2000 Saturn SL1 Taking a transmission out

  • 2000 SATURN SL1
Transmission problem
2000 Saturn SL1 Automatic

I need to no how to take a transmission out of a 2000 Sl1 saturn? Step by step
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have the same problem?
Friday, November 14th, 2008 AT 2:36 PM

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I can give you an idea of what you're looking at, but the car I pulled the tranny on was a manual so it won't be exactly the same. Unfortunately, to pull the tranny you will have to pull the motor first. You will also have to disconnect the steering knuckles from both sides to get the drive axels out. It's a big job but do-able. I found it was easiest to start from the top of the motor and work down when disconnecting the wiring. I bought a Haynes manual and used it as a guide. They run about $20-25 and for a job like this are well worth it. I STRONGLY suggest you do the same. The best advice I can give you is to mark and record everything you disconnect. I wrote the location I took connectors off on masking tape and put it on their ends as well as keeping a written log as I went.

Before starting on the motor make sure you relieve the fuel pressure. Pull the fuel pump relay (In fuse box) then start the car and wait for it to stall. Open the gas cap as well. When you disconnect the fuel line from the rail, cover it with a rag in case there is a little pressure left. It will most likely leak out a small amount of fuel so be careful.

ALL the fluids will need drained, oil, antifreeze and tranny fluid. Otherwise it will make a huge mess when you start taking it out.

I pulled the air intake tubes, air cleaner assembly, battery and battery tray next. (One of the tray bolts came in through the inner fender well.) That gives you a lot more room to work with.

The book says pull the belt then the A/C, alternator, starter and power steering pump have to come off also. (I don't have p/s.) The A/C compressor and P/S pump will get taken off the engine, but DON'T disconnect the hoses. I didn't take the starter off, but on a M/T everything comes out as one unit. I believe the A/T can be taken out separately so you'll probably want to take the starter off.

Once those were out I pulled the radiator. The cooling fan assembly will have to come off first. Mine only had one electrical connector and two screws. If you have A/C, the condenser may be attached to the radiator. Mine only had one bolt but the book said there should be two. Be careful not to damage the radiator or condenser.

Here's where you're on your own. The sensors, etc. Are different for different years. I started at the front of the engine and worked counter-clockwise around itto unhook everything. Go slowly and make sure you disconnect every wire and hose going from the chassis to the motor. Make sure you get under it. I had several sensors on the back of the engine over the starter I could only see from underneath. (Be extremely careful working under any car if you have it up off the ground.)

Once that was done my next job was to pull the drive axles. I used an impact wrench to pull the axle nuts. (They are the large center nut you see when you take off the hubcaps.) You also have to pull the ball joints. After taking the nut off the ball joint, give the side of the knuckle a couple good raps with a hammer (I used a 3lb. Sledge) to loosen it. DO NOT hit the ball joint. One side came out easily for me, the other I had to use a ball joint fork to get out. Be careful not to tear the rubber boots on the joints when you take them out. While they are out, check if they are tight. If the stem of the joint is hard to move it's still good. If not you should replace them while they are off. I had one bad one. The right axle goes into the intermediate shaft, I put a pry bar between them to get them apart. The left side goes directly into the tranny. I did the same on that side but be ready for the tranny fluid to come pouring out if you didn't already drain it. (Yes I had a garage floor full of tranny fluid because I forgot to.) Be carefull when pulling the left axle out that you don't damage the seal around it. The intermediate shaft had 4 bolts holding it's bracket to the back of the motor. Like I said, I took the motor and tranny out together so I didn;t have to take that off. If you're taking them apart you will need to. Be careful of the seal on that side too.

The book said to separate the exhaust manifold from the header pipe. I don't have torches so I didn't even try to do it. I pulled the exhaust manifold off the head. The were also two bolts holding the pipe to the bottom of the motor. It will be much easier to get the motor out if you can do it the way the book says. The manifold was a pain trying to maneuver around the motor and I bent the O2 connector.

For mine, the next part was hooking up the hoist before removing the mounts. I had 4 mounts. One on the top of the tranny and one on the bottom. One on the top pass side of the motor and one under the crank pulley.

Yours will probably be different, like I mentioned, the book said you could unbolt the A/T and pull the motor out by itself. This part I'm guessing on so get a second opinion. You may just need to unbolt the torque converter and push it back off the engine to separate them. Then undo the tranny to motor bolts and pull them apart.

I know this isn't exactly step-by-step but I hope it helps. The install is exactly reverse of the removal. The only thing you need to be sure to do is when you put the axles and intermediate shaft back in make sure they get seated fully. Otherwise you will have tranny fluid pouring out. (Again I found out the hard way.) The book said to tap the axle with a hammer. I wasn't willing to do that because I was afrain I'd mess them up so I slid them in hard once the splines were lined up.

I can't emphasize too much how having the manual to refer to helped and marking every hose, wire and connector made life easy when I put it back in.

Good Luck!
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 AT 5:33 AM

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