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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2005, 09:27 PM
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4L60E question

After 5 years and 5 months I fired my '36 up tonight! Runs pretty good but I am concerned about the transmission. Its a '95 Firebird 4L60E. The 3800 V6 came out of a '95 Bonneville. (Started life out sideways) Since the 3800 had a PCM that controled both the engine and transmission (a 4T60E) I had to purchase a seperate transmission computer (TCM). Got one from TCI. I have it installed and (hopefully, correctly) wired up.
After I had the engine running for several minutes I put it in reverse. Nothing. Then put it in Drive. Absolutely nothing. It was too cold and too late to fool around anymore so I gave it up and came in.
OK, here is my question... What are the chances I have messed something up bad in the tranny? Lets assume I don't have it wired up correctly... shouldn't it at least shift into reverse? (The mechanical linkage is all working correctly).

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Old 01-14-2005, 05:46 AM
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You did put fluid in it!
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Old 01-15-2005, 10:42 AM
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Assuming the trans has fluid in it, I would suspect that the torque converter engagement is wrong. When installed, how far did you have to move the converter to engage the flywheel? I fyou moved it much more that 1/8", the pump drive is probably disengaged. Be careful. If the engagement is off, just spacing the converter back may not be the total answer. I would need to know how far the converter moved froward to give you a quick answer. If you pull the trans out and inspect the pump end of the converter, it should be smooth and shiny, like a crankshaft. Look into the pump wit a flashlight. The pump engagement lugs shold appear dark, almost black, with the factory coating. If they look like something wiped across their face, bad deal. The pump can probably be repaired, but it will require a trans shop. Also, if the converter hub (pump drive) is all chewed up or rough, you probably broke the pump gear, usually 'cause clearance was too tight. 1/8" is the magic number for most torque converter to flywheel spacing. This means the converter must move 1/8" toward the flywheel from fully seated (in the trans) and no more.
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Old 01-15-2005, 12:24 PM
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Chazmac,

Thanks. Thats EXACTLY the kind of info I was hoping for. I have to admit, I just believed what the guy at the recyclers where I bought the engine/transmission said... just hook 'em up.
I will go pull the cover and the converter bolts and see how much travel there is and get back to you.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:56 PM
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Chazmac,

Bingo! I removed the 3 bolts and gently moved the converter back... moved back about 1/8". Figured that was not the problem. Then looked up at that surface (that you mentioned) that goes into the front seal. Nice and bright, but I could see almost an inch of it... seemed like too much.Then thought hmmm, while I have a really limited knowledge of automatic transmissions I thought 'seems like I remember a sloted drive on the back of that thing... guess it drives the pump'. Anyway, I started rotating the converter just a little bit and then attempted to push it back into the transmission. After a few rotations, Bingo... went back so that the mounts are about 5/8" from the plate. I also noted that there is a nice solid 'click' as I rotated the converter one direction, then the other. Seems like this would indicate a good drive connection.
So that brings up the first question. Have I done any damage. I have fired it up several times for no more than 3-4 minutes, usually less.
The next question. Assuming there is no damage, what would be the best way to shim the converter back, just get some spacers and longer bolts? If I move the converter all the way back, then forward 1/8", that leaves 1/2" to shim back. Those bolts look very specialized, if I do put longer ones in are grade 8 OK.
Should I toss that sweet little supercharged 3800 and replace it with an SBC?... Naw, forget that last question!

One more thing, while reseaching this current problem I found a site that recommended filling up the converter before assembly. I did not do that. Is that any kind of a real problem?

Last edited by 36scsc; 01-15-2005 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:00 PM
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There is most likely little or no damage. The only area of concern would be the pump bushing itself. Bushing destruction is difficult to see without trans removal. When you get it running, if the front seal leaks, you will know the bushing got hurt. If I were you, I would make those spacers. Double check your dimension. I know this can be hard, but it is worth the effort. Assuming 5/8" is correct, a 1/2" spacer is needed. Make sure all three spacers are the same height, within .030" or so, so that there is no flexplate distortion. Next, make sure to use a METRIC fastener that is marked "9.8" or "10.8" on the head. The bolt used is a 10mm thread with a 1.50 pitch. The length will be expressed in millimeters (mm). The marking on the head is the metric equivalent of our SAE grade system. The length of the bolt is critical. The tip of the bolt MUST NOT touch the flat face of the torque converter! If this happens you will dimple the cover, causing one or mre high spots, and the lockup clutch will fail. This will cause transmission performance problems. As far as filling the torque converter, if this was a previously run trans and converter, there will be oil in the converter. Also, the pump of the trans will fill the converter when the engine is running. Good luck and let me know if it works!
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:51 PM
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yea, the spacers should work. the biggest reason that ur having trouble is because of the back of the engine blocks r different. on the front wheel applcations,the flex plate is shadowed over by the casting of the block. the rear wheel drive applications, the flex plate will stick out farther than the back of the block. thats why u werent able to move...
now, as far as hurting anything inside, as long as when u bolted up the converter to the flexplate where it was pulled up to it evenly, odds r, u didnt hurt a thing... it it wasnt pushed up to the flexplate by hand then tightening the converter bolts, there is a distinct possibility that u could have...
since its all together and just needs spacers done. id give it a try and see if it goes into gear and maybe around the block... if it works, drop the pan and give it a service. anything that might of gotten damaged from b4 will show by then... hope all works out.
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:27 PM
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Thanks guys,

Believe it or not, I went down to "Auto Zone" and they had the exact bolts that I needed... you know those rinky-dink little pin displays with a coupla bolts in a package. 10.8's.
Anyway mfgr'ed 3 1/2" spaces, buttoned everything up, got in, fired it up, added some ATF, and took the darn thing around the block!!! First time that car has moved under its own power in about 30 years.

Last edited by 36scsc; 01-15-2005 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:34 PM
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so, hows it run? hows the trans working??? i like to know how these things turn out...
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Old 01-15-2005, 10:17 PM
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tnsmith10,

Thanks for that explanation...

I did not even attempt to get it out of low since I have a lot of work to do with both the PCM and the (TCI)TCU, i.e. while the engine starts easy and runs well, currently I have to keep the TPS disconnected else it idles around 2500 rpm. Need to figure that out. I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that the PCM expects to be hooked up to the original 4T60E and there ain't anything there. Plus, I worked with one of the TCI tech guys earlier in the week and while he help me solve a coupla problems I know I still have work to do in that area. Also, I don't have a scan tool yet. I like the PC based OBD1 "Ease" unit and will probably order one early next week. I was able to verify that the power brakes and the power steering works and the speedo works.
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Old 01-15-2005, 11:36 PM
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tnsmith10,
Just noticed you live in Tucson... ever get out to the Tucson International Speedway?
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:04 AM
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if its drag racing, they closed down old tucson dragway in 1985. but they opened up a new track called S.I.R.. i go there every now and then, usually go there for the nhra preseason testing... other than that, i go to firebird for the event they have that used to be in feb., but got moved to march because of all the weather issues from early last year.
if its roundy-rounds, ive been out to tucson raceway park once in the last 10 years, and that was to support a builder i used to work with who races out there... dont care much for going in circles... lol

as far as at least getting to drive ur car after sitting as long as it has, just getting to drive is cool... hope ur able to get it all squared away now that its running... gl man.
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:05 AM
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Cool

We would drive to Tucson to watch the fuel altered cars run back in the 1970's.

Always fun to watch them get sideways down the track
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