I believe I killed my new PIF transmission... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-08-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 3,459
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
big_news_1 is on a distinguished road
Default I believe I killed my new PIF transmission...

It'* true... I think my new tranny is on its last legs :( I figure I might as well get it out in the open.

To make a long story short, the transmission fluid was over-full by 2 quarts ever since the night we finished the install back in January. Yes, I'm an idiot for reading the dipstick incorrectly. I mistook the actual fluid level as "dipstick tube residue" from pulling out the dipstick, and consequently the transaxle had a total of 14 quarts of fluid in it (it'* only supposed to hold 11-12). Doug and I decided I needed to add the extra fluid to remedy a TC lockup issue, but the issue was later resolved by tuning. I left the extra fluid in the tranny because I thought the level was fine, and we were both under the impression that any unneeded fluid would be vented from the case.

Basically, I believe the moving parts of the tranny aerated the fluid due to the excessive level, making it foamy and leaving it unable to properly lubricate the internals of the transaxle. As a result, I think the transmission pump has been getting weaker and weaker from day one. The car always shifted mysteriously soft at full throttle and much harder at part throttle, making me think the pump couldn't move enough of the foamy fluid to provide proper shift pressures at high RPM. A few weeks ago the car lost all ability to shift gears at WOT, and now the problem is manifesting itself at part throttle. The transmission also makes an awful high-pitched shriek whenever I give the car more than half throttle, which we're guessing is the pump shelling out.

I still need to get Thomas' (PDXGTP) opinion on all this because he also rebuilds trannies. However, I'm resigning to the fact that this transmission might be toast. I don't know if I can simply replace the pump, or if there have already been metal fragments deposited throughout the case, valvebodies, and clutches. There is fluid seeping from the driver'* side output shaft seal, as well as around the side pan gasket on the driver'* side. Doesn't look too promising.

If anyone else has a different take on the situation or can offer advice on how to salvage this tranny, please let me know.
big_news_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 09:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 3,066
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
bill buttermore is on a distinguished road
Default

Bummer, Ben. :( But, at least by letting us know what happened to you, we can all be more careful to make sure our trans fluid level is correct. That is likely to save some other transmissions. Thanks for the "head'* up."
bill buttermore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 3,459
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
big_news_1 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
But, at least by letting us know what happened to you, we can all be more careful to make sure our trans fluid level is correct.
I'm hoping you're right, Bill. Through a little research I've learned that transmission fluid is best added a half-pint at a time. It was ignorance that made me think I could add two whole quarts to a transaxle and get away with it! But now the lesson has been learned, and I should be able to coerce Doug into rebuilding my old core to the same specs as my current tranny

By the way, what do you folks think about my "pump theory"? I think there has to be a pump issue based on how weakly it has begun shifting (and the fact that it won't shift at all with more than half throttle), but I'm a novice when it comes to diagnosing transmission problems. What else might be keeping it from shifting or causing weak shifts?
big_news_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 01:08 PM   #4
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
banned3800 is on a distinguished road
Default

Ben I think thats a good possibility... I am wondering if it has scored the Pump cover to shreds..

Even at that point if it was loosing lubrication I'd then be concerned with the Friction plates..

Hard to say until it comes apart...

Sorry to hear it tho buddy

__________________
Best Car Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
banned3800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 05:54 PM   #5
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: August 07 COTM....NEBF '06, CEBF '06 OHMM '06 ONBF '07 CEBF '07
Posts: 4,064
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
PRD2BDF is on a distinguished road
Default

I may or may not be an idiot for asking but have you tried a fluid/filter change? Is there a good possiblity that adding the correct amount of fluid could save or at least prolong the tranny'* life? And could the filter catch the metals if there was any?
PRD2BDF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 06:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 3,459
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
big_news_1 is on a distinguished road
Default

Fluid has already been checked and the level has been corrected.

The car has been having trouble shifting for the last month, so a few nights ago I pulled into our maintenance hangar at the airport to have a look. Both myself and a buddy of mine looked at the fluid level, but it the dipstick reading was so deceiving we initially believed the fluid had gotten LOW. I saw where it had been seeping out of the output shaft seal and the side pan gasket, and we couldn't see a very definitive level on the stick so I decided to ADD fluid. I put in an entire extra quart (meaning the tranny had 3 quarts too many ), then started up and drove it around the airport. It immediately slipped like crazy in first gear, and as I floored it the tranny pump made a crazy shrieking noise that made me feel sick. The car wouldn't even shift, so I parked it again and took a really, really close look at the dipstick. It was only then that I figured out how full the tranny was :(

We drained out about 3-1/2 quarts of fluid to get it back in the proper range. Fluid looked fine... no burnt smell or brown color. I took it for a long cruise afterward, and it shifted fine at part throttle, but WOT shifts were still messed up and the tranny pump was still wailing like a banshee. It has progressively gotten worse, to the point that I can barely go 1/2 throttle and have it shift gears properly.

I'm disgusted with myself, but I've already been talking to Doug about another tranny. Ultimately it'* not the end of the world, and I've learned a valuable lesson. I just hope everyone else can learn from my experience and add tranny fluid with a cautious eye. It'll be good to start fresh and not worry about any damage I've already done to the internals.
big_news_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 07:21 PM   #7
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
banned3800 is on a distinguished road
Default

Ben i wish we had pics of Brads( Sandrocks ) pump cover... we found it to be scored in a bad way.. And that was the 95 Riv trans he was using.. we figured that the trans at some point had been ran low or frothed up the fluid and lost lubrication... The Vanes and rotor in the pump were in good shape, but the aluminum cover was a mess.. The interesting part is that the 4T65-E pump cover was a direct fit and seemed to be strengthened... Thus far his trans build has been good, no problems.. And it will spin the tires happily..

Just being curious... will the next have the 3.69/3.73 gears or will you go with 3.29/3.33 or back to stock 3.06?

I think the 3.29/3.33 would go great with your combo... iirc there were some years of the 4T60-E that had a 3.43 ratio, but I think those were attached to the quad 4... Its still the same 60-E tho

__________________
Best Car Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
banned3800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 3,459
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
big_news_1 is on a distinguished road
Default

Was planning on the 3.73 ratio again because it uses the HD differential. 3.43 would be a great combination of mileage and acceleration, though. You've got me wondering what I want...
big_news_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 09:52 AM   #9
DINOSAURUS BOOSTUS

Expert Gearhead
 
BillBoost37's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Enfield, CT
Posts: 41,391
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
BillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Sorry to hear that Ben. My feeling was that 3.73 is a bit too high.
BillBoost37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 10:42 AM   #10
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 7,030
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
lash is on a distinguished road
Default

Having just done the tranny fluid and filter this past weekend, I can appreciate your initial confusion. It took me three tries to get the dipstick clean enough to get an accurate reading upon refill.. Especially since you have to use the dipstick tube as the refill access. I ended up waiting about ten minutes after the refill to allow for a clean read.

Notice that there is a warning not to overfill on the dipstick.

But very sad to learn of the problem. You're fortunate to have someone there that can help with another rebuild.
lash is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To Believe...Or not to Believe?? TrueWildMan Lounge 1 11-19-2003 11:17 PM
Stock SSEi Killed and has been Killed BigAl General GM Chat 3 08-01-2002 11:50 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:48 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.