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Lost the Transmission Today - WED 10/2 Update

BurbMan
Explorer II
Explorer II
*Update at end of thread*

Well at 144K miles it finally gave up. Had a great drive today down to Western KY for some camping. Campsite was challenging to say the least...trees on both sides of the road, high blacktop edges to back over but I was getting it done and looking forward to a cold one when I got her in the spot.

Much maneuvering and watching the trans temp hit 220, which it has never done, but one last push and I am in the site. Shift to reverse, and nothing...no noise, no drama, no puked fluid, just no motion....and here is where I am:



I unhitched the TT and Good Sam sent a flatbed to park the TT in the site. I had a tow strap and a fellow camper pulled me back out of the neighboring site. Still have all forward gears, just no reverse. Drove it around the CG, pulls strong and lots of torque, shifts fine, just wont go backwards...

Went in and had a beer waiting for the tow truck



The word from the locals here is to go with a Jasper rebuilt and hav it installed by a local mechanic...apparently the last good trans rebuilder here retired and now there are none.

Anybody know of a good shop in the area that can rebuild a 4L80E please post or PM or text me 631.404.0131 ASAP. I am at Kenlake resort on 80 just west of LBL.
50 REPLIES 50

BenK
Explorer
Explorer
Don, consider installing another external ATF cooler, as you camp in some tough
on automatic tranny places...me thinks you have lots of 'boy racer' in you too... 🙂

Stacked plate and either parallel or series to the existing OEM stacked plate

Have made my own with electric fan and thermal switch (plus manual switch) parts
in ready for the day when mine is rebuilt. No bypass, as long as the ATF goes
into the OEM radiator's in-tank ATF cooler

Series...on the 'tranny out' line to the OEM in-tank ATF cooler

Did one for a buddy who had a '95 7.4L TBI Sub and we could see the dash eng
temp gauge cool down when his 2nd external ATF cooler kicked in. He was noodling
a severe duty fan clutch like mine, but we lost touch and don't know what happened

He towed a huge dirt bike trailer and off roading when all that
cooling needed for ATF.
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

BenK
Explorer
Explorer
Yes, brazed vanes and first learned of that around 1974 when burned up my
73 K5's automatic off roading up in Idaho's Panhandle. Even in compound low
but no locking TC back then

Limped out to Lewiston or was it Clarkston (Always confuse'm, but on the Idaho
side) and found a OLD guy just closing his shop. Talked him into rebuilding
it that nite...his condition...cash double cost and I had to hands on help.

Had me braze each fin and the only other guy ever found that did that has passed
away and why am so interested in how it goes...as my 4L80E no longer shifts
well.

Add that heat reduction one of the biggest in maintaining it well. LOL when
folks advise it is 'good for it' into the mid 200's degF...going up there
often and/or sustaining it up there shortens the life of any automatic, IMHO
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

spoon059
Explorer II
Explorer II
Burbman, let us know what the final result is. Sorry about your luck, I'm surprised you had trouble so early especially since you have been on top of fluid changes. Hopefully its something inexpensive and quick to repair!
2015 Ram CTD
2015 Jayco 29QBS

Gale_Hawkins
Explorer
Explorer
Over the years I have found while Cunningham's is not the cheapest but it is the least expensive shop for our automotive needs from MH on down. Being 20 miles from LBL they do keep some high end boat engines tuned as well.

I see Jasper has gone to 100K coverage. It was the fact they remanufacture vs rebuild and have nationwide repair coverage that impressed me. We are at 100K on our 4L60 Jasper without issues. It replaced the second transmission that went out at 107K miles so it has lasted as long as the OEM and one no name replacement.

Hopefully you will be good for another 150K miles. When towing a strong transmission reduces stress. 🙂

Something I noticed about Jasper reman vs a shop rebuild.

tluxon
Explorer
Explorer
BurbMan wrote:
...
Much maneuvering and watching the trans temp hit 220, which it has never done, but one last push and I am in the site. Shift to reverse, and nothing...no noise, no drama, no puked fluid, just no motion....and here is where I am:
...
Bummer. Brings me back to the time we had a shift cable break on us when backing into a site, only at least we had gotten the TT several feet off the road and within about 6 feet of where we were going to set it up anyway.

Hope the repair goes well.
Tim -
wife Beverly & 2 boys who love camping

2002 K2500 Suburban 8.1L 4.10 Prodigy


2005 Sunnybrook 30FKS HP Dual Cam


Replaced 2000 Sunnybrook 26FK on 8/6/04


<>

Gale_Hawkins
Explorer
Explorer
carringb wrote:
Good read on the no-reverse problem:
http://www.sonnax.com/publications/transmission/titles/diagnosing-the-elusive-no-reverse-with-the-4l...


Very good read I agree. This is one reason I feel better about a remanufactured automatic transmission vs. a local rebuild.

BenK
Explorer
Explorer
Byran, GREAT article link
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

john_bet
Explorer
Explorer
I drove a '97 Chevy express van,350 with a 7800gvw, for 11 years at my last job towing nothing and it ate 2 of those trannys in less than 100k. JME.
2018 Ram 3500 SRW CC LB 6.7L Cummins Auto 3.42 gears
2018 Grand Design 337RLS

BenK
Explorer
Explorer
PS...Don't remember if yours is 4x4 or not, but I always put my Sub into low/low
doing stuff like this just for this kind of potential failure

The engine & ATF is spinning and flow at higher levels in compound low
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

BenK
Explorer
Explorer
Major bummer Don...

Know you well enough and see that Mr MacGyver met his match... :B

Seriously, this is one of the reasons I do not like automatics and not
what so many think...high way or pavement anything...it is slow crawling
but not just that...

UN-locked and hydraulic slippage. Not surprised at the dash ATF gauge
temp and note that it was way hotter at the source of heat generation
(inside the TC at the tips of the vanes where the fluid shears)

Add that the slow speed has a small fraction of the air flow married
with huge amounts of heat needing rejection.

At your very good maintenance schedule, betcha the reverse clutch
slipped enough to chew off a bit. Automatic clutches do not have the
meat that manuals have. So it doesn't take much eaten to slip even
more to cascade into failure like this...seemingly in an instant

Don't know modern auto's slippage, but it used to be in the 15% or more
range.

Toss in a healthy big block, slow (no air flow) and unlocked did it in

Don't know much about after market rebuilds and ask that you post back
on how it goes. Want to learn from your scouting the path for me... :B

My 4L80E is at +166,000 miles of extremely hard/harsh use and know
it has been fantastic for me...knock on wood...
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

Fordlover
Explorer
Explorer
campigloo wrote:
Well bummer. Just to try to ease some of the pain, look where you were when it happened. I've seen worse. My 4L80E went out @ 125,000. The mechanics I talked to all said that is about the life expectancy of those trannys. I put a Ford rebuilt back in mine, but added the Banks Billet torque converter. It made a noticeable difference in shifting and temp. Pricey, but I found it worth the money.


Impressive. Your GM tranny went south, so you put a rebuilt Ford unit back in. Which Ford tranny bolts up to a GM motor?
2016 Skyline Layton Javelin 285BH
2018 F-250 Lariat Crew 6.2 Gas 4x4 FX4 4.30 Gear
2007 Infiniti G35 Sport 6 speed daily driver
Retired 2002 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 4x4
Sold 2007 Crossroads Sunset Trail ST19CK

carringb
Explorer
Explorer
Good read on the no-reverse problem:
http://www.sonnax.com/publications/transmission/titles/diagnosing-the-elusive-no-reverse-with-the-4l...
2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST

campigloo
Explorer
Explorer
Well bummer. Just to try to ease some of the pain, look where you were when it happened. I've seen worse. My 4L80E went out @ 125,000. The mechanics I talked to all said that is about the life expectancy of those trannys. I put a Ford rebuilt back in mine, but added the Banks Billet torque converter. It made a noticeable difference in shifting and temp. Pricey, but I found it worth the money.

Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
Wow Don I feel your pain! I had the same experience with my X at 109K?. No reverse. $2200.00 later I was on the road.
144K on a vehicle that tows hard regularly probably isn't bad.
Of course that's easy for me to say.
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

ls1mike
Explorer II
Explorer II
It may just be time. 144,000 miles behind an 8.1 is a lot for a 4L80E.
Jasper makes good stuff.
Monster Transmission makes some awesome stuff.
Mike
2024 Chevy 2500HD 6.6 gas/Allison
2012 Passport 3220 BHWE
Me, the Wife, two little ones and two dogs.