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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The intent of this DIY thread is not to rehash how to remove the transmission or how to perform the TSB clips because those things have been well documented. What I will mostly focus on is how to install the standard mods that update the CBA trans to DBA+ performance with a few additional upgrades. This will hopefully include all of the technical aspects of doing these mods such as preloads, but also document the steps and equipment necessary.

As a background, I rebuilt my EVO 9 trans last year after never having worked on a manual trans in my life. I swapped the final drive from the stock 4.53:1 to a 4.09:1 and also changed out 5th gear, which means I had to completely tear down, swap and build back the output shaft and a partial disassembly of the input shaft due to swapping 5th gear. None of it was difficult so just a matter of remembering where everything goes and properly setting up the preload when you put the case back together. Obviously, having access to a press is critical if you need to take apart the gearset, which in my case I do because I am upgrading the Gear Selector Rings. If you have a DBA and are not upgrading 1st gear or the Gear Selector Rings then I don't believe you will have to touch the gear set.

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You can follow my build thread through the link below, but I thought it would be good to start a separate thread under this forum so the information was more accessible.
DIY700 - 700hp on a Budget

My car is a 2009 with ~30K miles and has the original trans that has ZERO maintenance work performed, which means I have yet to do the TSB clips or even change the fluids.:unsure: The only thing I did was add an additional 2 quarts of fluid just because I read you can slightly overfill them.

The car is FBO with custom short route intercooler and running the SIR Stage 3 (Gen2 GTX3071r) turbochargers. The car makes 750hp/[email protected] on 93 pump gas per the dyno sheet below.

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Below are the list of mods(parts) that will be upgraded on the trans. I will note that most shops upgrade the 1st Gear Set, but based on my application I chose not to do the 1st gear. The decision was not necessarily financial, but at my torque level running R888's I just don't have any concern of damaging the OEM 1st gear. There are several local GTR guys running similar power through the stock gears and they beat on them constantly for years with no issues. I have decided that if I build my motor in the future I will just do a full gear set from Linney, which should complement most of the pieces I am currently installing.

Below is a list of parts for the build....
  • Linney A&B Forged Baskets
  • Linney 16 Plate Clutches (800ft-lbs)
  • Linney Spec Trans Fluid
  • Radium Engineering in line filter
  • OEM Pan Filter with OEM Gasket
  • Shep pressure sensors (x3)
  • Shep Upgraded Viton Piston Seals for A&B
  • PQY Racing Billet Pan ($205 shipped from China on Ebay;))
  • ETS Refresh (TBD on who does the work)
  • Dodson HD FWD Gear Lock
  • Dodson Piston Shaft Seals (x2)
  • Dodson Mechanical Circlip 1
  • Dodson Mechanical Circlip 2
  • Dodson GTR GR6 O-Ring Kit
  • Dodson Output Shaft End Float Shim
  • Thrust Bearing Circlip 2 135 Gears
  • Thrust Bearing Circlip 2 246 Gears
  • Dodson FWD Output Shaft Seal
  • Dodson R35 Actuator Shims for GP1 & GP2 (4x)
  • Dodson Gear Selector Rings (x3, but not 6th gear)
With the exception of the Billet Trans pan, which arrives Wednesday, I have all of the parts ready to go.

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At this point I removed all of the under trays from the car and turned my lift around so I can start removing the trans. I drained the pan and will start tomorrow by removing the valve body and performing the TSB prior to removing the trans from the car, which will be the next step. I did notice fluid on the bottom of the trans, but I suspect it is originating from the top of the trans and perhaps the vent due to adding an additional 2 quarts, but I'll know more when I remove the trans.

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Dido…. Subscribed.

I need to do the TSB clips in mine yet, parts are here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Dido…. Subscribed.

I need to do the TSB clips in mine yet, parts are here.
That is a very easy job, which should be able to be completed in about 3hrs taking your time. There is a very good article from Jack's that details this job at the link below.

Jacks Transmissions
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was able to remove the valve body yesterday and add the TSB clips along with putting in the new pressure sensor. When I removed the valve body, one clip ended up coming out and the piston rotated. As mentioned in the article by Jack, you can easily tell how the piston needs to rotate because the metal dust will collect on the same side of the piston as the magnet. I've referenced all of these things below in the picture.

I should have the trans out later today to start the fun stuff.

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My trans doesn’t see any tuned torque values over 600 so my questions are;
While I’m doing the TSB clips, it’s definitely recommended to swap out the line pressure sensor correct (that’s the one you have circled in your photo?) I see you have purchased 3 of the Shep pressure sensors, so would it be suffice for me to do just that particular one (that’s in your photo) or all three?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My trans doesn't see any tuned torque values over 600 so my questions are;
While I'm doing the TSB clips, it's definitely recommended to swap out the line pressure sensor correct (that's the one you have circled in your photo?) I see you have purchased 3 of the Shep pressure sensors, so would it be suffice for me to do just that particular one (that's in your photo) or all three?
Unless your car is throwing a code specific to that sensor, I'm not sure I would personally touch it. It is only because I am pulling my entire trans apart that I am replacing all 3 of the 12 year old sensors. In order to get access to the other 2 pressure sensors you have to take apart the transmission, which is significantly more work vs just pulling the valve body.

The OEM pressure sensors are scaled to 28bar, but the ones I purchased from Shep are scaled to 68 bar. I can use AccessTuner to rescale the sensors by a factor of 2.42x, but all three of them have to be rated for the same pressure so you cannot run a 68bar sensor with a 28bar sensor. Below is how the software interface looks in AccessTuner so I simply change the value of 407psi to 999psi in the 5 tables circled in red on the left.

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If you decide you want to change that single sensor, SSP sells them and they are said to be plug and play and have the same pressure scaling as stock.
GR6 Transmission Pressure Sensor - GR6 Transmission Performance - GTR R35 GR6
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The transmission has been removed from the car and as stated in the beginning, I won't rehash the process of removing the trans, but will add a comment. I saw that some recommend disconnecting the brake line, which I strongly advise against. Simply unbolt the caliper with the two 10mm allen head bolts and zip tie them to the coil spring, which takes all of 10 minutes per side and you don't have to deal with the headache of bleeding an ABS system.

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Once the rear subframe and trans were removed, I positioned the subframe on 4 jackstands and because the trans is sitting on my lift cart, you can hopefully adjust the jack stands to keep the trans pan level with the ground. This will make removing the case super simple as you will see below. Once it was on the jackstands I pulled off the front case and make sure you have the connector unplugged and unbolted within the valve body area. Jacks has a nice article on this step just to make sure you don't snag that connector when you are pulling off the front cover.
Jacks Transmissions

You can see from the pic below I removed the front cover and then removed the clutch valve body so I could gain access to the clutch and also change the other two pressure sensors.

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When you remove the clutch valve body you then flip it over and replace the other two pressure sensors.

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I was unable to get the clutch basket out because neither of the 3 snap ring pliers could reach the snap ring. It is way down in the tube so I'm going to have to find some specific snap ring pliers to fit down the hole. The picture is deceiving and then snap ring is about 2 inches deep in that narrow tube.

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Since I couldn't work on the clutches I decided to take apart the middle casing from the rear diff. This was actually very easy because I simply put the pan back on the trans and then used the lift cart to apply slight pressure to the bottom of the middle casing. Once I removed all of the 12mm bolts, I hit it with a dead blow plastic hammer and it popped apart.

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You can see how it looks from the rear diff side and the gears that slide into the rear diff housing. Doing it like this saves you a lot of headache with removing the trans from the subframe because it is not needed to service the tranny. When it is all back together, I will cover the two vent tubes and pressure wash it in my driveway to get it clean.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I ended up using some small needle nose pliers to remove the snap ring and got it out on the 1st try!

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Don't try this if your wife is home because they tend to get upset with car parts in the kitchen. I hope to have this knocked out this afternoon and will provide details. I'll be installing the Linney forged baskets and 16 plate clutches.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First order of business was to replace the OEM seals with the upgraded viton seals from Shep along with the piston seals from Dodson. The large black seal is the one that was redesigned for the later DBA trans so it is said to be a weak link and can fail with higher pressures and in some cases actually pop off or tear. Shep offers upgraded viton seals for $300 that are said to be an upgrade from the OEM DBA seals. Just pop off the old ones with a screwdriver and install the new ones.

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The large seal on the inside is a bit more tricky to remove, but I just used a small prybar and hammer to gently pop it out.

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I then replaced both of the piston seals with the new ones from Dodson. The seals have a groove on one side and they are flat on the other. You want the flat side facing up when installed, which you will see the orientation of the old seals when you remove them. The old seal is very easy to remove, you pinch the seal at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and then pull the seal towards 3 o'clock and it will bulge out on that side and you can then hook with a screwdriver.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll come back to the clutch setup as soon as I make one quick change and then take some pictures. I had to get clarity from Linney regarding the working clearances, which he just provided so I will make a quick change to the clutch stack and post the information.

In the interim I decided to tackle the ETS refresh on my own instead of sending it off to a shop. Jack's provides a very good article for how to service the ETS so use this as a guide and you can see what I did below.
Jacks Transmissions

I recommend that prior to pulling the trans you take a minute to try and determine the current health of the ETS. When you remove the front driveshaft from the ETS you can place a 1-1/16" socket on the flange nut and with the car in park, try to determine the amount of torque it takes to rotate the ETS. Don't use a big torque wrench for this, but one that is designed for very low torque values in the 10-25Nm range. Doing this I determined the ETS was seeing about 18Nm of torque, which based on my research would indicate a healthy ETS.

I tackled the disassembly of the ETS with a press instead of a puller, which is what Jack did. I simply got a piece of steel channel and drilled three holes in it. The outside holes are for the M5x0.8-30mm hardened bolts and the center hole is so I could insert a 3.8" x 10" extension. Pretty easy to understand from the picture below, but make sure you follow Jack's instructions above and remove the inner C-clip before trying to press it apart.

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And now it is ready for the press! It actually scared the piss out of me because it made a super loud pop when it broke free.

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Getting the locking ring off takes a special tool, but if you put the ETS in the vice sideways you can use a large punch to release the locking ring. The chisel was just for the pic so I recommend you use something flat so you don't damage the surface. BTW, the threads are standard direction.

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Since my torque readings indicated a healthy ETS I decided to use a drill punch to mark the cap orientation with the case prior to disassembly, since this adjusts the preload. Although I will still adjust the preload, I want to understand how different I was from before the refresh.

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I didn't have any special tool to remove the cap so I had an old strap wrench for taking off oil filters and it very easily unscrewed with no problems. I'm gonna make a trip to Metal Supermarket tomorrow to see if they have a piece of thick tubing I can use to make the special tool for adjusting the preload. You can see the tool Jack made in the link above.

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Once the clutches were out and according to Jack's article, a healthy set of clutches will be around 35mm - 36mm so with mine being 35.97mm and looking in good shape, I don't need to replace the clutches.

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Not much to it so once the new fluid arrives and the ball retainer ring, I will put it back together and adjust the preload. I went with the $85/200mL Dodson ETS fluid, which is probably no different than any other performance ATL or ATW, but I figured this was something I won't touch for a while so might as well spend a few dollars. BTW, I don't have the luxury of having a broken ETS shaft to make a tool for testing like Jack shows in his article. Therefore, I will have to put the center section back on the diff and put the gear selector arm in Park so I can lock the ETS shaft. I will then have to slide the ETS on the ETS shaft to check the torque numbers.

The internals of the ETS below.

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Nice thread.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice thread.
Thanks!

I decided to send the ETS cap and locking ring to Greggs Customs so he can make me some tools to adjust the preload and tighten the lock ring. If you want to service your ETS then perhaps you can now purchase the tools and do the work yourself. I was going to make something myself, but Metal Supermarket is closed for a week saying they are short staffed. Since the ETS will be down for at least one week I will go ahead and tear down the gearset for the new Synchro Sleeves and all the other Dodson goodies I purchased.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Awesome thread. Subscribed.
Thanks!

I got my PQY Racing billet aluminum pan today straight from China. Not a bad deal for $205 shipped to my door and got it within about 10 days. You basically transfer over the factory level tube and drain plug along with the 2 OEM magnets. Since the pan is aluminum, the magnets are held to the pan with some decent powered magnetic washers that are secured with bolts. It has two additional drain plugs if you wanted to run an external cooler, but the magnets on the plugs are not very strong so I may invest in some better magnetic plugs. I wanted a blue pan for contrast, but all they had was black.

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I probably should have taken more pictures of the clutch install because this part is critical, but I think I can easily explain. Remember, I am using the Linney 16 plate setup (8 clutches Basket A and 8 clutches Basket B) so my results are specific to this clutch setup. The first thing you want to do before taking apart the clutch basket is to measure the gaps between the steels for both Basket A and Basket B and make sure you write them down. When you subtract the thickness of the friction between the steels you measured, this will be known as your "working clearance." The working clearance is just the total amount of free space in the basket that is no occupied by shims, steels, and clutches. Remember, you have a set amount of depth within the basket to place your clutches, steels, and top/bottom shims and the space remaining is the working clearance.

It is important that I define some terms before going forward. In addition to the clutches, you also have steels, which are the metal pieces that go in between the clutches. For the sake of this explanation, when I reference a "shim" this simply means it is an outside steel in the clutch stack either on the top or bottom. Although it is technically just a steel, shims are generally thicker than the steels within the clutch stack. Their thickness is varied to get the correct working clearance when the clutch pack is assembled. Also, the thinnest shim is typically placed into the basket first and the thickest shim is installed on top or last. The thickest shim is on top because that is the side the force is applied to compress the clutches so you want that shim to be extra sturdy.

The game of putting together the clutches is very easy, you are going to vary the thickness of the top and/or bottom shims until you get the correct working clearance, which will be provided by the clutch manufacturer.

Below is a picture of the OEM clutch stack, which is the same for both Basket A and Basket B. I obtained these values for Basket A.

OEM Stack Height: 25.96mm
OEM Friction: 2.28mm
OEM Steel: 1.60mm
Steel to Steel: 5.05mm
Working Clearance (5.05mm - 2.28mm): 2.77mm

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So the Linney 8 plate clutch setup is shown below for Basket A, which is 8x 1.82mm frictions and 7x 1.24mm steels. The top 2.0mm shim and the bottom 1.6mm shim is from my OEM Clutch Stack because the Linney kit doesn't come with shims, only clutches and steels. The 2.0mm shim and 1.6mm shim are the recommendations from Linney as the starting point to determine your working clearance, which needs to be within the specification that he provides.

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When I take the above clutch stack and put it in the basket, I can then measure the working clearance once the basket is assembled. In this case I have a working clearance of 2.42mm, which is 0.02mm off from what he recommends. Not much to it because he pretty much tells you what thickness shims to use so unless your basket is way out of spec you just stack the clutches as he advises and then verify your working clearance is within spec.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Since I am having the custom ETS tool made by Greggs Customs, I shifted my attention to removing the gear set so I could replace the Gear Selection Rings (synchro sleeves) with the updated Dodson units. I also ordered a bunch of other crap from Dodson and I have no idea where all of it goes, but once I figure it out I'll share the information.

If you want to know how to tear down the tranny and gears then watching Jack's video is a great source of information and he covers most everything you need to know.


Following his video I got the unit just about ready to remove the gears.

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I purchased the Harbor Freight 10 ton puller and it was definitely more than I needed so probably the 5 ton puller would have been better. I got it as far as I could due to travel limitations and then switched to my standard 3 jaw puller to get it the rest of the way off. From the pic you can see that I had to screw the jack in as far as it would go since this puller arms are so dang long. Now that I look at the pic I guess I could have just mounted the arms directly to the base and not used that extension bars.

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Once you go through all the other stuff in Jack's videos this is the end result, a set of exposed gears. Next step is to take it to my buddy's shop and press off the gears per Jack's video.

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Today was exciting as I spent about 3.5 hours tearing down the gears to replace the Gear Selection Rings as well as the Dodson Thrust Bearing Circlip 2 for 135 Gears. The video I referenced in the previous post provided all of the necessary information for how to break down the gear set to gain access to these pieces.

My buddy has a small 20 ton press that he let me borrow, which was perfect for this job. The biggest challenge when pressing off the gears and putting them back together is having the right tools to go along with the press. Random pipes and pieces of round metal were useful to do the job. If you did this for a living you could easily make some nice tools to press each specific part, but I was able to improvise.

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Once you remove the 1st Gear Shaft this gives you access to install the Dodson Thrust Bearing Circlip 2 for 135 Gears. I'm not sure what I accomplished by purchasing this part because the OEM piece was nice and shinny, but the Dodson part was no thicker than OEM and looked like it had been pulled off a tractor that sat in a field for 20 years.(n) The pic below was of the OEM piece, which was nice and shinny.

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Time to break down the main shaft, which per Jack's video I start by pressing against 1st gear.

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Once you break down the gears you build them back up and install the new Gear Selection Rings. Make sure you orientate the ring so that the deep indent (circled below in red) is centered in the gap. There are 3 deep indents every 120deg that align with the three gaps in the synchro hub (I just make up that name). Be careful when you remove the Gear Selection Rings because there are 3x inserts that will fall out, which are spring loaded balls that keep the Gear Selection Ring centerd on the Synchro Hub when the gear is not selected. I took some pics of these, but for some reason the picture was very blurry. I also took pics for how the synchro's are aligned, but that pic was also a bust. Sorry!

Before you press on the sleeves to lock in the synchro assembly, make sure the Gear Selection Rings are working properly. You can assembly the synchros and the gear selection rings incorrectly and if so, you will not be able to select the gears. The last thing you want to do is assemble the shaft and find out the Gear Selection Rings don't allow you to select the gears. I'll attach a video I made on the EVO showing what I mean.

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This was the final result for today, all three Gear Selector Rings were installed and the shafts were put back together. I just need to put the gear cluster pack together in the sandwhich plate (I just made up that name) and press on the final gears. Dodson makes a Gear Selector Ring for 6th gear, but I did not purchase that one.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nice work. I'll get those ETS tools made and out to you asap.
Thanks!

I'm sorta of in a holding pattern because I can't get Linney to respond to my emails requesting clarity regarding his recommendations for Clutch B working clearances. He sent an initial Basket B spec sheet saying to target a ~3.20mm working clearance and then he sent another Basket B spec sheet saying to target a ~2.76mm working clearance. I'm currently setup at a 3.12mm working clearance based on his original spec sheet, but I ordered another 2.0mm shim to get me at a 2.72mm working clearance if needed. I just sent a third email so we'll see if he responds.
 
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