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4L60 Transmission Sun Gear Failure


eigerbop
09-29-2006, 02:01 PM
Greetings-
There are some closed threads related to this topic from last year, but I have some new information on the problem.

I own a 2002 Yukon with 55k miles. Transmission died last week - no R, 2nd or 4th gear. Well known problem discussed on this forum last year - sun gear shell failed. Talked with two GM transmission techs and they both confirmed that this is a well-known weakness of the transmission - supposedly the splines in the sun gear shell are weak. One GM mechanic noted that there was an update in 03/04 for heat-treatment of the sun shell splines, but I was unable to confirm this with another dealership. $2200 to fix it re-built at the dealership - $3500 to swap with a certified remanufactured unit. re-built warranty is 12mo/12k mi and certa is 36mo/100kmi.

Last year another thread on this topic suggested calling GM customer assistance to request some compensation even though the vehicle is out of warranty, because this is a well-known and widely occuring problem. An AF post noted that GM covered their repair costs for this failure, and even suggested a class action lawsuit was in the works. I attempted the GM customer service route and they have declined my request for compensation because, in addition to being outside of the warranty for age/mileage, I had not demonstrated customer loyalty by frequenting the dealership with regular service to the vehicle - I let them change the fuel filter but I change the oil myself and like to buy tires and brakes elsewhere.

I plan to spend the $2.2k for the transmission rebuild at the dealership because (IMHO) the certified reman isn't buying enough comfort to justify the $1.3k increase in cost. I also realize an independent shop would be cheaper, but I do not know how to find a reputable one in my area with good experience on rebuilding the 4L60.

It's clear to me that this problem will possibly happen again, since the new sun gear does not reflect an update to address the weakness of the sun gear splines. I may have to unload the Yukon and buy a Toyota...

I'm not betting on a class action lawsuit producing anything to compensate me for this problem, but please let me know if there is any other information regarding legal action. There are rare ocassions where this does work.

Best Regards,
Bert

maxwedge
09-29-2006, 04:19 PM
Welcome to AF. First of all the Magnusson Moss act states that the owner does not have to use oe parts for normal maintenance or have their service done at a dealership to maintain the warranty, that said of course this is a good will policy request on your part but I would have thrown that in their face. Second the after market trans parts suppliers have a more reliable replacement part for this, can't say if GM's is though.

GMMerlin
09-29-2006, 04:31 PM
Bert,
Yes the 4L60 has a weak sun shell, Yes it is a common concern. No you do not need the transmission completely rebuilt.
Usually when the sun shell breaks, it is a clean break with little to no metal shavings.
Usually a tech can go in and replace the sun shell and that is it. I have done many over the years like that with no after repair failures.
( I have had a couple that were catastrophic failures....including mine ) but that is rare. These will need partial or complete overhauls.
I would recommend that who ever does your work installs a "Beast" sun shell..it is an aftermarket piece that is extremely heavy duty.

I attempted the GM customer service route and they have declined my request for compensation because, in addition to being outside of the warranty for age/mileage, I had not demonstrated customer loyalty by frequenting the dealership with regular service to the vehicle - I let them change the fuel filter but I change the oil myself and like to buy tires and brakes elsewhere.

Let me ask you something here...if you sold me a product..lets say a new 2002 Yukon and I only brought it back to you maybe once for a simple maintenence item while spending money down the street with your competition for other maintenence items (therefore showing no loyality to you and your product service) would you extend goodwill no charge repair to me for a failure 21000 miles out of your warrenty period?
I doubt it highly.
I make decisions like that on a daily basis and will go out of my way to extend goodwill jestures to loyal customers.
It is part of business.

As far as a class action lawsuit...ain't going to happen.
As far as purchasing another make of vehicle..let me say that all vehicles have common failures of a componant..I don't know what Toyota's common failure is, but I bet you a dollar to a doughnut, that there is one.
Good luck

PS too bad you are not near me, I could do that job for around 500 bucks :icon16:

GMMerlin
09-29-2006, 04:34 PM
Welcome to AF. First of all the Magnusson Moss act states that the owner does not have to use oe parts for normal maintenance or have their service done at a dealership to maintain the warranty, that said of course this is a good will policy request on your part but I would have thrown that in their face. Second the after market trans parts suppliers have a more reliable replacement part for this, can't say if GM's is though.

You are correct, but the manufacture does not have to extend goodwill after the warranty period of 3yrs/36000 miles to a customer that does not show loyalty to that brand.

maxwedge
09-29-2006, 06:54 PM
You are correct, but the manufacture does not have to extend goodwill after the warranty period of 3yrs/36000 miles to a customer that does not show loyalty to that brand.
I was a Cadillac factory employee for 12 years, then private for 24, and had goodwill authorization up to 5k when I retired. Many factors come in to play, a well maintained vehicle serviced by the owner was always considered for policy, personally I don't believe that being a regular customer of a dealership proves brand loyalty. Certainly most service managers that go to bat for a customer want to use this goodwill policy where they feel it will benefit the product and the dealership the most and a" no show" owner probably isn't the best candidate. At worst based on time and mileage I would offer some kind of split. PS, didn't see you intermediate post, we are on the same page.

GMMerlin
09-29-2006, 09:37 PM
I have many customers come thru my door everyday demanding that I "goodwill" their repair.
I take many factors into consideration if I will or will not offer them some assistance. Loyalty to my dealer is a big one, loyalty to GM is another.
If a customer who purchased their vehicle and had most if not all service work done at my dealer has a concern after the warranty period has expired, I will "goodwill" the repair prior to them even being called with the diagnosis and estimate...the phone call to the customer sounds like this.
Advisor; "Hello Mr/Mrs Customer, I am calling you to let you know that we looked at your vehicle and the technician has found that XXXX is the fault. GMM has looked at the estimate and it falls within "goodwill" warranty extension...there is no charge, your vehicle will be ready in about 2 hours...I will call you when it is done.
Customer: Thank you

The less loyalty the customer shows to the dealer and to GM, the greater cost they will bear for the split....the more they demand I help, the less help they get.

I refuse to offer a goodwill extension to a customer that has never showed loyalty and who I believe I will never see come back into the service drive after the repair.

maxwedge
09-30-2006, 01:53 PM
Agreed, common sense for anyone in this decision making process. You sound like me. ( Shep)

cshults
01-07-2012, 10:56 PM
Hi all -

I know I'm ressurecting a 5 year old thread but it's still, from what I can decern, a very relevant topic.

While reserching how to change differential fluids, transfer case fluid, and transmission fluid, I stumbled across the prevelant "sun shell failure". I have never heard of this before and now am greatly concerned about it.

I drive a 2001 Olds Bravada with just over 100k miles on it which I believe shares the same 4L60 Transmission and while I have not encountered a failure I would like to prevent this sun shell problem from occuring and have a few questions:

1) Does anyone know approximately how much it costs to have a new sun shell installed?

2) Does GM offer a sun shell that has resolved the issues of the ones that experience breakage? Or, is the "beast" sun shell the only alternative to not have to worry about failure?

3) Obviously my vehicle is out of warranty, but I have had several thousands of dollars worth of work performed by Chevy dealerships over the years on this truck, would it be worthwhile to contact GM and see if they would be willing to do a goodwill preventative repair on the vehicle. Especially since during the last service at the dealership I specifically asked them to inspect the transmission for any issues and asked about any preventative measures I could take and the dealership told me that these transmissions rarely encounter any problems because they are so well built. Made me feel good, but now I learn of this sun shell problem that appears to be fairly common..wish the dealership would have told me this.

MagicRat
01-07-2012, 11:34 PM
I don't think any dealer or GM would ever do a goodwill repair on an 11 year old truck with a problem that has not occurred yet, or one that may never occur. Frankly, one cannot reasonably expect them to do so.

Upgrading the gear is an expensive proposition, which (no offense intended) probably would cost as much as your truck is worth. The gear is pretty much at the center of the action, so the trans would need complete removal and disassembly. Given your relatively high mileage, if you upgrade the gear, it would be best to rebuild the entire transmission and replace the converter at the same time.

Finally, compared to the heavy-duty full size trucks that fail, your truck is relatively light and has modest power, all of which help the gear to last longer. It's quite likely your trans will simply wear-out normally before the gear fails, so it makes no sense to fix a non-existent problem. Imho, don't abuse your transmission and don't worry about it failing. Just drive it and save your money.

trannyman52
01-08-2012, 02:36 AM
this problem is also quite common on 4cyl models,,,,does alot of up and down shifting to make up for lower HP,,,,,rolling reverses is a major factor to the failure also....

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