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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to do upgrades on the transmission on my 05 Aqua Blur. I plan on pulling a small trailer to move some of my stuff from St Louis to Texas, so figured it was just good insurance to be preventive rather than doing a rebuild later.

So I looked at a lot of different aftermarket pans. The things I were looking for are a pan that is reasonable priced, added fluid capacity and I want to be able to add my sensor in the pan. The pans that come with a tapped place in the pan were the highest priced. All of them being over $300. The pans ranged from 150 to over 450. Some come with the filter and gasket and some with nothing. I was a little surprised with some of the big mail order places brand pans. They were actually decent deals for the money. Summit has a no name pan for $152. The big plus was the price. Negative was no gasket, filter or hole for the sending unit. I have used parts from Hughes Performance before in some of the race cars and had one of their pans on a power glide and liked it so I looked them up.

They have a nice pan, it comes with the gasket, filter and hardware for 210. So I went with that one. It did not have a hole for the temp gauge but I can drill and tap that my self.
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I started on the pan tonight and got half way through with it. I decided to put my sensor for the temp in the drivers side front. The reason being, it is away from the heat off the exhaust there. I can run the wire up with the shift cable. All was going good, I drilled and taped the pan. I went to put the filter in and found out I ordered the pan for the 4L60 not the 4L60E so the filter was wrong. Totally my fault. So I am ordering a filter now and will continue when I get the filter

This will give me time to do one more thing I wanted, but would have put off if the filter would have fit. I will take the original magnet out of the stock pan and epoxy it in to the new pan. Waiting on the filter will give me time to get it epoxied in and dry. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The pan has a magnet on the drain plug but the stock one is much bigger. Will just be a nice add on.

I have learned that when I work on transmissions, I always put a tarp down to catch the fluid I spill. If I don't put the tarp down, there is a 100% guarantee I will spill some fluid. There is a 5% chance if I put it down, I won't spill any. I go to Harbor Freight and they have a 7x9 tarp that works great for this. They are about $5 and well worth it to keep the mess down. I also take a kitchen trash bag and wrap around my exhaust pipe to keep fluid off it as mush as I can. It helps a lot but I still end up with a little on there.

I will add more when I get the filter and get the pan put on. Stay Tuned

The sensor for the gauge is a 1/4 NPT thread. The drill size can be done with a 5/16. I made it a little larger with a little wiggle of my drill.
Of all the pans I looked at with the extra hole for the sensor, they all put them on the side which would be next to the exhaust. That was why I went with doing it my self
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I went and got a new filter. I got the AC Delco filter for the truck which is one for a deep pan. Easy enough or so I thought. Got under there and no way is the pan going to get close to the transmission with the exhaust in the way. SO I unbolt the exhaust at the manifolds. Man were those bolts tight. I got them off.

Slide the pan up in place and it is about 3/8 of an inch from fitting up to the transmission. I pull it back down and pull the filter off and it fits. I look at the pan and they have these 4 stand offs in the pan to keep the pan in place incase it were to come lose from the seal that holds it in place. Well 2 ways to fix this. One go get a shallow filter. Filter is about $35. Two shorten the stand offs. HMMM angle grinder is charged up and has a cut off blade in it already.

So option 2 won out. I measured the distance off the filter and cut the stand offs a little shorter so there was room and the filter would not be resting on them.
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Get the gasket on the pan and bolt it all up. That was as far as I got this evening. Tomorrow I hope to have the cooler and finish the pan. Then the only thing is to wire and mount the gauge.

Here is a trick I use on transmission pan gaskets. I don't glue them to the pan because then they are a pan to get off. I take 3 or 4 small plastic wire ties and put them on back wards through holes in the pan and gasket. What I mean by back wards is if you put the slide through the head back wards it is smooth and won't lock down. You can slip them up tight so it holds the gasket in place to the bolt holes in the pan. Start a couple so you know you have the pan and gasket in the right place. Then pull the wire ties out. They are still good to be used on something else later. And it makes it easy to get them off and slide out.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was talking with member @snomuncher this morning and it seems like PML also had a little confusion on there instructions at one time. They have updated their instructions and pans and they now use the deep pan filter on their deep pan. So if you are doing this installation check with the maker of the pan to see what they recommend. The stand offs in the pan are there to support the filter. Another note that snomuncher made was that he did not have to lower his exhaust when he did his pan. That is a game changer there alone.

So comparing the 2 pans, installation sounds to be easier on the PML pan. Dropping the exhaust can be a real bear.
Cost the Hughes had I ordered the right one would have been about 210 shipped and included the filter and gasket
The PML pan through Simple Engineering is $225 plus shipping and if your changing filter and gasket add another $35 for that. So more work to save $50 plus shipping cost, probably not worth it.

Again I went with a manufacturer I have used on my race cars in the past and had good results with. That was part of my reasoning of trying them on this project. Trying to gather facts on transmission pans was not easy. Most provide some dimensions on the pan size but they don't tell you the rear step down dimension. Also when they talk about the fluid increase some claim the difference between a stock shallow pan and their deeper pan. Others use a difference between the stock deep pan and their deep pan. Some claim 2 quarts and some claim 4. So it gets a little hard to compare apples to apples when one throws in an orange and another tosses in a banana.

Dan also sent me this from PML on their pans and filters. This shows a lot of detail in it
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Excellent feedback and tips @Stlhotrod. Thanks!

I'd like to get @Mike in AZ's feedback on the PML tranny pans he sells regarding your filter experience as he doesn't mention a "deep filter". (I didn't even know there was such a thing. :sneaky: )

We have one of Mike's PML pans on our R but it was installed by the original owner at about 8K miles. According to the work order they replaced the gasket but not the filter. It was serviced at about 33K - "Complete auto trans fluid flush & exchange including torque converter fluid". The service order doesn't list the part numbers they used though. Then it was serviced once again at about 54K miles. The service order says that they used a GM 24208576 transmission filter kit. So that's apparently the correct "deep filter".

I checked with @Greg Ducato and he said the next time the filter and fluid should be replaced would be about 110K miles. That's another 50K plus miles so I probably won't live long enough to see that, but it's good to know these things! ;)

Looking forward to your gauge setup and all! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@richsadams I think they have the filter situation covered and use the deep pan filter.

I probably could have called Mike and talked to him and saved my self a lot of trouble but maybe with this Mike has gotten a couple of laughs from what I have went through. Maybe he has already been down this road. I wanted to try the Hughes pan for a couple of reasons and now that I have wouldn't go that route again.

The biggest thing I found that I don't like is the drain plug location. It is right over the exhaust. When I do go to drain the pan, I will need to cover the exhaust to keep the fluid off it. Plus getting to the plug will require a shirt allen wrench.

So take it from me, the better option would be the PML pans sold by Simple Engineering. They have the drain on the side.

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So I went and got a new filter. I got the AC Delco filter for the truck which is one for a deep pan. Easy enough or so I thought. Got under there and no way is the pan going to get close to the transmission with the exhaust in the way. SO I unbolt the exhaust at the manifolds. Man were those bolts tight. I got them off.

Slide the pan up in place and it is about 3/8 of an inch from fitting up to the transmission. I pull it back down and pull the filter off and it fits. I look at the pan and they have these 4 stand offs in the pan to keep the pan in place incase it were to come lose from the seal that holds it in place. Well 2 ways to fix this. One go get a shallow filter. Filter is about $35. Two shorten the stand offs. HMMM angle grinder is charged up and has a cut off blade in it already.

So option 2 won out. I measured the distance off the filter and cut the stand offs a little shorter so there was room and the filter would not be resting on them.
View attachment 597500

View attachment 597501

View attachment 597502

Get the gasket on the pan and bolt it all up. That was as far as I got this evening. Tomorrow I hope to have the cooler and finish the pan. Then the only thing is to wire and mount the gauge.

Here is a trick I use on transmission pan gaskets. I don't glue them to the pan because then they are a pan to get off. I take 3 or 4 small plastic wire ties and put them on back wards through holes in the pan and gasket. What I mean by back wards is if you put the slide through the head back wards it is smooth and won't lock down. You can slip them up tight so it holds the gasket in place to the bolt holes in the pan. Start a couple so you know you have the pan and gasket in the right place. Then pull the wire ties out. They are still good to be used on something else later. And it makes it easy to get them off and slide out.
View attachment 597497

View attachment 597499

View attachment 597498
The zip tie trick. Is just a really great idea. One that I never thought of. Thank you


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been waiting on my cooler for over a month. I finally got it and now have decided to do something a little different on the mounting brackets. Will probably do some neat aluminum ones with rubber for vibration dampening.

The idea I have will take me to the metal supply house again this Saturday. The place is so cool and has so much stuff I would love to have in stock at home, but don't really need to have to move it. It is in the not so good part of town, so I get up early and head there before things get moving around that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I should have this done by now but things went a little sideways when I went to mount it. No pun intended. The cooler I am using and the fittings I used made it to long to mount with the fittings on the bottom so I switched to them on the side. This made my brackets need to be changed as well. Even with them being behind the bumper cover and no one will probably ever see them I went a little over board on my design. This happens sometimes when you think about this stuff too much. I haven't got the brackets done but will put out a little teaser of it and also the line clamp I made. This again goes back to my "problem" of making stuff instead of just buying stuff. I know I wanted a clamp to keep the lines together and I could of done it many ways but I went the hardest route I could do on my own so sit back take a drink if your favorite beverage and get ready to shake your head. The obvious question is WHY and you know they sell those right? Yes I know they do and why, because I can.
Here is what I started with
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line clamp
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These will be under the bumper and never seen by anyone so I did not polish them or paint them. These pictures make the fine lines look like they are deep grooves in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is one of the brackets
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A lot more to do on this one. This will attach to the bottom bar of the bumper support, hold the bracket coming down from the top and secure the cooler on the right side.

If I would have changed my fittings out of the cooler to the 90 as the NPT fitting going into the cooler it would have shortened it up a bit but I had 90 degree hose ends already and wanted to use them up. So I went with straight NPT to AN fittings out of the cooler.
 

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Punishment, glutton for, first class citation with a cluster. :ROFLMAO:
Excellent thread, first rate, show and tell the mechanics to match the clear description of the reasoning.
Great auxiliary tips, drop cloth(can never get AT fluid stink out of pavement), protect the exhaust pipes from fluid unless you have a severe mosquito problem. The backward wire ties is something few people know.
Great job Sir, excellent thread. Thanks for having us along.

I can't remember how many times "because I can" led me to unexpected adventures.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So worked on my bracket to mount to the front bumper support yesterday. It will clamp around the lower bar and the cooler will mount to it with a bolt coming in from the back. The problem on this is the bar is angled in two directions it drops from right to left down ward and angles from back to front. It needs a 1 1/8 inch hole so I am going to have to use a hole saw to cut it. I learned a trick back from cutting tubing at an angle that if you drill the pilot hole first then rather than use a drill bit in the hole saw use a piece of steel rod instead it keeps from getting the hole off on the back side. If you keep the drill bit in the hole saw, the drill wants to walk the back side of the hole out and will do so as the bit cuts the exit side hole bigger. Swapping over to a piece of rod won't be truing to cut the hole out on the back side.

This one is going to be hard because of the two angles. I am going to eye ball it and make up any error by finishing off the back side of the bracket if I need to. I could get this more precise if it was a part that was seen but it is not. If I mess it up too bad I just won't take any pictures, paint it black and forget to mention it anymore. ;)

Here is the bracket after I cut it in two and put the bolts through to hold the clamp section on it
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This will give an idea where the hole will be that it will mount off the bumper brace.
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That hole has to go down hill from right to left and also from rear to front. I am going to eye ball it and drill it rather than try to set it up in a jig.

If your wondering what tools I am using to make this. A sawzall to cut the aluminum block, a drill press and a hand drill. A belt sander to clean up the rough edges. Nothing fancy. Then tapping the holes after I drill them.
 

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So worked on my bracket to mount to the front bumper support yesterday. It will clamp around the lower bar and the cooler will mount to it with a bolt coming in from the back. The problem on this is the bar is angled in two directions it drops from right to left down ward and angles from back to front. It needs a 1 1/8 inch hole so I am going to have to use a hole saw to cut it. I learned a trick back from cutting tubing at an angle that if you drill the pilot hole first then rather than use a drill bit in the hole saw use a piece of steel rod instead it keeps from getting the hole off on the back side. If you keep the drill bit in the hole saw, the drill wants to walk the back side of the hole out and will do so as the bit cuts the exit side hole bigger. Swapping over to a piece of rod won't be truing to cut the hole out on the back side.

This one is going to be hard because of the two angles. I am going to eye ball it and make up any error by finishing off the back side of the bracket if I need to. I could get this more precise if it was a part that was seen but it is not. If I mess it up too bad I just won't take any pictures, paint it black and forget to mention it anymore. ;)

Here is the bracket after I cut it in two and put the bolts through to hold the clamp section on it
View attachment 597885

This will give an idea where the hole will be that it will mount off the bumper brace.
View attachment 597886

That hole has to go down hill from right to left and also from rear to front. I am going to eye ball it and drill it rather than try to set it up in a jig.

If your wondering what tools I am using to make this. A sawzall to cut the aluminum block, a drill press and a hand drill. A belt sander to clean up the rough edges. Nothing fancy. Then tapping the holes after I drill them.
Damn after reading and comprehending all this I need to take a break. Let's see Mike's lemonade is a good refreshing drink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
How did you know what I have been drinking when I think this stuff up? No normal sane person would go through this kind of trouble. I could of made a nice bracket out of some aluminum strap and some good Adel clamps and been done in 30 minutes and cost about $15. I left out the costs on this project for a good reason. Well 2 actually. One of those is my wife reads some of my posts and this would not be a good one for that to happen.
The cost of materials wasn't really that bad, but the time I put into it was way more than needed. Heck the bracket is way over kill and not really needed. I just did it to be doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is the lower bracket clamped to the front bumper brace. It has a bolt coming in to the back to tie in the upper bracket and also has the bolt through the cooler mounted to it. The upper end mounts to a hole in the front that holds the bracket that the front bumper ties into.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is the third bracket that will mount on the top passengers side. When I started this I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I went to the hardware store and grabbed a piece of 1"x48 flat stock 1/8 inch and a piece of 1 1/2 inch flat stock 1/8. I had an idea in my head but nothing even close to a plan yet. I used 1 inch on the drivers side and the 1 1/2 on the passengers side because the cooler is off set because of the fittings.
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I have the drivers side done, so for the passengers side I used a piece of junk mail to make my patterns rough shape and cut out the flat stock for it from that. See junk mail is good for something. Maybe not worth as much as we all get.

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I will bend the angles in my press. That just forms a nicer bend then putting it in a vise and smacking it with a hammer. ( I have resorted to that many times.)

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I hope this gives someone an idea or the thoughts to tackle something similar on their project. I like making one off stuff and many times it cost me more than what I could have bought something already made. And sometimes my one off, maybe three or four off, to get what I want it to look like or function in the end. My stuff is always about function first and looks second.
 

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Aluminum is peculiar in that unlike other metals it hardens over time. At Boeing we'd heat treat it to soften the alloy then keep it in a freezer until needed. After bringing it back to ambient temperature it would be bent, drawn or joggled to the shape needed. The aircraft frame was mostly I-beam shaped lengths of aluminum alloy that had to be joggled at every overlap in order to keep the skin smooth.
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