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Username Post: Question about transmission maintenace...        (Topic#359624)
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 607
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
01-28-20 05:39 PM - Post#2785375    

I have an '02 TB that has about 170K on it and am considering having the transmission serviced.

I'm hearing two schools of thought on this.

First, have it done. It's just part of the general maintenance.

Second,(and more disturbing) DON'T! If it ain't broken, don't fix it. If it's running fine, the exchange of fluids might disrupt the normal operation of the transmission.

It has been serviced in the past, of course, at a lower mileage so this isn't the first time it will be serviced.

Anybody have any thoughts about this?

Thanks.




Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 




Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2080

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
01-28-20 05:56 PM - Post#2785379    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Lotta different schools of thought here. How long ago was it serviced? In any case, do not do a power flush.



 
paulo57509 
Senior Member
Posts: 447

Loc: Tracy, CA
Reg: 07-18-00
01-28-20 07:52 PM - Post#2785383    
    In response to Shepherd

I think it's pretty difficult to make a judgement call one way or the other. I've even heard arguments that certain brands of ATF (Valvoline MaxLife, in particular) will cause a transmission to self-destruct.

I "inherited" my Safari from my father. I'm going to assume it had to have had at least 3 fluid and filter changes up to 130k miles; a typical old school mechanic, my father never wrote anything down, but did do routine maintenance when he wasn't tired of wrenching on other people's cars.

To establish some kind of baseline, at 130k miles before changing the filter, I drained and refilled the transmission 3x to get most of the old fluid out via dilution.

Exactly 7079 miles later, the 3rd speed clutches burned up (like most all TH700's and 4L60E's eventually do).

I rebuilt the transmission five years ago - it has 35k miles on it and is due for maintenance again. No Valvoline Maxlife but there is Valvoline Dexron VI in it.

1987 IROC-Z 5.0L
1992 Lumina Euro 3.1L
2003 GMC Safari


 
gchemist 
Member #271 Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 25177
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
01-29-20 05:26 AM - Post#2785391    
    In response to paulo57509

Previous maintenance helped get it to 170k miles. All GM transmissions I've driven failed before 135k miles. How is it driven? Long commutes in OD are good. City driving and constant shifting is not. I would base my decision on driving conditions. At 170K, a shift solenoid can stop working at any time. For city driving, leave it alone. It's going to fail eventually. For long distance commutes, change only the filter and add oil. A filter change is about half of oil capacity.

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles
'08 GMC Acadia 3.6L SLE


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 607
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
01-29-20 07:04 PM - Post#2785435    
    In response to gchemist

Maybe I'm thinking of what Shepherd mentioned - the power flush, which what I don't want to do.

It is driven probably 30% highway, 70% city/town driving if anyone knows the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.

I've pretty much maintained it myself; brakes, struts, oil changes, water pump, stuff like that.

gchemist, you mentioned a "filter and add oil. A filter change is about half of oil capacity." So do you think that this is something I could handle?

Also, is the shift solenoid doable (just in case) or is it internal to the transmission only? Next would be chosing the correct fluid.

I guess next stop is You Tube.

Thank You

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
gchemist 
Member #271 Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 25177
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
01-31-20 06:27 AM - Post#2785509    
    In response to Brian D from NJ

Brian,
If you can do struts and brakes on a car, you can do a filter and solenoid change. I don't like doing it because it's messy. For $125 locally, I take them to a shop with a lift. To start, you need a very wide oil pan. Start with the rear bolts or front bolts, depending which way you park it. Loosen the lowest point first. Slowly loosen the bolts and break the seal. Oil will drip everywhere. Let it drain for at least 15 min then drop the entire pan. It will continue to drip out unless it drips for hours. The filter is only a few bolts. The 4L60E has two shift solenoids to the rear. Removing the electrical clip without breaking them is tricky. The plastic is very brittle. I've had several clips break. I use a wide zip tie to hold the electrical connection in place. Kits with both solenoids and filter/gasket are available for <$55. If you plan on changing the filter, replace the solenoids. Trans failures can be caused by oil starvation due to bad solenoids.
My '95 lost a solenoid before I sold it. I had the transmission rebuilt but the solenoids were not replaced. They worked at the time. I replaced both and a filter. The 4L60E worked even better. The shifts were firmer since it was upgraded with a shift kit. I can't remember how many quarts I used to fill it back up. I think it was 6 though. A full trans holds 11(?) with some being in the torque converter.

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles
'08 GMC Acadia 3.6L SLE


 
gchemist 
Member #271 Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 25177
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
01-31-20 06:34 AM - Post#2785510    
    In response to gchemist

Read this article on shift solenoids.
https://troubleshootmyveh icle.com/gm/4.3L-5.0L-5.7...

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles
'08 GMC Acadia 3.6L SLE


 
paulo57509 
Senior Member
Posts: 447

Loc: Tracy, CA
Reg: 07-18-00
01-31-20 04:14 PM - Post#2785548    
    In response to gchemist

FWIW, when ever I need to drop an oil pan (engine or trans) I put my drain pan on a large (26x18), heavy gauge aluminum baking sheet.

The sheet is large enough to catch the drippings that miss the drain pan, keeping the mess to a minimum.

1987 IROC-Z 5.0L
1992 Lumina Euro 3.1L
2003 GMC Safari


 
55 Shaker 
Member
Posts: 1548

Age: 70
Loc: north central IL.
Reg: 03-13-06
01-31-20 05:37 PM - Post#2785552    
    In response to paulo57509

I get a large plastic garbage can lid, and poke a hole in the middle of it. Then place it up side down on top of my drain pan. Kind of like a big funnel.

The older I get, the more dangerous, I am !!!!


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 607
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
02-01-20 05:29 PM - Post#2785633    
    In response to gchemist

Very informative, thank you.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 
Brian D from NJ 
Senior Member
Posts: 607
Brian D from NJ
Loc: Riverside, New Jersey
Reg: 04-28-04
02-01-20 05:31 PM - Post#2785634    
    In response to 55 Shaker

great idea, thanks.

Just because your car/truck was "Made In America" doesn't mean it's American made... think about it. Buy American First.


 




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