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Old 11-17-2011, 09:15 AM
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Converter going south/Pink Fluid?

I am getting a shudder when cruising about 50 mph which feels like the trans is trying to lock up but failing.

This is a 2003 Z71 Suburban with the 5.3L. The truck as 120K on it at this time and is not modified in any manner from stock.

It was suggested the converter is going bad and others have suggested a shudder stop additive. I am not a fan of additives which make claims of being a "cure in a can" but as the trans seems to be working fine otherwise I risked $8 on this additive. When I pulled the dipstick though I noticed the trans fluid was very pink in color and not the bright red of normal fluid.

The truck does not get used that much and is not off-roaded. It has not been through high water (there has not been any rain in Texas to be any) and is not abused. The fluid was changed 2 years ago after I t-boned a whitetail which cratered the entire cooling system.

Could this be caused by water intrusion in the trans cooler portion of the radiator? The coolant fluid looks fine colorwise. Any suggestions on how I can confirm if this is the problem?

My apologies for this not being in regard to a hot rod.

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:24 AM
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No apologies necessary. Welcome to Hotrodders.com. Hopefully our unique blend of insanity and knowledge might encourage you to get a hotrod.

My first guess is that the trans cooler in the radiator is compromised and allowing some leakage.

When you say pink, do you mean a sort of milky pink or bright pink. Bright pink could be some sort of additive.

Have you noticed any coolant leakage or can you smell coolant?
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:05 AM
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It is a pale pink. The more I think about it the more I think the radiator is the culprit.

Looks like the trans will have to come out and be gone through, converter flushed, and radiator replaced to solve this problem.

As for having a hot rod my daily driver is the 54 pickup in my pictures. There is also a 58 Cameo and a 39 Olds coupe in progress.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:48 PM
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Water is very bad for a Trans. The Glue used to bond the Friction material to the Clutch plates, 2-4 Band and TCC is water based. When the Trans gets hot it can delaminate the Clutch material, steaming it off. This may be causing the Shudder.
TCC = TorqueConverterClutch

Strawberry Milk color??
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:24 PM
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That would be the correct shade.

The radiator was replaced by a body shop two years ago after I t-boned a deer at 65mph in Kansas.

Everything this shop did had to be redone by another shop here in Houston to correct all the problems. Evidently they missed the POS radiator the first shop used.

If you need a body shop in SW Kansas I would not recommend Mike's Body Shop in Hugoton.
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