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4l60e 3rd Gear Gone


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#1 Brock1999

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:31 PM

I have a 2004 GMC Z71 w/5.3, 4L60E. Tranny shifts past 2nd into an abyss.Engine revs but no 3rd. When I put cruise on while in 2nd gear and try to increase speed, the truck surges (like it wants to shift but decides not to) and stays in 2nd. About 4 months ago i had a pan gasket leak alot of fluid out while driving. This is when it all started. any insight? Possibly 3-4 pack gone? thanks

#2 WilliamBos

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:48 PM

I have a 2004 GMC Z71 w/5.3, 4L60E. Tranny shifts past 2nd into an abyss.Engine revs but no 3rd. When I put cruise on while in 2nd gear and try to increase speed, the truck surges (like it wants to shift but decides not to) and stays in 2nd. About 4 months ago i had a pan gasket leak alot of fluid out while driving. This is when it all started. any insight? Possibly 3-4 pack gone? thanks


That does not sound good. Please keep us posted.

Thanks,

Will 2004 1500CC 5.3L Z71 -
320,000km/ 200,000 miles and counting.


#3 97ChevyZ71

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:25 PM

Stupid question...but did you fill it back up with tranny fluid after the leak?

#4 Brock1999

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:44 PM

Stupid question...but did you fill it back up with tranny fluid after the leak?



Of course!!

#5 alwcurlz

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 10:58 PM

I have a 2004 GMC Z71 w/5.3, 4L60E. Tranny shifts past 2nd into an abyss.Engine revs but no 3rd. When I put cruise on while in 2nd gear and try to increase speed, the truck surges (like it wants to shift but decides not to) and stays in 2nd. About 4 months ago i had a pan gasket leak alot of fluid out while driving. This is when it all started. any insight? Possibly 3-4 pack gone? thanks


My guess would be that the shift valves got burnt and are sticking, gummed up, or jammed into place. Probably a shift solenoid that can't get the valve to move. Could be an easy fix by replacing the valve body. There may be an ODB code indicating that problem as well.

I would have a transmission shop or two evaluate it before you get pressured into an expensive repair or rebuild.

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#6 2500sierra

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:05 AM

sounds good just be careful who you go to half the tranny "shops" around here dont even know whats inside the pan, all they do is swap em out for remans or new. and charge a pretty penny :rolleyes:

Edited by 2500sierra, 19 July 2009 - 02:05 AM.

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#7 Brock1999

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:10 AM

sounds good just be careful who you go to half the tranny "shops" around here dont even know whats inside the pan, all they do is swap em out for remans or new. and charge a pretty penny :rolleyes:



I also forgot to mention, there were no codes.

#8 Alljackedup408

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 03:53 PM

does the fluid smell burnt? i recently rebuilt a 4l60e that missed 3rd... guy that built it before me put a friction disc where a steel should have been. It destroyed the 3-4 piston.

my point is if it smells really burnt.. you prolly have a burnout clutch pack. obviously the forward clutches work, the sunshell and band are fine.. 2nd gear works. If the fluid isnt burnt bad then i would say its time to pry into the valve body. have you had the pan off? any chunks of stuff in it? and how many miles are on it.
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#9 Rod R

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

Here is a document I found on the net that answers a lot of questions about 4L60E transmissions:
**********
Common failures on 4L60E, symptom < cause > any possible repair:
1. Slow, slipping or no reverse: “lo-reverse” clutches are worn out, fluid leak in the reverse apply circuit, or broken sunshell. It is possible to remedy a fluid problem by removing the checkball from its cage in the case in the rear of the trans may help (must remove valvebody), or adding a high-viscosity additive such as Lucas Transmission additive or other seal restorer product. May also have worn boost valve (can replace in the pan).
2. 1-2 shift does not happen at WOT until you let off the gas: Best case: try replacing the TPS. Middle case: leak in the 2nd gear apply circuit (servo assembly or 1-2 accumulator). Doublecheck by using the pressure gauge and watch for a big drop when the PCM commands 2nd gear. Worst case: poor line pressure rise (see below).
3. 1-2 Shift shudder at WOT; delayed or abnormal 1-2 shift; There's a problem ONLY on the 1-2 shift: 1-2 accumulator piston cracked or stuck cocked in the bore. Check the yellow spring inside the accum housing for breakage. Also, if the accumulator housing walls are scored, the housing must be replaced. Easy fix in the pan.
4. 1-2 shift is delayed and harsh, may not shift into OD: Check TPS for smooth and linear electrical response over the entire range of motion. If not, replace.
5. Trans does not upshift out of first, speedometer reads zero at all times: VSS failure. Easy fix on rear of transmission, but xmember must come out to access VSS.
6. No 3rd or 4th gear: “3-4” clutches are worn out. R&R. The car is safe to drive (in 2) until you can get it fixed.
7. Sudden grinding noise with no prior warning primarily in 2nd gear, behavior in reverse may be abnormal; sunshell is fractured. R&R. Try not to run or drive the car or further damage could result.
8. 1st and 3rd only, no 2,4 or R; sunshell is fractured or splines are sheared off. R&R. Try not to run or drive the car or further damage could result.
9. No 2nd or 4th gear. 2-4 band is slipping. Servo seals may be damaged (can be fixed without removing trans. Otherwise, 2-4 band is worn out. R&R.
10. Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmision is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the underhood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.
11. No 1st or 4th available; trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : ShiftA solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.
12. Car goes into gear but feels very sluggish like the brakes are dragging, but it will roll easily (starts out in 4th gear), you manually shift to 2 to get it moving, once it's moving you put it back in OD and the car shifts 3rd to 4th on its own and locks the converter at the appropriate time: ShiftB solenoid failed: Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.
13. No TCC lockup: Brake pedal switches improperly adjusted (always on), TCC solenoid failed (easy fix in the pan), TCC clutch worn out (must remove trans and replace TC).
14. TCC always locked: TCC apply solenoid circuit shorted to ground, TCC solenoid blockage (easy fix in pan), or TC broken (must remove trans and replace TC).
15. Horrible noise in 4th and feels like the brakes are on: overrun clutches are applying due to a cracked or leaking forward piston. Overrun clutches will be worn out after 30 seconds of this behavior. Car can be safely driven in D. R&R.
16. Soft shifting, gradual performance degradation: Poor line pressure rise due to leaking boost valve, clogged EPC filter screen, failing EPC solenoid, or worst case: leaky seals throughout. Transgo HD2-C kit fixes first two without removing trans. Seal restorer may fix last problem, but probably R&R. Also try a transmission flush with BG brand products (Firestone stocks it).
17. No forward movement in OD or D, but L2, L1 and R work: Forward sprag is broken. R&R. Try not to run or drive the car or further damage could result.
18. Extremely harsh shifts from P or N, normal shifts at WOT: EPC (Electronic Pressure Control) solenoid failed. Easy fix in pan. Fix as soon as possible or hard parts will eventually break.
19. Loud bang, grinding sound, loss of all gears, and a binding driveshaft: snapped output shaft. Try to wiggle driveshaft - if more than 0.020" play, that's the sign. R&R.
20. Trans seems noisy when moving in 1st and Reverse, noise goes away instantly if you shift to N or the trans goes into 3rd gear: Reaction planetary is worn out due to high miles or insufficient lubrication. Not a critical failure, but not a good sign either. R&R sooner rather than later.
21. No movement in any gear: pump failure, or total loss of fluid. R&R, or refill pan and find the leak. If out of fluid, avoid running the engine until the trans is refilled to avoid pump damage. To check for pump failure, check fluid level with the engine off, then start the engine and recheck fluid level. If level does not go down when engine is running, the pump is broken.
22. Transmission does not shift automatically, only manually. Swap in a known-good PCM, check wiring, check other sensors such as VSS and TPS.
23. 3rd gear starts, can manually shift through all gears. When car has been turned off for a bit, then back on it will run normally.: VSS dropoff w/ Hi-stall converter. The rpms are too high, but VSS is showing no movement. Happens after a tire burning take-off. Doesn't store a code, will not throw a CEL (I've heard that it will store a code if it happens 3 or more times). Cure: Reprogram PCM for VSS dropoff -- PCMforLess knows about it.
24. Fluid leak out of the front of trans where the converter connects; partial or full loss of movement: Front pump bushing walked out. R&R. May have to replace converter also if hub is scored. Note that a leaking front seal usually means the bushing is walking out (i.e. call your local trans shop and schedule an appt.).
25. Torque converter shudder in 4th while lockup is engaged; problem goes away when the brake pedal is pressed slightly to unlock converter. Have a shop verify line pressure, and provided no valves in the TCC hydraulic circuit are worn, replace the torque converter. Also, Lubegard Shudder Fix will at least fix this for awhile. Or try a transmission flush by a shop that uses BG brand products.
26. Shift suddenly become very hard. When going from park to either reverse or drive it slams into gear. 1-2 and 2-3 shifts are also harsh. All gears seems to work. Problem may be intermittent: Check TPS for smooth electrical response. If the response is jumpy or erratic at all, replace TPS.
27. All fluid pumped out through the vent tube: Plugged cooler line. Flush the transmission cooler and cooler lines. Also could be overfiled transmission.
28. Car acts like it's in OD in neutral, car is locked stationary in R, engine feels loaded in P, all four forward positions work fine: R&R: Internal crossleak feeding the forward clutches all the time. Most likely a cracked input housing, or cracked forward piston means forward clutches are fused together. Car can safely be driven gently in forward gears until the repair.
29. Needle bearings in the pan, first gear and/or reverse may be noisy: Either a torrington bearing or a planetary bearing is on its way out. Trans will eventually die a loud, catastrophic death. Cheaper to rebuild now (saves further damage to hard parts), but requires R&R. It is drivable until it breaks.
30. 1-2 or 2-3 shift is slow/soft above part throttle: Trans is on its way out. R&R.
****************

Sounds like your 3-4 clutch is gone... mine started slipping in 3rd and 4th on the highway a few weeks ago while pulling my trailer.... overheated and destroyed the 3-4 clutch and spewed trans fluid all over the road.... I limped it home, but the diagnosis was bad, and I got a complete rebuild on the transmission and torque converter....

Maybe if I had caught it earlier, then the repair would have been less $$$, but these 'trusty' 4L60E transmissions have a limited service life if they are used for towing or hauling heavy loads... mine died at 130,000 miles (210,000 km)... I am told that is an average life... although many other users do get much longer life out of theirs.
Rod Ramage, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan CANADA
1997 Chevrolet Cheyenne C2500 xcsb w/ 5.7L Vortec & 4L60E; 3.73 gears w/ G80 (231,000 km)

#10 alwcurlz

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:26 PM

Thanks for the info Rod!. Mine is once in a while hesitating to respond when taking off from a start, from sitting stopped in drive. It does seem a bit sluggish like it's pulling something all the time but, it does have over 144,000 miles. From what I read it could be my TPS. Maybe it's causing my valve clatter pre-ignition issue as well. :seeya:




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