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4L60E Tranny problem

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by B&E snowplowing, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    On my 94 burb with a 4L60E tranny, it seems to be dragging. Its like its shifting into overdrive way too soon, like around 50 to 60 km/h, and then when I apply the gas a little to go faster, it starts to shutter, and I mean shutter, so I back off on the fuel and the noise goes away, then I step on the fuel to kick it down a gear and it down shifts and starts to pick up speed. When it reaches 80 to 90 km/h it changes gear into overdrive, and as soon as it does, the truck starts to lose power.

    I decided I would change the oil and filter, (it has been less then 6 months since the last oil and filter change). When I dropped the oil pan, the tranny fluid was BROWN, and smelled BURNT.

    Finished the oil and filter change, and added a bottle of Lucas Transmission Repair. Went for a drive and the same thing is happening.

    I have notice however, which brings me to my second issue. When I just touch the brake pedal, just hard enough to put the lights on, the engine RPM's go up and the transmission seems to "kick down" just a little, but enough to speed up the truck without the shutter.

    Take my foot off the pedal and were back to the way it was.

    I am so confused, Does anyone have any ideas, I really don't want to nor can I afford a new tranny, and looks like we might be getting one hell of a storm over the next couple of days.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  2. carkey351

    carkey351 Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    Hate to break the bad news to you, but that tranny will not last long. Once the fluid is burned it will not take long for the tranny to drop completely. There is a reason for the fluid to be burned after only 6 months as you say; my guess is the clutch/friction material is mostly gone and embedded in the tranny oil and/or from overheating the fluid -hard plowing/towing. Probably time for a rebuild or replace at this point. I rebuilt a 4L60e for about $500. The torque convertor was almost $250 and the rebuild kit was $200 and then $50 in misc parts (fluid, etc.) Best bet is to take it easy and just put the shifter down a gear so it can't shift up into overdrive and start collecting the $$$ to rebuild or replace the tranny..
     
  3. Plow Nuts

    Plow Nuts Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    It sounds like a torque converter issue--the lock up clutch in the converter may be sticking on, or the solenoid may be sticking. Try replacing the lock up solenoid for the TCC and see what happens. If that does not fix it youl will be pulling the trans to replace the converter. You may also want to look at putting in an aftermarket trans cooler as the trans get hot plowing--will save you in the long run
     
  4. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    OMG that sounds better then the hole tranny, Where would I find the lock up solenoid, and the TCC. I also have a spare converter, soooo before pulling the tranny I will try the solenoid. Can it be bought at a parts store, and once I figure out where it goes is it hard to install.

    Thanks
     
  5. Plow Nuts

    Plow Nuts Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    solenoid is on the valve body in the trans. you have to pull the pan to get to it.The tcc is in the converter so if it needs it you will be replacing the converter--change the solenoid first and inspect the debris in the pan while you have it down
     
  6. Mister Plow

    Mister Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    When you tap the brake pedal it unlocks the torque converter clutch (TCC). That is why the RPMs go up a tad. Usually about 2-300 RPM. A couple seconds later, the TCC locks back up, and the RPMs drop back down.
     
  7. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Thanks for all the replies, I will try and change the solinoid, now I have already changed the fluid and filter, and I found NO metal shavings, chucks, nothing. Although the oil was burnt and brownish.

    Will the TCC distroy the tranny, if I keep driving the vehicle ???

    Thanks
     
  8. Lifted4x4Astro

    Lifted4x4Astro Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    When was the last time the engine got a tune-up? New cap, rotor and possibly plugs and wires will fix the engine bogging. I have seen this before with the 4L60E's. Person is ready to dish out $1500 for a rebuild only to find $50 worth of tune-up parts makes it right. Run the truck in 3rd rather than OD and see if it runs better. If it does, do the cap and rotor first.

    The engine rpm's going up when you touch the brake pedal is correct operation. The TCC is unlocking as has been said.

    PS...burnt tranny fluid is bad and you still need to plan for a rebuild.
     
  9. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    This is an absoulute "classic" case of someone NOT having a temperture gauge on the truck and getting the transmission to hot and over heating the fluid .................. of course now the fluid is changing to varnish and has most likely started the seals in the transmission . Of course all of this could be avoided COMPLEATLY just by adding the $40 gauge??????????? I never seam to have much problems with this until spring when we get lots of WET SNOW and the outside air temps get above freezing then when I am trying to push lots of wet snow in HIGH RANGE I start to notice the gauge creeping up to 180ish and I keep my eye on it and when it touches 190 I pull the handle back into LOW RANGE and the temperture will imeadiately start right back down ................. END OF PROBLEM. My tranny is a 4R75 from memory and I have the big extra cooler but I could have EASILY toasted mine many times without that $40 gauge???????? The probe goes right into the test port so its a 15 min install . I cant imagine taking the chance with trans overhalls now up and over $2K? Really sorry to hear your in trouble with the transmission but do yourself a favor and when you get it straightened out grab a temp gauge and throw it in there and protect yourself so this doesnt ever happen again!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  10. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Sounds like your tcc solenoid is working fine. Try just touching the brake when its shuttering, if its still shutters when you do that, its not your tcc. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like a tranny rebuild is soon in your future. Not going to do any good trying to diagnose which clutch it is and dont waste your time just switching your torque converter out. if the trans is out of the truck, have it checked. If your not familiar with an automatic take it somewhere. If you can handle a rebuild, its pretty cheap to do. Last one i rebuilt cost me about 200 in parts (minus converter). Get it done before it leaves you stranded! Good luck!
     
  11. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159



    Thanks for your input.... As my signature, my truck is a 94 Suburban and have been plowing with the truck for the past 8 years, I baby this truck 100 % of the time, but will admit that this truck has been places, and done things it should have never done.

    My burb has excatly 376836 km on it, and the engine, tranny and transfer case is all ORIGINAL. But your proberly right, should have put in a temp gauge.

    I think after this many km's it is time for a rebuild, but everything happened so fast I thought, it might just be a easy or quick fix. Once this is rebuilt it will get a temp gauge though
     
  12. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Your all going to think i am crazy here but i would start by replacing the brake switch. I saw something similar to this once when i worked for GM on a Pontiac Grand-Am. Car seemed to have a mis-fire/stumble when up to speed. Someone had already done a complete tune-up, new coils, new ignition module, and new crank sensor. Car had no codes either. The problem was intermitten to boot so diag was a PITA. I only found the problem by driving the car home with a Tech-2 on it so i could monitor everything. I found the brake switch was triggering several times per second but was not activating the lights. But when the switch would activate it would send signal to the tranny to unlock the torque convertor. So what was really happening was the torque converter was trying to lock/unlock several times a second creating an engine stumble.
     
  13. damian

    damian Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    before you condem the transmission,are you sure the truck is not just misfiring under load? when you brush the brake pedal your converter unlocks and unloads the engine,you may just need plugs and wires.
     
  14. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Well I think you have most certainly had a great run outta this truck . And I will only add this to the soup. You can come up with a million theorys about what else it could be wrong; and anything is certainly possible. But I will tell you one thing that isnt . If your transmission fluid has gone discolored and smells burnt you likely have an internal transmission problem from overheating it before . Excluding any of the other things that may also get added to the reciept; the basic thing we know is that you got the transmission fluid up over 210 degrees ONCE; And that started the fluid into the transfer to varnish right then. What has gone on inside since; you will be able to see the minute you get it all apart . And from your comments; on how fast it has gone that sounds like your seals to us.
    If that truck has had 8 years off plowing, and having no idea how often [if ever?] the fluid and filter have been changed????? I would say the only thing that has saved you from not having problems long before this, Is the fact that where you live is like here, and almost always way below freezing, while we are plowing .
    Good Luck with the rebuild and really sorry to hear your having trouble.
    Vman
    ps The fifty bucks for a gauge is the smartest money a person could EVER spend on their truck if your going to plow or pull big loads with it and the only way to know that is going on inside the tranny before its TOO LATE
    Hey if it looks BAD and it smells BAD it most certainly is BAD
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  15. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    On second thought, this seems like the kind of thread where everyone is a trans specialist. If this is the case the best thing you can possibly do is streach out your throwing arm real good because this can be a long drawn out process. Ok next step is to reach into your pocket and grab your wallet. Check contents for money, prefferably some small bills at first. Remove a few bills, walk up to your truck and with everything your have, throw it at the truck really hard. Then check operation. If problem persists grab bills of larger amounts and reattempt throwing procedure. Keep in mind all money thrown cannot be reused or recovered. Keep throwing fresh money at the truck until problem has fixed itself. This can take some time and maybe even a trip or two to the atm to accomplish. Good luck, i'm pulling for ya.
     
  16. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I thank everyone for there replies, Since I bought this truck I have changed the tranny fluid and filter every year in October just before plowing season.

    Tune up is one thing I have never thought of, and after checking my maintenance schedule it has been a couple of years since i have done plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Tune up comming this weekend.

    When the truck shutters, I stepped on the brake pedal, and the shuttering stopped :realmad: so maybe it is the tourque converter. If I have to pull the tranny to replace the converter, then the tranny is getting rebuilt at the same time.

    Thanks again
     
  17. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Sounds like your getting it narrowed down. Good idea to go through the trans now that there is alot of foreign material in it. Ive had torque converters come apart inside before and decided to go through the trans just to be safe and its amazing the crap that works itself into clutch packs, bearings, apply pistons, valve bodies, etc.... It can get pretty bad. Make sure to flush your trans cooler while the trans is out, lots of stuff can get trapped in there too.