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Shifting out of park issues - Parking Pawl Removed!!!


xtremerevolution
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I want to say no... but also... the transmission is supported by the side cover, meaning you have to have some external support to hold the case up.

 

Assuming I jacked up the transmission from underneath somewhere, is it possible? I looked in my engine bay and there's definitely enough clearance to lift it up assuming the side cover is just one big pan.

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it might be possible. but you may have to remove a/c lines and other items to do so.

 

My A/C isn't working to start, so I'm not too concerned with that. I may have to remove the master cylinder, but that doesn't look all that difficult. I really only need to move the side cover out of the way enough to get down to that shifter linkage plate toward the rear, so even moving it forward toward the fans a bit might be enough.

 

I'd rather be working under the engine bay than under the car, and I'd rather not have to drop the subframe, because that will be a PITA.

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You won't be able to take the cover off the side from the top. The valve body is located on the side and is fairly tall, so without dropping the cradle and taking the pan out the bottom you won't be able to get it. I've tried before, it's relatively futile and you'll just end up hating it more and more the more you fight with it.

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You won't be able to take the cover off the side from the top. The valve body is located on the side and is fairly tall, so without dropping the cradle and taking the pan out the bottom you won't be able to get it. I've tried before, it's relatively futile and you'll just end up hating it more and more the more you fight with it.

 

I don't necessarily need to remove it completely out of the engine bay. . All I really need to do is get to the shifter linkage plate. Can I do that without dropping the subframe?

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It's possible, I suppose anything is really. The last time I tried to work on one of these it was to replace the TCC solenoid on a '90 Toronado and it was a... well you know what it was. Also, remember that there is a gasket in between the halves, and if i'm not mistaken it is a CORK gasket from the factory. They may have updated this, however, so don't quote me. Regardless, I'd rather replace any gasket after disassembly. I think since you have a relatively rust-free car dropping the subframe is the better idea. It's really not that hard, I've done it plenty of times with floor jacks and jack stands. It's not any harder than, say, replacing the sway bar on a w-body.

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It's possible, I suppose anything is really. The last time I tried to work on one of these it was to replace the TCC solenoid on a '90 Toronado and it was a... well you know what it was. Also, remember that there is a gasket in between the halves, and if i'm not mistaken it is a CORK gasket from the factory. They may have updated this, however, so don't quote me. Regardless, I'd rather replace any gasket after disassembly. I think since you have a relatively rust-free car dropping the subframe is the better idea. It's really not that hard, I've done it plenty of times with floor jacks and jack stands. It's not any harder than, say, replacing the sway bar on a w-body.

 

Yes, but with a broken sway bar, you can drive the car into the garage. With a stuck parking pawl actuator, you aren't going anywhere unless you manage to get into gear like I did, and its cold outside so I'd rather not be laying down on the ground. My options are very limited if I can't get it into gear.

 

The guys on the Bonneville forum recommended that I leave the OEM pan gasket. I'm assuming it was replaced when the transmission was rebuilt at 144k, which means it should still be good.

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It's only reusable if it's a rubber gasket.

 

That was my concern, as I know I've seen some of them with cork gaskets.

 

Sorry I forgot you couldn't get the car into gear. Honestly I'd try and get it to move, if you have the balls to do this outside I give you a lot of props.

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It's only reusable if it's a rubber gasket.

 

That was my concern, as I know I've seen some of them with cork gaskets.

 

Sorry I forgot you couldn't get the car into gear. Honestly I'd try and get it to move, if you have the balls to do this outside I give you a lot of props.

 

I've changed rear rotors before in 15 degree weather without gloves. When they grind and you don't have a garage or the money to pay someone else to do it, you suck it up and get to work. The cold made those bolts a bitch to get loose.

 

But if I find a few 40 degree days like we had this weekend, I could easily get the job done.

 

Might also be worth noting that my garage spot has a ton of junk that would need to get moved first.

 

As I said, I would only imagine that the transmission shop that rebuilt this a couple of years back put in a rubber gasket.

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For future reference, the official Term is the Parking Brake Actuator.

 

ACDelco Part #24213560

 

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-24213560-Parking-Brake-Actuator/dp/B0013FZSKS

 

I cancelled my order with Rockauto as they said it would take 12 business days to ship out, and I wouldn't get it for another 1-5 business days after that. Amazon can ship it in 2-3 days, and I chose 2 day shipping, all for a mere $5 more.

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Part came in today.

 

Here's what it looks like.

 

IMG_3429.jpg

IMG_3430.jpg

IMG_3425.jpg

IMG_3428.jpg

 

What you see there is a spring loaded end. There is a cap welded (or riveted as it seems) on the end of the main rod that keeps the spring loaded end from sliding off completely. Well, on my car, that cap at the end apparently popped off completely, so the spring loaded end slid too far down the rod, thereby locking the car in park.

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Alright, so I got the car moved. Wherever that end is, it didn't seem to do any damage. Once I got the parking pawl disengaged with the shifter in the 1st gear position, it was as if nothing had ever happened.

 

Anyways, here's what I had to go through.

 

That's my fiance's dad's old camry. Battery was dead, as was the Regal's. Had to jumpstart them both with the Bonneville.

2010-02-03140958.jpg

 

 

That's where it used to be parked

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The garage where the Bonneville is parked in front of is where I needed to get the Regal, without going in reverse, because it won't go in reverse.

2010-02-03141028.jpg

 

 

 

So...around the left side of the house, around the back, and back into the driveway.

 

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2010-02-03142318.jpg

 

It now waits until I can clean out that garage spot to make enough room to pull it in. Hopefully the parking brake will disengage one last time.

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Betcha ya can't wait to get her on the road and give her hell, eh?

 

For sure. She'll get a new MAF, some seafoam, new transmission fluid and filter, new oil, and a hell of a beating.

 

BTW, car is now in the garage. I'm picking up fluids and a filter tomorrow, and if all goes well I should be at least half done by the time the sun goes down.

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Damn this is taking a long time.

 

To start with, whatever GM engineer decided to use 4 T40 Torx bolts to tighten the bottom of the trans side pan needs to be pimp slapped. I nearly stripped them all trying to get them off. Only a copious amount of penetrating lubricant and a lot of hammering got them loose, and I don't dare put them back on.

 

Here are some pictures of my progress:

 

Engine hoist to prepare for subframe drop to change oil pan gasket:

IMG_3436.jpg

 

 

This is how much I dropped the subframe in order to gain access to the side cover:

IMG_3438.jpg

 

 

4 Jackstands for the subframe, and a jack to hold the trans up.

IMG_3439.jpg

 

 

Getting to the side cover was annoying. I had to remove the axle, which I had never done before. Had to call Ken to ask him how. Turns out it was just a matter of prying it off. Fortunately, my trans had been serviced once before, so it came off like butter using a long screwdriver.

IMG_3440.jpg

IMG_3443.jpg

 

 

Then I ran into a small problem. I can only drop the engine so far down before the downpipe pushes down on the steering rack, which I don't want. Furthermore, for some strange reason, the subframe would not drop any farther unless I lowered the other side, which I also didn't feel like doing because that would mean I'd have to suspend the engine completely and disconnect the engine mounts. So after a bit of adjusting the height of the trans, I got the side cover moved off the side enough to be able to gain access to my defective part.

IMG_3449.jpg

IMG_3448.jpg

 

 

Here you'll see the shifter linkage plate, connected to a rod of sorts for what I presume to be what tells the transmission what gear you want, followed by a a spring that presses against it to keep it in that position, a 15mm nut to hold it up, and of course, the parking pawl rod.

IMG_3444.jpg

 

 

Once I got the spring removed (one 8mm bolt), it was just a matter of turning the plate to disconnect the gear selector rod and the parking pawl rod. The problem was exactly what I had expected it to be. The following picture shows the old rod with the end flush against the spring, with no tension against the end for obvious reasons.

IMG_3457.jpg

IMG_3452.jpg

 

 

Observe the end of the broken rod. You'll notice it tapers out toward the end. This tapering makes it impossible to get the end off the rod, as the inner diameter of the rod toward the back is smaller than it is in the opening. Were it not this way, I would have had one hell of a time with a telescoping magnet trying to get that end out of the parking pawl deep inside the transmission.

IMG_3454.jpg

IMG_3460.jpg

IMG_3462.jpg

 

 

Here's a breakdown of what you must to in order to service the parking pawl rod:

You will need: 4 hex bolts, size M8-1.25 x 25, to replace the torx bolts on the bottom of the side cover.

 

1. raise car on jacks.

2. drain transmission oil by dropping pan. Make sure to use a very large catch pan. This would also be a good opportunity to replace the transmission filter. Re-install pan once finished.

3. unbolt steering rack from the subframe

4. with two jackstands below one side of the subframe, use a jack to lift up against the subframe. Once that is done, remove the 18mm subframe bolts. You will need a breaker bar, a GOOD 18mm socket, and an extension.

5. lower the subframe onto the jackstands.

6. repeat for the other side

7. slowly lower each side one after another, one jackstand notch at a time, until you can gain access to the transmission pan from the passenger wheelwell.

8. support the transmission using a jack against a piece of wood to prevent damage to the pan

9. disconnect and remove the transmission mount-to-transmission bracket, the transmission mount, and the subframe-to-transmission mount bracket. These are all 15mm bolts.

10. remove brake caliper, bracket, and rotor. The brake caliper uses 12mm bolts, and the caliper bracket uses two T60 torx bolts. Be sure to have a VERY good T60 1/2" attachment and a breaker bar.

11. remove axle spindle nut

12. disconnect axle from wheel hub. This is tricky. You may need to hammer out the axle with quiet a lot of force. If you must hammer it, screw the nut onto the axle about 75% of the way so that when you hammer against it, you damage the cheap, replaceable nut instead of the axle.

13. move strut off to the side and pull axle out of the wheel hub.

14. using a pry bar or prying tool, carefully pry against the tri-star rubber part of the axle. The axle should pop off. Use caution to avoid damaging the side cover.

15. Remove all of the side cover bolts. The bolts are 10mm, with the exception of one bolt at the top which is a 13mm. The bottom 4 bolts are T40 Torx bolts. It would be advised that you spray them generously with a good penetrating lubricant (50-50 acetone and ATF works best), and using a 3/8" or 1/2" drive torx bit attachment, hammer against the bolts to loosen them up a bit, as they will likely be seized. Be very careful while removing them to avoid stripping the inside of the bolt. If it doesn't come off easily enough, apply more penetrant and do some more hammering.

16. Remove the side cover. This may take some adjusting of the transmission height.

17. Remove the arc spring with the roller. This is held down by one 8mm bolt. I used two long 3/8" drive extensions to get it off easily.

18. Remove the the 15mm nut using a standard wrench. Be careful not to drop it once you get it off, as you may end up fishing for it with a magnet telescoping magnet.

19. Lower the plate until you can pull it out of the transmission, and disconnect the gear selector rod.

20. Turn the plate until the notches on the end of the parking pawl rod line up to the opening on the plate.

21. Put it back together in the reverse order.

22. Refill transmission with fluid. Dexron VI is recommended.

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Post #69 in this thread should definitely be a sticky. The photos are great, as is the detail.

 

While hopefully, most of us won't be replacing a parking pawl rod, the details he gave about gaining access to the side pan would be useful, especially for those who might need access to replace shift solenoids and other internal parts in their transmissions.

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Once you get all done if you would like to start a new thread with a pictorial write up like you've done thus far I'd be more then happy to move it to the FAQ section, and then promote it to a write up for the new site. Good work.

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Good work Andrei!

 

I would guess that there was no metal lost on the end of the rod, but rather that it was under formed and years of use made it wear till it popped....

 

Does your tranny have a reusable side pan gasket?

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So wait.... The cap didn't fall off? What?

 

 

 

 

Edit: Oh I see what you meant.

 

Was the cap at the magnets in the pan?

 

No, the cap was not at the magnet in the pan. I honestly have no clue where the hell it went. I'm crossing my fingers.

 

 

 

Once you get all done if you would like to start a new thread with a pictorial write up like you've done thus far I'd be more then happy to move it to the FAQ section, and then promote it to a write up for the new site. Good work.

 

Will do. I'll take more pictures when I go back down there for detail. I was limited in how many I could take because my camera started to die toward the end. I'll get pictures of the linkage plate and so forth, and the problems with the downpipe hitting the steering rack.

 

Good work Andrei!

 

I would guess that there was no metal lost on the end of the rod, but rather that it was under formed and years of use made it wear till it popped....

 

Does your tranny have a reusable side pan gasket?

 

I don't know if the side pan gasket is reusable. The oil pan gasket was meant to be reused, but it was chipping away and falling apart as its probably the original from 1995, so I just used the one that came in the kit. Whatever the side cover gasket is, I'm reusing it after some careful cleaning because I can't get the side cover clear off the transmission. I don't have enough clearance to pull it out from the engine bay because the subframe is in the way. What you see in the pictures was the biggest opening I could manage.

 

As for the end that no longer exists, I don't know what happened. It was a gradual problem that started back in October of last year, and completely failed by early December. For all I know, it could have worn away gradually, but there's no way to know for sure. There were no remotely large chunks of metal in the pan magnet, although I'd have to sift through the oil I drained to be 100% sure. In either case, I'm crossing my fingers hoping it doesn't come back to haunt me if that small piece is in there somewhere.

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