300M, Concorde, Intrepid, LHS, 1998-2004

Transaxle Removal & Installation


The 42LE four speed transaxle uses fully-adaptive controls. Adaptive controls are those which perform their functions based on real-time feedback sensor information. The transaxle is conventional in the use of hydraulically applied clutches to shift a planetary gear train. However, it uses electronics to control virtually all other functions. Note that the factory recommends that before attempting any repair on the 42LE four-speed automatic transaxle, always check for proper shift linkage adjustment. Also, check for diagnostic trouble codes with the Chrysler DRB scan tool.

Use MOPAR Type 7176 Automatic Transmission Fluid only. Do not substitute transaxle fluid. If the differential sump requires fluid, use 80W-90 petroleum based Hypoid gear lubricant.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:
    Be careful of sharp edges cowl/wiper area.

    Negative battery cable
    Wiper blades
    Right and left wiper module covers
    Steel cowl/strut support

    Engine air inlet tube
    Transaxle harness connectors at cowl area
    Upper bell housing studs
    Loosen clamps at intersection of rear exhaust system to front catalytic converter pipe
    Rear exhaust from left catalytic converter pipe and right extension pipe
    Rear exhaust system
    Nuts securing the exhaust pipes to transaxle mount
    Loosen clamp at right extension at right catalytic converter
    Right extension
    Crankshaft Position (CKP) sensor connector and remove sensor. The sensor is located on the upper right side of the transaxle bell housing.
    Dipstick tube
    Gear selector cable from the transaxle
    Transmission range sensor connector
    Input and output speed sensor connector
    Transaxle cooler lines from the transaxle and plug them
    Lower control arm pinch bolts
    Lower control arms from steering knuckles by prying them out

  5. Use a prybar to separate the inner tripod joints from the transaxle

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The halfshafts do not have to be completely removed from the vehicle.

  7. Pull the bottom of the knuckles and halfshafts outward to allow clearance during transaxle removal. The halfshafts do not have to be completely removed from the vehicle.
    Do not let the halfshafts or CV-joints hang unsupported. Internal joint damage may result if allowed to hang free.

  9. Remove or disconnect the following:
    Matchmark the installed position of the torque converter to the flex plate before removal.

    Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO 2 S) wiring and left catalytic converter pipe
    Starter bolts and position it between the engine and transaxle. Do not disconnect the wiring or completely remove the starter.
    Engine oil pan cooler

    Torque converter bolts and discard them. New bolts must be used during installation.

  11. Use a transmission jack to slightly raise the transaxle, removing weight from the rear transaxle mount.
    The crossmember bridge bolts are different lengths for each side, so note their locations during removal.

    Lower the rear of the transaxle to access to the bell housing bolts.

    Rear crossmember bridge bolts
    Rear mount adapter plate mounting bolts
    Rear crossmember bridge, mount and adapter plate as an assembly

    Side bell housing bolts
    Dipstick tube from the transaxle and plug to prevent leakage
    Solenoid/pressure switch assembly connector from the top of the transaxle
    Transaxle by lowering it from the vehicle.


To install:

  1. To prevent damaging the structural collar, hand-tighten all fasteners before torquing them to specifications.
  3. If the torque converter is being replaced, apply a light coat of oil to the crankshaft pilot hole.
  5. Check the drive plate for cracks before reinstalling the transaxle and replace the plate as necessary.
  7. Use new torque converter-to-drive plate bolts, as different year models use different bolts.
  9. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure, noting the following torque specifications:
    1. Converter-to-driveplate bolts: 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm)
    3. Driveplate-to-crankshaft: 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm)
    5. Engine-to-transaxle case bolts to 75 ft. lbs. (101 Nm)
    7. Input and output speed sensor-to-case bolts: 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).

  11. Fill the transaxle with fluid. Start the engine and allow it to idle for 2 minutes. Apply the parking brake and move the selector through each gear position, ending in N . Recheck the fluid level and add if necessary. Be sure the vehicle is level when refilling the transaxle. Use Mopar Type 9602 Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF+4) only. Do not substitute transaxle fluid.
  13. Check the transaxle or proper operation. Adjust the shift linkage, if necessary. Be sure the reverse lamps come on when in reverse.