ok, well here is what i found: there is a spacer missing between the tranny mount and the skid plate on the driver side. so, will have to get one and get that fixed. it would also appear the two nuts in the middle of the skid plate, also holding up the transmission, are not tight at all. the bolts themselves are either stripped or the nuts are too big to fit tightly...........finally, i stripped the tranny drain plug trying to get it out.
it is either never come out before, or the PO jackhammered it into place! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!
so, anyway, thanks again for all of your help yesterday. hopefully, the missing spacer and loose nuts will solve the rattle. the tranny plug will just have to wait for the time being.