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Got some 4L60E experience this week

 
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:18 am    Post subject: Got some 4L60E experience this week Reply with quote

Didn't really go looking for it - it found me. Dad's other truck (a 2002 Chevrolet 2wd extended cab) had a transmission that decided to take a dump at 68,000 miles - sun shell failure. It wasn't really that bad to fix it, it just sucks to have to with this low mileage. It has been babied and all it has towed is my car, but probably not more than 1000 miles or so total. When I picked up the new converter, he said it's sort of strange how some sun shells hold up and others don't. One of his employees has basically the same truck and drives it pretty hard and has over 120,000 and no problems. My S-10 with a 700R-4 has over 340,000 and no problems. However, now that I know about this, I highly recommend replacing it if you ever go into a 700R4 or a 4L60E. Total cost for the upgrade parts was about $100 (shell, gear and one other hard part I'll have to look up the actual name) I have heard about input drum failures, but I haven't heard about sun shell failure until now. At least we saved some money doing it ourselves and now I have seen inside one. Clay
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96capriceMGR
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Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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Location: New London Wisconsin
20327.88 points


1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happens is the engineers design things right and then beancounters tell them to make it cheaper. That is what happened with the 5 pinion planetary. Nobody was breaking the stockers and the 4 pinions were forged. Beancounters wanted cheaper so they made a 5 pinion powdered metal with DOES break but all the magazines and latest fad builders jumped on that bandwagon.
I want to say my tranny was built before The beast was commonly used. I also hear it is NOT balanced.
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10sec.et
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Location: Houston,Texas
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1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats not a surprising failure. you would be amazed at how many Delco parts i get that have a "made in china" sticker on them. seems like you have to buy an Asian vehicle to get something thats not made out of chinesium.
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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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96capriceMGR
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Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Posts: 814
Location: New London Wisconsin
20327.88 points


1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took apart a blown 4L60E I got from a friend today(first ever). He had used a rebuild kit from the guy who built my tranny but had it put together locally repeatedly getting just a few hundred miles out of it each time. Parts are not the issue seening as mine has 45K on it behind more power for much of that time, it had to be the installer.

Well I have all but the low/reverse out of it and can not find a obvious failure, it all looks good except for the clutch dust in the bottom of the pan but even that I have seen more in functional tranny pans. It is WAY WAY too much for the couple hundred miles, the band apply surface looks a little abuse and the band may be thin but I am not sure having never seen a new one.

Kind of has me scared because if I don't find the failure how in the hell am I supposed to fix it?

Plan is to rebuild this one myself and shelve the perfectly working professionally built one. The guy who built the current one will walk me through it but he is in SoCal so this should be interesting.
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Knarley Darley
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My tranny guy has been putting the 5 pinions in all my customer trannys. I hope they dont come back. We have had a few sun shell failures, and the thinking is the 5 pinion planet distributes the stress more evenly reducing it by 20 percent. Or making it 20 percent stronger.
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clay
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the 5 pinion thing would be a good idea, but if I'm reading 96capriceMGR right, the carrier holding the planets is weaker than the pinion version which sort of kills the whole idea. What is the complaint with the transmission? It may be an overall line pressure problem affecting everything since you haven't found a culprit. If the band didn't show any signs of heat through discoloration, it's probably alright. I did pick up a book (actually my dad did) in Cadco (transmission parts place) that is probably the best book you could hope for on a transmission. It was put out by the ATSG (automatic transmission service group) and is very complete. It has stuff like pin outs of every connector and ohm reading that should be there, diagrams of what every hole in the spacer plate does, shadow pictures of every spool valve and spring in the entire transmission so if you lost where one went, you could find it. A very good book for $15. Clay
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96capriceMGR
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1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the ATSG books both the main and an update manual from december so it should be up to date.

All I know about the failure is by the time they got it back to the shop they had to push it into the garage as it would no longer move in any gear. I am thinking a pump problem too but have not torn it down yet. I wanted to take lot of pictures but the camera did not like the cold, high was -7 yesterday and the 20lbs propane tank did not have enough pressure even full to burn really well so I only used it intermittantly. I need to get a 100lbs bottle.


I guess the GM 5-pinions are better than the aftermarket but even GM gave them a 500rpm lower rating than the 4 pinion. The 20% stronger would only apply if the same materials were used and they were not.
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Knarley Darley
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Clay and 96 caprice, I am actually seeing more pinion failures(4 pinion) than sun shell. What is happening is the pinion gear is real loose on its shaft which may in turn be causing the sun shell to fail. I dont know which is causing what, just that all 4 gears are wasted on the shafts yet the gear teeth look fine.
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96capriceMGR
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Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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Location: New London Wisconsin
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1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally found carnage in the tranny I tore down. Overrun clutches and there was a piece of rubber in among them. The clutches are destroyed and the steels blued. I do not know if that is enough to cause the complete lack of movement experianced when it failed though. The guy knew there was a problem and tried to coax it back to the shop so it was driven some distance failing.
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overrun clutch pack is one of those I really haven't sat down and figured out what it does yet - haven't had a problem with one in that area yet. Of course since I run a TH400 and not the 200R4 in the Nova it's probably a slim chance an overrun clutch pack will give me trouble unless Dad's 4L60E or the 700R4 in my S-10 take a dump. Oh and one more thing, I hope I never get to experience -7, that has to suck. That's reeeaaaallll cold - not that play cold we get in mid SC Very Happy . Knarley - Are the pinion gears themselves loose or is it the sun gear on the shaft? I could see where there could be some weird harmonics at play causing some spline wear in the sun shell. The "Beast" replacement I got had a very good fit between the new gear / shell. It wouldn't slide together by hand, it required light tapping to get it together. I don't know if it will loosen eventually, but I like the way it went together. Clay
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Knarley Darley
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pinion gears themselves were very loose on the little axles or shafts they rotate on, and the axles were starting to beat their way out of the planet housing.
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The over run clutch pack is put in the tranny to slow the car down when you coast as I understand it. A planetary gear set can transmit energy in only one direction. If you try and rotate it from the drive shaft it just spins.

People were used to taking their foot off the gas and the car slows down with a manual transmission (such as approaching the car ahead of you at the stop sign). Without the over-run clutch your car would coast into the car ahead of you at full speed (except for aerodynamic drag, which doesn't work to well at slow speeds). By coupling the sun gear to the drum you can use engine compression to slow the car down just like a geared transmission.

Big Dave
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