99 A/T Woes


wb4lbg
07-11-2005, 09:45 PM
Driving to the airport Sunday the A/T temp light came on. Since I was about halfway there, I decided to keep going because I didn't want to miss my flight.

I got to the airport and had to stop for the gate at the parking lot. When I tried to go forward into the lot, the engine revved up but there was no forward motion and the 'Check Transmission' light came on. I had to push the truck past the gate and with a slight downhill grade I had enough momentum to get into parking spot.

It was a very hot day (about 95 F) and the first couple of shifts leaving home were kind of jerky. I have encountered this jerkiness before and it has always been accompanied by the dash indicator showing N when the shifter is in D. Generally, shifting to 3 and back to D restores smooth shifting. I thought this was just that linkage sensor needing cleaning and hadn't gotten around to doing it yet.

The truck has 104K on it and I bought it with 73K on it. I haven't done anything to the tranny in that time. I guess I should have.

Flying back home tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be much cooler. I'm hoping I can at least get the truck out of the airport without a tow truck and hopefully all the way to the tranny shop.

Has anybody had a similar experience? Any idea what this repair is going to cost me? I've looked on-line at few places that sell rebuilt 4L30E's. The prices are bad enough but the shipping is astronomical.

Any advice?

JWS
'99 LSE 4WD

amigo-2k
07-11-2005, 10:27 PM
I would at least do a drain and refill of the transmission. This will only remove about 3.5qts of the 9qts.

Your problem maybe that your tranny fluid is low and a bit dirty.

wb4lbg
07-13-2005, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the advice, Ryan. Sadly, when I got back to the airport last night the truck would go just fine in reverse but forward -- not so much.
Since I didn't think I could back-up for twenty miles, I left the truck there and had it towed this morning to a transmission shop where I had my '85 Ranger repaired back in '92. I trust this shop to shoot straight with me.

The selector switch thing is definitely out of whack. Anybody know if this thing can, itself, cause the tranny to flake out? When I was in D last night trying to go forward, it was showing R. When I tried 1, 2, and 3, it showed I was in neutral so maybe this is why it won't go?

I'll let the forum know what I find out. Maybe my experiences can help someone else avoid the same fate.

Cheers!

JWS
'99 LSE 4WD

amigo-2k
07-13-2005, 01:04 PM
It could very well be the selector.

Usually they can be cleaned up and put back together, or you can purchase a new one from St. Charles.

Either way, I would head to the FAQ's and print off the how to (with photos in the link) and take it to your tranny people before they drop it and rip it apart ($$$).

wb4lbg
07-14-2005, 01:41 PM
Just got off the phone with the tranny shop. Gonna cost me $2080 to get my Rodeo back on the road. He says there's so much metal in my tranny and lines that he had to replace wetted parts like solenoids because they can't be adequately flushed. He's even installing an external cooler to bypass the radiator and keep from potentially flushing any shavings back in. Probably spending another $400-500 in parts just to get the warranty here.

Warranty is 12 months, 12K miles which is about 4 months with the miles I put on a vehicle. I asked him how to prevent such massive destruction in the future. He said changing the fluid and filter every 6K miles. He charges $80 for this service. This seems excessive (the interval -- not the charge).

Not sure what I will do for the future on this vehicle. It still burns a quart of oil every 600-800 miles at highway speeds. It's gonna need a timing belt soon (more $$$). I'm pretty bummed with it right now, I can tell you that.

What really pisses me off is that the root of this problem is that Isuzu (or GM since it's their tranny) made it too much of a PITA on this vehicle to keep track of the fluid level/condition by saving $10 by not putting a @#$% dipstick on it. I mean, really, who wants to crawl under their hot vehicle with a ratchet just to check the fluid? It's insane!

I'd be interested in anyone else's opinion on this. How often do you check your fluid? How often do you change it? What would you recommend to get another 150K miles out of this tranny?

Sorry for all the spleen venting here. I thought it would make me feel better but I was wrong. I'm still pissed.

JWS
'99 LSE 4WD

megavolt121
07-14-2005, 01:59 PM
Go to www.junkyarddog.com and look for a salvaged transmission. I bought a 5spd 4x4 for my 98 w/ 57k miles on it for $500, shipped across the country!

marcre
07-14-2005, 05:01 PM
What really pisses me off is that the root of this problem is that Isuzu (or GM since it's their tranny) made it too much of a PITA on this vehicle to keep track of the fluid level/condition by saving $10 by not putting a @#$% dipstick on it. I mean, really, who wants to crawl under their hot vehicle with a ratchet just to check the fluid? It's insane!

I'd be interested in anyone else's opinion on this.


I could not agree more. these tranny's are near impossible to check. It really makes no sense at all. Also, the process for checking the fluid is insane. I really don't understand it. It seems that most automatics that I have seen have done away with the dipstick.

Sorry to hear of your problems.

Marc

amigo-2k
07-14-2005, 05:23 PM
I flush mine every 30k and I'm going to change the filter out (well I'll let the dealer do it) at 90k.

I rarely tow and this would be the main reason to change the fluid sooner then 30k.

wb4lbg
07-14-2005, 09:41 PM
How do you flush your tranny?

The guy at the shop said these places that flush the tranny without dropping the pan and replacing the filter are doing more harm than good because the filter gets backflushed in the process, putting whatever metal or clutch material it has caught back into the system.

I think I may go with dropping the pan and replacing the fluid I can get out once a year or so. That's about 25-30K miles for me.

It sure would be nice if there was some kind of kit for adding a dipstick (or at least a sight glass) to the current setup. I think a lot of transmissions are going to die a premature death because there's no easy way to monitor their health. I'm sure my tranny didn't self destruct in one trip but there really wasn't much in the way of warning signs. Once the idiot light came on, the damage was already done.

JWS
'99 LSE 4WD

rodeo02
07-15-2005, 06:27 AM
How do you flush your tranny?

The guy at the shop said these places that flush the tranny without dropping the pan and replacing the filter are doing more harm than good because the filter gets backflushed in the process, putting whatever metal or clutch material it has caught back into the system...

JWS
'99 LSE 4WD

Any of the 'flush machines' I've seen work just like a transfusion. The machine is hooked inline with the cooler, the old ATF is replaced with new ATF as the transmission circulates normally with the vehicle idling. I wouldn't have one done any other way.
G/luck
Joel

Trigggl
07-15-2005, 08:47 AM
This is off topic slightly, but that's why I only buy cars/trucks with manual transmissions. Saddly, I bought a used Rodeo w/50K that the clutch went out on 10K later. Doesn't say much for the previous owner. I put in a new one with the help of my brother at a total cost of around $235. I replaced the slave cylinder too so it might have been more than that even. All that was just for parts and renting a transmission jack. It still seems to be going strong 70K later. How do you wear out a clutch that fast?

marcre
07-15-2005, 03:19 PM
How do you wear out a clutch that fast?


When I was first driving, I had use of my parents 89 Mazda 323. Well it was a 5 speed and my parents had to replace the clutch once a year three years in a row. New brakes as well. I beat that little car.



On topic---Rodeo02, I have a question for you. We live in the same area and am wondering what transmission shop do you use to get your tranny flushed. I need a recomondation because I had the dealer do it for me a few months ago and I asked for a pan drop and filter change. They told me there was no filter to change out. I now know this to be wrong, so next year I want it done correctly.

Thanks,
Marc

rodeo02
07-15-2005, 03:48 PM
..On topic---Rodeo02, I have a question for you. We live in the same area and am wondering what transmission shop do you use to get your tranny flushed.
Thanks,
Marc

To be honest, I've never actually had a flush/fluid exchange done. I did 3 pan drain/fill cycles on our rodeo @ around 20K miles. My other cars I pump out & refill thru the dipstick/filler. Last year I had the dealer do a trans service on the rodeo(to get something on record). There idea of a trans service, atleast at around 30Kmi was one pan drain/refill! (Towne Isuzu). Good thing they only charged like $30 for it. I know places like valvoline instant oil change have exchanger machines, but they are more equipped for dipstick trannys. They pump new ATF in thru the dipstick tube while the old stuff is pumped out of a cooler line. I have used continental transmission on Orchard Park Rd in West Seneca for pan drops and filter changes on other trucks I had. Never had a problem with them. That's where I'd go if I was in the market for an ATF exchange or filter change. I'm actually out of West Falls now. I don't plan on touching the rodeo trans for another year or two & wont touch the AT filter until maybe 80K miles. We've only got like 37Kmi on it so far.
G/luck
Joel

marcre
07-15-2005, 04:16 PM
Joel, thanks for the info. My mechanics (United Imports) recomended continental as well. I think I will give them a shot in about a year to do all that. I've got 75k on it now so I figure I have time.

I went to Towne to get the tranny serviced several months ago. They were the dealer that told me there was no filter. I did like that they did the recall work for me, and I didn't even ask them for it, they recommended it to me. The ABS works great now, but I am irked they didn't aknowledge that it can recieve a more complete job. Truthfully, I keep reading about blown transmissions and it scares me. I need this tranny to last for me.

Marc

df2000
07-16-2005, 05:18 PM
I first drain@fill after 2yr at about 25k on my '97.
You don't need any special tool what book said.
Last four years I drain and fill 4 q of ATF once a year. It really easy to do and don't believe BS what shops tell you. I read on net somebody got factory overfill of 1q in Volvo(they have similar no-dipstick tranny as we are) and was driving 80k with no problem. So level of ATF should with-in norm but not go crease to put back a little more or less.
Start cold in the morming, just let it idle for 5-10 min, trans pan should feel warm but not hot. There are 2 bolts in this pan, lower drain , upper check/fill, and yes, they both facing strait down. YOUR ENGINE SHOULD BE WORKING ALL THE TIME WHILE YOU OPEN CHECK BOLT! Or you will get shower of ATF(about 2q).
Ok, now remove upper(check) bolt, if ATF drip out the level is OK; if nothing drip out your level is to low and you have to add some ATF until it start drip out. $6.00 hand pump, what srew on the botle from Advance Auto, works very well to do this.
This year I reached 100K mi on my '97 so I also removed the pan and changed the filter. Old pan gasket was a REAL B*** to removed. It was nothing on the buttom of the pan and about 1/8" magnetic goo on the magnet, nothing in the filter. I feel like I just wasted my time and just one more way to mess up trans. I think periodic drain&fill or say every 30k flush is the way to go.

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