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Beck180

How do you rate a transmission when it is not in the car?

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Odd question.

So the bearings in the 4 speed of my 74Tii finally gave out. Time to replace it. I don't have the money to do a 5 speed conversion yet, so I am looking for a used 4 speed unit to do a swap.

I made a post in the "Parts Wanted" section and already have one response of someone with a few 4 speed trannies I could choose from. Problem is, how do I determine the condition of a gearbox when it is out of the car?

What questions should I ask if the seller is too far away?

Thanks!

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first blush - I would ask the seller to drain each box and

report on the condition of the oil and what's stuck to

the magnetic drain plug for a partial view into their histories

the only sure long-distance way for any assurance

for a reasonably 'good' replacement is the word

of the seller stating that they drove the car with the box

installed, and they can attest to it's quiet, non-crunchy condition.

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Agree with c.d. You can wiggle the input shaft and check for excessive play, spin the input shaft and try and listen for a bad bearing, shift it through the gears, but really you can't tell without driving it, and absent that, you need to trust the seller. And you often wind up trading off provenance for price. Do you want to pay $100 for the pick-and-pull-don't-come-back-to-me special, or $500 for the guaranteed runner with a 60-day return if it's bad? No right or wrong answer here, just choice, like most things in life. Having installed both good and bad cheap tranis, it sucks to be wrong, and feels great when you're right.

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Agree with c.d. You can wiggle the input shaft and check for excessive play, spin the input shaft and try and listen for a bad bearing, shift it through the gears, but really you can't tell without driving it, and absent that, you need to trust the seller. And you often wind up trading off provenance for price. Do you want to pay $100 for the pick-and-pull-don't-come-back-to-me special, or $500 for the guaranteed runner with a 60-day return if it's bad? No right or wrong answer here, just choice, like most things in life. Having installed both good and bad cheap tranis, it sucks to be wrong, and feels great when you're right.

what is excessive play? The input shaft on my 4spd has 2.5mm of play, measured at the tip. Shifted fine when it was in the car under normal circumstances, but it has been so long, I don't remember if there was excess vibration. Clutch and flywheel also looked fine to me when they came out.

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Forgot about the bearing on the flywheel. Crisis averted. Still gonna hunt for good cheap 5 speeds though

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If anyone tries to get $500 out of you for a 4- speed, keep looking.

 

I have had a tiny bit of luck using a drill motor to spin the input shaft,

but like everyone says, it's a bit of a pig in a poke...

 

t

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If anyone asks for more than $500 for a 5-speed keep looking! shoot, those things are everywhere, sure there's a little chance it may have a bad synchro, but junkyard E21's are all over. I just passed up one today, picked up a few small parts. 210,000 miles on it, trip meter had 75 miles on it, so good chance odomoter was always working. shifter felt good, a few oil drops from the rear seal, but i'm sure it was in fine shape. $100 plus $30 core at pickn pull

Edited by tlapham

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