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


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Andrei, this is some seriously good work. Post #69 ought to be linked to th E-Book section or something. :high5:




All of this information will be going into the e-book for sure.


I picked up replacement bolts for those torx bolts. The size is M8-1.25 x 25, and conveniently, the nearby Advance Auto had them in a pack of 4 for $2.50, automotive grade 10.9. I've added this information to the main post.

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i believe the 4 torx bolts are there for clearace to the subframe.. BTW i have a 96 4T60-E if you need one..


I just went back down to the garage to check for this. Here's what I found.


The subframe angles inward toward the front of the car:




The only bolt that could possibly have clearance issues is the front most bolt. The other 3 are fine.


I lightly tightened the side cover back on with just that one bolt, then raised the subframe to the level where the transmission would be bolted on, and that bolt sits right next to the subframe at least 1/2" away, which is perfectly acceptable considering the transmission doesn't move from left to right much. If anything, I can use one of the standard 10mm bolts instead of one of the new ones in that specific spot, since the 10mm ones have a slightly more shallow head. The side cover itself has recessions at the points where those bolts are supposed to go, which also helps.


So in essence, clearnace isn't a problem with replacing those Torx bolts. If you're REALLY concerned, you can re-use just one of those torx bolts (whichever is in better shape), and replace the other three.

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So.......... You're fucked? :lol:


Turn one or both of the wheels/axles?


Actually, I posted that image mostly for Ken to be able to see what I'm looking at. I thought I was stuck, but it turns out that the plate can be pushed down with almost no effort.


As it stands, the side cover is back on, the subframe is lifted and bolted back up, and I coincidentally noticed that I need a new balljoint as the rubber boot protecting it was completely shredded and it won't last much longer like that. I'll suspend the engine and drop the subframe tomorrow in order to replace the oil pan gasket.


In any case, here's my progress.


All of these pictures will be added into the final writeup.


Here's the picture I linked earlier. That plate probably prevents the car from being pushed into park while its moving. It can be pushed down fairly easily with the rod as you're inserting it. I first had issues because I thought it was supposed to be rotated.




Shifter linkage plate. The second picture shows the notch that's open to allow the parking pawl rod to fit through.





Here's the plate bolted back up and the pawl inserted. This part took me 1 hour. I've forgotten that when I work late at night, I sometimes forget the stupidest things, such as the direction in which you're supposted to rotate a nut to screw it on. I was trying to screw that 15mm nut on in reverse. :facepalm:





Here's the spring I mentioned earlier, and the picture of it installed:





And here's the clearance you have between the subframe and the transmission at the frontmost bolt (the closest one to the subframe) with the replacement bolts I put in to get rid of those T40 torx bolts:


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No leaks or anything. Shifts smooth as butter. You can't even tell.




Awesome! :high5:

Thats great feeling, isn't it?


Considering this car has been parked since December 6th, definitely!

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Did that, and was instantly humbled by the fact that its a 3800, not a Northstar under the hood. I've been too used to driving the Bonneville, where you can't floor it in 1st gear or you lose traction, no matter if you're going 5, 20, or 40, wet or dry pavement.


So now I got the itch. The car is going back in the garage so I can do some work on the intake runners in the insert. I'm going to oval out those runners to get some better airflow.

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  • 8 months later...

I joined this forum just so I could post my thanks for this informative and well written how-to. My son's '96 Grand Am started getting hung in park, and I figured it was just a parking pawl problem since the transmission would work fine if you rocked it several times to release park. I was actually going to pay a shop to fix it because I didn't want to mess with the car and didn't think I had the time. But a transmission shop estimated $600 to fix this linkage (pull the trans out of the car). So after I found this link, I started working on it last Saturday evening. By 11:00 pm I had the side cover back on, and the cradle and transmission mount all bolted back together. I simply drilled the original linkage and hammered in a roll pin in place of the broken off tip of the rod. Everything worked just fine after spending another hour on Sunday afternoon to finish it up, except I noticed some trans fluid on the ground. Turned out I had pinched the o-ring gasket that seals the side cover around the CV axle. So last night I took it all back apart (only 1 hour & 15 min this time), and I should have some new gaskets in the mail tonight. Nothing like having to redo work...


But thanks again. This thread saved me $580. (spent the $20 on trans fluid). Of course this second time around it will be another 4 or 5 qts plus the gaskets...

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Hey, that's what we're all about here. Helping people out. I'm genuinely happy that you were able to use the information I posted to help you fix your problem and save some money. Feel free to stick around or ask any questions.

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  • 1 year later...

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