Instructions April 2004


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General Transmission Installation Instructions

Posted On: April 05, 2004


 !! CAUTION !!

ONLY qualified personnel should perform a transmission installation.

Improper installation procedures may cause property damage, personal injury or death.





1. INSPECTION - With transmission removed do the following:

a)  Inspect the engine and transmission mounts for cracks or damage.

b)  Check shifter linkage for proper operation.

c)  Carefully inspect the flexplate for warpage, cracks or worn teeth, then torque down the flywheel bolts to the crankshaft.

Torque spec: 3/8-16 & 3/8-24 - 40-50 ft-lbs  &  7/16-14 - 55-65 ft-lbs & 7/16-20 - 70-80 ft-lbs

For aftermarket hardware check Mfg. specifications.

  NOTE:   When installing a converter that uses oversize bolts, you must drill the flexplate holes.

                Use 13/32" for 3/8" bolts or 15/32" for 7/16" bolts.

2. DRIVE SHAFT - Have the drive shaft checked for run out, balance and straightness.  Inspect the U-joints for both condition and quality.  Use only the very best heavy duty U-joints as a driveline failure is costly and dangerous.

3. TRANS COOLER - Flush and reverse flush transmission cooler and lines so they will not contaminate new transmission or converter with particles from old transmission and converter.  If cooler is restricted, it must be replaced.  It must be properly sized for the application.

  NOTE:   An external transmission cooler is required for use with all Hi-stall converters. 

                The extra slippage will generate additional heat.

4.a.  NEW CONVERTOR - ONLY - If a new converter is being installed with a transmission that is not fresh, clean the transmission pan, replace filter, inspect front pump bushing and install new front pump seal.

 b.  USED CONVERTOR - ONLY - when installing a new transmission with a used converter, have a transmission shop flush the converter, inspect its hub and check its endplay.  Make sure the converter is in good condition and not contaminated.

5. O-RINGS - When installing a new transmission, install new O-rings on used dipstick tube, speedometer gear housing, etc. and install speedometer gears from the old transmission into the new transmission.  On some units like GM, this includes the gear on the output shaft and will require removing the extension housing.

6. SHIFT LEVER - Install the proper shift lever on or into the transmission.  The shift lever used on the transmission MUST BE COMPATIBLE with the shifter being used in the car.

7. DIP STICK  - Check to be sure the dipstick and tube are COMPATIBLE and will read the CORRECT fluid level in the transmission.  In most transmissions, the pan rail level is the correct full fluid level.  A bend in the dipstick tube near the O-ring area will cause a leak.  Check it and be sure that its is straight.

8. ALIGNMENT -The (2) transmission alignment dowel pins must be in the engine block and the mating surface of both the engine and transmission must be clean and flat.

9.  MOTOR MID-PLATE - Installations using a motor plate or mid-mount will require the use of special alignment dowel pins that are longer than stock to compensate for the thickness of the motor plate or mid-mount.

  NOTE:  If using motor plate or mid-mount, the converter must be built or sized to compensate for the extra distance between the engine and transmission.

10. CONVERTER - On some GM installations, the converter may not contact the flexplate before it bottoms in the crankshaft. 

  NOTE:   Polish the converter pilot and the pilot bore in the crankshaft then lube both for ease of installation.

11.  COOLING LINES -Do not use copper line for cooling lines since it cannot withstand vibration and it will crack.  Use steel brake line and flare the end of tubing if you are connecting it to a hose.  This is done so that the line pressure will not push clamped hose off of the steel line.  For racing applications, we recommend using braided steel lines and #6 fittings.

12.  TRANS MOUNT - Do not use a solid transmission mount if there is any possibility of chassis flex breaking the transmission case.  We recommend the polyurethane type mount for all high performance applications.

13. SHIFTER w/CABLE - On installations using a shifter with a cable, the shift cable housing should be attached only to the shifter and the transmission.  NEVER attach the shift cable housing to the chassis as movement between the transmission and chassis could result in a shift linkage movement causing a gear change or transmission failure.

14.  FORD SHIFT LEVER - When installing a shift lever into a Ford transmission, make sure that it is extra clean.  Ford valve bodies and governors stick very easily.

15.  FORD CONVERTER - Ford stock diameter converters with a drain plug must have plug lined up with a hole in the flywheel.

16.  MOPAR CONVERTER - Chrysler Torqueflite converters must be checked for engine external balance weights, new converter weights must match old weights if engine is externally balanced. Chrysler Torqueflite converters will only bolt to the flexplate in one position.

  NOTE:  It will be necessary to change the flexplate on Chrysler products when changing the diameter of a converter.

17.  MOPAR SPEEDO GEAR -The Torqueflite transmission speedometer gear housing is an offset design to accommodate different diameter gears, be sure to rotate it to the proper position for the gear used.

18.  MOPAR THROTTLE VALVE -Torqueflite transmissions must have the throttle valve linkage properly installed and adjusted or the transmission will fail from low internal fluid pressure.

19.  TRANS FLUID - Use a quality name brand Dextron II (if available), or Ford Type "F" type fluid.  They withstands heat better than most other type fluids and have the proper lubricating qualities.

NOTE:  Do not use Dextron 3/Mercon transmission fluid.

               Use only Ford Type F or Dextron 2E



 1.  CONVERTER WARNING - Never install the transmission with the converter bolted to the engine.  Pour one quart of transmission fluid into the converter to prelube it.  Align the converter hub drive slots with the transmission pump drive lugs and install the converter onto the transmission, properly engaging the two sets of splines and the pump drive.  The converter should be rotated back and forth until its completely nested into the front pump.

2.  TRANSMISSION - Bolt the transmission to the engine carefully, DO NOT FORCE IT.  If the transmission will not easily install flat against the engine, FIND OUT WHY.  The converter hub slots may not be properly engaging the transmission pump gear lugs and using force will result in damage to both the converter hub and the transmission front pump.

3.  CONVERTER CHECK - VERY IMPORTANT - After bolting the transmission to the engine, make sure that unbolted converter is still nested into the transmission as far as it will go. Then check to be sure there is approximately a 1/8" to 3/16" gap between the converter mounting pad and the flexplate.  Use a drill bit as a feeler gauge.   (EXAMPLE: For Larger Gap - With a clearance of 1/4", the gap must be reduced by installing (1) flat washer (1/16 thick) between each converter mount and the flexplate)  The converter pilot should have a good fit into the crankshaft and extend approximately 1/8" into the crankshaft pilot. If the gap is correct, then pull the converter out to meet the flexplate and secure it properly with the appropriate hardware.   

NOTE:  In the event that the converter to flexplate clearance is less then 1/8", the converter mounting pads have to be modified.  Do Not Install a Converter with Incorrect Clearance.

4.  CONVERTER - After the installed converter clearance has proven to be correct, bolt the converter to the flexplate.  Proper converter clearance is necessary to allow for normal movement of the crankshaft, flexplate, converter and transmission pump gears.  The clearance variation is caused by the manufacturing tolerances of all the related components, engine, flywheel or flexplate, transmission, etc.

5.  ADDING FLUID - After installation is complete but while car is still on the JACK STANDS, pour (4-5) quarts of transmission fluid into the transmission.  Then place transmission into neutral, start engine, and quickly add transmission fluid until it reaches the full mark (pan rail level on most applications) on the dipstick.  Shift transmission into reverse and let run approximately (3) minutes.  Running in reverse (3) minutes will give any contaminants in the transmission, converter, cooler or lines a chance to settle into the transmission pan and not be introduced to the automatic shift control part of the valve body or governor, causing the shift valves to stick.

  NOTE:  After running in reverse approximately (3) minutes, shift through all the gears and recheck the fluid level.

WARNING:  DO NOT run TRANS-BRAKE equipped transmissions in reverse (3) minutes as the Solenoid will overheat.

DO NOT OVERFILL - Overfilling will cause fluid foaming at dipstick or breather, overheating and premature unit failure.

DO NOT UNDERFILL - A low fluid level will result in damage to pump, bushings, thrust washers, gears and burn the clutches and bands.

After a short road test, inspect the completed installation including the drive-shaft to be sure everything is properly installed and safe.  CHECK shifter adjustment in all gear positions.  CHECK for fluid leaks and RECHECK fluid level in transmission.


6.  Chrysler Torqueflite throttle valve linkage must be properly adjusted or the transmission will prematurely fail.

7.  GM and Ford detent controls (down shift) must be adjusted for proper operation.

8.  GM and Ford Modulators require a good vacuum and they may have to be adjusted for proper shift points.  Turn the small screw in its vacuum port in for later shifts or out for earlier shifts.

9.  Always use a transmission fluid cooler.

10.  On Race Cars, always install a transmission shield or blanket and a drive shaft retaining loop for safety.





Low fluid level.

  • Shifter misadjusted.
  • Pump damage  


Insufficient vacuum at modulator.

Kick-down linkage or switch misadjusted or stuck.

Valve body or governor valves stuck because of contaminants


or misadjusted.

 Vacuum line cracked or leaking

Torqueflite throttle pressure linkage loose
Incorrect fluid level.
Shifter or kick-down is misadjusted


 Adjust Vacuum Modulator:  in for later shifts, out for earlier shifts.

 Torqueflite:  adjust throttle pressure linkage 


Fluid level to high.


Insufficient or restricted cooler 


Incorrect fluid level.

Worn or damaged pump or converter pump hub

 An RPM flare up in hard launching race cars may be caused by fluid moving away from filter resulting in air entering transmission circuits and converter.


                                    2. INSTALL A DEEP PAN.

                                    3. INSTALL A BAFFLE IN PAN.