Trans time, need insight - 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 11-19-2006, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Trans time, need insight

In my last trans posting, it was made clear that the trans will either need to be rebuilt or replaced.

This post, I want to focus on exactly what the options are when it comes to rebuild time, such as the right vendors to use for parts, junkyard core searching, etc.

While looking at Bills trans poll, I noticed that a suitable 4t60e-hd core would be a Caddy 4.9 model, which should be alot easier to find than an SSEi casing. Just how compatible is the gearing in these cases compared to the S1 L67 cases?

Clutch packs aside, what else are common hardpart failures?

Valve body updates? Are these even needed, and if so will the PCM need to be reprogrammed? Several transmission shops say that they perform "updates" while rebuilding transmissions...whether or not these updates are just upgraded parts or the inclusion/exclusion of certain parts is unclear to me...hence the question here

2 grand is an awful amount of money to drop on something I have little knowledge on, and shops here in Orlando will capitalize tremendously on that lack of knowledge if one is not careful So I would like to hear about any insight from guys that have already done rebuilds. If I can locate a cheap enough core, I may very well just do it myself...this way, I can knock "transmissions" out of my "Things I do not understand" mental list.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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The source I have only goes back to 98 for transmission labor times, but it should give you an idea of the labor hours.

For 1998 Bonneville w/SC: To replace transmission;
Diagnose-1.8
Labor-8.8
Alignment-1.0
Total-11.6 hours x local shop hourly labor rate.

For same car but to overhaul existing transmission:
Diagnose-1.8
Labor-20.5
Alignment-1.0
Total-23.3 hours x local shop hourly labor rate.

Beings you already know it'* the transmission thats bad, I would definately try to get the diagnose time removed from the bill. Also, some trany shops have a set hourly labor time to overhaul any given trans, like maybe 18 hours for a 4T60 and 20 hours for a 4L80. If that is the case, there labor time may be lower or higher than book time anyways.

But at any rate I'd say your looking at an easy 10 hours to replace the trans and an easy 20 to overhaul it. In my area the local shop rate is 90/hr at independant shops and 100/hr at dealerships. Thats a lot of cake!

If you know someone who does work on the side or you can do it yourself, it will save you a good chunk of change.


The updates that tranny shops do are normally shift correction kits like one of these....
Kit 1
Kit 2
Kit 3

The Sonnax brand gets my vote.

Here is a link to a source of pretty much any tranny part you could need (not sure if they are the cheapest though?)

Trans parts
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
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Awesome information MH. Yeah, I am going to hit Craigslist up for someone that is looking to make some money on the side to build me up a replacement. Once it'* built, I will be going to a tranny shop to have it put in (400 and change for a swap) or hopefully a willing member or two will help me do it

I am including plans to put a new, larger transmission cooler and use the old trans cooler to instead cool engine oil. I can then fit new endtanks onto the radiator (or find a radiator w/o any aux. coolers). The Turkey Run in Daytona is this weekend, so I am sure I can find all the parts I need to make that happen pretty cheap.

As for the trans, a shift kit had always been a part of the plan from the start. I was just not certain if "shift kit" = "trans update". New solenoids are going to go in as well.

Torque Converter...should it be replaced? I am not looking to change stall speeds or anything like that, but is it something that should be replaced just the same?
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:38 PM   #4
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Yes, you definitely need a remanufactured torque converter. All that crap that was in your pan is also inside your torque converter and you don't want to pump that stuff into the trans after it is overhauled. You will also want to flush the trans cooler(*) to get the crud out of there too. Use a product like this to flush the cooler(*)...Kooler Kleen
If you have two coolers, you may need two cans.

I don't think a trans cooler will flow enough volume to use as an engine oil cooler, so you may want to reconsider your plans for that.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:05 PM   #5
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Just make sure that if you decide to try this repair yourself, you are fully aware of what you are getting into. It is not an easy job to replace a transmission in these cars, unless you have a vehicle hoist, a tranny jack, many tools and have done it before.

And if you are thinking of overhauling it yourself, well, go through the work of getting the old one out and then decide if you want to tear into it. Auto trans repair is best left to the trained and experienced. That is my honest oppinion and I am not giving it to upset anyone here, I'm giving it because I don't want to see someone go through what mkaake is going through right now.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:45 PM   #6
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sandrock:

Don't forget about the final drive ratio. You might want to change it for more low end torque; I don't know.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACDRIVE
sandrock:

Don't forget about the final drive ratio. You might want to change it for more low end torque; I don't know.
Actually I am pretty content with the ratio it has. I know first gear is flat-out awesome Though 3.33 I think would put an end to alot of Honduh nights here in O-Town
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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Yeah if you had my 2.86 you'd be wanting to change it. :P
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default tranny

My experience has been with valve body removal on transaxles and thats as far as I'll go. Its not worth trying a total rebuild. Get a low mileage used trans or even a warranted parts store rebuilt IMO.
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