with removable seals. So I had to order a set of new pistons. They won't be in until Monday or so, so I'm kinda stuck now until then. I guess I could have reused the old pistons, since they seemed to work well before the sun shell broke, but for $30, it's not worth it. Besides, I checked the fit of the pistons in the bores, and they went in way too easy, so the seals are marginal at best anyway.

I'll probably rebuild the pump over the weekend, though.

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Thursday November 1st 2007

Need a casket? is having a sale on caskets.

If you're planning on dying within the next 6 months, choose "Bill me later" for no payments at all. Flat rate shipping of only $2.95! Only 30 days warranty, though...

I wonder why there are no reviews from previous buyers?

I'm also thinking "Health & Wellness" isn't the most appropriate product category to list this item in?

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Thursday November 1st 2007

My bad!

I was looking over the pics from the tranny job, and I noticed something bad.

See the area highlighted in red? This is where the snap ring isn't properly in the groove. So now I need to take it apart again to fix that pesky snap ring. No big deal, but still annoying to have to take stuff out again.

While odds are slim that the ring would come out any more than it is, it's not a risk worth taking. I'd much rather spend 1/2 hr now fixing it, than a weekend later on re-fixing it!

Good thing I have a high-res camera, or I wouldn't have caught that mistake.

Lesson learned, though. I'll pay extra attention to make sure snap rings are properly in from now on.

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Wednesday October 31st 2007

Transmission assembly: Part I
The transmission is on its way back together.

Here the low/reverse piston and return springs are installed. The snap ring that holds it in place was a bitch to get back on. Not having the correct special tools and needing to improvise sometimes makes the job a bit harder (but also a lot cheaper than buying the tools!). In this case I used a roll of masking tape. I placed the roll of tape on the spring assembly (circle with holes in it), then stuck a bolt in from the rear of the tranny through a piece of steel with a hole in the center. A nut then went on the other end of the bolt, and when I tightened the bolt/nut, the springs compressed. I know, doesn't make much sense.. Hard to explain. I should have taken a picture.

The rear ring gear is installed along with the rear planetaries.

Followed by the steels and friction discs.

Then the center support assembly, anti-clunk spring and center support retaining snap ring.

Finally the rear sun gear and the reaction gear sun shell (the reason the transmission had to come apart in the first place). A thrust washer goes inside the shell. Held in place with tranny assembly lube for now.

That's it for now. Next comes disassembling the input drum and reverse input drum, cleaning the parts and then installing new steels, friction rings, seals and such in the input drum.

Looking at the diagram below, the parts highlighted in red are the parts that have been assembled and put into the transmission case so far.

Here's a video of the low/reverse piston in action. You pressure test it by applying air pressure to the port that feeds the piston from the valve body. If it leaks, you get to take it out and put another set of new seals on it. The air escaping that you hear isn't a leak at the piston, but rather where I apply the air to the case. This was done just for demonstration purposes. The actual pressure test didn't leak.

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Tuesday October 30th 2007

Drill Press
Forgot to mention this..

A couple weeks ago, Sears put their 17" floor standing drill press (Craftsman Professional series) on sale for $479, down from the usual price of $529.

Well, that's what they were planning on doing, anyway. Turns out they listed it for $179 on their web site, as well as on the price tags in the store!

I placed two orders online for pickup at two different nearby Sears stores. Just in case a manager at one store caught on, I'd have a backup.

The orders were placed, but I never recieved a confirmation e-mail, nor any ready-for-pickup e-mail. Thinking that had figured out their mistake, I wasted no time after work and drove to the nearest Sears store. I walked up to the floor model of the drill press, and sure enough, the price tag said usual price $529, save $350, on sale for $179. I walked up to the counter and said I wanted one of those drill presses.

The guy behind the counter was helpful and rang up my order, even asked if I wanted a warranty package. I declined. Then he says total comes to $500 or so (computer had the correct sale price of $479 in it). Pretending to be surprised, I utter something like "What? $500? How's that possible, it's on sale for $179??! It says so right on the price tag". He walks over to the display model and much to his disbelief, indeed it says $179.

He goes back to the register and is puzzled for a while, then calls for a manager. The manager comes over and says "Yeah, it's a mis-print. We just got an alert from HQ about it". Clerk says he's already started the transaction for my drill press, and manager says to go ahead and put that on through. Then he walks over to the display model and removes the misprinted price tag. Score!!

Turns out they didn't have any drill presses in stock, though, so I'd have to come back in 5 days to pick it up. No problem, I said.

So I should be happy that I just saved $350, right? Heck no. Saving $700 sounds much better. So I b-line it to the next Sears store where I rinse and repeat. The same puzzled looks appear here, as well as the manager override. Again, they remove the misprinted sign after my transaction. As a bonus, this store actually had one in stock, so I got to bring it home with me that night. Double score!

I sold the one from the first store to my friend M for cost, and he went and picked it up himself.

So now we both have brand spanking new drill presses for 1/3 the price! Life is good.

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Tuesday October 30th 2007

Ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-crappy song.

Bob Seger's Katmandu. What a thoroughly shitty song. Even for the 70's! Not dissing Bob in general (nor 70's music), 'cause he has a few good songs. But Katmandu is playing on the radio at the moment, and I just have to say.. what garbage!

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Tuesday October 30th 2007 (Entry was updated on Tuesday October 30th 2007)

Got the overhaul parts of Red's tranny yesterday..

The new seals, springs, gaskets, filters etc. Not shown are the new sun shell. new pan filter and new steels/clutches.

Here's where the valve body would usually go. It's been removed for cleaning. The case has been hosed down at this point. I know there's dirt on the bellhousing, but that's gonna be on the outside anyway. I don't have a pressure washer at home. If I did, I would have washed that dirt off too. Trust me, though, it's a lot cleaner now than it was.

The inside of the case. All clean of dirt/fluid, and all clean of parts. This is as bare as it gets.

The low/reverse piston before cleaning.

The low/reverse piston after cleaning. Still got the old seals on it in this pic, though. You can see the new seals next to it.

The "inner half" of parts. All cleaned and ready for installation (other than clutches/steels).

That's how far I got. I need to track down some Transjel assembly lube. I also need some transmission fluid to pre-lube some of the parts. Hoping to get both tonight.

Here's an exploded view of all the transmission parts..

Anyone want to count how many there are and let me know? lol! :o)

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Monday October 29th 2007

Took some snapshots while walking the dog today..

Brown leaves by the brown dirt road.

It's definitely fall..

Say hello to the Amish Mister Ed! Sssh! Don't tell the Amish.. They don't like cameras!

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Monday October 29th 2007

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
I think I've seen most of (if not all of) this movie before. The end certainly seemed familiar. Couldn't really remember the beginning and middle parts much, though. Basically it's like the first RE movie, just above ground instead. Oh, and not nearly as "scary". I figured I'd watch it just so I'll have the two previous movies fresh in my mind for when I see RE: Extinction. If the IMDb ratings mean anything, this new one should be on par with the first one. We'll see.

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Monday October 29th 2007 (Entry was updated on Monday October 29th 2007)

Hey, I put some new shoes on!

Put some new brakes on the car yesterday. Not just new pads, but new pads, parking brake shoes, parking brake cables, rotors, calipers, caliper hoses and caliper brackets.

This is the biggest braking package Chrysler ever put on the Daytona. These brakes use an integrated drum brake for the parking brake, and discs for normal braking. The original brakes on the car used only disc, and the parking brake had a tendency to hang up (not cool when trying to pull the jet skis out of the water!). I already swapped the front brakes a long time ago. These rotors are 11"!

Here you see the new parking brake shoes (Raybestos 643PG) and new hardware (Wagner H7219). The shoes aren't really made for my application. They metal plate is slightly thicker, so a modification of the adjuster was needed. Is used the Dremel to widen the slots on both ends of it just a hair.

Just a close-up of the parking brake cable mounting and brake actuator.

Here's the end result. You can see the new parking brake cable in black (w/white tag) forward of the brake rotor. Brake cables are Raybestos BC93943.

Another view. Here you can see the stainless steel braided brake hose. These were bought from FWD Performance. Notice the bracket that the brake line/hose bolt to. These were not already present on my car, so I had to drill two mounting holes for them on each side.

From the inside. I don't really like the bend in the brake hose, but if I turn the banjo fitting up instead of down, it gets in the way of the bleeder screw and mounting bolt.

Here's the old brake setup for comparison. That's not a leaky brake line, but penetrating oil to help loosen up the fitting. After all, these brakes have been on there for 20 years!

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