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Thinking about buying a non-working automatic transmission

to take apart and see how it works. I’d just junk it afterward, not intending to use it. What do you think I’d have to pay for one? A simple version, like a Ford C4, something like that.

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Seen free ones on CL too

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George it’s difficult to discern the workings of an auto trans by looking at the components. You can’t actually see them assembled inside the case, since to get to them you need to pull them all out of the case. If you want to do this I’d recommend a copy of Motor’s Old Car Repair Manual 1953-1961. It has a large section detailing the operation of every contemporary automatic. Don’t even look at the Chevy turboglide or Buick flight pitch Dynaflow, they will make your head hurt. Bear in mind that all the automatics back then had a “governor” to provide the transmission an indication of the vehicle’s speed, and either a vacuum modulator or T. V. linkage to provide an indication of how much power is being demanded. Both of those functions are now handled by the PCM sending signals to solenoids. The power flow diagrams in that book are invaluable.

Don’t see any free transmissions today, but monitoring CL Free Stuff is a great idea. It appears I can buy a 99 Accord on CL for around $300 with a bad automatic transmission. Drives, but only in “1”. Sometimes those CL prices are come-ons, I mean a brand new car advertised for $18? But I don’t think this particular one is one of the many CL advertising scams.

If you can figure out how the valve body works just by looking at it, pretty impressive. I think the repair manual approach is more informative, it will show the fluid paths under various conditions. There may be nice instructional videos on the web or youtubes that you can vicariously watch to gain more insight than by taking apart a trans and just looking at it. That being said, I like to disassemble most any product to see how it is put together, the technology involved etc. There is something to be gained by actual disassembly but only if you have some prior background to leverage IMHO…

Old trannys are HEAVY, take that into account. If that’s not a problem, I’d buy one for cheap that I had the manual for, then I’d understand what I was looking at as I took it apart.

i always look for <$1k cars on CL. pretty entertaining. found a 2010 camaro shell with no body damage for free. $200 with title though. buy a wrecked camaro on a crash website and swap all the bits over.

What do you think is up with the $18 prices quoted for brand new cars on CL? I presume the dealership salesforce does that so their cars come up at the top of the list when sorted by price. But how do they get away with totally false and misleading advertising like that? I’ve noticed that same thing on major appliances like washing machines too.

Made you look!

lol … reminds me of that fast talk they put at the end of radio advertisments sometimes.

Announcer: "These pills will improve you health with a 100% guarantee … " then incomprehensible fast talk, presumably a disclaimer stating everything they just said might not be true.

Whenever I hear that fast-talk I always make a mental note to never buy that company’s product. Same w/ the misleading CL ads, if I ever were buying a new car I’d make sure not to buy from a dealership that does that.

New cars from $0.00001 by AAAAAAAuto!

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Ok. AAAAAuto’s on my “never buy from them” list :wink:

A friend of mine got transmission for his 2005 Toyota Echo for $200 from a recycler, working one with 30K miles mileage on it or so, core charge was $50

I bet for $100 you will get a working spare for your Corolla, George :slight_smile:

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I got a Ford 263 with Fordmatic transmission for the cost of disassembling and reinstalling the front end clip. I dismantled the 263 and found it was really runout. The transmission was still in good shape. It was a joy to dismantle and analyze. For free it was worth it.

Later, I came across a THM 400 on the side of the street. I moved it into my apartment kitchen; took it apart; washed it up; took the valve body apart; and reassembled it. I found about 10 discrepencies by whoever reassembled it. The worst was reassembling the front pump driven gear upside down so that the torque converter pushed it into the pump body. I cut the variable stator torque converter and saved the variable vane stator for as a prize. Taught me a lot about automatic transmissions.

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Gonna go out on a limb here and guess you weren’t married at the time. :wink:


Ahh, let me guess - she took off when an old engine landed on the kitchen table prior to the transmission. :grinning:

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Isn’t a place to put old car parts what a kitchen table is for? :slight_smile:

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And the dishwasher (no not the wife) for cleaning them :smiley:

OOOPS. The dishwasher, not the washing machine. That explains a lot :poop:

Circuitsmith, you have it spot on. I was single; worked during the day; worked on the transmission at night; and dined at McDonalds.