Transmission rebuild - ongoing issues!

sam05

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
43
Reaction score
53
Location
Tucson
So I had taken the 04 XL Denali with 210K miles in to the local transmission shop for a full rebuild. They had it for over a week and when I picked it up it seemed to have resolved so many issues (with idling in gear, reversing up a hill, staying locked on the freeway over 60MPH). There was a smell of transmission fluid in the cab but I assumed it was their left over foot mats in the front of the truck. Well, the trans still gets to 200 on the temp gauge, the shifting is more labored than it was before I had problems and it leaks transmission fluid (much more than drip!) I went to check fluid level so I could drive it back to the shop and the end of the dip stick is missing. The shop owner came and picked it up and has had it for a full day but no updates yet.
 

MO VietVet

Lake of the Ozarks
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Posts
11,670
Reaction score
13,653
Location
LIMBO
The trans cooler may be plugged and they were lazy about clearing it. Please report back what the shop says and what you decide. We will need detailed info. You say things like, "trans still gets to 200 degrees" but that was not stated as an initial problem, to the shop or was it? Basically, your list of problems now, are they the same as before? Did the shop diagnose or did you just tell them to rebuild and what problems did you tell the shop you had?
 
Last edited:

sam05

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
43
Reaction score
53
Location
Tucson
Ok Ron! Here goes:
I took it in to get it checked out and originally was just asking them to check the cooler/lines because it ran up to 215 a couple times (before the Tucson summer heat hit!) I explained the other below symptoms to the shop owner when dropping it off.

Issues prior to rebuild:
Would not reverse up a hill (even a driveway). I had to get a good rolling start on level ground. If it came to a stop on a hill in reverse, It wouldn't move...just chugged.
Sitting at a light while idling the first 20 to 30 seconds were OK, but then it would start chugging (RPMs looked ok on tach but there was a vibration and I had to hold the brake pedal down to keep from inching forward.)
When slowing to a stop, the shift from 2 to 1 had a very noticeable hitch or bump to it.
The last couple days before I took it in only (I had made the appointment in advance) when on the freeway cruising at 68 and the speed limit went up to 75, I would give it a little gas and it would unlock, tach/engine would rev to 4 or 5k RMP and the speed would stay the same. This symptom was when I knew I had more than just a bad torque converter and I started seeing dollar signs!

When I go the truck back all the symptoms above were gone. It seemed to smell of transmission fluid inside the truck. When I drove it with any acceleration at all, the shifts were ?labored?. It seemed to rev a little before the next gear engaged, was not as smooth as I expected and each shift took longer than I expected. Also, on a long straight road with a speed limit of 45, the trans was running at 200.

I'm tempted to tell him to keep the truck until I can get a tru cool delivered to him to put on while it's there. I'm afraid if I do that after I get the truck back, he'll say any future problems were caused by my messing with it and it will void the 1 year 12k transmission warranty.
 

MO VietVet

Lake of the Ozarks
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Posts
11,670
Reaction score
13,653
Location
LIMBO
Ok, thanks for the details. Helps all of us think thru what could be going on. Please let us know what the trans shop says and let us know what they say about the trans cooler.
 

sam05

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
43
Reaction score
53
Location
Tucson
A Bit of an update! He had the truck for 5 days and I picked it up. It has a new dip stick, it does not leak transmission fluid after driving and it doesn't smell of transmission fluid in the truck while driving. This is all great except for the fact that he says he didn't do anything except replace the dipstick. Well, whatever, it doesn't leak, it drives and shifts well and has a good fluid level.

At the same time I had the transmission rebuilt the weather got hot and my efans blew the relays in the fan Hayden fan controller (while at the transmission shop for him to check what was leaking.) The temperature is much better now that it has working fans! I tried (with reasonable driving) this morning to heat it up and the transmission never went above 160. Of course, it was a nice 60 degree morning, but I'll keep watching it. This afternoon will be a better test temperature wise.
 

sam05

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
43
Reaction score
53
Location
Tucson
It's 97 deg out and when I got back from picking up my boy these were the gauges read the Tras temp at 190 or 195 and the coolant temp at 205. I feel like the transmission ran cooler than this prior to having problems and the subsequent rebuild. Does that trans temp sound normal or is it a little high for a newly rebuilt unit with the stock external cooler?
 

MO VietVet

Lake of the Ozarks
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Posts
11,670
Reaction score
13,653
Location
LIMBO
Have you blown out the air flow path at the radiator, trans cooler and a/c condenser? Make sure your fans are working at optimum too.
 

sam05

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
43
Reaction score
53
Location
Tucson
That's a thought. The shop flushed the cooler and the lines, but I haven't inspected or blown out or cleaned the fins on the outside of the cooler. I'll have to give that a shot.
 

MO VietVet

Lake of the Ozarks
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Posts
11,670
Reaction score
13,653
Location
LIMBO
I can be driving around here in the PNW at cooler temps and if I drive it hard enough I will get close to 180 degrees at my trans gauge.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
116,115
Posts
1,587,386
Members
76,779
Latest member
JaxTahoe
Top