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Transmission Rebuild


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Hello everyone. I am new to the forum and was hoping that someone could give me some advice about a transmission for a 1980 280zx. I pulled the transmission to replace the throwout bearing and clutch, and when I drained gear oil, bearing pieces were in it. I feel that the tranny needs to be rebuilt, but am unsure how to proceed. Should I have someone rebuild, or should I look to purchase a rebuilt transmission? I have never done myself, and am a little nervous to rebuild on my own. Does anyone know of a good z-car transmission rebuild shop in the Washington DC, Baltimore area? What about the big tranny rebuild places you see advertised on the internet? Any advice is appreciated.

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Finding a tranny at a junkyard should be pretty easy. I wouldn't pay a shop to do a rebuild though. They usually don't have much of a guarantee on MT rebuilds. As a tranny gets older clearances on certain parts widen to the point that replacing bearings will only provide a temp fix.

I think you'd be surprised at how easy it is to rebuild a manual tranny. I've done a few MT rebuilds. My first was out of necessity since I couldn't find a replacement that was cheap enough. (I was young and broke) It's probably a countershaft bearing which has died. They ride low in the case and can easily ingest debris.

Here's what you'll need to do it...

Haynes manual... Invaluable info on details like detent ball placement.

Basic wrenches, socket set

GOOD snap ring pliers ( A must as cheapies will break)

1"x8" x 18 piece of pine and a drill w/hole saw for making a mounting plate

A vice to hold said mounting plate

Large crescent wrench for large nut.

You can spend as little as $100 to replace all the ball bearings. Needle bearings from Nissan are a bit more but the only one you might need is the input shaft needle assy. The input shaft needs to go to a shop for pressing on/off the main bearing. (Optional)

A purist would use paper gaskets but you can get away with using a thin layer of sealer/gasketmaker between case sections.

It's not rocket science and you'll find that a tranny goes back together like rings on a cone. I don't mean that literally but it's not like you're going to switch any gears. Getting the shift forks aligned right might take a little doing but it's not that bad. The manual, if followed section by section will get you through it easily.



Edited by JimmyZ
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pretty good advice above but if you are a fairly novice wrench not as straightforward as Jimmyz said. See if there is a local z club you can often find a member who is willing to look over your shoulder for advice and moral support. Otherwise junkyard. There is a a guy in tennesee (but I lost the link)who has a bunch of z's and sells parts. try doing a search might be called zbarn or something like that. http://www.zbarn.com/ actually did find the link. Tennesee is somewhere in the vicinity of WVa if I remember my geography. and they ship.

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