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CarJunky AutoAdvice

2002 Venture 3.4 Front Wheel Drive Tranny Removal

Showing 2 out of 188 Posts | Show 186 Hidden Posts
Question From MarineGrunt on 2002 Venture 3.4 Front Wheel Drive Tranny Removal

Well, I'm going to start pulling the transmission on our Venture. We're going to go ahead and keep it and use it as our mileage vehicle. I figure it's worth more to us than what we would get for it. I've taken good care of it, and have always ran synthetic, so hopefully it will last. It has around 143k on it so not sure how many more miles we'll get out of it but guess we will see.

I looked at the removal process on alldatadiy and it doesn't seem like it will be all that difficult. I did see where I need a special tool that hold the flywheel in place in order to remove the torque converter bolts. Is there any other way to hold the flywheel in place without the j-37096? I've made some other specialty tools in the past and might try and make this one too if it's needed. I think if I got some clay and molded the shape of the flywheel as a pattern I could then grind and weld one together. It would be much easier if I could hold it some other way though. Maybe a pair of needle nose vice grips?

Do you guys have any helpful tips or advice to offer? Is there anything else I should replace while it's out? It does need a new oil pan gasket, which I already have, so I figure I'll throw that on while I'm down there. Any other gaskets I should change?

Hope everyone is doing well. Like always, thanks for a great forum and all the help!

Response From Sean Bailey

well I R&Rd trannys for many years and the craddle it self can be straped back if your useing a lift also you dont have to take the steering loose from the rack and pinnion take the two bolts loose from the rack on bottom of sub frame i think they are about an inch or 15/16 dont remember take some tie wire and tie up the tie rod upto the top of strut tower this will eliminate haveing to reset the sterring wheel straight also the fly will you can use a srewdriver take starter out remove inspection cover take the screwdriver and put it between the teeth of fly wheel and wedge it in the direction (right turn) to loosen up torque converter nuts (4 nuts) there are many tricks to make that r&r easy also rebuilding them remember 4t65 E all the valve body bults (5/16 0r 8 mm)are all different length so mark them along with check balls and match up you valve body gaskets this is real crucial as every year is different not a simple rebuild good luck

Well, I'm going to start pulling the transmission on our Venture. We're going to go ahead and keep it and use it as our mileage vehicle. I figure it's worth more to us than what we would get for it. I've taken good care of it, and have always ran synthetic, so hopefully it will last. It has around 143k on it so not sure how many more miles we'll get out of it but guess we will see.

I looked at the removal process on alldatadiy and it doesn't seem like it will be all that difficult. I did see where I need a special tool that hold the flywheel in place in order to remove the torque converter bolts. Is there any other way to hold the flywheel in place without the j-37096? I've made some other specialty tools in the past and might try and make this one too if it's needed. I think if I got some clay and molded the shape of the flywheel as a pattern I could then grind and weld one together. It would be much easier if I could hold it some other way though. Maybe a pair of needle nose vice grips?

Do you guys have any helpful tips or advice to offer? Is there anything else I should replace while it's out? It does need a new oil pan gasket, which I already have, so I figure I'll throw that on while I'm down there. Any other gaskets I should change?

Hope everyone is doing well. Like always, thanks for a great forum and all the help!

Response From Discretesignals

There is a lot more to rebuilding a transmission that making sure the check balls are in place. End play checks have to be made before and after the transaxle is disassembled and reassembled, so you don't have tolerance stack up, which requires special adapters. There are special tools to take clutch packs apart and to install seals. There are bushing installers to R and R bushings. Air checks have to made, so you don't get it all back together to find out you have an internal leak in a apply component. The valve body may need special work, so valves slide easily in their bores and don't bind or leak. Just so many steps that have to be done to properly overhaul a transmission.

I recommend you consider buying a SERTA transmission. Even though they aren't cheap, they come with a great warranty and are done by the factory.

Response From nickwarner

You'll see what they mean when you watch the DVD and look at the book. You would also want to buy a new torque convertor. I consider them mandatory for any rebuild, along with the TCC lockup solenoid and the shift solenoids A-B.

As far a scanner goes, I guess what your definition of cheap is will determine what you get. Look on E-bay and plenty are out there. You like to dive in and learn new things, and seem to have a good mechanical mindset, so something that only reads generic codes would be a waste of your time I think. You want something that can access multiple modules, perform functional tests and read data pids in real time. You would also want something updatable. If spending $2000 or so isn't too expensive for your taste, see if you can get your hands on a used Snap-On Solus Pro. HT and I both own one and I can't speak for him but I love mine. Lot of people trading up to Modis and Verus now and a call to a few area Snap-On reps might get you a sweet deal on one. They're also able to be updated (not for free unfortunately) to cover newer and newer model years.

As a bonus, its going to be a lot easier to help you diagnose a trouble code if you have such a nice machine in your hands for us to tell you how to use.

Response From Discretesignals

NOTE: This article lists the sequential steps necessary to overhaul the transmission.
- For the specific step listed below, refer to that step under "Repair Instructions".
- For the complete list of procedures, refer to "Repair Instructions".

Overhaul Procedure:

Torque Converter Disassemble
Transmission Support Fixture Assemble
Transfer Case Removal (F4WD Only)
Reverse Servo Disassemble
Forward Servo Disassemble

Bottom Pan and Filter Disassemble
Oil Filter Inspection
Accumulator Assembly and 2-1 Band Servo Removal
Control Valve Body Cover and Gaskets Disassemble
Wiring Harness - Disassemble

Oil Pump Disassemble
Control Valve Body and Spacer Plate Disassemble
Oil Pump Drive Shaft Removal
Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Disassemble (FWD Only)
Output Shaft Disassemble (FWD Only)

Front Differential Carrier End Play Check (FWD Only)
Manual Valve Link and Oil Dam Removal
Drive Axle Oil Seal Removal - Left
Case Cover and Gaskets Disassemble
Fourth Clutch Components Disassemble

Drive Link Stretch Check
Drive and Driven Sprocket Components Disassemble
Driven Sprocket Support Disassemble
2nd Clutch and Input Clutch Removal
Reverse Band Removal

Reverse Reaction Drum Removal
Case Extension Housing Disassemble (FWD Only)
Differential Carrier Components Disassemble (FWD Only)
Input and Reaction Carrier Disassemble
Reaction Sun Gear and Manual 2-1 Band Removal

1-2 Support Drum and Forward Band Removal
Differential Carrier Internal Gear Removal
Park System Components Disassemble
Case Assembly Inspection
Case Components Disassemble

Case Components Assemble
Torque Converter Oil Seal Removal
Drive Sprocket Support Disassemble
Drive Sprocket Support Assemble
Torque Converter Oil Seal Assemble

Park System Components Assemble
Differential Carrier Internal Gear Assemble
Differential Carrier Inspection (FWD Only)
Differential Carrier Disassemble (FWD Only)
Differential Carrier Assemble (FWD Only)

Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Reluctor Wheel Disassemble (FWD Only)
Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Reluctor Wheel Assemble (FWD Only)
Differential Carrier Components Assemble (FWD Only)
Case Extension Assemble (FWD Only)
Forward Band Assemble

1-2 Support Roller Clutch Disassemble
1-2 Support Roller Clutch Assemble
1-2 Support Roller Clutch Functional Check
1-2 Support Drum Assemble
2-1 Manual Band Assemble

Reaction Sun Gear and Drum Assemble
Input and Reaction Carrier Pinion End Play Check
Input and Reaction Carrier Assemble
Reverse Reaction Drum Assemble
Input and Third Sprag Clutches Disassemble

Input and Third Sprag Clutches Assemble
Input and Third Sprag Clutches
Input Clutch and Third Clutch Disassemble
Input Clutch Housing Assembly Inspection
Input Clutch Housing Ball Check Valve Disassemble

Input Clutch Housing Ball Check Valve Assemble
Input Clutch and Third Clutch Assemble
Input Clutch and Third Clutch Functional Air Check
Input Clutch Housing Oil Seal Rings Assemble
Input Clutch Housing and Sprag Clutches Assemble

Input Clutch Housing End Play Check (FWD Only)
Input Clutch Housing End Play Check (F4WD Only)
2nd Clutch Disassemble
2nd Clutch Housing Assembly Inspection
2nd Clutch Housing Ball Check Valve Disassemble

2nd Clutch Housing Ball Check Valve Assemble
2nd Clutch Assemble
Reverse Band Assemble
Driven Sprocket Support Components Disassemble
Driven Sprocket Support Components Inspection

Driven Sprocket Support Bearing Disassemble
Driven Sprocket Support Bearing Assemble
Driven Sprocket Support Components Assemble
Fourth and Second Clutch Functional Air Check
2nd, Input, 3rd and Sprag Clutches Assemble

Driven Sprocket Support Assemble
Drive Sprocket and Turbine Shaft Disassemble
Drive Sprocket and Turbine Shaft Assemble
Drive and Driven Sprocket Components Assemble
Fourth Clutch Components Assemble

Case Cover Components Disassemble
Case Cover Components Inspection
Case Cover Bearing Disassemble
Case Cover Bearing Assemble
Left Drive Shaft Oil Seal Assemble

Case Cover Components Assemble
Case Cover and Gaskets Assemble
Manual Valve Link and Oil Dam Assemble
Differential Carrier End Play Check (FWD Only)
Right Drive Shaft Oil Seal Disassemble (FWD Only)

Right Drive Shaft Oil Seal Assemble (FWD Only)
Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Assemble (FWD Only)
Control Valve Body Clean
Control Valve Body Inspection
Control Valve Body Disassemble

Control Valve Body Assemble
Oil Pump Drive Shaft Assemble
Control Valve Body and Spacer Plate Assemble
Oil Pump Components Disassemble
Oil Pump Components Assemble

Wiring Harness Assemble
Case Side Cover and Gaskets Assemble
Thermo Element Adjustment
2-1 Manual Band Servo Disassemble
2-1 Manual Band Servo Assemble

Accumulator Components Disassemble
Accumulator Components Assemble
Accumulator Assembly, 2-1 Band Servo Assemble
Oil Pan and Filter Assemble
Forward Band Servo Components Disassemble

Forward Band Servo Assemble
Reverse Band Servo Components Disassemble
Reverse Band Servo Assemble
Transmission to Transfer Case End Play Check (F4WD Only)
Transfer Case Installation (F4WD Only)

Output Shaft Assemble
Transmission Holding Fixture Disassemble
Torque Converter Inspection
Torque Converter Assemble

Response From MarineGrunt

Good to see you HT.

Once again, some great info! After reading the posts I feel awfully intimidated now. I already ordered the manual and dvd so going to do plenty of studying to see if all of this is even worth my time. If I have any doubts I think I'm gonna have to pass. Since the van has over 140k I hate putting too much into it but will if need be. I believe it books for around $4000 to $5000 so I know I'd make my money back even if I end up buying a crate and especially if I install it. I just have this itch to try the rebuild myself but we will see. You know, I was looking at our local community college and they do have a course solely about at's. Do you think it would be worth taking it? I really need to get the van back on the road though. It has been sitting long enough. I figure the longer it sits the more crap I'm gonna end up having to replace.

As for the scanner, if I spent $2000 on one my wife would casturate me Nick! I was hoping for no more than $500 now so might have to put it off and cash in my change jar in about 3 years! With all the work I've done on the truck and with the Envoy in great mechanical condition hopefully I won't need one anytime in the near future. It's the van that I'd be worried about. Besides the tranny it's in good mechanical condition though and especially after doing the intake.

I should have the dvd and manual by Friday. I'll read it over and watch the dvd over the weekend and see what I think.

By the way, didn't HT say awhile back that he'd mail me his scanner whenever I needed to pull a code?

Response From Discretesignals

Just curious, but what kind of things are you wanting to do with the scanner?

When you start getting into bidirectional control and the ability to interface other modules in the vehicle is when it starts getting really expensive.
I'm not a sales rep, but Autel makes some decent scanners for things like looking at OBD2 data stream info and retrieving and erasing trouble codes.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the checklist on overhauling a transmission DS. I reallly appreciate all the help this you and everyone offers.

To be honest, the only need I have for a scanner right now is pulling codes. But, I enjoy working on my own vehicles and helping family and friends with theirs. I enjoy learning along the way and learning new things even if it's "useless" information to me. I guess for right now I could get by with a basic scanner but I don't want some pos that only tells me the basics. I don't need one that tells me everything either.

I'm just gonna hold off on one for now and worry about fixing the Venture. I'll take a look at the Autel. I don't know anything about them so not really sure what kind will suit my needs.

Thanks again!

Response From MarineGrunt

I received the the repair manual and dvd. I thought the dvd was going to be some sort of video but it's just the manual in pdf form. The manual gives step by step instructions. I figure what the hell, lets give the rebuild a try. Maybe it will work out and maybe it won't. I plan on taking a bunch of pictures along the way. Worse case is it doesn't work out and I'm out the money for parts. I'll then either pick up a crate tranny or send the old off for rebuild. I'll probably get a crate but I'm not going to worry about that right now. Hopefully I won't have to worry about it later either.

I plan on dropping the tranny this weekend. Wish me luck.

Response From Discretesignals

You'll get it. Just pay attention to detail and don't be afraid to ask questions.

One key to a successful transmission rebuild is a nice clean place to work. A large enough bench to lay parts onto is a big plus. Trying to rebuild it in the back yard on concrete slab or dirt floor next to the kid's sandbox is a no no.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the encouragement DS. I completely cleaned off my workbench in my garage last night. Took the family out for breakfast so just now getting ready to pull it. Not sure how long it will take me. I always take a bunch of pictures along the way just in case I forget where something goes. I also put the bolts from each part in plastic baggies and tape them to the part. It takes a little longer doing things this way but tends to make it go a bit faster during installation.

In the rebuild manual it lists a handful of specialty tools. I know I can probably get away without using some of them but are there any that are a must have? Also, can you recommend a rebuild kit? There seem to be a handful of brands out there. Should I replace the forward and reverse bands even if they're okay? I figure for another $70 or so I ought to. Any certain brand of torque converter? Or, should I wait until I have it disassembled so I can actually see what the problem is?

Response From Discretesignals

It has been a long time since I rebuilt transaxles working at the dealer. The dealer had all the essential tools and replacement parts were factory. I know that you'll need tools to compress the clutch packs, seal protectors, the bushing remover and installers, and the preloader to check end play. They also make kits that make improvements on problem areas that are common in those transmissions. Contact Sonnax and/or Transtar industries and explain to them what you are doing and ask what you will need. If you find you have valve body issues, it would be better to send that out for repair. Sometimes valve bores have to be sleeved, which requires special machinery.

Response From MarineGrunt

When I drop the frame what all comes down with it? I'm following the manual but just want to make sure nothing hangs up. It looks like the stabilizer bar. Once I disconnect the steering knuckle do the tie rods drop down too?

Response From MarineGrunt

I had a problem dropping the frame. It says to remove the steering rack. One bolt came out okay. The other bolt is hitting on the stabilizer bar. If I had another 1/4" or so it might just make it. Tried prying a little but there's not enough give. I was going to remove the stablizer bar but don't have room to get one of the bolts out of it either. I could possibly cut the bolt on the steering rack and then on installation put the bolt in from the tranny side. There seems to be a little more room that way. Am I missing something here?

Here I plan on trying to rebuild the tranny but having issues dropping the frame. This isn't building my confidence in my mechanical skills (or should I say nonskills) at all!

Response From Discretesignals

You do have an engine support adapter on that thing?

Response From MarineGrunt

Yes, I do have the engine supported.

Taking a better look at alldata/diy I do have to remove the stablizer bar. It also says to remove the power steering gear from the subframe. I've never heard of a power steering "gear". Once I get the bolt out of the steering rack it doesn't look like there's anything else attached or in the way.

I have all other steps completed so I'll be okay. The stabilzer bar rear bolt is just gonna be a bit of a pain. If they would've put the steering rack bolt in from the other side the stabilizer bar would just drop with the frame. I think the only way you should be able to be an automotive engineer is to have first been a mechanic for 20+ years. Then again, I have a feeling my mechanic mentors here would have a built in kegarator and an ejection seat for our old ladies included in the design.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

I think the only way you should be able to be an automotive engineer is to have first been a mechanic for 20+ years.
You have that right. The objective is to "engineer" units ready to go for fast assembly when new NOT worked on later. Hours to assemble components is just a fraction of what it once was. Not even expected service items are given much thought on the drawing boards of CAD/CAM - T

Response From MarineGrunt

I'll tell you what...I definitely didn't win any awards for speed while removing the tranny. I did get it out a few hours ago though. I thought I had every bolt removed but knew there were 6 on the bell housing and I only had 5 out. I looked all over the side where the other 5 bolts were and couldn't find the 6th. Then it hit me. I remembered Nick saying something about a 3ft extension. He must've been sending vibes from WI. Once I looked on the right hand side with a flashlight I saw it. After removing that one it came right out.

I noticed I have some kind of small oil leak on the right hand side of the engine. Looks like it might be coming out from the main pully. I'll have to take a better look and see if it's running down from somewhere else. Don't forget, I did do the intake earlier this year so hopefully it's not leaking from something I did during that.

I know I asked this earlier, but while I have the tranny out is there anything else I should replace? I know the rear main seal was one of them. I'm going to replace the oil pan gasket as that one is leaking a little. Any other gaskets?

Like always, thanks for the help!

Response From nickwarner

Now you see why I called that one a Bastard Bolt. Saw a guy that had more hammers than brains destroy his case because he didn't know it was there. I got called in for the aftermath.

With the cradle out of the way look real close at your motor mounts. If they are oil-soaked and geting a bit crappy now is the easiest time to take care of it. The front main seal could be leaking, and isn't hard to get at especially with the crable out but you will need not only a balancer puller but a balancer installer. See if the wetness starts at the back of the balancer or if it came from further up.

Remember when you install this that one of the bellhousing bolts gets two ground cable ends on it. They can be confused in dim light with the fusible links that go to the power wire at the back of the starter solenoid. If that happens you blow your fusible links. A friend of mine posted about that earlier this year with his Olds Intrigue.

As you've seen, getting the cradle out of the way frees up the working area by a mile and the battle is mostly over once it comes out. Do get some cans of Kooler Klean and flush the ever living hell out of your transmission cooler and lines. Neglecting that part is the fasted way to waste a perfectly good trans in short order. After the cleaner I like to hook up a hose to hot water and flush multiple times in both directions. Blow out with air after that. Now when you go to start the engine leave your return line unhooked and hold it over a can. Have someone in the van running the key for you, and when all that comes out is fresh trans fluid you can shut it off and hook that return line up. This way you have every drop of water out as well. Its actually part of the service procedure for servicing Isuzu NPR cube vans with both 4L80E and AISIN transmissions when installing a new trans.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the pointers Nick. I know exactly what wires you are talking about. I'll definitely flush it the way you recommend. When changed the tranny fluid in the Envoy and in the Sierra I unhooked the cooler line so know what to do there. I actually had to steal one of the line clips off of the Venture when I did the Envoy cause one went shooting off at about 50mph and lost it. I just ordeded some new clips yesterday. I write all these tips down so I have them to look at during installation. It helps tremendously.

I'm hoping someone can help me on this one. I started tearing into the transmiison today. I didn't get too far cause I had to go to the school for a meeting. I should've thought about this first and flipped the transmission valve body up. When I slowly pulled the valve body off a little piece fell off. It's like a little metal tab. It's 1/2" X 3/4". I have no idea where it goes. I'd like to figure out where it came from before I continue. I'm not sure how to post pictures on here so here's a link. Hopefully one of you know where this thing goes.



Response From Discretesignals

I am not exactly sure what that is. How thick is it? Doesn't looking like something that should be in the valve body. Might be a clue to why the transmission failed.

Response From MarineGrunt

It's 1/16" of an inch thick. I've looked all over the valve body and tried it in every spot possible. It almost looks like there's a small strip of wear lengthwise on one side of it and one lengthwise towards the top on the other side. Well, not wear, it just has a shiny spot about an 1/8" wide on each side. It could have very well had that before it was ever installed and just part of manufacturing. Oh well, I'll just move on. If there's one there's probably another so hopefully I'll be able to see where it came from.

Thanks DS.

Response From nickwarner

When you get the drums broken down see if any of the clutches or steels are missing a tab.

Response From MarineGrunt

Disregard this post......I got it.

Hopefully it is one of the clutches or steels. It looks like it would be about the same size as one of the tabs on one of the steels.

I'm removing the channel plate now. It has a handful of regular bolts and one torx. That torx is tight! I have one set of torx bits that strip out before the torx bolt itself. It stripped that bit. I used another harder bit and it slipped out. I hate to keep at it cause I am the king of stripped or broken bolts. That's just how my luck goes. If it's gonna happen it's gonna happen to me.

Any recommendations on this one? I guess if anything, and I strip it, I could grind it flat to get the plate off and then remove it with vice grips.

Response From nickwarner

Its probably loctited in there. Get a new bit and an impact driver. Make sure you are getting the right size. Some sets only go in 5's, which would leave out the common size t27. A 30 wouldn't fit and a 25 would strip out. Impact drivers are at pretty much every parts store. Lisle makes a decent one and I've used it for years on things like that, motorcycle case screws, etc.


Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Nick, I ended up finding the right size bit and used my battery operated Dewalt impact. It has that vibrated motion to it. That knocked it right loose.

I've just about got it all apart. I haven't taken apart the 2nd clutch housing yet. I did take a peek at the steels and I don't think that one piece is off of one of them. It's a little bigger. I'm done for the night so will finish up and go over everything tomorrow. I did notice that the drive sprocket thrush washer was missing. Besides that, it everything seems to look okay so far. I haven't looked over everything all that close though.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I pretty much have it torn apart. I haven't disassembled the clutch plates and everything yet. I'm not reallly sure what to look for but everything looks pretty good. I know that doesn't mean everything is good though. All the gears are in near perfect shape. I didn't have to use any kind of specialty tool so far. That makes me wonder if the clutch plates are worn? The one thing I did notice is that it seemed to be missing the thrust washer behind the drive sprocket and there seems to be a little wear on the drive sprocket support. It seems like the drive sprocket is rubbing on the drive sprocket support. It seems like the design allows for metal on metal rubbing. I guess this is probably going to get me an obvious answer but is the thrust washer the only thing to prevent metal on metal? It almost seems like something happened to allow the drive sprocket to completely wear down the thrust washer and that's where all the sludge came from. The bearing for the drive sprocket seems to be okay. I'm going to go ahead and replace it though. That is if I can get it out. I have a slide hammer for bearings but I can't seem to find any adapters that will work. I guess a sledge hammer from the other side will do it. I'm kidding. I was just trying to get DS riled up. It also seemed to be missing the 4th clutch shaft thrust washer but there didn't seem to be any wear there. The kits come with all new thrust washers so I guess all I can do is replace everything and keep my fingers crossed. That's the bad thing about not having the knowledge on how everything works. I'm just going to follow the manual to a "T" and I think I'll be okay.

I still can't seem to find where that little tab came from. It's bigger than any finger off of a steel or clutch plate. I just wonder if it fell from somewhere before I even removed the valve body. I really doubt it though. I started to remove the valve body and noticed some tranny fluid was going to run out. I only pulled it back an 1/8" and pushed it back on. I then put a rag underneath to catch the fluid. I removed it and then the tab and a locating dowel was laying on the rag so I'm almost positve it fell from the valve body. Maybe I'll swing by a transmission shop and see if they can tell me anything about it. I know it's hard for you guys to tell from a picture.

I'm going to start getting everything cleaned up. Is it okay to pressure wash the housing? I figure I'll dry it real good when I'm done and then hit it with some parts cleaner and air to make sure I get all the water out. It will have a few days to air dry too. Will that be a problem?

What I really need to get is a parts washer. The money I've spent on spray bottles of parts cleaner would have bought me a couple of them by now.

Response From MarineGrunt

Tom....I've always had Craftsman cordless battery operated drills, impact, etc in the past. They work great for projects around the house. Since Boilermaker work has been so slow over the last few years (too many EPA regulations) I'm in the process of starting a remodeling/home improvement business. I figure I can still hit local Boilermaker jobs when they come about in the spring and fall. Anyways, I decided to go ahead and and pick up some Dewalt tools because they are much more durable and have a lot more power. I ended up going with the new 20V L-ion. The impact is small but it has some great power. It has a brushless motor so it's suppose to last a lot longer too. I guess we will see. I'm 35 now and realized a few years back it's worth spending a little more to get the better tool. If not, you end up buying the same mid grade tool over and over again every few years. I don't always go for the better tool but will if it's something I'm going to use more than once or twice.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I found where the tab came from and what probably caused the transmission to fail. I pulled the cover off the pump and noticed ten other metal tabs. The metal tabs just kind of float in inside the pump housing. With the way the pump housing fits around it the metal tabs are held in place. An internal piece of the pump gear broke so nothing was holding the tab in place. I assume this prevented the fluid from being pumped throught the tranny. I posted some pictures if you want to see what I mean. I found a pump assembly on ebay for $35 and it will be here no later than Saturday. That will work out good cause I have to help my stepdad finish his t-case. He has been waiting on parts. When I receive the pump I'm gonna pull the cover off and looking at it very close before I use it.


By the way, how do you post pictures on here? Whenever I click the image tab everything just goes gray.

Response From Hammer Time

I tried to edit you link to make it show here but it didn't work. If you post you pics to a site like Photobucket or Imageshack, they supply a link to paste into your response that makes the picture appear there.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks HT. I'll sign up at one of the two sites you mentioned and give it a try.

Response From nickwarner

Your failure and that tab have been confirmed with those pics. The pump failed and wasn't able to keep up the proper amount of flow for the trans to work. Always nice to find a confirmation of failure. But since you already went and got the kit, spring compressor and such may as well get it all done. Pay close attention to the bushings as well, a marginal one will give you trouble later. You need a bushing driver kit to do it properly.

If you don't have a lip seal installer, you can use a feeler gauge. The tool is real cheap though. Make sure to use plenty of lube on everything when installing the lip seals. I use a small paintbrush and gear oil to do that. Also be sure to prime up the transmission pump with ATF and spin it a few times by hand so it doesn't get dry started and make this happen all over again.

To clean the case and hard parts properly trans shops use a hot water washer that works awesome, and for a small fee would wash your parts and case if you brought it to them. Most semi truck repair shops have them too, so that gives you some options about where to look. Your case, drums, planetaries and valve body come out nice, and those paper gaskets on the seperator plate and valve body just fall off. Thats a bonus because you can't use a die grinder to clean that off without damaging the surface.

Response From Discretesignals

Sounds like your on a roll. How does the pump housing look? Is it all scared up from the vane coming apart? Pump shaft support screwed up? Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the entire pump.

One thing about transmissions or anything for that matter there is a reason why something happens. That is really one thing that I hated when working on transmissions. You can see the effect, but what is the cause? It is important to determine the cause of failure. Especially on something such as a transmission, because they are a big pain when you have to take it back out of the vehicle and go through it again.

Soak your clutches in ATF. Air check what you can. Don't want to have to take it apart because a seal got rolled. Inspect the drive sprocket support bearing. Used to do them all the time in the 4T60Es.

Make sure those thrust washers your getting are the same thickness as the old ones.
The transmission does have selective washers to control the end play for the input clutch housing and differential carrier. Excessive end play will cause clunking and too little will cause binding. This are the tools mentioned earlier that is used to preload the assembly. I know it sound meticulous and most guys just slap the stuff together, but when the end play is within specifications the transmission shifts and feels right. It also lets you know that things are put together correctly. You need quite of few special tools to check end play for the input clutch housing and diff, and they are expensive. Your best bet is to ask your transmission friend if he/she can verify end play.

Response From MarineGrunt

Nick.....Some of the discoloration will come off but it has a bunch of scores. The scores aren't very deep though.

DS.......The pump housing looks okay. The only thing I could notice was the gear or finger that had broke off. I went ahead and found the whole pump on ebay. Found a used one for $35. Hey, I like meticulous. I'd rather hear it a hundred times than not at all. Especially since I've never seen the inside of a tranny before, let alone touch one.

I saw a loading tool on ebay for around $50. Sounds like that one there is an absolute must and it's not something I can make. I'm gonna head over and get it now.

No nylon washer. The manual says there should be a thrust washer there but there wasn't.

The picture shows the last thing I pulled out of it. There wasn't anything else between them.

Response From Discretesignals

Very strange. It has to be there or as you noticed the drive sprocket will contact the drive support. Was the other washer on the front of the drive chain sprocket when you removed the channel plate? Maybe since the turbine shaft is chucking back and forth without the washer in place, so was the oil pump drive shaft since it goes through the middle of it.

Response From MarineGrunt

The only one missing was 517.

Response From Discretesignals

Ya, that washer needs to be there on the forth drive shaft. Did this have problems in overdrive? I don't have an answer why they are missing.

Take the pump seal out in the bellhousing. 4 torx hold the drive support to the case. The new drive support comes with a bearing and bushing. I wouldn't use the old one.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS. I started pulling the pump seal but seemed like I was going to jack the seal up so stopped and figured I'd better ask before I screwed something up.

About a week or so before the tranny complete went out it no longer shifted into overdrive.

When I noticed that the pump was broke, and with the washer missing, I kind of figure that the washer was ground away due to it not being lubricated. There's another nylon washer that is worn pretty good and is chipped. Besides the pump, nylon washer, and the drive sprocket support, everything looks to be in great shape. The bands seem to have plenty of plenty of friction plate(?) on them, no chips out of any gears at all from what I can tell, and the inside seems to be pretty clean. I can see some sludge in some spots but nothing crazy. Hopefully after the rebuild it's like a new transmission. That's if I get it all back together.

I should be okay. I labeled and numbered almost everything and have all the parts laid out in order.

Response From Discretesignals

Pop the seal out. It is pressed in and is not to be reused. That seal should come in your kit.

Don't worry, you'll get it back together and it will work just fine. Have faith. Your paying attention to detail and that is the most important thing.

Response From MarineGrunt

If it wasn't for you guys I don't think that I would've had the cahonas to attempt this. It's nice having you guys in my corner.

Is this the part I need?

Don't post links..... especially e-bay

just post the picture/

Response From MarineGrunt

I'm looking to order a torque converter. There seems to be a lot of different brands out there. Does it matter which one I get? There are some remanufactured on Ebay from $110 to $160. The brand is Recon. Will one of those be okay? This might be a dumb question, but since there wasn't much metal floating around in the tranny, can the old one be reused if I flush it out? I don't like half assing anything so will definitely buy a new one if recommended.

I found a Kent Moore End Play tool on ebay for $32.95 and free shipping. New it's over $200 so got a pretty good deal.

Response From nickwarner

Recon is a good brand. I replace the torque convertor at every overhaul. The one you have may be good now, but its 10 years old with plenty of miles on it. How far do you trust it? The torque convertor clutch has been wearing since day one and I'd give it a new one.

Response From MarineGrunt

Point taken. I don't trust it. I hate to have a like new transmission only to have a $100 part ruin it all and with my luck it would happen.

I ordered everything I needed today. Hopefully I won't run into anything else which I don't think I will. Going to clean everything up while I'm waiting for the rebuild kit to get here. I should have it by Friday.

I pulled the bolts from the oil pan earlier. Is there a trick to getting the pan off without prying like crazy or did I miss a hidden bolt? I didn't want to force anything so I left it alone for the time being. Pulled all the 10mm bolts I could see and also the lower compressor bolt. It doesn't look like there's anything else but it seems to be held on pretty tight.

Response From Discretesignals

Don't forget the bolts on the sides of the oil pan.

Response From MarineGrunt

Before I found this forum I would always drive myself nuts and get so po'd when something wouldn't do what I thought it was suppose to do. Now I stop what I'm doing, come one here, and ask. It keeps my tools from being thrown across the garage.

Like always, exactly the advice I was hoping for. Thank you DS.

Response From MarineGrunt

Quick question. I just flipped the old torque converter over to drain. When I flipped it a small gear fell out. It kind of looks like you drop it in before installation but I have no idea. I ordered a new torque converter so it doesn't really matter but I'm just curious.

Response From Discretesignals

That is the end of the oil pump shaft. Must had snapped the end off the shaft when the oil pump locked up.

For the input clutch wave plate (655) I believe there is a typo in the picture in your manual. There is a picture at the bottom of this post showing the order for the input clutch pack.

Look at the installation instructions for the third clutch see if they match:

17. Insert the third clutch waved plate (645) into the input shaft and housing assembly (632).

Important: Place the first externally splined plate with its steel side against the waved plate. Place the fiber side of all plates face upward.

18. Insert the third clutch plates assemblies into the input housing. Start by inserting a third clutch plate (646) with external splines. Alternate with the internally splined clutch plates (647).
19. Insert the third clutch backing plate (648) with the word UP facing upward.
20. Insert the retaining ring (649) into the input shaft and housing assembly (632).

Here is the installation procedure for the installation of the input clutch:

21. Insert the input clutch apply plate (654) into the input shaft and housing assembly (632), so that the notched side of the teeth are facing downward against the retaining ring on the third clutch backing plate.
22. Install the input clutch waved plate (655).
23. Install the input clutch plates (656, 657) starting with an input clutch steel plate (657) and alternating with input clutch fiber plate assemblies (656).
24. Insert the input clutch backing plate (658) with the tapered side of the teeth facing upward.
25. Insert the retaining ring (659) in the input shaft and housing assembly (632).

Response From Discretesignals

There are so many design changes and improvements to this transmission. Dealer transmission techs usually get update bulletins from the factory. Independent usually get their information from the aftermarket. I honestly don't know the design improvements and changes made on your transmission. Once you fall off the information train, it is really hard to get back on.

Your best bet is to talk to a rebuilder and see if you can milk some information to see why you have a different wave plate design and no input wave plate in your kit. There could be a change in the input housing or maybe there was a change in the number of clutches.

Transmissions are a real pain in the ass because sometimes the factory has design changes between years. Even if they are the same model transmissions you can't go swapping parts from one transmission and expect it to work in another. One example is the oil pump and valve body. In 2003 it changed and can't be used in earlier designs. There was also a second design to the pump in 2002. The change in pump design also caused a change in valve body design. I'm getting a headache thinking about it...LOL.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS....hopefully a local tranny shop won't mind sharing some info. What if I were to just buy another wave plate and rebuild it exactly as it was? Like you said, it's probably an update but I figure it worked okay for 143k the way it was. If I can get another 143k the tranny will outlast the van.

Looks like I'll be drinking even more at this wedding.

Response From Discretesignals

What if I were to just buy another wave plate and rebuild it exactly as it was?

Don't see why you couldn't do that. As long as the components in your rebuild kit have the same tolerances as the originals.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS. You're right about a typo in the picture. I was in a hurry to post before leaving for the wedding so only looked at the diagram I posted. On the next page it gives written instructions plus another diagram. It shows a 3rd clutch wave plate and also an input clutch wave plate. The manual I have is an ATSG but only has updates through 2003 if that makes a difference. Like you said, there are probably othe updates since 2003. Although, you would think a wave plate would be a major part of it. The kit didn't come with any extra clutch plates or anything else. When I called the place I ordered from he said it was a very popular kit and sell thousands of them and has never had anyone ask. He also said that it's mainly mechanics that order and they don't get too many calls from diy's. Then again, he said he was just a parts guy. He also said to see if I could talk to a local tranny shop and see what they have to say. If I can't find anyone to help he said to call back and he would contact a local one from his end.

The new clutch plate is a different design and has more teeth. I'm confident that part is okay because the new one matches up to the clutch plates meaning that the new wave plate has the same number of teeth as the clutch plates. One of my old wave plates was broke widthwise but the other one is fine. Do you think I could reuse one of the old wave plates? I am going to try and find out about the "missing" wave plate first before I do anything though.

Man, things were going so smooth until this. Oh well, just a minor bump in the road. I figured I'd run into a few of them. I've gotta take the good with the bad if I'm going to attempt stuff like this for the first time. If it weren't for situations like this I would'nt learn as much. It makes me dig into things deeper.

Response From MarineGrunt

Hey DS....Check this out.

"4T65E Update 2002-2003 Changes The input and 3rd one way clutches were updated as of July 17th 2002 on some models. Full implementation is scheduled for February 2003. The new one way clutches are a “PAWL” design (commonly refered to as a diode) rather than the sprag design that has been used since the 4T65E was introduced in 1997. In addition, the new pawl design assembly requires new design input clutches. Thenew clutch plates utilize a wave design spline and are thicker than the previous design components. This update was done because of durability problems with the previous design components.The pawl design one way clutches are not currently serviced other than as an assembly. In other words, the pawl components are not available as individual pieces. The clutches must be changed if the pawl design one ways are installed in previous design application. The pawl one way clutch part numbers are 24216516 for the input and 24216517 for the 3rd. The new input clutch part number is 24216502." My 2002 Venture would've landed right in the middle of all of this. What do you think? Looks like the 3rd clutch wave plate is used and the input wave plate is no longer needed? Ahhh....I will now be able to sleep tonight...hopefully. I'm going to inspect them a little closer in the a.m.


I measured the old input steels and the new input steels. The old are .080 mm and the new are .100 mm.

With the info above do you think I'm good to go on putting everything back together or should I still wait until Monday and check with a tranny shop?

Response From Discretesignals

If you go with the updated PAWL input and 3rd one way clutches, you'll have to change the input clutch plates in the input housing.

I don't know if that eliminates the input clutch wave plate. I went to 2004 Venture trans service information and it is still showing the input clutch wave plate (655) in the diagram.

I noticed that ATSG also has a 4T65E updates manual on CD. That manual may give you more information on some of the changes and what was done. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pick it up. The more information you can get the better. Besides there may be some improvements that can be done to make the transmission practically bullet proof....LOL. As you are noticing rebuilding a transmission is more than just slapping a couple of seals in. Heck you get good enough and you can be the neighborhood transmission guy.

Since the introduction of the THM 4T65-E transmission in model year 1997, there have been many major engineering design changes to improve durability and reliability. These changes have affected many of the parts used in the THM 4T65-E. This "Update Handbook" will cover preliminary information and will also explain each change, the parts affected by the change, and any parts interchangeability concerns created by the change. This manual is a companion manual to the 4T65-E Blue assembly and disassembly manual and is most helpful during a rebuild. On Mini CD..html

Response From MarineGrunt

The rebuild kit came with new input clutch plates which are all a little thicker than the old. Sounds like I need a new pawl, whatever the heck that is..lol. Man, my mind is spinning now.

I ordered the manual on cd the same time I ordered the printed manual. I'll take a look at that this afternoon. My wife is making me head to the pumpkin farm with her and the kids.

I think my best bet is to call a tranny shop and offer to pay for some advice and help with this.

*Edit* A quick look at the manual on cd shows that it lists and explains the different updates. Off to the pumpkin farm and I'll go over it when I get back. Thanks DS. You always seem to point me in the right direction. I haven't had to use my brain like this since I took some college courses.

Response From Discretesignals

Ya, definitely check out that updates CD. The PAWL design change is in the one way roller clutches for 3rd and the input clutches. The older ones were the sprag design. There must have been a change in the input clutch splines on the one way clutch, so the input clutches themselves had to be redesigned.

I bet that CD has information on that.

One way clutches:

An updated PAWL input one way clutch:

Have fun at the pumpkin farm

Response From MarineGrunt

Yep, I have the top one. The update cd explains exactly what you said and also explains the new aftermarket clutch plates. I'll post exactly what it says when I get a chance. It will probably be sometime tomorrow since I have to get the truck fixed first.

It also says that ALL new aftermarket rebuild kits have the updated clutch plate design. Will I more than likelly have to purchase the new PAWL input one way clutch?

The kit didn't come with the new nylon thrust washers. Went to the dealership this morning. $54 later and I have the 4 new $.02 pieces of nylon. Oh well, I expected that.

Response From Discretesignals

The new clutch plates utilize a wave design spline and are thicker than the previous design components.

I believe you will need to purchase the one way PAWL design clutches, to be able to use the updated clutch plates.

Look at the teeth of the old design on the sprag. You'll see they are cut out differently than the new design which has wave style teeth.

old design:

new design:

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS. Below is what the updated manual says about it PAWL and the Sprag. What I don't get is it says that all aftermarket clutch plates have 30 teeth instead of the original 32 but in my kit the clutch plates have 32. It seems the clutch plates and the sprag would be compatible. I measured the thickness of the old to the new and the new are a little thicker, which it explains that in the updated manual. I'm just wondering if the new clutch plates in the kit are made to exclude the original input wave plate but work with the original sprag?

Here's what the update says.

Response From MarineGrunt

Okay, I think I found out what the deal is with the wave plates. The info I posted above is an update that they made in 2003 and has nothing to do with my 2002. I emailed a tranny shop and this is what they said.

"Most rebuild kits dont include wave plates because it is not a part you often need to replace unless the original one is broken. What you were told about new steels having a slight wave to them is incorrect or they are looking at the wrong part and there are always flat steel plates that go between the frictions. The original wave plates are fine to reuse and always go on the bottom of the clutch pack just how it came apart. You are correct on the input frictions- the 2003+ models used a ratcheting sprag/mechanical diode/PAWL design whichever way you want to call it- and the 30 tooth splines. 2002 and earlier models used a sprag element that had input and 3rd contained together and only uses the 32 tooth spline input frictions and not interchangable. All friction companies make early and late design input frictions so there is no reason to have to change the sprag style."

It sounds as if the one wave plate that comes with the kit normally doesn't come in most kits. They must throw an extra one in just in case one is needed. It's a good thing because I did have one that is broke. What do you think? Do you think I'm okay to proceed? I think if the kit would've came with either both new wave plates, or none at all, all of this confusion might've been bypassed. Well, the truck is up and running and it hopefully looks like I can continue with the tranny. I just trust everyone's advice here so I'd like to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for hanging with me through all of this!

Should I delete my post above just in case someone runs across this thread down the road? I don't want anyone to get confused like I did.

Response From Discretesignals

Sounds good to me. So from reading your post the old input/3rd sprags get reused unless you really wanted to convert to the PAWL one ways. You can use the 32 spline clutch plates and must have the wave plates installed in both input and 3rd clutch packs. Did you check your sprags to be sure they are good? Good that you asked that trans tech and that he/she took the time to answer your questions. That's cool.

Response From nickwarner

I'd stay with the early style setup you're running and leave the post there. If anyone stumbles upoin it they've already read through the end of the third page and to see where confusion can happen and how it was resolved might be a benefit. Maybe they will gain confidence from it, maybe they will decide they would be in over their head. No matter what it is, if they've taken the time to follow your threads they certainly enjoy reading a lot.

You're doing good. Almost on Easy Street now.

Response From MarineGrunt

I thought it was very nice of the tranny guy to answer my questions. I offered to pay him for his time via paypal but he refused. (Now don't be getting any ideas! ha ha) Seriously though, you guys have no idea how much I appreciate all the help. I could've never even attempted this rebuild if I didn't have you guys helping me out.

I broke down the sprag and cleaned the heck out of it. The gears look fine and it seemed to work as it should. I did notice in the manual where it says you aren't suppose to reuse the spiral retaining ring so I have to pick up a new one. I'm also going to replace the input clutch piston. I noticed it had a little wear that looks to be from the clutch plates or steels. It's not real bad but can get a reconditioned one for $20 so figure I should. I just don't want anything to come back to bite me in the.... My rebuild kit did come with one wave plate. One of my original wave plates was broke so have to use that one. I think I'll try and order one more wave plate and replace the other while I'm at it. It looks okay, but since the one broke, it worries me the other might not be too far behind. Since the pump broke and wasn't pumping fluid it's hard saying how hot that wave plate got. It's pretty thin so it wouldn't have taken too long to heat up. It might be fine but I'm not taking any chances.

Nick...I'm definitely sticking to the original sprag. I checked the price the other day when I thought I had to replace it and it was around $200. Heck, it wouldn't have cost me that much to have either you or DS rebuild it for me and that's including parts and freight!

Ha ha...I'm just glad you guys enjoy reading!

Response From nickwarner

You'd have to pay for my beer while I was working on it, and being I live in WI you might be better off getting a new trans at that price.

Is that piston an aluminum one with replaceable lip seals or a plastic one with the lip seal bonded to it? If the latter, float test it. If it floats, tie it to a brick and repeat the float test. If the molded aluminum, and not cracked, just put a new lip seal on it. It was made to be reused.

Response From MarineGrunt

It's the aluminum one with replaceable lip seal. It has some grooves worn in the side of it from the clutch plates rubbing. It almost looks like the clutch plates could catch in the grooves when they engage. They aren't very deep grooves but you can feel the lip of each groove with your fingernail. Do you think it would be okay? I could sand down the grooves so it's smooth if you think it doesn't need replaced.

I think that brick trick only works in the Yukon.

Response From Discretesignals

When in doubt throw it out.

Response From MarineGrunt

Sounds good to me DS. Thanks.

I received another email from the tranny guy about the 3rd and input clutch. Here's what he said.

"Hi Brian, I know exactly what you are referring to in the update manual. Its purpose is to show the changes to the newer models and not that it replaces the old parts so I see how this could be misunderstood but you are safe. The new replacement wave plates do have teeth all the way around them and originals just had the evenly spaced lugs as you noticed so no worries." I'm going to try and find the input clutch piston locally. I'm hoping a salvage yard or local tranny shop might have one I can buy. My nylon thrust washers are suppose to be in today. I also need to get another lip seal for the input shaft. I screwed one up installing it last night. I'm hoping the dealership will have that one. I was going to use the old but the new lip seals have an updated design. The lip on the seal is a little long and is now angled different. It's suppose to correct an issue that was noticeable in the original design. I made a lip seal installer out of an old screwdriver this morning. I took it to the bench grinder, ground it thin and took off all the sharp edges. I looked at 3 places for a lip seal installer over the weekend but no luck. Any idea where I can get one? I tried using a feeler gauge but I don't have much room inside the 3rd clutch housing. I guess I could probably use a thin wooden dowel and attach a looped wire at the end.

Response From MarineGrunt

I called a tranny shop to see if they had any parts. He gave me a number to an older guy who has been rebuilding transmissions for over 50 years. He just has a little shed out behind his house where he works on them. Instead of just the input clutch piston he sold me the whole input/3rd clutch assembly for $30. My original housing had some wear on the gear teeth on the end of the shaft so I'll by using the one he sold me. He said from the looks of my input clutch piston that something was wobbling around. He also said if I have any question just give him a call. I got lucky finding this guy.

I started replacing all the seals, O-rings, etc this afternoon. I also started checking over everything real good. When looking at the 2nd clutch housing it looks like the teeth may be worn but it also looks like they might have been made like this. The longer ones on the bottom look fine. There is then a small space, maybe an 1/8" and then there are some smaller teeth on the top. What do you think? What I might do is take anything that looks like is worn and take it all to the guy I bought the input housing assembly from. He's about a half hour drive away so will probably do that tomorrow.

Another thing I did was jack up the right axle seal. I have a seal driver set but it just bent the seal downward. If it's going to happen it's going to happen to me. Luckily I should be able to get a new seal at a parts store instead of the dealership.

What do you think on the 2nd clutch housing? Worn or made like that?

Response From nickwarner

Worn. Thats grooved up. You can see where the original material was. Float test it.

For the lip seal installer I have I was on EBay and typed in 4l60E since thats what I was after. When I tried typing in anything more specific I got nothing. Had to sift through it but found a good one.

Good job finding some local contacts for parts. The independant guys usually keep up with the updates as you see and tend to have pleny of extra stuff lying around for sale at a reasonable price. You found a gold mine.

And we made it to page 4.

Response From Discretesignals

Wow, the reverse drum beat the crap out of the second clutch housing. It isn't supposed to look like that. How does the reverse drum look?

What it is supposed to look like:

Reverse drum

Response From MarineGrunt

The reverse drum is jacked up too. I'm carving pumpkins with the wife and kids right now so will post a picture in a bit.

Response From Discretesignals

You can use the reverse drum to core out your pumpkin. Then use the 2nd clutch housing for a pumpkin stand, so it doesn't roll around.

Response From MarineGrunt

Ha...I'll have to decide between your idea or Nicks. I guess I could use it for the pumpkin and then tape it to a brick and float test it.

Looks like I'll be heading to the old tranny builder's house tomorrow. If I'm in doubt of any part it's coming with.

I'm glad you mentioned the reverse drum. You can see exactly how it lined up to the 2nd clutch housing. Actually, it decided to line up in a new and unimproved way. The parts just keep adding up. If I would'nt have found this guy with cheap tranny parts this tranny may have ended up, as Nick would say, in plastic wrap and beer cans.

Response From Discretesignals

That's what happens at the dealer some times. It probably also happens at the independents too. You tear the transmission apart, inspect everything, and figure out the cost of what it needs. If the cost of the parts to fix it exceeds the cost of a SERTA, it gets a SERTA. The nice thing about the SERTA replacement scenario is there might be some good parts that you can use from the non repairable transmission to fix another. Eventually, you end up with a lot of extra parts to fix other transmissions with. I'm sure the retired tranny tech your dealing with has a bunch of stuff.

Response From MarineGrunt

My cost is still way below the cost of a SERTA but it has cost a little more than I had planned. I guess that's what happens when you have no idea what you're doing..ha ha. Right now, not including the rebuild kit I have about $110 in parts. I ordered the pump stator from a place on ebay. When I got it the bearing was missing a needle. In the auction they said it was in great shape and ready to go. I emailed them to ask for a pump shaft and just mentioned the bearing but said I would just pick one up from the parts store. They ended up sending me a new one plus a pump shaft for free. Talk about taking care of your customers. I wasn't even expecting them to send me a new stator let alone a pump shaft.

I'm gonna have to head to the dealership this morning and see if I can get new Teflon sealing rings. I jacked one up getting it on the drive sprocket shaft. I'm sure those aren't cheap. I'm guessing $40 for the kit. This time I'm going to see if I can pay the retired tranny guy to install them for me. So, by the time I purchase a new reverse drum, Teflon rings and paying to have the seals installed I'll probably be close to $200. With the master rebuild kit I'll be around $450. Still cheaper than a crate tranny but we are creeping up there. More importantly I'm having fun with this and learning a few things. With the Teflon seals I've learned that there's a reason why they have special install tools that are needed. We'll get there. I'm just going to keep taking my time and make sure it's rebuilt the way it's suppose to be without taking any shortcuts.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I went to see Chuck, the semi retired tranny guy, to get some parts. I also had him look at some of my parts and I'm glad I did. He did say my 2nd clutch housing was okay to use but I did need the reverse drum, or stove pipe, as he called it. That wasn't the only thing I needed. I also need the 4th clutch hub and shaft and the sun gear. That explains why my first symptom was losing overdrive before every other gear went. You can see in the pictures how the teeth on the 4th clutch shaft were completely worn smooth along with the teeth on the inside of the sun gear. He sold me everything I needed for $20. What a deal. He also explained some things to me. He said I should remove every 3rd spring on the return spring assembly within the 2nd clutch housing. He said that would make it shift tighter into 2nd. He said the trannies nowadays are designed to wear out quicker than they should, and with a few adjustments, you can make them last longer. This guy has a heart of gold and I can tell he enjoyed passing on his knowledge and tips. He told me to stop by or call if I needed anything at all. He still does rebuilds. He's doing a 2008 Mercedes right now along with 2 others at the same time. Geez, if I had 3 trannies laying out I'd have multi-make transmissions going back into vehicles. I ordered some new Teflon rings at the dealership today. They will be in tomorrow and then I'll really be able to start putting this tranny back together.

All of my other parts are good to go. Below are pictures of the damaged parts that I needed today.

4th Clutch Hub and Shaft

4th Clutch Hub and Shaft

Sun Gear

Response From Discretesignals

Sounds like you got yourself hooked up now. Before you know it, you'll be cruising down the road in your van.

I'm curious as to why Chuck said the 2nd clutch housing was ok to use. I'd personally wouldn't use it because the reverse drum would still be able to chuck around and possibly take the rest of the splines out.

Response From MarineGrunt

He said as long as it fits in there tight it's fine to use and it fits in there very tight. It looks like it's just held in tight by the very bottom edge of the teeth though. Only the top portion is worn. That doesn't give much for the drum to grab but he seems to think it's fine. I agree with you though, even if it fits in tight why take the chance? Then again, he still rebuilds trannies for local shops so you wouldn't think he'd want any kind of a bad name. I almost said something when he said I could still use it but didn't want to come off as disrespectful. Maybe I'll throw it on the floor and crack it or something and then tell him I need one. I might just look online and see what I can find.

Response From Discretesignals

You could do that or just tell him the truth and your concerned about that. The drum's teeth might not sit down that far in the area where it isn't worn out. I'd be leery because you don't want that ripping apart later on when you go into reverse.

Response From MarineGrunt

Yeah, I probably should've just told him I didn't want to use it. You're darn right I don't want it ripping apart. If something unforeseen causes failure, I can live with that. But, if it's something that I knew I should've replaced or done, then I'll be pissed at myself. Plus, if I don't succeed at this tranny rebuild I'll be leery about trying anything like it in the future. That would suck because I really enjoy it.

Thanks for the advice DS.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I stopped by Chuck's house a little bit ago. I gave him the old bands out of the tranny since they were in good shape and I had already ordered new. I then asked him about the 2nd clutch housing and told him I was nervous about using it. He said again that the other one would be perfectly fine. He said that the old one has more than a 1/4" of spline and that's plenty for what it does. I'm not chancing it though. I ended up getting one off of ebay and it will be here tomorrow.

One other question. I've installed plenty of seals in the past to know how but these are giving me hell for some reason. I installed the right axle seal yesterday. I ruined the one that came with the kit so purchased another one. That one went in fine. I'm now having the same problem with the converter seal. They're going in cock eyed. I even tried pressing it in with a tool I rigged up but the same thing keeps happening. Any helpful tips?

Response From Discretesignals

Those are kind of tricky unless you have the special installer tool.

What I do is take two pieces of 2x4. Put the seal up to the bore and then have someone hold one 2x4 on one side of the seal. Use the other 2x4 and a hammer and tap it in a little. Then tap the other 2 x 4. Alternate between the two. If you have two hammers, you and your partner can hit both sides at the same time and it should pop in.

I'm sure there are other tricks, but that one works for me.

If there isn't anyone around to help you. You can take other piece of wood and lay it over the top (screw it together) of the two on either sides of the seal. Then you can smack the middle.

I've made a little drawing to show the contraption...LOL

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS. I'll definitely give that one a try. I have a seal installer set, but two seals later and I jacked up both of them. I guess with the 2X4's I have less of a chance of damaging the wood or the case.

I believe I have every new part needed to put this thing back together. I got the second clutch drum today along with the correct lip seal for the 3rd clutch. The first kit from the dealership had two lip seals that were the same size when one should've been a tad smaller. I took it back to them yesterday so they ordered another. I picked it up today and it had the correct ones. The first set was packaged wrong. If it's gonna happen it's gonna happen to me. One thing I found interesting is GM doesn't have the updated lip seal. The updated lip is a little bit longer. Maybe it was old stock or they just stuck to the original design. I got 143k out of the first tranny so I'm not going to worry about another 1/16" on the lip seal and just use the new one I got today.

Remember in a previous post I mentioned that Chuck said to take out every 3rd spring on the 2nd clutch spring assembly? He said he does it to everyone he rebuilds and highly recommends it. Suppose to help the shift into second. I think he said a tighter shift. What are your thoughts on that?

We're starting to chug along now.

By the way....Picasso doesn't have crap on you!

Seriously though.... all diagrams are helpful and I appreciate all the time you spend helping me along. Wouldn't have made it this far without your help.

Response From Discretesignals

To be honest I am not sure what other reactions might occur. We didn't modify other than what the factory specified in a TSB during overhauls. I am sure it will have a more positive feel to the shift with a couple of springs removed, but I don't know if that will cause the TAPS (transmission adaptive pressure) to compensate somehow. You'll have to ask. The PCM uses a program called TAPS. TAPS basically is designed to increase or decrease line pressure to compensate for excessive times between shifts as the clutches and components wear in the transmission. It probably won't affect that, but who knows.

Read this:


Response From MarineGrunt

That's the kind of info I like reading about. I kind of wish I would've read up on how a tranny works before I even started the rebuild. I have no idea how a tranny technically works. I bet if I would've studied up how everything works it would've made the rebuild a little easier. After reading that Sonnax article I see what you mean about it possibly messing with the TAPS. (When I see "TAPS" it reminds me of boot camp, standing at the end of my rack at attention, with TAPS playing throughout the whole base)

Chuck said that sometimes when you remove every 3rd spring that you sometimes have to add another clutch plate. He said you just want to make sure that it spins.

You know, being that this is my first rebuild, I think I'll just leave it as is. I think it may just confuse me more if I'm having to add plates, remove plates, etc. Plus, if for some reason it doesn't shift right when I get it back in, I think it would be easier to find the problem if I don't go changing stuff around. He did say that he does it to all of his transmissions but he knows what he's doing to make up for removing springs. I don't. If I end up doing that, and it doesn't shift right, I wonder if scanning the tranny would give a false readout or something? Maybe I'll wait until a buddy asks me to rebuild his transmission!..haha..kidding

Well, I need to find another input inner lip seal. I didn't have the piston lined up right for the clutch plates to go in and had to take it back out. I tried turning it with all the spring assemblies in place but it would've move and I didn't want to tap too hard. When removing the bottom snap ring it jumped off of my snap ring pliers and landed right on the lip seal. It didn't mess it up too bad but has a miniscule tear on the bottom. I have one other lip seal but has a small pinhole where I had to remove it the other day. Chuck said it would be okay because the pinhole wasn't in the lip and said to go ahead and use it. I ordered new instead. I'm wondering if Chuck takes some shortcuts. I think he has worked out of his shop behind his house his whole life and didn't have instant access to parts so he took chances. Maybe it would be fine, I don't know, but I'm not going to take a chance with a small pinhole even if it's not on the lip itself. I'm going to try a local tranny shop and see if they have a lip seal laying around that they will sell me. If not, looks like it's the dealership again and probably won't get it until Monday or Tuesday. Oh well, I still have to clean up the valve body, install the oil pan gasket, check out other stuff under the Venture, etc.

What do you think about a shift kits? I've never used one on previous vehicles but seems like many do. What are you thoughts on shift kits?


I buddy of mine gave me a number to another local tranny rebuilder. I decided to call him and see if he wouldn't happen to have a lip seal. I found another very helpful tranny builder. He seemed excited that I was attempting a rebuild myself, gave me an "atta boy", and thanked me for being able to help me. Between you guys, Chuck, and the new tranny rebuilder Brad, I feel very fortunate. He does air brushing too and is going to be heading through my town and is bringing a lip seal kit and dropping it off. Right before I called him I did find a dealership that had it but was an hour and half away. Instead, I'm getting home delivery. So, the rebuild can continue this weekend. I'm definitely going to compensate him for his time and willingness to help.

Response From Discretesignals

I remember that in AF basic training too. Standing at attention while Taps played. When it was over you better had your ass in the bunk before the TI came around. Occasionally you would hear someone say "Good night Mary Ellen or John Boy". Every so often someone would let out a loud fart and you would hear a few laughs. Even though it was a stressful situation, there were times like that that kind of broke some of the tension.

Shift kits. I believe that Sonnax makes some valve body improvement kits. I guess it clears up some issues, which ever they are. Shift kits were mostly used for causing the transmission to shift harder or change timing. I remember putting one in an old C-4. It is a lot easier to experiment on a longitudinal transmission because of the valve body accessibility issue. You may put a kit in and not like the way it feels, so you would have to rip the side cover off and make changes. Don't know how your wife would feel about the van chirping the tires going into second on her way to get the kids from school.

It's great that Chuck and Brad are helping you out with this. You appear like a guy that is easy to get along with.

Response From MarineGrunt

"You appear like a guy that is easy to get along with." I'm sure my wife would beg to differ!

I think I'll pass on the shift kit. I was under the impression that it just helped the tranny shift smoother. I know nothing about them. My Sierra has a small jerk from 1st to 2nd. It only has the slight jerk when going slow. If I'm accelerating it shifts perfectly smooth. Would a shift kit help with that at all or is something else going on? I've heard complaints of the same thing.

Good ole' boot camp. I know exactly what you're talking about. After we'd pt the DI's would make us stand at the end of our racks, strip down, and stand at attention until they told us to run into the community showers for our 30 second shower. Sometimes they'd make us stand there for a half hour. One time we were all standing there naked and another "dark green" recruit said, "Sir, Recruit Washington requests permission to use the head, sir". The DI got in his face yelling telling him to have some discipline and hold it. Again, Recruit Washington says, "Sir, Recruit Washington can't hold it much longer and requests permission to use the head, sir". The DI ignored him. About a minutes later I hear what sounds like water dripping onto the floor. I look out of the corner of my eye and see Recruit Washington bare ass naked, standing at attention, pissing right on the floor. There were then 3 DI's right in his face, to the side of course, blabbering away at him. The DI's had a hay day with that one! You know when they were by themselves they were laughing about that one.

That one, along with a few others, I will never forget!

Response From nickwarner

Your Venture shouldn't need a shift kit, but TransGo sells one that could help your truck. I got one for mine too. Its designed to stop a lot of issues that resulted from the factory design, including the P1870 code. Might be worth looking into.

I still to this day find myself having to get in step when walking next to another person. Was really bad about it when I first got out of boot camp. Amazing what they do to your head in there. Spent my fair share of time in the front leaning rest.

Response From MarineGrunt

Good, already have another project lined up before this one ends. I'm always excited yet bummed when I finish a project.

Funny you should mention the getting in step thing. I too still do the same thing.

By the way, the manual says to check the ball capsule in the 2nd clutch housing to make sure it doesn't leak. How do you go about checking it? Could I just blow air in from the top (which would put downward pressure on the ball), and see if it seals without letting air through?

I'm calling it a night. Will be back at in the morning.

Response From Discretesignals

Turn the housing in order to seat the check ball. Use transmission fluid in order to check for leaks. Fill up the bottom of the housing and see if transmission fluid drips out of the check ball hole.

Response From MarineGrunt

Great! No leaks. Thanks DS.

I think I'm okay on this one and is probably a stupid question but thought I'd check. On the shaft of the driven sprocket support assembly he manual says to install the four lobed seal ring expander underneath the oil seal rings. When I took off the original oil seal rings there weren't any lobed seal rings underneath. They lobed seal rings did come with the kit in a little plastic baggie labeled "sub kit". I did a test run with the lobed seals underneath the plastic oil seal rings but the tabs didn't line up where they should. Here's me pictures to explain a little more.

It shows a diagram of how it says they should be installed. It shows it in the little circle in the upper diagram on the right hand side. (Numbers 612 and 613)Originally it didn't have the lobed seals installed.

The one on the left is the oil seal ring. On the right is the four lobed seal. Both came in the kit but the four lobed seal was in a package labeled "sub kit". The oil seal ring has little square tabs that are suppose to line up in the slot on the driven sprocket support assembly shaft.

In this picture the bottom oil seal ring is installed without the four lobed seal and fits and lines up as it should. The top one has the four lobed seal installed underneath as the manual states. I just don't see how this could possibly even come close to working and it doesn't look right. Maybe it's for the volvo 4t65e? There are extra parts for the volvo. You would think the manual would address both setups though.

Response From Discretesignals

This might explain it:


Response From MarineGrunt

That explains it perfectly! In the "sub kit" it had two oil seal rings that were bigger that would've fit. It looks like mine had the updated mid year design change.

I'm cleaning the accumulator now. I had the accumulator pistons with the springs still attached sitting on the bench so I could tell them apart. My daughter picked one up and asked, "what's this" and sat it back down. Now, I'm not sure which one is which. Is the fatter firmer spring with orange paint the 2-3? The other one that isn't as firm has white paint on it.

I'll tell ya, if it isn't one thing it's another!

Response From Discretesignals

Just make sure she isn't around when you have the valve body apart...LOL

Response From MarineGrunt

You've got that right! Looks like I'll be sending her to Grandma and Grandpa's house! Just to make sure, in the picture, the one on the left is the fatter spring, correct?

Thanks for saving my @ss again!

Response From Discretesignals

Looks like that spring has been eating well.

Response From MarineGrunt

I'm gonna have to freight you down a keg of beer when this is all said and done. I would've lost sleep over that one tonight.

Response From MarineGrunt

Does anyone know any tricks to get the spacer plate gaskets off of the space plate? I know it's not but it almost seems like it's glued on. Would letting it soak in gasket remover do any good or do I just have to scrape away?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

I know you are being so careful already. I'm trying to envision this gasket, material type and why so stuck. Heat usually on things in general. Has some of it started and not complete or torn in 1/2 somehow leaving it troublesome. I seriously doubt use of a sealer was used ever on anything more than a pan gasket.

Whatever type of gasket remover you are using perhaps another would be better. If down to plain scraping just do not allow damage from the scraping tool to surface and any debris known blown away. No time now to mess up this show - T

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Tom. I found out that some years of the 4t65e spacer plate were molded and do not have replaceable gaskets. Mine is the molded one. I was able to order one from the dealership for $22 and will be here tomorrow. I figured it would be $80. Heck, the gaskets for the non molded version $12. I paid more than $24 for 4 plastic thrust washers!

I did a dry fit of everything and know I have at least one bushing that needs replaced. It's the driven sprocket support bushing which holds the input housing assembly shaft. It wobbles around pretty good. That explains why the teeth on the input clutch housing were all eaten up.

From looking at everything, and seeing what was broke, this is what I suspect happened to the tranny.

That piece inside the pump broke which allowed one of the vanes to come loose. When the vane came loose it jammed up the pump which caused the end of the pump shaft that was in the torque converter to snap off. We all know what no fluid means. The first noticeable symptom was loss of overdrive. The 4th clutch hub and shaft splines were ground down smooth. The inside gears of the input sun gear, where the 4th clutch hub and shaft goes in, were also ground smooth. Once those went there went overdrive. The bushing on the driven sprocket support was worn, which caused the input clutch housing to wobble around. That's what ate up the teeth on the input clutch housing. That also caused the reverse drum to clank around which ate up the teeth on the 2nd clutch housing. With the input clutch housing wobbling around, so were the clutch input clutch plates, which caused the grooves in the input clutch piston. I heard from two people that the grooves on the input clutch piston wouldn't hurt anything but I didn't want to take the chance.

On the other side the, due to lack of fluid being pumped, the drive sprocket shaft ground away the thrust washer. Once the thrush washer was gone the drive sprocket shaft was rubbing on the pump stator and ground away about 1/8 of it. Luckily the drive sprocket shaft didn't have much wear and I'm still able to use it.

Well, I think I covered everything. Does that explanation sound feasible? I don't see how the pump just broke out of nowhere but it was definitely lack of fluid that caused all the wear. Unless, the end of the pump shaft broke off first, which I've heard is somewhat common, and then the inside part of the pump broke. Once I get everything back together I'll post some pictures of all the damage. Maybe it will help someone in the future on some of the parts to take a close look at. I overlooked a few of the worn gears. They were ground so smooth it looked like the part was suppose to be that way. I might've noticed it once I started putting everything back together just because I know that gears fit into gears. I wouldn't have bet on me catching it though!

So, I'm waiting on the spacer plate from the dealership. I asked the dealership about the driven sprocket support bushing and they said it's a non serviceable part. They wanted $307 for a replacement. I called Chuck and said he wasn't home but to call him in a couple hours. He said he'd give me a hand replacing the bushing or he probably has the whole assembly if we can't replace the bushing. I'm going to go ahead and have him check out the other bushings while I'm there.

What are your thoughts on replacing the solenoids? I can get all 4 for around $80. If not all 4, what about the 2 shift solenoids? How about the pressure switch assembly? In the update manual it says there is a known issue with some where the valves will stay stuck open. I guess you can check it with a voltmeter but didn't know if this is a part that is normally replaced during a rebuild.

Well, once I get the spacer plate and the driven sprocket support bushing taken care of it shouldn't be too much longer and we'll have it back together and ready for installation.

Response From nickwarner

I'd at least change the shift solenoids A-B, the TCC lockup solenoid and the manifold pressure switch.

Your failure scenario is feasible, and you're being thorough on all the parts like you need to so I have a good feeling about this build being a success.

If you run into spacer plate gaskets that aren't the molded style, hot water is the trick. If you can sneak it past the wife the best way to get it off is to throw the plate and valve body as well into your dishwasher. It just falls off after that.

Response From Discretesignals

I would replace them all and flush the cooler. EPC solenoids are known for problems.

Response From MarineGrunt

Sounds good. New solenoids it is.

What about the pressure switch manifold assembly? I checked it with a multi meter, and pressed on the contact switches with a pencil eraser, and all 6 valves seem to be working correctly. I guess if for some reason it ends up needing replaced all I have to do is pull the side cover.

I flushed the cooler lines last week when I pulled the oil pan. I used 2 cans of Kooler Kleen and going to use a third before install. I pulled the tranny out in the driveway so I had more room in the garage. I figure another flush before install will make sure all condensation is out.

I didn't make it to Chuck's yesterday so going to go later on today after I vote. Being that Chicago runs the state my vote won't count for much anyways. If Chicago split off and became its own state IL would be a whole different story.

Response From MarineGrunt

I'm going to go ahead and replace the pressure manifold assembly. The little O-rings seem somewhat brittle. I was going to remove the O-rings and clean everything out with some electrical contact cleaner and a couple of the O-rings were stuck and didn't want to pop out. I'm guessing it's from the tranny overheating. They aren't really regular O-rings or I'd just replace them. They are kind of "stair stepped". Napa can have the assembly in the morning. Looks like I'll be adding about another $180 to the rebuild. I'd have to add everything up but I'm probably around $500 or so and that's including the rebuild kit. Still way less than if I was to hire it all out. Plus, I've replaced anything and everything that is in question. I shouldn't have to go back in for anything. The added $200 is well worth the peace of mind knowing this tranny should outlast the rest of the van.

Here's the part I'm talking about.

Response From nickwarner

Yep, thats in the float test pile. If you had to pull the side cover off later, you'd have to drop the cradle out to do it. Not fun, better to do it now. They do wear out after all.

Response From MarineGrunt

Gotta love the float test! I just wish the outcome of the float test was a little cheaper.

Good point about the cradle. I didn't even think about that.

Didn't make it to see Chuck today for the driven sprocket support. Suppose to meet up with him sometime tomorrow. I pulled everything out of the valve body this evening and got it all cleaned up. Since the van is out in the driveway I need to get this thing done this weekend. Winter is just around the corner! Hopefully I don't run into anything else that needs replaced. I can't think of anything else that will though.

Response From MarineGrunt

Got all my solenoids and the pressure switch today. I also swung by the dealership and picked up my valve body spacer plate. I then went to Chuck's and he had another driven sprocket support assembly. The bushing on the original was worn pretty good. He wouldn't even let me pay him for it. He also did an air check and checked clearance on the input/3rd clutch and all is good. I'm going to go through the manual and make sure I do any other check that is needed.

I think I'm good to go for reassembly but going to double check everything.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I thought I was ready to put it all back together. When I left Chuck's he told me to really compare the driven sprocket support he gave me to the original. It sure looks the same side by side but one I lined the one on top of the other it's a little different. The bolt holes on the side don't quite line up. I'm going to give him a call in the morning and hopefully he has the right one. If not, I'll have to look elsewhere.

Response From Discretesignals

I been keeping an eye on this thread. Been busy lately.

Once you get the support figured out, you can air check everything from the support fluid passages with it installed too.

Have you figured out how to do the end play check?

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the picture DS. I read a little bit about checking end play last week but haven't looked into it anymore yet but I will. I believe the manual shows how to check it.

Chuck doesn't have the correct driven sprocket support assembly. I measured the inside diameter of the driven sprocket support that Chuck gave me and the original and there is a little over 1/1000th of a difference. I'm not sure if that's enough to make a difference but the input housing shaft does have a little more play. Not much but it does a little. It's worn more on the top half of the bushing. The bottom half has the same measurement as the other. One of the oil lube scores is worn almost smooth on the top. Probably only about 1/8" of it but it's definitely worn. I looked on ebay and can get the whole assembly for around $45. This morning I called a big tranny shop in Peoria and they sold me the bushing needed. I also picked up a bushing for the final drive support. It had a little bit of wear also. The rest of the bushings look good and don't seem to show any wear. I'm have tempted to go ahead and replace all bushings but don't think I need to. Below are some pictures of the bushing wear.

Is this the tool I need to measure end play? I saw online where someone used the depth gauge on a caliper so can go that route too.

This is the good bushing in the driven sprocket support assembly from Chuck. Below this picture is the bushing in the original driven sprocket support. You can definitely tell it's worn. The tranny shop I went to said they don't see that wear a whole lot but do every now and then.

Good bushing.

Worn bushing.

Response From nickwarner

I think you should be ok just replacing the ones that are worn. I'd use the dial indicator to check your endplay. A caliper is a bit too crude and not precise enough for what you're measuring.

Gonna freight DS a keg and nothing for me? Come on, freight is cheaper from your house to mine anyhow.

Response From MarineGrunt

When I was at Chuck's and he air tested the input/3rd clutch we actually had to stretch out the Teflon seals for it to seal. After I put the bushing in last night I had to resize the rings to make them fit tighter. I'm really glad I ended up replacing the bushing. Everything just seems to fit so much better with less play.

Nick.....I figure you live close enough to where I'll load up all the parts I need to float test, hook up the boat, load up a couple coolers and head north. We'll go fishing, and while we're at it, you can revisit memory lane by helping me float test all my old tranny parts.

Response From Discretesignals

You guys trying to turn me into a raging alcoholic?...lol.

You should read the procedure for checking the endplay. The problem is is that the transmission has to be on end up in the air, so gravity is pulling the gear train down. Then you need a few special tool including the dial caliper. If you find it is out of specifications, there are selective washers you can buy to get it back into specs. Chuck probably knows more about it.

Input clutch end play check:
1. Adjust the collar on tool J 33381-A to the 4T65-E CLUTCH & DRUM setting.
2. Install J 33381 -A into the input clutch housing assembly (632).
3. Tighten the threaded rod of J 33381-A until the rod is finger tight.
4. Use J 33381-A in order to lift the input clutch housing assembly (632). The sprag clutch assemblies will also be attached.
5. Install the assembly (632) into the case. Be sure that the assembly is down all the way.
6. Remove J 33381-A from the assembly.

Important: Install bolts and tighten securely to prevent tool deflection during end play measurement.

7. Install J26958, J26958-10A, and J43425 onto the case extension (6).

8. Using two bolts, install J 33386-A onto the case.
9. Tighten the bolts in order to securely hold J 33386-A.
10. Tighten J 26958 finger tight in order to eliminate differential carrier end play.
11. Insert the thrust washer (630) from the input clutch housing into J 33386-A as indicated. If the thrush washer will not fit into J 33386-A, select the next size smaller thrust washer and recheck.
12. Use a feeler gauge in order to measure the clearance between J 33386-A and the thrust washer (630).
^ If the clearance is less than 0.0521 mm (0.006 inch), use the current size thrust washer.
^ If the clearance is 0.0521 mm (0.006 inch) or more, select the next size larger thrust washer and recheck.
13. Remove J 33386-A.
14. Adjust the collar on tool J 33381-A to the 4T65-E CLUTCH & DRUM setting. Make sure that the threaded rod is fully loosened.
15. Install J 33381-A into the input clutch housing (632).
16. Tighten the threaded rod of J 33381-A until the rod is finger tight.
17. Use J 33381-A in order to lift the input clutch housing assembly (632). The sprag clutch assemblies will also be attached.
18. Remove the assembly (632) from the case.
19. Position the transmission so that the oil pan is facing down.
20. Remove J26958, J26958-10A, and J43425.

Differential end play check:
1. Make sure that the differential carrier case thrust washer (714) and the thrust bearing (715) are still on the differential final drive carrier assembly (700).
2. Install the case extension seal (8) onto the case extension (6).
3. Install the case extension assembly (6) onto the transmission (3).
4. Install only two of the four case extension bolts (5).
^ Do not torque the bolts. Tighten them only until the case extension is fully seated.
5. Position the transmission so that the case extension is facing upward.
6. Install J 25025- 1, J 26958- 10A and J 800 1.
7. Set the dial indicator to zero.

Notice: Use a piece of wood or rubber while prying with J 28585 or a large screwdriver, to prevent damage to VSS bore.

8. Use J 28585 or a large screwdriver in order to lift the differential/final drive carrier assembly. Pry up on the vehicle speed sensor reluctor wheel through the vehicle speed sensor hole in the case extension.

9. Note the dial indicator reading before changing the differential carrier/case thrust washer (714):
^ If the dial indicator reading is less than 0.12 mm (0.005 inch), install the next smaller size thrust washer, then recheck.
^ If the dial indicator reading is greater than 0.62 mm (0.025 inch), install the next larger size thrust washer, then recheck.
^ If the dial indicator reading is 0.12 - 0.62 mm (0.005 - 0.025 inch), the thrust washer is correct.
10. Remove J 8001 and J 25025- 1.
11. Install the case extension bolts (5).
^ Tighten the case extension bolts to 36 Nm (26 ft. lbs.).

Response From MarineGrunt

Raging Alcoholic?...Nah....with the direction our country has been heading we all need to drink a little more!

Thanks for the list of checks DS. Always appreciated!

Nick...You better let word get out that you are addicted to float testing. The tree huggers will end up rioting until the law makes you scuba dive to retrieve all of the tons of scrap you tossed into the Yukon and whatever other lake or river you were close to. Better enjoy float testing while you can. I bet we're not too far away from everything, such as engine and tools, being made out of plastic. They just keep upgrading to cheaper and cheaper materials. Since they won't sink we'll have to go to a dynamite test or something similar. I don't know, a case of beer, some explosives, and our junk parts might make for a good ole" time! I'll have to show you a video of an old clothes dryer and our "Sparkler Bomb 500" sometime. Who knew sparklers wrapped in electrical tape could cause such a boom. It blew sheet metal over hundred feet in the air. Bad thing was my buddy thought it was lit and we were a little too close when it went off. Luckily it blew up instead of out. Beer and explosives don't really mix. I'll try and post it somewhere on the net. Well worth watching! Man I was an idiot in my younger days. I'm glad I grew out of that!

Diff end play was .25mm so we are good there.

I bought the wrong Kent More tool off of ebay to check transaxle end play. The one I bought checks torque converter end play. Is there any other way to make the checks without the other Kent Moore tool? When I was at Chucks he checked the clearance of the clutch plates in the input/3rd clutch. Do you think that check is sufficient or should I get the correct tool?

I've done everything, including checks, by the book. I don't want to take any shortcuts at this point unless you think I'll be okay.

Response From Discretesignals

Checking the clutch pack clearances is different that checking end play. The problem with the end play check is loading the gear train. I don't know of any other ways to load it without the special tools. There might be ways though. Maybe Chuck or Brad may have the tools to check it or know some short cuts. Would probably cheaper to have someone with the tools check it than buying all those special tools you may use only once.

Just hate for you to get it all together and in the vehicle and find out it clunks or ends up burning up and shifting funny.

Response From MarineGrunt

I hear ya. I rarely take any shortcuts and not going to here. I asked Chuck if he had any of the special tools the other day and he said no. I've got a feeling he just eyeballs stuff. I'm not sure about Brad but will check with him. If not, I'm pretty sure that big tranny shop in Peoria, where I got the bushings, would check it for me. They might charge me an hours labor, but like you said, $80 or so will be a lot cheaper than buying the tools. I'm not going to open my tranny shop until next year so don't wanna spend the money now...

Response From MarineGrunt

Is this as far down as the sprag goes? The top of the gear on the sprag is flush with the 3rd clutch backing plate. The sprag's inner race is just a little bit higher than the backing plate.

Response From Discretesignals

I'm not sure on that question. Usually, i'd put the sprag onto the sun gear along with the reverse drum. Then install the input clutch housing with the second clutch on it. Usually you have to wiggle it around until it seats fully. It's really a pain if the transmission is on its side with the 2nd band bouncing around. If it doesn't fit correctly, the driven support won't sit below the case port walls (whatever they are called).

If you pull the sprag out and all the clutch splines are lined up, it probably went all the way in. I am not sure on that one, but can you get the sprag reversed? I know on the 4T60 the sprag could be flipped around and installed causing no drive or reverse. I did that on my first rebuild.

Response From MarineGrunt

I believe it's in all the way. I did what you said last night, about pulling it out and making sure the plates are lined up, and they were. I've also twisted and turned the sprag a hundred more times. It just felt like it had some slop from side to side so that's why I questioned it. I did an air test with the sprag in and it then seemed to feel like you would think it would feel.

I don't believe this sprag can be turned upside down as the bottom half of the sprag is a smaller gear than the top. If you try and install it backwards it would only go into the input clutch plates and wouldn't fit into the 3rd clutch plates. The inside diameter of the 3rd clutch plates is smaller. Know what I mean?

I'm picking up my timing chain and also my torque converter tomorrow (Tuesday). I had to wait a day on the chain because I couldn't find it in stock anywhere. The torque converter was going to be a 5 day wait but I called that local tranny shop that I got the bushings from. He was able to order me one and get it next day. The owner of this tranny shop is a heck of a nice guy. I called two other local shops to see if they would sell me parts and they wouldn't. I can kind of see why. But, the owner at the tranny shop was eager to help me out. I'll be recommending his place to everyone I know. Anyplace that will offer great service adn advice when they are hardly making a dime will do amazing service when they're working on the actual vehicle. At least that's the way I see it.

Response From MarineGrunt

Is it worth replacing the camshaft position sensor while the tranny is out? Looks like I can get one for about $40. How hard would it be to replace if it ever needed it with the tranny in?

Response From MarineGrunt

I almost have everything back together. I'm in the process of installing the pump. It says to torque the bolts starting from the top center in a spiral direction. It then says to spin the shaft from the front to make sure it still turns freely. Well, it doesn't. I've tried torqueing the bolts every which way possible and still no luck. Once I torque one or two, and move to the opposite side, the shaft no longer turns. I did have to replace the pump due to the original one being broken but I matched up part numbers to make sure I got the right one. Any ideas? Maybe I'll throw the old one back on just to see if it still turns. I wonder if the pump I purchased had a broken part and the seller just swapped parts out of other pumps in order to make one good one. The pump does have selective rotors, vanes, and slide components.

Response From Discretesignals

That is strange. Maybe the pump housing or where it mounts on the control valve body is warped? I remember reading about several pump and control valve body changes throughout the years. Is it pushing the shaft down and binding it? Are the pump shaft the same as the old one? Compare the old pump housing to the new one.

Check this out:

File In Section: 07 - Transmission/Transaxle

Bulletin No.: 02-07-30-046

Date: November, 2002


Newly Designed Transaxle Valve Body and Oil Pump Service Information

2002-2003 Buick Century, LeSabre, Park Avenue, Regal, Rendezvous
2002-2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Venture
2002-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora, Silhouette
2002-2003 Pontiac Aztek, Bonneville, Grand Prix, Montana
With 4T65E Transaxles, RPOs MN3, MN7, M15, M76

During the months of June and July of 2002, 2002 and 2003 model year 4T65E transaxles were produced with two different valve body and pump assemblies. When servicing these transaxles, the design of the valve body determines which pump assembly must be installed.

A physical inspection of the ID Tag is necessary to get the proper update level before ordering components for these transaxles.

Old pump design on left. Newer style is a three piece pump.

Response From MarineGrunt

I installed the old pump and the same thing happened. Although, I was able to get more bolts torqued down before the shaft stopped turning freely. I took the valve body back off so I could check out the shaft. I measured them with a caliper and they are all the same.

Both pumps have the same casting number. If they changed designs wouldn't they change the casting number? Although, if the old one is doing the same thing it must be the way I'm torqueing them. They're suppose to be torqued to 106 inch pounds. I think I'll start with a low torque setting and work my way up. Hopefully that will do it. I wouldn't think it would be such a problem though.

I'll let you know. Thanks DS.

Response From Discretesignals

Make sure that the valve body isn't warped and distorting the pump housing when you tighten it down.

Here are some oil pump specs:

Response From MarineGrunt

I took a straight edge to the valve body and it's not warped at all. The internals in the new pump I got are a little different. But, from what I understand, pump to tranny can be different. The only thing that can't be different are the internal parts to the pump body. You can't take parts from one pump body and install in another pump body. Like I mentioned, I was thinking maybe whoever sold me the pump swapped out some parts but the old pump is doing the same thing.

I'm puzzled on this one. I don't see anything that could be causing this. I've got to be missing something though.

I think your due for a road trip DS. Start heading north right away. The beer has been on ice for 6 hours. Nick probably heard the faint sound of ice and beer rattling around in the cooler, went into zombie mode, and is probably already on his way.

This shows how the internals need to match the pump body. It doesn't seem to matter which pump goes to the tranny though.

Response From MarineGrunt

I gave Chuck a call. He said he runs into this quite a bit. What he told me to do is take the pump apart and buff it with a scotch brite pad until I get the clearance where it needs to be. He said it doesn't take much for it to catch. I'll let you know the results one I'm finished.

Response From nickwarner

Beer only rattles in the cooler if someone is shaking up my beer. Don't be that guy, you don't live that far away from me. Its opening weekend of deer season in WI but my work schedule of 60 hours a week keeps me from enjoying the hunt for the third year in a row. On the upside I have a ton of tame little city deer that stare at me when I have a smoke on my porch and a friend owns a crossbow that I will be borrowing soon so my chest freezer is supplied with the proper protein sources.

Chuck has been pretty handy to you and I'd recommend a bottle of Glenlivet should he be a scotch man to show the proper gratitude.

Look on the bright side, your repairs are doing much better than your Bears are. HaHa

Response From MarineGrunt

Me shake your beer up....never. You know, you could just dig a big pit in your front yard and put some branches over it. I'm sure your girlfriend has always wanted a pet deer. Plus, when your protein source runs low later on in the year you'll be able to restock it even if deer season is over.

I've been thinking of something I could do for Chuck for all of the help. He doesn't drink. I know this because the day before the election he explained to me why Obama is the antichrist. He's very religious. Maybe some sort of new tool or a gift card to somewhere? He probably has every tool he needs but then again, you can never have too many tools even if they're doubles.

Still a no go on the pump. I took the cover off and clamped down the rotor to simulate the cover being on. I took a straightedge and it appears that the rotor and vanes have clearance below the top cover. I put the pump on the valve body without the cover and it doesn't seem like the sleeve on the valve body is rubbing on the rotor. I took a straightedge to the valve body and it's not warped. I also checked the pump body and it seems to be perfectly flat too. The only thing I can think off is that the vanes are getting jammed on the slide when the shaft turns. When I barely tighten the last bolt it instantly jams. Maybe the pump shaft is warped? I'm going to pull the valve body back off so I can remove the shaft and take a good look at it.

I really don't think it's the shaft though. This one has me stumped. I don't see anything that could be causing the problem.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Hmmm? A gift for now web famous "Chuck" when this all works out knowing he doesn't drink. How about making a clock out of some of your spare parts or nasty hard to find but an engine part - Chrome coffee cup,

Here's a home made clock sample,

No joke, he has been quite the resource for stuff for this job for you - T

Response From MarineGrunt

I clock out of spare parts is a great idea! The 2nd clutch drum could make a good face and the input housing could be the base. I could weld the 2nd clutch to the top of the input shaft. I also have the springs from the input/3rd clutch spring assemblies. Maybe I can use springs as the clock hands. Or, I could use the 4th clutch hub and shaft as a base and use the 3rd clutch piston as the face. It wouldn't be as big and heavy then. I'm gonna need a new project one I'm done with the van.

Yep, I'm going to definitely do something for him. I'm getting ready to call him again because I'm almost positive the used pump shaft I ordered is warped. Both the old pump and the new used pump I ordered are getting hung up in the same location. I put the pump on, left the cover off, put some washers on the bolts so I could see what was going on inside. I can see where it's getting hung up. There's one spot where the vanes get too tight and push to hard against the slide. At first I thought maybe the bushing for the shaft could be bad but that would give me more slack and it shouldn't get hung up, correct? The pump vanes are so tight to the slide that even a very slight warp in the shaft, one that wouldn't even be noticeable, could cause a vane to push against the slide. I'm going to give a shaft a try and go from there. I don't see anything else it could be.

Response From Discretesignals

That is a strange one there. Hopefully the shaft is the culprit. Your pretty much at the last piece of the puzzle. That would be cool to have a transmission clock. I'm sure Chuck would appreciate that. Heck you could probably make them and sell them...LOL I know plenty of gear heads that like that kind of stuff.

Response From MarineGrunt

I went to Chuck's this morning and took the whole transmission with me. I didn't want to get a different pump, drive 2 miles back home, and find out it didn't work. I bolted on a different pump, torqued it down, and the shaft turned just fine. I think what happened with that used pump is that whoever sold it pieced together a couple different bad pumps to make one good one. I should call the place that sold me the pump and thank them for throwing one hell of a curveball to a first time tranny rebuilder. Oh well, that's how you learn the do's and don'ts I suppose.

Well, We're going to be heading to my wife's family's house in Kentucky Wednesday morning. I was hoping to have the van race ready before we left but it's probably not going to happen now. I have some other stuff to take care of tomorrow. I still have to install the oil pan, rear main seal and get the power steering pump back on. I'll probably finish that up today and get back at the rest Monday.

I talked to Nick earlier. He wanted me to pass the message that he'll be offline for a week or so. Something about a couple 12 packs, half a bottle of wine, getting pissed off at the computer, the mouse flying across the room and cracking the screen on his girlfriend's flat screen. I think 3 things broke. His computer, the tv, and his nuts after his girlfriend mule kicked him between the legs for breaking her tv.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Response From MarineGrunt

The tranny is finished! I just hope it works as it should. I feel confident that it will be fine but who knows. I might have to fake being sick so I can get out of going to the in-laws house this weekend. I'm anxious to get it back it. I'm gonna be a nervous wreck when I turn the key and go to put it in gear! Tearing back into the tranny doesn't worry me. It's just getting the darn thing back out. It wasn't all that bad getting it out. I just have a feeling getting it back in might be a pain in the butt. If anyone has any helpful tips I'd appreciate it.

Now I need to find me a core 4l60e for either a 2005 Envoy or a 2003 Sierra. At least I assume that's what the Sierra has. I had fun and I'm ready to start another one. The trannies in the Envoy and Truck are fine but at least I'd have a spare on hand. The truck does have that hard shift into second I need to figure out though. If I accelerate a little fast it doesn't have the hard shift into second but has a slight shudder. If going slow it has kind of a long hard shift. From the sounds of it I can take care of that with a shift kit though. Seems to be a common problem.

I'll try and post a "final report" on my findings during the rebuild sometime in the near future. Maybe posting some of the snags I ran into can help someone else down the road. I want to make sure it works as it should before I post anything that might be helpful.

Thanks for sticking with me throughout the whole rebuild. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

Response From MarineGrunt

Nevermind this question. I guess if the flywheel locked in place they wouldn't make a special tool to hold it in place!

Just a quick question. I got the tranny bolted in. As I was tightening down the torque converter I got to thinking. Should the flywheel turn no matter where the gear selection is? I flipped the lever that's on top of the tranny where the linkage hooks up trying to see if the flywheel would stop turning. Will it eventually stop turning if the flywheel does a complete revolution? I don't want to get everything back together only to find out something isn't hooked up right. It just seems like it should lock in place if I flip the lever on the manual shaft to the park position. Am I just way off here? I'm almost positive I put everything back together the right way.


Response From nickwarner

You're overthinking things and worrying too much. If the flywheel wasn't supposed to turn in park the engine would stall out when you put it in park.

Response From Discretesignals

I think Marine is getting nervous. That always happens when you get close to the moment of truth.

Response From MarineGrunt

You're darn right I'm worrying too much and getting nervous! Once I get it all back together I'll probably let it sit for a few days until I have the guts to start it and put it in gear. Well, if it has any gears!

When I was getting ready to hook up the steering rack I noticed there was a metal plug on the bottom that was leaking. I was able to pull the plug out with some vice grips. I used some rtv and tapped it back in. Will that be okay or is there a certain type of sealant that's suppose to be used? I hope so because I don't think I can get to it with the frame back on and I don't plan on dropping it again until I find out the tranny doesn't work!

Response From Discretesignals

Not unusual to see leaks from the lower pinion gear bearing cups on those. It should be alright with your repair. Don't sweat it...things are going to work as planned.

Response From MarineGrunt

I pretty much have everything back together. I can't believe how everything lined up as fast as it did. I was going to try and find a used tranny jack but decided to see if I could install it first. I know what I did wasn't the proper way but it worked. I had my big jack with a piece of plywood wired to it to support the whole tranny. I used a small jack on the final drive side. I then used ratchet straps connected to the engine support fixture and wrapped it around the tranny mount bracket on the side cover. I was able to swing the tranny into any position I wanted. I bet it only took 5 minutes to get it lined up and bolted down. Worked much better than I thought it would. I put new ball joints on as I kind of jacked up the rubber on the old with the pickle fork. They were kind of a bitch. I had to tap the threads for the stabilizer too. Two bolts didn't want to go in straight. Other than those few things it all went great. I used a couple jacks and ratchet straps for the frame. Went right into place. I still have to get new bolts for the frame before we really drive the van but just used the old for now. I'll probably pick up some new ones this weekend and swap them out.

All I have to do now is fluids, install battery (my year and a half old battery was toast. I don't think it worked quite right since the day I got it as it would have no power once every few months until I wiggled connection. It was still under warranty so got a new one for free), air box, and tires. Oh yeah, I have to put the hood latch on it because when I went to tow it home I left the keys in my other vehicle. It was locked and I was an hour and a half from home! Luckily I was able to take the grill off, the hood latch, and pop the tranny into neutral. I felt like an idiot that day! Well, I was an idiot that day!

Response From MarineGrunt

Is there any certain way you should fill up a rebuilt tranny? I'll have to double check but when completely dry I think it's suppose to hold 13.4 quarts. I poured as much as I could in the torque converter before installing but it would only take about a quart. Maybe it came with some already in it?

Also, is there a trick, besides turning the steering wheel a hundred times, to bleed the air out of the power steering system?

Tomorrow is finally the day. I don't know if I'm going to have the balls to shift it into gear! I didn't do too much today because I have a horrible head cold and the flu. Before we left for Kentucky last Wednesday my mother in law called and said she was sick. I thought we were going to get out of going. Instead, I lost a weekend of finishing up the tranny and caught whatever psycho bug she had in her system. I always suspected she was the devil and now I know for sure!

Response From Discretesignals

Pour about 5 quarts into the transmission and fire it up. Check for leaks. Then keep pouring till it shows on the stick. Shift through the gears and recheck and add more. It take a while because the fluid takes its time running down the inside of the dipstick tube. I found a trick of using the air blow gun to blow down the tube to get the fluid out of the tube quicker, so you don't get wacky readings on the dipstick.

The PS system is fill and turn the steering wheel (with wheels off the ground about 20 times). Then check the level and add. Crank it up and have someone pour the fluid in if it gets low.

A few people I know have the creeping crud too. Boss's wife can't shake it.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks DS.

I put 9 quarts in including the one in the converter. I was going to start it and let it warm up but decided I better ask first. I was afraid if I had too little, and I ran it too long, I might screw something up. Not sure what could happen if I added too much either. I'll probably pump a few quarts out before I do anything and do it the way you described.

That's a great idea with the blow gun. Whenever I did a tranny flush I'd get all nervous because it's hard to get a good reading. It seemed like it was a 3 day process to get it at the exact level. Not anymore!

I did fire it up for a few seconds just to make sure it started. It hasn't been started since May so wasn't sure if it had any bugs. It started right up.

Once I know the tranny is good maybe I'll go ahead and pull the engine. It's the next thing I'm my list to learn. Well, I guess it's not so much of a learn list because I know I barely scratched the surface on learning how the 4t65e really works.

Or, since the Sierra has the hard shift into 2nd maybe I'll rebuild its tranny. I haven't checked but believe it's the 4l60e. Chuck said it's easier than the 4t65e.

I better not get ahead of myself though. I don't know if the van is race ready yet! It wouldn't bother me having to pull it again. I'd just have no idea of what could be wrong since I felt like I followed everything to a "T" and looked over every with a microscope. I bet I checked every piece at list 10 times multiple times throughout the rebuild. I guess there's only one way to find out. Since I've never owned an "off the lot" vehicle I'm anxious to see how well a new tranny shifts.

Response From Discretesignals

Putting 9 quarts and cranking it up is alright. You don't need to drain any unless it is overfull. I'm just used to putting in 4-5 quarts in the beginning because I had a incident on a Ford AOD where I poured in more than 5 quarts with the engine off and the excess fluid made a huge lake under the truck because the fluid came out the vent. The pan on those only holds about 5 quarts and you can't add anymore until the pump takes it up into the torque converter. Yours is different because you have the whole valve body side for the over 5 initial quarts to go into, so no problem there.

Pull the engine? Why? One thing at a time grasshopper...

Response From nickwarner

Don't worry about this so much. Its going to work out. Get those battery cables worked out of the rubber ends before you hook them up. I bet there's a bunch of crap in there. Side terminals are good for that. You really need them out of the covers to clean them right. I wouldn't pull the motor unless you blow it up. Start with a small one. Get a lawnmower with a Briggs or a Honda engine that is junk and rebuild it to get used to it first. Maybe even get an ATV with a junk motor, then in the end you have a cheap 4 wheeler for hunting or to let the kids beat on. For the truck, I doubt you need to go and rebuild it just yet. Put in that TransGo shift kit that I put in mine. See if your shift issues get better.

Response From MarineGrunt

I didn't get around to doing squat today. This darn flu bug has to be one of the worst ones I've ever had. I hadn't hooked up the stabilizer bar yet so went to do that. The bolts for it need replaced. I was just going to temporarily put in the old so I could take it for a test drive tomorrow but one snapped in two. I might have some in the bolt bin that will work. If not, I'll pick a couple up from Fastenal when I go to get new frame bolts.

As I mentioned before, over the summer, the battery went to crap. I hooked up the new one earlier and noticed the radio now says "locked". I've never had that happen before. Is the only way to get that unlocked is by going to the dealership and have them reprogram it? I'm not too worried about it but when I tell the wife I'm selling her recently purchased Envoy and putting her back in the van she's going to want some tunes. Yeah right, there's no way I'm getting her out of the Envoy!

Hopefully tomorrow is the day to take it for a drive.

Response From Sidom

There is an 800 number out there that supposedly works for free.......Never tried it personally so I can't say....

You just get the code from the radio & call into the automated number.


To get the code, Press and hold presets 2 and 3 for about 5 to 10 seconds until you
get 3 digits on your display. write those down & then immediately press the AM/FM button to get the last set of 3 numbers. Call the number & use those 6 numbers to get your code...

Response From MarineGrunt

Ha!....I like your way of thinking but it's obvious that you have never met my wife! I can see it now. The second I put a for sale sign in the Envoy the tranny in the van mysteriously stops working. Either that or all of my tools, clothes, etc will be laying on the front lawn. I think we'll be keeping the Envoy.

Great.....I'll check the owner's manual first thing in the morning. If not, I'll give the 800 number a try. I'll let you know what I find out.


Response From MarineGrunt

I started it up to check for leaks. I noticed that a fitting for a tranny line has a slight leak. No big deal there. I should've replaced them while I had it out since they were somewhat rusted up.

One problem I have is the gauges on the cluster aren't working. When I turn the key the only lights that light up are the seatbelt lamp and the check engine lamp. None of the other ones do anything. The gas gauge or temp gauge aren't moving either. I checked the fuses and they all look okay. I guess I'll check them with a multi meter next. I was kind of thinking I left a wiring harness unhooked but looked all over and didn't notice one. That doesn't mean there isn't one unhooked though. All the gauges worked fine last time the van was operational. Seems like it would be a wiring harness. Any ideas?

Response From MarineGrunt

I ended up figuring out the issue that I posted above. I cleaned all the grounds that are attached to the tranny. I also cleaned the electrical connectors going to the starter. Something I should've done from the get go. When I originally hooked them up I told myself that I should clean them but remember saying "screw it". Would've been much easier doing it when the tranny was out. I guess that's what I get. I'm not sure if the gauges and everything get their juice from a ground or not. I did disconnect the battery before doing this so maybe having the battery unhooked for awhile did it. Either way, the gauges are good to go.

Response From nickwarner

A bad ground will cause just as much issues as no power will. I think you're on the right track. Always clean any electrical connection like that when you have reason to take it apart. Not doing it will give you issues almost every time.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Nick. Figures. That was the only thing I half assed during the whole project and it nailed me. I'm just glad that's all it was.

What does that little purple wire do that's on the small bolt of the starter? It's the only wire on the small bolt. Looks like it runs to the rear top of the engine. At least I noticed the same color wire running up there. Not sure if it's the other end or not. Just curious if that might've be the one that did it. If not, it was one of the 6 or so grounds that attach to the tranny. The radio is no longer locked either. Once I unhooked and hooked up the battery it unlocked on its own.

I have a power steering leak to take care of now. I had the other post a few weeks back about it and thought it was an oil leak. I updated that thread a few minutes ago with a couple questions so won't go into it here. I wish I would've just changed out the lines while I had the pump off. It's dripping pretty good now.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, I finally finished everything up. I'm still having issues with the power steering though. I replaced both lines and the pump and it still has hard steering and the whining noise. I'm wondering if the new pump is faulty. It looks like there's a fluid leak but I can't find it for the life of me. It kind of looks like it could be leaking just a little on the fitting on the pressure line where it connects to the steering rack. f there is a leak could it let air into the system and cause the whining noise?

I did take it for a spin earlier and the tranny shifts as smooth as can be. This victory would've been much sweeter if I wouldn't have ran into this power steering issue. Oh well, that's the way it goes and especially with a vehicle with 143k. I'm just glad the tranny works!

Thanks for all of the help with the tranny. I couldn't have done it without you all!


I think I might've found where it's leaking. I think it's coming from the fitting on the pressure line where it hooks into the steering rack. When I took it for a drive it was smoking under the hood. I'm guessing it was shooting a small stream out of that fitting and hitting the exhaust. The reason I'm thinking this is because it looks like there may be some drops of fluid on the left hand side of the engine. Under that fitting on the steering rack you can barely see a wet spot. That's why I'm thinking it was shooting out. Sound feasible?

I went up to carquest and they're going to order another line. It should be here tomorrow. I just hope the pump didn't burn up. I only went two miles. Anyways, it had fluid, I just think there was air in the system. I hope it's fine because I'm going to go nuts if I have to pull the pump off again. It's not that bad but I've had to pull the alternator and bracket in order to get the return line. I can get the pressure line with it in place.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

On the tranny. You get the prize for having the longest thread on the site too! I would have been really bummed out if the trans didn't work out with all that attention to detail you gave it.

PS issue? IMO not directly related at all. Not sure what to do but it is high on the list for this car to fix or new pump buzzing away will not tolerate that for long if it wasn't the whole problem itself. Probably best to attack that as a separate thread if it can't be found out why easily soon. If it can't bleed itself out there might be a special way to do that for this that I'm unaware of or if return fluid isn't free to return would be starving for fluid - maybe? Yikes - if debris get shot along to rack and pinion and can't be cleared that brings on another issue to deal with. I don't hear of defective replacement pumps much at all so just not sure if that should be the first suspect reason,


Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the congrats Tom. Hey, I didn't do this all by myself. Without you guys here helping me along who knows how it would've turned out!....When you mentioned restriction of return fluid that got me thinking. Remember me telling you I had to add a length of rubber hose because the return line didn't come complete? Well, right before the pump the metal line ends. There is then a 5" piece of hose that makes a u shape that goes from the line to the pump. I looked at it and right in the middle of the bend it really flattened up. I ran to carquest and was able to find one that had somewhat of a pre-molded bend. I'm guessing that caused to much pressure to build and it leaked out the fitting. But, wouldn't it cause it to blow some seal on the pump? If so, I'm guessing that fitting is still leaking unless it could've screwed up the o-ring on the end. I'm going to go ahead and replace that line with the new one just to be safe.

Response From MarineGrunt

Do you have to use thread sealant on the fittings on the end of the line? I didn't before because I didn't figure they needed any but guess I don't know for sure.

If replacing the short section of curved hose and pressure line doesn't fix it I'll start a new thread.

Response From Discretesignals

You are the man! I had the upmost confidence that you would improvise, adapt ,and overcome. I bet your the center of attention now in the neighborhood. News is going to spread around that you can rebuild transmissions and the neighborhood wives are going to be baking you cakes and cookies and asking you to come and check out their husbands' vehicles. If you want, I can refer our customers in need of tranny repair to ya...LOL. Good job. The power steering system is a piece of cake.

All the women will be saying, "MY HERO!!!"

Response From MarineGrunt

Ha! That's good stuff. Looks like I need to grow a stache now! I've got enough work to do on my own vehicles to even mess with the neighbors. I wouldn't trust myself to rebuild any transmission except my own! I checked the fluids in the Sierra the other day. I've put around 1500-1800 miles on it since I've owned it. It was a quart low on oil. I climbed under it and it looks to be coming from the upper rear of the engine. It almost looks like it's coming where the tranny and engine meet. Rear main seal? If so, I figure I might as well rebuild the tranny if I have it out. I would think it would cost less than $100 since everything should be in good working order. That hard shift into 2nd bugs me. Nick mailed me a rebuild dvd for the 4L60E. The plan was to just to the shift kit that is suppose to help that shift. I planned on doing that so I wouldn't have to pull the tranny but that was before I noticed the oil leak. If you had to pull it for the rear main seal would you rebuild it?

I once thought the power steering system was a piece of cake but this one's being a pain though. It should be fine once I fix the bend in the hose and especially if I replace the new pressure line I installed with another new pressure line. I now know for a fact that it's leaking where it hooks to the steering rack. It's plenty tight too so maybe it is just faulty. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Out of the whole job this part has given me the most grief.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well, replaced the new pressure line with another new pressure line and that stopped the leak. I also replaced the small rubber hose on the return line. There are no leaks but it's still making the whining noise. I'm thinking I might've burned the pump up when I took it for a drive yesterday. Going to try a new pump and see what happens. I'm pretty confident it's the pump but if that doesn't do it I have no idea and will be starting a new thread on it. Have to take the wife out so going to get a pump this evening. After getting a Christmas tree tomorrow I'll swap it out and let you know.

I took it for a 5 mile drive a little bit ago and the tranny is smoooooth! Sorry, I had to mention it again!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Hmmm? We continue with this PS issue. Can't be ignored of course. Pump itself may now be bad or was bad. Now I worry if old one or new one has thrown debris? Could end up playing ping pong fixing one problem but fail if two aren't done. Not real sure of the best approach but would be checking fluid captured thru a coffee filter or something to get an idea.

Some pics of both that state OE exact?..............
Pressure one........

Return one...........
That extra loop is to cool the fluid but more often get damaged or rusts where they place them so far with ones that came my way.

Never used but see it available is a filter not used TMK for OEM. See if a pic shows.......
Has to be on return line by looks. I plead that I have no clue if it could help or be just another place to leak or make lines rub??

Bleeding instruction didn't say anything out of control. Just front wheels up and steer stop to stop many times watching fluid level basically. That info could be all wet?

I worry about the rack now if it is damaged or was failing in some way or not passing fluid thru it. Help guys - how would you test or approach that? Another whole brand of vehicle was known to me to just have those fail like clockwork probably catching too much exhaust heat? - T

Response From MarineGrunt

A filter is a good idea. On the return line there are two spots where you have to attach a section of rubber hose. There's the spot up top by the pump which a filter wouldn't work there. There is then another spot on the right hand side by the half shaft. There's plenty of room there to put a filter.

I really think that the new pump burned up from the small section of u shaped hose being squashed flat. I replaced that hose with one that had a molded bend so it's fine now. I'm almost positive it's the pump. If not, like you said, maybe it's the steering rack. When removing the tranny it says to wire the rack out of the way. Maybe from being old and with it hanging caused some sort of damage.

I have some things to do today so will be doing the pump later on. If the new pump doesn't do it I'm going to start a new thread because I'll definitely be at a loss. I have high hopes with the new pump though.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

I'm worried about the pump really being the source problem again or not. Do remans just get a wash and wrap + paint up job out there - I know so and avoid that brand again if caught. For PS how long is enough to harm one? Not sure.

Does it have power assist feeling normal even with the noise? I really don't know the best way to test for proper pressure ability and volume of return fluid to be sure of the fix.

Arggh - I think I'd see with it running and helper putting some turning force on it now if return line quickly removed could push back out fluid such that plain no return or VERY poor return flow was an issue.

Dang MG - you've come up with some real brain teasers. Can happen but what if another reman pump does the same thing? It's happened with assorted reman things but sure causes one think they have the wrong diagnosis or doing something wrong to me anyway. Gotta do something no matter what and don't know any good solid known ways to know for sure how to be sure, - T

Response From MarineGrunt

The other day it did have the power steering assist feeling when I took it for a drive. About a mile in it got worse though.

I got the new pump on. I'm still not sure if it's quite right. It has taken awhile to get the air out. I don't think it's all out yet though. Either that or it has a very small leak somewhere. The more I turned the wheel the better it has gotten. I can turn the wheel all the way and I don't hear any whining. But, if I really crank on the wheel it will whine. It took about 20-30 minutes to get it to the point where I could turn the wheel all the way and it wouldn't whine. That's why I kind of think it's getting there. I have never had one take this long to bleed though. That's why I'm wondering if there's a tiny leak. Is it possible for air to get into the system without leaking fluid?

Since it seems like I've gotten 99% of the air out I might throw the tires on it and take it for a spin sometime tomorrow. I'll probably just go around the block a few times so I'm close to home if I notice a problem.

I did notice the radiator fans aren't coming on. Looks like something else to look into.

Also, I mentioned somewhere along the way about the oil leak on the right hand side of the engine. Replaced crankshaft seal thinking that was it but was still leaking. I then figured it was ps fluid. Well, I'm not so sure now. I can get underneath and look at the ps fittings and they are not leaking. I still have a tiny drip in that same spot. It looks like it may be coming from the head gasket. But, if it was the head gasket, wouldn't it be leaking coolant and not oil? It seems to be coming from the back right corner of the head although I guess it's possible it could be running down from somewhere. It doesn't look like it though. The thing is, when I did the intake I replaced all gaskets above the head. I know that doesn't mean anything though. I'll have to try and get a better look somehow. It's a slow enough leak I'm going to worry about that one until later.

Hopefully tomorrow the ps will end up being okay. If not, what the heck else could it be? I did have both lines off and had to reseal a plug on the bottom of the rack so I'm sure there was plenty of air in there. I wouldn't think it would take as long as it has to bleed it though. Maybe the whole issue all along was just air? Out of this whole tranny job I never though it would be the ps system giving me such grief.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

"Is it possible for air to get into the system without leaking fluid?"

? - No in this case and IMO. PS = hydraulic pressure and return. Reservoir is just there not pressurized as they will run with a typicel set up with cap off just could splash some out.

Notes: A key property of PS fluid, hydraulic fluid and ATF is the "antifoam" properties. Shoot me if wrong but I can't think of where in a PS system there would be vacuum to make vapor. At best perhaps flow thru a restriction could make the 'Venturi' effect and vapor (air) that you wouldn't see.
*If bleeding has been a real pest there's nothing I've found out there for tricks or special ways for this. Once wheels on ground and steering you are then asking for real pump pressures to work, off ground they aren't pumping that hard. Note the harder you turn the harder it works like being in the shopping center and the idiot trying to squeeze into a spot too tight has two arms and a leg turning wheel against the stops and wonders why a hose exploded


Response From Hammer Time

Is it possible for air to get into the system without leaking fluid?

My answer is yes..............

I've had it happen to me a couple times. It happens when the pump is able to suck air between the reservoir and the pump and this can happen without leaking. The suction force of the pump is greater than the gravity pressure of the fluid.
I had a Ford taurus one time with a remote reservoir that had about 4 pumps replaced and still couldn't get rid of the aeration even though there was never any fluid loss. . It turned out to be the metal line between the reservoir and the pump with a pin hole. The O-ring at the reservoir or that seal in general can do the same thing.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

YES! Definite chance there just never came my way and wasn't thinking the remote reservoir. Had to look so will show what it should look like for the record......
Hose and clamps not shown so if the freaking tank itself is OK do the dang hose. Guess - 10mm fuel injection/PCV hose but make sure. This is where the freaking quality of clamps counts yet again. I would hunt the earth over not to use plain cheapo clamps but ones known for a full circle grip. No goo just right stuff.

I can't know how long a pump can buzz away without trouble as I'm not in cars that do that or would scream as a passenger to tend to it. Did have a parts car still running around this joint for a couple years with a wild PS leak but had to move it now and then. Just filled it and was fine but once too many and it did fry the pump that I wasn't keeping off of the thing anyway. A Ford pretty standard pump and took quite a while before that one did ruin itself.

Back to this: Is any evidence of leaking with anything about this, that hose showing OR anywhere another leak you were having trouble finding exactly where it was from? T

Response From MarineGrunt

I purchased a new pump. It came with the o-ring for the reservoir in a plastic package with direction on how to install it. The pump I purchased came with the reservoir attached. I didn't pull the reservoir off to put the o-ring on because I assumed that the instructions and o-ring are thrown in every box including if you only purchased a reservoir. Should I have pulled the reservoir off and installed the o-ring? I've done others in the past and have never had to do that. I'm thinking they just package all of them like that just to save time and confusion?

I just don't see them assembling the pump and reservoir and not installing the o-ring. I can see if they forgot but I'm on my second pump in two days.

I haven't messed with it yet today but am going to check it out here soon. Have to get the Christmas decorations out of the attic first.

Response From Hammer Time

I just don't see them assembling the pump and reservoir and not installing the o-ring.

The O-ring doesn't have to be missing, just not sealing.

Response From MarineGrunt

I checked the fluid quite a bit last night and it was not foamy at all.

It seems to be getting better the more I turn the wheel. Right when I started the van up about 10 minutes ago I could hear the power steering pump. I then turned the wheel back and forth about 10 times and it's much better. I can barely here the whining noise when I turn it all the way. I'm thinking it's not bled all the way. It sure has taken a long time though. When I pull the ps cap off I can here the pop of suction which I wouldn't think I'd be able to hear if it was leaking somewhere. Well, I guess if air is getting it and not out it could still do that, correct?

I think I may have to hold off on the ps anyways. A few minutes ago I was looking for fluid leaks. Remember me saying that it looks like there's a leak on the back right of the engine? Well, I can see slight bubbling coming from the head gasket.

When I finished up the intake there were times the temp gauge would creep a tad over halfway which it normally doesn't do. I figured it was air in the system and continued to bleed it. I then noticed the lower radiator hose had some drops coming out of it where it connects to the engine so figured that was it. It wasn't much longer the tranny went. I put the new hose on the other day. When I started the van to check fluid levels vents weren't blowing hot even though the engine was warm. I bled the air out of the cooling system and topped off the coolant. The next time I started it everything seemed fine. Last night was the first time it looked like it was going to overheat. I did notice the radiator fans weren't kicking on so figured that was the problem. I'm 100% sure I'm seeing the bubbles out of the head gasket though.

What do you guys think about this. Screw the ps for now and do the head gasket. I'll have to bleed the ps system again anyways if I do the head. After this there shouldn't be a damn thing this van needs. Well, except for a for sale sign.

Ha, and you guys though you were getting rid of me after this tranny.

Response From Discretesignals

I not sure if I missed this...but is the fluid foamy while the pump is operating?

Response From Discretesignals

You need the code to unlock the radio. The instructions to unlocking it are in the owner's manual. If you don't have the code, you have to go to the dealer to get it. Sometimes you'll find an owners manual where someone wrote the code number either on the page the instructions are on or on the front or back cover. If you do have to get the code, I suggest you write it somewhere in the owner's manual.

Shoot, she'll probably get in the van and drive it. Then she'll fall in love because it will be shifting and running like a Bentley. You won't be able to pry her off it. (I can picture her standing behind you rolling her eyes)

Response From Discretesignals

Come on man, you got that thing rolling yet? Your giving me the Sh!ts. LOL

Response From nickwarner

I think you're on the right track. If you can get ahold of a precision straightedge hold it again the shaft and see if you can get a feeler gauge under it anywhere. Or lay it into a piece of angle iron and look very closely. Thats not too precise but if bent badly enough you could see it.

Response From nickwarner

If you find you are out of spec, use a micrometer to measure the thickness of your selectable washer so you know which one to get.

Suppose I could help you float test a piece or too. Sold!

Response From Discretesignals

That's kind of odd because we had the same thing happen in our flight. Poor fellow held it all day long. The TI was teaching us how to fold socks the AF way. Heard, "Airman Reed reports, request permission to...." Then piss was running down his boot. The look on the TI's face was priceless. He actually almost broke out in laughter and then started screaming at the Airman to clean it up. Next thing you see is Airman Reed cleaning up his piss with his issued towels and what was in his bag of dirty uniforms that hang off the end of his bunk. Until the day of laundry detail, you could smell the piss every time you walked passed his bunk.

Check out Sonnax's website. Not sure if you have the 4L60E or 4L80E in your truck. You may find some information on what kind of improvements on issues that were made.


Response From MarineGrunt

That's great! I'm sure there was a lot of snickering going on through the squad bay during that one. I had fun in boot camp. Of course, during boot camp I couldn't wait until it was over, but looking back you realize how much fun it really was.

I'll check out that site and see what I can find.

Brad stopped by with the lip seal I needed. He owns his own shop and offered to help with anything I needed. I've been very lucky during this rebuild.

Heading to my dad's house for the evening so the rebuild will continue tomorrow while watching football. Another couple of days and I should have it back together. That is as long as all goes well.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Of course I'm watching Note on "shift kits" if what I think the intended purpose is and only drove one (ancient) done by factory or could be done to many was to shorted the smooth clutching time between shifts somewhat the effect of shifting a standard letting clutch pedal just pop off your foot feel which was said to actually prolong life of normal wear items and improve 1/4 mile times. Then and perhaps what was done is add a plate to valve body to alter the path of fluid flow to be fast to next move it does.

If, and I say IF that is the sole purpose I would NOT alter it unless all of a sudden you want to race this thing. It may not be about that but fear changing anything already known with this sucker with the known changes already to toss this into the picture if it didn't shift properly (let's not hear that) when all done - T

Response From MarineGrunt

Here's one I definitely need some help on. I received my master rebuild kit today. When I disassembled all the input clutch plates I hung them up in exact order as they came out. I grabbed the new plates and swapped them with the old one by one and in order. Mine had a 3rd clutch wave plate and also an input wave plate. The kit only came with one wave plate. I called the place and he said there should only be one wave plate, at least that's what his system shows, and he has never had anyone call and ask. Also, the wave plate is a little different. The old only has 6 teeth spread out in sets of 2. Are the teeth being different just some kind of update? Is the "missing" wave plate just some kind of update? My manual says it has all the updates so I figured everything would match. If it is some kind of update, how do I know which wave plate is no longer used.

This is really bugging me. I figured I'd just replace the old in order with the new. Heck, that's why I didn't pull them out of the housing until the kit got here. I am having doubts for the first time on this tranny.

I have a wedding to go to so won't be able to check back in until later on tonight.

I hope we can get this one figured out. If I need to post any pictures of what I'm talking about just let me know.



Just noticed in the manual that at the bottom where it lists each clutch and steel for the input assembly that it lists 655, the Input Clutch Wave Plate, but doesn't show it in the picture. It does list number 645, the 3rd Clutch Wave Plate, and it shows it in the diagram.

Could that mean that the Input Clutch Wave Plate is not used anymore?

Response From MarineGrunt

My bad, 505 is not missing. I'm going to edit that in the post above. I'm positive 517 was missing though.

Response From MarineGrunt

I'm going to replace the drive sprocket support as you recommended. The manual doesn't explain all that well on how to remove it. It does show a picture of the bolts you're talking about DS. Do you mind listing the order of what needs to be removed. On the backside where the torque converter goes, do I have to remove anything there? Does the needle bearing come out by first and by itself?

Response From nickwarner

If its scored up, toss it out. If you're running a used pump, make sure you take it apart when you get it and inspect it. The vanes, housing, valving and all must be good. Just go ahead and install a new pump bushing in it. No sense in reusing it. If you find some worn vanes, individual wear items or just need the bushing and its not in your kit, your local trans shops should have them on hand and they aren't very pricey things.

With the missing thrust washer allowing that much movement, I'm thinking thats what probably caused the pump to break like it did. Such a small cheap little thing wrecks the whole works on you.

As you go further in the inspection of all the parts, remember if its questionable at all for reuse, give it the float test.

Response From Discretesignals

I'd replace the drive support. There should be bolts behind the front seal, so you can remove the support.

Kind of strange the nylon washer is gone. Is it stuck to the back of the drive sprocket?

Response From MarineGrunt

You're right about it being nice to find a confirmation of failure. Especially because looking at everything else it looks clean and in great shape. I knew there was definitely something inside that broke apart because of the fluid. The fluid was in bright and red before it went out. I know I mentioned this already, but according to the manual, there's a thrust washer missing. I think it may have been ground down to nothing. There is some wear on the drive sprocket support. At least that's what the manual calls it. It may be okay but I think it might be a good idea to replace since I don't know how much was worn down. I don't think too much was because the drive sprocket is fine.

I looked online for a new drive sprocket support. I typed in 4t65e drive sprocket support and I can't seem to find the right one. It brings up the one for the other side. Not the smaller one that I'm looking for. Is there anything else this it is called?

Here's a picture from the front.

Here's a closeup.

Here's the backside.

It seems to be all one piece except for the bearing and possibly a bushing. Since a thrust washer goes inbetween the drive sprocket and the drive sprocket support do you think it even needs replaced?

Response From nickwarner

See if that discoloration will come off with Scotchbrite. Is the surface smooth or scored?

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Side note and you know I watch all the goings on MG. Those DeWalt Impacts if like one I saw used are incredible! I'm done with this crap but a sucker for cool tools still. Was a plumber working at my home and heard that gawd awful sound of a bit stripping out the head of something but it was the impact sound! Love that thing - big bucks but what's new? I still use the one Nick showed and works but just breaks the #3 Phillips too much?? Not related but door jam strikers, brake drums on some and so forth.

Keep up the good work. I'm learning tons from the whacked issues you are running into. You may be about ready to quit any day job!


Response From nickwarner

Does look like the tab of a clutch steel. Could've caught on the filter screen of the valve body. Usually what goes rolling out are the little checkballs from the valve body fluid circuits that you scratch your head trying to figure out where they go.

Response From Discretesignals

I'd keep that piece to the side and keep going. Amazing things will end up in the valve body area sometimes.

Response From nickwarner

You can hold the crank still with someone using a breaker bar on the balancer bolt. The Kent-Moore tool is nice but thats when you don't have anyone to help you. Remember the bastard bolt that you have to remove from the passenger side that holds the motor and trans together. The support bracket on the pass side and the speedo sensor have to come off to even seen it way back there and you need about 3 feet of extension. You need an engine support fixture that goes across the engine bay just ahead of the strut towers to hold the motor in the air, as you have to take the cradle out to get this done. That means disconnecting the steering lines, which I find easiest done at the pump itself. Putting the steering shaft back on can be a pain royally if you don't spread the opening a little in the slit with a chisel first, so remember that when you go to reinstall. Buy new swaybar links if yours are older. Its a lot easier to remove the ball joint stud from the spindle when you can flex the control arm freely and they'll just snap on removal since you have the salt same as me.

Oil pan access is great without the cradle in place. Realistically, once you get the cradle out the job is almost done anyway and fairly easy. I would replace the rear main seal for sure. You'll already have the oil pan off anyway and the trans out of your way. Get some red scotchbrite and smooth out any grooves or crap on the surface of the crank where the seal rides. If you have to hit it with some emery clotch you can, but at this mileage level I would be very surprised. I always change the rear main on anything with over 70k on it when I have a trans out. Cheap part and saves something coming back to bite you later.

Get a few cars of Kooler Kleen at the parts house. Follow the diretions on it to fully and thoroughly flush the living hell out of that cooler. If you find a lot of metal in the pan you may want to just buy a new radiator. If any debris remains in that cooler it will find its way into your new trans and you'll be doing this job all over again.

Response From MarineGrunt

That was exactly the advice I was looking for Nick. Thanks! The more I got to thinking about which route I want to go for the tranny I think I'm going to try and rebuild it myself. I've always wanted to try rebuilding one and figure now is the perfect opportunity. I'm in no hurry to get the van back on the road as it's our extra vehicle. I'm going to order the overhaul manual and also a dvd that shows all of the updates that have been done to the 4T65-E. The manual and dvd are $45. A master rebuild kit is around $150. I'm sure there are some other parts that may need replaced too. I figure if I get it all back together and it doesn't work right it will be a $200 educational course. I think the knowledge is worth that. Plus, depending on what's wrong with it, I could end up saving around what, $800 or so? I do realize that I'll probably need some specialty tools but there's a good chance my stepdad has them. If it doesn't work out I'll probably just end up going with the crate transmission. I'm kind of excited about giving the rebuild a try though. One other question. I've been wanting to get a code scanner for a long time. I don't want to spend a fortune but don't want a cheap pos either. Can you recommend a decent one for home use? Not sure if this makes a difference but we only own GM vehicles and will probably continue only buying GM. Thanks again for the info Nick. Top notch info like always. By the way, how's HT doing? Haven't heard much out of him for awhile.

Response From Hammer Time

I'm following this. I just don't know a real lot about trannys.