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Okay so my old auto tranny is busted so im putting a younger one in. Before i start doing anything i would like to know what r your thoughts on what else should i put my hands on while the tranny is out?
i know im gonna change the rear main seal because it's leaking
tranny mounts i guess too? what else?
 

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I'd replace the torque converter on the replacement trans, the tranny mounts and then do a careful check and clean of the CV boots, exhaust flex, sub-frame, etc. There isn't much down there that needs normal maintenance (rear main seal is an exception) so just clean everything up and see if anything needs an update. Probably wouldn't hurt to change the final drive fluid in the trans since you have it out.
 

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All the mounts that might be bad, You might also want to do a boost leak test while you have all that space on the back of the engine to feel around and spray with soap. I put in a new torque converter one time just because I had access to it. Long story short one of the veins in the NEW torque converter broke and trashed my perfectly fine transmission. I said that to say this, IF you decide to put in a new torque converter, make sure you get a quality one. They gave me a new torque converter but they refused to cover the damage to my transmission.
 

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I swapped my trans and didn't replace the TC. Now every time I hear some whir or whine or whatever noise (and there are few on a car with 200k miles on it) I wish I had changed it. However, it's been running for about 20k now with no issues and if I do need to drop the trans again, at least there won't be any rusted bolts or layers of caked grease to deal with.
 

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Well, IMHO, you can save a bunch of $ by using Valvoline MaxLife fluid and getting an inexpensive gasket and filter (eg RockAuto). If you need to replace the drain and fill plugs they shouldn't be expensive and they often will go back in without leaking if you are careful with the torque used to install them.
 

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I've dropped my pan 3 or 4 times and usually just use a cheap 'paper' gasket. No leaks to date. Just take your time and keep the pressure even as you go around the bolts. There's a lot of them and I usually tighten them in 2 or 3 passes, in a sort of start pattern, but if you clean them first and have a quality bit it doesn't take too long.

I understand your concern about the filter and that's a harder thing to judge but if you look at one there really isn't much to it. On all the ones I've seen, the filter element is just a piece of foam. I suppose there are various grades of foam with different flow rates, etc but in this case I don't think it will matter much. Of course, it's your trans and it isn't that much more for an OEM filter but I've been comfortable with the generic filters. Just be sure to lube the openings when installing to prevent any binding on the rubber gasksets.
 
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