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2007 Chevrolet Avalanche 4WD 5.3L

Discussion in 'Non-Mopar Tech Support' started by Doug D, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    2007 Chevrolet Avalanche 4WD 5.3L 4 speed (4L60E) ~140K miles.

    This is my son's truck. He bought it about two years ago from a certified Chevrolet used car dealership. It had a one year warranty. He lives in TN while I'm in VA.

    He called me tonight stating the transmission will barely shift into 2nd and he has to rev it high (3500 rpm) before it will shift into 3rd. It will not shift to 4th. No check engine light. Fluid level is correct.

    He also had a incident where half the gauges were not working. Shut off and restarted the truck and everything was fine. Don't know if that may be related or not?

    From my brief internet search, it appears the sprag gear (?) has failed. Does that sound right? Based on the symptoms he relayed to me it sounded more of an internal hardware failure and not electronic.

    I found a list of 30 common problems.

    30 Common 4L60E Transmission Problems & Repair | Charlotte NC (at http://www.twincharlotte.com/transmission-repair-blog/bid/28391/30-Common-4L60E-Transmission-Problems-Repair-Charlotte-NC )

    I'll point out the ones that may apply to his situation:

    2. 1-2 shift does not happen at WOT (Wide Open Throttle) until you let off the gas: Best case: try replacing the TPS. Middle case: leak in the 2nd gear apply circuit (servo assembly or 1-2 accumulator). Double check by using the pressure gauge and watch for a big drop when the PCM commands 2nd gear. Worst case: poor line pressure rise (see below).

    3. 1-2 Shift shudder at WOT (Wide Open Throttle); delayed or abnormal 1-2 shift; There's a problem ONLY on the 1-2 shift: 1-2 accumulator piston cracked or stuck cocked in the bore. Check the yellow spring inside the accum housing for breakage. Also, if the accumulator housing walls are scored, the housing must be replaced.

    4. 1-2 shift is delayed and harsh, may not shift into OD: TPS needs to be checked for smooth and linear electrical response over the entire range of motion. If not, this must be replaced.

    6. No 3rd or 4th gear: “3-4” clutches are worn out: Needs to be removed and rebuilt. The car is safe to drive (in 2) until you can get it fixed.

    26. Shift suddenly become very hard. When going from park to either reverse or drive it slams into gear. 1-2 and 2-3 shifts are also harsh. All gears seems to work. Problem may be intermittent: Check TPS for smooth electrical response. If the response is jumpy or erratic at all, replace TPS (Throttle position sensor).

    Another link of 3 most common problems.

    The 3 Most Common Problems With The 4L60E Transmission (at http://etereman.com/blog/general-motors-transmission/the-top-3-most-common-problems-with-the-4l60e-transmission )

    The first to second gear shift is late and harsh. This problem can be usually be traced back to the TPS (throttle position sensor) being defective. You will need a volt meter to test the TPS. With the ignition on, check the voltage on the TPS. It will vary as you move it. The voltage should increase or decrease in a smooth linear line. If it does not move smoothly you will need to replace the TPS. Refer to the shop manual for the correct voltage readings for your specific vehicle.

    Comments welcome.
     
    #1 Doug D, Feb 23, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  2. PCRMike

    PCRMike Well-Known Member

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    If it gets torn down, buy a "Beast" 2nd gear shell. It is much harder, less prone to cracking or stripping than OEM. Known weak area on these.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    The TPS can be failing, but may or may not produce a fault code. The TPS signal voltage should respond smoothly to slowly opening and closing the throttle as described in step 4. I am confident that there probably would be other symptoms if it were failing.
    If he has the facilities for a pan drop, fluid and filter change, a visual inspection of the pan contents may give a clue as to what has happened.
    I think that Dexron VI is the latest and greatest back-compatable OEM synthetic ATF for these.
    Dexron VI: Why we use it and why we DO NOT FLUSH OUR TRANSMISSIONS! (at http://www.gmls4.com/index.php?topic=604.0 )
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    If it gets to that point, I'm sure the dealer will be swapping in a reman unit. They don't remove, rebuild and install anymore. It's easier (and probably faster) for the shop/dealer to swap units.

    He's taking it to the dealer this morning. He doesn't have the facilities for a pan drop, fluid and filter change. He lives in an apartment complex. I would have thought a TPS would trigger a code, but I do remember my '86 GTS took a while to trigger the TPS code when the TPS failed. I'm hopeful it's as simple as a TPS, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

    I did find reman 4L60e transmissions available from $1350+. I'm not sure what a dealer would charge.
     
  5. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem on an '86 C10; after it warmed up, it wouldn't shift out of 2nd. The problem was a cracked pressure plate, and the trans had to be rebuilt. This was a TH400 -- your son's transmission is probably different, though I don't know how much so.

    Not shifting from 1st to 2nd unless he lets off the gas could indicate a cracked bell housing, though were that the case, he'd probably be losing fluid.
     
  6. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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  7. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Dealer says it needs to be replaced - $3,500. Local transmission shop quoted a rebuild at $1,687.

    He's looking into possibly trading it, but more than likely he'll have it fixed. Owes about $15K on it. I told him trying to trade with a bad tranny will take a serious hit on value.
     
  8. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    He's going to have it rebuilt. Transmission shop in Bristol, TN can do it for about $1,700. He lives in Johnson City. Comes with an 18 month warranty. It goes in Monday, but they won't get to it until Wednesday. Should be ready by Friday. In the meantime they are ordering the parts. It'll be interesting to see what actually failed. The dealership couldn't say what failed without tearing into it. But they definitely said it was an internal issue.

    He had the truck appraised. As is with the transmission problem it appraised at $6,000. Would have appraised at $10K with a working transmission. He would have taken a $9,000 hit on a trade. Once it is fixed he may trade it for a newer truck.
     
  9. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    When I had a shop in Austin rebuild the C10's TH400, it cost something like $480 total, but that was about 20 years ago. The job took 3 days to complete. The trans lasted for about 7 more years without problems, and probably longer after I sold the truck.

    I hope your son found a reputable shop. If they're with the BBB and ATRA, he should be ok. He'll probably get the best price from an independent; chain shops often charge more to pay for advertising.
     
  10. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Update.

    He's had the truck back for a few weeks now and no problems. Since he paid cash ( no check or credit card) they knocked the total bill down to $1,500.

    Of course a few days after getting it back a girl in a small Nissan Versa rear ended him while he was waiting at a light. No damage to his truck, but her front grill was torn up from hitting his hitch. Two police officers sitting across the street actually witnessed the accident. She was mumbling something about the light was green and traffic in the other lanes were moving. Son did admit the lead car in his lane delayed accelerating after the light turned green - he was the third vehicle in line in that lane. My son is convinced she was fiddling with her phone but she wouldn't admit it. Anyway. since there was no damage to his truck, I think the officers didn't charge her and let her go. She'll have enough problems with the damage to her car.
     

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