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My new 280Z project -- advice, please

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I continue to struggle with the transmission rebuild. I have kept track of costs so far, and this $125 initial purchase has ballooned to a total $1,154.75. I keep a spreadsheet on my major projects, and am always amazed at how the little stuff really inflates the overall cost. The major outlays after the initial purchase were $238 for a rebuild kit; $204 to CK Performance for a heat-treated stator, a forward planetary gear cluster and a lock-up kit; and $381 for a band, a shift kit and 2.5 hours of labor from the transmission shop  (they have a press; I don't). All the rest to get to the total are little expenses for thrust washers, a hardened direct sun-shell (a deal at less than 30 bucks) and stuff to make tools to substitute for the exotic stuff that would make this job go quickly (including $21 at a wrecking yard for a used 27-spline slip-yoke that is helpful--almost necessary, in fact--for reassembly).


I am putting all the refurbished elements into the case now, and estimate I am 60 percent done with that. Why so slowly? Because there has been a lot of disassembly after putting parts in and finding clearances are off. Tear it back apart and swap out a selective washer (which means ordering the one you think should work, awaiting its arrival, and then finding it is just a few thousandths off and another needs to be ordered). 


For others crazy enough to tackle a 200-4R rebuild, I have found good information on the Buick Grand National forum and the K-Body GM forum.


Would I do this job again? Maybe. I have learned a lot, and following the CK Performance book I have made modifications that should result in a very strong transmission. On the other hand, I'll have about as much invested as a rebuilt stock unit--which would come with some kind of warranty and would work fine for the cruiser Z I am trying to build.


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