Jacob

Here is the latest project on the truck. I replaced the fly wheel, which in no easy task.

I am no mechanic. The most complicated thing I had done to this point  was replacing the starter and changing the oil. So, this was a challenge. I do feel much more intimate with my truck now, after spending a whole week of free time together.

I have a 1998 Chevy s10, single cab, 2wd, auto transmission. So here goes…

getting the truck in the garage

So, since the truck won’t start if the starter is not making contact with the flywheel it gets pulled into the garage.  It gets pulled with a precarious system of straps and a winch.

The first thing was to get the truck off the floor so I can fit under it. I used two sets of ramps to get it off the ground and give me enough room to roll around.

Next I removed the drive shaft. There are four bolts holding the drive shaft onto the rear differential.  Second, I pulled the drive shaft from the transmission. It was pretty stiff and I had to pry on it a little bit.

This is the end of the drive shaft that inserts into the transmission.

Next I removed the transmission support that hold goes between the frame.

The support that holds the transmission up and keeps it from putting to much stress on the flywheel or harmonic balancer. You can see the jack supporting the transmission and also how close the exhaust is. The round rubber bushing with a bolt in the middle that mounts to the middle of the support bracket thing.

Make sure you use a good floor jack to support the transmission. It is heavy and if it fell it could really jack up the motor and transmission, or you. I guess you really should use a transmission lift, I couldn’t afford one so I borrowed the floor jack from my buddy Ryan. Thanks Ryan.

And the transmission is out. No it is not that easy… There are two connectors that plug into the dealio that is by the shifter linkage on the driver’s side, the shifter linkage its self, both the in and out coolant lines and another wire on the passenger side.

I did not do a good job of taking pictures for a bit. So…

There are six bolts that hold the transmission to the motor. Or rather that holds the bell housing, which is attached to the transmission, to the motor. The two on the bottom are a piece of cake. The two on the sides are not too hard. There are some wires and coolant lines that get in the way, but it’s doable. The two on the top… Are impossible. Literally.

So, to get to the two bolts on the top you have two choices. Either you drop the motor, or you lift the body off of the frame. I chose the second. There were less things to disconnect. As you can see it wasn’t pretty. One of the bolts had to be cut off. The other four made it off and back on just fine, but not the last one. I know, before you say it. There are six bolts holding the cab on to the frame. I left the two on the front and tilted the cab forward with a bottle jack. I only needed about four inches as you can see in the pictures.

I have not figured out how to re-attache the corner of the cab with the cut bolt. Doesn’t seem to make much difference though.

With the transmission gone it’s time to remove the harmonic balancer. Make sure to mark the position of the harmonic balancer against the flywheel and the motor. And mark the position of the flywheel in relation to the motor.

Me, trying to stay organized.

I socked all of the cab mounting bolts and nuts in wd40. The flywheel and harmonic balancer bolts went in the container. So I didn’t loos them.

I had to use a vice grip on to hold the flywheel so I could turn the bolts that hold the harmonic balancer to the flywheel. There are three bolts.

The harmonic balancer is off. You can see the three places it attaches to the flywheel. The old and “new” flywheel. A new flywheel is about $150, I got a used one from a used parts shop for $33. That makes for a pretty cheap fix. As long as you don’t count labor…

The motor sans flywheel…

The harmonic balancer is back on. Make sure to line it up correctly. We don’t want crazy vibrations.

The transmission going back in. Be careful when sliding the transmissions into the harmonic balancer. You will have to shove and push. But if it is lined up right it shouldn’t be super hard. Make sure it doesn’t fall off the jack…

The transmission on its way back in. The forums all said to remove the exhaust. I didn’t, of course. So it was a tight fit, as you can see.

So, the transmission is bolted back on. All of the wires are hooked back up. The coolant in and out lines are back on (pain in the but). I did remove the exhaust support that is attached to the transmission mounting bracket, its back on. The drive shaft is back on, I did mark the drive shaft alignment with the transmission and the rear differential. Again to try to keep everything balanced. About 4 quarts of transmission fluid had drained out of the transmission when I removed it. I followed the owners manual directions for measuring the transmission fluid and check it regularly over the next couple days. Just to make sure. OH! I did bolt the cab back onto the frame too. That is kind of important.

That’s it. We were back on the road.

The hardest part was getting the two bolts on the top off, and finding good instructions. Everyone in the forums had a different idea of what to do.

The whole project cost me about $100. That includes a new used flywheel, a ½” socket set from Harbor Freight, and transmission fluid. About 1/7th of what it would have cost to have a shop do it. Which is no surprise, it is a crazy amount of labor.

So, I hope this helps. Feel free to comment and correct me where I am wrong. Thanks!

-Jacob



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One response to “Jacob

  1. Mark

    Nice job Jacob! Lots of labor but much more satisfaction in accomplishment! Proud on ya brother! I am impressed! To coin an old phrase from my time, “keep on truckin”!

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