Saturn Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1991-1998 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle Assembly

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 through 12

  1. Properly disable the SIR system, if equipped, and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the air inlet duct fasteners, unplug the air temperature sensor connector and remove the air cleaner/inlet duct assembly.
  4.  
  5. For 1992-98 vehicles, remove the transaxle strut-to-cradle bracket through-bolt located on the radiator side of the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the vehicle and turbine speed sensor, transaxle temperature sensor, selector switch and actuator connectors from the transaxle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 2 ground terminals from the top 2 converter housing studs.
  10.  
  11. Remove the ground wire from the neutral (selector) switch and unclip the oxygen sensor wire retainer from the converter housing.
  12.  
  13. Remove the top 2 converter housing studs.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 4 DIS coil-to-converter housing bolts, then wire the coil (module) to the cylinder head coolant outlet. Discard the old module's retaining bolts and replace with new bolts upon installation.
  16.  
  17. For 1991 vehicles, loosen the 2 front transaxle mount-to-transaxle fasteners.
  18.  
  19. Wire the radiator to the upper radiator support, in order to hold the assembly in place when the cradle is removed.
  20.  
  21. Install engine support bar assembly tool SA9105E or equivalent. Make sure the support feet are positioned on the outer edge of the shock tower, the bar hooks are connected to the engine bracket and the stabilizer foot is on the engine block (to the right of the oil dipstick).
  22.  
  23. Raise the front of the vehicle sufficiently to lower the transaxle and the engine cradle. Support the vehicle safely using jackstands. Make sure the jackstands are not positioned under the engine cradle.
  24.  
  25. Remove the drain plug from the transaxle housing and drain the transaxle fluid. The drain plug is on the lower cowl side of the housing and is inserted from the engine side of the vehicle.
  26.  
  27. Remove the front wheels and engine splash shields from the vehicle. For coupes, remove the left and right lower facia braces.
  28.  
  29. For 1992-98 vehicles, remove the front engine strut cradle bracket-to-cradle nuts from below the cradle.
  30.  
  31. Remove the transaxle mount-to-cradle nut from under the cradle.
  32.  
  33. Remove and discard the cotter pin from the lower ball joints. Back off the ball joint nut until the top of the nut is even with the top of the threads.
  34.  
  35. Use ball joint separator tool SA9132S or equivalent to separate the ball joint from the lower control arm, then remove the nut. Do not use a wedge tool or seal damage may occur.
  36.  


WARNING
The outer CV-joint for vehicles equipped with ABS contains a speed sensor ring. Use of an incorrect tool to separate the control arm from the knuckle may result in damage to and loss of the ABS system.

  1. Remove the front exhaust pipe nuts at the manifold, then disconnect the pipe from the support bracket.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front pipe to catalytic converter bolts and lower the pipe from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the engine-to-transaxle stiffening bracket bolts and remove the bracket. For 1991 vehicles, remove the rear transaxle mount bracket-to-transaxle bolts, then loosen the mount bolt and allow the bracket to hang out of the way.
  6.  
  7. Remove the steering rack-to-cradle bolts and wire the gear for support when the cradle is removed. Remove the brake line and retainer from the cradle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the converter housing dust cover, then remove the torque converter-to-flywheel bolts.
  10.  
  11. For 1991 vehicles, remove the front transaxle mount-to-cradle nuts and the engine lower mount-to-cradle nuts. These nuts are all located under the front or side cradle member.
  12.  
  13. Position two 4 in. x 4 in. x 36 in. pieces of wood onto a powertrain support dolly and position the dolly under the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 4 cradle-to-body bolts and carefully lower the cradle from the vehicle with the support dolly. Tape or wire the 2 large washers from the rear cradle-to-body attachments in position to prevent losing these parts.
  16.  
  17. Squeeze the plastic tabs at the transaxle cooler line connectors and pull the lines out of the connectors. The plastic retainer should remain on the lines. Connect one end of a 3 / 8 in. rubber hose over each cooler line to prevent fluid loss or contamination.
  18.  
  19. If necessary for the transaxle to clear the body, lower the transaxle side of the assembly until the valve body cover clears the frame.
  20.  
  21. Support the transaxle securely with a suitable jack.
  22.  
  23. Use an appropriate prybar to separate the left side halfshaft from the transaxle. Only remove the halfshaft sufficiently to install seal protector tool SA91112T or equivalent around the shaft and into the seal, to prevent the seal from being cut by the shaft spline.
  24.  
  25. Remove the 2 bottom converter housing-to-engine bolts and lower the transaxle sufficiently to reach the shifter cable. Separate the halfshaft from the right side, also using a seal protector tool.
  26.  
  27. Disconnect the transaxle shifter cable and remove the cable from the converter housing.
  28.  
  29. Carefully lower the transaxle from the vehicle. Use transaxle cooler cleaning tool SA9165T or an equivalent to clean the cooler and lines.
  30.  

To install:
  1. Installation of the automatic transaxle assembly is the reverse of removal. However, please note the following important steps:
  2.  
  3. Use a 6 x 1.0mm tap to clean the sealant from the ignition module's mounting holes.
  4.  
  5. Place the transaxle assembly securely onto the jack and position it under the vehicle for installation. Install axle seal protectors into the seals on both sides.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the 2 lower converter housing-to-engine bolts to 96 ft. lbs. (130 Nm). Do not use the bolts to draw the transaxle to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Be sure to remove the seal protectors before installing the halfshafts. Push the halfshaft all the way into the transaxle and install the snapring. Remove the transaxle jack.
  10.  
  11. Clean and lubricate the ball joint threads before installing the ball joints into the knuckles. Verify the correct positioning of the lower control arm ball studs to the knuckles, the cooling module support bushings, engine strut bracket and transaxle mount.
  12.  
  13. Insert 9 / 16 in. round steel rods into the cradle-to-body alignment holes near the front cradle-to-body fastener holes.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the 4 cradle mounting bolts to 155 ft. lbs. (210 Nm). Remove the support dolly, then the engine support bar assembly.
  16.  
  17. For 1992-98 vehicles, tighten the transaxle strut-to-cradle bracket through-bolt and nut to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Remove the radiator assembly support wire.
  20.  
  21. Tighten the new ignition module bolts, with sealant, to 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm) and verify that the bolt heads are properly seated on the ignition module.
  22.  
  23. For 1991 vehicles, tighten the 2 front transaxle mount-to-transaxle fasteners to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
  24.  
  25. Tighten the 2 top converter housing-to-engine studs to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm). Tighten the 2 ground terminals to 19 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  26.  
  27. Adjust the shifter cable according to the procedure given in this section under Neutral Safety/Selector/Reverse Light Switch Adjustment.
  28.  
  29. For 1992-98 vehicles, tighten the transaxle mount-to-cradle nut, the transaxle strut cradle bracket-to-cradle nut and the 2 engine strut cradle bracket-to-cradle nuts to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm).
  30.  
  31. For 1991 vehicles, tighten the front transaxle mount cradle nuts to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm). Then, tighten the right side mount-to-cradle nuts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  32.  
  33. Tighten the steering gear bolts and nuts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  34.  
  35. Tighten the torque converter-to-flexplate bolts to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm). Tighten the converter housing dust cover bolts to 97 inch lbs. (11 Nm).
  36.  
  37. For 1991 vehicles, tighten the rear pitch restrictor-to-transaxle bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  38.  
  39. Tighten the powertrain stiffening bracket bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  40.  
  41. Tighten the exhaust manifold-to-exhaust pipe retaining nuts in a crosswise pattern to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm). Tighten the front pipe-to-catalytic converter flange bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm). Finally, tighten the front pipe-to-engine support bracket fasteners to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm).
  42.  

If the converter flange threads are damaged, use the Saturn part no. 21010753 converter fastener kit in place of the self-tapping screws, to provide proper clamp load and prevent exhaust leaks.

  1. Tighten the ball joint nuts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm). Continue to tighten the nuts as necessary and install new cotter pins.
  2.  
  3. For coupes, install the right and left lower facia braces, J-nuts and fasteners. Tighten the fasteners to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the tire and wheel assemblies, then remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Thoroughly inspect the transaxle and engine compartment area to be sure that all wires, hoses and lines have been connected. Also inspect to make sure that all components and fasteners have been properly installed.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable and fill the transaxle with Dexron®II or equivalent fluid.
  10.  
  11. Properly enable the SIR system, if equipped.
  12.  
  13. Warm the engine and check the transaxle fluid. Check and adjust front end alignment, as necessary.
  14.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the transaxle strut-to-cradle bracket through-bolt-1992-98 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 2: Unplug the electrical connectors from these transaxle points



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Fig. Fig. 3: Saturn engine support bar assembly-part no. SA9105E



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Fig. Fig. 4: Properly install engine support bar tool SA9105E, or an equivalent, to retain the engine when the cradle is removed



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the front engine strut cradle bracket-to-cradle nuts



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the transaxle mount-to-cradle fastener



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Fig. Fig. 7: Detach the brake line and retainer from the cradle



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Fig. Fig. 8: Front transaxle and engine lower mount nuts-1991 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 9: Position a piece of wood on a powertrain support dolly to protect the cradle



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the 4 cradle-to-body bolts



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the transaxle cooler lines from their connectors



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Fig. Fig. 12: Aligning the cradle to the spaceframe

 
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