Rebuilding the 2004r myself


Active Member
First of all, let me start by saying that there are several builders who can build these transmission here. I am sharing MY experience and the way I went about it, and why. I apologize in advance for the long post, but if you feel like you would like to build your own 2004r, please read on.

Car mods: 87 GN, block .030 over, ported iron heads with springs, 70mm TB with matching doghouse, 50lbs injectors, power stroke front mount, 6162 turbo, mild cam, 3"dp, 3" dual exhaust, ATR rear sway bar, stock rear end, on 255/60/15 MT drag radials, 2,800 Stall Converter, "built transmission" (it had maybe 8K miles and 20 1/8 mile passes without alky since rebuilt), TT 6.1 chip, 91 with Alky, 25psi of boost. SO yeah, nothing crazy. (hotwire, scan master and all that stuff included).

Situation: Back in September 11th, on my way to the track, I made a WOT pull getting on the highway from 20mph, maybe to 60mph, can't remember. As soon as I let go of the gas the transmission made a clucking noise and went straight to neutral. I texted Steve V and he straight told me that it needed a rebuild. I also called my mechanic that I worked with since I was a kid, and he told me to check the converter and then the pump if the converter checked out. Now I had to make a call on how to approach this since the military decided to move me from FL to AZ, this was going to happen the first week of October, remember this happened on 11 September, not much time to pull this together.

That night I took the transmission off. The next day I did a lot of reading on it and started digging into the transmission, I decided I was going to do it myself and if I wasn't done by moving time, I was going to tow the car on a trailer anyway. The pump seemed fine so things were pointing to the converter. It turned out to be a broken forward drum. That same week Steve told me that he could build me a transmission ASAP, palletize it and ship it, then I could send mine to him as a core. I told him I was going to replace the drum and get the car running that way, so it would be quick.

I then looked for DIY kits and found some info about Dave Husek, I called him that Friday and he told me about his DIY kits, and how he would guide me on the phone on the process. I decided to go that route and took the rest of the internals apart with his guidance with him on speaker phone. The following Tuesday I put most of the internals on USPS flat rate boxes and shipped it to him for $65. He got them that Friday and got on it, he found that the transmission had water inside at some point, the only thing we could figure is that the transmission cooler in the radiator broke at some point. We agreed to go with a billet drum, and his Standard Plus kit and converter. He did his thing on the valve body and whatever else required specialty tools and also put the clutch packs together for me.

That Thursday I had all the parts in my front door and the next day I received his 3021 converter. I called Dave that weekend and he walked me through putting everything together, how to check the clutches for leaks, and what was the easiest way to close the transmission. It's very important to note that through this process I followed every instruction he gave me, regardless of how much I thought I knew.

I took the following week off from the car since I was boxing all my household goods for the move. After a few days of no communication, Dave called me to see how things were going. I put the transmission in the car the following Saturday and called him afterwards to see what the break-in procedures were. He again was very detailed on the process and explained it to me like 5 times while I took notes.

So "break-in" procedures done, car was ready to hit the road. At this point I drove around the neighborhood a few times to go through the gears according to Dave's guidance. After that she went on the trailer for that 5 day fun drive.

I've put bout 600 miles on the car since rebuilt and I have to say I am very very pleased with how it behaves, from shifting, to the low speed driving I could not be happier. I am yet to make a pass on the track since life happens and I had to move to my new house then go to Guyana where I am typing this from.

So bottomline is, you absolutely can send your transmission to a builder and have them do it, but if you ever feel like you want to get your hands dirty and do it yourself, give Dave a call, his number is all over the site. I went this route due to the time crunch I was on, but I ended up learning a lot about this transmissions and cars in the process. Besides the regular sockets and wrenches a normal toolbox would have, I had to borrow a small air compressor, buy some precision picks from Harbor Freight and a large flathead screwdriver. It is worth noting that other than changing converters and installing shift kits, I've never worked on the insides of an automatic transmission. I feel like the whole process was flawless aside from actually killing the transmission on the first place.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Pics below:


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Some more pics, the upside down transmission was before closing her up. The other ones were before I put her back together, notice the 13 vane pump and looking for damage in the old converter


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That’s awesome!

I tried to do an old 4 wheel drive gmc trans when I was younger and decided that wasn’t for me lol.

Great job

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That’s awesome!

I tried to do an old 4 wheel drive gmc trans when I was younger and decided that wasn’t for me lol.

Great job

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks man! I would’ve never tried it without Dave or my mechanic on the phone. I learned a lot doing this and probably saved over $1K between shipping and labor
Dave is hands down the best guy I've ever dealt with. He's not known for engine builds, but I can tell you he created one hell of a tire smoking beast for me. Trans will be next for sure. Congrats on doing the job without the previous experience. That may be the boost of confidence I needed to go through mine when the time comes.