Surge at cruising speed when hot - 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 04-12-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Surge at cruising speed when hot

Yes, I've searched and found that there are several possible causes. For background:

I bought the '97 SE non-running due to a failed upper intake, which I'm sure contributed to overheating and a cracked head. Replaced the cracked head, did a Dillon upper and new gaskets. You know, the usual. Also included were new plugs (TR55s) and new wires, new PCV, cleaned TB. However, after some time of driving (45 minutes, or so it seems), it will surge 200 or 300 rpms when the converter is locked in either 3rd (gear selector in D, going anywhere from 40ish-55) or 4th (45 on up). It feels like an ignition miss, but I know about other possibilities, like the TCC solenoid. The coils check out good, as does the TPS. My trip to work is mostly stop and go, about 65 degrees in the morning, with not many opportunities to get up to speed and the converter to lock. I don't detect anything on the drive to work. On the way home, temp about 85 degrees, I take the freeway. It'* stop and go (yes, on the freeway) for maybe 20-30 minutes, and then opens up for 60-70mph cruising. At this time, it will start it'* surging. It comes and goes, but is mostly there for the rest of the trip home (the last 20 minutes). I'm thinking the heat builds up in the stop and go traffic, and then contributes to the surge. I'm going to add a trans cooler, as that'* a good idea anyway. As far as the trans, it was rebuilt with converter at 76k miles from the previous owner, and I have the receipt. I now have 102k on it. The fluid looks just fine. I guess my question is what other things have you guys found that could be the culprit? Should I bypass the in-tank cooler, and just run the new external cooler, or run through the in-tank, and then the external cooler? I do not know if the cooler was flushed when the trans was rebuilt. I would hope so, but...
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:59 PM   #2
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http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=38917

There you go.... should be everything you need to know.

FYI, my car does the same thing when it'* hot outside.
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:49 PM   #3
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Well, as a valve body is not in my near future, phase one of keeping the transmission fluid cool is complete. I used a Hayden 679 cooler ($62, and yes, it'* a big one!) with a Hayden 390 adapter kit ($12). I mounted it to the center support (whatever it'* called) on the passenger side in front of the A/C condenser. I did not have to drill any holes. I used a piece of angle bracket metal that you can get at any Home Depot or hardware store for about $6. I happened to have some laying around. It'* very secure. Total job time was about 2 hours, including finding some hardware in my garage. Didn't lose a drop of fluid unhooking the top line from the radiator.







Per some instructions from the BITOG (Bob is the oil guy) forum, I'll be doing a fluid change with Mobil1 ATF and a bottle of Lubegard Red. I don't believe in snake oil, but these guys know their stuff, and this one is a good product. I'll report my findings.
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:46 PM   #4
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Good work... the tranny cooler will definitely decrease the severity of the surging. It helped me out, though the surge still occurs anytime the temperature gets up over ~85.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:06 PM   #5
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I have GOT to work a tranny cooler into my schedule of projects!!!! I live in Florida for crimminy sakes!

I mean, mine has been real good to me for 160K miles, but no sense tempting fate.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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I found some Lubegard Red (for DextronIII) at NAPA Auto on sale for $7.99/bottle. I bought two bottles. I used one now, as it may be a while before I do a drain and refill or flush on the trans. My trip was long enough to have started the surging, but it didn't happen. It may not have been under the right conditions, so I don't know that this "fixed" anything, but I believe that it will help immensely. When I added the cooler, it added just the right amount of extra capacity to add the Lubegard and bring it right back up to full.

Thanks for not laughing at the Duralast battery. It was put there by the previous owner about a week before I bought the car (miraculously, it didn't cure the blown upper intake and cracked head ). I'll leave it there until it dies.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:03 PM   #7
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Being on this board you find out..there'* only one or two makers of batteries...

Who cares about the name....It working is the part that counts.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:24 PM   #8
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According to Consumer Reports, Duralast was one of the better brands of car batteries they tested. I don't think it'* a bad choice by any means!
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:46 PM   #9
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I know some AutoZone stuff is OK, but the it all has that Duralast stigma on it. Heck, if I needed a new battery, I might have bought a Duralast myself. First, a Duralast battery, next might be LEDs on my valve stem caps...
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:53 PM   #10
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I use Lubeguard on all my transmissions. It works very well and it helps the surge problem most of the times. The Dexron formulations have been changed throughout the years and the reason why many of the older cars do strat to have problems with the newer Dexron formulations.
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