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GM 4L60E AUTO TRANS

dodgeram10dodgeram10 Posts: 74
edited March 6 in Chevrolet
GM has alot of problems with this trans & they will not step up to the plate & correct these concerns. Here is some of the problems. The Sun Shell comes apart,Valves stick inside the Valve Body. These are the most common problems these trans have. If someone would like to explain why GM has not corrected these concerns I would like a answer please. GM needs to step up to the plate & recall these trans for the valve body & sun shell. If someone works for GM or anyone else has a answer please explain thanks.

Comments

  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Gm worst trans in the market?

    What about those dodge trannies?
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    Dodgeram10:

    Don't know where you got your information, unless you got a bad transmission, and a bad dealer that doesn't know how to fix it, but the 4L60E IS one of the best on the market. Most car magazines say so when they test a GM product that uses that transmission.

    I don't defend GM when they get something wrong (see some of my other posts) but in this case, you are off base.

    If you DO have a bad transmission and the dealer hasn't fixed it correctly, try another dealer. If the vehicle is out of warranty, and you don't want to use the dealer, find a good independent shop with ASAE-certified mechanics trained to work on electronic transmissions.

    Joe
    "Go sell crazy some place else--we're all stocked up here."
    --Jack Niclolson as Melvin Udall in the movie "As Good As It Gets"
  • dodgeram10dodgeram10 Posts: 74
    You should both ck your sources they do have constent problems with the sun shells & valve body's in these trans, but I guess you would not know since you have never had to o/h these they do keep us really busy, Ford & Dodge do make better light duty trans then GM. I will have to admit the 4L80E is one good trans, but the 4L60E
    is good for notting junk, ck with your dealer on the sun shells & valve body's I am sure they would agree they fail alot.
  • joe1969joe1969 Posts: 4
    I dont think so. 47,000+ miles and its fine. My only complaint, taking forever to shift gears I took care of with a Hypertech reprogrammer.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    If you own one you will someday see code 1870 slipping TCC,worn out valve body.GM addressed the problem in 00,time will tell,sun shell I think has been beefed up I hope.You know GM is sloooooow to upgrade.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If I told you that I know a dozen people who have had a failure with one of these transmissions, know one would believe me.

    Since my wife's cousin is a transmission tech, I asked him. He said this is the most common transmission to see a failure and the one most rebuilt by his company. Complete failure, hard shifts or overheating are the most common complaints according to him. This was his short list of things he commonly sees with the 4L60E:

    Accumulator piston failures
    EPC solenoid failures
    Reaction sun gear failures
    Premature clutch drum wear/ cracked clutch drums
    Valve body wear ("lot's of these")
    2/4 servo failures
    Pump slide wear
    Govenor shafts burred or galled
    Internal seal failures

    Dusty

    P.S. Yes, I owned one of these transmissions!
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    '98 K1500 ExCab SB Silverado bought used at 47K miles. GM spec printout indicates M30 4L60E Automatic Transmission.

    On the 29th day of ownership, the trans failed with a broken Sun Shell. Was replaced with a used unit by the third party Service Agreement.

    Within a short time, this one failed with a no reverse problem (selecting reverse was like selecting neutral). This time, the service department of the dealer (a Lithia property) did not provide detail on the actual repair. One Service Manager said they were waiting for another used unit, the subsequent Service Manager (first one left) said it was being rebuilt. Still don't know beyond total lack of trust for the Lithia organization 'cause the only consistent parts of the stories were that they had to wait to see what Lithia told them to do next. No, I am not likely to buy from a Lithia store again without the "What you see is not necessarily what you get" and "As Is, it's yours, Don't Tell Me about it" concept of after sale support.

    It took a third trip to a local Arrow Trans shop (selected by the Lithia Folks) to correct Torque Converter problems.

    It's now been another 30K miles and no problems, but after the discussions with the Arrow Folks and another shop that did the AXOD in my previous Sable (that's another story), it is apparent that these are, in fact, common problems with this transmission.

    The next time the trans fails (and I have no reason to believe it won't), I will take it to the shop of my choice by pre-selection instead of making the decision on the side of the road with the tow truck.

    So... Bottom line... I know it will fail again, just like my '88 Sable did and I expect my wifes '92 Sable to do (another common valve body failure). I will consider myself lucky if I get to the point of replacement first. I like my truck and how it drives. Just like little brakes on a big truck, I will have to replace them when needed. We just need to deal with it and hope that someday, Somebody will make a truck that won't require these kind of repairs, or, better yet, tell us what to plan for. (yeah, right...)
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    A 4L60E does not have a governor to fail or gall up. it's electronically controlled.

    valve body wear is a common problem with the 4L60E. I wish GM would redesign this. Accumilator wear is a problem, yet GM down sized the piston guide pin in the 1-2 accumilator for some reason.

    Fine particles can cause the valve body many different troubles. About once a month My own Silverado will stick in second gear at a stop, with only 26k miles on it.

    The sun shells were updated a few years ago. We don't see nearly the failures that we used to.
  • alfredb18alfredb18 Posts: 3
    I don't care to just pile on too often, since all the makers LOOOOVE to cut corners in front of the die hard's eyes, but....

    That 4L60 had to be such a great tranny, that the previous owner of my mother's 98 C1500 must have been NUTS(!!!) to tear the tranny out before he had the truck out of warranty to replace the '60E internals with the 4L80E equivalents. The tranny shifts better than any stock 4L60E ever would! Merv, that previous owner, is a bowtie die hard himself.

    If the GM beancounters would ever spend money on there more common parts, like this tranny or the LS1-based engines, GM proabably would have blown the rest of the auto world away in sales. I guess they like to keep things interesting, since beancounters are not car lovers by nature....

    If I could count the number of times in my other visited forums that I hear, "My late nineties Blazer/Full-size truck/etc has (code xyz) or a nasty first to second shift", I would have died of boredom a long time ago.

    Will GM redesign? Well, if you buy it, why do the beangeeks see anything wrong with their methods??? Think about it. If you buy stock in any company, you're looking for a big return NO MATTER WHAT. You don't slap a cadillac interior in a Metro and keep the 'counters happy.

    There's your answer, Dodgeram10, on why the Big 3 operates why they do.

    In other words, now that the consumer wants more truck for less buck, you cut corners where you can to make a profit.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    they will not match DC's 7 yr 100K power train warranty I know why they would go broke.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I would shed any DC stock you might own within 2 years. After that time, DC will begin to suffer from paying out all those warranty claims on their cars that didn't come close to making 100K before a tranny failure.
    Yes if you own one you will be OK, cause you will get a new tranny, but DC is going to suffer. I think they will look back on this warranty as one of their worst ideas ever.
  • gator36gator36 Posts: 294
    Just a note on the 4L60E, as most of the professionals that are posting here already know.
    Heat is your enemy... Pay the $60 or so dollars and buy the largest auxillary trans cooler you can reasonably fit. I had problems with a trans in a 97 GMC Sierra going through west Texas in 110 degree weather. Fortunatly I was able to get it home under warranty. New GM certa trans when I got home...
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    won't help a broken sun shell or a worn out valve body,two major defects.Cold thick transmission fluid causes other problems.Anyone who has overhauled an automatic transmission is aware of all the very very small oil feed holes that requires fluid in the 200* F range to permit the transmission to be lubed and to function properly.
  • gator36gator36 Posts: 294
    The problem with these transmissions is not fluid that is too cool. Sun shell and valve body porblems logically would be attributed to heat related failures.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I don't think valve body wear has anything to do with the temperature of the ATF. My first guess, without ever having seen the specific components from the 4L60E transmission, that it is a problem of soft valve body material. Softer materials are generally easlier to produce from a manufacturing standpoint (cost, time, labor & tooling).

    According to one opinion from a local AT rebuilder, the hard shift symptom is directly related to the sun gear failures.

    I think you'll find that extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum contribute to AT failures. Too high will cause seal, clutch, ATF, and other material breakdowns. In extremely cold temperatures fluid flow can be reduced to the point where inadequate lubrication becomes a serious problem. Chrysler, for example has had a problem in this area specifically and has tried to address the issue in several TSBs, notably their issuance of a "cold weather package" for Dodge trucks which essentially bypasses the transmission cooler.

    Dusty
  • gator36gator36 Posts: 294
    But you have to admit heat is usually the mail culprit in introducing "material" to the fluid. worn bands and clutch material could gall and also block
    the passages in the valve body.
    My last truck had 2 transmissions replaced, both times under warranty. I rarely ever towed and when I did, it was a small 16ft boat. The technicians at both shops related to me that these were "Common heat related failures that GM was seeing alot of in this model trans." Add to that, I am here in Southern California, I serously doubt these Techs. would see cold related failures....
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    wear was never a problem when the body was cast iron & the valves aluminum.
    Broken sun shell & worn valve bodies are not heat related.
    The heat related failure in So Cal sounds like an easy cope out for poor design.
    What was the heat related failure.
    In high heat areas you just change the fluid more often or go to synthetic fluid,heat problem solved.
  • gator36gator36 Posts: 294
    Cop out?

    Change fluid more often or go to synthetic?

    GM recomends that the Trans fluid be changed at 100K or earlier if used severely. Maybe GM goofed here. One should be able to expect their trans to do as advertised.

    From what everyone that I have talked to, the valve body failures are usually due to contaminates entering into the valve body and subsequently causing damage that affects the performance of the unit. Now we need to ask where does this contamination come from? If it was there from manufacture, failures would happen much sooner and we could expect more failures. Heat related wear of the band material and clutches would be most likely culprit. Heat makes the material brittle. Material flakes off and enters the system. Due to the soft nature of the body material (aluminum vs. Iron) wear and obstructions occur.

    Mind you, both transmissions that failed on my truck NEVER had burned fluid and had 30K mile services (above and beyond the GM maint schedule) After my second trans was installed I installed a large trans cooler. My third trans lasted more than twice as long as the previous two before I sold the truck.

    Any way you look at it a trans cooler is CHEAP insurance.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    .........are obviously a factor in Auto transmission failures, as is lack of maintenance, use, and abuse. There are not too many man made things that doesn't have a maximum life.

    I agree that heat is a factor. And it does not surprise me that someone in So. Cal. would be seeing this as a primary failure mode. However, Joe's comment is valid, too. In the northeast there is a significant number of auto transmission failures directly caused by poor lubrication in extremely cold weather. The most common scenario from what I can tell is burn-out of the overdrive units which in the past have received marginal lubrication in older designs.

    Now, whether these issues have been completely resolved by the manufacturers is a question. Dodge truck autos received a major upgrade in 1998 from what I can tell. And another certified AT tech has stated here that the 4L60E received some also.

    The local AT techs here are telling me they don't see too many Dodge truck ATs coming in anymore. So maybe those upgrades have produced some positive results. I didn't know about any 4L60E upgrades, so I didn't ask. But I will.

    The push to reduce weight, cost, assembly time, and increase the recyclability of old materials, has made the automatic transmission the prime target of engineering attention. I think there was a period when most manufacturers just simplified existing designs by changing component and materials. Some early-era designs were basically an extension of this philosophy. Just about everybody had a problem starting in the '70s. My 1977 Impala had five (yes, FIVE) THM100s replaced in the 3 years I owned it. Mid-size GMs and full size Fords were trouble prone as well. I don't think Chrysler had too much trouble with cars, but the A500 & 600 series truck transmissions started to be a problem (I think these were the first Dodge AT overdrive units).

    At noon today I breezed by the three AT shops here in my home town and here's what I counted:

    2 Chevy S10 Blazers
    2 F150 PUs
    1 Dodge Caravan
    1 GMC PU
    2 GM Suburbans
    1 Mazda
    1 Sunbird
    1 Pontiac van
    1 Chevy Lumina van
    1 Mercury Marquis
    1 S10 PU
    1 Tahoe
    3 Camaros

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    the valve bodies were cast iron and the valves were a hard steel. Now, the "E" units the valve bodies are aluminum and the valves are a coated alloy, some are steel too. You must use dis-similar metals to avoid galling troubles.

    Good manintenance and synthetic fluid would help the wear a little I imagine. I could be wrong.

    Being a tranny mechanic for a couple of decades I had the pan off my 2000 Silverado's 4L60E at around 800 miles on the speed-o if my memory serves.

    The common problem of dirt particles building up in the valve body and sticking various valves cause the harsh 1-2 shifts. The 1-2 accumilator is also subject to galling. BTWay the accumilator housing and piston are both aluminum. A built in failure?? The guide pin for the acc piston gets some wear, the piston cocks sideways ever so slightly and the galling starts.

    A TransGo accumilator kit helps stop the galling in the 1-2 acc, yet does not really firm up the shifts a great amount. The kit helps stabilize the piston in the bore. I've had good luck with TransGo stuff.(No I don't sell TransGo, no Spam intended).........

    A constant 200* F is a bit too hot for tranny fluid, but is common in modern vehicles.

    Depending on your climate a large auxillary cooler for the tranny is a good idea, towing or not. Here in AZ larger is better.

    If you live in a cold climate and use an auxillary tranny cooler , run the tranny fluid through the "in radiator" tranny cooler to warm the fluid up.

    Gm never built a THM 100. They did build T-180's in the chevettes and other small cars. The 77 Impala probably had a T-200 and of course they were a real weak tranny.
  • yesterday I was reading on another web site and they were talking about the harsh 1st to 2nd shifting. Someone said that they had drove thier truck in the tow/haul mode and after they shut the truck off and it went back to regular mode that it shifted better, well I tried it and it seemed to work some......
  • dodgeram10dodgeram10 Posts: 74
    GM can not offer the 7yr/100k powertrain warr due to all of there engine/trans failures, engines 3.4 due to coated piston that when coolant hits them it kills the engine,4.3 coolant leaking into the engine from intake gaskets,trans 4T60E,4T65E, & 4L60E. Dexcool is the worst kind of coolant on the market it jells up in your cooling system & since GM has all these intake gaskets leaking coolant lately the dexcool is probley eating away there gaskets.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    ....thanks for the corection on the '77 Impala transmission nomenclature. For some reason I remembered them as THM 100s, but you're right, they were 200s now that I recall.

    There are apparently tubes, as they were described to me, that run underneath the intake manifold, that are a major failure on some V6s. My brother-in-law works for a Pontiac-GMC dealer and was telling me they do 5-8 a week. My neighbor's Grand Am just had this repair done at 53K and I guess it's about a $1500 bill.

    Dusty
  • joe1969joe1969 Posts: 4
    The problem is a catch 22. Get a good review of your product people will buy it. With an auto trans when you get a smooth shift that everyone praises you kill the transmission.

    Mine took forever to shift at times, but if I had to answer the question on a survey 'was it smooth' the answer would be yes, they dont provide any room for comments though, how convienient.

    For every problem there is a solution, in my case it was a hypertech reprogrammer.

    Dodgeram10 dont even start on transmissions dodges are known for trans failures.

    And why pick on GM about the 7/70 that D/C offers? Theyve been doing that for a long time, Ford and GM chose not to match it, I dont think Ford and GM have suffered because they didnt match it.

    As much as I hate to ask it...why do you think hyundai has the 10/100 warranty? Why doesnt dodge match that?

    Everyone knows theyre throw away cars, buy it and get another one next month. Dodge (D/C?) makes good vehicles but there transmissions have a long way to go.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    ...but I think a large portion repeating it may be owners of competitors trucks needing to feel good about what they themselves are driving by believing something else out there is worse.

    Unfortunately, in my investigation of three local transmission shops, the amount of Dodge truck transmission failures doesn't get much of a blip on the radar screen.

    The technicians that I've talked to say that between 1985 and 1997 Dodge truck auto transmissions did fail at a higher than previous rate (the A-500 & 600 series of the eighties and the newer "RE" models are lineage variants of the 3-speed A-904 and 727 transmissions, both known for extreme durability and reliability).

    However, after the 1997 model year with significant changes to the "RE" series, the amount of failures have dropped dramatically. And the new "RFE" series seems to be extremely reliable. In addition, the evidence seems to suggest that a large portion, perhaps even a majority of earlier failures were the result of a clogged drain back valve and/or use of the wrong ATF. Some technicians have told me that Dodge truck trannies were the least susceptible to complete rebuild.

    Dusty
This discussion has been closed.