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#3234179 - 01/01/14 10:00 PM Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question
titanium10k Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 23
Loc: florida
Hi everyone. I have an 02 Chevy Silverado 1500 with 130K miles that I purchased new. I always performed the trans fluid and filter changes around 30K miles by dropping the pan and changing the filter. No flushes. This was always with Dexron 3.

In 2009 with around 90K miles I changed out the fluid with Dexron 6 for the first time which was the new formulation from the Dex 3 I had been using. Everything went fine with the change, level good etc. The very next day the trans failed. Come to find out the sun shell inside failed which apparently is common for this year tranny. Trans shop said it had nothing to do with the fluid and filter change that I performed the day before.

Trans was rebuilt with a beefed up sun shell, new clutches and electronics. From day one after the rebuild the shifts with light load are pretty firm. Too much for my liking but that is what I ended up with. When towing or accelerating fast they are great. I took it back to the shop and they said that was from the rebuilt kit.

Fast forward to now with 130K miles I am ready to drop the pan and do a service. The trans shop said they replaced the fluid during the rebuild with BG synthetic. So my question then is do I go with Dexron 3 or go ahead and use the Dexron 6? Which one will make the shifts a bit smoother and not so harsh? I have always used Castrol for oil and on here it looks like the Valvoline ATF is one of the favorites. Thanks.

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#3234182 - 01/01/14 10:02 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 26592
Loc: a prison island
I've got maxlife in mine...FWIW

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#3234183 - 01/01/14 10:02 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33698
Loc: New Jersey
I'd go dex vi so you are sure of the quality.

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#3234188 - 01/01/14 10:09 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
Highline9 Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 488
Loc: ca.
lubeguard red will take the harshness out some.
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#3234214 - 01/01/14 10:33 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14563
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: titanium10k
... Come to find out the sun shell inside failed which apparently is common for this year tranny. Trans shop said it had nothing to do with the fluid and filter change that I performed the day before.

Trans was rebuilt with a beefed up sun shell, new clutches and electronics. From day one after the rebuild the shifts with light load are pretty firm. Too much for my liking but that is what I ended up with. When towing or accelerating fast they are great. I took it back to the shop and they said that was from the rebuilt kit.



Did you specify a firm shift kit or did the rebuild shop just assume you needed one?

I don't know that any fluid will help with a firm shift rebuild kit, but many people report a slight softening of shifts with Valvoline MaxLife.
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#3234226 - 01/01/14 10:46 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
FL_Rob Online   content


Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 1378
Loc: gulf coast FL.U.S.
Dex VI.Its a bit thinner than DexIII at room temp but it keeps its vis over a wider range of temps.There's a chart and good reading. Dex VI also has the proper FM needed for the newer
4L60e. The carbon fiber tc clutch needs a certain friction modifier.There's alot of info about this on the Full Size Chevy Forums.

http://www.infineum.com/Documents/Insight/Insight%2049/Insight_49_Transmission.pdf


Edited by FL_Rob (01/01/14 11:00 PM)
Edit Reason: added info

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#3234303 - 01/02/14 12:49 AM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
Dufus2 Offline


Registered: 12/12/13
Posts: 165
Loc: Virginia
Dex VI has better additives and GM recommends it even in earlier models. I would add a bottle of LubeGard (red bottle) to whatever fluid you choose. I run the Walmart Dex III/Mercon (sold in gallons) in my 4L60E and it seems to like it. Its just a matter of opinion. I do have 3 gal of Max Life to go in it at a later time.

You may consider doing a UOA on your transmission to determine if a fluid change is needed. Blackstone charges 25 for a standard test or 37.50 to add a particle count. Its good information to determine the health of your transmission.
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#3234316 - 01/02/14 01:55 AM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
Whitewolf Offline


Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 1897
Loc: MI, USA
Originally Posted By: titanium10k
Hi everyone. I have an 02 Chevy Silverado 1500 with 130K miles that I purchased new. I always performed the trans fluid and filter changes around 30K miles by dropping the pan and changing the filter. No flushes. This was always with Dexron 3.

In 2009 with around 90K miles I changed out the fluid with Dexron 6 for the first time which was the new formulation from the Dex 3 I had been using. Everything went fine with the change, level good etc. The very next day the trans failed. Come to find out the sun shell inside failed which apparently is common for this year tranny. Trans shop said it had nothing to do with the fluid and filter change that I performed the day before.

Trans was rebuilt with a beefed up sun shell, new clutches and electronics. From day one after the rebuild the shifts with light load are pretty firm. Too much for my liking but that is what I ended up with. When towing or accelerating fast they are great. I took it back to the shop and they said that was from the rebuilt kit.

Fast forward to now with 130K miles I am ready to drop the pan and do a service. The trans shop said they replaced the fluid during the rebuild with BG synthetic. So my question then is do I go with Dexron 3 or go ahead and use the Dexron 6? Which one will make the shifts a bit smoother and not so harsh? I have always used Castrol for oil and on here it looks like the Valvoline ATF is one of the favorites. Thanks.

You can't go with DEXRON-III because it doesn't exist, except in the mind of those that would say that their product'meets the requirements' or some other similar weasel wording.
Use DEXRON-VI and unless you have some other problem it will be fine.
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#3234334 - 01/02/14 04:28 AM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 14856
Loc: Sunny Florida
We've had many a 4L60E in our driveway. Most were very good, but we had one or two fail early. IMO "early" means before 100k miles to me. Cheap to rebuild and then they last forever with care.

Dex VI is the go-to fluid now for GM, and any newer GM slushbox with no issues should love it. Ours do.
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#3234955 - 01/02/14 05:19 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: MolaKule]
titanium10k Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 23
Loc: florida
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Originally Posted By: titanium10k
... Come to find out the sun shell inside failed which apparently is common for this year tranny. Trans shop said it had nothing to do with the fluid and filter change that I performed the day before.

Trans was rebuilt with a beefed up sun shell, new clutches and electronics. From day one after the rebuild the shifts with light load are pretty firm. Too much for my liking but that is what I ended up with. When towing or accelerating fast they are great. I took it back to the shop and they said that was from the rebuilt kit.



Did you specify a firm shift kit or did the rebuild shop just assume you needed one?





I don't know that any fluid will help with a firm shift rebuild kit, but many people report a slight softening of shifts with Valvoline MaxLife.




No I did specify the firm shift rebuild kit. If I recall correctly they installed Borg Warner clutches and the new sun shell was called the beast. It has been fine ever since except just for being too firm for my liking.

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#3235190 - 01/02/14 08:59 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: titanium10k]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14563
Loc: Midwest
Well, somewhere in the conversation with the rebuild shop you might have mentioned towing so they put some towing-class internals in it and possibly a higher pressure valving kit.

As long as the driveshaft and differential don't "clunk" on the shifts, about the only thing you can do is try the MaxLife, or a Dex/Merc, or a DexronVI.
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#3236592 - 01/03/14 10:02 PM Re: Rebuilt 4L60E-trans fluid question [Re: Highline9]
Unsullied_Spy Offline


Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Bozeman, MT, USA
Originally Posted By: Highline9
lubeguard red will take the harshness out some.


When I was working aftermarket parts the people that rebuilt our transmissions recommended a bottle of Lubegard Red. 99-02 were the worst years for this transmission but with a new rebuild the next thing you have to worry about is your transfer case (if you have a 4x4 model).

My Mom's 02 Yukon XL went out in the same fashion around 100k miles and she drives like an old lady going to church, the new transmission we put in just has regular parts store Dex/Merc in it with a bottle of Lubegard Red, nearly 30k miles on it without issue.

Originally Posted By: titanium10k
No I did specify the firm shift rebuild kit. If I recall correctly they installed Borg Warner clutches and the new sun shell was called the beast. It has been fine ever since except just for being too firm for my liking.


If you told them you wanted a beefed up transmission that could be your answer right there. A smooth automatic is one that slips a bit between gears, which causes extra heat and wear & tear. The rebuilt transmission we put in my Mom's Yukon XL you can't even feel the shifts, but that's just a standard rebuild and not anything built-up.

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