Timely Topics Archive

A Monthly Article for Vigor Enthusiasts (10/06)


Replacing the Vigor's Transmission Strainer (A/T)



This month's article comes to us from Mikebai1990 with some of the pics contributed by Heimonator.

1. I used the radiator hose method to drain the tranny fluid. I took off the entire plastic part that was blocking it. Unfortunately, I broke the bolt on the right side. As of now I have a piece of the bolt inside the thread and some other string holding the right side up. I found that it was nearly impossible to use a clamp to loosen the clip on the hose. What I did was clamped the right side of the clip (couldn't clamp the whole thing, not enough space) and slid that hose out little by little. It took probably 10 minutes to get the hose off. A little transmission fluid came out (engine was off) but not enough to create a mess. I immediately got my drain pan over to catch some drips.

2. I ran the engine for 30 seconds spurts as recommended by Heimonator. A tip on the placement of the hose to prevent excess splashing: I moved the hose to the left of the blue electrical wire plug (it was originally at the right side) and used the blue electrical plug to hold the hose in a perpendicular angle to the drain pan. There were little splashes, but it wasn't that bad. I got nearly 4 quarts the first time, much more that I had expected from the other people on the forum. However, for the next 2 spurts, I only got a total of 1 quart. So the total was around 5 quarts. Didn't keep going because I didn't want to risk hurting the transmission running on no oil. 1-2 quarts of old oil won't matter that much.

Remove Transmission Guard

Removing the Transmission Guard

3. Put the hose back (took around 5 minutes) and moved back to the transmission. Removed guard, no problems. Then came the drain plug. I tried with all my might (and very limited space) to get the drain plug off with my hand, but it didn't work. I spent 6-7 minutes doing this. I tried a little WD-40, but didn't work. In the end, I finally thought of an idea: I went on the left side of the car, stuck my foot inside and used my foot to loosen the drain plug. Used 2 pushes, and the bolt came loose. Whew! Thought that I would never be able to remove the bolt! BTW, I used ramps, so when using my foot, it was fairly safe. If you guys are using jack stands, I would be careful, the car does shift a bit left and right when pushing with the foot.

There was a lot of sludge on the magnetic plug, so I cleaned it off.







4. Then came the pan. The pan was also impossible to get off at first. I didn't have a rubber mallet, so I used a piece of wood and tried (again, limited space) to use a hammer to effectively loosen the pan. Didn't work. Tried for another 10 minutes, but didn't work. Then, I looked for areas which I could use to pry open the pan. Tried sticking my screwdriver in the gasket seal area (I know I could've potentially damaged the seal, didn't have a choice), but didn't work either. Then I found the area near the drain plug. On the left side of the drain plug there was an area which I could stick the pry bar of my hammer into and effectively loosen the pan. Didn't involve touching the seal area, that was good. That was a relief also, thought I wouldn't be able to loosen the pan…

Pan and Gasket Remove Bolts Holding Pan
Exploded View Remove Bolts Holding Pan

5. Since drain plug was draining the oil for quite some time (took very long to figure out how to pry the pan off), there wasn't too much oil in the pan. Cleaned off the two magnets on the side with tissue paper and wiped down the pan area.

6. Then I proceeded to remove the strainer. The strainer didn't seem too dirty, but never hurts to have the new strainer in. Removed the strainer (not too much oil from inside the O-ring), and put new one on. No problems.

Strainer & O-Ring Gasket & Strainer

Exploded View

iGasket and Strainer Kit

7. Then came the gasket….. The gasket was IMPOSSIBLE to get clean. It probably took me a total of 2 hours to clean off the gasket! Especially, as Docsteen, had said, when you are cleaning it upside down… Used a screwdriver to remove the remnants of the gasket. Cleaned most of the gasket off with the help of some sprays of water to loosen the gasket a bit to make removal easier.

8. After I finished removing the remnants of the gasket, I then proceeded to oil the new gasket and place it on the pan. Put it on and loosely put on the 8 bolts for the pan. Then I used a underguard bolt to test out each hole to make sure the gasket was seated properly. I then torqued the bolts to ~10 lbs/ft. Got the underguard on and put those bolts on and torqued to ~10 lbs/ft.

9. I then began to put the new Honda ATF in. This part was slightly tricky because the transmission hole is so deep under the hood that I wasn't able to pour the fluid in, even with a funnel. I ended up cutting off the end of a 1 liter Sprite bottle as an extension to pour the fluid in. Poured slightly less than 5 quarts just to be safe.

10. The performance is very nice! The shifts are much smoother, no more jerks when the shifts. Downshifting while accelerating is also noticeably smoother, no sudden movements.

I posted some pictures in the photos area at the Clubhouse.

Well, hope that helps someone who is changing their transmission strainer!

Ed. Note: Thanks for a great article, Mike! Vigor owners the world over will be grateful!


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