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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First of all, a special thank you goes out to my brother who took his only day off and took time away from his family to come and help me with the install today. My hat goes off to Brian, Chris, and all the folks at Circle D. A1 customer service from the time i ordered the stall to the time of installation when i had questions about spacers.

I bought the converter Monday last week. It was at my doorstep Friday and we installed it today. Installation went about as we expected it to and it was a shit ton easier to install the converter pull the tranny, than it was to do headers lol. We started at 7am and by 9, the tranny was out. For once, thank God my motor has been replaced 4 times in the last 3 years and i only have 50k miles on the body. I have long tube headers as well that were installed in May so fresh bolts there too and not having to worry about finessing the stock y pipe, and im 2wd. All bolts were nice and fresh and were a breeze to break free and rather easy to get to. We made one little mistake and forgot to put the clip back on over the seal that goes around the shaft and realized it when we went to put the headers y pipe back on. This time, it only took us a half hour to yank the tranny back out. So this is very doable for the intermediate mechanic that doesnt want to pay someone and has access to a lift. After removing the tranny, installing the converter, figuring out the shims that we needed because my converter was too far away from the flexplate, stopping for 2 hours to go to the bank and go buy fluids/seals (i work 2 jobs from 8am to midnight so i could get to a bank before today) and eat breakfast, and buttoning everthing back up, we were done by 230pm. So about 4 hours for our very first time doing this. Next time when we go to replace my tranny, im sure it'll be less than 2-3 hours...

One thing i will ask. Did any of you experience any harsh shifting at first startup and test driving for the first time? It almost felt like my maf was unplugged it was shifting so hard. Then when i launched it, it wouldnt shift until i let off the gas. We checked all connections amd fluid levels and all was fine. Started truck back up and she shifts, launches, and stalls as she should now. Just a fluke thing happen here since the battery and all connections on the tranny were unplugged? Or do i have an underlying issue?

Onto the pix...

Getting started...


Laying out and organizing parts and bolts


We didnt have to remove the passenger side header to get the starter out to get to the stock stall bolts...


Definetly need the right tools to make the job easy as hell LOL


Out she comes...


The clip that we forgot to put on the shaft seal that you see laying on the bottom of the bell housing. The clip was on the work bench. We didnt install the tranny with it laying there lol...


Stock stall on the left. Circle D on the right


Shes in!


The shims we needed to use...


And putting it all back together...


Other than the scary first start up and harsh shifting, i can DEFINETLY tell a difference. It's not as bad as i thought it was leaving from a dead stop. It doesnt take a lot of throttle to get it moving like i read it would. There's a noticible difference in normal take off, but nothing too drastic to mske the exhaust scream louder from giving more throttle.
 

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Premium Member
'08 Silver TBSS
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4,535 Posts
Nice job! I love my circle-d 3200. Best mod I ever did.
 

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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thx bud. Still getting used to the new driving characteristics of the stall and boy does it heat up fast! Thank God I have a tranny cooler
 

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Premium Member
TrailblazerSS
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1,679 Posts
Don't you need to break it in before you go launching it?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Yes you do. If not youll mess up the clutches and bearing
 

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Premium Member
2008 TrailblazerSS
Joined
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12,861 Posts
Does the clutch and bearings reside inside where the trans fluid gets to them?

~Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines~
 
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trailer park living.
TrailblazerSS
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16,328 Posts
Yes you do. If not youll mess up the clutches and bearing
How you going to mess up a clutch that doesn't lock up under a good bit of throttle and I've never heard of bearings needing broke in.

The clutch thing is more for ppl locking under wot.

Yes farva. The clutch is in the front of the converter. That's why you put about two pints in it before installing.
 

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Premium Member
2008 TrailblazerSS
Joined
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12,861 Posts
How you going to mess up a clutch that doesn't lock up under a good bit of throttle and I've never heard of bearings needing broke in.

The clutch thing is more for ppl locking under wot.

Yes farva. The clutch is in the front of the converter. That's why you put about two pints in it before installing.
Don't be a fag Gayjay. I know how it works and what it looks like, but not really much knowledge about where each component within it is located.

~Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines~
 

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Mattmikemark
2006 Trailblazer SS
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5,366 Posts
According to Circle-D, their is no break in for their converters. I specifically asked them.

Other converters are a different story.
 

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Registered
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468 Posts
Appreciate the review... great write up and pics. Not sure on the harsh shift on first start up, I would guess electrical since battery was reset. But sounds like you are good to go.

Here are our recommendations on break-in. Install converter, road test to verify all gears and lock up, look vehicle over to double check everything is ok. Triple check fluid level..... go racing.

This is our policy since day one and have never seen any evidence to suggest otherwise. Even guys with our multi disk abuse it from day 1, and have seen them back in for a restall and clutches look perfect.

Keep us updated and thanks again.

Chris
 

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Premium Member
2008 TrailblazerSS
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12,861 Posts
So Yank makes fragile parts is what Chris is trying to diligently tell yall! Lol

~Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines~
 

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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yea the harsh shifting went away after the second startup and normal driving conditions resumed. My only concern was how fast the trans temps came up with the new stall. It was a very very humid 85* day here in Ohio at the time of install and test drive. So I don't know if that was a major factor. But driving it today, temps seemed to have gotten back to normal and the temps climbed as they normally do. Smooth shifting and lower temps so now I'm happy.

And I broke it in a little bit. I didn't get in it right away. Just drove it up and down the street for one cycle, went to the other end and then hammered it and that's when I discovered my shifting issues. Drove it home and all was fine but I didn't beat on it. This morning.... I hammered it hard and now I can see the difference. Stalled it to about 2200 rpms and absolutely destroyed my tires #2WDproblems lol... so drag radials will be my next purchase.
 

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Mattmikemark
2006 Trailblazer SS
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5,366 Posts
Just FYI any higher stall converter will heat up faster than stock. Keep it locked up when you can and it will be fine.
 
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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yea I knew they got hotter but yesturday was like almost instantly according to the gauges (i have one with a bung in the trans pan and I have an aeroforce) at least.

But again, I think it was just first start up woes... because all is fine now. Temps were back to normal, and shifting is smooth again.

Everyone else with a stall, how many qts of fluid did you have to add after installing your converter? I had to put in 6 qts.
 

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Mattmikemark
2006 Trailblazer SS
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5,366 Posts
I think I added 5 but I honestly can't remember.
 

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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ok. We checked and check and checked so I'm good. Just seeing what others did
 

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Garage Queen
TrailblazerSS
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2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
That they are! And just like you guys, they have great customer service. That goes a long way most of the time
 
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