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Author Topic: Replacing 4T65e transmission solenoids, 3.4l gm engine, 2003 Pontiac Aztek  (Read 668 times)
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« on: October 03, 2017, 12:57:16 AM »

Hi All,
   just wanted to share my experience on replacing the transmission solenoids in my 2003 Aztek. The symptoms were a shuttering/surging between 40 and 50 mph.
   There are two good youtube videos that show how to do it - one by Vacationtime and another by  mph. 
First, I bought a transmission kit with the five solenoids in it for around $80. Something I would highly recommend is to also buy the supplemental connector clips (if you watch the youtube videos, both DYI'ers will point to the connector clips that often break) - I broke everyone of the  connector retaining clips. I didn't have the time to wait for them in the mail, so I used zip ties to hold the connectors in place. The price of the clips range from $2 each to $11 - shop around.
   As you watch those videos, you might notice that they aren't as safety conscious as you might like, at least for me - what I did is buy a transverse lift from Harbor Freight for $70. It's a long bar that sits between the front shock towers with chains hanging down. It supports the engine while you disconnect the bottom carriage. (you still need to use a floor jack with a piece of wood to raise and lower the engine - this just added an extra bit of safety to the job.
   So here are the things I did different for my Aztek:
0) start by removing the overflow reservoir, and the air cleaner housing from the car - gives you a lot of space to remove the connectors from the transmission and to get at some of the transmission housing bolts.
1) Instead of removing the axial from the wheel bearing, I unbolted the wheel carrier from the vertical strut and lower control arm - that way I didn't have to re-align the wheels and it did work out that way.
2) My axial did not want to come out. I ended up borrowed an axial puller from autozone - but since I left the wheel carrier on, the slide hammer part of the puller gets hung up on the carrier and doesn't hit the boss at the end of the puller.  I got around this by putting a hose clamp on the puller shaft infront of the wheel carrier, and then slid the slide hammer into it. Worked like a charm - the axial popped out.
3) In both videos, for some reason, they remove the power steering slave cylinder connection from the steering linkage - don't do that. Just remove the two bolts holding the slave cylinder to the engine carriage, and the power steering arm linkage from the lower control arm (drivers side). As you drop the engine carriage, just make sure the slave cylinder separates from the engine carriage. It goes back really easy, and you don't have to mess with the boot that's covering the connecting bolt to the steering linkage. Also the steering goes back together without changing alignment.
4) You have to move the engine up and down to get access to all of the bolts around the transmission side cover, and it's a tight squeeze to get the cover out through the wheel well.

Other then the above items, those videos were pretty complete. It took me about 8 hours from start to finish, but if I hadn't been watching football, I probably could've done it faster. I should mention the car has been driving fine now for over 6000 miles.
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