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  • Rusty old transmissions

    I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but our house abuts about 250 acres of conservation land. The dogs and I love walking in the woods. But, as usual, there are a$$h.... out there. On our last walk, I found 3 old transmissions dumped on the side of one of the trails. I dragged 2 of them home (before I ran out of energy), partly to clean-up the woods and partly to salvage.

    I plan to break the aluminum housings apart and use the metal for castings. I have no idea of what make/model/type or any other "technical" info about them. I also don't know how long they have been out in the woods. And finally, I'm not an amateur auto mechanic. I'll change light bulbs and add washer fluid, but much beyond that, the vehicles go off to the shop. So I have no idea of what is inside a transmission housing, other than I think there are gears in it. My questions are - What's inside? Is any of it useful? Should I try to disassemble them, or just torch them?
    Kevin

    More tools than sense.

  • #2
    They have many bearings, gears and shafts, but.. unless you have some knowledge and tools, disassembly will be a bit frustrating. You might want to stay with to the big hammer approach Watch out for the old oil (drain them...) then take off the obvious access/inspection plates to see what they look like inside.

    As for reuse - most parts are hardened alloy steels. Damn difficult to turn or mill without annealing. Bearings aren't worth reusing.


    You could weld up all the parts into yard sculptures.

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    • #3
      Lots of good stuff inside of them, bearings, shafts, etc. If they are automatic, they have planetaries inside. Plus as you mentioned, the housings are good casting alloy!
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIF...7S66kX1s8rd0qA

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      • #4
        I am guessing they are probably automatic transmissions if they have aluminum housings.
        If they have a metal pan bolted to the bottom they definitely are automatics.
        If it is a solid housing ( no pan) it is a standard transmission.
        Any way have a go at taking them apart. I would sit them over a catch pan of some sort as there could still be oil inside.
        If you take the pan off the automatic you will find a valve group bolted inside, remove it and then you can start on either end unbolting parts.
        In the automatics you will find planetary gear sets, clutches shafts and cast metal housings.
        In a standard you will find gears, shafts and bearings.
        You will probably need some snap ring pliers as most of these things have several snap rings retaining parts.
        I am no expert on these automotive transmissions although I have been into a few of them.
        I worked mainly on large transmissions from Caterpillar machines.
        Larry - west coast of Canada

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        • #5
          Many manual transmissions are also aluminum, and many have large bolt-on pan/plates on the bottom. I just took my Mazda truck manual tranny (not Ford) out - exactly like that.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the info guys. My first thought was to just torch the housings into pieces that would fit my crucible. Then I got to thinking there might be something useful inside. I'll try disassembly first, then a big hammer. Shafts might be useful. I'll keep you posted as to what I find inside.
            Kevin

            More tools than sense.

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            • #7
              Automotive transmissions come in a very wide range of styles and configurations, without a more accurate description or photo we can only speculate as to what you've found. But yes you'll always find some useful bits inside either a manual or automatic transmission. Also don't forget you will also find examples of the manual and automatics combined with the final drive, these are appropriately called trans-axles.

              Just to give you an idea of what you may find in a typical transmission I've included a couple of illustrations showing a representative manual and automatic transmission. Keep in mind your find will probably be somewhat different but this should give you a rough idea as to what's inside.



              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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              • #8
                They make good boat anchors.
                Andy

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                • #9
                  Milford, eh? You anywhere near Parker's Maple Barn?

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                  • #10
                    A few types apparently are magnesium, or a high magnesium alloy (or so we were told right here on the forum a while back). Could be "interesting" if melted.....
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
                      Milford, eh? You anywhere near Parker's Maple Barn?
                      Next town over, about 10 to 12 miles from the house. It's one of the places we always take visitors.
                      Kevin

                      More tools than sense.

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                      • #12
                        I just moved to the area. It's about an hour drive from our apartment but we're looking to buy a house in NH. We love that place. Great food, great prices and great atmosphere!

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                        • #13
                          magnesium
                          We found a magnesium housing in an old projector at work. With the help of
                          one of the plumber's torches, we tried to ignite it.

                          To get it to go, we had to powder it pretty darned fine.
                          Then it got very hot and warped the stainless pan we had it in.

                          But it took a LOT of heat and a LOT of surface area to get it to ignite...

                          t
                          rusting in Seattle

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                          • #14
                            Mg is used to get Sulphur out of molten iron, gets injected into the iron as a powder though a gas lance, pure Mg lights easily in powder form, there was a 20 ton silo outside the steelplant, clever place to keep it, right next to a 30 ton calcium carbide silo, health and safety at work, they were more interested in high viz jackets when standing near the thing, i gave up at that point and went to lunch
                            Mark

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                            • #15
                              Here's what's in store for ya:

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