Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Milford (Cincinnati) OH
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I just had a similar job this weekend
I'm no professional mechanic, but I do like working on cars. I built my first drag race car when I was 15 1/2. Yes, the entire engine, piece by piece. Most of you are way to young to know the significance of this , BUT my '56 Chevy, which I drove to high school EVERYDAY in 1967 was turning an 11.96 in a quarter mile, and that's no bullsxxt.
Anyway, my son and I just yanked the tranny out of my daily driver '98M3 this weekend. What a PAIN, and frustrating job, but because of my experience I knew to TRY different tools, try PB Blaster, try the new "Freeze Off" stuff, and when all that fails, drag out the Oxy/Acet torch.....
If you know a good mechanic, maybe they would spend some time with you explaining when you use certain tools....I am not talking down to ANYONE here, but as my son witnessed this weekend, you start with 1 tool, if it does not do the job, or you break it (like we did) you move up to the next level of "big guns".
I love ALL of my Craftsman tools, but I have supplemented them with "Lifetime Guarantee" items from Harbor Freight. It is a great VALUE. I have not had any major problems thus far with their stuff.
I'm not much of a typist (I'm too old) or I would walk through a bunch of scenarios for you as to when you use what tool. As my son saw on the tranny job, we used a 3/8 swivel on the exhaust manifold AFTER lots of PB Blaster & Freeze Off, only to SNAP the universal in half. Thank GOD we did, because then we had to go to harbor freight (nearby) to get some universals. Well, much to my surprise, HARBOR makes a very SERIOUS universal in 3/8 and 1/2 that are similar to dedicated swivel impact sockets. WOW what a life saver. The tranny would NOT be out right now if it were not for these impact style swivel universals. The tranny bolts felt like they were welded in, even after LOTS of PB Blaster & Freeze Off. This is always the potential when you have STEEL bolts going through ALUMINUM. It makes for 1 hell of a chemical reaction.
You just need to know when to step back and rethink the project, and possibly come back another day when you are fresh and not frustrated.
For FROZEN bolts, my approach is usually like this: Spray PB Blaster once a day for 3-4 days prior to starting the job. Use 1/2 drive whenever possible (sometimes space limits you to 3/8) with a BREAKER bar. Once it is broken loose, then you can go to your ratchet handle. While at Harbor Freight buying the impact swivel universals, I found a KING SIZE breaker bar which I immediately bought for $11.99(only reason we were able to get the tranny out).
Allways, allways put almost EVERYTHING back together with Anti-Seize compound. I like the copper based anti-seize the best. And yes, with anti-seize you will have a tendency to OVERTORQUE everything, SO take that into consideration. Use the lower range of the torque values stated for whatever you are working on.
Hope your head is OK, and that you are not permanently disuaded from working on your car. Doing it yourself is really rewarding because you can be creative and as fussy as you want. A professional mechanic does not have the time or inclination to be fussy and creative on YOUR car.
Oh, and by the way, NOW that the tranny is out, I am building my own short shift kit that has special bronze bushings in places that the commercial kits don't even have. I also get to FIX the hang up in reverse and 5th gear on this box by replacing the DETENT sleeves. I am also having a special severe duty 6 puck kevlar (streetable) clutch disc made for my M3.