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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Okay... latest update: Not a whole lot, but still moving forward.

Ordered a 2007 Mercedes shifter, and it almost fits the transmission. The shifter rod linkage will not secure to the shifter rod on the transmission itself, so... the 2001 shifter it is. Learned this little bit by having to drop the transmission again, hammering out the spring pin holding the old-style shift rod linkage adapter, and attempting to fit the new shift rod linkage onto the shift rod. Yay.

The shifter fits, and I just have to figure out a way to secure it to the body. Also, the shifter will bang into the bottom of the center console panel. I may need to remove the lower cubby bin storage.

Completely removed the 42RLE cooling lines going to the radiator (well, A/C condenser/transmission cooler). Completely removed the 42RLE wiring.

Replaced the brake fluid reservior with the Challenger one (perfect fit, by the way), connected up the clutch slave cylinder and the brake fluid reservior, and bled the clutch.

Hope to have the Karen-mobile start by next weekend - I'll take some preliminary video then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Sorry - I've been on vacation for the past three weeks in Hungary, with family.

Good news, though - I made some more progress.

The weekend before I left, I was able to complete the install of the shifter. Also fully bled the clutch hydraulics, so the clutch works as advertised now.





This past weekend, I did some more cleanup (worked on another snapped bolt - this time, a battery clamp bolt), and swapped out the differential. The Karen-mobile now has a 2.87 ratio.



Cleaned up the two mounting holes in the rear diff cover, then bolted it into place. Was able to have the halfshafts rest on the rear lower arms while the diff was out.



Also tore into the old 42RLE transmission, to figure out once and for all, what exactly died inside it.

Here's the input clutch assembly, and a couple of caged needle bearings. Nothing there, I assume - though I could have torn into the input clutch assembly, I decided to try to tear down the overall transmission first.



Here's the oil pump, rear sun gear, and front sun gear assembly.



Finally, here's the part that failed. It's part of the rear carrier assembly, the part that transmits engine power through 2nd, 4th, and reverse. Part of this rear carrier assembly is still inside the transmission. In the background, you can see the rear annulus, front carrier assembly, and a couple of large snap rings.



Here's a picture of a complete and unbroken rear carrier assembly.



I had to put the project on hold yet again, this time due to an incorrect front driveshaft coupling disc. The disc I had was for a 42RLE transmission / driveshaft, with the included driveshaft damper, and is about 5 mm thicker than the NAG1 coupling disc. The NAG1 driveshaft has no damper, so requires a thinner coupling disc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Some more progress...

The driveshaft is finally in. Here is a shot of the driveshaft, underneath the shifter.


Another shot of the driveshaft, going back to the 2.87 diff.


Shot of the crankshaft position sensor, installed.


Also installed the exhaust system, hood, and intake filter housing. Hopefully, I will get the Karen-mobile to actually start and run this weekend! I'll post videos if this happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Video #1 is here!

https://youtu.be/KrAWXaE96Ww

So - The Karen-mobile runs again! She can go in reverse, 2nd gear, 4th gear, and 6th gear.

The center dash bezel is in the way, so I currently cannot shift into 1st gear, 3rd gear, or 5th gear. I will have to chop off the lower cubbyhole. I will also have to lose the ashtray. Oh, well...

The speedo was acting weird, but I think it's due to the fact that the front wheels were not turning at all. The Karen-mobile is still 2 feet off the ground...

I may need to rework the gear shifter rear mount, as the shifter itself might come in contact with the driveshaft if I shift to 5th or 6 gears. I didn't experience that when I did the static run, but I did hear contact occur when I ops checked the shifter prior to starting the engine.

Initially, when I started her up earlier this afternoon, I discovered that 4 ground wires I had cut earlier this year, actually went to things instead of to some ground point on the engine. Specifically, I cut the ground for the A/C compressor clutch, the manifold tuning valve, the EGR valve, and the alternator field coil. Ooooops. Had a bit of fun resoldering those grounds back, but I was able to do it.

I removed the rest of the transmission wiring that went to the solenoids, pressure switches, temperature sensor, speed sensors, and the TCM relay. Right now, the PCM is hardwired up to believe to think it's in neutral. One side effect of this is that the Karen-mobile will no longer unlock with the keyfob. She will lock normally with the keyfob, and the panic button feature works. I will need to start work on the idiot TCM.

The clutch is somewhat inconsistent. I may need to rebleed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Video #2 is here!

https://youtu.be/frp55tApGQU

Bled the clutch, saw a lot of froth and some air come out. However, the clutch is still a little inconsistent. Will probably have to bleed the clutch again.

Changed the oil.

Installed that little bracket that sits under the driveshaft center bearing. I have no idea what it does, as it does not appear to provide any real structural support for much of anything, and I have a hard time believing it stiffens the frame in any meaningful way.

Installed the lower aero engine panels.

Lowered the Karen-mobile off the jacks, started her up, and turned her around. Besides being able to again move under her own power, she now correctly faces outward in the garage.

No CEL at the moment, though that will probably change once I actually take the Karen-mobile for a real test drive.

I still have some work ahead. The shifter does rub against the driveshaft while shifting into 6th gear, so I will have to re-work the shifter rear mount. Will also have to cut into the center instrument panel bezel, so I can have 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I think they'd be nice to have.

Going to have to rebleed (again) the clutch, put the interior back together, re-install the tower strut brace and windshield wiper mechanism, then the cowl. Finally, going to have to come up with that idiot TCM (iTCM).
 

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Awesome work tvago!

Looking forward to an update regarding driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Awesome work tvago!

Looking forward to an update regarding driving.
Thanks!

This is the 4th day that I've driven the Karen-mobile into work. So far, she drives really smoothly - for the most part. It is a total and complete blast to be able to hit 60 MPH in 2nd gear.

I've noticed some slight bucking in 2nd gear under hard acceleration. It's actually pretty mild, but it can't be all that good on my drivetrain, either.

When DFCO engages, and then stops, the engine lurches as it again starts to burn gasoline. Again, pretty mild, but I would like to eventually get rid of the lurch.

The first two days, I hardwired the Karen-mobile's TCM section into Neutral. This enabled me to start the engine, but I was rev-limited to 4000 RPM. It also felt like the engine was kind of lagging under acceleration. Of course, I also had no cruise control.

The past two days, I hardwired the Karen-mobile's TCM section into Drive, and touch the TRS T41 sense wire to ground before attempting to start the engine. This wire effectively functions as the Park/Neutral safety switch. The 4000 RPM rev limiter went away, I have cruise control, and the engine response is much better. The engine response is much better, even compared to when the 42RLE was working.

However, I do not have the ability to unlock the doors with the keyfob. I can still lock the doors and engage panic mode, though. This occurs whether Neutral or Drive are hardwired. I also have no reverse lamps right now when I shift into Reverse.

Also, when I am stopped at a traffic light or at a stop sign, the engine will do this weird idle speed hunting, centered around 1000 RPM, when D is hardwired. When Neutral is hardwired, or when the TRS T41 sense wire touches ground, idle speed settles down to the expected 750 RPM.

I currently have a P0850 (P/N safety switch performance) code. I suspect I also have a P0706 (transmission range sensor rationality), P0713 (transmission temp sensor high), P0715 (input speed sensor circuit), P0720 (output speed sensor circuit), and P0888 (transmission relay always off). The reason I say "suspect" is that the Karen-mobile apparently loses key-dance functionality when the TCM section senses an invalid selected gear, and then lights up all of the gear indicators at once as a result.

All of these issues are minor at the moment. This weekend, I will build a prototype of a transmission range sensor simulator that can also read and write CAN-C messages, and install it. This will allow me to better control the PCM. For instance, tapping the clutch ought to cancel cruise control, while fully depressing the clutch ought to allow the engine to start. Shifting into R ought to light up the reverse lamps. Engaging the parking brake ought to allow the keyfob to unlock the doors.

Once I figure out what CAN-C messages to pass along, I can then disable the TCM section of the PCM altogether, and transition the simulator into the iTCM (idiot TCM) I mentioned earlier in this thread.
 

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I don't know what is more impressive: all the mechanical work you've done or the iTCM you are going to create!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Well, got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is, that I was able to get my spare shift lever modified to clear the center console. Now, I do not rap my fingers against the center console when I shift. That was completed yesterday.

So, anyhow, I had a nice scraping noise whenever I would apply the brakes. In addition, my parking brake did not do its job of keeping the Karen-mobile stationary. Third, I noticed that the right rear brake hose had a nice deep gash in it (which did not affect the integrity of the hose, oddly enough), when the Karen-mobile was on jacks all this past year.

Today, I thought to kill three birds with one stone, by examining the rear brake shoes/discs, adjusting the parking brake, and replacing the rear brake hoses with StopTech braided stainless steel hoses.

The right rear wheel was the source of the grinding - the inner brake pad had actually worn down to the metal backing, and had started to wear a groove into the disc. Odd that there was no noisemaker - it had somehow rusted off the pad, as well. Oh well - took a trip to the local O'Really?!?! and got new pads and rotors for $145.

After much cussing after removing and reinstalling the parking brake hardware to examine it and to lube up the lube points on the brake backing plate, I could install the right rear brake disc and pads, and discovered that the replacement pad inserts were too big - apparently, they were meant for LX models with the upgraded slotted rear disc rotors. In examined the existing pad inserts, concluded they were basically still in good shape, cleaned and lubed them, and then re-installed them. I also replaced the right rear brake hose at this time - the old hose came off the hardline easily enough, which was odd given that the Karen-mobile has over 221K miles on it.

Moved onto the left rear wheel. Didn't remove the left side parking brake hardware, so that saved some hassle. Just pried the brake shoes away from the backing plate, and lightly coated the lube points with a small screwdriver. Installed the brake disc and pads. Went to remove the left rear brake hose from the hardline... and that's when trouble began.

Now to the bad news - The hose came off the hardline easily enough, I suppose. However, the hardline apparently fused with the hose fitting, and that caused a nice twist in the hardline about 8 inches away from the fitting. Over the rear cradle.

Now I get to drop the rear cradle enough to cut the hardline back, install a fitting, and get a double flare toolset in there. Hopefully, O'Really!??! will have a 12 inch length of this weirdo bubble flare line available. I can cut off one end, double flare it, and put in a union to get the Karen-mobile back on the road.

And no, I am not going to purchase a replacement hardline from Ma Mopar. That's about $109, and there's no telling if the dealer will ship it to me without bending it all to hell, or otherwise damaging it. It's apparently all one remarkably long piece, from the ABS unit, to the wheel. That implies a whole lot of fun I'd have to go through to get the old hardline out and the new hardline installed.

I'm wondering if I should install a rear swaybar. If I'm going to have to drop the rear cradle anyway... Hm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Some pictures from this past weekend.

Modified shift lever


Modified shift lever in reverse


Modified shift lever in 1st gear


Unmodified shift lever for comparison


Rear Left wheel well


Close-up, showing snapped brake hardline


Rear Right old brake hardware, showing gash in brake hose and rusted-apart pad with wear on metal backing


Left Rear old brake hardware. Basically in good shape.


Replacement brake hardline segment, to be spliced in
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Jacked up the Karen-mobile in preparation for dropping the rear cradle, and made a nice discovery.

Apparently, there is enough room to comfortably get my hands into the area where the broken brake line is. I may be able to cut off the damaged end with a close quarter tubing cutter, then fit a bubble flare tool in there to flare out the end. All without having to drop the rear cradle. If this is so, this will have saved me a whole lot of work.

Bubble flare tool has been ordered, and should get here tomorrow. Gotta dig up my close quarter tubing cutter and deburring tool.
 

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I haven't posted here in years, saw your post at LX Forums. Its been a long time since I've read a thread that made me smile. Your innovation, enginuity and ability to think outside the box gets full marks.

Good job t_vago :^)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I haven't posted here in years, saw your post at LX Forums. Its been a long time since I've read a thread that made me smile. Your innovation, enginuity and ability to think outside the box gets full marks.

Good job t_vago :^)
Great job bro!!!!!!
Thank you both!

Some more small progress has been made. I got the ISO flare tool, cutter, and bender in. Found my lost cutter while looking for my deburring tool, and ended up buying another deburring tool.

Practiced making ISO flares on a couple of lengths of 3/16 inch brake line, and took the plunge last night.

It took about 2 hours, but I could make a decent flare on the existing brake line on the Karen-mobile. Installed the replacement length of hardline, bent to be as much as like the piece that broke off. Installed the replacement brake hose.

Newly flared end of existing brake line to rear left wheel


Installed union and replacement brake hardline


Installed brake hose


One interesting thing I learned was that apparently, for two replacement brake line sections that have the same exact part number and are manufactured by the same exact company, they can apparently have flare nuts that require different sized wrenches. Seriously, one section had nuts that needed a 10 mm wrench, and the other needed a 12 mm wrench.

Hopefully, tonight, I will be able to bleed the brakes, do a leak check of the repair, and get the Karen-mobile back on the road.
 
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