Low-Buck Fix for Chevy "Two-Speed" Transmission?
I have a '96 Chevy Silverado Z71 with the 5.7L V8. It has quite a few miles on it, 208,000 to be exact. About a month or so ago, I started having some trouble with my transmission. It would act like it would come out of gear when I would lift my foot off of the gas. A few weeks later, the problem went away and it seemed to be acting just fine. Then, within the next week, I was messing around on the highway and I blew out Third, Fourth and Overdrive gears, so for the past month, I've been driving side roads using only First and Second gears by shifting manually. (It's an automatic.)
Most people I talk to say I should get it rebuilt, which I hear can be very expensive. I'm 16 years old and I'm a bag boy at Ingle's, so you know I don't get paid near enough to fix my truck, especially with paying about $50 or more a week for gas. What do you think I should do on my very slim budget?
I just got done reading your April 2010 issue about how ya'll swapped transmissions in a '97 Suburban. I've heard that my truck has a 700R4 trans, but now I'm starting to think it has the 4L60-E after reading this article. I'm afraid that one of these days my poor old truck is going to drop me and my girlfriend on the side of the road.
I hate to tell you this, but I am sure you have already figured it out. Your transmission most likely is a dead player, so hopefully your girlfriend has some wheels or you have parents who are willing to share the family car with you. Your only choice is to have it rebuilt. On your way home from school, stop by one of the many transmission shops in Asheville, and get the service writer's opinion and a ballpark estimate of what it will cost to rebuild. They won't charge you anything-or shouldn't, for a quick test. Well, maybe they will if they do a full diagnostic test, but they'll usually waive the cost if they rebuild the trans. You might get a price from several different shops, but be sure you're real clear on what you will be getting exactly.
You do have another choice. Go to the city library, get a service manual, and follow the instructions in it for removing your transmission. Get your buddies together, rent a transmission jack, order a pizza and take the transmission out. Be sure to figure out a way to flush out the transmission cooler, which is in the radiator, as well as all the lines. I would recommend putting a filter on the return fluid line just to make sure you don't put any junk from the damaged trans into the replacement. Replace the transmission with one from a wrecking yard, along with the torque converter. Yep, it's a gamble trying to get a good one, so try to find one in a vehicle with low miles on it-or maybe you can get lucky in your wrecking yard search, and find one that has been rebuilt. A clue as to whether or not a transmission has been rebuilt is that trans shops usually paint the transmission housing a strange color so that they can identify their transmissions. Most wrecking yards will guarantee that the trans will work or will replace it with another one, so don't be shy about asking for some type of a guarantee. Oh, and your trans is a 4L60-E, which basically means it's really similar to a 700R4, but the shifts are controlled by a computer.
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