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#2762106 - 10/03/12 05:06 PM GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures)
SnPb Offline


Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Arizona
I had some time off from work today, so I decided to change the transmission fluid and filter in my 2003 Trailblazer that currently has about 130K miles on it. It is a 4L60E transmission and began experiencing a hard 1-2 shift at about 114K miles. The fluid was previously changed by the dealer at about 30K and 70K miles but this is the first time that the pan has ever been off for a filter change. I added Lubeguard Red at about 119K miles and it has helped, but not cured, the shift issue. It is intermittent now, sometimes it shifts the way that it used to before the issue developed but most of the time it shifts firmly; although not as hard as it did before the addition of Lubguard Red.

I dropped the pan and was surprised at how clean it was. What I could see of the filter material also didn't look bad. The fluid still had some red color to it and didn't smell burnt, but was considerably darker than new fluid. I removed the 1-2 accumulator for inspection to see if it wasn't the cause of the overly firm 1-2 shift. It appeared fine to my eye. There were no cracks in the piston or springs and the piston seal was in good shape. I wasn't brave enough to remove the valve body for inspection.

I installed the new filter, replaced the pan, and filled it with Valvoline Dex VI with a bottle of Lubguard Red. I disconnected a line to the transmission cooler and started the engine to pump out the remaining old fluid in the torque converter.

I haven't had a chance to take it out for a good test drive yet to see if there is any noticeable difference in shift quality.

Cheers,
Jeff





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#2762114 - 10/03/12 05:12 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 16665
Loc: Upstate NY
Looks spotless to me. Thanks for the pics. As I am sure you are aware color is not a great sign of the condition of ATF. However if it looks like driverway sealer it might be best to replace it.
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#2762148 - 10/03/12 05:58 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Turk Offline


Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 9103
Loc: MN
Great!

I got 183k on mine with 2 Syn flushes. Back up a 3,000Lb. Boat up a hill with it cold a lot & tow a lot. No issues!!

Ya gotta report back with the results.
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#2762170 - 10/03/12 06:34 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
wirelessF Offline


Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 1606
Loc: Oahu, Hawaii
Did you replace the filter seal? It was a PITA to remove though.

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#2762199 - 10/03/12 07:03 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 32547
Loc: Oz
I don't know anyone who replaces the seal, unless they stuff the seal before they realise that they should have left it.

One thing that amazed me when I did the 4L60E on my Caprice was that the filter and gasket kit was less than $15...amazing in this country.

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#2762207 - 10/03/12 07:17 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: Shannow]
SnPb Offline


Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Arizona
I did not replace the seal for the filter. The old one still felt compliant and was a tight fit on the new filter, so I left good enough alone. I tried replacing the seal on a GM transmission several years ago and decided that I wasn't going to do that again. I would guess that the mechanics at the dealer must have a special tool to remove it. Either that, or they don't change them either.

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#2762215 - 10/03/12 07:32 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 995
Loc: North Carolina
I replace the seal. No problems at all. It is easy to do. It is a soft material and you just work at it with a small screw driver and bend it in then pull it out with pliers. Easy!

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#2762240 - 10/03/12 07:55 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
WishIhadatruck Offline


Registered: 05/09/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
I haven't replaced a seal in years, too easy to damage the aluminum it is pressed into.
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#2762282 - 10/03/12 09:05 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: Shannow]
HTSS_TR Online   content


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 17887
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I don't know anyone who replaces the seal, unless they stuff the seal before they realise that they should have left it.

One thing that amazed me when I did the 4L60E on my Caprice was that the filter and gasket kit was less than $15...amazing in this country.

I paid around $10-12 for my MB E430 gasket and filter kit.
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#2762293 - 10/03/12 09:14 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
I've always just used a ladies foot pry bar for the seal. I think this tool is also known as a "spike thing" or "pokey thing" or any other of many names. A steady light push with the bar pops the seal right out every time.

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#2762299 - 10/03/12 09:24 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 3916
Loc: MIchigan
No need for the Lubegard!

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#2762448 - 10/04/12 05:00 AM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 17371
Loc: Sunny Florida
I sure hope you reused the original rubber gasket. They are nearly permanent and usually better than anything in the kits.

BTW, that is very clean for the miles. Shows that flushes do work. And Lubegard is a fantastic additive that really does work.


Edited by SteveSRT8 (10/04/12 05:01 AM)
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#2762547 - 10/04/12 08:01 AM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 8545
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Great work Jeff!

I would expect it to be spotless @ 119K, if it had been serviced at 30K and 70K miles though. Those are about perfect service intervals. Way more than your average owner would do.

Back when I owned my 2005 Trailblazer, I did a cooler line drain and refilled through the dipstick tube when it had under 40K miles on it. Made a heck of a mess too. I didn't expect this 4L60E to fill a gallon jug in less than 10sec.

Joel
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#2764279 - 10/05/12 09:46 PM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
Ram01 Offline


Registered: 10/13/10
Posts: 908
Loc: New York Queens
I was told by a GM master Technician. That those tranny's only need 3-4 flushes or drain and fill in there lifetime

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#2764492 - 10/06/12 08:05 AM Re: GM 4L60E Fluid and Filter change (with Pictures) [Re: SnPb]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 17371
Loc: Sunny Florida
That's true only under a specific set of operating parameters.

Everybody is different, hence differing recommendations.

No single interval is right for everyone.
_________________________
"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix

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