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280z Transmission-Rebuild or Swap?


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My transmission on my 77 280z is making a grinding noise. An initial diagnosis and estimate says that the bearing are falling apart and to rebuild it would cost me about $950 total in labor and parts.

There's a list on ebay for a clean rebuilt 5 speed for $599 and they are close enough for me to pick it up (no shipping cost).

I am fairly good with tools and have done project on my own. As long as its just nuts and bolts, i can handle it. I just dont have a press or any specialty tools.

My question is: Should i fork up the $950 and have a pro do it? or an i save some money and try it on my own?

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.

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A press is handy, but it can be done without if you are a bit creative in tools. But a good set of long-jaw pullers is essential, as is a factory service manual (FSM) that covers transmission repair. (You need the factory specs and tolerances.) I spent about $350 in parts to rebuild my early 4 speed (Nissan gaskets, seals, shims and synchro rings, generic bearings), I'd expect that to go to $400 or so for the extra synchro ring and such for the 5 speed.

You'll also need a large, very clean work area for this. As well as patience and time. Many people are intimidated by this work, but I've found it not too difficult.



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I just found the transmission that you mentioned on eBay. I recommend that you not buy anything "rebuilt" from that seller unless you saw the rebuild being completed! There have been many people here who have had horrible experiences with that seller. DO NOT consider that transmission as an option.

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Arne, thank you for your response...but I think you're under the assumption that i am rebuilding the transmission myself. In fact, no.

I have the option to send it to a shop and have them rebuild for $950.


The other option is to buy a completely rebuilt transmission on sale for $599. This trans will be all put together and all i need to do is swap the old one for the new one.

I'm asking if there are any specialty tools or difficulties in simply taking off the transmission only, not opening it up.

Thanks once again.

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