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Old 10-07-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default Questions to ask when screening transmission shops

What are some good questions to ask when checking out transmission shops? The goal is not to make a rock-solid mod-proof tranny. Just something solid that will provide years of trouble-free service. The car will never be modded or raced.

Oh ya, this is for a 4T65E-HD.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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Personal experience has taught me that the best trans shops are the little hole in the wall places where a old man runs it and has been doing it for many years, defiantly stay away from Amaco, and some of the larger corporate run shops. If you are a member of any local car clubs find out what they would recommend.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White93z34
Personal experience has taught me that the best trans shops are the little hole in the wall places where a old man runs it and has been doing it for many years, defiantly stay away from Amaco, and some of the larger corporate run shops. If you are a member of any local car clubs find out what they would recommend.
What you described is exactly the shop I typically deal with. Literally is a hole in the wall. 2 stall garage. One is packed with crap as far as the eye can see. The other bay is used just to pull trannies. They do all of the rebuilding on the bench. I know they're top notch with rear wheel drive trannies. But, I'm not sure of their work on FWD. The guy who owns is about one day away from dieing. Sweetest old man, just older than dirt. They are always backed up with work, too. FWD and RWD cars.

I need to act quickly, but I also want to make the right choice. Not sure I should gamble with using him, or someone else.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:41 AM   #4
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The fact that they always have work is a good sign. Honestly, word of mouth is the best advice you can get. Any friends or co-workers recently have trans work done?

I selected my shop by obvious reputation in the community.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Any friends or co-workers recently have trans work done?
None necessarily. However, the mechanic we used every now and then highly recommended the trans guy I've been dealing with. This trans guy installed a new 700R4 in our 97 C1500 two years ago. Haven't had one issue.

Since my debacle started, I've talked to several towing companies (since they're the only ones to answer on a Sunday) and they all suggest the same guy I've been dealing with. I'm gonna just go with him. I know he stands behind his work - 12K mile guarantee. And the fact he has cars waiting to get in is a good sign.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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Hey, quit picking on us old guys!
I agree with the others. The smaller shops that have been around for a while, along with good personal advice, is the best way to go.

I don't always go by the number of cars in the lot. Just some personal experiences with that. One was a local repair shop at a gas station. They couldn't even find a no start problem where the was a TSB. Lots of codes thrown, as the fuel tank sensor would short out and remove voltage from the other sensors...just like the TSB said. Blamed the owner of "fiddling with it" and putting too many problems in for them to fix. Lots of cars in that lot.

The other is a current situation. Owner former (current?) drug dealer, along with other nefarious dealings. Started a service shop. Told one little old lady the engine had seized, and it was Valvoline'* (where my son works) fault. Manager went to check out the car, per corporate'* orders. (The manger even referred people there for service.) He was surprised to see the engine crank fine. Long story short...they had pulled all the plugs on the car, so it wouldn't start. Lots of cars in his lot, but he advertises.

Take all 3 together, though...I'd say you have a winner.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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I went to a shop that primarily builds the transmissions for race cars at the local nascar track. It took 8 weeks to even get my car in there.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
I went to a shop that primarily builds the transmissions for race cars at the local nascar track. It took 8 weeks to even get my car in there.
good sign
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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After two trannys in the 96, I went to the shop that said "yes, this reman is warrantied for 2yrs/24k miles".
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:32 AM   #10
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Since you may not have the luxury of having a nascar licensed shop or whatever nearby I'd recomend a shop that has a good warranty for the cheapest price.

If you dig up my transmission build thread from earlier this year you can see what I added and it was a really bullet proof build.

Have you considered the option of a ZZP trans or INTENSE trans? ZZP is near you IIRC and have a pretty good track record, with the exception of haro'* car...but look how far his was modded before he bought it....There are tons of people on CGP and Regalgs.org with lots of miles on their ZZP builds with no issues.

I'd encourage the shop to replace the pressure control solenoid, tcc solenoid, and replace all the clutches along with the 4th shaft.

If you are not going for performance, just stick with the cheapest place with the the best warranty You will find there is a huge variance in pricing between your local shops.
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