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Tranny issues, would like opinions

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rpjn59
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Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by rpjn59 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:02 am

Hello, I'm having transmission issues, slippage mostly, I was hoping to get expert opinions and suggestions.

- 2004 2wd, 4.3L passenger van. 130+k.
-Van slips in OD, not all the time, so kind of confusing, but most of the time.
-slips shifting to OD from third if not babied.
-slips from 2-3rd, again if not babied.
-1-2nd seems ok.

~ 2 weeks ago this started, it's been getting just a tiny bit worst every day, I do very little driving daily 10-15 miles.
- check fluid it was at the bottom of the X-hatching.
- added 1/2 bottle (12 oz.) of Lucas tranny anti slip to top off fluid, ah... didn't seem to do anything.
- can only really drive it no surface roads now, as it's almost impossible to say in OD. Plus third slips when under load also.
- Today you could smell the burnt fluid from outside the vehicle,assuming clutch pack is shot, checked and could not see any dripping/leaking fluid.
- Anything I can do my self? change clutch pack, filter, fluid, elec. shift solenoids.
- if it needs full shop rebuild, what should I expect, parts, labor???
- info/education on torque convertor
- currently don't do any towing but is an upgraded cooler recommended?

Thanks in advance, Ray
04 Astro
Passenger

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okie1
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by okie1 » Tue May 19, 2020 11:53 am

Find a transmission shop that gives free diagnostics, nothing to lose. Get a few estimates, shop around. Good luck.

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okie1
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by okie1 » Tue May 19, 2020 11:53 am

Find a transmission shop that gives free diagnostics, nothing to lose. Get a few estimates, shop around. Good luck.

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Herbie
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by Herbie » Tue May 19, 2020 3:47 pm

Yes, it sounds like you've got issues. I recently had to do a rebuild on my tranny too. A lot of weight with too-tall gears and tires during the first years of my ownership didn't do it any favors.

The upside is that 4L60Es are ubiquitous, and lots of folks know how to rebuild them. I opted NOT to consider a junkyard trans because that'd be half the labor costs of a rebuild with a TON of uncertainty on the service life of the replacement. Better to have my own rebuilt, I figured. My trans shop recommended (and I opted for) a full Heavy Duty rebuild that basically brings the 4L60E up to 4L80E specs. Not cheap, but given what I have invested in my van otherwise (camper conversion, axle work, etc.), I figured I wanted the transmission to last at least as long as everything else. My total was just under $3100.
rpjn59 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:02 am
- currently don't do any towing but is an upgraded cooler recommended?

Yes, a big trans fluid cooler is basically a must for our vans, especially if you spend any amount of time going slow (trail work, or traffic) or hauling a load (my van is always heavy with the camper conversion stuff). There's a stickied post that has the parts and procedure you'll need - very DIY friendly. (But it isn't going to fix your current issues.)
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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rpjn59
I am merely driving my van
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by rpjn59 » Wed May 20, 2020 6:37 pm

Herbie, was is the parts diff. between a normal rebuild and a heavy duty one?

Ray
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Passenger

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Herbie
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by Herbie » Wed May 20, 2020 8:40 pm

I'd need to find my build sheet to have the full list, but off the top of my head:

Uprated pump and accumulator, larger sun shell for the planetary, I think an updated sprag for the overdrive, an uprated belt, and servos.
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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markinnh
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by markinnh » Fri May 29, 2020 1:59 pm

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but most transmission shops only go in and fix what causes the problems your dealing with. a few years back I had no reverse so being the kind of guy that since I live on a pension I always try to find a good deal. I went to 5 different transmission shops. I asked this of each shop: I would like a price for a full rebuild, replace all the clutches, stels, and any known weakness for an 87 4l60/700R4. add a shift kit and corvette servos to it so I can safely tow on the highway.
When I looked over my notes after 4 shops I had one more to go to. Living in California everything cost more then anywhere else in the US. I was looking at close to 3K for a rebuild with all my extra's. The 5th shop I went to the owner took a call while I was there so I walked over to see what the builder was working on. He looked around to locate the boss then told me this: "most all shops will take your transmission apart clean it buy a overhaul kit with your money replace only the parts that are causing the problem then give it back to you charging you for a rebuilt on your transmission". I said are you serious? He showed me boxes upon boxes of parts from kits they only used certain parts from. I said how is that even legal? he said" prove it" So I went home went online ordered a video and two books read both books and started ordering the parts I needed and a few tools. I rebuilt it myself shifts like a dream drives like a hot rod. (I have a V8 in mine) You may find an honest man to rebuild your but I had no such luck. I installed the overhaul kit, beast sun shell, all the upgrades for my year transmission, corvette servo's, shift kit, separator plate, and a few other upgrades to handle the heat and such. Make sure after spending that cash you install a separate but inline trans cooler. Hell I even added a trans temperature gauge. Your trans is the electronic version of mine if you van is newer then 94 but if you need more info feel free to email me at mark-mitch@hotmail.com just put trans info in the subject so I know not to toss your email into the junk file.

Bret Schmerker
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by Bret Schmerker » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:16 pm

:fball: I's looking for a TREMEC® TR-3160B retrofit for my 1997 issue M11006, had to defer it for want of finances; the absolute minimum that I consider acceptable is a 4L80-E retrofit. Short of that, ATS Diesel Performance offers a reinforced 4L60-E as a stock upgrade (P/N 3061604164, $2,184.05 plus taxes and shipping as of 16 June 2020) and a stock-specification torque converter with billet cover (P/N 3021024164, $570.00 plus taxes and shipping as of 16 June 2020) -- I's hoping ATS would have Triple-Lok converters for the 4L60 and 4L80.
1997 GMC M11006 (Safari SLE, 2WD, V6-4300/4L60-E/7.625" 3.73:1 open)
Acquired Jul 2018 / In service Sep 2018 - present

markinnh
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Re: Tranny issues, would like opinions

Post by markinnh » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:08 pm

I believe I read somewhere that the 4l80 will not fit in the vans due to it having a different shape or size case. and the driveshaft would have to modified as well as the mounting hardware. I suggest you do some measuring and all to see if it will physically bolt in first.

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