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Tim's Auto Repair
Tim's Auto Repair, mechanic
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Experience:  Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
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How do I change the transmission on a 2003 cavalier automatic

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How do I change the transmission on a 2003 cavalier automatic

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Transmission Replacement

Transmission Replacement

  • Tools Required
  • J28467-360 Engine Support Fixture
  • J35944-A Transmission Oil Cooler and Line Flusher

Removal Procedure

  1. Remove the battery.

 



 

  1. Disconnect the IAT sensor and loosen the air duct hose from the intake plenum.
  2. Remove the push pin from the relay center, lift the relay center.
  3. Remove the air cleaner assembly.
  4. Remove the upper radiator filler panel.
  5. Install the engine support fixture.

 



 

  1. Disconnect the transaxle wiring harness from the transaxle and the PNP switch.
  2. Remove the screw from the front coolant pipe bracket to allow the freedom of movement.
  3. Remove the 3 upper transaxle to engine bolts and the 1 stud.
  4. Remove the 2 top bolts from the transaxle mount
  5. Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Vehicle Lifting.
  6. Remove the tire and the wheel assemblies.
  7. Remove the front fender liner.
  8. Disconnect the engine strut from the lower engine mount.
  9. Disconnect the front and rear oxygen sensors and wiring harness from the shift cable bracket.
  10. Remove the wiring harness from the retaining clips.
  11. Remove the front exhaust pipe.
  12. Disconnect the wheel speed sensor wires from the both front wheels and unclip the clips from the frame.
  13. Remove the lower steering intermediate shaft pinch bolt.
  14. Remove the tie rod from the steering knuckle.
  15. Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  16. Remove the drive axles from the transaxle.
  17. Unclip the brake line from the retainers on the suspension support frame clips.
  18. Place a suitable drain pan in position to catch the power steering fluid as you remove the power steering lines from the rack and pinion assembly.
  19. Remove the bolt, which retains the power steering line to the right side of the suspension support brace.
  20. Remove the front suspension support brace bolts.
  21. Remove the support brace.

 



 

  1. With the aid of an assistant remove the lower suspension support.
  2. Remove the 2 bolts which, hold the transaxle to engine support brace to the transmission at the right side of the transaxle output shaft.

 



 

  1. Disconnect the shift cable from the shift linkage.
  2. Disconnect the cable from the bracket.

 



 

  1. Remove the flywheel inspection cover.
  2. Remove the starter.
  3. Mark the relationship of the flywheel to the torque converter for reassembly.

 



 

  1. Remove the torque converter to flywheel bolts.
  2. Remove the transaxle cooler lines by removing the nut holding the bracket to the transaxle case.
  3. Disconnect the VSS wiring harness from the sensor.
  4. Disconnect the transaxle output shafts from the transaxle and support in an out of the way position with mechanics wire.
  5. Remove the 2 bolts, which retain the transaxle bracket to the body.
  6. Remove the 2 bolts retaining the bracket to the transaxle.
  7. Remove the wiring harness from the body.
  8. Lower the vehicle.
  9. Remove the 2 bolts from the transaxle to body bracket.
  10. Lower the transaxle with the engine support fixture enough to remove the transaxle.
  11. Raise the vehicle.
  12. Remove the two retaining bolts and the bracket.
  13. Remove the 2 transaxle to engine bolts.

 



 

  1. Support the transaxle with a suitable jack.
  2. Separate the engine and the transaxle.
  3. Remove the transaxle from the vehicle.
  4. Flush the transmission cooler and the lines with the J35944-A Oil Cooler Flushing Tool or equivalent, whenever the transaxle has been removed for overhaul or replacement.

Installation Procedure



 

  1. Place a thin film of chassis grease GM P/N(NNN) NNN-NNNN or the equivalent, on the torque converter pilot hub.
  2. Ensure that the torque converter is properly seated in the oil pump
  3. Position the transaxle in the vehicle. Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Service Precautions.

 



 

  1. Install the lower transaxle to engine bolts and 2 studs.
    • Tighten the bolts and studs to 90 Nm (66 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the transaxle to body bracket bolts.
    • Tighten the bolts to 90 Nm (66 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Lower the vehicle.

 



 

  1. Use the engine support fixture to raise the transaxle.
  2. Install the 2 bolts through the Unibody frame into the transaxle to engine mount bracket.
  3. Raise the vehicle.
  4. Reposition the wiring harness into its clips on the body rail.
  5. Install the drive axles to the transaxle.
  6. Install the wiring harness to the VSS.
  7. Connect the transaxle cooler pipes to the transaxle.

 



 

  • Tighten the cooler pipes to 8 Nm (71 ft. lbs.).
  1. Install the torque converter to flywheel bolts.
    • Tighten the torque converter bolts to 62 Nm (46 ft. lbs.) .

 



 

  1. Install the starter.
    • Tighten the starter bolts to 50 Nm (37 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the battery cable to the starter and the nut.
    • Tighten the nut to 15 Nm (11 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the starter wire and the nut to the starter solenoid.
    • Tighten the nut to 11 Nm (8 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the flywheel inspection cover.
  2. Connect the shift cable to the bracket and the lever.

 



 

  1. With the aid of an assistant install the front suspension support assembly, rack and pinion assembly into place with the 6 bolts.
    • Tighten the 6 bolts to 110 Nm (71 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the left side suspension support brace and bolts.
    • Tighten the brace bolts to 72 Nm (53 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install and tighten the power steering lines to the rack and pinion steering gear.
    • Tighten the power steering bolts to 27 Nm (20 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the bolt that secures the power steering lines to the front suspension support assembly.
    • Tighten the bolt to 8 Nm (71 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Reconnect the ball joints to the steering knuckles and the nuts.
    • Tighten the nuts to 60 Nm (50 ft. lbs.) plus 180 degrees .
  1. Install the cotter pin in both the balls joints.
  2. Reconnect the tie rod ball stud and nut to the steering knuckle.
    • Tighten the tie rod ball stud nut to 45 Nm (33 ft. lbs.).
  1. Install the lower steering column pinch bolt.
    • Tighten the pinch bolt to 40 Nm (30 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Reroute and clip the wheel speed sensor wiring into the proper position on both sides.
  2. Install the catalytic converter flange attaching bolts.
    • Tighten the bolts to 30 Nm (22 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the front pipe to the manifold exhaust and the nuts.
    • Tighten the nuts to 45 Nm (33 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Route and clip the rear oxygen sensor and wires in there proper position.
  2. Lower the vehicle to loosen the J28476-B and allow the engine to assume its proper position.
  3. Raise the vehicle.

 



 

  1. Install the right side suspension support bolts.
    • Tighten the bolts to 72 Nm (53 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the front fender liner.
  2. Install the tire and the wheel assemblies.
  3. Lower the vehicle.

 



 

  1. Install the upper transmission to engine bolts.
    • Tighten all of the bolts to 90 Nm (66 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the upper transaxle to engine bolts and stud.
    • Tighten the bolts and stud to 90 Nm (66 ft. lbs.) .
  1. Install the engine wiring harness grounds to the transaxle to engine mount stud and nut.
    • Tighten the nut to 8 Nm (71 inch lbs.) .

 



 

  1. Remove the engine support fixture.
  2. Install the heater pipe screw.

 



 

  1. Connect the electrical connectors to the PNP switch.
  2. Install the shift linkage to the transaxle.
  3. Install the radiator filler panel to the vehicle.
  4. Install the air cleaner assembly.
  5. Connect the IAT sensor.
  6. Install the battery.
  7. Inspect the transmission oil level.
  8. Apply the brakes. Start the engine. Shift the transaxle from R (Reverse) to D (Drive).
  9. Road test the vehicle.
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