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AFCO Hotrod & Racing
13-Jun-00 Installing the Transmission Pan

Pan Handling

ImageThe pan on the left is the new B&M chrome pan and the pan on the right is the original powder coated factory pan. The new pan measures one inch deeper than the original one. This is going to reduce the ground clearance slightly but whether it poses a problem remains to be seen. The extra oil capacity should help with cooling. I looked into getting an aluminum pan but none of them were polished and the price was slightly higher. The B&M pan has a very nice finish and will match the Mr. Gasket oil pan we will be using on the engine.
ImageInstalling the new transition pan is a breeze when you have the transmission out of the vehicle. Previously when I've install transmission pans I had to tip the car upside down to work on it! :)

Since the pan is one inch deeper than normal, B&M sends along an extension for the oil filter/pickup. This photo shows, from left to right, the extension with O-ring installed, the one-inch longer support spring, the multi-lip seal, and the end of the filter. The extension and O-ring's are slid together in the order shown. This essentially drops the filter one-inch to correspond with the added depth of the pan.
ImageThis photo shows the new extension in place. This extension goes directly into the transmission pump just as the filter normally does.
ImageThe longer support spring is put in place using one of the bolts in the valve body. This spring basically keeps the filter from sagging far enough to hit the pan.
ImageThe transmission pan gasket was replaced with the new neoprene gasket. Gaskets are cheap, my suggestion is to never use an old one over again unless you have to. Neoprene gaskets work well in conditions where you don't have perfectly dry surfaces. I used the original bolts that were powder painted when the case was painted. If I can find some new chrome or stainless bolts I will replaced them later.
ImageWhile the transmission was upside down it was the perfect time to mount the new Energy Suspension transmission mount. This is a urethane mount that is much stiffer than a conventional GM mount. The stiffer transmission mount is a must when running extreme amounts of horsepower. Sure looks pretty doesn't it?

We will be covering hooking up the TV cable when we put the transmission in the car. Other things like U- joints, drive shaft, transmission filler tube, transmission cooler, etc. will also be covered as it happens. Please keep in mind that I'm learning just like many of you are as this project progresses. Before the shop started working on this transmission I knew nothing about a 700-R4. I can't say I know too much right now either but it's a lot more than I knew before. I've never hooked up the TV cable on a 700-R4 but will try my best to relay what I learn when the time comes. Troy from the transmission shop offered to help me install it when the time comes and I think I'll take him up on that. Years of experience make a difference.

Wanna hear a story? It was decided early in the game that we would add a chrome transmission pan to the 700-R4 to spruce it up a little bit. Normally I order most of my parts through Yogi's but they didn't have a transmission pan for a 700-R4 so I was forced to look elsewhere. My brother, the drag racer, brought a catalog from a well-known (non-street rod) company over. They had the transmission pan I was looking for so I ordered one along with the bolt kit to install it. This was my first time dealing with this company (and last). When the pan arrived I opened it up only to find that it looked like came from the bottom of the ocean. Strange saltwater like markings covered much of the pan. Then I looked at the bolt kit- it was for a Turbo 400 - so I gave the company a call. The salesman was friendly and said it was no problem to return the defective pan and wrong bolt kit. He suggested changing brands and told me that B&M pans come with a better chrome finish. He also told me that I'd have to pay shipping both ways, because it's their policy for the customer to pay any and all shipping charges (even if it's not their fault). I guess I can understand if I changed my mind and just wanted to order something different but it seems to be a strange policy to charge the customer for return shipping both directions on defective or miss-shipped products. Granted I'm only out $12 (lunch three times at Taco Bell) but it's the principal. It makes me really glad I didn't order something heavy like a transmission from them! Could you imagine paying shipping charges three times on a transmission if they sent you the wrong one! I'm not normally a complainer (am I?) but being a middle child I'm always concerned with what's fair so I just *had* to tell you about this. I'm trying to be a nice guy so I didn't mention their name but if you hold your monitor up to a mirror you may be able to find the answer somewhere on this page :)

Maybe I'm just spoiled after doing business with all the great people involved in this project. You guys are great!