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'71 TH400 Trans


Well-known member
Dec 24, 2003
Conway, SC
'59 Blk/Red, '12 Crystal Red GS
Here we go again: I thought this was going to be easy, but a little messy; it's one but not the other. Pulling and replacing the pan on my '71 TH400. Got the old pan off; a little messy, but not too bad (who was the genius at GM who decided not to put a drain plug in the pan to save a couple of bucks ???). I got tired of waiting for my gasket to come from CC and ordered one from Rock Auto - it was her in 2 days; I'd been waiting about a month for CC. The new gasket looks good - it's cork with a metal insert (I think) and looks much better than the one I removed, which was a flimsy neoprene thing.
So I'm ready to install the new pan/gasket and I notice that the filter kind of flops around a little bit and is not tightly secured. Is that normal ?? The shoulder bolt, with no washer, that holds it on is as tight as it can get and is bottomed out. I thought about just putting a washer on the bolt to secure it a little better, but than thought "Maybe that's the way its supposed to be".
Since I know NOTHING about auto transmissions past PRNDL I thought I would ask before I proceed.
Thanks and any and all thoughts / suggestions will be appreciated.

Bernie O
I just watched a video on Utube and the filter does not clamp up tightly once the bolt is tight.
Oooohhhh; I went ahead and put a lock washer on the bolt to make it tighter. I wonder what the reasoning is to having it so loose ? I took it for an extended drive and it seemed fine (and it didn't leak !!). Re-torqued all the bolts, so I REALLY don't want to take this thing all apart again to put the bolt back in without the lock washer. I guess I'll have to do some more research to find out if I can do some damage if I leave it alone.
Wish I would have been smart enough to go on youtube in the fist place.
I wouldn't worry about it. The lock washer won't hurt anything.
That's what I wanted to hear !! It's not hard, but I really didn't want to have to scrape the new gasket off the new pan and buy a new gasket and trans fluid.
Thanks !

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