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I am planning on picking up a 94 today that has one problem, the seal is bad on the transmission. I agreed on a price of $1000, it is a Florida car and is in great shape. The current owner is hardcore about maintenance and has put new brakes, belts (timing and drive) changed oil regularly etc. I have a guy that will put in a used tranny for $800 with a year war. on parts and labor. The used tranny has less than 100k. This is for my mom and I need her to have a reliable car. What do you think? Good deal? I do but being human it would be nice to hear someone else say 'yup, good deal'.

Now for the tranny, how hard is it to replace one? I have a friend with a shop but he and I have never replaced one. I could save $400 at least doing it myself and I have time. What is recommended by you guys?
I will be the one maintaining this car so I may be here a lot in the future! This may be my first of many posts.....
Thanks for reading,
David
 

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Just play along....
corolla
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if a seal is bad how come youre replacing the whole trans?

I dont know about prices in your area but if it needs trans removal AND has 165k the selling price sounds kinda high.

-SP
 

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Sounds a bit high. At least he's being honest about the leak. Hows the paint? Int What about the tires are they in good condition. corolla or prizm? Maybe you can get a 4 speed instead of a 3 speed in there. Id ask for less but thats just me. I picked mine up for about 1100 a few years back. Still runs like a champ.
 

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1998 Toyota Camry
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... sounds fine to me. Way too expensive if it NEEDS a transmission put in. If it just needs the seal put in then you can save a bunch of money and I also wonder why you're just throwing a whole transmission in there.

Just make sure it doesn't burn oil like heck, that's the only thing I missed on mine when I bought it.
 

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93 corolla
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I agree also with the other why replace the tranny if it is working well, I would just have the seal replaced and be done with it. My tranny leaks from 2 different places( i think) and it does great as long as I keep fluid in it and it has 276,000 miles on it. Just food for thought. But as for the price for my neck of the woods it is a pretty reasonable price. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies! I actually found this forum in the morning and posted the question then went and got it in the afternoon. I do a lot on a Volkswagen bus forum because I have a 76 bus. I knew I could get some good help here.

Picked her up for one thousand. The body and interior is spotless. I basically got this because my mom needs something reliable and cheap. She has a little more cash but she needs an emergency fund. I am not ready for her to move in with me!!! I was bummed when I read the first few comments but the deal is done. Time to move on. I drove it home and it drives just like my 01 civic.

I'll see if I understand this right. The mech indicated that the seal works on gravity and this is one of the seals coming out of the housing in front of the tranny. He thinks something happened internally for the oil to all come out like that. The junkyards only sell the two together as a unit. The problem from what I understand is that the PO had it parked for a while then drove it and the oil leaked out of the housing causing internal damage or its that the seal is so worn now from him driving it (His dad gave him all kinds of crap for this) that there is metal on metal. Not sure here but it does make a pretty bad sound when going down the road. High whining sound that can't be good. The mech can put one in for $800 with a year warranty on parts and labor. One reputable tranny shop shop told me today that it is a great deal for $800. I suppose I should be asking more questions about seals and what not? I have never dealt with tranny issues. I could probably get another opinion. This mech is very well known and liked/trusted even by other mechanics but his shop is not a transmission shop.
I am wondering how easy this job is. I have a shop that I can use but I have not replaced a tranny before.
 

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1998 Toyota Camry
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I had a friendly neighborhood mechanic do transmission labor for me for $300. We did it in his driveway. It's not that hard. You basically just unbolt and bolt back in aside from a few other things you gotta watch out for and remove prior to dropping it. Of course a manual transmission like the one we worked on required pumping of the clutch (quite a bit of it too) so there was a bit more work involved. It's actually a bit more straightforward with an automatic transmission.
 
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