How do I know which tranny I have? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-15-2007, 12:46 AM   #1
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Default How do I know which tranny I have?

Hi everyone.... well, my 93 bonneville SE, now only goes in lower gears and won't go into (3rd?) O.D. it just feels like neutral after like 40 MPH..... I poked around on the internet, and I am confused.... some info tells me I must have a 4T65e and some it seems I have the 4T60e.... I am either tired or not reading things right... HOW DO I KNOW?
It is a 3800, no supercharged or anything.... and if it matters it has traction control button on console as I guess it was an option for the SE when new BUT if it works (automatically or manually) I dont know,as I dont ever notice anything happening with that....
SO I need a tranny... I found a 95 in the same color even for parts purposes ... BUT he had changed his motor and trans a few years ago and THINKS it was from a 97 SO if it was a 97 most likely it is the supercharged version and I cant use that tranny... or so I think.

SO HOW Do I KNOW what I have, and how do I know what it can interchange with so I can find one? I would be more inclined to get a total parts car at this point and swap trans and have whole parts car, rather than put in shop for a rebuilt..... for the same price or even less

I really like my car, I wont tell you how cheap I had gotten it for, but I paid more for the new tires.... I drove it over a year and put lots of miles on her....
so on one hand dont want to sink 2k into a tranny at this point.... but if I can get a parts car and swap tranny and still have all extra parts future reference for under a grand, and even get another year off of the used tranny, well that would be just dandy....

the best would be if I could go back in time, and still own my old GTOs and my Lemans sport convertible....
ANY HELP appreciated, feel free to post or email me direct..... celia
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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you have the 4T60e, they were from 92-95/96 and then the 4T65ewas from 96+
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:13 AM   #3
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Default THANKS, one more question

HELLO, ok thanks, thats what I thought originally but then got mixed up somehow reading stuff online... SO, can I use any year, make, model of the 4t60E or must it be ONLY a 1993 year of only bonneville ...
or 1993 of several other models I notice other cars have the same model trans #... ??? How do I know what it interchanges with? Is there a list out there?

THANKS AGAIN, you guys are fast! --- Celia
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:16 AM   #4
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The 4T60E was used through 1997 for the non-supercharged models. GoldenBullet is a bit off in his reply.

You can use 92/93 only. 92 may require changes. 94-97 WILL require changes. Check with your local trans shop for compatibility.
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:23 AM   #5
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willwren is right, my bad
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:55 AM   #6
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Default SO it looks like a 1993 ONLY..

SO do you think I need ONLY A 1993 BONNEVILLE? I see other makes/models are interchangeable, like some Buicks / delta 88s / I think somewhere said interchangeable.... so ANY 1993 - 4T60e or only bonnevilles?

I WISH there was a tranny shop around here but there are none... I am in Vermont and the nearest shops at all are over 1/2 hr and no REAL tranny shops.... so at 35 MPH to a shop without modern diagnostics, well, I dont think that is good.... I called someone out of the phone book the day it happened .... the guy comes down, opens hood , looks and says YEAH I CAN REBUILD IT, I will have a shop take it out, I will rebuild it, they will put it in, I think he said 1500-2000 bucks or so.... well, nice, but no real diagnostics there....

AND I am a "do it yourselfer till it hurts"" kind of gal so I cant see spending that when I may find an entire parts car for less and do it myself.... I had already bought a tranny tune up kit for it but my tranny went too fast before I had a chance to put it in, so I have one ready for a replacement before swapping it out....

just have to find the right car now....

I know, my other half thinks I am nuts, he is not mechanically inclined, I do most the car repairs as well as other repairs around our commercial building.... I just did my first bearing/hub on my Bonneville, glad I did it myself it was easy.... there are not a huge choice of shops around, and coming from a family with mechanics, I dont trust alot of the shops, I know how it goes, and I moved too far from my family who are mechanics so I dont have anyone nearby that I trust....

Is it just me or does it happen to everyone.... for example,
I ended up doing my own hub because of this....
I left my car at a shop when I was headed off for a trip to florida... I figured let them do it, it is snowing out, and I have no garage, so they can fix my car while I am gone, I will come home, and done, right?
NOT.... I told them -I THINK MY FRONT BEARING IS SHOT I CAN FEEL IT..... oh, and please check my alternator I notice my needle bouncing, car rough when idling at a light....
SO I get home..... YES they did the alternator- NO they said bearing was FINE....
and, I paid and pulled away and HELP! MY CAR IS PULLING SO HARD TO THE RIGHT I HAVE TO USE ALL MY POWER to keep it straight on the road!!!! I call them, OH WE DID NOT DO ANYTHING TO YOUR CAR! So I take it first thing in the morning to get a front end alignment, all was well after that.... BUT I also notice that my car is making a HORRIBLE NOISE.... as if the ALTERNATOR IS NO GOOD.... I call him up. NOPE he says, the alternator is fine... YAH OK.... so then what the HECK did u do to the rest of my car??? As the noise is coming from one of the pulleys I think they screwed up something putting my belt back on.... Everyone comments OH WHATS THAT NOISE your (a/c, your water pump, your alternator)) etc is ready to go.... WELL I tried belt dressing etc and the noise is still there, I wiggled pulleys I tried to HEAR where it is coming from , cant tell..... so, I live with it... Point being though, FIX ONE THING, BREAK A FEW MORE! I could have done my alternator myself, saved some cash, and my car WOULD NOT be making horrible noises today!
AND I DID GO GET AND INSTALL MY OWN HUB and she is perfect now the old one was SHOT.....
My last new car, same story, took to dealer for fix of factory problem, guy backs it out of garage INTO A FROZEN SNOW BANK!!! So my one week old car was off for body work.... come to pick it up ROOF HAS GAUGES IN IT! back to shop... come to pick it up, walk around it , IT WAS HIT ON THE PASSENGER SIDE! dent and scratches! AGAIN left in shop.... got it back, INTERIOR LIGHT COVER OFF AND BROKEN! go figure... took it home and never went back....
I am a bit soured over those kinds of stories.... so now I get out my manuals, look on line, and put things back in the way they came out.... I save money, aggravation, and no new damage along the way! LOL. Ok thanks, celia
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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Go to: http://www.car-part.com This junkyard search engine will show you what transmissions are interchangeable when you observe the results for the information you provide for your car.

To verify a good match, use the ID tag on your transmission. It will have two larger characters that are the most important for matching. For example, on my '95, the big characters are BX . Find the BX in the smaller string of numbers to the left and you will see the BX is preceded by a 5 and followed by a W. The 5 is the model year, the BX is the transmission type and the W that follows in the string ( I think) is important, too. One of those last three characters (mkaake could tell us) indicates the final drive ratio, for example. When you call the yard regarding your trans, have them read the tag to you. If those big characters and the character preceding and following in the string are the same as your trans, you will know you have a good match. For mine, car-part.com indicated that only transmissions from a '95 would swap. My donor trans has the same code -5BXW- as my original trans. No problems.

The tag faces the rear of the car and may be covered with grease. You need to get under with a rag and a flashlight to see what you have. Here'* a picture of mine:
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:39 AM   #8
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The 4t60-e was used in various models, Bonnevilles included. But not all 4t-60es are the same. As Wilwren pointed out, 92-93 is your best YEARS for direct compatibility. However, it needs to come out of vehicle that has the 3800. So no, you are not limited to just Bonnevilles, you can swipe them from 88s and LeSabres too. But you can't use one from say a 3100 powered car. Though the trans IS the same externally, the valving and gearing is way off for what a 3800 needs.

Tearing apart these transmissions are cake in my opinion. It isn't hard once you get past all the little pieces that are inside these things. And you are right...diagnosing what is internally wrong in a trans is difficult. So difficult in fact that it HAS to be taken out and torn down in order for a diagnosis to be made. This holds true no matter where you go, if the problem is mechanical. Electrical diagnosis, however, is easy to do with the trans in the car (stuff like solenoids and switches), and can be done with meerly a scantool.
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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Look on the spare tire cover...

M13 is 4T60-E

F17 is 2.84 Gear ratio

FW2 is 3.06 Gear ratio

... You will have the 4T60-E, but you'll want the replacement trans to have the proper ratio..

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