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My Vacation By Ed Bon July, 2007

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    1. My Vacation By Ed Bon July, 2007 I had mentioned to a few buddies that I felt the 2002 A4 (4-speed automatic) C5 Corvette I bought for Carole was in need of a little massagingbut I promised her I wouldn't break into the engine (yet, heh-heh). For the past few weeks I have been preparing for the changeover by buying all the parts and then taking a few days off of work to complete the upgrades. My plans included headers, a 3.42 ratio diff, a high stall torque converter, a tranny oil cooler and an insulated tunnel plate. I started on July 4th and finished off the last couple of details in a week. Carole, when she wasn't busy, spent a bit of time assisting me and shot a few of the following pictures. What follows is a photo-logue of the project.

    2. I pre-assembled the American Racing Headers when they arrived to check out the fit.

    3. I had the headers ceramic coated to reduce the under hood heat.

    4. I had an extra bung welded in for future wideband tuning use.

    5. This 3.42-ratio diff is the one out of my M6 C5 that I put 4.10’s in when the car had ~3K miles on it so it’s just broken in. The one I’m replacing is a 2.73 ratio.

    6. The Yank SS3200 torque converter I ordered.

    7. Dave at Yank Converters made this and shipped it to me in record time when another vendor dropped the ball in sending me another TC I had ordered earlier. In retrospect, I am very happy about that because it turned out to be a much better choice than the original one I ordered.

    8. I picked up a 72” tranny jack for a great price. This came in very handy as you’ll see.

    9. In anticipation of a bit of messiness, I laid some cardboard down. I also rearranged some of the rolling cabinets to give better work area efficiency.

    10. Got the car on the lift and jacked up to pull out the rear cross member.

    11. Disconnected the A-arms, shocks, brakes, etc.

    12. A-arm, shock and brake caliper dropped.

    13. Popped the axles out of the differential.

    14. Removed diff mount nuts.

    15. Loosened the exhaust and started pulling it out.

    16. Got the tunnel plate out and exposed the drive train.

    17. The torque tube in all its glory.

    18. Placed support under the torque tube in preparing to remove the rear cross member.

    19. Disconnected the electrical connectors on the tranny along with the shifter cable.

    20. Then I used the tranny jack to lower the rear cross member to the lift runners on top of some towels. I slid the entire assembly rearward so it was out of the way when I dropped the drive train.

    21. At this point, it was easy to drain the fluid out of the 2.73 diff and place the tranny jack under the tranny.

    22. The drive train was ready to come out at this point.

    23. Next step was to pull the five front torque tube (TT) bolts.

    24. I moved the jacking tray to the back of the engine to support it while the TT was off.

    25. Here’s a shot of the drive shaft clamp after the TT was removed.

    26. Also, here are a few shots of the empty drive train compartment. This is the underside of the main rear tub.

    27. Here you can see the fuel filter, the fuel tank cross tube and the Evap unit.

    28. A look down the tunnel from the rear looking forward.

    29. The TT slid back pretty easily. I’ve done it before – but never on an automatic, and never alone.

    30. Tranny jack made the job easy.

    31. Ready to pop the diff off.

    32. It came off without any drama.

    33. Next, I pulled the TT off the front of the tranny. (Like my TT positioning fixture?)

    34. The tranny with the stock torque converter.

    35. Pulled that off.

    36. Here are the stock and Yank converters side-by-side. Dramatic difference.

    37. I filled the Yank with a quart of Dexron III – it took forever to seep in so I did other things in between pouring bits at a time. Even had time to take this picture.

    38. Assembled the 3.42 ratio diff to the tranny and torqued everything down.

    39. I slid the Yank onto the tranny pump shaft.

    40. And torqued the three bolts through the flex plate.

    41. Here’s the completed TT sub-assembly ready to be reinstalled.

    42. Carole caught me shoving the drive train back into place. It actually went in quite smoothly. Once again, the tranny jack was more than worth the selling price when doing this task alone.

    43. The drive train back in place and supported.

    44. I pushed the cross member back in position and lifted it into place with the jack. Then I jacked the lower A-arms up, reinserted the axles and reconnected the upper A-arms, shocks and brakes. Of course, there were the various lines, connectors and clips that need to be reconnected as well.

    45. Moving on to the headers, I pulled the stock manifolds off and unbolted the alternator and starter.

    46. Flywheel after starter was pulled.

    47. I had heat-shielded the starter on my other Vette so I did the same with this one to protect it from any extra heat the headers might radiate.

    48. The American Racing Headers went in very easily but the starter wires weren’t as easy to reconnect as I had hoped. Still, they eventually went in fine.

    49. The trusty jack once again was handy in holding the tunnel plate up for installation.

    50. Looked great in place.