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700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

This is a discussion on 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; Today i was driving and i left my house and got on the freeway and when i started to get ...

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear


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    Today i was driving and i left my house and got on the freeway and when i started to get going with the speed of the moving traffic i hear the RPM on my engine go up and i look down at the gauges thinking why is this happening come to the conclusion i had no 3rd or 4th gear. I didn't notice until i got on the freeway since the highest speed i hit till then was about 35MPH and second gear was enough, anyway i was wondering what could be the problem, when i got back home i checked the fluid level and it was fine clean with no sign of anything being burnt. When i put it into 2nd and then manually shift to drive and then overdrive the tranny makes no attempt to go to the 3rd and 4th gear. But i have reverse, 1st and 2nd and those gear shift smooth clean and crisp with no problem. Anyone have this happen before? I have been thinking and i want to say it sounds like a valve in the tranny is stuck or something along those lines, it has about 111,XXX miles on it that have been rather easy non abusive miles. Thanks for the help

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    One other thing i forgot to mention was if i am going in 2nd and stab the gas 3rd will hook up from about 2500 to 3800 RPM but wont go up and will rev out if you don't let off the gas

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    Registered User dave89iroc's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    3/4 clutches are toast, common issue
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    I agree with dave89iroc pull you tranny and check out you clutch plates very common on 700r4 trannys

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by dave89iroc
    3/4 clutches are toast, common issue
    So basically it needs to be rebuilt? I never knew this was a common problem just hopped in and this happened no warning. Should i have a complete rebuild or just the clutches,see as this to be the problem? I guess i will have a tranny shop look at it but it wouldn't hurt to know what to say going in

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Have it rebuilt, and spring for upgrades, namely the extra 3/4 clutches, hardened sun shell, performance servo.

    Richard

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by someotherguy
    Have it rebuilt, and spring for upgrades, namely the extra 3/4 clutches, hardened sun shell, performance servo.

    Richard
    What would you consider a good rebuild price, upgrades included?

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Depends on prices in your area, most shops are going to want anywhere from $1000 to $2500, includes R&R, which you want THEM to do so that there's no question about the TV cable adjustment, flushing of the cooler lines, etc. if there's ever a warranty issue.

    $1000 is bottom of the range for what I'd expect a real shop to charge, $2500 is closer to what a dealer would charge; I've seen cheaper prices from backyard type guys or ones that are doing side jobs inside of a real shop, but it's hard to trust a cheap price on these; the parts required cost a few bucks. So if someone is quoting you a really cheap price, they're absolutely going to cut corners, or they might be stealing parts from work, meaning the job is "unauthorized" and you have no warranty.

    Richard

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    Registered User hornsfan10609's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by indiglo5997
    I never knew this was a common problem just hopped in and this happened no warning.
    You never knew Chevy automatics suck? Time to rebuild.

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by hornsfan10609
    You never knew Chevy automatics suck? Time to rebuild.
    The 700R4 hasn't "sucked" since 1987 when they got them right; but if you beat on it, it's going to break. If you run it for 100K+ miles and never service it, it's going to break. If you don't service it then run a power flush on it, it's REALLY going to break.

    Yeah they've got a few weak links like the sun shell and the 3/4 clutches. And the typical life expectancy of the unit seems to average around 100K to 150K miles. If you service it and don't abuse it, it can go a whole lot longer.

    I'm not saying the 700R4/4L60/4L60E are the best transmissions ever, but I don't know if I'd say they suck.

    Richard

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by hornsfan10609
    You never knew Chevy automatics suck? Time to rebuild.
    No i am saying i know that if Chevy or GM for that matter has a weak link it would be the transmissions, i never knew that the 3/4 clutches on the 700R4 burning out was a common problem. And my other Chevy work truck has 265,XXX miles on the original 700R4 and all that thing has ever done is haul and tow heavy loads so it just goes to show you sometimes it can just be a fluke which in my case i am thinking it is, but no big deal i am going to have to make some decisions

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    I agree, time for a rebuild. Thats what happend to mine when it went. Of course I cooked mine by towing way too heavy, for way too far, with only the crappy factory radiator cooler.

    I paid $1100 for my rebuild, but I also had my cousin who is a GM tech do it at his house. My planataries were bad too, I'm guessing cuz it was this tranny's second rebuild. So I got basically new guts in an old case, and a radiator/line flush too.

    I did have a problem though, with a valve sticking, and he replaced it with an updated valve (not sure what) and it's ran good ever since. It shifted firmer and at slightly higher rpm's after that valve was installed, but I like it better now.
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    Registered User hornsfan10609's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by someotherguy
    The 700R4 hasn't "sucked" since 1987 when they got them right; but if you beat on it, it's going to break. If you run it for 100K+ miles and never service it, it's going to break. If you don't service it then run a power flush on it, it's REALLY going to break.

    Yeah they've got a few weak links like the sun shell and the 3/4 clutches. And the typical life expectancy of the unit seems to average around 100K to 150K miles. If you service it and don't abuse it, it can go a whole lot longer.

    I'm not saying the 700R4/4L60/4L60E are the best transmissions ever, but I don't know if I'd say they suck.

    Richard
    I just read posts on here of people replacing the transmission in their NBS trucks at 60K miles or so. That is ridiculous, Chevy trucks last forever, except for their automatic transmissions. Now that said, my truck is a 91 and it has 91K miles and the trans shifts smooth and runs fine, i have had zero problems, so maybe they're not so bad. They just seem to go out prematurely in many of the 4L60E equipped trucks.
    Last edited by hornsfan10609; 09-25-2008 at 12:20 PM.

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    D to the MAX gr8shot's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    I'm not complaining with mine!! The stock tranny in my truck made it to 180k, (with previous owner) and the second only lasted 90k, but that second one was beat on hard (by me lol), recieved exactly NO maintainence, and still lasted a while. I'm on my third, with about 17k on it, but I decided I wanted this one to last a little bit, so I put a cooler and temp gauge on it. And I'll be dropping the pan, replacing filter, and lost fluid at 20k.
    04 Chevy LB7 Dmax. Some go fast goodies from Husker Diesel

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8shot
    I'm on my third, with about 17k on it, but I decided I wanted this one to last a little bit, so I put a cooler and temp gauge on it. And I'll be dropping the pan, replacing filter, and lost fluid at 20k.
    Way to go.

    For those who want to add a cooler, don't skimp on how you route it. I've seen too many where someone just took the cooling lines off the radiator and hooked them to an external cooler. This is a bad idea! The radiator's built-in cooler can do a better job by itself than an external cooler can by itself. Water can move the heat away better than air can. External coolers are a GREAT idea but must be used in conjuction with the built-in cooler in the radiator.

    I worked on a truck just the other day, a '99 one ton (OBS) with the 4L80E, someone hooked the cooler up that way. I told the owner so he can change it, because any of you that have ever priced a 4L80E rebuild, makes building a 700R4/4L60E look cheap!

    Richard

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    D to the MAX gr8shot's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Thats how I hooked mine up, went through the radiator cooler, then into the aftermarket cooler, then to the return line. Hopefully this will be the last tranny I put in this beast!! Hopefully will be getting a dmax this may when I graduate from college!! This tired ol babay will be gettin put into backup duty come may!!
    04 Chevy LB7 Dmax. Some go fast goodies from Husker Diesel

    SOLD!!!! 07.5 Chevy LMM Dmax DPF Deleted, EFI Live from Husker Diesel & more 448hp/834tq

    1992 Chevy 1500 ECSB 4x4 350TBI 320k miles

    '95 Chevy 2500 ECLB swapped in a 95 12v cummins, NV4500, 2wd

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    I'd Buy That For A Dollar indiglo5997's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Hey do you guys have any suggestions on where to buy 700r4's? i have been looking at a few places and got a few suggestions from a few people but does anyone have a place they have done business with and have had success?
    Last edited by indiglo5997; 10-10-2008 at 08:03 PM.

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Go local if possible and ask everybody you know for their opinion on a good shop. Finding an honest local shop is tough, but you know what? It's a hell of a lot easier to work with someone LOCAL if/when there's a problem, and especially on a 700R4 that needs the TV cable adjusted properly once it's installed - if you have someone local install the transmission, they can't blame any problems on you failing to adjust the cable like if you had a transmission shipped to you.

    Richard

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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    This is from personal experience:
    Background story - TV cable snapped, roasted 3-4 clutch pack.

    Drop transmission, install junkyard tranny with junkyard torque converter. Turns out to be a V6 700R4, stall is too high.
    Drop transmission, install junkyard tranny with stock converter. Somehow tranny has toasted 3-4 again.
    Drop transmission, rebuild V8 700R4, fill it up, last quart I throw in is an open quart on the 'good' shelf in the garage, turns out to be degreaser mixed with tranny fluid (no one knows why) tranny is junk.
    Drop transmission, rebuild V6 700R4, flush cooler and lines, new torque converter, getting installed this weekend.

    I tell you that to tell you this: Rebuild your own tranny. Its not difficult. Get the $20 manual from your local book store. Rebuild kit was $110. Took me 5 hours the first time, because I took my time and made sure things were 100%.
    Vince.

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    Supporting Gold Member GreaseDog's Avatar
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    Re: 700R4 not shifting into 3rd and 4th gear

    Quote Originally Posted by someotherguy
    Go local if possible and ask everybody you know for their opinion on a good shop. Finding an honest local shop is tough, but you know what? It's a hell of a lot easier to work with someone LOCAL if/when there's a problem, and especially on a 700R4 that needs the TV cable adjusted properly once it's installed - if you have someone local install the transmission, they can't blame any problems on you failing to adjust the cable like if you had a transmission shipped to you.

    Richard
    i wish i could supersize this...

    a tow bill across town is well under $100 most of the time (you dont want to drive very far with a misadjusted TV, if at all)

    shipping a trans across the country, and back, will cost you well over that.

    i like the idea of my money staying local when i can help it, less hassles for me, more money pumped back into the local economy.

    90% of the bad rap that the 700R4 gets is from GM's attempt to comply with the EPA's stupid standards. that's why you end up with stupid high gearsets in the rear axle, 2.56 (not very common, but available) 2.73, and 3.08. this causes the motor to lug, which isnt good for it, as well as gear hunting because the motor is lugging, and the trans senses the need to downshift from not enough torque input. these conditions cause extra heat buildup, and ultimately the death of the trans. as was mentioned before, 87 is where things start getting better, which coincidentally is about the same time 3.42 gears became the norm. look at the standard gear ratios now... i've seen alot of 3.23 geared 99+ trucks, couple that with the lower usable torque of the 4.8 and 5.3, and suddenly you're right back where you started.

    just something to think about... how often do guys with Corvettes post about blowing out 3-4 clutches? how about the Camaro/Firebird crowd? given a reasonable drivtrain combo (stockish maybe a little more) the lower weight vehicle can work with the same gear ratios, because it is lighter, and the drivetrain isnt being overworked near as hard to move the vehicle.
    77 Chevy K20 - 80 GMC K2500 (in pieces)
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