Author Topic: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal  (Read 432 times)

Offline Dave Burke

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  • Name: D. Burke
How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:14:19 AM »
Hi Guys,

Well I think it finally happened: after several years of reliable operation I think that my 1957 315 Jetaway needs to be pulled and reworked.  I would not mind giving it a go myself, as I feel somewhat competent.  I pulled the motor from my 1963 Series 62 before, so I feel like I understand some of the heavy work, but unless I want to pull the motor and tranny out as a unit, I am going to have to drop the transmission.  So here is my question, open to all of the derision that you can heap: how high do I need to elevate the car to have sufficient space to clear the bell housing from under the frame and body?  I am sure that the proper answer is: "As high as you can get it."  However I am planning to build heavy timber supports for the car to rest on as I do not have a lift.  Of course I could pay a shop to do the work (if I could find one) but the gearhead in my likes to get his hands greasy and I like to have the intimate knowledge of my car's innards.  So what have Y'all done in terms of getting the car up there?

Best,

Dave Burke
CLC 27968 (The check is in the mail!)
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak

Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 10:44:50 AM »
I can't answer 57 specific questions like what its like to access bolts and how much extra space you may need to clear specific items or what else may need to be removed first which are all questions you will need answered.   There could be something about the exhaust that may effect the overall plan especially if you have an all welded or well rusted exhaust system. 

Once you got the trans loose and are able to drop it next question is how are you going to support and lower it?   What ever sort of a jack you lower it with is going to add height that needs to be considered.   That trans has to be in the mid 20's for height sitting on the floor so another say 6" for a jack or cart you could be in the 3' range which is pretty high without a lift.     

When shopping for some sort of jack keep in mind that most are designed to deal with something like a THM350 or C4 which are fairly compact aluminum case transmissions.  These early Hydramatics are larger and a lot heavier than those models so your typical trans jack or jack adapter is going to be less than ideal.   Once you get it lowered what is next?  Will you be able to roll it all the way out on that jack?   Is your car supporting method going to help or make this part of the process worse?   Or will you have to transfer it to some sort of cart?   How tall is that cart and is there room for you and a helper to make that transfer while laying under the car?   Remember this thing is heavy and awkward when sitting in the middle of the garage floor so dealing with it under the car is going to be a lot worse.   

Those are the things that I remember getting me the first time I did just a trans and my first was a 350 in a pickup so it was small and light and higher off the ground to start with.     
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Offline Dave Shepherd

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 03:29:35 PM »
I would not attempt this on the ground, period!!

Offline lexi

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 05:35:35 PM »
I have what I believe is a '57 Caddy transmission in parts, (ID plate covered up). As mounted in the engine, the bell housing is 16 inches across (i.e. high). If measured across the width where the starter motor mounting section is, it is 18 3/4 inches wide. Hope this helps. Clay/Lexi

Offline savemy67

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 07:40:38 PM »
Hello Dave,

The attached photos show how high I had to get my '67 in order to remove my TH400 with a jack.  I built ramps that are 9 inches tall, and a series of wood blocks - 3 on each side - that totaled 19 1/2 inches tall.  I backed the car up the ramps elevating the rear, and jacked up the front of the car and set the tires on the blocks.  I replaced the saddle of my floor jack with a transmission adapter.  I was able to get the TH400 out under the engine after supporting the rear of the engine.

As TJ says, the Hydramatic is heavier - about 50 pounds - than a TH400, and your '57's frame is different than my '67.  Lexi's measurement is, I think, within one inch of the TH400 bell housing measurement.  If you can get the front of your car up about 20 inches, and the rear up about 10 inches, you will probably have enough room provided your jack is not too tall.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be practical to remove the torus and bell housing with the transmission separated from the engine, but still underneath the car, although this would remove a lot of weight and make the transmission smaller.  I recommend using guide pins when removing and replacing the transmission.

Respectfully submitted,
Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline Roger Zimmermann

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 01:52:00 AM »
As my "garage" has a rather low ceiling, when I had to overhaul the '56 transmission from my de Ville, I supported the car with standard jacks, took down the transmission with the floor jack and, of course, there was not enough room to took is away from under the car. I had to remove the transmission from the jack using several pieces of wood and with some imagination, the transmission was on the floor and could be pulled out.
To reinstall, I used the same method. I did the same with my '57 Brougham; sure it's not the easy way, but it's possible. I would not recommend to remove the fluid coupling and bell housing when the transmission is under the car, especially if it's your first transmission work.
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Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 11:04:28 AM »
Christopher's photo of the 400 sitting on a jack with a trans adapter gives you an idea of the height needed if you were hoping to roll it out on the jack.     Even being able to have clearance to 'slide' it off the jack under the car could be tight if its not high enough. 

Its all these factors that lead to people without a lift often pulling engine and trans together.  That method has its own different set of possible issues when it comes to clearance.    We all need 16' ceilings and a lift. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
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Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 03:54:10 PM »
Dave,
Looks like Chris and I had the same idea - build support towers - see pic.
Mine were for a 59 Cad and were 24" tall - 4 of them.
This allowed me room for a floor jack - a pieces of well placed 3/4" plywood - a Jinga sense of balance (no trans adapters back in 2001) - lowered it on down, a thinner piece of plywood to scoot it off the jack and along the driveway out from under.

Way way back in the day, fresh after my sister was given a convertible for her graduation - she hated that car (never told Dad), she being a 5'10' blond , blue green eyes, bod to stop traffic - said the wind blew her hair in her face - bad for her complexion (YES, I'll say it first - a spoiled brat).
Cue me, I traded her cars and she drove my closed car and I took the convertible - drove the crap out of the car til the traas would make a werrrrring sound and would not pull me and my buddies around.
Tried to give it back to sis, but my Dad stepped in and said "YOU BROKE IT - YOU FIX IT - AND IN BETWEEN YOU ARE ON FOOT" - at the time it seemed a bit harsh, but was a great lesson.

At the time, I got the best book I could find - a Motors Auto Repair Manual (no Shop Manuals available - but you need one for your year car) and set out to fix the trans on my own.
Just have lots of tools, including several sizes of in and out snap ring pliers (that was the tough part as I recall).Oh yes, as I took it apart, I laid each part side by side as they came out - don't laugh - I was a snotty teenager at the time - you're older and smarter - and so may not need to be anally retentive and lay the stuff out side by side.
I know, a very long story, but my hat is off to you to fix your own automatic trans - hope the car isn't your daily driver, as it took me a couple weeks to do mine - but many layers of lessons well learned, working with my hands.
Sorry for the ramble - Have fun,
Steve B.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 03:58:33 PM by 59-in-pieces »
S. Butcher

Offline Dave Burke

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 09:30:27 PM »
Hi Guys,

Boy, when I need answers, this is always the place to come!  I had a bit of an epiphany recently that may deal with my height problem: I want to pull the motor too to assure myself that there are no blocked oil passages that have been helping with my heat problems - also I can pop the freeze plugs and get into the cooling passages with a pressure washer!  Whereas I was also thinking about support towers under the wheels, or more likely the frame, made of 4x4 pressure-treated timbers that are lag-bolted together, now I reckon that I don't have to get the car up all that high if I pull the motor first and then roll the tranny forward into the engine compartment where I can use the engine hoist to pull it out of there.  NOW my question is how much does the old Hydramatic weigh?  It doesn't look all that big to me - 350 pounds?  More?  Less?  I am planning to buy a transmission jack and that is a great thing to know!

Thanks for all the replies - I will see this job through no matter what, AND I will have a fully overhauled powerplant to boot!

Dave Burke
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak

Offline savemy67

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 08:15:56 PM »
Hello Dave,

I think the dual-coupling Hydramatics are in the 225 - 250 pound range.  Your post makes it sound like you are going to separate the engine from the transmission, pull the engine, then roll the transmission forward and pull the transmission.  Do I understand this correctly?  I think this may be more work than is necessary if the object is to get the engine and trans out of the car without lifting the car two feet off the ground.

I would suggest you consider removing the engine and transmission as a unit.  You may need to remove the hood and radiator, but this can be done with the car on the ground.  You may need to jack up the car to disconnect the driveshaft, exhaust pipe, shift linkage, speedometer, etc, but then the car can be lowered back to the ground and you can use your engine hoist to remove the engine/trans.  I would also recommend the use of a load-leveler so you can adjust the angle of the engine/trans as you remove it from the car.  Also, be sure to use a hoist that is rated at 1000 pounds or more at maximum extension of the boom.  You may need that length to clear the front of the car.  The engine and transmission are in the neighborhood of 800 pounds.

Respectfully submitted,
Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 09:13:05 PM »
In all cases, I would be removing both units as one.

BUT, don't use a cheap hoist as these things are HEAVY.

Is you are using a jib type, then unless the jib is long enough, you will have to remove the Bumper Bar to get it back sufficiently.

When lifting the engine, the Carby base is around the centre of balance, but with both trans and engine, the point moves back around 6 inches at least.

Bruce. >:D
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Offline Dave Burke

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 11:00:28 PM »
Hi Guys,

I have a pretty good hoist and load leveler, and I will take all of your advice in serious consideration as far as pulling the whole thing out as a unit.  I have a good engine stand too - I used it when I pulled the 390 out of my '63, so I have had some experience pulling the power plant at least, and since I have also replaced the trans mounts on both cars as well as replacing all of the U-joints, I know how everything pretty much connects and disconnects, so I guess I will just figure out whether I should pull the unit or break it down into two parts.  I agree that it seems easier to do it as a unit, but I don't trust the eye bolts I thread into the head to take too much weight, even though they are rated for it.  I'll just have to see what makes sense.

Steve, you benefit from the same fearlessness that I am grateful for every day.  I will tackle a job simply because I have never done it before, and figure that I really have little to lose in the end, and plenty to gain.  I have other cars that I can drive to get to work and run errands - in fact I just pulled the motor and trans on my 1995 Saturn and replaced the clutch and did some other work as well.  A couple of years ago I upholstered my 1963 Series 62 (with red alligator and plush zebra, for that outrageous voodoo look) and I had never done upholstery.  With that knowledge I plan to repair some of the upholstery in my '57 Cadillac, as well as design and build a new interior for the Saturn.  People sometimes marvel when I tell them that I do my own work, and they often say, "I could never do that."  I agree: you can't do this sort of work if you begin by placing the limitations before you even begin.  I find that about 80% of my work is cleaning and painting old parts, 15% is replacing old gaskets and seals, and 5% is replacing worn parts.  I have the tools and I have figured out how a lot of this stuff works.  I have tools and most certainly, the real shop manuals.  What tools I don't have, I can usually make. 

When I first bought this car after my Mom died, I told my fellow car guys in the area that I was going to do a top-end, and drive the car to the Concours at Amelia Island.  For the last 4 years, I have driven a classic Cadillac to that show, both of which I rebuilt or did heavy work.  And in the end, why pay someone to have the fun of getting intimate with my car?  The problem with most people today is that they not only don't know how or why their cars operate, they just don't care.  I hope that I am never one of them.

Thanks Everybody!

Dave Burke
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak

Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 11:15:49 PM »
Dave,
So true - all you wrote -

2 things:
1. I don't know if the 57 has a precise brass washer which goes between the engine and the trans - the 59 does - if so don't lose it - see pic.
2. My Dad always said, unless you think you're going to be another Rockefeller who can have all the work done by others and just pay - you better learn how - do it yourself and if you get the money, you will know if that guy was doing a good and right job.

Have fun Bud,
Steve B.
S. Butcher

Offline savemy67

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 05:44:03 AM »
Hello Dave,

I second your attitude towards DIY.  While every car is generally the same, every car is also unique in its quirks.  And what better way to know your car inside and out, than to work on it your self.

FYI, a 3/8-16 machinery eye bolt has an axial working load limit of over 1000 pounds, so a single machinery eye bolt could lift the engine and transmission out of your car.  I would be perfectly comfortable using two machinery eye bolts to lift your engine.trans.  The issue for me is where to install them.  Some people use the carb flange of the manifold.  Others use the intake manifold to cylinder head holes.

Since it is unlikely that the lifting forces will be entirely axial for the eye, it is important that the eye be installed in a hole surrounded by a lot of cast iron.  You may want to consider removing the carb, manifold, and cylinder heads, and placing the eyes in the block.  This is more work, but it will reduce weight for the hoist (and change the center of gravity).  As always, work safely, and good luck.

Respectfully submitted,
Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline Dave Burke

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2017, 12:10:23 PM »
Hi Christopher,

When I pulled the 390, I took the heads off, and did just what you said: I screwed the eye bolts into the bolt holes for the rocker rails.  They took the weight just fine.  I am planning to remove as many of the accessories as I can to gain as much clearance as possible for removal. 

And it is going to happen during the next week because I just dropped the transmission pan and what I found was, well, I knew it would be bad when I saw the metal flakes on the strainer screen.  What I found in the pan looked like what reactor techs found when they opened up the Three Mile Island reactor.  See included photo.  Oh yeah, I have got some work ahead of me, you'd better believe it!


Well, here goes everything!

Thanks!

Dave Burke
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak

Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2017, 02:02:02 PM »
I agree that does not look good.   Is all of that metal?   Is some of it gear teeth or is most of it clutch pack bits?   If its mostly clutch pack things may not be that terrible as long as the filter kept it from circulating.   If some of that is gears you may be looking for a whole transmission.   What ever went looks like it went all the way.   I had a Ford auto one time that was completely missing a gear.  It was like that when I bought it so I didn't know for sure anything was wrong I just figured out how to run the throttle around shift time and it was totally driveable.   Even had a couple trans shops drive it and not notice which was a sign they didn't know old stuff.   With how smooth 1-2 and 3-4 is on those I could imagine missing one of those and not really knowing it. 

I did a 57 a couple years ago that seemed to drive OK but leaked really bad and the shop was prepping me for a long wait and a huge bill if it needed any 'hard' parts.   They were happy to find out I had one loose identical trans that 'ran when parked' plus maybe some parts cars.  I even brought the loose one to them so there would not be a delay if they needed anything.  Turns out I didn't need anything unusual but it seems like I was just a little more lucky then most.    I think he said the previous ones he did they had for several weeks waiting to get hard to find parts that also turned out to be crazy expensive.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2017, 07:29:37 PM »
Dave,
Did you say you have the shop manual for this year - paper is best and not a CD, IMHO..
If so, and it is anything like the 59 shop manual, it is loaded with tons of diagrams and an extensive section on trouble shooting.
I agree if the mass of shards are not metallic - use a magnet to confirm, not your fingers - you may luck out with friction plates and clutch plates that have started to disintegrate - easy fix - but upgrade to stronger replacement parts - mine were made by Borg Warner.
Even if there are a fair amount of metal shards, they may be from an isolated set of gears - like a planetary - also an easy fix, and not be indicative of a wide spread set of problems.
Once apart, it will be easier to tell what is failing and you can focus there and also keep the costs down - short of buying an entire trans.
My fingers are crossed at this end - my hands are also clean.
Have fun,
Steve B.
S. Butcher

Offline Dave Burke

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2017, 12:01:58 AM »
Hi Guys,

Well, as you can see, that is mostly metal, with a torn up o-ring seal thrown in.  There is also a chunk that looks like a "Stay key" or whatever it was called on the autotran site.  In any case, I will not know the true situation until the trans is out of the car and I can do a full post-mortem.  The good news is that reverse works fine, so I will inspect that portion of the trans without expecting to find anything.  I am thinking that either I had a clutch plate disintegrate, or it was one of the bands that finally called it quits.  The fact that I still had 3 out of 4 gears after it went is reassuring.  In any case, it is coming apart, and I will inspect her from stem to stern, and while I am waiting for rebuild sets and/or replacement parts, I am doing the engine too so as to make fully sure that it is within tolerances too.  One clue is that whatever cut loose, it smacked the strainer with enough force that the inner screen that helps the brass mesh keep its shape was beat pretty good.  Let the games begin!

Best,

Dave Burke
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak

Offline Roger Zimmermann

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2017, 01:41:25 AM »
Most probably the cover from the front unit coupling is damaged; fortunately, they are reproduced. However, it's hard to say if the debris in the pan is steel or aluminum. Good luck with the rebuild!
If you have to buy a reproduced cover for the front unit coupling, check it well before you are attempting to use it: of the 4 or 5 I bought, 2 were defective: something was not machined and the other one had something else which was not good. Both were replaced at no cost by Dave from Autotran.
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham
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Offline Dave Burke

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Re: How High? 1957 Series 62 tranny removal
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2017, 08:12:04 PM »
Thanks for the tip and info Roger - the long shards are definitely not steel as I tested them with a magnet.  I hate that I am having to take so much off of the car to get everything out, but a long, straight pull should be the best bet, and it will let me recondition a lot of sheet metal that has been neglected over the years.

One thing is sure: my bowling arm is getting quite a workout loosening this frozen hardware!

Best Regards and Tanks to All who have been so helpful - and thanks for the good wishes as I just might need them!

Best,

Dave Burke
Historian and Certified Masochist
1957 Sedan Deville
1963 Series 62 - Project LUX

"Who loves ya, Baby?" - Kojak