97 Cable - Cracked Transmission Case

The transmisssion case on my 97 sable is cracked a the differential. Although for the life of me I don't know how this happened. The car has 142K km (88K miles) on it.
1) Anyone ever heard of such a problem? 2) Is it possible to weld this crack and get more life out of the tranny? 3) I got a quote of $1,500 CDN (~ $1,000 US) for an R&R with a used one with 82K Km (~50K Miles). (The quote for re-manufactured was $3,700 to $5,000 CDN.
I think used is the way to go for a 7 year old car but would appreciate anyones thoughts on any of the above.
Doug
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Sable that is....

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In posted on Wed, 15 Oct 2003 21:10:04 GMT:

As long as the interior isn't falling apart and everything else is in pretty good working order, I'd say go with the new transmission. I hope those prices he quoted include labor charges. I'm guessing that if those are Canadian prices, then American prices would be $2,500 - $3,400 or so. Still, replacing both the engine and transmission is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole car if you're wanting to keep the same level of comfort and style.
I figure that most people must make a decision based on what they can afford at the time they have the problem. I had a situation once in which my truck broke down and I couldn't even afford to take it to the garage to have it checked out. So I went to the dealership and bought a new truck I really couldn't afford. I had transportation, however, and I only had to look forward to a monthly bill for the following five years. I would have much rather had the old one fixed.
I probably won't replace my '98 Sable until (a) I can pay cash for a new one, or (b) it starts looking like an '87 Taurus in comparison to the 2004 models. I used to have an '87 Taurus in 1997 and I loved it, looks and all. Now they look horridly antiquated in my eyes. Based on that projection, perhaps I'll really like the looks of my Sable until 2014. Now wouldn't that be amazing! If, once I get this Sable paid off, I continue making car payments to myself, I should have enough to pay cash for a new Sable in, say, six and a half years. I still have a year and a half more to pay on my current Sable as I financed it for 24 months. :-)
And if, along the path to saving to pay cash for a brand new car, I happen to run into a major problem with the '98 Sable, at least I'll have a substantial amount of cash to certainly pay for any repairs. It'd be a setback to getting something new, but I'll still be rolling. Or, still, at that point, I'd have enough cash, maybe $10,000, to allow me to put a huge down payment on a new car. But I think my Sable will have to get into pretty bad shape before I'll want to buy a new one. And I won't get a new Sable until they put the gear stick back on the steering column and lose the center console.
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Lots of duct tape should solve the crack problem.
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On the issue of repairing the cracked case, the best idea would be to get the opinions of both a reputable TIG welder and machine shop. The welder can tell you if the repair is feasible by metallurgical factors, and the machinist should be able to discern if any registered bushing fits, etc., present in the repaired area of the case can be restored. It should be noted, however, that welding on aluminum will pretty much destroy any hardening procedure performed on the case during manufacture. I am not familiar with the guts of the AXOD (or whatever is in those cars in '97) and cannot guess how much of an effect this would have, but would personally be very leery. The transmission would need to be completely torn down and cleaned thoroughly to prepare for welding, so add up the R/R costs, overhauling, welding and machine work, and it may end up being more expensive than a total replacement. Also, it is common practice (actually recommended by GM for TH350 family trannies) to repair case porosity with epoxy; this should never be considered an option to repair a crack, however, particularly in the differential area.
Anyone else have opinions?
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 15:08:24 -0600, Doug wrote:

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Doug wrote:

You don't say how bad the crack is. Is the trans still functioning except it has a leak? You may think I'm crazy but if it just a leak there may be an easier way. A couple years ago I watched my son in-law repair a leaking gas tank with a product he got from a company call New Pig. If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it. Sold the car a year and a half later and it was still holding up fine.
I found the website for Pig. There's an 800 number. Might be worth a try. Good luck.
Frank
http://www.newpig.com/en_US/main.jhtml?_requestid 682
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Cases just do not crack, the reason it cracked is most likely a problem inside the transmission ( most of the time the planetary failed ). If it is really cracked, the transmission is now a paper weight, have it replaced. It is not that common now, but in the late 80's and very early 90's it did happen.

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