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Old 02-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
04BlueGT
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Default 1983 GL with C5 transmission

Since there does not seem to be a particular forum for the older V6s, I came here.

I have the above mentioned car, which I bought over a year ago from the original owner. She turns 30 in April and I'm working on her for my daughter.

I'm getting ready for warm weather and more work, but I need some advice. I'm not going to switch out the C5 because the anemic 3.8 doesn't need a C4. However, I cannot say for certain that this transmission has ever had a fluid change. That being said, what condition would you think the torque converter to be in? It only has 38,500 miles, but after 30 years...

I'm pulling the transmission to replace the rear main on the motor, so if I need to replace the tq converter, that would be a good time to do it.

What say you all?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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I'd do it while it's apart. Having a new part in place of an older/unknown is always a better choice to me.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:04 AM   #3
Daehawk
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I just stopped in to say geez 83 does not seem all that long ago to me. I was going fishing and smoking weed. I was all of 14 back then. 4 years later I met the girl who became my wife. Those days seem so recent until someone says "30 years old"...sigh

And if it is working why replace it?
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:20 AM   #4
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Well, that's what I'm asking. I know exactly nothing about tq converters, so I came to the forum with the question. Like I stated earlier, the car is 30 years old and was not well maintained by the previous owner. I suspect that the transmission fluid is the factory fluid from 1983 along with the filter.

Here's what's going to happen when she goes on the lift (in no particular order):

1) Drain transmission, replace filter and pan gasket.
2) Remove transmission
3) Drain oil from engine and replace rear main seal.
4) Drain coolant, replace t-stat and gasket.
5) Replace radiator and hoses.
6) Install oil cooler (I'm separating the oil cooling function from the radiator)
7) Replace factory electric fan with twin fans.
8) Replace U-joints

That's the bulk of it, but as you can see the tq converter would not add any more work for me.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Well, it's all become quite academic at this point. A few weeks ago, while the car was idling, she started making quite a racket under the hood.

During teardown, I've found:

The driver's side bank shows minor detonation. Not sure why it's only the driver's side or really what caused it. The carb is rebuilt and is perfectly functional. I re-inspected it and found nothing. All jets, floats, seals, etc. are fine. We had just removed the smog pump and EGR crap, but I cannot see how that could have caused it. And being an old car, I cannot say when this happened. Could have been before I bought it. Maybe an old vacuum leak caused it?

The cam shaft is galled. Badly. I have learned (since) that modern oils do not contain enough phosphorus and zinc for flat tappet motors. Lesson learned. Also, the cam bearings are pitted, but not sure if it's the same story.

I have not removed the motor to inspect the bottom end yet, but there may be more issues there. AND, I'm still not sure I've found what was making the racket. The pistons are intact as are the rods and crank (as far as I can tell).

So, now I'm putting a new motor in it. Anyone know if the 5.0 underdrive pulleys will fit the 3.8? I've heard they will, but only from one source.
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Last edited by 04BlueGT; 07-07-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:17 PM
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