Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
96 DCM IMPALA SS
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just to paint a clear picture about the cars history real quick. My stock 96 impala has had 2 previous transmission fluid changes. First one was @ 25k miles (2008) due to leaky transmission pan gasket. The car ran really well afterwards until it was put in storage, it sat for about 7 years which brings us to present time.

The 2nd fluid swap was done recently, October (2019) @ 85k miles. I unknowingly hired a really unethical POS mechanic to do a tune up on the car which cost me way too money as i found out after the work had been done. financially crippled and straight up humiliated i refused to go back and started working on the car myself.

Not sure exactly what the shop did but, I asked that the transmission fluid be changed back in october. After getting it back & discovering all their f... ups i decided i wass going to check the transmission fluid just to be sure. I Checked it once when cold and noticed it was overfilled, way past the HOT marks.. oh no what a surprise... but i left it, hardly drove it and did some engine management in the meantime.

now that i had the engine finally running smooth as ever i went back to the tanny.

FLUID LEVEL READING when cold is @ about an inch over HOT level every single time. (odd)

Go to do a proper HOT reading and dipsstick comes out bone dry no matter how many times i try it.

shut her off and immediately check it again, WAY past the HOT mark on the dipsstick with slight foamy fluid.

slight delay in shifting in pretty much every gear.

Also, sslow ATF leak from one of the cooler lines

I eventually want to go in and just do fluid/filter/gasket, lines & pan (w/drain plug) swap myself but since I dont have the money right now. i want to see if i should be concerned about something else here.

I was going to add some more fluid to it in the meantime but im so confused with the dipstick readings, i dont know what to do at this point. ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,406 Posts
You made me read the 96 OM.

No matter what, the transmission oil is ONLY checked with the engine running for 5 minutes before testing and the transmission in park.

Hot range is used when the engine is at operating temperature, they expect the T-oil is about 200 deg F.

Cold is measured at 50 deg F.

The reason the cold is lower than the hot is that the oil expands when hot.

When you check with the engine off fluid is not circulating so yes it is way higher than any markings on most transmission dip sticks.

Again it has to be tested with engine running and transmission in park. Never with the engine off.

So If you are "bone dry" with the engine running you are damaging the transmission.
 

·
Registered
96 DCM IMPALA SS
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You made me read the 96 OM.

No matter what, the transmission oil is ONLY checked with the engine running for 5 minutes before testing and the transmission in park.

Hot range is used when the engine is at operating temperature, they expect the T-oil is about 200 deg F.

Cold is measured at 50 deg F.

The reason the cold is lower than the hot is that the oil expands when hot.

When you check with the engine off fluid is not circulating so yes it is way higher than any markings on most transmission dip sticks.

Again it has to be tested with engine running and transmission in park. Never with the engine off.

So If you are "bone dry" with the engine running you are damaging the transmission.
Ahh yes the good ol’ OM, need to find one and buy it. Dont know what happened to mine.

Thats makes sense, i do agree that checking it after running it for 5 mins and in PARK is the best way to go.

Should i not pay any mind than to high COLD reading?

Im going to add some ATF and hope for the best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
137 Posts
You will want to add tranny fluid while the car is running and in park until at the proper level... no sense in even looking at the dipstick with the motor not running as that doesn't mean anything. You are low and the fluid is foaming most likely from air being mixed in. If you happen to add too much and overfill, get a Multi-Use Transfer Pump for $7 at Harbor Freight and you can pump out the excess. The pump is also very handy when you want to drop the pan as you can get most of the fluid out before dropping the pan and not make it spill all over. You can also do a quick fluid exchange by pumping out a few quarts and adding in fresh fluid.
 

·
Registered
96 DCM IMPALA SS
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You will want to add tranny fluid while the car is running and in park until at the proper level... no sense in even looking at the dipstick with the motor not running as that doesn't mean anything. You are low and the fluid is foaming most likely from air being mixed in. If you happen to add too much and overfill, get a Multi-Use Transfer Pump for $7 at Harbor Freight and you can pump out the excess. The pump is also very handy when you want to drop the pan as you can get most of the fluid out before dropping the pan and not make it spill all over. You can also do a quick fluid exchange by pumping out a few quarts and adding in fresh fluid.
Thank you sir! She was low just as many in here suspected. She took exactly 2 quarts, boy am I lucky I resisted from driving that much. I have a feeling that that's how I got it back from the mechanic. :unsure:. Shifts smooth again and overall ride improved INSTANTLY. I appreciate everyones input on this one. Lesson learned, NEVER read transmission fluid level on a 4L60e cold, Always HOT while car running in PARK!

Planning on switching over to a pan with drain plug, I haven't made up my mind yet on whether to go with a aftermarket or OEM?? Deep or NOT??? Has anyone gone different on the Transmission pan set up if so, what have y'all had luck with??? TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Pan with a drain plug is not essential, but never a bad idea.

If your car is not lowered and will not be lowered, AND your roads don't have a problem with a deep pan, GET the correct DEEP PAN, drain plug or not.

Aftermarket pans with cooling fins are not as helpful as upgrading the external transmission cooler in front of the car.

Deep pans require different filters made for deep pans.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,775 Posts
I've seen drain plugs ripped out of transmission pans before, so I much prefer pumping it out the cooler line and then removing the pan. That's my personal recommendation.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top