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200T - Drop the Tranny

OK, folks, I'm going to try to placate the Audi gods on the 
(relative, in Audi terms) cheep.

My 1990 200T/Automatic won't engage reverse when it's hot.  It will 
catch OK when cold, but when it's warm, I can sit for 30 seconds to a 
minute before the car recognizes I've put the gearshift into reverse 
and it actually catshes.  Problem is obviously lack of hydraluic 
pressure pumping up.  Recently, it's also hanging up in forward 
gears - it shows up in second by not up-shifting to third at road 
speed until I've let up on the throttle two or three times.

Audi mechanic says it's not (RATZ!) one of the four easily accessible 
seals which can be reached with the pan off....Nooooooooo, that would 
be too easy.  He theorizes that it's a major internal seal.  Labor 
for a major teardown starts about $800, according to him.  Parts are 
anyone's guess, depending on what he finds.

I can easily forecast a $1500 ride on this one, the way I'm headed.

My alternative: Have the Audi guy put it back together; get a 
rebuilt/good used tranny and put it in myself; dump the old one.  I 
can drive the faulty one (as long as I plan ahead so I don't haveta 
back up...) for a few more days to give the tranny time to arrive.

I'm informed by a nice gent who hangs out in this group:

1)  That the actual transmission (not transaxle) is not much bigger 
than a basketball, and is not difficult to remove.
2)  That this is a job I can do myself (I do my own clutches, replace 
turbos, etc. on my cars.  I have done total rebuilds...)

I've checked a couple of manuals (should have Bentley's in a few 
days) and it really doesn't look bad - except for having to fabricate 
a motor support for when I remove the transmission mounts.  I do 
suspect the driveaxle mounting bolts may not be as easy to remove as 
they imply.

Questions for the symposium floor:

a - Has anyone out there done this kind of a job at home?
b - Any sage advice?  
c - Any hidden bear traps or things which can bite me??
    (I already found many cautions about making double-sure the 
    torque conver is properly seated on the trans. shaft when re-
d - Any advice on fabricating a motor support?  Is it really needed?  
    Any slick tricks with 2x4s to make it work??
e - Considering the symptoms, should I change torque converters, too?
f - I'm thinking of changing to synthetic auto trans fluid when I do 
    this, as it's my one chance to drain the whole thing.  Comments??
And always important: In Beer currency, how much stock do I need to 
build up for this job??

I figure this for a one-day job if I keep at it, even tho I haven't 
done this on a FWD before.  (I know my Datson 280ZX backwards..but 
am still learning "Audi-wrench"..)

I welcome any helpful observations!!!!  Thanks in advance!!

********** A Washington State Cougar in Aggieland (aTm) **********

Al Powell                           Voice:  409/845-2807
Ag Communications                   Fax:    409/862-1202
Texas A&M University                Email:  a-powell1@tamu.edu 
W3 page - http://agcomwww.tamu.edu/agcom/rpe/alpage.htm

Def: Bureaucrat - any person who has to dial "9" to get an outside 
phone line.  (like me.......)