View Poll Results: Should I rebuild my donor trans?

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  • Take a gamble on the eBay kit and rebuild it.

    1 25.00%
  • It looks great. Stuff it in as-is, drive and be happy!

    3 75.00%
  • Save your money for a K-swap.

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

  1. #1
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Question 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    As you all know, my 5th gear went out a couple weeks ago. I found a donor trans, which is probably better than what I have now, so I'll be swapping the whole thing out. Since I have the donor trans out right now and I don't know it's real condition, it makes sense to do a complete rebuild. I was going to buy a kit from my local trans parts house, but they can't find one. Which is strange, because I found one on eBay within 10 minutes. Of course, there's no telling how good the eBay kit is, so there's that.

    I pulled the end cap off the donor trans and verified that 5th gear is not broken. I also found that the syncros are in surprisingly good shape and everything is nice and clean. I shifted through the gears before I pulled the trans and everything was butter smooth. The oil inside was super clean, unlike the black grungy ooze I've found in other trans'. Pics are available in the link above.

    If I rebuild it, I can replace all the syncros and bearings, the shift shaft seal that's currently leaking and fix any other problems. If I stuff it in as-is then I save a lot of time and money and avoid any potential surprises. Either way is a gamble.

    So what's your vote?


    1. Take a chance on the eBay kit and rebuild it.
    2. It looks great as is. Stick it in, drive the car and be happy!
    3. Save your money for a K-swap.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW



  2. #2
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???

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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Can you add in option 4? use correct oil and slap it in...just for me.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    My Acura Type R front brake thread

    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthrea...r+brake+option

  3. #3
    LX User AWH's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    If it ain't broken, don't fix it...5 speed Should I rebuild it???. Replace the seals to stop any leaking, clean up any inside goo, and put it on the car. Possibly replace the oil feed for a better one, believe there is a thread on that somewhere, but I would run it as is. Although Ebay kits are often NOS, or otherwise reputable items, so i would trust in those as well, and rebuild is always the longterm solution. But again, if it seems good to go, put it in and find out, save yourself a lot of hassle and bucks hopefully.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn H8314 met Tapatalk

  4. #4
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???

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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    OK I voted #2 only because I saw cheap Chinese bearings in the rebuild kits.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    My Acura Type R front brake thread

    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthrea...r+brake+option

  5. #5
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldblueaccord View Post
    OK I voted #2 only because I saw cheap Chinese bearings in the rebuild kits.
    Yeah, I noticed that too. Rock Auto has a kit also.

    More Information for USA STANDARD GEAR ZMBK238WS (rockauto.com)

    Maybe it has better bearings. Though it seems like everything from Rock Auto always comes with a load of bad karma attached, so it's still the same deal for me. I'm reasonably certain this trans will be a good one. At the worst, I'll have to pull it out again to rebuild it. Is not the end of the world.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  6. #6
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    conozo's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    I voted 1 because I would take it apart to inspect and only replace what is needed but mostly to replace every seal and gasket to keep the tranny fluid in there with more focus on that shifter linkage seal.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  7. #7
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    ShiRen's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldblueaccord View Post
    Can you add in option 4? use correct oil and slap it in...just for me.
    What do you call correct oil? Service manual calls for engine oil and after having Honda mtf in it before I don't think I want to fill it with engine oil again. Only thing I did from the time before my 5th gear started crunching was a clutch swap and a fluid change.

  8. #8
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???

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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Thats what I use 10w 40. I actually use Mobil 1 10w40.

    It was a dig on snooze he uses "alternative" oils sometimes.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    My Acura Type R front brake thread

    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthrea...r+brake+option

  9. #9
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Now that you mention it. I'll bet canola l would work real well in there. I wonder...

    Blue is referring to the infamous "Canola Oil Incident," which lives on here on the board somewhere. Read it and laugh and know that men in situations of extraordinary hardship sometimes do very stupid things. It could happen to you too.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  10. #10
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    I put 10w30 in mine and it's been like butter since I swapped it.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  11. #11
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???
    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    When I was in my 20s, I was too poor to own a car, so my Dad lent me his S-10 Blazer. Sadly, it needed a trans rebuild, so Dad and I enlisted the neighbor's help (and his long flat driveway) and dove in. Dad and I were working together in construction at the time, so we would work our butts off all day on the jobsite, then go over to the neighbor's after work and, exhausted, hit the trans. I usually arrived after they were already started. Both of them were smart guys and knew their way around an engine bay, though neither had rebuilt an AT to that point. My Dad was an extremely bright electrical engineer. The neighbor was an avid weekend wrencher. He always had 6 cars in the driveway and half of them would have the hood up on any given Saturday. He could work miracles in that driveway.

    One night I showed up and they were looking at their new compression cuff, which was noticeably different from the one they'd pulled out. The new one simply wouldn't fit in the trans case. Now I hadn't really done much wrenching to that point, but I saw that new compression cuff and realized it would never work in that trans. It was too different. Still, the evening work was a drag and they were in a hurry to get the job done, so motivation was high.

    Then I heard someone say "I'll bet we could do some cutting with the Dremel tool and make it work." I thought, "No, that can't be right. I must have heard wrong. Dad and Cal aren't idiots. They wouldn't think that could ever work." Yet moments later, one of them was going after the new part with the Dremel tool. I watched the entire procedure in mute horror, simply unable to mount any sort of protest. It was all so surreal watching 2 very smart guys take leave of their sanity. With enough butchery and cajoling, the new compression cuff went into the case. They buttoned it all back up and we went for a test drive. Naturally, the rebuild was a massive failure, but the truck did move under its own power, sort of. The rebuild was declared a success and they both washed their hands of it.

    I limped it over to a shop the next week and dropped a king's ransom on a new trans. A month later, my sister borrowed the truck and totaled it within an hour. That was just how things worked for me at that time in my life.

    The moral of the story is that sometimes very bright people do very stupid things.

    The other moral of the story is that if life is determined to give you a beating, there's nothing you can do to escape it.



    Words to live by.
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 04-11-2021 at 01:37 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  12. #12
    5 speed Should I rebuild it???

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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Well the other words to live by are you cant just go with status quo. People have got to try new things or we never make progress. Failures are part of leaning.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    My Acura Type R front brake thread

    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthrea...r+brake+option

  13. #13
    LX User AWH's Avatar
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    re: 5 speed Should I rebuild it???

    Entertaining story 5 speed Should I rebuild it???. One has to try, at one point.
    To me, it clarifies where you got your ingenuity from, your dad must have dropped a chunk of it, in his "disposal" 5 speed Should I rebuild it???. No disrespect 5 speed Should I rebuild it???.
    Bet he likes to seeing it being used as well.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn H8314 met Tapatalk

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