drtidmore

440T4 tranny 2nd clutch MIA.....

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Ronnie    374
20 minutes ago, drtidmore said:

Well, I am enlightened after watching those videos!  A lot of my uncertainty surrounding a rebuild is gone.  It was good to hear that the tranny he build was approaching 500K and still the "hard parts" were good to go for many more miles.  Since he was rebuilding an '89 there really should be zero surprises on my '89.  If I don't find something simple (hose or filter) once I have the pan off, then a rebuild is clearly in order as there are certainly issues with my tranny.  

With those videos acting as a guide, the FSM in hand, and the specific tranny manuals which I will purchase, I may well tackle this should such prove necessary.  I will be sure and do the Trans-Go T440 shift kit upgrade.  Thanks again for the posting the video links.

 

Sure it can be done in less than two months. I was just exaggerating but when things go bad you might end up pulling the transmission several times. If it was easy to do all the mechanics would be doing it. Even our local Ford dealer takes their cars to an independent transmission shop for repair instead of having their own transmission mechanic. I guess volume is too low to keep one busy.

 

My first job in a garage was pulling transmissions, cleaning them, and watching/helping a professional put them back together. It was back before FWD was popular. Replacing clutches isn't too bad but there is usually more to it than that. Bushings can get worn enough that it starts wearing out the aluminum case. When that happens a special reamer is needed to install an oversize bushing. That is just an example but there is a lot that can go wrong. Misplace one check ball and you will end up pulling the valve body back off. Not an easy job on our cars. If you feel up to it I say go for it.

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89RedDarkGrey    271
20 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

It might be easy to rebuild one but according to time stamps in a video I stumbled across on the Internet it could take up to a couple of months just to do a DIY remove and replace of the transmission

 

Especially if you're outside, at the mercy of Upstate NY weather, no air tools, alone, and also removing many other components for replacement, searching for a suitable transmission, waiting a week, then the trucking company delivers you an entirely wrong transmission- while the one that you've paid for is still sitting on their dock.

 

Then- you have to wait for new parts to arrive, install them, and you also might have to repair something on your replacement transmission that only popped up at the last minute.

 

Then you might have to do some underbody work to critical places, and fabricate some new parts.

 

Yes, all that took a while- but it appears to be worth it.

 

Wrong transmission-- DCP_5242.thumb.JPG.f56439d880f977dd5708adf12cb9502d.JPG        Correct transmission-- DCP_5255.thumb.JPG.0568e2b621b2c4b13e7017d5b2686f6c.JPG

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DAVES89    347

That is exactly what I was saying. He has done many of them and is a professional. I wouldn't do it by myself. Even with a guy like Kendall I wouldn't do it again. BTW he told me [in different words] that he won't be doing this again. Too hard working on the floor and getting up and down all the time. 

 I have decided I have what I have and going forward for the "heavy lifting" the car is going in the shop...

 My biggest fear in swapping the transmission [remember both were used] was that there was going to be a problem with the tranny and we would have to pull it again. If you remember we did have a "scare" when we didn't put enough tranny fluid in the Black's. It shifted well on the stand but not on the ground.

 Same fear with the engine. Freshly rebuilt and I was still afraid it wouldn't work right. And when it wouldn't fire because of the clogged injectors I kept thinking "Now what do we do"? 

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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89RedDarkGrey    271

drtidmore-

 

You can add this to your arsenal- 4T60E_4T65E_TH440-T4.pdf

 

The most difficult parts of my own Reatta were the Subframe mounts, and the 1 stinking screw that is directly under the AC compressor. Its actually easier to just drop the entire Subframe as one whole unit, rather than split it like I did. The Rack and Pinion bolts are a tight squeeze too, and it must be suspended while the frame is out. If the car is lifted at the correct height- only a floor jack with plywood is needed for trans removal. Draining and refilling (1 quart) the torque converter takes several hours.

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DAVES89    347
2 minutes ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

drtidmore-

 

You can add this to your arsenal- 4T60E_4T65E_TH440-T4.pdf

 

The most difficult parts of my own Reatta were the Subframe mounts, and the 1 stinking screw that is directly under the AC compressor. Its actually easier to just drop the entire Subframe as one whole unit, rather than split it like I did. The Rack and Pinion bolts are a tight squeeze too, and it must be suspended while the frame is out. If the car is lifted at the correct height- only a floor jack with plywood is needed for trans removal. Draining and refilling (1 quart) the torque converter takes several hours.

That is correct. If you are pulling just the ttanny remove the subframe and take it out through the bottom. I would replace the rack and pinion at this time as it will never be easier [or cheaper] to do it at this time. Also check your freeze plugs.

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drtidmore    223
1 minute ago, DAVES89 said:

That is correct. If you are pulling just the ttanny remove the subframe and take it out through the bottom. I would replace the rack and pinion at this time as it will never be easier [or cheaper] to do it at this time. Also check your freeze plugs.

Thanks for those tips!

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89RedDarkGrey    271
3 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

I would replace the rack and pinion at this time as it will never be easier [or cheaper] to do it at this time. Also check your freeze plugs.

 

Yes, a simple R&R can quickly become a list of "while you're in there" stuff, that's for sure! Will a "Professional" Transmission Shop do that? No. Flatbed your car back and fourth from Shop to Shop? Sure- people do it all the time. It's only money:P

 

Freeze plugs? Ask Padgett about that (if my big mouth and grandstanding hasn't run him off). It's better to see this-

 

DCP_5378.thumb.JPG.95525886349c30a409cd87953216a8d1.JPG        My advice there- is to just clean up (wire brush, degrease, wash) then rustproof & paint. If it ain't broke- don't fix it.

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Ronnie    374
15 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

This is the 3 part video series. Credit to David Allen.   Video #1    Video #2   Video #3

 

I liked those videos so well that I used them to create a How-To Guide in the ROJ, Engine & Transmission category to make them easier to find.

The video series can be found here: GM HydraMatic 440-T4 Transmission Overhaul Videos

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Ronnie    374

For anyone contemplating doing a rebuild yourself you should watch this tear-down video completely through several times and try to memorize where all the parts go. It's something you will need to know when you reverse the procedure to put the transmission back together. At about the 14 minute mark you can clearly see why I was concerned about getting a check ball out of place causing you to have to pull the valve body off again. This can be a DIY job but it can also be a DOA job too.

 

 

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drtidmore    223
2 hours ago, Ronnie said:

For anyone contemplating doing a rebuild yourself you should watch this tear-down video completely through several times and try to memorize where all the parts go. It's something you will need to know when you reverse the procedure to put the transmission back together. At about the 14 minute mark you can clearly see why I was concerned about getting a check ball out of place causing you to have to pull the valve body off again. This can be a DIY job but it can also be a DOA job too.

 

 

While this teardown video is good, I found the previous 3 videos that you also placed on the ROJ to be more in depth.  Still it never hurts to watch as MANY teardown and assembly videos as you can find as you never know what gem of wisdom you may learn.  I totally agree that multiple viewings need to be mentally digested before tackling this job, but I already find that as I watch this video I was anticipating the next steps after watching those 3 videos earlier.  I intend to not only have the manuals suggested ($90 for the 3) at my disposal (you can get paper or online copies, same price) but to have the videos at hand and to take LOTS of pics and videos to aid in the reassembly.  Without a doubt, the hardest part of this job is going to be getting at the transmission.  If my efforts on Sunday turn up nothing, I  intend to start off along the lines of doing an in-frame rebuilt so as to see if the pump bearing has failed, as that seals the deal that the transmission HAS to come out, but I may pull the transmission even if the pump looks fine. 

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Ronnie    374

I agree that the other videos are probably better and appear to be more professional. I posted the last video because I think it does a good job illustrating  the huge number parts that have to be put back in exactly the same way they came out. There is no margin of error when installing the parts.

 

If I were going to tackle it I would want lots of room on benches or in cabinets so I could easily keep the parts separated into assemblies and groups with tags and labels on them so they could be laid out in the order I took them off.  Saying that kinda makes me feel dumb because the man I once worked for who rebuilt transmissions, would have me take the parts out of the cleaner and bring all of them to him in a basket. Then he would just pick out what he needed while building the transmission. Only years of experience allows you to be able to do that.. He did refer to the manual when he needed to know a specification but most of the time he didn't need it.

 

Photos are a really good idea.

 

Maybe you will find something simple when you get the pan off and you won't have to do the rebuild. I have my fingers crossed. :)

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89RedDarkGrey    271

This is the "Part 2- Assembly" of this series from the Uploader.

 

 

 

IMO he could use better lighting in the area, and a teardown is much easier when performed on a bench, while assembly is easier with the case upright, on a stand, or a wooden table that has a large hole in the center, to set the nose down into. Gravity is your Friend during assembly- when lowering the drive unit parts into the case, getting the components to mesh together, and placing the channel plate and valve body into position.

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drtidmore    223

Well, at least I can say that I did NOT screw up the filter or the return line hose when I changed them a couple of weeks ago.  Visually found NOTHING in the pan or around the magnet other than a bit of a black coating on the magnet (i.e. no shavings that were detectable between the fingers).  Another new filter seal, new filter, verified the integrity of the hose I replaced, new gasket, closed it all back up, filled it with fluid and tested it, same issue.  As there are no metal shavings, hopefully the pump bearing is intact which might preclude the need for reman torque converter.   I am tempted to replace that pump bearing regardless given the 153K miles on it and the fact that I really don't want to be revisiting this any time soon. At this point, I will start procuring parts and once I have everything on hand, I will begin the teardown.  I will have it in a garage with room to work so it won't be too bad and temps are fairly mild this time of year. Not going to attempt any records on how quickly this all proceeds, but at the same time, I don't intend to make a career out of this either.   While I dread the subframe, this will give me the opportunity to replace the subframe bushings for good measure as they too are factory original. I have new engine and tranny mounts in hand, so they will go on even though the factory ones seem fine. The knock sensor is intermittent in cold weather, so yet another item on the list to replace.  I am hoping that since my car is rust and corrosion free, maybe those body bolts that give so many an issue will be cooperative with me.  I am going to soak them and all the bolts with an ATF / Acetone mix.  I am going to do a Super/Deluxe rebuild kit (clutches, steeles, bands, seals, o-rings, gaskets, etc) as it seems silly to not go all the way if you are doing a total teardown.  I am also going to install the TransGO SK440-JR shift kit in the valve body.  After closely inspect the servos and may go with a set of Sonnax 1-2 / Reverse sleeve kits as these to not require boring and will just be one more thing off the list that might fail down the road.  Other than the subframe, I am actually excited about tackling the tranny rebuild. 

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)
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89RedDarkGrey    271
1 hour ago, drtidmore said:

 I am hoping that since my car is rust and corrosion free, maybe those body bolts that give so many an issue will be cooperative with me.  I am going to soak them and all the bolts with an ATF / Acetone mix.

 

As you can see from my own photos- there's not much wicking room for any type of penetrant. I was better off just breaking off the bolt heads (3) and with the Subframe removed- drill out the spot welds, and remove the chunk intact.

 

Fab up new "mount nuts" and heavily grease up your (new) bolts, and weld it together. Drizzle it with oil to cool when done (not water) and place them in their pockets, clamp to hold close, MIG the lid closed. Very easy, believe it or not.

 

SPOT WELD BRILL BIT

 

 

DCP_5339.thumb.JPG.834c9bad9f1fd0fe4fc1e04703217b25.JPGDCP_5340.thumb.JPG.a225b1fe3590a2c34863bb794513cb53.JPGDCP_5342.thumb.JPG.b2007e37382a6669d76082437ed2e9c4.JPG

DCP_5349.thumb.JPG.6deffe0854a2f81a95d787428eca7125.JPG5918c8a624b73_DCP_5350(2).thumb.JPG.ed624c06e334d4e92c874d93da4d14cd.JPG

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Edited by 89RedDarkGrey (see edit history)
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drtidmore    223

Well, after several more very short driving hops over the past few days (literally around the block) to see if the qt of K&W TransX might free up a stuck valve or help a clutch piston seal retain a better seal, nothing has changed.  As I have refined my testing, I continue to have a rock solid 1st gear and then as the tranny attempts the transition into 2nd gear it is basically going into neutral.  Earlier I was mistaken in thinking it EVER engaged 2nd gear, which I now recognize as never happening, as the engine RPMs show NO sign of dropping at the end on the typical 1st to 2nd transition.  The 2nd clutch section in the 440T4 is likely the culprit in my situation and I suspect it is the 2nd clutch piston seal as it appears that the second clutch is simply NOT being engaged.  No 2nd clutch, NO 2nd gear, NO 3rd gear, NO 4th gear as that clutch must engage for all 3 of those gears! Prior to the problem rearing its head, I had NO warnings and the 1st to 2nd transition was always positive with zero slipping so it is likely in the piston section rather than the clutch pack itself.  It COULD also be the governor or the 2nd clutch valve or in the accumulators and ONLY a teardown will reveal the actual root cause.  Given that on the filter/fluid change a few weeks back & the one I did this past Sunday revealed NO metal shavings or particles in the pan or on the magnet, I have fairly high confidence that the 440T4 pump bearing is still intact as its failure spews metal throughout the tranny and the torque converter and in some cases can render the transmission a total loss. 

 

I have been learning everything I can about the 440T4, pouring over the overhaul manuals (both GM and 3rd party) and learning especially about its weak areas (granted it hard to say that the GM design was faulty as these 440T4s routinely last way over 100K).  What I have found, thanks to 89RDG pointing me over to davida1hiwaay's excellent videos, is that with some relatively minor modifications the majority of the rotating core of the vastly improved 4T65E transmission (successor to the 4T60E which was the successor to the 440T4/4T60) can be installed into the 440T4 case and use the 440T4's hydraulic valve body rather than the 4T65Es solenoid controlled valve body (i.e. controlled by PCM).  David also proves that the vastly improved pump design from the 4T65E can be transplanted with minor mods (this eliminates the problem of the pump bearing issue I mentioned above).  Of course this means getting a 4T65E salvage unit in order to scavenge the hard parts from it for transplantation into the 440T4.  It is not a complete swap but more of a merger as some of the 440T4 rotating parts and the 3rd clutch piston from the 440T4 are retained as the stock 4T65E rotating core stack is different, but the clutch packs, planetary gears and shafts of the 4T65E core will work.  It is really amazing how closely GM retained the overall 440 family design while significantly upgrading the strength on the 4T65E.  David proved this entire merger between a 440T4 and a 4T65E on his '87 Park Avenue about a year ago.  Yes this will be slightly more expensive than a straightforward 440T4 rebuild, but the result will be a much stronger tranny with improvement particularly in the 2nd and 4th clutches and the pump itself along with improvements in the internal clutch shafts.  This is likely how I will proceed.  Yes, I know it will be a frankenstein transmission that would throw a 3rd party tranny tech into the twilight zone at some potential point in the future, but as long as it is documented in detail, I don't see this as an issue. 

 

For those that might think I am crazy, sure this is not a typical weekend DIY job, but it is NOT rocket science either.  The worst part is getting the cradle/subframe out so that the tranny can be dropped out the bottom.  It can be done by only removing the driver's side of the subframe, but from what I am told, that is actually more difficult than just removing the whole subframe.  I have been intending to replace the 6 bushings on the subframe anyway due to their age (no sign of failure however).  I know those bolts will try my patience but I have the time and can walk away and tackle things another day, so this will not be a rush job.  I will be replacing all the engine and tranny mounts which I had purchased previously for the day when I decided to tackle them.  I will ensure that the ball joints are okay, but they show no signs to wobble presently, so I may or may not replace those.  I have a very minor engine rear seal leak and the oil pan gasket weeps a tiny bit (a drop every day or so at most), so that will be on my list. I don't intend to make this a massive "while you are there" project but I am going to go over everything while the subframe and tranny are out and ensure that things that are otherwise difficult to access and really SHOULD be replaced, are addressed. 

 

I expect this will take between 2 weeks and a month once I start the project.  I am NOT going to start the teardown until I have all the parts that I know upfront as necessary on hand.  I will post my progress along the way and I will be video documenting the process along with stills which I eventually will post. 

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DAVES89    347

This will be a great series of posts. Maybe you should start a new post when you start.

 Good luck!

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drtidmore    223
1 hour ago, DAVES89 said:

This will be a great series of posts. Maybe you should start a new post when you start.

 Good luck!

That was my plan.  

 

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89RedDarkGrey    271

Between RockAuto and these places-

 

http://www.transmissionpartsusa.com/

http://www.makcotransmissionparts.com/storefront.html

https://transpartsonline.com/TRANS_PARTS_FILE/tpcat.php?TransPartsOnline=4T60E&TransPartsType=4T60E

 

You should be able to find just about everything you need, without the hassle of getting a "donor parts" unit. If you have the means, muscle, and are able- then a scrap trans is another way to go, then harvesting questionable parts- and scrapping the rest is that route.

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drtidmore    223
35 minutes ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

Between RockAuto and these places-

You should be able to find just about everything you need, without the hassle of getting a "donor parts" unit. If you have the means, muscle, and are able- then a scrap trans is another way to go, then harvesting questionable parts- and scrapping the rest is that route.

The issue going with new is the high cost plus some of those parts will be 3rd party items vs the OEM in a salvaged unit.  The 4T65E hard parts are even stronger than the 4L60E-HD (same rotating section as the 4T60E-HD) which can handle the LS series V8, so a salvaged 4T65E really falls way upside from questionable parts.  Of course if there are obviously worn parts found inside a salvaged 4T65E then new replacements would be in order.  I need to run the actual figures, but I did look at few new parts for the 440T4 and quickly saw that their cost would add up in a hurry.  By the time you get the pump section, planetary gears (front and rear), 3rd clutch sections, 2nd clutch section, driven input section and 4th clutch section hard parts new, I would be willing to wag it being north of $1000 at the very least.  A salvaged 4T65E can be had in the $200-$400 range.  But as I said, I do need to run the numbers and see.  

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)
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89RedDarkGrey    271
89RedDarkGrey    271

drtidmore-

 

I totally agree with your approach- remove and dismantle the tranny before buying any "Hard" parts (unless you want/need for the Upgrade) to minimize cost. How do you plan on supporting the engine? I used my Friend's HF brace, but you MUST have a "T" type to hold it correctly. I improvised with a heavy board & chain to make a complete "T". One key- is to leave the Dogbone in place. It will stabilize the engine side-to-side very nicely.

 

DCP_5237.thumb.JPG.715e3ee8b2ebf85e79787c37e3d674d8.JPGDCP_5238.thumb.JPG.819c99c63926d438587a9051c12bc43c.JPGDCP_5239.thumb.JPG.5c243faa26c79acb185b280ff766a4ec.JPG

 

The only front support points you'll have (per the FSM) for this job- will be jack stands, directly rearward of the front wheels (while clearing the 2 Subframe mounts) on the underbody. Since I had additional body patching work- I opted to support at where the bumper shocks attach to the Core Support, on the absorber itself. It worked fine for me (with additional cement blocks and 1/4" plywood)

 

DCP_5304.thumb.JPG.198a785f25583ce22099314cd3642d0f.JPG   It must be approximately I'd say about 2 ft. high at Rocker panel to easily wheel the tranny out.

 

 

 

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drtidmore    223
17 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

Very rarely do Hard parts ever fail. I can name off hand what I would definitely replace, regardless of "visible" wear:

 

Awesome stuff.

89RDG,

Thanks for confirming what I had concluded based on research.  That 4th clutch hub and the reaction shell (cheese grater) rose to the top of the most common early model 65E failure prone parts.  Still those are relatively inexpensive hard parts, so they were already on my list.  I have 5 full pages of notes from my research and multiple watchings of David A's 440/65E project...his videos are super!  I do have a few questions for him once he gets back with me, but they are easy yes/no type questions.  I will continue to flesh out my notes with more detail and eventually create a step by step process that I will follow.  I will have David's videos close at hand but with a build like this one, I want to make sure that I don't miss any little nuanced detail, so creating a detailed process makes sense to me.  Doing so also helps reinforce the whole process in my mind and will offer me documentation for future reference.  

 

As for supporting the engine, I am just going to bite the bullet and buy an OTC 1725 Three Point Engine Support Bar as the last thing I want is for the engine to slip while unsupported from underneath.  Thanks for the recommended 2' off the ground height as I intended to ask that question shortly.    

 

I am starting to put together my soft parts need list for this hybrid 440/65E.  As the all inclusive Super Overhaul kits no longer make sense due to the parts included that won't be needed, I will likely do a base level 440 kit, order 440 bands, then order piece parts for the 65E clutches, steels seals, etc but I have not yet run the figures, and it may turn out cheaper to do a 65E overhaul kit vs piece parts, so I have more homework. 

 

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89RedDarkGrey    271
6 hours ago, drtidmore said:

As for supporting the engine, I am just going to bite the bullet and buy an OTC 1725 Three Point Engine Support

 

Some words of caution when using THIS are be mindful where our lifting eyelets are, and try to "spread out" the weight on the edges of our plastic fenders. I had found out that the support "A" legs of the H.F. version weren't tall enough, and to keep directly in line with the rear engine lifting eyelet, the "A" legs hit the Strut Towers. Also- the front bar was way too close to the engine, because the "A" leg wasn't tall enough. That is why I improvised with my partially home-made wood brace. I hope the OTC setup is different.

 

6 hours ago, drtidmore said:

the last thing I want is for the engine to slip while unsupported from underneath

 

Engine= roughly 700 pounds, Tranny= 189 pounds (dry)  I would be very leery of using those included cables. An aluminum 4-banger, ok, sure. Our cast iron beast- no.

 

I am very excited and happy that you are taking on this task! You will appreciate your car more when finished, and the peace of mind of reliability and longevity is priceless.

6 hours ago, drtidmore said:

 I do have a few questions for him once he gets back with me, but they are easy yes/no type questions

 

Yes, David is a wonderful Man, indeed! He is usually always willing to help others.

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