Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Automatic Transmission Assembly

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

On 4WD models, the transmission and transfer case are removed as an assembly, since the transfer case is bolted directly to the rear of the transmission and takes the place of an extension housing.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. On 4WD vehicles, remove the transfer case shift handle from inside the passenger compartment.
  4.  

Although removal of the transfer case shift handle is recommended, it is not always necessary. If you would like to leave the handle in place, remove the center console for access, then remove the shift knob (which usually means unthreading the setscrew to free the knob), boot and boot cover. But, be very careful not to damage the shift lever when lowering the transmission/transfer case assembly from the vehicle. If the lever is left in place, it may be necessary to shift the transfer case lever to different positions while lowering or raising the assembly.

  1. For 3-speed models:
    1. Free the transmission breather hose from the clamp at the rear of the cylinder head.
    2.  
    3. Bend back the rubber-coated metal clamp usually found at the rear of the intake manifold to free up the wiring harness. Then, disconnect the harness couplers.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the kick-down cable at the throttle body.
    6.  
    7. Remove the vacuum modulator hose at the intake manifold.
    8.  

  2.  
  3. For 4-speed models:
    1. Remove the battery, dipstick and oil filler tube.
    2.  
    3. Disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle cam and bracket.
    4.  
    5. Tag and disconnect the wiring harness couplers.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 1: Before removing the transmission, disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle cam and bracket

    6.  

  4.  
  5. Remove the starter mounting bolts, leaving the starter wiring connected, then secure the starter in position or slightly out of the way so the wiring will not be damaged.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 2 upper transmission-to-engine mounting bolts. This is a tight spot. You will either need a large breaker bar with a very short socket or a large combination wrench with a slight offset to really get at the bolt on the driver's side of the vehicle.
  8.  

On some of the models covered by this guide (including all 4-speed transmissions) the right side upper transmission-to-engine bolt is longer. This may make the bolt somewhat more difficult to remove, and be sure not to mix it up with the shorter bolt on the opposite side come installation time.

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely at a height which will be convenient to work from both above and below the vehicle.
  2.  

Later in this procedure, the exhaust center pipe must be removed for clearance. If you do not have air tools (which make exhaust fastener removal MUCH easier) take a moment now to spray the exhaust center pipe fasteners with penetrating oil to help loosen them. Spray both the 3 nuts and studs at the exhaust manifold and the 2 through-bolts at the rear of the converter.

  1. If equipped, remove the front skid plate for better access.
  2.  
  3. On 2WD vehicles, either drain the oil from the transmission case or have a transmission case plug handy for the extension housing (some aftermarket tool companies like Lisle® make plastic transmission plugs for just this purpose. If a plug is not available, a large plastic bag can be stretched across the extension housing and secured with a rubber band. This second method will catch some fluid, but if the transmission is left with the rear downward for any length of time you will wind up with smelly gear oil on the garage floor or in the driveway.
  4.  
  5. On 4WD vehicles, you do not have to drain the transmission, but it is probably smartest to drain the transfer case. If you are really adamant about not draining either, you've got 2 options. Either buy 2 transmission plugs that will fit where the front and rear driveshaft slip-yokes go or buy 1 plug and leave the front driveshaft in position, just unbolted at the front differential. Both have the potential to be a pain and to be really messy, but it's your call.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark and remove the rear driveshaft from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. On 4WD vehicles, matchmark and remove the front driveshaft between the transfer case and the front differential.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the gear select cable from the transmission by removing the locknut from the end of the cable, and the E-ring from the bracket. Remove the two bracket bolts and the bracket.
  12.  
  13. Remove the exhaust center pipe to provide the necessary clearance for transmission removal. This pipe runs from the exhaust manifold to the flange at the front of the muffler pipe. On most late-model vehicles it is a 2 piece unit, one from the manifold to a flange at the front of the converter, and the second which contains the converter and bolts to the front of the muffler pipe. This 2 piece unit can usually be removed as an assembly, which saves you the trouble of breaking one gasket surface and one set of bolts free.
  14.  

On vehicles which utilize a 2 piece center pipe assembly, it may be possible to only remove the converter portion. If this is attempted, take great care not to damage the downpipe which remains attached to the bottom of the exhaust manifold. But, remember, nothing is gained if you later decide to remove the downpipe, since you now have one more exhaust joint to seal during installation than you would have if you had removed the 2 piece center pipe as an assembly.

  1. Loosen the clamps, then disconnect and plug the transmission oil cooler hoses from the cooler pipes.
  2.  
  3. Remove the torque converter housing lower plate and disconnect and plug the oil cooler lines.
  4.  
  5. Hold the flywheel in place with Special tool 09927-56010, or an equivalent flywheel holding tool and remove the three torque converter mounting bolts at the flywheel.
  6.  

There are many different types of flywheel tools available. The most convenient (but more rare and expensive) are the types that bolt in place leaving your other hands free. But others are available which are essentially prytools that can be used to hold the teeth of the flywheel to keep if from turning. You can usually get away with using a large prybar, but if this is attempted be VERY CAREFUL not to damage the flywheel teeth.

  1. Remove the speedometer end nut, and disconnect the cable.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the left-side transmission case stiffener bracket.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, unbolt the right-side transmission case stiffener bracket from the transmission. On certain models this right-side bracket is attached to the engine using 3 bolts, if this is so on your vehicle remove the rear 2, but only loosen the front-most bracket-to-engine retaining bolt.
  6.  
  7. Remove the transmission-to-engine retaining nuts.
  8.  
  9. Position a transmission jack to take the weight off of the rear transmission mount (crossmember).
  10.  
  11. Unbolt the rear transmission mount from the chassis at either side and from the transmission at the center, then remove the mount from the vehicle.
  12.  

The 2 bolts on the passenger side of the transmission mount are locked in place using small metal tabs. This is done to help assure they cannot loosen, since the mount simply hangs from the bolts on that side and there is no ledge for it to sit on should they come out. Be sure to carefully bend these tabs out of the way before trying to loosen those 2 bolts.

  1. Place a wooden block 8 in. (200mm) tall X 4-6 in. (100-150mm) wide X 1.8 in. (45mm) thick on its side below the distributor cap, between the cylinder head distributor housing and the firewall. Lower the transmission jack slightly, to preload the wood. This wood will keep the engine from pivoting any further and possibly causing damage to the distributor or to the motor mounts.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: A wooden block should be positioned between the engine and firewall to prevent the possibility of damage if the engine should pivot back while the transmission is being removed



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Some vehicles utilize a right transmission case-to-engine stiffener bracket that looks like this-On these models remove the rear-most 4 bolts (A), but only loosen the front most bracket-to-engine bolt (B)



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: The Sidekick Sport utilizes a different right transmission case-to-engine stiffener bracket than the other models



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Typical rear transmission mount (crossmember) positioning on these vehicles-2WD shown, but 4WD mounts the same way (only difference on the 4WD is the elimination of 1 right-angled portion of the bracket to leave room for the transfer case)



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Exploded view of the automatic transmission case, torque converter and flywheel mounting


WARNING
On 3-speed models where the transmission dipstick tube has not been removed, take care not to damage the tube during removal. Also, check for a tube guide hook on the engine. If necessary, remove the oil filler tube bolt and set the guide hook free.

  1. Carefully pull the transmission (and transfer case assembly on 4WD vehicles) toward the rear of the vehicle until the torque converter is clear of the flywheel and until the transmission casing pulls off of the lower engine-to-transmission studs/bolts. Although one person can do this, if you don't have a transmission jack we REALLY recommend that you get a friend to help you with this step. Lower the transmission from the vehicle.
  2.  

Do your best to keep the transmission level while it is being lowered to minimize the chance of fluid draining from the unit and to keep the torque converter from falling out. The torque converter is a heavy and relatively expensive component, it would be wise to secure the converter to the transmission housing. This can be done by bolting metal tabs (which can be made from metal stock) to the housing in a position where a portion of the tab protrudes over the converter. This can also be done using large wire ties running from the bolt holes on either side of the transmission housing, through holes on the converter.

To install:

On most applications there are 1 or 2 metal bushings which press into the transmission housing at the lower bolt holes or they may be left on the lower engine-to-transmission bolts/studs. If used on your application, make sure they are in position before you crawl under with the transmission assembly.

  1. Carefully raise the transmission assembly into position using the transmission jack and/or a friend. With the transmission raised to the proper height, carefully slide the assembly forward to mate the torque converter to the flywheel.
  2.  
  3. Once the transmission is in place, install the transmission-to-engine bolts and nuts finger-tight.
  4.  
  5. Lift the transmission jack slightly to pivot the engine forward and remove the wooden block.
  6.  
  7. Install the engine rear mounting member, then tighten member retaining bolts 29-43 ft. lbs. (40-60 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Remove the transmission jack and install the left and/or right transmission-to-engine reinforcement bracket bolts, as applicable. Tighten the reinforcement bracket bolts to 44-51 ft. lbs. (60-70 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Align the bolt holes in the flywheel and the torque converter, then install the flywheel-to-converter bolts and tighten gradually (using multiple passes) to 44-51 ft. lbs. (60-70 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Position the center exhaust pipe using a new pipe-to-manifold gasket and new flange gasket rings (where required). Torque the mounting bolts, spring-loaded bolts and stud nuts (as used) to 29-43 ft. lbs. (40-60 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Tighten the engine-to-transmission bolts and nuts to 51-72 ft. lbs. (70-100 Nm).
  16.  
  17. The balance of the installation procedure is the reverse of removal. If the transmission and/or transfer case was drained, or even if it wasn't but some fluid leaked during the procedure, be sure to check and fill the transmission when you are finished.
  18.  
  19. When you are finished, double check all wiring connections, wiring clamps, breather hoses, etc. to make sure everything is back the way you found it.
  20.  
  21. Check and adjust the select cable (which should not have changed unless the adjusting nut was disturbed, or unless other mechanical components vary, such as a different transmission was installed).
  22.  
  23. Check and adjust the throttle cable, as necessary.
  24.  
  25. Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine; check for any leaks and proper operation.
  26.  

ADJUSTMENTS



Throttle (Kickdown) Cable

See Figures 7, 8, 9 and 10

The throttle or kickdown cable can also be known as the Throttle Valve (TV) cable. The purpose of the cable is to signal the transmission that a downshift should occur when the accelerator is pushed all the way to the floor. To check and adjust the cable:

  1. Check the accelerator cable end-play and make sure it is within specification. There should be 0.4-0.6 in. (10-15mm) of end-play. If not, loosen the cable locknut located at the bracket on the throttle body and turn the adjusting nut until the proper play is achieved. Hold the adjusting nut and tighten the locknut when you are finished.
  2.  

The accelerator cable is the upper cable, while the transmission throttle (kickdown) cable is the lower of the 2 cables on the throttle cam and bracket. If you are in doubt, follow the cables back, one will go through the fire-wall, while the other will continue down to the automatic transmission.

  1. Make sure the ignition switch is in the LOCK position and have an assistant fully depress and hold the accelerator pedal. If an assistant is not available, a large brick should suffice, but make it is heavy enough that the pedal does not move during adjustment
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Before checking the throttle cable (2) adjustment at the throttle cam (3), make sure the accelerator pedal cable (1) end-play is within specification



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: When adjusting the throttle cable on 3-speed models, make sure that clearance "a" is 0.0-0.039 in. (0-1mm) with the pedal fully depressed and the cable housing pulled tight away from the throttle body (direction A)



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: While adjusting the cable on 3-speed models, make sure the adjusting nut is fit into the adjusting bracket (as shown with the dotted lines) while holding the specified clearance, then tighten the locknut nut against the bracket.

  1. For 3-speed models:
    1. Loosen the locknut and adjusting nut so that both are loose and not in contact with the TV cable bracket on the throttle body.
    2.  
    3. Pull the throttle cable casing AWAY from the throttle body until tight and no cable deflection exists, then with the cable held in this position, tighten the cable locknut to within 0.0-0.039 in. (0-1mm) of the cable bracket.
    4.  

  2.  

Make sure that the cable adjusting nut is not in contact with the bracket at this point.

  1. Release the accelerator pedal while keeping the cable locknut-to-cable bracket clearance at 0.039 in. (1mm).
  2.  
  3. Tighten the cable adjusting nut until it engages and fits into the cable bracket.
  4.  
  5. Now, with the adjusting nut positioned flush with the cable bracket, fully tighten the cable locknut.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Throttle cable adjustment on the 4-speed is a relatively simple matter of obtaining a 0.031-0.059 in. (0.8-1.5mm) measurement between the cable tip end adjustment mark and the end of the boot.

  1. For 4-speed models:
    1. Measure the distance between the tip end of the cable adjustment mark and the end of the boot. The distance should be 0.031-0.059 in. (0.8-1.5mm). If not, loosen the locknut and turn the adjusting nut until this measurement is achieved.
    2.  
    3. Snug the throttle cable locknut with the throttle cable pulled tight.
    4.  
    5. Double-check the measurement between the tip end of the cable and the adjustment mark to make sure it did not change while tightening the locknut.
    6.  

  2.  
  3. Operate the vehicle and verify that the transmission kickdown shift is occurring properly.
  4.  

Shifter Select Cable

The shifter select cable attaches the manual gear selector in the passenger compartment to the shift shaft in the side of the transmission housing. It should not require periodic attention, but may need adjustment if other mechanical components at either end of the cable are replaced. Adjustment is simply a case of removing excessive play from the transmission end of the cable using the adjusting nut and locknut on the threaded portion of the cable which passes through the shift shaft. For more details, please refer to procedures for the Neutral Safety Switch information.

 
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