So right around 100K miles my transmission in my 98 K1500 Chevrolet went out. Rear planetary exploded. So I took it out and took it to a guy at the local transmission shop to have it fixed. Put it back in and it ran great (until 30K miles later) it started showing some odd symptoms. Reverse would bind up (felt almost like the e brake was on) and it made a loud bearing or gear type noise in Reverse and 1st gear but went away after shifting into 2nd. Sometimes it would go into reverse and then just slip until it finally grabbed and it would grab hard. I knew it wasn't good so I just took it easy on it until I could get a loaner vehicle to drive. I never drive this truck hard anyways just a daily driver and pulling a trailer occasionally but nothing past the capabilities of this vehicle. This time I decided to buy the rebuild kit and service manuals and tackle this job myself. As the old saying goes "if you want it done right, do it yourself". It was my understanding when the first rebuild was done, the planetaries were upgraded (to what I assumed was the 5 gear planet assemblies from a 4L65E) but I doubted it when this happened again and after dis assembly my thought was confirmed it had the same old 4 gear planets as stock.
I initially took the trans pan off and discovered alot of metal shavings and gear teeth and knew what the gear salad culprit was, that rear plantetary again So here we go again. I'm already at a G note in parts on this one AGAIN!!!!!!
Exploded rear planetary
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 11-10-2013 at 07:58 PM.
That sucks man! A guy I know does transmissions and he actually worked for a tranny shop in my town and from why he told me was he didn't like how the place was run because they would only fix the problem, I know what your thinking but what I mean is if there was a bad part that was bad he would only replace the bad part and not the parts that were effected by the bad part. He also didn't think they should be reusing some of the parts they did when they would rebuild a tranny. It is fairly easy, make sure you have a new torque converter, blow out the cooler line if you have them, replace the filters, and clean it up as best you can! There is a member on here that has felt with th350, th400, 700r4s, and 4L60es so contact him. Ill give you his username I just have to look it up.
His username is westoakmech, just give him a pm about anything you may have questions on and I'm sure he can help you.
From past experiences - flush the case, valve body, cooling lines, and external trans oil cooler. Once you think it's all clean, flush it again. If you can, just replace the external cooler. Don't even think about reusing the torque convertor unless you are absolutely sure all the garbage is out of it, and you never will be unless you cut it open.
You would be amazed how just the smallest particle can wreak havoc on an auto trans when it gets lodged somewhere in the valve body.
I shot an elephant in my underwear last night...
I was reading online that the biggest cause of failure to the rear planetary on this trans is too tight or too loose of end play on the input shaft. It was pretty sloppy so that's most likely what killed it. The clutches and everything else looked good nothing burnt or scored badly but it's getting upgraded along with new bearings seals bushings the whole 9. Even though the front planet assy looks good it's getting a 5 gear along with the rear. I did also find the TCC solenoid was broken. Not sure how that happened but it didn't look like a fresh break. Looks like it happened 50k miles ago but TCC lockup worked normally. Getting that new also. Who knows what actually has been done to this thing. I was shaking my head after looking at all this stuff that was either done wrong or who knows what else.
I also noticed there was no pan magnet installed after the first rebuild
It's actually been going pretty smooth. This is the first trans me and my father have gotten into (he's helping me along with it he's done alot of engines but no transmissions and he was curious about them as well). That service manual I got goes through everything and shows everything with diagrams. Best tool there is. We had it apart in about 3 hours just taking our time making sure not to lose anything.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 11-10-2013 at 10:39 PM.
Good job. Get it done right the first time. With my luck, if I were to do that I would end up with 4-speed reverse with overdrive.
The Super Derecho
I agree Don't reuse the converter. I would not reuse the cooler in the radiator either. The cooler itself is pretty cheap, just has to be swapped at the radiator shop. You can also do an external, usually cools better. You can get an external for like 10,000 have for around $50. Just like mentioned above when you think parts are clean, clean them again. Good luck and have fun . No satisfaction like doing it yourself
Rusty 2.5R,T-max 2.5 & 3.3,Summit VXL Nitro 4-tec
I probably will get another convertor. I was looking online and saw that OReily's and Advance Auto parts has rebuilt stock torque convertors in the $130 to $150 range and they look identical to the one that was replaced the first rebuild and I never had any problems with it. The only thing I don't know about is they say one is for ECCC and one is for non ECCC (electronically controlled converter clutch). I would guess mine is ECCC due to it having a TCC lockup solenoid correct? or is ECCC something totally different? Really the only thing electrical dealing with the converter is the lockup solenoid.
Really the only things getting upgraded are the planetaries. I'm going from the stock 4L60E 4 gear to the 4L65E 5 gear planetaries along with an upgraded hardened sun shell. I believe the clutch packs are a step up from stock also. The kit said something like they were the Alto performance kit which they say is a good kit. Pretty much all I need to beef up is the hard parts cause that's what keeps failing on me and I think that's due to end play. The first time I think it was just from mileage.
Where's a good place to look for a converter? I looked on summit racing and a few other sites like that and they only have performance ones in the $300+ range with large stalls. All I need is a stock equivalent.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 11-12-2013 at 08:33 PM.
Have you tried with your local gm dealer, sometimes they also buy aftermarket parts. The factory replacemet may be cheaper from them than you think. You can try a place called makco transmission. They have some pretty good pricing. Also tci, which is more performance oriented, but good parts.
Rusty 2.5R,T-max 2.5 & 3.3,Summit VXL Nitro 4-tec
I would give GM a call about the converter first. If you want to compare, it would probably be best to call TCI directly and get a part number instead of relying on a third party like Jegs or Summit who primarily deal with aftermarket hop-ups and may not have all the OEM style part numbers available.
I shot an elephant in my underwear last night...
Yeah Makcotransmissionparts.com. That's where I got my master rebuild kit from. I went out and gave my converter a good look over and it didn't have any GM numbers on it but it did have a model type number on it. BU 60LS. I did a quick google on it and it only came up with one valid site that had that PN and it was cobra transmissions or something like that and it said it was a woven carbon type convertor but didn't show a photo. I also noticed on Advance auto parts website that the 2 converters they listed for my truck (1 PWM non ECCC and the other PWM with ECCC) the mounting lugs were different. Could that be the dead give away there? The one I have now has rectangular raised lugs with a round threaded raised section which corresponds to the PWM with ECCC on advance autos site. The other converter has a rectangular lug with a square threaded piece. If all else fails I could ask them at the local Chev dealer or call Makco they said they know all the convertor codes. I'm surprised this info isn't in the tranny manuals I would think it would be vital. They say if you throw the wrong converter in with the ECCC type system it'll burn up in no time.
Leave it to engineers to change something that has worked for decades. and if you want to be able to run the older style converters on newer trans, you have to buy the Sonnax kit to mod the valve body so you can.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 11-13-2013 at 10:12 PM.
I'll tear down an engine and feel very comfortable doing that, I'll deal with suspension, A.C.'s, driveshafts, CVD's or solid rear axles...
I look at automatic transmissions and it just wants to make me run.... Especially now with all the electronics tied into them.....
Would you believe my Automatic Tranny doesn't even have a dipstick. 99 Rodeo 3.2L 2WD LS.... So far I've won $50.00 in $5.00 increments when this subject comes up.
Glad there's some guys out there who know about these things, cause I look at your pics and just !!
NN Good luck with it.
All Lives Matter
My dodge caravan taxi has no dip stick. Blew my mind!
Ya can't polish fertilizer...
I can believe some don't have a dipstick. A buddy at work has an expedition that doesn't have one. The manufacturers don't want you to be able to check the fluid level so you either have to take it to a dealer, or run it low and blow the trans. That's how they get their money they're wanting to cut out the small garages and shadetree mechanics.
The build is actually going very well. I got 90% of it done yesterday. All that's left is the reverse input drum and valve body. I am going to work on the pan some. I'm going to add a drain plug.
Here's pics of what I have done so far.
Here's the output assembly installed in the case. You can see the sunshell cage and the upgraded 5 gear input planetary. All of the rear planetary and low reverse clutch pack stuff is under this.
Input drum assembly with over run clutch, forward clutch, and 3-4 clutch pack.
Couple pictures of how I made a piece to attach to an engine stand to work on it and second pic is of the wormtracks for the valve body.
Input drum, band, and reverse input drum installed.
Won't be long and it'll be ready to go back in the truck.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 11-17-2013 at 07:52 PM.
Looking good, looks nice and clean. Did you go with a new converter? The part I hate the most about tranny rebuilds is the valve body. One check ball, or an incorrect gasket, and you will pull your hair out trying to figure out what is wrong. I built one that the plate for the valve body did not have a hole drilled in the correct place. It was so aggravating. I finally found a service bulletin about there being some bad ones out there. Hope all works well when you get in. Are you gonna run regular dexron, or dexron 6, which is synthetic?
Rusty 2.5R,T-max 2.5 & 3.3,Summit VXL Nitro 4-tec
Looks good!!! And I know it's alittle late for this idea but you could add a oil filter to the tranny. Just and idea!
Good news. When rebuilding the pump I noticed that none of the gear material made it to the pump or the rest of the internals so that means 1) I caught this problem in time and 2) the main trans filter did it's job. The little screen filter inside the pump was spotless nothing in it at all.
@westaokmech, I'll most likely just run Penzoil ATF that's all I've been running in it for years and it works good and I've not had any fluid related problems with it. This trans calls for Dex 3 and the Penz ATF covers most trans except probably the newer stuff that requires a synthetic. One thing I did like about the newer 5 gear input planetary is the 4L65E hub design. It eliminates the copper washer between the sunshell and planet hub and replaces it with a thrust bearing. It's so much smoother.
@Johnzilla54 I don't know if there's a kit for that or not. I'll most likely just run the stock setup. I am going to add a drain plug which is a MUST. They should come from the factory with them. No drain plug = huge mess if your not careful. The add on drain plugs from the parts stores are kind of goofy. They use a nut on the inside of the pan with teflon washers for sealing which I don't like. I'm going to take the nut and TIG weld it to the inside of the pan and use the normal teflon washer on the actual plug itself to seal it. I have to get the Valve Body on first so I can find a spot the nut won't interfere with anything.
Really all that's left is setting the input shaft end play, then get the pump buttoned down. Get the Valve Body on and pan drain plug work done. Get my new converter (I could use the existing one I have since no junk got through the pump but I'm not gonna risk it, $130 more is cheap insurance on the $1,000 worth of work I've already done). After that I'm gonna go through the transfer case which should be about a 1 day job (I'll put up pics of that too). Then throw everything back in the truck and hopefully it will all work the way it should
Well here's what I have so far. The transmission is done except for putting on the bell housing and pan which is only about a 15 minute job. The end play was on the large side close to .030, .015 to .036 max range so I tightened it up about .005" for a final end play of around .025". I did find out that somewhere along the line someone did install some sort of a shift kit or something in it from TransGo. The spacer plate is a TransGo spacer plate for the valve body. This concerned me quite a bit because I have the Hypertech tuning module installed in this truck with the shift firmness improver function turned on and it says not to do this if there is a shift kit installed which I had absolutely no idea was in there. Apparently neither did the guy who previously owned it because he never said anything when I bought the truck. Now what really gets me is the guy that rebuilt this trans the first time never said anything about it either. It must have been a mild shift kit because all of the parts were identical to the service manual except for the spacer plate and an added inner spring in the accumulator bowl. So what I'm going to do is before the first start up I'm going to go through my Hypertech again and turn off the shift firmness improver and just leave it off for safety sake. I did also pick up a new (rebuilt) torque convertor.
As for the transfer case. All is well in that unit except for the case half leak. I went ahead and bought a rebuild kit with new o rings seals and bearings to install while I'm in there. It's a fairly simple unit. It only took about 15 to 20 minutes for dis assembly.
Getting really close to having everything done. I think I'm going to put a nice coat of silver engine paint on the outside of both trans and transfer case before installing back into the truck.
Here's the pics.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 12-04-2013 at 01:20 AM.
Sweet!! I like how clean it is!! And that's why you can't really trust some people with that stuff, I'm glad you got it figured out let us know how it works!
I'd be having a little chat with the mechanic who did that last rebuild... like I said before I'm not very versed in automatic trannies especially these newer electronical jobbies...
But even I can tell when a shift kit plate had been put in... Basically any shift kit I've dealt with (done a couple), most just have that plate, a certain hole is drilled in the plate and a ball bearing with a spring is inserted. I do belive it's purpose is to increase the fluid pressure in the valve body to create the more positive shifting. It would make sense you would not want to engage the factory shift improver as it probably works on a similar principle and then there would be too much pressure...
Definintely sounds like it was set for a mild shift.... Pretty sure you would have felt the medium or hard setting with the shift kit.... But even I, a tranny novice could tell if there was a shift kit installed once the tranny was pulled. So that previous builder,,, I'd be having a chat with him.
All Lives Matter
Oh he's probably already forgot about what was even in that thing. He rebuilt it in 06', and I've only put close to 30k miles on it since then Well being laid off for about 2 years helped cut the mileage down. Really I'm not all that worried about it because this time I know it's done right. I read alot and everyone I've talked to said the 4L60E is notorious for blowing the rear planets out. These things just aren't made to last anymore like the good old stuff was. The power in these new Generation motors is going up and the gear quality in the transmissions are going down.
It may just be a very mild kit or possibly a towing type shift kit. TransGo makes about a million different shift type kits for all kinds of needs. When I added the shift improver it really didn't shift all that much harder. It did shift firmer yes but it wasn't banging the gears out snapping your neck type of shift. Just a nice quick bump. May have been too much though. Oh well it's getting turned off and left off. I agree with you Nitro, I knew right away when I saw that spacer plate without GM numbers on it but TransGo instead and thought, "that ain't GM ". I didn't notice it until installation I was looking in the book for the spacer plate and gasket codes to make sure they matched up and I'm like great now what else do I have to buy. The stock gaskets that came in the master rebuild kit worked though. All the holes lined up with the previously removed gaskets. There was only one hole that was different. The new gasket had a round hole whereas the old gasket had a square hole (I assume for added fluid flow due to the TransGo stuff). So I got my hobby knife out and perfectly aligned the old gasket on the new one and just cut the round hole to match the square hole on the old gasket. Came out perfect.
From what I understand, the 700r4 and 4L60's are a 4 speed version of the Turbo350 3 speed, which was origially designed for the then not to potent I-4 and I-6 motors from the 60's and GM decided to save money by putting them behind some of the small blocks too instead of the more expensive Turbo400's. Dad has always said that the more powerful 6's of the day were a bit much for the 350's and GM beefed them up for use in those and the small block machines, but never was as dependible in those applications as a 400 would have been. While I'm not sure if the current crop of 6 speeds are any relation to the 350 and 400, I wouldn't be surprised if that were still the case.
I just looked up that valve body spacer plate. Apparently it was some type of a shift correction kit and not necessarily a "shift kit". This is the exact plate in my trans. The pic in the link is wrong though. Mine was stamped TransGo 46-96. I'll still turn the firmness off for safety sake.
@bjoehandley I believe the turbo 400 and 700R/4L60E are identical with the exception of the 700R having overdrive. I think my Father said something about they used to make an overdrive unit that would bolt to the back of the Turbo400 to add the 4th gear. Then you had to shorten the drive shaft. They probably made something similar for the turbo350. They do make a custom kit to retro fit the beefier 4L80E in my truck but that cost some serious $$ and you have to add a trans controlling module and all the happy computer goodness.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 12-08-2013 at 01:19 AM.
A little update on this project. While putting the transfer case back together, we discovered the rebuild kit didn't have the bushing for the extension housing. So I thought well maybe a auto parts store will have it. Nope, I tried like 4 different shops and none of them even listed it and said it was either a dealer item or transmission specialty shop item. So a guy I work with said his cousin was a transmission genius especially on the 4L60 700R units and has done transmission work his whole life and did top notch work. So I told him to go ahead and have him order the bushing for me. He gave me his phone number and told me to call him and just chat about what all I did on my trans rebuild. So I did and he suggested to me to install all new electronics (solenoids and such). He said if I didn't know if they were changed in the last rebuild or not, to go ahead and put them in. He said if any of them were weak, they can destroy all that work I just did. So I went ahead and had him order what he recommended to me. It was only another $140 for it so I can't complain. It's cheap insurance on the near $1,500 job here. I also asked him today when I picked up my parts after work about the Trans Go plate and my shift firmness improver. I asked him if there was any side effects from having the shift firmness on with the Trans Go (I'm assuming it's a shift correction kit as there were no different springs or valves like a shift kit would have). He said it would be perfectly fine unless it was shifting obnoxiously hard (which it wasn't). We talked for about 2 hours today about how we (me and my father) went about the rebuild and what all we did and he was pretty surprised and said "well it sounds like you did everything right, it should be a good running trans". I hope he's right. I hope it lasts quite a while, or at least until I get rid of it
So all that's left to do is finish putting the extension housing on the transfer case, pull the trans pan and put the new solenoids and pressure manifold on, do a little painting and it's ready to throw back in.
Looks like fun. I get to do the Allison in my Duramax soon. No problems with it....but I'm about to go compound turbos and 900HP. The stock build won't like it.
Sound good.... Glad you were able to have a 1 on 1 with someone who knows those particular trannies..... I sure wouldn't have thought about the electronics.... Yup, that extra $140.00 would give you some peace of mind at least...
Now you know you can put it all back in without worrying of revisiting that job again...
Oh, and let us know how it's working once you have it in....
All Lives Matter
I should be able to get this thing done this weekend. I have everything done and ready to go back in I'm just waiting on days to open up to work on it. We've been working alot of overtime at work 6 days a week so I really can't get much done in one day. Through the week I'm just wiped out tired and don't feel like messing with anything.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 12-20-2013 at 01:30 AM.
Here's where I'm at now. As you can see a fresh coat of paint and clear coat makes things much better. As it sits right now the trans lines flushed out, trans bolted to the block, cooler lines hooked up, converter bolts in. I didn't get to snap a shot before I left it for the night but I will before I start tomorrow. I'll just be glad when it's done. That trans jack my buddy at work let me borrow worked great. Had it in and lined up in about 5 or 10 minutes. So much easier.
Trans on jack ready to go in with converter installed and pre lubed with ATF.
Ready to go in here.
Nice clean and painted transfer case.
Last edited by CarGuy7a; 12-24-2013 at 12:42 AM.
I got the transfer case in Tuesday night. Went out today and put in the cross member for the transmission and plugged all the electronic connectors in and dipstick fill tube. I'm 90% there. All that's left is putting in the drive shafts and filling it with fluid for the first start up. Can't wait to have this thing done. Shouldn't be long.
Ok so when I talked to the transmission guy when he got my solenoids he said that the shift firmness improver on my hypertech essentially does the same thing as turning in the screw in the Pressure control solenoid only it does it electronically by adding more resistance to the solenoid rather than adding more resistance mechanically (turning the screw in). So what I did (assuming the pressure was too low) re programmed the shift firmness back in and drove it. It does the same thing and revs between the shifts and shifts slow and soft. So now I'm at a loss. According to the ATSG book I have something is either stuck in the valve body or the servo piston is stuck.
I'm getting so aggravated with this thing. I'm just getting sick of working on it.
I dropped the pan today and did some checking with some of the valves in the valve body to make sure they were installed correctly (which they were). Got to the point of putting everything together when I remembered that during assembly the 1-2 accumulator piston felt very tight when we put it together so I said "heck it's only 3 bolts lets take it off and check it". After about an hour of trying to figure out which way it should go (the ATSG book showed one way and the updated book showed the piston orientation a different way) I turned to the interweb machine here and discovered we had it in wrong. The piston faces the spacer plate not away from it. Apparently sometime between 98 and 99 chevrolet changed the orientation of the 1-2 accumulator piston.
So now what's going to happen is putting the 1-2 accumulator the correct way and pray it works.