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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My tranny has been getting really hot with this warmer weather so I took it to a reputable shop in town. Owner spent a good 30 minutes with me going over the 4L60E when I dropped it off and he knows his stuff - went year by year on changes, problems, etc. It's like he could have a PhD in trannies. That said I felt good about leaving the car there. I dropped the car off on Monday 6/3. I called a couple of days later and he says he had to order another pressure tool which should be in the next day. I called this passed Friday 6/7 and he tells me it's POSSIBLY the solenoid causing overheating issues - torque converter getting hot and fluid is leaking from the vent tube. "I should have it done today or tomorrow." I said okay no rush thank you. I drove by the shop Saturday and see my car tucked a couple cars back as in put away. It's now Wednesday 6/12 and I'm starting to get the impression this guy had other "higher priority" customers or was backed up on work but didn't want to turn me down. I don't think he's even looked at my car at this point because if it was a solenoid, that would have been a quick change. Also he said he will not do any work on the car until he quoted you on a price of repairs which I would have to agree to. I haven't got any estimates or quotes so again leads me to believe the car hasn't even been diagnosed.

Telling me he is waiting for another pressure measuring tool - I think that was a stall tactic, no pun intended.
I mean you are a transmission shop, you should have that.

I hate bugging mechanics. Let them do their job and I understand sometimes there are delays. But I think almost 2 weeks of the car being there has become unreasonable and suspicious. I DO NOT want to get on his bad side and become annoying. I think I'm going to call him at lunch today and ask him what's going on and that I'm going out of town for a week or so and don't want to leave the car there. I want to pick it up Friday before leaving town and if you aren't able to get to it that's okay. "I'll bring it back." Of course I'm not. At this point I just want to pay the diagnostic fee and get the heck out of dodge. I just spent $500.00 on paintless dent repair on this car and we've had a lot of storms and hail warnings lately. I cringe every time there's a storm. And I just hate the feeling of my car sitting in the parking lot of a shop for 2 weeks. There are some days I think of how it's sitting there in the hot Texas heat (Sunday was 100). And then you have people going in and out of the lot, opening doors, etc. Yes I've become attached to the car. To further add, when I called that Wednesday I told him I have a small crack in my tail light and asked if he could just throw some tape over it because it is going to rain. At that time I didn't expect him to have it for days so didn't bother taping it myself. He said sure no problem. Starting to think he didn't even do this and it's rained about 5 times since then.

Anyhow enough of my ranting and raving. I just want my car back. Thoughts or opinions on this?
 

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Well laid out and detailed background. Caught your overpost below, and glads things "finally" worked to your favor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
**Update**

Maybe venting here helped and I called after posting this. They finally got to it Saturday and he said the pressure is low. He changed out the EPC but that didn't help. He's taking that back out so won't charge me for it which is nice. He said next step is to put in an additive which can possible help raise the pressure. If that doesn't work the next step will be to look at the pump and rotor but that's going to be a whole other ball game with needing to take out the tranny and open it up. He's trying to avoid me having to fork out the dough and I appreciate that but I don't want a temporary fix either. I'd rather get it right and spend the extra money if need be. Was told that if I don't hear from him by 1:00 to give him a call. Getting somewhere but the news isn't good either way!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well laid out and detailed background = makes for easy recommendation. Tell shop you need the car back. Today. No explanation is required. You can say you've made other arrangements. Whatever you do, don't get drawn into arguments, logic debate or claim that you are being 'unreasonable'. Just don't. You need the car today and that's that. Your hand is strengthened if you have another driver ready and then it's simply, "I need the car pulled out so I can take it with me. Now"



You acknowledge you will be charged a diagnostic fee, and it may be higher than expected. Unless you were quoted a price before starting. But by owner's admission there will be no 'repair' charges without prior quote and acceptance.


Most important, no agreeing that he'll 'get right on it' and 'quote you in an hour' and have 'any and all repairs completed by the end of the day' 'guaranteed no fail'..... 'and and and'


Biggest red flag? Outside of the multiple fibs, it would have to be that 'pressure tool' bit.
Yeah that was a stall because he wasn't ready and I basically needed to wait in line but knowing he could probably get to it in a day or 2 he didn't want to send me away. Just tell me you weren't going to be able to get to the car for a few days. With what he just told me in my update, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I was like you mentioned just going to tell him I want to get the car but now that I feel like we're getting somewhere and he's given me some encouragement to call him back, that makes me feel a little better. Something tells me it's going to have to be taken apart. :frown2:
 

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EDIT: Another overpost.



1. I thought the agreement was "no work until a quote and your approval". Dropping the pan is "work" as is replacing a part. It would not matter to me that he will not charge for it since "throwing that part at it" did not pan out.

2. How many miles on this tranny? What life has it led? Does this car have a working cooler?

3. "Looking at the pump" sounds hinky if pressure has been measured to indicate a problem. Or not.

4. Pouring in an additive? For running hot?

5. Is your overdrive catching like it's supposed to?

My initial reply recommended simply getting the car back. I recommend it now. But I'm very interested hearing what a couple other of the real brains come up with too.

And just now it finally dawned on me to wonder what you're basing this, "getting really hot" on. Do you have a tranny temp gauge?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How many miles are on the transmission?
It's the original tranny with 146k miles but about 10k ago the previous owner had the Stage II build done by Performabuilt and a Circle D torque converter was also installed. I got the car in Mar. and have put maybe 1.5k on it (not a daily driver). Has a trans temp gauge installed by steering wheel which is why I knew it was getting hot. It has always been between 180-210 but a few weekends ago it shot up to the highest shown on gauge at 250. Also around this time I small a few spots in the garage. I saw a bolt that wasn't in all the way and this is where it looked like it was dripping from. Not sure, I went ahead and had the pan gasket. Come to find out later that it wasn't the gasket of course and now I'm in a whole other world. I can have a stock one rebuilt for $1200-$1500. Around how much would I be looking at with parts and labor if it is the pump or rotor?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know this tranny was beat on because it was a daily beater for a while. But with the rebuild it was supposedly as good as new if not better with all the upgrades. He checked the cooler and it's good.

Overdrive is catching but there are times I feel it "dumps" into overdrive around 35-40 mph which feels boggy, then will downshift. The car has a 383 and all the goodies. Was tuned by Moe. When I get all this done I plan on getting a good dynotune at Henderson Performance about an hour away from me in New Braunfels.

Yes have an external gauge which I'm really glad for because I was able to catch this somewhat early.

I am interested on what I hear later today. Let's see.
 

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I'd just call Alan at Performabuilt and get his take with all your accumulated symptoms.



I don't know your situation to yank it yourself, but he was VERY reasonable priced taking back and re-rebuilding one of his stout trannys I managed to burn up soon after installing in an '88 Monte 383 (long stupid story).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd just call Alan at Performabuilt and get his take with all your accumulated symptoms.



I don't know your situation to yank it yourself, but he was VERY reasonable priced taking back and re-rebuilding one of his stout trannys I managed to burn up soon after installing in an '88 Monte 383 (long stupid story).
I couldn't yank it out myself with my situation but if this becomes something escalated to a certain point I may just reach out to him and take it from there. I do have all the paperwork and have only heard good things about Alan.

To be continued...
 

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Good trans builders are always willing to fix their stuff (not necessarily at their cost), it helps them learn and improve, and for the customer it keeps "only one chef in the kitchen" so there's no fingerpointing. I'd also invest in a line pressure gauge - honestly this will tell you of problems far sooner than a temperature gauge. Get a 0-300psi one off of Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So the tranny has to be taken apart and it's most likely the pump or valves, possibly both. I must have misunderstood on an "additive" but believe he was referring about something in regards to pressure testing. Hoping my torque converter isn't fried too! Anyhow progress on this whole thing has been made and I feel better at least knowing something is being done.
 

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I'd make sure the tranny cooler lines are bypassing the radiator and going straight to the external cooler.
If the tranny lines are going into the radiator, the radiator could be leaking antifreeze into your transmission
causing the problem.
I'd also install a 2nd plate style external trans cooler.
Also check that the converter is locking up in OD- if not it'll burn up quick!

If you need a new trans I'd also 2nd a Performabuilt trans rather than a stock rebuild.
Even their stage 1 is stronger than most shops stage3.

Nab
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Darn I completely forgot about this post and have been busy so haven't logged in. Long story short this guy was completely BSing me. I went to the shop on the Saturday after my last post and the guys says "oh we were going to work on it today." I said are you sure you can get it done today? He says I already have your tranny pulled and promise I can get it done today. They close at noon on Saturdays so I took this as BS. So I went along with it and said sounds good but can I get the keys I need something from the car. I went straight to the car and looked under to see the tranny was still there! I told him I'm going to take the car today - he still tries to go on saying but I have your new transmission and torque converter ready to install. I said I never agreed to REPLACE my transmission or torque converter man. Anyhow I drove off with no cost to me of course. Really I think the car just sat there and he gave it a quick look but that's it. Fluid was confirmed later to be coming from the vent tube so he was right on that.

A buddy referred me to his friend that works at AAMCO. I was trying to avoid "big corporate" and go to the neighborhood guy who knows his transmissions, someone with plenty of 5 star reviews, but really my experience with AAMCO and the guy who worked on my car went well. He has a 3rd gen Camaro and we talked for a good half hour before I left my car there. Given this was a referral from someone I trust, I went with him and AAMCO. Long story short, the radiator had indeed been bypassed and that turned out to be a bad thing for my car. I know you said to "make sure the cooler lines are bypassing the radiator...." but this is why it was running so hot. Was told I really don't need a secondary cooler although it would help. Maybe I'll do that down the road. Everything since then has been good and I got through the 100+ degree days in the Texas heat with no problems.

I was glad this nightmare was over and done with. I prefer the local gurus which is why one of my first posts was asking who in my area is "that guy." But I know trannies are a whole different ball game. I really hate taking my modded car to shops, even if very reputable, that work on Camrys, Malibus, and many other cars and don't really have expertise with the LT1 and our cars. Sure there's the dealership and some of those guys have seen plenty of LT1s but you get shafted there too.

Anyways the Impala is good to go now and she drives like a champ!
 

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Glad you got her ironed out. I recalled you laying out enough background and detail to make me (and others IIRC) nearly immediately go directly to, "get your damn car back, and as quickly as possible". It took a bit, but you succeeded. Did the AAMCO guy do a repair, a rebuild, or just hook up the cooler to the rad?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yeah man yall were right on get the car out of Dodge! He hooked the lines back up, flushed and got out some debris, and did a through check over everything. While there I went ahead and replaced the a/c system (accumulator/dryer, compressor, condensor) and lines as well.
 
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