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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Subject line says it all. I've had this transmission for a couple years now, but I only have about 11,000 street miles on it - no abuse, never raced. Just wanted a solid reliable transmission to support my mildly modified engine (227 cam with supporting heads/valvetrain mods, tri-y, catback). Like I said though, never abused. The TC was a little weak for it - a higher stall would be better (and is happily on order - btw, Shane - is it shipped yet?), but that was it. So anyway, I'm on a trip out of town, driving all highway miles - get into town at the destination, come to a stop light, and it's just a dog to get going again. I also noticed it never shifted as I got back up to speed, so I think it was stuck in 3rd. I go through the gears and it all seems to be shifting fine, so I figured it's just a one time fluke. Next stoplight, it does it again. Conveniently, there's an autozone right there at the intersection, so I pull in as gingerly as possible. It's just dragging going anywhere - lots of throttle to get anything out of it, so I'm basically just trying to get it stopped as soon as possible. I pop the hood, and there's smoke. Looking at the engine from the front, it's coming from the left side (pass. side), at the very back of the engine. Under the car, I can see more smoke. I pulled the transmission dipstick, and smoke is coming out of there too. Oddly enough, the stick looks more dry than normal, but it still shows fluid in the holes - it just looks different. I check fluid regularly so I know something is unusual about it. I go into the autozone and get a quart of trans fluid and a bottle of lucas trans fix additive. I add some fluid and idle the engine. No smoke coming out at this point. Everything looks good. I add more fluid a bit at a time until the dipstick looks more normal. I run it up and down through the gears, no smoke, everything looks fine. I close the hood and the doors. Then I realize the engine is running, the doors are automatically locked, and I have no second set of keys. Fortunately again, right across the street is a right-aid, so I run over and get a coat hanger, and reopen the door. I run through the gears again, check the fluid again. Fluid looks ok, gears have a bit of fluidy swishy sound to them momentarily. Hard to be sure exactly what that is. I try to see if it will move at all - put the car in reverse, and back out. Seems to go fine - maybe a bit more revs than normal. I switch to drive, and it's an absolute pig again. I'm not going anywhere in this car. And now, it's smoking bad. I've only moved the car maybe a total of 15-20 feet, and I can smell and see smoke even inside the car. It's not going anywhere. So I call AAA and they send out a truck. I need to move it one more time about 20 feet to get it in place for the truck (pushing would have been impractical). It almost doesn't even make it. So, that's that. AAA tows up to 100 miles, and my grandparents house was 89 miles away, so thats where I sent it. I deploy in 2 weeks, and since they had offered to store my car while I deployed, it seemed the logical thing to do.
[rant]
This damn car has been infuriating lately. Since the great rebuild it's been nothing but trouble - and I only rebuilt it to ensure it wouldn't be anymore trouble. 11,000 miles ago I had the engine rebuilt (roughly 190,000 on it). Had a 227 put in, but also beefed up the bottom end, and slightly improved the heads. Also rebuilt the rear suspension, transmission, brakes, new paint & bodywork, and fresh interior. Since then I've also rebuilt the front suspension again. So, about 6000 miles ago, the heads went (on a long trip). broke some springs and pulled a stud. I responded by going medieval on those heads. Completely reworked them with brand new parts all around, screw in studs, dual springs, guideplates, roller rockers, and a ton of machine work to match. Next, about 4000 miles ago, both electric radiator fans went more or less simultaneously - in the arizona desert no less. That at least was an easy fix. About 1000 miles ago the distributor went - again, in the arizona desert. Very expensive repair. Now, this. I have sunk so much money into this thing it's disgusting. It was my first car, and I've had it since college, but enough is enough. Maybe it's time to put it out to pasture.
[/rant]
So, what should I be looking for in the tranny? I can't believe a proper CPT tranny would fail with only 11,000 easy miles on it. Only recent changes made to the car have been the exhaust system - headers and cat back about 700 miles ago.
 

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Have you contacted shane about this???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It just happened like a couple hours ago. I'm in no hurry. It's well past the one year warranty, so it's not like shane owes me anything. I figure I'd open up for some broader speculation on what might have happened. If shane doesn't chime in here when he gets around to it, i'll probably call him up and get his opinion. I mainly want to know, based on the symptoms, what part likely is failed so I'll have some idea what to expect.
 

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ahhh gotcha. Well im sure its prob one of those that you'll never know until its torn apart. There's prob 10 legit reasons why something went bad, but questioning and guessing really dont help.
 

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Your post seems somewhat accusatory.

This could be caused by any number of things, not even necessarily the trans itself. What if, during the course of the exhaust swap, the harness to the trans got bumped, and landed against one of the header tubes, or even the exhaust itself?
 

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You really need to talk to Shane about it first before posting on the internet. He built the transmission and he will be able to ask the right questions. From what you've said, the smoke isn't absolutely coming from the transmission and the shifting behavior could be electrical. Before you point the finger at anything, some proper diagnostics need to be done.

The other thing you need to remember is that the 4L60E is complicated and the stupidest things can go wrong through no fault of the builder. Been there, built it, had stupid failures. I don't care who the builder is, it will happen. Sure it sucks that it was you, but that's the way life is sometimes.

Call Shane, then have him post up. Internet quarterbacking by folks with no skin in the game is pointless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whoa, fellas. I'm not faulting shane at all. The man builds good trannys, and I'll probably buy from him again. Accusatory? No damn way.

For goodness sake, this forum used to be the best place to go to find answers when random crap like this happens. Even when it is a long shot. Post the symptoms and hope it rings a bell. Now, what, we have people getting offended by proxy?

Sheesh. I mention it's from CPT - the very imprimatur of quality and honesty - and somehow that's an insult? Ferrari's break sometimes too, but to troubleshoot it helps to know that it's a Ferrari.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ahhh gotcha. Well im sure its prob one of those that you'll never know until its torn apart. There's prob 10 legit reasons why something went bad, but questioning and guessing really dont help.
Hmm... Fair enough. I guess I was just hoping the symptoms might have pointed to something common.
 

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I had a similar problem with my trans, and I went right to Shane and he took care of me with out thinking twice about it. I know you said you're in no rush and you're well past the 1 year warranty mark, but call Shane up anyway, he has a way of always helping loyal customers out.
 

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I had a similar problem with my trans, and I went right to Shane and he took care of me with out thinking twice about it. I know you said you're in no rush and you're well past the 1 year warranty mark, but call Shane up anyway, he has a way of always helping loyal customers out.


Hey pocket size jesus.
I know you said youve had the trans a few years. But i will still help out with it if it needs warranty action.

The only way there will be smoke is if the trans is overheating EXTREMELY bad, or ther is a leak.

It also sounds like it could be going into limp mode as if the trans is losing power.

Please check your fuses under the hood in paticular the EMI fuse. And also check that it is full of fluid with no leaks.

Smoke with slipping in forward is a symptom of getting low on fluid.

Other possibilities include the forward piston seal gettin damaged and leaking or something of that nature.

Let me know, we can certianly work with you on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey pocket size jesus.
I know you said youve had the trans a few years. But i will still help out with it if it needs warranty action.

The only way there will be smoke is if the trans is overheating EXTREMELY bad, or ther is a leak.

It also sounds like it could be going into limp mode as if the trans is losing power.

Please check your fuses under the hood in paticular the EMI fuse. And also check that it is full of fluid with no leaks.

Smoke with slipping in forward is a symptom of getting low on fluid.

Other possibilities include the forward piston seal gettin damaged and leaking or something of that nature.

Let me know, we can certianly work with you on it.
That's some good direction. Thanks! I will check those out as soon as I can get back to the car.
 

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Hey PSJ - My only point was that you should call CPT FIRST before you post. If you want to come on after it's all set and tell the world what happened, fine. But letting Shane have first crack before the world finds out is only the proper thing to do.

I've just seen way too many people get on at 11pm at night and run through doomsday scenarios with some product problem before the vendor even gets a chance to say anything.

It reminds me of that flight that went down in the NYC area shortly after 9/11; within 3 hours after it happened, the talking heads on TV were saying it was the engines that caused the problem, when in fact they know precious little about airplanes (ever notice the media calls them "black boxes" - why the heck would you paint a flight data recorder black when you want to FIND it after it crashes! They're painted like fluorescent orange! Only the media calls them black boxes). But anyway, no investigation had been done, and suddenly the engine makers are being demonized in front of 10 million people with no chance to defend themselves.

This sort of rush to judgment with few facts does no one any good. I'm just making a point here, not trying to single you out in particular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Update - the EMI fuse is fine. The fluid level is correct, and there are no apparent signs of leaks. However, the fluid is quite dark and burned. It still smokes and doesn't drive easily. In any event, that's probably all the hands on troubleshooting I'll be able to do until I return from deployment. The car is safely stored away for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey PSJ - My only point was that you should call CPT FIRST before you post. If you want to come on after it's all set and tell the world what happened, fine. But letting Shane have first crack before the world finds out is only the proper thing to do.

I've just seen way too many people get on at 11pm at night and run through doomsday scenarios with some product problem before the vendor even gets a chance to say anything.

It reminds me of that flight that went down in the NYC area shortly after 9/11; within 3 hours after it happened, the talking heads on TV were saying it was the engines that caused the problem, when in fact they know precious little about airplanes (ever notice the media calls them "black boxes" - why the heck would you paint a flight data recorder black when you want to FIND it after it crashes! They're painted like fluorescent orange! Only the media calls them black boxes). But anyway, no investigation had been done, and suddenly the engine makers are being demonized in front of 10 million people with no chance to defend themselves.

This sort of rush to judgment with few facts does no one any good. I'm just making a point here, not trying to single you out in particular.
I understand your point, but I worry that it suggests an approach that I believe to be counterproductive in this forum. To avoid a frank and open discussion out of some fear of idiotic speculation is not the way to build a solid knowledge base. If some half wit were to come along and assume all CPTs are terrible because one might have failed, well, then I wish him a happy life in his idiocy. This forum was built on a tradition of mature, open discussion. Holding back to appease the idiots is treading awfully close to political correctness - a mortal threat to real knowledge.

But that's just my opinion, offered with all due respect to my forum peers.
 

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I respect the man for what he has said. i do think it was a "call out", just more of advise as to what to with his problem. as he said, he could really care less about shane, since his waranty is void
 

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I understand your point, but I worry that it suggests an approach that I believe to be counterproductive in this forum. To avoid a frank and open discussion out of some fear of idiotic speculation is not the way to build a solid knowledge base. If some half wit were to come along and assume all CPTs are terrible because one might have failed, well, then I wish him a happy life in his idiocy. This forum was built on a tradition of mature, open discussion. Holding back to appease the idiots is treading awfully close to political correctness - a mortal threat to real knowledge.
Looks like I muddied my point, so let me get back to basics; my point is only this (and again, this is not directed specifically at you):
If one has a problem with vendor A's product, the FIRST thing one should do is talk to vendor A privately and try to get a resolution. If vendor A flakes out, THEN going to other people is fine. That's all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looks like I muddied my point, so let me get back to basics; my point is only this (and again, this is not directed specifically at you):
If one has a problem with vendor A's product, the FIRST thing one should do is talk to vendor A privately and try to get a resolution. If vendor A flakes out, THEN going to other people is fine. That's all.
Not muddied at all, that's exactly what I took it for.
 

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So where is the smoke coming from, out the dipstick tube?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So where is the smoke coming from, out the dipstick tube?
There was some coming from the tube. Most of it looked to be coming from the area where the tranny cooler lines enter the tranny. I couldn't pinpoint smoke coming from an exact spot, but it looked to be concentrated at that general area.
 
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