View Full Version : Could find out if TEP trans are worth it


WhiteGXP313
02-17-2012, 04:07 PM
I was telling one of my co workers that is taking classes to become a transmission tech about our horrible transmissions and about TEP. He was saying that if i get all the parts that he could just take it to school and they could work on it for free :) . I printed out all the stuff that TEP does in the street/strip version and hes going to take it to his teacher who works for GM and see if all that stuff is really necessary. He was saying that the hardened input shaft, and the drive chain upgrade are really the only things that needs to be done but he even said himself that hes no expert so hes taking it to his teacher to see whats what.

kweevuss
02-17-2012, 05:45 PM
Thats good to know since mine is just starting to act up.

ryanisl33t
02-17-2012, 06:58 PM
I'd put my money on TEP over your friend, and even your friends teacher lol, no offense, Dave is just very good at what he does, and his customer service is amazing.

WhiteGXP313
02-17-2012, 07:39 PM
I'd put my money on TEP over your friend, and even your friends teacher lol, no offense, Dave is just very good at what he does, and his customer service is amazing.

Im not trying to bash him or anything i just think $3000 for a built trans is a little much. Ill trust the teacher since he works for GM and teaches about transmissions. Plus everyone says that it takes like 3-5 months for TEP to send a new trans out and since my car is a DD i cant wait that long.

LS1 Racing
02-18-2012, 01:35 PM
Your friend has no idea about why these trannys fail.

In my time on this site, I've seen ZERO chain failures and I think two input shaft failures, with one of them being on an 11 second turbo car. Neither of those things will prevent or cure the TCC problems, or the rev-and-clunk, which are the most common problems.

Your friend is merely guessing without knowing all the facts, and it's possible that even his teacher may be misinformed. Our trannys have some unique issues, and many longtime tranny builders have no idea what ails ours. I once had a trans guy claiming 30 years experience tell me that Dave's info was "bullshit". When I asked him how many LS4-spec 4T65-HDs he built, he said "none, but they're all the same". Dude lost all credibility with me right then and there.

Beware of what they guy down the street says, because this is a lot of money to just roll the dice on a non-expert's advice.

baltsk8er69
02-18-2012, 07:42 PM
I like how "he works for gm" is a claim to credibility. Gm is why our transmissions suck ass. You be better off saying he's great because he doesn't work for gm. Lmfao

Venemous Toad
02-18-2012, 07:52 PM
Not that I'm thinking it's needed, but it's nice to know the best guy for our transmission is here in town, LOL.

99slpws6
02-18-2012, 08:09 PM
I say have your teacher rebuild it,if he is as good as you say he is. These transmissions are very easy to rebuild and are not very complex inside, buy the parts and save some time and hassel.

Sadden
02-19-2012, 12:17 AM
I would definately trust Dave over at TEP over anyone off of the street , he has diagnosed / rebuilt / repaired more of these transmissions than anyone else that i know of. I have spoke with him and im here to tell you hes good shit. My dad says so too and hes a liscened 20+year GM Mechanic specialising in transmissions.
Unless your planning on making 700+ horse than neither of those upgrades are really neccassary (I think we need to start thinking about them at 400whp , but dont quote me there)

gxp-miller-gxp
02-19-2012, 01:00 AM
tep can make the best product in the world but when their service is suck ass and takes 3-5 months for a damn transmission people will not do business with them

WhiteGXP313
02-19-2012, 08:13 AM
Your friend has no idea about why these trannys fail.

In my time on this site, I've seen ZERO chain failures and I think two input shaft failures, with one of them being on an 11 second turbo car. Neither of those things will prevent or cure the TCC problems, or the rev-and-clunk, which are the most common problems.

Your friend is merely guessing without knowing all the facts, and it's possible that even his teacher may be misinformed. Our trannys have some unique issues, and many longtime tranny builders have no idea what ails ours. I once had a trans guy claiming 30 years experience tell me that Dave's info was "bullshit". When I asked him how many LS4-spec 4T65-HDs he built, he said "none, but they're all the same". Dude lost all credibility with me right then and there.

Beware of what they guy down the street says, because this is a lot of money to just roll the dice on a non-expert's advice.

On TEPs site it says that the 2 weakest points are the Chain and the Input shaft and my friend was just agreeing with that. Im always in for a second opinion when it comes to anything so ill take some advice from a teacher.
I emailed dave a few months back and he said that he wouldnt even be able to send me out a whole new tranny for atleast 6-8 months....he would just send me the parts and i would have to get them installed somewhere so im just trying to save a little coin here and just buy whats needed.

Hawkins04
02-19-2012, 08:21 AM
6-8 months wtf?

fubar569
02-19-2012, 10:07 AM
6-8 months wtf?

yeah. exactly my thoughts.

WhiteGXP313
02-19-2012, 10:39 AM
6-8 months wtf?

Because he didnt have a core on hand and they "dont really offer transmission cores for the ls4s anymore" But he did say they get them from time to time but if I were to send him my trans they "usually have the 2-3 week turnaround depending on schedule which varys a bit week to week". From a few posts i seen on here people say he takes his sweet ole time, but they swear by his work when hes done.

fubar569
02-19-2012, 10:50 AM
a core is the only way i could see doing a TEP transmission. mine is pulling DD duties right now so i can't afford the downtime of "2 to 3 weeks" let alone a "6 to 8 month" wait. if that is the case i'll play russian roulette with the locals...as much as i don't want to...

my only hope is for this thing to blow up before september so i can at least get a fresh serta from GM and install the good parts from there. it should minimize the cost somewhat.

Sadden
02-19-2012, 11:18 AM
Buy the parts off of dave , and shop around till you find someone you trust.
But call or email dave , and ask him what you need to meet your power goals.

LS1 Racing
02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Because he didnt have a core on hand and they "dont really offer transmission cores for the ls4s anymore" But he did say they get them from time to time but if I were to send him my trans they "usually have the 2-3 week turnaround depending on schedule which varys a bit week to week". From a few posts i seen on here people say he takes his sweet ole time, but they swear by his work when hes done.

It's not that he takes his "sweet old time", but the fact he's swamped with work. He also builds other transmissions, not just ours, and that's a big part of his business. He doesn't have anyone else doing the trans work, only him. I guess that's how he ensures quality.

As for the LS4 cores, he told me that they're getting more and more expensive, and many of the ones he sees are trashed and unusable. In the future, he'll be focusing more on selling the parts for our trannys and providing the tech support to builders using these parts on how to do them right.

And that's probably the future...Buy the parts from him and have a trusted shop do the assembly. This is how I did it, and Dave was always only a phone call away when my shop had questions.

Hawkins04
02-19-2012, 04:13 PM
Ok what is so different about our trans compared to say a gtp trans?

LS1 Racing
02-19-2012, 05:23 PM
Ok what is so different about our trans compared to say a gtp trans?

LS4-spec 4T65-HD has a hardened geartrain, specific input shaft, altered valve body, and some other changes that supposedly enhance durability for use with a V8.

Hawkins04
02-19-2012, 05:49 PM
Oh so we couldn't send dave a gtp trans and have him do it for a gxp then

LS1 Racing
02-19-2012, 05:52 PM
Oh so we couldn't send dave a gtp trans and have him do it for a gxp then

Nope...Two different animals, and there's no place to mount the starter on a GTP 4T65.

MC06SS
02-21-2012, 10:56 AM
Im not trying to bash him or anything i just think $3000 for a built trans is a little much. Ill trust the teacher since he works for GM and teaches about transmissions. Plus everyone says that it takes like 3-5 months for TEP to send a new trans out and since my car is a DD i cant wait that long.

$3K for the TEP?????? what options are included in this unit, I thought they were cheaper than that... If so I better save a few more $$$$ cause at 61K I know it is coming sooner than later

montecarlo29
02-17-2014, 04:22 PM
Hey there,
I bought an 06 monte ss a few years ago that already had the cartuning turbo kit on it. After a couple of trannys from a local builder I bought the chain set and input shaft with reluctor wheel from cartuning performance and paid through the nose for it only to have to tear it apart as the bolts that hold the reluctor wheel to the input shaft broke . After the builder put it back together as told by cartuning performance (Loctite or tack the bolts ) it wasn't long before it grenaded and broke the $500 300m input shaft that cartuning sold me. Not real impressed with the parts and service there. I really need to find the best tranny for the money or sell the monte . Besides TEP who builds a transmission for this beast that lasts over 5 thousand KM ?

The_Madcat
02-18-2014, 03:23 PM
Guys, I hate to sound like I am beating the dead horse but you will not find a more knowledgeable 4T65e builder than Dave @ TEP. Period. Dave has no employees, does all the work himself. I took my GXP to him and found him to be very professional and he does a bang up job. He went out of his way to help diagnose a starter issue, with no additional charge.

I would buy the parts from TEP and have your friend install them. It will be much cheaper that way. Just make sure to use the parts Dave recommends, do NOT let someone else tell you "it's not necessary" to install one or more of the upgraded components, Dave is not going to sell you something you do not need.

montecarlo29
02-21-2014, 07:53 PM
Hey there Madcat ,
I really don't know if I want to buy the parts and have somebody else put it together and get in to a pissing match with the supplier and builder again. The last time I bought the parts from cartuning and had a local builder put it together and had to have it fixed once with the end result of an almost bulletproof input shaft breaking all within les than 8 thousand k on 2 rebuilds. This has been rebuilt 4 time in 3 years with over 10 k out of pocket and less than 20k on it . my bad for not doing my homework but now it's down to getting the best tranny possible or getting rid of it ...............Thanks for any help

x11 nut
02-22-2014, 08:22 AM
Montecarlo29,

How hard do you drive your car? Where you racing when it broke? Any neutral drops in there ?? Just trying to get more info - those 300m inputs are pretty tough and normally only the Turbo Fiero guys can break them. If it was put together shitty, that's another story.

I've had one in my built trans in my Turbo GXP for about 9 months now and no problems...

Where you at anyway?

The_Madcat
02-25-2014, 12:10 PM
Hey there Madcat ,
I really don't know if I want to buy the parts and have somebody else put it together and get in to a pissing match with the supplier and builder again. The last time I bought the parts from cartuning and had a local builder put it together and had to have it fixed once with the end result of an almost bulletproof input shaft breaking all within les than 8 thousand k on 2 rebuilds. This has been rebuilt 4 time in 3 years with over 10 k out of pocket and less than 20k on it . my bad for not doing my homework but now it's down to getting the best tranny possible or getting rid of it ...............Thanks for any help


Not sure what kind of pissing match you would get by giving a guy parts and saying "use all of them, no exceptions". If you are using a mechanic that cannot follow that simple statement, you need a better mechanic...

montecarlo29
02-27-2014, 10:09 AM
hey Madcat ,
I do run the tires off it but not from a dead stop and definitely don't drop it out of neutral. the pissing match was over the reluctor wheel bolts that backed off or broke. The supplier said it was shipped loose and instructed the builder to either Loctite them or tack weld them. The builder said the reluctor wheel came already installed . These little bolts that backed off or broke ended up with it tore apart and laid up once more. Dave has sent me a few emails and certainly does know his stuff. I am just not sure if I want to invest another 4 grand in it. It might just sit on the lawn and become a conversation piece. Kind of a shame , just last winter I put a low mileage motor in it with only 40 thousand kilometers in it and freshened up the turbo only to put about 5 thousand KM on it after the last rebuild. I was going to rebuild the old motor for a little more juice but without a bulletproof tranny I won't even go there ! Looks like somebody might get a cheap Monte ss turbo. Thanks for your input...........Kevin

The_Madcat
02-28-2014, 10:38 AM
No worries, Kevin. I understand the dilemma, I've had the same debate over other cars in the past. I do know that if you were to get a TEP it would be the last one you needed. Good luck, hate to see another LS4 owner go through this even though I know it is inevitable with our factory hardware.

PhantaZm
03-27-2014, 04:33 AM
I'm going through my third major trans failure in 2.5 yrs, all since boosting the GXP. First was all stock, clutches burned up; second had a TEP rebuild kit but pump seal failure and subsequent bleed out; and third is total loss of forward and reverse movement, no bleed out. I'm currently in the long and expensive process of getting it back on the road again.

So I found out that a couple of infamous GM Racing 1" chains might be available, but for $2000 & $2500 respectively lol

Also found out from here there is a company in Florida that makes a "bullet proof" half-shaft, but only up to a 2003 GTP wa womp

Trying to see if a TEP-built trans will fare any better this time around, rather than getting TEP upgrade parts and having it rebuilt by local trusted builders.

91parkave
03-27-2014, 08:20 AM
I'm going through my third major trans failure in 2.5 yrs, all since boosting the GXP. First was all stock, clutches burned up; second had a TEP rebuild kit but pump seal failure and subsequent bleed out; and third is total loss of forward and reverse movement, no bleed out. I'm currently in the long and expensive process of getting it back on the road again.

So I found out that a couple of infamous GM Racing 1" chains might be available, but for $2000 & $2500 respectively lol

Also found out from here there is a company in Florida that makes a "bullet proof" half-shaft, but only up to a 2003 GTP wa womp

Trying to see if a TEP-built trans will fare any better this time around, rather than getting TEP upgrade parts and having it rebuilt by local trusted builders.
Are you referring to the input shaft? You'll shear them regardless if you launch with slicks the wrong way. If you find a gm aeromet ecotec one that is the only bulletproof one however there's some machine work involved as well.

dezldave961
03-27-2014, 05:04 PM
I'm going through my third major trans failure in 2.5 yrs, all since boosting the GXP. First was all stock, clutches burned up; second had a TEP rebuild kit but pump seal failure and subsequent bleed out; and third is total loss of forward and reverse movement, no bleed out. I'm currently in the long and expensive process of getting it back on the road again.

So I found out that a couple of infamous GM Racing 1" chains might be available, but for $2000 & $2500 respectively lol

Also found out from here there is a company in Florida that makes a "bullet proof" half-shaft, but only up to a 2003 GTP wa womp

Trying to see if a TEP-built trans will fare any better this time around, rather than getting TEP upgrade parts and having it rebuilt by local trusted builders.

You should dig through what alot of the old s/c and turbo 3800 guys put together to take alot more power than what any LS4 has been built to do. I've personally parts-hunted/installed a trans for a turbo '04 Regal that ran full-weight 11.4 with 126mph traps, and has put 30-40k on it since '09 without issue. (upgrades: GMR 1" chain set, GMR Torsen w/ Dynotech-recommended mods, blue plates, Intense I/S, ZZP P/S, Transgo/DIY shift kit)

Look up the long-winded Whipple GTP build that Paul (PRJ) is doing with JonBob on the ClubGP forum. Somewhere in there is a ton of info on the custom tranny work, if you want to see the maximum level you could take it. The SFPH axles aren't worth the cost of buying 5-10 lightly used OEM axles (of which, you may need to keep 1 of each side as an insurance spare). Most 8-11sec W-body's have run stockers for this purpose, as the cause of failure to OEM's has caused the same rate of failure on SFPH axles.

Triple Edge, ZZP, and others still have majority of what has been proven to last available to buy... although the 4t65e configuration has some Achilles heels that aren't avoidable, and putting double-stock hp+ into them just invites an issue at some point. I played this game 10yrs ago with thousands of others, and didn't have the wallet desire to go beyond a 350whp setup on my DD that'd require the $3k tranny upgrades. It's stopping me from the itch to mod the GXP beyond minimal now, and pointing my limited time/effort towards a RWD LS-powered toy later.

707chance
03-27-2014, 08:39 PM
I had a upgraded TEP transmission installed when I was upgrading my car. While on the dyno the car was down shifted from 3td to 2nd at 128 mph, the dyno rpm recorder was set at 9050 rpms and the car shot right through that. Engine damage but the transmission held. How do I know that? We removed the transmission and the TC and had it inspected.

dezldave961
03-29-2014, 01:18 PM
I had a upgraded TEP transmission installed when I was upgrading my car. While on the dyno the car was down shifted from 3td to 2nd at 128 mph, the dyno rpm recorder was set at 9050 rpms and the car shot right through that. Engine damage but the transmission held. How do I know that? We removed the transmission and the TC and had it inspected.

Wow, that bites. My only dyno scares were less wild. Hitting 165mph on the rollers 2x before dyno guy decided 2nd gear was a better choice than him wanting to use 1:1 3rd with 2.93's. He didn't want his dyno spinning that fast, and I didn't want my GTP's drivetrain (trans, axles, bearings, tires) spinning that fast. Numbers didn't change on next runs (getting baseline #'s for header swap... 24-25whp from ebay version of SLP's).

As mentioned, the parts and correct building techniques are out there, but treating the pedal right in various conditions has just as much of an impact on the longevity. Being more selective with when/how you decide to pull launches, or going WOT during a roll is always going to give your trans the best chance at lasting as long as possible, barring random failures or overall wear.