Buick Regal 1997-2000

Transaxle Removal & Installation


Special lifting and support equipment is required for this procedure. The engine must be supported from above to hold the weight of the engine. The subframe and transaxle are lowered out from the bottom of the vehicle. This is not a job for the inexperienced or ill-equipped.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical engine support fixture needed to hold the engine in place as the transaxle is being removed from the bottom of the vehicle

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical engine mounts and the vehicle subframe

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Transaxle-to-engine bolts may vary in length. Use care so each bolt is returned to its original location

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  3. Remove the cosmetic/acoustic engine cover.
  5. Remove the air cleaner duct.
  7. Tag for identification, if necessary, then detach the electrical connectors from the transaxle. These connectors include the Transaxle Range Switch and the solenoid harness connector.
  9. If equipped with the 4T60-E transaxle, disconnect the vacuum hose from the vacuum modulator.
  11. Disconnect the transaxle range selector lever cable from the transaxle range switch. Unbolt the cable bracket and set aside the bracket with the cable.
  13. Remove the fluid filler tube.
  15. Remove the upper transaxle bolts including the wiring harness grounds.
  17. Install a suitable engine support fixture such as GM engine support fixture tool J 28467-A and J-36462, or equivalent. It must be capable of supporting the weight of the engine and the transaxle.
  19. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  21. Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies.
  23. Disconnect both tie rod ends from the steering knuckles, as outlined in Section 8 of this manual.
  25. Remove the power steering gear heat shield, then remove the power steering gear-to-subframe retaining bolts. Separate the power steering gear from the subframe and secure to the vehicle with wire.
  27. Disconnect the power steering cooler line clamps from the subframe.
  29. Remove the engine mount-to-frame retaining nuts and washers.
  31. Disconnect the lower ball joints from the steering knuckles, as outlined in Section 8.
  33. Remove the torque converter cover and then remove the starter motor. Please see Section 2 for more details.
  35. Remove the torque converter bolts.
  37. Drain the transaxle fluid into a suitable container. Refer to Section 1 for more information.
  39. Disconnect the transaxle oil cooler hoses from the transaxle. Use care not to damage the fittings
  41. Remove the drive axles (halfshafts) from the vehicle using the procedures found in this section.
  43. Detach the wiring connectors from the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) and the wheel speed sensor harness connectors.
  45. Support the transaxle/subframe with a transaxle table or equivalent.
  47. Disconnect the transaxle brace.
  49. Remove the remaining transaxle-to-engine and engine-to-frame transaxle bolts.
  51. Remove the frame-to-body bolts. More information is available in Section 3 under Engine Removal and Installation. GM specifies that new replacement subframe bolts must be used.

Use care removing the transaxle. The torque converter will tend to fall out of the transaxle housing. It weighs approximately 65 pounds and could cause serious injury if allowed to fall. Restrain the torque converter with wire or a strap or some device to keep the torque converter in place.

  1. Lower the transaxle and subframe assembly from the vehicle.

To install:

  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Please note the following important steps.
  3. If the transaxle failed, the oil cooler in the radiator and all of the pipe must be flushed to removed debris and particles. Although professional transaxle shops have equipment to clean torque converters, in most cases, the torque converter must be replaced.
  5. Inspect the flywheel and rear crankshaft seal for leaks. If the flywheel has any cracks or shows signs of worn teeth and/or if there is any question as to the condition of the rear seal, now is the time to replace these parts. Please see Section 3.
  7. When reconnecting the transaxle oil cooler hoses, use care. Correct thread engagement is critical. Cross-threaded fittings can achieve proper tightness value but will still leak.
  9. Make sure the torque converter is installed all the way. The pump is driven by the tangs on the back of the converter. The converter must be seated all the way in the pump or the transaxle will not fit flush against the back if the engine block.