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Old 11-23-2011, 12:08 PM
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Stumped on 4L60E 2003 forward in neutral after rebuild

Hello everyone. My first post although I follow regularly. I've already done a search for my problem and nothing seems identical, so here goes, maybe someone can help. This is a 2003 Suburban, 4x4, 5.3L, 4L60E. Came in for the usual 3-4 burn up. Had reverse, and 1 and 2 on test drive, no third although commanded. Remove, disassemble, inspect found 3-4 burned up, stator bushings worn, abnormally clean. Replaced clutches and seals, std banner kit, stator (sonnax), boost valve, Monster sun shell, EPC solenoid, wiring harness, range sensor, reverse input bushings, torque converter, re-installed.

Upon start up, seemed to bind a little in park then noticed with some throttle, would move forward in neutral. Reverse, would roll 10-15 ft and stop, bind up. One of the other guys drove around block, it made the 1-2 shift but seemed to "neutral" when shifted to third.

Removed and disassembled, found 3-4 toast again (as I suspected given the ride around the block). Checked for misassembly, sprag backwards, etc. Nothing. Went over everything with a fine tooth comb (suspected teflon seals on input shaft and replaced), reassembled, SAME THING! Unplugged harness, reverse is fine, no bind. Plug it back in, binds after 10 feet or so, instantly if I give it gas. Unplug harness, neutral is a solid forward gear (1st or 2nd?) And D feels like 3rd or 4th. Plug it back in, neutral has forward motion if throttled, D is solid.

I suspect a cross leak, have removed and inspected again, checked inside stator bushing for alignment with feed holes, measured clearance, checked manual valve, bushings, seals, etc. Nothing. It's out and on the bench again. Sorry for the long post but I'm at a loss and want to provide as much info as possible. Has anyone had a similar experience or have and ideas? Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-23-2011, 04:04 PM
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In retrospect I didn't check the pressures before pulling it out this time because I was utterly convinced that it was something that turned out to be it wasn't. I also originally thought maybe the 2-4 band was applying somehow. But the band is pristine. I've checked every piece, twice, sometimes 3 times. What would cause it to go into reverse fine with the wiring harness disconnected but bind up when connected, but also drive in neutral with the harness disconnected and only have a weak pull in neutral with harness connected? A Google search of "binds in reverse" brings up many shift kit advertisements that address "reverse binding" and only go into the valve body. I originally thought something was up with the manual valve, but is there any way to install it incorrectly with the linkage it has?
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:42 PM
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Forward clutches are locked on.

Frank
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:28 AM
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I know this is going to end up being something stupid and/or simple. I listed symptoms earlier for simplicity but yes, I believe I'm getting uncommanded apply, and I suspect a crossleak, or maybe a problem with the valvebody. I'm looking for someone with experience with these trannys who can give me an idea where to look. My forte' is more along 4R70W, 4R100 and 5R110's. I've read a lot of posts about bind in reverse, forward in neutral after rebuild. Problem is no one posts back and says "it was the muffler bearings" or at least something. Does anyone know what part of a transgo shift kit addresses reverse bind? This morning I woke up suspecting something in the valve body, then smells from the kitchen distracted me and I'm now focused on turkey, pumpkin cheesecake and the like. I'm not obviously trying to insult anyone's intelligence here but I already know I'm getting apply when I shouldn't, I just don't know why. Any help is of course greatly appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:53 AM
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cut/missing lip seal on the low/reverse piston or valve body/ spacer plate/ checkball count/location is where id look to start
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:05 AM
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Tnsmith10, thank you for responding! When I went back in this rascal the second time, I replaced all seals again just to be safe. Low/reverse looks good, all 7 checkballs are in their proper locations in the valve body, check balls encapsulated (2) are in case, I'm not 100% certain that the only loose ball near the accumulator was in position but if it wasn't, would that cause my problem? I have it, just not 100% certain it was positioned correctly b/c it fell out when moving case on bench. I checked valvebody/case for flat, bought a new transgo zinc coated spacer plate w/ gaskets and checkballs. All checkballs should be 0.25 according to my specs. I guess my question is 1) since I'm not positive of that one checkball, could that cause what I'm experiencing and 2) what's next?
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:39 AM
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If you have forward movement in neutral , the forward clutch is applied for some reason as mentioned. You are correct a cross sounds possible.

Cross leak can be in many places. I doubt you have a check ball problem.

You replaced the stator tube because of worn bushings ? what was the condition of the input shaft seal ring area? If this area rubbed on the stator tube, the seal rings may not seal properly.

Were the shift solenoids replaced ( If I missed that post)

Problems in the aluminum drum are possible. Clutch clearance, cut lip seals as mentioned.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:08 AM
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Crosley, thank you for your response! Let's see.... On first tear-down one of the things I found was the stator bushings were worn down past the brass. But they were worn funny, they looked "knurled" and were rough, I'm trying to find a word for it, but worn down past brass and "smeared" looking. There were 4 witness marks inside the stator from the teflon sealing rings on the input shaft. It looked like something abrasive was in there. Not chewed up but very fine shallow grooves, also rough, not even lines but rough. I'll try to attach a pic.

What puzzled me was whether or not this was a normal pattern due to composition of softer "wear" metals and if not, why was everything else so clean. The fluid was dark but for the most part, the unit was abnormally clean for this type of failure. Anyway, truck has 88k miles on it, 33" tires, pavement queen, driven by mature driver, very well maintained, all this for historys sake. The wear inside stator was limited to witness marks from sealing rings only, not the shaft. The shaft, oddly enough, looked untouched. Reverse input bushings both had "smear marks" like something got ingested so those were replaced. I reversed the vanes in original pump, as everything looked ok. I do suspect that it had had a pump before the current owner acquired the truck 40k miles ago roughly, and a converter.

Another tid-bit, the trans was serviced less than a year ago, drain and filter change, not a t-flush, and we didn't do that work. Whether it means anything or not I dunno, but throwing it out there. Another builder looked at the bushings and offered that it looked like it possibly ingested plastic, possibly from filter seal change leftover pieces.

My gut says valve body. Manual valve. Alien interference (lol). Solenoids were not replaced but tested. It had reverse when it came in so its surely something I did or disturbed.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:35 AM
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Im hoping this image loads.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkSkyCo
Im hoping this image loads.
I hope that is the old stator tube

From the looks of that bushing in the stator tube... I would look again at the input shaft area that rides on that bushing.

Typically if the bushing is worn that heavily, the input shaft is worn too. That is a critical alignment bushing of the trans input drum
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:20 PM
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That's what puzzled me, the input shaft looks like it couldnt possibly have come out of that stator and yes, that is the old stator. I've checked it, double checked it, checked it with a caliper, had other builders look at it. Maybe its time to throw in the towel, replace the input drum and shaft, but I can't wrap my head around it - the input shaft seals were torn up and the stator looked like this, but it had reverse. Now with new teflons, bushings, etc it now binds in reverse? I swear I'll pull my hair out if I replace the input drum/shaft and end up with the same thing. My gut, which has been wrong before citing past marriages, tells me VB, VB, VB!
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:47 PM
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If that staor bushing was worn that bad, I can almost guarantee the input shaft and the inside of the stator are worn.

Frank
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:27 PM
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I did replace the stator and bushings, Sonnax part number 77918S-1K. I have an input drum and shaft I ordered in after the first tear-down that got here late in the game and I was talked out of using (because of time limitations and others opinions on the condition of the original shaft). I'm proceeding to put it back together from a bare case up so if anyone has anything on their mind I should look for or do, please speak now. I swear, if I put this thing back together and have the same problem I'm gonna take it out on an innocent muppet or some other semi-animate non-living object. On the input sealing rings, the 4 teflon ones, the first passage is overrun, the second is forward, the third is 3-4 right? I feel like I've got lube leaking into the 3-4, or 3-4 leaking into something else. Or vice versa. Makes sense. We'll give it a shot and report back.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:23 PM
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4l60

i do a lot of them never had that problem did u look at the manifold switch if one of the orings come off or it is contaminated could cause all kinds of issues it is also a range sensor so it could be sending fluid some were it should ive seen them cause 1-3 shift slipping rev and no 4th and as far as the transgo no bind they have u chamfer the manual valve and remove the check ball in the capsual in the case at the l r clutches
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:48 AM
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Super late posting the results but the problem was in the relationship between the stator and input shaft. On first rebuild I replaced the stator but not the input shaft and ended up with a major crossleak between the lube and 3/4 feeds. On last, successful build, I replaced the stator and input shaft together and all is well. Thanks for all the help and suggestions everyone.
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