GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Automatic Transaxle Assembly

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1982-86 Vehicles

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery and where it attaches to the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. On the 1982-84 models, insert a 1 / 4 in. x 2 in. bolt into the hole in the right front motor mount to prevent any mislocation during the transaxle removal.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Install a suitable engine support fixture - 1986 2.8L engine shown

  1. On 4-cylinder engines, remove the air cleaner.
  2.  
  3. On V6 engines remove the following:
    1. Remove the air intake duct from the air cleaner.
    2.  
    3. Remove the left fender brace.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the MAT sensor lead at the air cleaner.
    6.  
    7. Disconnect the mass air flow sensor lead.
    8.  
    9. Remove the PCV pipe retaining clamp from the air intake duct.
    10.  
    11. Remove the clamp retaining the air intake duct to the throttle body.
    12.  
    13. Remove the mass air flow sensor mounting bolt. Remove the air cleaner bracket mounting bolts at the battery tray.
    14.  
    15. Remove the air cleaner, mass air flow sensor and air intake duct as an assembly.
    16.  
    17. Remove the heat shield at the crossover pipe and remove the crossover pipe.
    18.  

  4.  
  5. Disconnect the T.V. cable at the throttle body.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Transaxle-to-engine mounting - 1986 2.8L engine shown

  1. Unscrew the bolt securing the T.V. cable to the transaxle. Pull up on the cable cover at the transaxle until the cable can be seen. Disconnect the cable from the transaxle rod.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wiring harness retaining bolt at the top of the transaxle.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the hose from the air management valve and then pull the wiring harness up and out of the way.
  6.  
  7. Install an engine support bar as shown in the illustration. Raise the engine just enough to take the pressure off the motor mounts.
  8.  


CAUTION
The engine support bar must be located in the center of the cowl and the bolts must be tightened before attempting to support the engine.

  1. Remove the transaxle mount and bracket assembly. It may be necessary to raise the engine slightly to aid in removal.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the shift control linkage from the transaxle.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten and remove the top transaxle-to-engine mounting bolts. Loosen, but do not remove, the transaxle-to-engine bolt nearest to the starter.
  6.  
  7. Unlock the steering column. Raise and support the front of the car. Remove the front wheels.
  8.  
  9. Pull out the cotter pin and loosen the castellated ball joint nut until the ball joint separates from the control arm. Repeat on the other side of the car.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the left lower control arm.
  12.  
  13. Remove the six bolts that secure the left front suspension support assembly.
  14.  
  15. Install drive axle seal protectors and connect an axle shaft removal tool (J-28468) to a slide hammer (J-23907).
  16.  
  17. Position the tool behind the axle shaft cones and then pull the cones out and away from the transaxle. Remove the axle shafts and plug the transaxle bores to reduce fluid leakage.
  18.  
  19. Remove the nut that secures the transaxle control cable bracket to the transaxle, then remove the engine-to-transaxle stud.
  20.  
  21. Detach the speedometer cable at the transaxle.
  22.  
  23. Disconnect the transaxle strut (stabilizer) at the transaxle.
  24.  
  25. Unfasten the four retaining screws and remove the torque converter shield.
  26.  
  27. Scribe a mark for on the flywheel for reassembly and remove the three bolts securing the torque converter to the flex plate.
  28.  
  29. Disconnect and plug the oil cooler lines at the transaxle. Remove the starter.
  30.  
  31. Unfasten the screws that hold the brake and fuel line brackets to the left side of the underbody. This will allow the lines to be moved slightly for clearance during transaxle removal.
  32.  
  33. Remove the bolt that was loosened in Step 12.
  34.  
  35. Remove the transaxle from the vehicle.
  36.  

To install:
  1. Position the transaxle in the car.
  2.  
  3. Place a small amount of light grease on the torque converter pilot hub.
  4.  
  5. Make sure to properly seat the torque convertor in the oil pump.
  6.  
  7. Guide the right drive axle shaft into its bore as the transaxle is being raised. The right drive axle cannot be installed AFTER the transaxle is connected to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Lower the transaxle to the engine bolts and remove the transaxle jack.
  10.  
  11. Install the transaxle to engine support bracket.
  12.  
  13. Install the transaxle cooler lines.
  14.  
  15. Position the LH axle into the transaxle.
  16.  
  17. Install the torque converter-to-flywheel bolts and tighten to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Re-torque the first bolt after all three have been tightened.
  18.  
  19. Install the transaxle converter shield.
  20.  
  21. The remainder of the installation is the reverse of removal with the following precautions.
    1. Check the suspension alignment.
    2.  
    3. Check the transaxle fluid level.
    4.  

  22.  

1987-94 Vehicles

See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. For 1989-93 vehicles, drain the cooling system, then disconnect the heater core hoses.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: View of the correct installation of the engine support fixture on the 2.0L (VIN H) engine

  1. Remove the air intake duct or air cleaner assembly.
  2.  
  3. For 6-cylinder engines only, disconnect the exhaust crossover pipe from the manifolds.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the TV cable from the throttle lever and the transaxle and unroute.
  6.  
  7. Remove the fluid level indicator and the filler tube.
  8.  
  9. For 1987-88 vehicles, insert a a 1 / 4 in. x 2 in. bolt into the hole in the right front motor mount to maintain drive line alignment.
  10.  
  11. Install J 28467-A or equivalent engine support fixture.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Engine-to-transaxle mounting - 1994 2.0L (VIN H) engine shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: View of the engine to transaxle mounting and torque specifications - 1994 3.1L engine shown

  1. Unfasten the nut securing the wiring harness to the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wiring harness-to-transaxle nut.
  4.  
  5. Label and detach the wires at the TCC connector and the neutral safety/back up light switch.
  6.  


WARNING
When servicing requires that the "T" latch type wiring connector be detached from the switch, be sure to reassemble the "T" latch and the connector. Failure to do so may result in intermittent loss of switch functions.

  1. Disconnect the shift linkage from the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the top two transaxle-to-engine bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the left upper transaxle mount and bracket assembly.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the rubber hose from the transaxle-to-vent pipe.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the remaining upper engine-to-transaxle bolts.
  10.  
  11. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies.
  14.  
  15. If equipped, remove both front ABS wheel speed sensors and the harness from the left suspension support.
  16.  
  17. Separate both ball joints from the control arms.
  18.  
  19. Remove the engine-to-transaxle brace.
  20.  
  21. Unfasten the left stabilizer link pin bolt and frame bushing clamp nuts.
  22.  
  23. Remove the left suspension support assembly and cross bar. Remove both drive axles (halfshafts) from the transaxle, then support them.
  24.  
  25. On the 2.0L (VIN H) engine, disconnect the exhaust pipe from the manifold.
  26.  
  27. Remove the starter motor, as outlined in Engine Electrical of this repair guide.
  28.  
  29. Disconnect the coolant inlet pipe from the transaxle and manifold.
  30.  
  31. Remove the transaxle converter cover.
  32.  
  33. On the 2.0L (VIN H) engine, remove the lower intake manifold brace.
  34.  
  35. Unfasten the torque converter-to-transaxle bolts, then matchmark the converter to the flywheel for assembly.
  36.  
  37. Disconnect and plug the transaxle cooler pipes. Remove the transaxle cable selector bracket.
  38.  
  39. Detach the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) connector from the sensor.
  40.  
  41. Remove the transaxle-to-engine support bracket.
  42.  
  43. Position a suitable transaxle jack under the transaxle, then remove the transaxle mounting strut at the transaxle.
  44.  
  45. Unfasten the remaining engine-to-transaxle bolts, then remove the transaxle from the vehicle.
  46.  

The transaxle cooler and lines should be flushed any time the transaxle is removed for overhaul or to replace the pump, case or converter.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Location of the flywheel net slot

To install:
  1. Put a small amount of grease on the pilot hub of the converter and make sure the converter is properly engaged with the pump.
  2.  
  3. Position the transaxle in the vehicle. Install the lower engine-to-transaxle bolts, then tighten to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm) for all except the 3.1L engine. Remove the jack.
  4.  
  5. Fasten the transaxle mounting strut to the transaxle.
  6.  

Install the transaxle-to-engine support bracket. It is important to center the bolt in the left rear transaxle mount slot to the body. This will minimize idle shake and harsh engagement.

  1. Install the transaxle-to-engine support bracket.
  2.  
  3. Connect the transaxle cooler pipes.
  4.  
  5. Align the converter with the marks made previously on the flywheel. Hand start and tighten the net slot bolt first, then hand start and tighten the two remaining bolts. Tighten the converter bolts to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  6.  
  7. For the 2.0L (VIN H) engine, install the lower intake manifold brace.
  8.  
  9. Fasten the transaxle selector bracket.
  10.  
  11. Connect the coolant inlet pipe to the transaxle and exhaust manifold studs.
  12.  
  13. Install the transaxle converter cover.
  14.  
  15. Install the starter assembly.
  16.  
  17. For the 2.0L (VIN H) engine, connect the exhaust pipe to the manifold.
  18.  
  19. Install the drive axles (halfshafts) to the transaxle.
  20.  
  21. Fasten the left suspension support assembly and the cross bar.
  22.  
  23. Install the left stabilizer shaft frame bushing clamp nuts and link pin bolt.
  24.  
  25. Install the engine-to-transaxle brace.
  26.  
  27. Fasten the right and left ball joints to the control arms.
  28.  
  29. Attach the VSS connector to the transaxle.
  30.  
  31. Connect the left side ABS harness and the WSS connector to the sensor.
  32.  
  33. Install the wheel and tire assemblies.
  34.  
  35. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  36.  
  37. Install the upper transaxle mount bolts, tighten to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm), except for the 3.1L engine. For the 3.1L engine, tighten to the specifications shown in the accompanying figure.
  38.  
  39. Fasten the left side transaxle mount.
  40.  
  41. Attach the shift linkage to the transaxle.
  42.  
  43. Fasten the wiring connectors at the TCC converter and the park/neutral switch.
  44.  
  45. Install the wiring harness and secure to the transaxle with the retaining nut.
  46.  
  47. For 1987-88 vehicles, remove the alignment bolt.
  48.  
  49. Remove the engine support fixture.
  50.  
  51. On the 3.1L engine, install the crossover pipe to the exhaust manifold.
  52.  
  53. Install the oil level indicator and fill tube.
  54.  
  55. Connect the TV cable at the transaxle and throttle lever.
  56.  
  57. Attach the rubber hose to the transaxle vent pipe.
  58.  
  59. Install the air inlet duct or air cleaner assembly.
  60.  
  61. Connect the negative battery cable, then check the transaxle fluid level and add if necessary.
  62.  

ADJUSTMENTS



Shift Control Cable Adjustment
  1. Place the shift lever in the N .
  2.  

Neutral can be found by rotating the transaxle selector shaft clockwise from P through R to N.

  1. Loosely attach the cable to the transaxle shift lever with a nut. Assemble the cable to the cable bracket and to the shift lever. Tighten the cable to transaxle shift lever nut.
  2.  

The lever must be held out of P when torquing the nut.

Throttle Valve (TV) Cable Adjustment

Setting of the TV cable must be done by rotating the throttle lever at the carburetor or throttle body. Do not use the accelerator pedal to rotate the throttle lever.

  1. With the engine off, depress and hold the reset tab at the engine end of the TV cable.
  2.  
  3. Move the slider until it stops against the fitting.
  4.  
  5. Release the rest tab.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the throttle lever to its full travel.
  8.  
  9. The slider must move (ratchet) toward the lever when the lever is rotated to its full travel position.
  10.  
  11. Recheck after the engine is hot and road test the vehicle.
  12.  

 
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