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 Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!

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95BRMW

95BRMW

Posts : 1665
Join date : 2009-08-15
Age : 35
Location : Connecticut

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PostSubject: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 8:05 pm

I never towed a trailer with my 95 RMW mostly due to fear of killing my transmission. Well, I picked up a cheap 4x8 trailer to use for my other hobby, lawn tractors. I towed the empty trailer home with my RMW, could not have weighed more than 250lbs. I made it home without issues, parked the trailer and called it a night. Went out the next morning and was greeted by a car that felt like a brake was dragging. If you gave it gas it would jerk a bit and move, but I knew something was up. I took the rear wheels off and couldn't find anything wrong with the brakes Sad

That was 2 weeks ago, today I was messing with it and trying to get a video of the sound it was now making (best way to describe it is a rattling from the trans somewhere). While doing this I was driving up and down the driveway and at one point lost all forward and reverse motion. Parked the wagon, hooked up my trans gauge and sure enough found my problem. The pressure starts at about 50psi in park or gear, then after a few minutes (once it gets warm I guess) drops off to 0. shutting down and restarting it seems to regain pressure, but only for a moment. When the car is cold I can actually take it for a noisy ride around the block.

So when someone asks how much my wagon can tow, it's apparently just under 250lbs Razz I'm happy it decided to die at home, and not in upstate NY like I thought it was going to when I felt some shuddering when the TCC locked.

With that all said and done, can anyone recommend a good place to buy a rebuilt transmission? I don't mind sticking used ones in my other B-bodies (and have done before), but I know I will be keeping this wagon for a very long time and want to do this once!
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gmtech

gmtech

Posts : 224
Join date : 2012-03-21
Location : Tornado Alley Oklahoma

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 8:30 pm

The '95 4L60E is a one year application transmission. The '95 is the 1st year with the PWM TCC, '94 does not have this and in '96 some other changes were made. When my transmission went out I searched and searched. So, in my frustration, while looking for the one year application transmission, I just went ahead and rebuilt the one I had and added some HD parts to enhance durability. All is well now.
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95BRMW

95BRMW

Posts : 1665
Join date : 2009-08-15
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Location : Connecticut

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 8:49 pm

When I bought my 95 Caprice wagon a few years ago I swapped in a 96 trans, so far no problems and several thousand miles. I thought someone at the fest mentioned Gm remans were affordable, may have to check the dealer and see.
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94Woody

94Woody

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 9:07 pm

Taken from a thread at ISSF.

None of the '93 -'97 4L60E's are directly interchangeable, except '93 and '94!!! Here's a list of yearly differences that will show you why. Yes, some years will fit in others and may not even throw a code, but there will be an issue in the long run. The big issues become forced 3-2 downshifts, and converter lock up issues and burnt lock up clutches. When a converter cluych cause it to lose lock up, the 3-4 clutches, in the transmission will soon follow because the 3-4's need lock up to keep them cool while cruising in overdrive.

1993: These were used in trucks only. Not available in F-Bodies, B-Bodies, or Vettes

1994: Interchangeable with '93 4L60E with no modifications. The '93-'94 is a NON PWM transmission. This means that the lock up apply strategy is an on /off arrangement. It has an 11 pin case connector. Does not have PWM cast into front pump. 1 piece TCC control valve in the valve body. Plate has holes in plate, marked in diagram below. 1st design 3-2 valve

1995: Stand alone year! Will not interchange with any other year. This is a PWM transmission. An extra solenoid was added to the valve body to control the pulsed lock up strategy of the conerter clutch. It has a 12 pin case connector, extra wire in the transmission to computer harness and different computer to control the new PWM circuit. Has PWM cast in front pump. Front pump internal passages different to match new TCC strategy. 2 piece TCC control valve in valve body. Has holes in plate, marked in diagram below. 1st design 3-2 valve. 12 pin case connector. '94 computer won't recognise new TCC strategy., and will burn lock-up clutch and 3-4 clutches up. '96 computer isn't compatible with '96 3-2 control solenoid.

1996: The 3-2 downshift strategy was changed to an on /off arrangement. The TCC control solenoid was changed to a 20-31 OHM solenoid, from the previous 10-15 OHM solenoid. The 3-2 control valve was changed to the second design valve. The easiest way to identify the valve is, the second design valve will fall out as soon as the solenoid is removed. The first design has a plug and retaining clip. TCC solenoid remains 10-15 OHMs, which is the same as the '95 arrangement. Has PWM stamped cast in pump. pump is the same as '95. Will not interchange with '95 unless changing 3-2 solenoid, valvebody casting, and seperator plate. Has holes in plate marked in diagram. '94 or '95 computer will not accept the 20-31 OHM 3-2 solenoid and will throw an SES light and throw the transmission into limp mode. Some less knowledgeable builders will swap the solenoid so the computer will see the correct resistance, but the valve itself then causes downshift issues. If only the solenoid is changed, it will result in a 3-2 downshift cut loose. In other words...3-neutral-2 downshift. Speedo moved to passenger side of tail housing, but easily changed.

1997: Basically the same as '96.

You say a 96 is working fine in a 95? Interesting.

That info is from Frank Cahall and I figured he would know his stuff.
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buickwagon

buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 9:33 pm

gmtech wrote:
I just went ahead and rebuilt the one I had and added some HD parts to enhance durability. All is well now.

+1.

I just had my 95 rebuilt this summer for the same reasons. The sunshell failed (seems to be the weak point of this design) but there was significant wear throughout. I figured I might as well bite the bullet while it was out.

BTW: on the subject of HD parts, there are 2 HD sunshell designs out there. The original and best known is called "the beast" and is identical to stock but stamped from heavier metal. The second is called the "smartshell". It is stamped from the same weight of metal as stock, but reinforced at the critical area. It is actually a kit and replaces the stock thrust washer with a torrington bearing. After considerable research, I went with the Smartshell. It's newer and has less of a track record, but the design seemed better to me. Time will tell...

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sherlock9c1



Posts : 2144
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 9:54 pm

Dave, the Jasper reman in our chrysler van has outlasted its warranty period and it shifts fine so I can recommend Jasper. At this point the 4L60E is a mature design and all of the kinks have been worked out. If you're going to mostly stay local, you won't hurt to have a local rebuild. If you plan on traveling, then I would look at a nationwide chain like Jasper or AC Delco / GM Goodwrench.

Read the warranty fine print - some of these cover labor to replace the broken one if it fails under warranty, and that's nice!

PS - it's completely coincidental that it failed while pulling that trailer.
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 9:57 pm

I would also add that I don't care about rebuild kits - they're all decent. Where the big difference is found is in the valvebody work. Sonnax makes a much of reamers and oversize valves to correct leakage and those tools cost bucks. That's what I think separates the men from the boys as far as transmission rebuilds.
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gmtech

gmtech

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Location : Tornado Alley Oklahoma

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 10:52 pm

sherlock9c1 wrote:
If you plan on traveling, then... AC Delco /GM Goodwrench.
Typically a 3 year/50,000 mile warranty nationwide at any GM Dealer.

sherlock9c1 wrote:
PS - it's completely coincidental that it failed while pulling that trailer.
Agreed
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silverfox103
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silverfox103

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 10:54 pm

95BRMW wrote:
Razz I'm happy it decided to die at home, and not in upstate NY like I thought it was going to when I felt some shuddering when the TCC locked.

Speaking from experience, you are very lucky it let go in your driveway.

Tom
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95BRMW

95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 11:02 pm

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm half tempted to take a stab at rebuilding the trans out of my Caprice that lost reverse. Would I need any special tools or are their ways around all that? And I agree, its a big coincidence that it died when it did.
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gmtech

gmtech

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 11:10 pm

Here is a short video on the Smartshell.
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 11:36 pm

If your Caprice transmission only lost reverse, then it's likely that only the lo-reverse clutches are shot, and you could get away with just replacing those and the 3-4 clutchpack and 2-4 band while you're in it. That would be a quickie refresh. I'd do a Smart Shell and a Sonnax 4L60E HP-01 shift kit while I was in it. Then you'd have a rejuvenated trans cheap.

You can do 90% of a 4L60E rebuild with just basic hand tools. You will want a universal spring compressor so that you can replace the piston seals: $120. Rebay it once you are done.
http://www.buy.com/prod/kd-tools-2398-automatic-transmission-clutch-spring-compressor/204263605.html?listingId=205854303

Buy a good set of snapring pliers and you can get all of the snaprings out.

The only other parts that are tricky are the bushings and the teflon seals. Honestly the bushing driver and teflon seal installer tools are not cost-effective to buy so I'd have a local trans shop do the 6 teflon seals and a trans shop or machine shop replace the bushings.

If you search the ISSF forum drivetrain section for posts by me, I've put lots of helpful tips up there on how to do it. Off the top of my head, use the Factory Service Manuals as a guide, and only disassemble one part of the trans at a time and you'll be fine.
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94Woody

94Woody

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeWed Oct 10, 2012 1:11 pm

After reading your post I am very tempted to go through the spare trans I have in the garage.
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeWed Oct 10, 2012 3:26 pm

It's not like you can break it more....
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94Woody

94Woody

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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitimeWed Oct 10, 2012 10:03 pm

I dunno, it was working fine when removed from the car. I pulled the pan a few weeks ago and it is SPOTLESS inside. Looks better than the one in my wagon yet the car had more miles. Even the Opti from the car shows very little wear.

Of course, that makes the Trans a perfect candidate for a rebuild.

If the OP is interested, the Trans is a 95 and I would sell it cheap. Getting it to him may not be cheap, however.
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PostSubject: Re: Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much!   Apparantly towing 250lbs is too much! Icon_minitime

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