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What Would You Do?

Old 04-04-2017, 04:27 PM
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Default What Would You Do?

Ahh, the age old question...do I replace my car transmission?

I've got a 2001 2WD Chevy Suburban with 216,000 miles on it in pretty darn good condition. I lost 3rd gear on the highway the other day so I drove it straight to the dealer. They diagnosed transmission failure and quoted me $3900 to replace with a re-manufactured transmission I think I'll pass given the car can't be worth half that, especially with a bad transmission. I took the car to a local transmission place and they confirmed it would indeed need to be replaced. They quoted me $3200 for GM re-manufactured transmission or about $2900 for a third party re-manufactured transmission. I'm assuming GM has a slight mark up in price for theirs, but I'd also assume the third party is using cheaper parts.

This is a common problem with the 4L60E transmissions. They're a highly regarded transmission and are used in almost every 2WD Chevy car for the past 20 years or so, but have their issues like anything.

So the big question, is it even worth replacing the transmission? It's been well maintained throughout the years and I'd like to avoid the $60K+ these days for a new burb. I know it's ultimately up to me, but I'd just like the input from people who I know typically give good advice.

What other major repairs could I be looking at say over the next 50-100K miles?

Would you attempt the repair yourself given you have little experience with these, though you are fairly decent at figuring things out and working with your hands? (Bring on the "no, you idiot" ).
Old 04-04-2017, 04:29 PM
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Why not call around to a few junk yards and see if you can find a tranny that works for a much better price, that's what I'd do.
Old 04-04-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
Why not call around to a few junk yards and see if you can find a tranny that works for a much better price, that's what I'd do.
I've certainly though about that, but not sure if it's worth the risk with a used transmission. Knowing my luck, I'd be in the same boat 10K miles from now
Old 04-04-2017, 04:34 PM
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Unless you have a REAL GOOD local shop, get a factory reman or dump the truck. Sounds like a candidate for a fix though. Skip the local guys UNLESS.... ask at speed shops, and of local racers. A good shop locally? If not, reman.
Old 04-04-2017, 04:39 PM
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Is everything else about the truck in great shape? Do you still enjoy driving it? Can you afford a new vehicle?

If you spend the $ for a new tranny, and something else goes wrong, can you and will you continue to fix it?

All things you gotta ask yourself.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:16 PM
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If you replaced the transmission and later something else failed could you sell the truck, transmission, tires and rest to recover most of your money. I bet you could.

If so, I would fix it. Saves sinking strong 5 figures in another one.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:22 PM
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If the guy down the street had your exact condition vehicle for sale for $3200 would you buy it?

There in lies your answer, unless you are going to replace with a new $65,000 Suburban with a warranty then you will always be driving a vehicle that may cost you a few bucks in repair
Old 04-04-2017, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank007 View Post
I've certainly though about that, but not sure if it's worth the risk with a used transmission. Knowing my luck, I'd be in the same boat 10K miles from now
They usually give a 30 day- 6 month warranty. If it fails chances are it's going to fail in that time period. As far as is it worth it? That's entirely up to you. Do you like the car enough? Cars are not investments so it's already been a money hole. I personally love the early 2000s GM trucks. I would go with the GM REMAN before I would go the third party route.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:27 PM
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What about repairing the one you got ?

On the replacement tranny's what the old core worth ?
Old 04-04-2017, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by obbayer View Post
What about repairing the one you got ?

On the replacement tranny's what the old core worth ?
Without knowing what broke in his transmission, I would bet the fix is going to be taking it out and rebuilding it. There would be no benefit in using his original transmission over just buying a rebuilt unit. The only difference is the truck would be down longer while the old one is being rebuilt. Essentially all he would have left of his original would be the shell.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:40 PM
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What engine is it and how do you feel about its condition. If you like the vehicle, and everything is in good shape, including engine, a rebuilt tranny is what 6 months worth of car payments. And if it's in good shape around here with a new tranny it's $7500 vehicle. (Not knowing options).

I drive chevy's with high mileage and the tranny is the biggest concern especially if you have 5.3. I've considered what I would do and personally I would put a jasper rebuilt in. They have a good reputation and a good warranty to go along with it. 3 years 100,000 miles parts and labor.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:44 PM
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I got a Mazda tranny from a parts recycler for $245. Shop around; especially if that tranny you have is so much more common than a Mazda tranny.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:55 PM
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Another option is if you are mechanically inclined, a DIY rebuild is not that difficult. Do some internet research to learn some tricks and details. I rebuilt the 4r100 transmission in my 2001 F250 a couple of years ago and its still running strong. That was my second auto trans rebuild, my first was a turbo 350 many years ago. Cost was about 30% of an independent shop's quote for rebuild and I installed a new radiator, new additional cooler, new torque converter, all new clutches and hard parts, as well as additional updates for reliability. All were premium parts. The torque converter was the most expensive single part.
Old 04-04-2017, 06:01 PM
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Good friend has an 02 with 500K on it and the only major thing he has replaced was the tranny at about 265K. Little chit will break like fuel pumps, etc. but if it is in otherwise good shape, I personally would go with a new transmission and keep on rocking. May want to get a compression check to make sure the engine is OK but I would imagine it is.

95 Burb with 215K
99 Tahoe with 250K
01 Tahoe with 160K
03 Tahoe with 145K

Would pull a boat to the coast with any of them.

No transmissions or anything else major.
Old 04-04-2017, 06:08 PM
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$1000 with a warranty on ebay. Pay a garage to have it installed,or do it yourself. Well worth fixing,but $1500 sounds like your price.
Old 04-04-2017, 06:09 PM
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guy here with a great rep rebuilds for 1300 and gives a 12/12 warranty- he has done about 20 for me and my friends over the last 30 years. Never a problem afterwards.

somebody that didn't trust him bought a reman and swapped it himself- 4 reman trannys later they told him to take it to the guy and they would pay- never had another problem.

find a good rebuilder
Old 04-04-2017, 06:23 PM
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What part of md are you in I have done business with whit raft in riesterstown for 30 plus years good people honest and fair price. Call them. 410 833 5752
Old 04-04-2017, 06:24 PM
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a tranny is cheaper than a couple months payments. . .
Old 04-04-2017, 06:24 PM
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Should have proof read Whitcraft
Old 04-04-2017, 06:30 PM
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216,000 miles would be a big no for me. I get riding it till it dies, but once you drop that kind of cash into it it owes you something, and who knows what the next issue will be.

Personally i can't stand keeping a truck over 100,000 - seems like everything rattles, and just doesn't feel right, I'm also hard on trucks though.

Looks like I'm in the minority here, but you were asking for opinions.

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