Removing and replacing the transmission Solenoid Pack w/ pictures



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Thread: Removing and replacing the transmission Solenoid Pack w/ pictures

  1. #1
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    6 out of 6 members found this post helpful.

    Removing and replacing the transmission Solenoid Pack w/ pictures

    I’d had a slow leak from the transmission for several months. Not big enough to worry about, but enough to cause a grimace every time I saw the spots.
    I finally decided to go ahead and change the tranny fluid and use the nifty Chrysler “reusable” metal and rubber pan gasket I had bought to stop the leak. I hate the RTV pan-to- tranny solution because of the extra work and uncertainty of using goo instead of a real gasket.
    Unfortunately, the leak persisted, so I dropped the pan a second time the following weekend and sealed it with the RTV.
    Again, the leak persisted so I went after the Solenoid Pack area. I placed a bit of paper towel under the transmission fluid hoses and saw no pink on the towel after a week… but the spots continued to show up under the van, with wet fluid dripping off the back side of the pan onto the floor.
    I replaced the gasket under the Solenoid Pack, but the leak continued dripping.
    Then, a few days ago when the weather turned cold, the spots turned to little puddles.
    I broke down and bought a Solenoid Pack from the Dealer, replaced it and the new gasket that came with it, and the leak stopped.
    What I discovered was that removing the Solenoid Pack the second time was a breeze because I knew what to do. I took pix for the forum so that it might be easier for your first time.

    1. Clean the area with degreaser from a spray can and rinse well…. three times. DO NOT jack up the van. Tranny fluid is level with the top of the mounting face of the Solenoid Pack. If you don’t imbalance the level of the van by jacking it up you will lose almost no fluid.
    2. Work on a cool tranny. A hot engine bay will get you burned.
    3. Open Solenoid Pack box and make sure you have the correct gasket. READ the instructions! Four times. (See pix 1 for bolt descriptions)
    4. Put heavy tape along the heat shield seam. The edge will cut you if you don’t. (pix 2)
    5. From top of engine bay, look down and identify the bolt #1 and the 8mm bolt on top of the connector locations. (pix 3)
    6. Locate bolt #3 It’s hidden below the heat shield, under the transmission dip stick tube. (see pix 4)
    7. REMOVE the speed sensor. Unclip the sensor connector, then use a 1” socket to remove the sensor. ( pix 5) Now you san see bolt #2)
    8. Loosen the 8mm bolt on the Solenoid Pack connector (pix 3), lift off the connector and place it out of the way.
    9. REMOVE the bolts. #1 and #2 are easy. #3 is removed with a short extension and short ratchet. “Short” because you will be working under the dipstick tube. (pix 7)
    10. With the bolts removed, lift up the Solenoid Pack assembly, slide it towards the front of the van, turn upright and remove it through the space between the tranny and the bumper lip. (pix 8)
    11. CLEAN the area where the new Solenoid Pack will go. CAREFULLY.
    12. Place gasket on Solenoid Pack bottom. Three dowels will hold the gasket in place while you are replacing the Solenoid Pack. (pix 9) Your old Solenoid Pack may have only had 2 dowels, but the third dowel fits in place just fine.
    13. Replace in reverse order. You will notice a “rocking” of the new Solenoid Pack on the edge of the tranny. It feels like you aren’t in the dowel holes, but that’s normal and will settle in place once you properly locate and snug down the bolts.
    14. Torque 10mm bolts to 106 inch pounds ( 8.5 ft. pounds) on bolts #1 and #2. The #3 bolt was done after calibrating the Mark One Multi-digital Grip Extension (my hand) to how much resistance 8.5 ft pounds felt like on the first two bolts.
    15. The 8mm connector cover bolt is just “tightened”.
    16. NO computer “training” is necessary. Just drive the van normally and it will learn on it’s own so fast you won’t know it happened.
    17. Celebrate with appropriate beverage and over-salted, high fat content, comfort food product.
    Attached Images
    2002 T&C Ltd.
    White w/Gray 145,000+ miles
    1997 T&C Lxi
    Green w/Tan 225,000 before sold

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  4. #2
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    Any difference in the way the trans shifts?
    '03 Town & Country LX 3.8

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    Quote Originally Posted by torquelover View Post
    Any difference in the way the trans shifts?
    It's hard to tell, really. I didn't have any hard data from before I changed it so I can't definitely tell there was any change afterward. (Unless you count the few miles I drove before realizing the tranny was in limp mode...... seems I forgot to connect the electrical connector on top of the Solenoid Pack. )
    With all connections made, I was able to drive, using all 4 gears, as normally as the day before.
    It's really a piece of cake to do.
    2002 T&C Ltd.
    White w/Gray 145,000+ miles
    1997 T&C Lxi
    Green w/Tan 225,000 before sold

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    Jeepman (12-25-2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by torquelover View Post
    Any difference in the way the trans shifts?
    With only a leaky pack, I doubt the shifting is different. It will make a difference if the old pack has solenoids that are sticking causing the computer to have to compensate for it.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

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    Nicely done and documented. I did mine on a 3rd gen and the procedure is only slightly different - you start by removing the air box and you don't have to worry about working around the heat shield or dipstick.

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    Thanks for this information. I have a winter time leak on mine and I believe it to be the gasket. No leak above freezing basically. This has been going on for about 4 winters now and I have had the replacement gasket for about as long.
    Mine looks like a real hard to get at area. I was actually thinking of removing the heat shield. Your documentation and pictures will help me tremendously. I will be bookmarking this Thread.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 115,600 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 314,240 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 246,430 kms

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    First of all, thank you Sheldon! This is a great write up, and right on time. I just discovered the same leak on my 01 T&C this weekend.

    My question is, does anyone ever seem to have success just changing the gasket? My van seems to shift just fine right now, so I hate to throw away good money on the pack if it is just the gasket. That being said, I also don't want to go in and do the job twice if I don't have to.

    Thanks for any help,
    Bob
    2001 T & C 3.8L 2WD
    1996 Land Rover Discovery
    1982 Porsche 928

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    If the gasket is leaking, not the body of the solenoid, I would just change the gasket. Its only $5 at a dealer so much better than $100 for a pack from ebay or $250 from a dealer.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

  12. #9
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    Thanks for that Andy. I cannot tell which part it is leaking from. I guess I will try the gasket first and see what happens.
    Bob
    2001 T & C 3.8L 2WD
    1996 Land Rover Discovery
    1982 Porsche 928

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    Check your cooler line connections first (if you haven't already). They can develop leaks during cold weather.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 115,600 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 314,240 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 246,430 kms

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