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Deep Pan 6L80 Transmission Mod for the Holden VE II Commodore

  • The 6L80 Automatic Transmission fitted to Holden Commodore V8 models (And export versions of this vehicle such as the Pontiac G8, Vauxhall VXR8, and Chevrolet Caprice, Chevrolet SS) features a transmission sump unique to these model vehicles.

    The standard Holden fitted sump is a low profile model fitted primarily to allow for greater ground clearance than the usual sump fitted to other models with the 6L80 Transmission such as the Chevrolet Camaro.

    Although this increases ground clearance, it also has the undesired effect of reducing the amount of transmission fluid capacity of the transmission.

    This has the flow on effect whereby with the reduced transmission fluid level, it is more likely for the transmission to to experience transmission fluid starvation under situations such as harsh braking, acceleration, or high cornering forces.

    This fluid starvation will result in transmission gear flaring on gear shifts, slow gear changes, and poor cold temperature performance.

    The solution to this is to fit the larger, deeper transmission sump, and the longer (larger mouthed) transmission fluid filter from the Chevrolet Camaro model (That uses the 6L80 6 Speed Automatic Transmission).
    This allows for the transmission to hold an extra 2 Litres of transmission fluid, as well as allowing the transmission fluid pick-up to sit lower in the pan. (Reducing the likelihood of transmission fluid starvation when braking, accelerating and cornering.

    A Big thankyou must go out to PIR4TE for bringing this modification to our attention !
  • 1. Jack Car Up

    2. Fit Pan underneath the transmission, and remove the fluid level drip plug using a 14mm socket.
    (This will remove any excess transmission fluid from the pan, making it easier to control where the transmission fluid will drip from once you begin removing the pan).

    3. Once the dripping has ceased, refit the plug, and place your drip tray towards the back of the transmission sump.

    4. Begin loosening the 10mm bolts starting from the back of the pan.
    (Do not remove the bolts yet, just loosen them so as you can remove them using your fingers).

    5. Fluid should begin leaking from the back of the pan.

    6. Keeping one bolt in place at the back of the pan, and one bolt in place at the front of the pan, begin removing the bolts from the pan, starting at the back, and moving around to the front of the pan.

    7. After removing all but the 2 bolts, if the pan is still held in place by the gasket, use a flat headed screwdriver to carefully prise the pan away from the transmission, starting at the back of the pan first.

    8. Once the transmission fluid flow has subsided, carefully begin removing the bolt at the back of the pan.
    Note : Once this bolt is removed, half the pan will drop, causing a fair amount of transmission fluid to flow from the end of the sump.

    9. Once the flow has subsided, hold the pan up against the transmission, and remove the last bolt at the front of the pan.

    10. Carefully remove the Pan away from the transmission.

  • Pull the Transmission filter downwards away from the transmission.
    After a little bit of effort, the oil filter should disengage from the transmission.
    NOTE : Check the top of the transmission oil filter to determine if the rubber fitting is either on the filter, or still in the transmission.
    (Most people will find the rubber fitter will still be inside the transmission).
    Most mechanics will recommend leaving this rubber fitting inside the transmission if it is still in place.
    (The theory is that it is already fitted and sealed properly, and changing this item may cause more problems later.

  • Using a clean rag, remove the existing sump gasket from the transmission, and clean the surface, removing any dirt or debris.
    This will ensure that the new gasket will seal correctly when the new sump is fitted.

    Fit the new transmission filter by pushing the new filter back up in to the transmission.
    The transmission filter should click in to place.

  • 1. Drain any transmission fluid from the old transmission sump to expose the magnet fitted to the bottom of the sump.

    2. Remove the magnet and clean with a lint free cloth.

    3. Fit the magnet to the new transmission sump in the location shown below.

    4. Fit the new transmission sump gasket to the transmission sump, noting the locating holes in the sump for the gasket guides.

  • 1. align the new sump to the transmission and very loosely fit a couple of bolts to hold the sump in place.
    (Make sure that the bolts go through the gasket, and that the gasket is still sitting flush against the sump.

    2. Once the sump is in place, loosely fit the remaining bolts to the sump.
    (Making sure that the gasket does not crimp, the bolts go through the gasket, and that the gasket is sitting flush against the sump).
    3. Next hold the sump against the transmission and finger tighten the bolts using a cross diagonal approach. (Much like the way you would tighten wheel lug nuts).
    Once you have tightened a couple of bolts, you will no longer need to hold the sump in place.

    4. Finally using a torque wrench, tighten the bolts to 8nm, using the same cross diagonal approach used earlier.

  • Once you are happy that the transmission sump is fitted, and all the bolts are torque up correctly, you can begin filling the transmission with fresh new Dexron VI transmission fluid.

    1. Locate the Transmission filler plug. The plug is located on the Right Hand Side of the vehicle (Drivers Side for RHD models),
    It is roughly half way down the sump (Above where the drain plug should have been fitted by G.M.
    The plug is a firm plastic / rubber plug that is held tightly in place via a rubber grommet.

    The following picture will give you an idea of where this plug is located.

    This plug is used to seal the hole which would normally be used to fit the transmission dipstick.
    Pull on the end of the plug to release the plug grip, and pull on this grip to remove the rubber plug from the transmission.
    (The use of gloves to prevent cutting up your hand against exhaust bolts, and other sharp objects around the transmission).

    2. Once you have removed the transmission filler plug, proceed to pump around 6 to 7 litres of Dexron IV transmission fluid in to the transmission.
    Note : This amount is based on using the deeper Cadillac Pan which will require more fluid than when filling up the stock Holden transmission Pan.

    3. Once you have added roughly this amount, place a drip tray underneath the transmission check fluid level sump plug, and remove the sump plug to check the flow of transmission fluid from the sump.

    4. At this point you are aiming for a steady trickle of transmission fluid from the sump.
    If you are getting drops of transmission fluid, then you will need to top up the fluid level, likewise if you are getting a stream of fluid flowing out of the transmission sump, then the transmission may be over-filled.

    5. Once you are happy with the transmission fluid level, refit the transmission sump plug, and loosely fit the filler rubber plug.
    Do not fully fit the plug at this point, as you may need to add further transmission fluid later.

    6. Lower the vehicle, and remove any obstacles near the vehicle.
    (You will need to start the engine, and cycle the transmission gears in the next step).
  • The next step involves entering the engineering menu on the instrument cluster to monitor the transmission fluid temperature, starting the engine, and cycling the transmission gears.

    1. With the ignition switch in the Off Position, hold down the Left Hand scroll wheel on the steering wheel.
    2. Turn the ignition switch to the On position.
    3. The Instrument Cluster should now display the Engineering Menu.
    4. Using the scroll wheel, scroll down to Transmission Sump Temperature.
    5. The Instrument will now display the current Transmission sump temperature
    (Which when cold will read roughly 20*C).
    6. Start the Engine.
    7. Pressing firmly on the Brake pedal, shift the transmission in to reverse gear and wait 15 seconds.
    8. Still pressing firmly on the Brake pedal, shift the transmission in to drive gear and wait 15 seconds.
    9. Continue the above steps until the transmission sump temperature reaches 30*C~40*C (For Cadillac Sump)
    or 40*C ~50*C (when using the original Holden Sump).
    10. Once the desired transmission temperature is reached, switch off the engine.
    11. Jack up the vehicle and remove the transmission sum check fluid plug.
    12. Ensure that you get a constant trickle (Not droplets) of transmission fluid draining out of the transmission.
    * If this is the case, then refit the transmission sump plug.
    * If the fluid is dripping out, then add further transmission fluid until a steady trickle of transmission fluid flows out of the sump plug.
    * If transmission fluid is flowing out through the drain plug, then allow the excess fluid to drain, until a steady trickle of fluid is flowing from the sump plug.
    13. Once you are happy with the transmission fluid level, refit the transmission sump plug and the rubber transmission filler plug.
    14. Start the vehicle, and inspect for any leaks around the transmission sump gasket.
    15. Take the vehicle for short test drive, ensuring that the transmission is shifting correctly. Once finished check the transmission sump for leaks.
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