A slight change from the post about the transmission lines. Oppo user "crowmolly" noted that the parts I had oh-so-cleverly found for the transmission line connection aren't even for cars at all, and probably couldn't hold the hose securely enough to be reliable. So it was back to the drawing board, which in this case was the hardware section of Home Depot.

The associate I dealt with quickly found a 3/8" barbed connector, but it was male, and I needed a female connector. We searched the shelves, perplexed that there wouldn't be female version ("dad-gum female" were his words). But, a-ha, we located a 2-sided female adapter, so we're back in business.

The connections look like this now, both at the radiator and the transmission. I added about a gallon of fluid to test for leaks. None were immediately apparent, but I came back a few hours later to find a small puddle and a slow drip. After a prolonged and silent "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!1!1!" and a realization that it was too dark to investigate further, I came back to it after work the next day. The leak was probably from the torque converter seal, which had had some time to dry out in the dry desert winter before I put the fluid in, so I decided to tentatively move on.

I brought the battery in from the back patio (longtime readers will remember the parts table back there), and much to my relief, it still had more than enough electrons to turn over the engine. I didn't run it long enough to heat up the transmission fluid, just enough to serve as a preliminary test. And also long enough to apparently correct the leak from the front. I put in another gallon and checked the level with the transmission in neutral and the engine running, and that topped off the fluid level on the dipstick.

But now, now was the moment of truth. Now that the transmission was full, I put it in gear. After a brief odd sound, it seemed to be going all right. I looked under the car, and the output shaft was spinning. VICTORY! I popped it back into neutral, and then reverse. Looked underneath, and the output shaft was spinning the other way. VICTORY AGAIN!

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As a side note, this was all done with half an exhaust system. The cat was hooked up, but nothing behind that, and it wasn't much louder than it was with the old system. So it seems that the old muffler was doing what's known as jack-squat.

Anyhow, victory was a little short-lived. The transmission is still fine, but the next morning I attempted to put in the transfer case. "Attempted" being the operative word. It was a demoralizing, infuriating exercise in futility. The reason for this is that the transfer case looks like this on the end that connects to the transmission:

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It all has to line up to the holes just right, and it's basically impossible to line it up with a floor jack from underneath, since the whole thing is so oddly-shaped. So I talked with a friend that night, the same friend of notable size and strength who tried to pull out the original torque converter in this entry, to maybe make the lift a team effort. The story of that, next time.