Need my transmission rebuilt. - 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.

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Old 08-05-2009, 02:20 AM   #1
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Unhappy Need my transmission rebuilt.

Well, I've been getting that elusive P1870 code for quite some time. The transmission fluid'* turned a lovely shade of red, albeit with a slight burnt smell. Aside from that, when you're on the road, you can't even tell that anything'* wrong with it. It shifts smoothly and when it should, and I've never been locked out of a gear.

I decided to start shopping around for repairing the slipping torque converter clutch. One transmission shop'* mechanic said that he'* seen this code before, and suggested a complete rebuild: all new parts (minus the case), with a two-year/24,000 mile warranty, for $1800 (before tax, 6%).

I've barely begun to shop around, but what do you guys think I should do? The car has no major problems aside from that. I'd rather get this fixed before I end up stranded somewhere and forced to cater to the closest mechanic'* whim.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:48 AM   #2
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Here is what I am doing because my tranny is shifting hard and rolls backward on a hill. I changed out the fluid and filter and added Lucas Tranny Treatment. I still have some issues but for under $100 I am on the road for I hope a long time. I don't want to be stranded but dishing out $2000 bucks for a rebuild just yet is not a priority. Of coarse if it goes out then my priorities will change.
If your tranny does not have any issues an oil and filter change would be cheaper insurance and you could end up getting a few more years of driving pleasure. That'* my two cents. Good luck.
Mike
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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I may be able to help you. I am a professional rebuilder. I live up in Central Massachusetts. Email me at [email protected].
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Email sent, but for those of you still reading, here are my options:

1. Rebuild the transmission with all-new parts (keeping only the case), all-new GM-approved fluid, and a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty. Capitol Transmission in Hartford, CT. Total cost: $1800

My thoughts: All-new parts from a very reputable shop that'* been around since the 1930'*. The engine is in pristine condition, and the interior is also in excellent shape. This would put many more years into the Bonnie. I like this the best, even if my wallet disagrees.


2. Get a used transmission from a dead Bonneville in New York (died at 90,000 miles), and have it shipped and installed. Economy Transmission in Bristol, CT. Total cost: $1250, but to do this, I need to make a $200 binding deposit on Monday.

My thoughts: Again, a very reputable shop for which I have good personal recommendations. Being pulled from a Bonneville with 90,000 miles makes it a relatively young transmission (the others he could find had over 110,000 miles on them), but seeing as how this is the car'* second dying transmission, they seem to have a shelf life of 70,000 miles. Economy is willing to buy the transmission for $200 down, and hold it for free until I pay in full, and then they'll install it. This is probably my most viable option.


3. Saw a 4T60-E on eBay for $915 shipped.

My thoughts: If it'll fit in my trunk, and I have someone to help me get it in and out (175 pounds, I hear), I'd trust all local Bonneville nuts to help me perform major surgery on my only means of transportation. Although this option trusts that BF members (member***; plural, Bill ) tend to be in Connecticut with a complete toolset and nothing to do.


Those are my options and thoughts; yours, Internet?
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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This is just my opinion again but if you get another used tranny aren't you in the same situation your in now? There is no guarantee you will not end up stranded with another used tranny. Lower mileage doesn't always mean it will last longer. Sure they might last but it might end up costing you more than the complete rebuild once all is said and done. At least with the reputable rebuild you have a guarantee that for the next 2 years or 24000 miles your tranny won't be an issue. I fully understand the limits of the the wallet. That is why mine is only getting the fluid changed and Lucas added for now. Good luck,
Mike
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruzer75
This is just my opinion again but if you get another used tranny aren't you in the same situation your in now?
That'* what I think, too, especially since the car'* first transmissions only lasted 60,000 miles (according to the dealer). Getting one that could have 90,000 miles and an unknown history seems like suicide. On the other hand, the last owner also left a car bra on until the paint on the hood underneath it was almost completely gone, so (*)he may not have taken care of the transmission; perhaps with fluid changes and preventive maintenance, they can last that long.

While I can and would prefer to save up for the $1800 rebuild, I only have to put down $200 to commit to the used one. Being broke right now, I may have to bite the bullet this time around. I'm seeking as much advice as I can get before Monday, when the deal expires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruzer75
That is why mine is only getting the fluid changed and Lucas added for now
On a transmission that'* experiencing slipping, changing the old fluid seems to be what everyone says to do, and what everyone else says not to do. While requisite for a working transmission, the dark, burnt, metal-filled fluid keeps a dying transmission from slipping even more.

Capitol said that it'* a very good thing that I didn't change the fluid, and Economy said I'd just be wasting my money. I bought a bottle of Lucas, but the transmission was full; I was only able to add a tiny amount before reaching the upper hole on the dipstick.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:50 PM   #7
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Couple things you have to look at when considering a major tranny rebuild. Do you like the car? What shape is the rest of it in? Is it paid for? I scored a rather pristine '95, Olds 88 at an auction for $800. Since it was in such good shape, I figured it had a tranny problem. It did, 'bout a mile form the aution yard it gave it up and I had to trailer it in. Being handy with a wrench, how hard can it be to pull a tranny and rebuild it? Read the book and decided it was WAY more than I wanted to fight with. I forked up $1900 for a rebuild with 2yr/24k warranty. At a 142k on yours, the tranny has pretty much reached the end of its life, "specially if you do not know how it was cared for (mine had about the same mileage). After getting the tranny fixed, I pretty much feel in love with the car and went to town on it. With help from this site, I have turned it into a reliable, comfortable, powerful, and in my eyes anyway, a good looking car. I most likely have more in it than I could get out of it but I know I can jump in it and drive 3000 miles and not worry about anything. And its paid for. A junkyard tranny is at best, a crap shoot unless you go thru it. I use my Olds for long road trips and the last thing I want to worry about is will that junkyard part hold up. IF you can answer yes to all of the first questions, fork out the bucks for the major, warranteed rebuild. When its done, add a tranny cooler and change your fluid a MINIMUM of once a year. I do do mine twice a year. I did put off the upper intake replacement and it cratered on me in the middle of No-Where New Mexico. I paid dearly, $900 for the intake replacement, $200 to hang out in motel for two days and $600 to send the wife and kid back to Austin on a plane. At this point, I intend to drive the wheels off of it.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not a tranny mechanic. It does not make sense to me, not to change the fluid. Less than $100 to change out the filter, fluid, add a full bottle of tranny treatment and possibly add life to your existing tranny that other than the P1870 code is working OK. If burnt, metel filled hydraulic oil was good for a tranny then nobody would ever have to change their fluid. If the filter is working and the magnet on the bottom of the tranny pan is working then the small amount of metal in the oil would be like emery cloth on all the parts in the tranny and wearing it more. Like I said, I am not a tranny mech so I really do not know.
What I do know, my tranny will hold itself a little better on a hill now that it has the filter, fluid changed and a full bottle of Lucas in it. Only time will tell how much more life I have added to it.
Once again this is just my opinion and in noway an endorsement for any products or services.

It is frustrating because I have been in similar situations and one group of people say this and another group say the exact opposite. Good luck and I hope more people with more knowledge than me can help you out.
Mike
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Rebuild the transmission with all-new parts (keeping only the case)
I don't think so. No tranny shop in the world does that. The only way that could be true is if they are putting the guts from another unit into your case. But those aren't new either, so what is the point of that? I this trade, we categorize parts as soft parts and hard parts. In a basic overhaul, all the soft parts are changed. This includes paper gaskets, rubber seals, various types of sealing rings, and should include molded rubber pistons. Bushings that are worn are included too. The hard parts are never changed unless they need to be. And very often used parts that are still good are purchased to replace them. So $1800 for all new parts in your old case? I don't think so. I have worked in too many tranny shops to believe that.
On the other hand, a used tranny is always a gamble.
I have a better option for you, for the same ballpark of the used tranny, I can rebuild your tranny that is in your car. But not yet, I have a new garage being built right now. It won't be done for a month or two. But a code 1870 can still be driven on.
I work full time for some one else, but have a legal business already to go. It will just be part time for a while. I can build the same or better that any shop you will walk into.
If you are interested, get in touch and we can talk. If not, feel free to ask questions, I am always glad to offer advise.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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I agree with TEQ Man.. there'* no way they are putting in all new parts.

They are going to reuse your valve body, channel plate, diff, etc etc as long as they are good. They will use all new clutches as they should.

Try car-part.com for prices. 900 being your lowest option isn't low enough. I could as 57lxi says ...buy another car or a parts car for much less.
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