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Old 02-09-2011, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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47RE Overdrive Remove, Teardown and Rebuild

I said in a few posts I was going to do a write up on the teardown and rebuild of the 47RE overdrive unit. Here it is!

Note, this thread is not meant to replace the need for a factory shop manual. It is intended to supplement the manual, since the manual has no pictures, only black and white line drawings.

Also, this is really for those who ONLY have overdrive mechanical issues. It assumes you have done troubleshooting already, and all indicators indicate that everything is fine in the transmission and valve body, that the PCM is commanding overdrive and you just aren't getting it, etc. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO POST IN THIS THREAD, HOWEVER IN THE INTEREST IN PRESERVIING THE INTENT OF THIS THREAD, DON'T POST "HEY MY OD IS DROPPING OUT WHATS WRONG?". I understand I don't have control over this thread but I'd rather not have it turn into 3 pages on your specific problem. Thats why there is a "Post new thread" button on the page.

The background leading up to MY issue. Bought the truck and it shifted fine but had absolutely no OD. Reverse was fine, 1 2, 3 was fine. Shifted normal and all, it was just like driving a 3 speed. I troubleshooted and found that the PCM was in fact commanding overdrive which ruled out APPS, noise, temp, and speed sensor issues. I did a full set of hydraulic pressure tests per the shop manual and it passed with flying colors except the OD had almost no pressure when OD was commanded. I checked the appropriate valves in the valve body and found no issue, which pointed to the only thing it could be, something in the OD unit...

FIRST I am going to explain how the power makes it from the intermediate shaft(output shaft of the 1-3 gear section of the trans) to the output shaft of the OD unit in 3rd and 4th. Print this if you need to, so you understand what all these parts are for and what they do and how they interact.
3rd engaged:
Intermediate shaft is turning clockwise, which is splined to the overrunning clutch and planetary.

During regular power transmission in 3rd, power is transmitted from the intermediate shaft to the planetary. The Planetary turns the sun gear, which is splined to the sliding hub. In 3rd with no OD piston pressure, spring pressure applies the direct clutch packs which are splined to the sliding hub. The direct steels transmit power to the direct drum. The direct clutch drum is splined to the annulus gear, which is splined to the output shaft.

Between 3-4 shift, after the direct clutch disengages and before the overdrive clutch engages, power is transmitted to output shaft directly through the overrunning clutch.

After the 3-4 shift:

Overdrive steels are splined to the case; the overdrive clutches are splined to the sliding hub. With the overdrive clutch engaged, the sliding hub stops turning, which is splined to the sun gear which also stops turning. Direct clutch is disengaged, allowing the direct clutch drum, annulus and output shaft to spin at a different rate from the sun gear and sliding hub.
With the sun gear not rotating, power is transmitted from the intermediate shaft into the planetary gear set. Since the sun gear is held stationary, the annulus begins to turn at a faster rate, spinning the direct drum(which spins the disengaged direct clutch steels), as well as the annulus gear turns the output shaft. Over running clutch is overrunning.
What Im going to do in this thread is help you remove and tear down and rebuild your OD unit. No, you do not need to remove the trans from the truck. Yes, you will need a factory shop manual.

This thread starts out with the vehicle jacked up, tranny drained and the valve body removed. The shop manual is pretty straight forward on that.

First, the shop manual calls out all the ports to air check the clutches EXCEPT for the OD clutch. To test the OD port, apply air pressure to the rectangular port highlighted in the following photo. It wont "thunk" like the other clutches, but you shouldn't hear a ton of air pressure pissing out. But it does have a bleed back to the accumulator so it will bleed some.



Ok, on to the work...

Looking into the hole where the park rod is going you can actually see what the problem(or one of them) was with mine. The black wire looking things should not be there, thats the lip seal for the OD piston..




Ok, enough stalling, here we go.. Heres what it looks like starting out down there.. Make your life easier.. Whenever you can, put the bolts back in the holes they came from. Put nuts back on the studs after you remove the parts. Dont just throw everything on the floor.



Remove the 4wd actuator line from the truck by disconnecting the hoses. Note which hoses went to which tube.



Remove the two nuts from the tranny mount.


Re-install the pan, and support the weight of the trans and transfer case with a tranny jack or floor jack, raising it 1/4" or so off the crossmember. Then remove the bolts from the cross member to the frame. It wont come out. You have to spread the frame rails with a porta power.


Remove the driveshafts, and disconnect the vacuum lines from the top of the transfer case. If I was to do it again, at this time I would also remove the vaccum switch that the vacuum lines plug into. Its easily damaged once the transfer case comes out. If you dont and need to buy a new one, at Napa its called a "transfer case lockout switch" and is about 11 dollars.



Disconnect the Vehicle speed sensor.


Pop the linkage for the transfer case shifter from the transfer case


Remove the nuts from the studs holding the transfer case to the trans. I dropped the case just by holding it up with my knees. To reinstall it I used the tranny jack


The next case shown is the OD unit. All things OD are mostly contained in this box. Remove the tranny mount from the unit, and then remove the 7 bolts that hold it to the tranny.




Remove the VSS if like me, you forgot.


Remove the OD unit from the transmission. This is a video. Click it to see the OD unit being removed. The thing that falls out of the OD unit is the park rod.


Once the OD unit is out, here is what it looks like. This shaft is what would be called the output shaft and connected to the driveshaft if this was a 3 speed transmission. In a 46/47RE or RH its reffered to as the intermediate shaft. The round thing on the back of the transmission case is called the OD piston, which sits inside of the OD retainer. When the valve body commands overdrive it sends fluid to the retainer which pushes the piston towards the back of the truck, which engages the OD clutch and disengages the direct clutch.

In the video below you can see the piston being removed, as well as my blown out lip seal.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With the OD unit removed its time to begin tearing it down.

Remove the OD piston spacer if it didnt fall on the floor.


Remove the OD piston thrust bearing:


Remove the snap ring retaining the OD clutch pack.


Remove the OD steel and OD frictions. In a 47RE there will be 5 of each.


Remove the OD clutch pressure plate



Remove the OD wave spring..


Its called a wave spring because its wavy


Remove the remaining OD clutch snap ring from the case


Lay the case down and remove the two T25 torx bolts as shown in the following two photos




Expand the snap ring fully with a pair of large snap ring pliers, and pull the gear cluster out.




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Last edited by BoostedOne; 02-09-2011 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All thats left inside the OD casing now is the park components, which I did not bother to remove.


Here is one view of the gear cluster


And another


Remove the bearing by removing the snap ring then lifting the bearing off the output shaft.



Fabricate an adaptor that will allow you to compress the OD direct spring as shown in order to remove the two snap rings. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE SNAP RINGS WITHOUT A PRESS. THE SPRING IS UNDER ATLEAST 800LBS OF FORCE.



Once you remove the snap rings and release the press, this is what it will look like.



Lift the assemby out


Remove the OD Direct clutches and steels, pressure plate, etc. If you are counting, yes, this is not a 47RE OD direct clutch pack. Previous owner must have decided to try out the early 48RE setup from the common rail, which instead of using 10 frictions and 9 steels uses 23 special single sided frictions..


Remove the sliding hub from the sun gear.



This is just a closer pic of the sun gear and bearing/spring plate.


Remove the thrust bearing


REmove the planetary gear set.


Remove the overrunning clutch hub by using a large pair of snap ring expanding pliers to lift it out.


Remove the overruning clutch


Remove the thrust bearing


Remove the snap ring that holds the OD direct drum to the annulus gear, and remove the drum from the annulus gear.


Remove the snap ring from the annulus gear to remove the output shaft



And here is everything all laid out!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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BUILD UP

First, lets discuss replacement parts:
Overrunning clutchue to some youtube video i saw, I replaced the overrunning clutch, also referred to as the sprag. Found they hardly ever need replaced, and for the most part is something thats just done to add cost and profit.
Bushings: You can get an entire bushing set for the trans for about 20 bucks. The only bushings I replaced are the ones that go between the sun gear and the intermediate shaft. I shouldnt have bothered, the old ones werent that bad, and the new ones needed to be honed to get to fit over the shaft, and they were a pain to install.
Torrington Thrust bearings: Many say they rarely ever need replaced, but I did.
Output shaft seal- definately replace while its apart
Tranny to OD case gasket- Needed.
OD Direct Frictions and steels: 10 OD Direct frictions, 9 OD direct steels
OD Brake Frictions and steels: 5 frictions and steels.
Spring/bearing plate for the sun gear: I got this with the thrust bearings, and glad I did. As you can see in the photo, the sun gear teeth were digging into the plate.



Assemble the new bearing plate on the sun gear. Notice the side that is smooth goes where the snap ring goes. The side with the 4 grooves goes where the sun gear teeth are angled.



Assemble the Output shaft to the annulus gear to the OD Drum. Best to use the disasssembly photos, because I got the snap rings backwards. Notice how at the top of the drum I have a round snap ring sitting in a groove by itself so I dont lose it, while a flat snap ring is at the annulus gear. I didnt realize I had this backwards until it was fully assembled and I had to tear it all back apart. I didnt stop to take pictures the second time around, so just keep in mind the snap rings are backwards.



Here is the overrunning clutch or sprag. Notice how one end of it has a lip that sticks further inside than the other end? Getting this on correctly is VERY IMPORTANT. If you put it in backwards your RPMS will flare between 3rd and 4th, since the sprag is what temporarily transmits power after the OD direct clutch disengages and the OD brake engages. Also if backwards, power transmission in 1-3 will also be fully handled by the OD Direct clutch, which may be ok at first but as it wears will begin to slip.



THIS IS THE SPRAG INSTALLED BACKWARDS ON THE OVERRUNNING CLUTCH HUB. NOTICE HOW THE SPRAG STICKS UP ON FIRST PICTURE, WHILE ON THE SECOND PICTURE THERE IS A MACHINED SURFACE WITH NOTHING ON IT?



This is what it looks like when installed properly. Notice that it is sitting flush now? Lube up with tranny assembly lube or Vaseline before installing.


Use Vaseline to stick the thrust bearing to the hub. Note that the inner part of the bearing should be sticking up, and on the outside edge it should be down.


Using snap ring pliers, set the ovverrunning clutch, hub, and thrust bearing into the annulus gear.



Set the planetary gear set inside the annulus gear. VERY IMPORTANT. LINE UP THE SPLINES OF THE PLANETARY GEAR SET AND THE OVERRUNING CLUTCH HUB. KEEP AN EYE ON THIS THROUGHOUT THE BUILD, SINCE IF IT MOVES YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THE OD UNIT ON THE INTERMEDIATE SHAFT.


Notice how both sets of splines are lined up?


Use Vaseline to stick the next thrust bearing to the sun gear/spring plate. Note how the halves of the thrust bearing appear. If you put it in backwards it will not seat properly:


Set the sun gear into the planetary. Once its in, use a flashlight to ensure the splines are still lined up between the planetary and the overruning clutch.


Set the spring in place, along with the sliding hub.




Install the OD Direct reaction plate. Note that the plate has a groove on the inner diameter on ONE side. This end must be placed down. This groove is because the teeth of the sliding hub are taller down at the end, and this is the surface that it retains to.


Soak the frictions in clean ATF for a minimum of 15 minutes, and then stack them on the sliding hub while doing your best to keep the steels aligned. Install a friction, then a steel. Do this for a total of 10 frictions and 9 steels.





Install the OD direct pressure plate as shown. Notice the orientation of the releif for the snap ring.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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At this point you're ready to put the assembly in the press again, and compress the snap rings. Notice the two snap rings I have sitting there ready to install, unfortunately the large one should already be in there between the drum and the annulus gear

With the spring compressed and snap rings installed, heres what you got:


At this point, you don't have to worry about shifting the spines between the planetary and overrunning clutch anymore. However, you want to make sure EVERYTHING IS GOOD. Wipe down the intermediate shaft, and then slide the gear assembly on the shaft and ensure it slides all the way up to the OD piston retainer. If it does not, you need to check that the splines did not shift..




Install the output shaft bearing. Note that the groove in the bearing goes away from the gear cluster:




Set the gear cluster up off the work surface a few inches as shown:


Set the OD case on top of the gear cluster, while spreading the snap ring with expanding snap ring pliers. Then reinstall the cover with a new gasket and tigthen the T25 torx bolts:


Flip the casing back over again, and install the flat OD clutch pack snap ring.


Followed by the wave snap ring


Followed by the pressure plate


Soak the new frictions for atleast 15 minutes in clean ATF. Then install a friction, then a steel then a friction then a steel for a total of 5 frictions and 5 steels. The 47RE does not use a special thickness pressure plate on the top, it uses a plain steel. Then install the final snap ring.
Note: Notice how much less of a gap there is now between the top of this clutch pack and the snap ring? On disassembly due to how worn my clutches were there had to be .200" of gap..


The factory shop manual mentions two checks. First is using the intermediate shaft simulator. This determines which intermediate shaft spacer to use, which sets the thrust of the shafts. I dont have any tricks on how to do it. I didnt worry about it.

The second check shows them using a special straight edge to determine the OD piston spacer thickness. The straigtedge they use is .500".. Use whatever you have, as long as its flat. I used a peice of angle iron that I checked to ensure it had a minimal amount of bow. Simply correct your readings. For instance, my iron was .260" thick. Therefore I added .240" to my numbers to use the chart to select a spacer.


Next is a check that is not within the book.

Get you some playdough and put 4 balls of playdough on the the OD steels.


Place the thrust bearing on the sliding hub


Use some Vaseline to stick the OD spacer to the OD piston.


Now place the OD piston over the OD clutch to compress the playdough. Bring it down evenly. I thought I got a pic but I guess I didnt.
Lift it off, and measure the thickness of the playdough.


This thickness should be about .120-.150" If it is way too small of a clearance, the OD brake(what gives you OD) will engage before the OD direct disengages, which will be very very bad. If it is only moderately small, the OD clutch will engage some before the OD direct disegengages fully, and wear the hell out of the OD clutches until it "wears in"... If the clearance is large, it wont really hurt anything as long as its not so large that the OD piston is bottomed out in the casing since the vehicle will still move powered by the sprag. So beware of some guy saying rediculously small clearances of like .050 being acceptable. There is no hard fast number published, so I recommend to err on the side of caution.

Theres your finished OD unit, and at what point I realized the snap rings were backwards and had to go back and redo everything!

Go back under the truck, and trim the casing gasket. The gasket is a single peice that goes under the OD piston retainer and the OD case mating face. You cannot remove the piston with the trans in the truck, so you trim the gasket to leave the old gasket under the piston.





Install the OD piston with new lip seals. Lubricate the seals with vaseline, and carefully slide it into place. If necessary, help work the seal in place with a .005" or so thick feeler gauge. On edit, notice the retainer has two cylindrical shaped bosses sticking out of it, and the piston has two pins. Make sure the pins in the piston are in the bosses. if not the piston will spin, not good.



Install the new case gasket. My new gasket was already cut to clear the piston retainer. Notice how the OD piston spacer is still stuck to the piston with vaseline.



Rotate the gears as necessary for the park rod to pop in and out freely as shown in the following photo and video





Install the OD unit on to the back of the transmission. It may be necessary to pull it on the last 1/2" with the bolts(remember I had to tap it off with a hammer). Torque the bolts.
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Last edited by BoostedOne; 02-11-2011 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Added details regarding the pins on the overdrive piston.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Check that the park rod will still slide in and out of the casing. If not, keep trying while very slowly rotating the output shaft to line up the notches in the annulus gear with the park pawl


Set the valve body in neutral:


Install the park rod to the valve body, with the retainer clip




Install valve body by sliding the park rod into place as the valve body is placed. Also be sure to watch the wiring harness and the ensure the accumulator piston and spring are installed properly. Torque valve body bolts to spec.



And thats it! Rest of it is reverse of removal.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thats a great writeup, thanks for that! You wouldnt happen to have another one like that on the rebuild of the rest of the trans would you?
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nope, maybe this summer or something I might. Im not a tranny guy, I just had a problem, looked for information, couldn't find any, but did get some help over the phone, mainly from Dozer. Saw alot of other people having issues, and figured if I went through all this it could really help some people out.

I'd hope the mods would sticky it or something so it doesnt get lost, since it took me about 3 hours just to write it all up.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's amazing that we can buy a transmission for $3500 or so. Think of the machining
that goes into all these parts! Oh yeah, you have a larger brain than I do, great
write up.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I got a question via PM I wanted to share. I hope i didnt imply not to ask any questions on this thread. I just didnt want it to be a troubleshooting thread of OD dropout, but more focused on the internals.

Quote:
WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THIS IS THERE A CERTAIN WAY TO INSTALL THAT SNAP RING?

Install the OD direct pressure plate as shown. Notice the orientation of the releif for the snap ring.
What I was trying to say was that if you notice the OD(outside diameter) of the plate, it has a step machined into it. That's the feature you need to pay attention to and make sure you install it away from the clucthes(smooth face on the clutch). That step is where the snap ring will seat. The snap ring is just a flat snap ring(also see the note at the beginning of the thread where I mention I had the flat snap ring and round snap ring reversed on the drum and had to take it all back apart and switch em around.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markkerkof View Post
It's amazing that we can buy a transmission for $3500 or so. Think of the machining
that goes into all these parts! Oh yeah, you have a larger brain than I do, great
write up.
It would be impressive to get a trans for 3500 if it was all brand new stuff, but that would be closer to probably 9k for a stocker...
For 3500 on a rebuild, you're paying probably about 2500 for labor and the builders reputation. Nothing tangible.

I have about 500 in my OD rebuild because I bought a full trans rebuild kit, plus the thrust bearings, sprag, full set of tranny bushings and full set of tranny thrust washers.. Had I known what I was looking for and ordered the parts peice meal, I would probably have about 150 in it...

A local tranny shop wanted 2,000.

1800 bucks isnt a bad profit margin for an afternoon of work. After going through it once now, once the OD unit was off the trans Im sure I could have torn it down, cleaned it up, and had it ready to install again in an hour and a half in my barn shop. Im sure a tranny shop with all the right tools, the organiszation, and all the parts right there on the shelf with racks and nice jacks could do it in 45, and the remove and install in another hour or two tops.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
i just bought an ats trans and my friend who is helping me put it in said that i have to use a porta power.

i saw that you used one. is it necessary to pull the trans and would it damage anything in the process.
Yes, the porta power spreads the frame rails slighly in order to remove the trans crossmember. It is necessary to remove the crossmember to get the trans out.
Just spread it enough to get it out, like 1/4".
It won't damage anything. For some reason after the bolts are removed from the crossmember is still being squeezed by the frame and it wont come out without being spread.
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