GM Firebird 1982-1992 Repair Guide

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Use only Dexron®II Automatic Transmission Fluid.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Read automatic transmission fluid level on dipstick and add, as required

Check the automatic transmission fluid level at each oil change. Driving with too much or too little transmission fluid can damage the transmission. The dipstick can be found in the rear of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked only when the transmission is at normal operating temperature. If your Firebird has been driven at highway speeds for a long time, in city traffic in hot weather, or pulling a trailer, wait for about 30 minutes for the fluid to cool down so a correct reading can be read.

  1. Park the car on a level surface, with the parking brake on. Start the engine and let it idle for about 15 minutes. Move the transmission through all the gears and then back to P .
  2.  
  3. Remove the dipstick and carefully touch the wet end of the dipstick to see if the fluid is cool, warm, or hot. Wipe it clean and then reinsert it firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick again and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally.
    1. If fluid is cool (room temperature), the level should be about 1 / 8 - 3 / 8 in. (3-10mm) below the ADD mark.
    2.  
    3. If fluid is warm, the level should be close to the ADD mark, either above or below.
    4.  
    5. If fluid is too hot to touch, the level should be at the FULL mark.
    6.  

  4.  
  5. If the fluid level is low, add Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid (ATF) through the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transmission. Be extremely careful not to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately 1 pint (0.473L) of ATF will raise the fluid level from one notch/line to the other.
  6.  

If the fluid on the dipstick appears discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

DRAIN AND REFILL



Please refer to the "PAN AND FILTER SERVICE'' procedure listed in this section.

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



See Figures 2 through 10



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Fig. Fig. 2: Typical automatic transmission oil pan and oil filter assembly.



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Fig. Fig. 3: Automatic transmission oil pan bolt and conical washer assembly

The automatic transmission fluid and filter should be changed every 15,000 miles (24,000km) if your Firebird is driven in heavy city traffic in hot weather, in hilly or mountainous terrain, frequent trailer pulling, or uses such as found in taxi, police car or delivery service. If your Firebird is driven under other than listed above conditions, change the fluid and filter every 30,000 miles (48,300km).

  1. Raise and support the car on jackstands. Place an oil catch pan under the transmission.
  2.  
  3. Remove the oil pan bolts from the front and sides only.
  4.  
  5. Loosen rear oil pan bolts approximately 4 turns.
  6.  


WARNING
Do not damage the transmission case or oil pan sealing surfaces.

  1. Lightly tap the oil pan with a rubber mallet or gently pry it downward to allow fluid to drain.
  2.  
  3. Remove the remaining oil pan bolts, then remove the oil pan and pan gasket.
  4.  
  5. Remove the filter and seal.
  6.  
  7. Clean the transmission case and oil pan gasket surfaces with suitable solvent and air dry. Make sure to remove all traces of the old gasket.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Coat the seal with a small amount of Transjel®.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seal onto the filter.
  4.  
  5. Install the new filter into the case.
  6.  
  7. Install the oil pan and new gasket.
  8.  

On 1991 and later vehicles, inspect the oil pan screws and washer assemblies. The screws must not be used if the conical washer is reversed. Failure to replace the screw and washer assembly may result in improper fastening of system components.

  1. Install the oil pan bolts and tighten them to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Lower the car.
  4.  
  5. Fill the transmission to proper level with Dexron®II fluid.
  6.  
  7. Check cold fluid level reading for initial fill. Do not overfill the transmission.
  8.  
  9. Follow the fluid level check procedure described before.
  10.  
  11. Check the oil pan gasket for leaks.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Removing side transmission oil pan bolts



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Fig. Fig. 5: Pry transmission oil pan down slightly to allow oil to drain



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove oil pan and allow excess oil to drain from valve body and filter assembly



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove gasket material from transmission case and pan



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the transmission oil filter and O-ring from the case



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Fig. Fig. 9: Install the transmission oil filter with new O-ring, into the case



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Fig. Fig. 10: Adding transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. Be careful not to overfill the transmission.

 
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