The dent that came to dinner

97 lesabre. it bottomed out and now wont go forward or back. dent in tranny pan. could this cause a bad tranny or symptoms of?

If the transmission pan is pushed up against the transmission filter it could be restricting the flow of transmission fluid into the transmission. And this can cause the transmission to slip.

As you can see, the transmission filter just has a small opening which allows the fluid into the transmission.



Did all the atf leak out?

Perhaps you damaged the valve body, filter, pickup, etc.

Here’s what I would do

Make sure the atf level is correct
Put car on 4 jackstands
Remove pan
Look for damaged valve body, etc.
Straighten or replace pan, as needed
Reinstall new/straightened pan
Put in new atf
Try again and good luck

Please post back with an update

ive never torn into a transmission. what do these parts look like? im fairly mechanically inclined (changed several upper in take manifolds on this and my other 3800s.

i guess i wont know until i tear into it


Once you have the pan off, the filter will be staring you in the face

The filter attaches to the valvebody

The filter should have its own pickup

The valvebody is attached to the case with several bolts

Hopefully this was some help

very much help. any idea how big of a pan i will need? or how much atf i will need?


This is fairly cheap, readily available and should be big enough

I don’t know how much atf you’ll need. Ballpark estimate is 4 quarts

If you can borrow one of these, bring it.

Pan pulled 5 or 6 pea sized chuncks of metal in the pan… Does this mean the tranny is gone


Can you recognize if they are parts of the valvebody?

Were you able to straighten the pan?

If you can post pictures of those metal fragments and the transmission, that would be great

In any case, it sounds fairly ominous at this point

Even if those metal fragments were part of the valvebody, which can be replaced without removing the transmission, a repair might not make financial sense

im thinking it doesnt make sense. time to send her to the big scrapheap in the sky. too bad too great motor. oh well

If the chunks are part of the valve body, and there is a good chance that they are, how about finding a used one from a bad transmission? The valve body is not something the wears out. Examine it closely. They aren’t listed on , but transmission pans are. If a salvage yard is willing to sell a pan, which you may also need, they probably have a bad transmission to pull it off of, and a valve body to sell with it.

Can you take a pic of the debris, and possibly the inside of the transmission where the pan impacted it? And show it to us, or better yet a recommended local transmission shop? The damage may be limited to the valve body or perhaps an accumulator cover or piston housing. At any rate, without knowing more I think it’s premature to condemn the car to scrap. It may be something that you can repair yourself for a couple hundred dollars.