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What’s this transmission telling me? #5323226 01/15/20 09:52 AM
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HawkeyeScott Offline OP
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This is a 1997 GMC Yukon with a 5.7L and 4L60E with 168K. I bought in August from the original owner. I’ve drained and refilled fluid a couple of times and it looks pretty good. Based on what the seller told me, the vehicle has never towed more than a light pop-up camper. It had a service around 150K but otherwise had been left alone.

Overall, it shifts pretty well. But under anything besides light throttle, it can have a fairly rough shift in 1-2 and 2-3. I can make it shift perfectly smooth if I back off the gas pedal just before it shifts. It’s also more noticeable up any sort of incline. And it’s not big buck or jerk, but if you pay attention to such things, you definitely can feel it.

I have the same issue, though somewhat less pronounced, on a 2008 Suburban with the same transmission. A new throttle position sensor, shift solenoids and Lubegard didn’t solve it in the Suburban and I’ve basically learned to modify my driving by feathering the throttle so it doesn’t bug me as much.

I’ve researched the heck out of this but can’t find anything that describes exactly what I’m dealing with. The fact that it does basically the same thing on two vehicles makes me wonder if it’s just a characteristic of the 4L60E.

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323233 01/15/20 10:00 AM
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supton Offline
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Big jump between 1&2, might be normal. Too new for a throttle valve cable that is out of adjustment? I wonder if the trans is running with high pressure or is thinking high(er) throttle is being used.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323256 01/15/20 10:19 AM
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dbias Offline
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Sounds like it is slipping.


2011 VW JETTA RIP totaled at 180k 😥
2012 FORD TRANSIT CONNECT Castrol Edge 5W-30
2016 HONDA CIVIC COUPE Casrol Edge 5w-30
2017 AUDI A4 Ravenol 5W-40 RUP
2019 VW Jetta factory fill
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323267 01/15/20 10:32 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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It never hurts to try a dose of Lubeguard red This is an exception to the rule about additives. This stuff works if the transmission is not too far gone for anything to work.

It will up the friction modifiers, clean varnish condition seals.

The trans may be too far gone, a "good" tech can read codes and advise you. Good is hard to find.

Rod

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323269 01/15/20 10:33 AM
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walterjay Online Content
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This is one instance where I would recommend a transmission fluid additive. There is one that is well spoken of...Lubeguard.

Last edited by walterjay; 01/15/20 10:34 AM.
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323336 01/15/20 11:29 AM
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CT8 Offline
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Was the filter changed and installed properly.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323442 01/15/20 01:31 PM
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HawkeyeScott Offline OP
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Not sure. I haven't opened up the pan yet.

Thinking I might invest $25 in shift solenoids and possibly a bit more for some other internal bolt-ons and go ahead and open the pan up in the next few weeks. I've got a filter kit and drain plug on-hand already so I'd be killing a few birds in one stone. Everything inside the pan - outside the filter - should be original and is thus 23 years old. I don't love throwing parts at cars, but if I'm replacing 23 year old components, I don't lose a lot of sleep over it.

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323524 01/15/20 02:52 PM
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RonRonnster Online Content
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It's hard to know how severe it is over a text conversation, but every 4L60E/700r4 I've had has had what I would consider a harsh 1-2 shift. Can't say I've noticed the 2-3 was as bad but now I'm going to pay attention next time I drive my '98. I had one rebuilt (on a 96' Suburban) at 150,000 miles when it gave up the ghost and even after a rebuild it still shifted harder than I would have liked. Had the transmission shop work on it several times after the rebuild and I eventually decided it is what it is in that case.

I will echo other's statements about Lubegard red. It's good stuff and if it seems like the transmission is still functioning well, now is the time to use it (before it loses a clutch pack).


- 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 6.2L / 81k mi.
- 1998 Chev K1500 4x4 - 5.7L / 155k mi.
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323625 01/15/20 04:27 PM
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Driz Online Content
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I never had it myself but know a few folks who have . Sort of stumble bang shifting. They don’t have to be old either it’s pretty common and far from the end of the world .
Try these guys . They have given me good advice for years with my GMs

https://www.silveradosierra.com/

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5323726 01/15/20 06:46 PM
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HawkeyeScott Offline OP
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Thanks. I appreciate the Lubegard suggestions. I failed to mention that I have used it in the Yukon and didn't notice much if any difference.

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5324003 01/16/20 12:32 AM
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clinebarger Offline
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Someone could have fiddled with the adjustment screw on EPC Solenoid, Used to be a very common mod! I say that because the 2-3 shift isn't normally firm at all & there isn't an Accumulator to effect it.....In the traditional sense anyway. 3rd gear oil pushes off the 2nd Band Apply piston therefore acting as a Accumulator.

Broken 2nd Accumulator springs are a very common issue, Especially on the earlier 4L60E's.

Installing a "Corvette" 2nd Servo without calibrating/sizing the apply orifices in the Separator Plate to match can also cause rough 1-2 shifts & will also affect the 2-3 shift to a lesser extent.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: RonRonnster] #5324007 01/16/20 12:44 AM
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clinebarger Offline
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Originally Posted by RonRonnster
It's hard to know how severe it is over a text conversation, but every 4L60E/700r4 I've had has had what I would consider a harsh 1-2 shift. Can't say I've noticed the 2-3 was as bad but now I'm going to pay attention next time I drive my '98. I had one rebuilt (on a 96' Suburban) at 150,000 miles when it gave up the ghost and even after a rebuild it still shifted harder than I would have liked. Had the transmission shop work on it several times after the rebuild and I eventually decided it is what it is in that case.

I will echo other's statements about Lubegard red. It's good stuff and if it seems like the transmission is still functioning well, now is the time to use it (before it loses a clutch pack).


Because builders don't take the time to adjust the 2/4 Band clearance, A Transgo Shim isn't always enough either.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5324241 01/16/20 10:34 AM
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nascarnation Offline
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As another poster mentioned, the ratio step on these is large between first and second.
I'd say run it til it fails, and sleep well knowing this is one of the highest volume transmissions ever manufactured and reman units are cheap and quickly available.

Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5324463 01/16/20 02:30 PM
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DGXR Offline
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Since it behaves normally aside from these slightly harder shifts, I also would just run it as-is. Keep up with regular maintenance and don't worry about it. I understand the feathering comment, I always try to back off slightly before the auto shift to soften the engagement a bit. Maybe not necessary, just an old habit from my 1972 Gremlin days... that thing shifted hard but never failed me once, in any way, over 100k miles.


1995 Corvette coupe LT1 6-speed
2006 Tacoma 2.7 Base SR5 AC
1999 Yamaha YZ400FL
2003 Honda XR400R
Re: What’s this transmission telling me? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #5337528 01/31/20 05:54 PM
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HawkeyeScott Offline OP
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Just to close the loop on this:

I threw a $21 NTK throttle position sensor on this truck last night and it made an immediate difference in the way it shifts. Much smoother.

The more I thought about what the transmission was doing and how I could get it to shift fine at a very specific throttle point made me think it was worth $21 to see if I could improve it. The one I pulled off was quite possibly the original, which might explain why it was misbehaving.

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