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LS4 Transmission Problem Thread (4T65-HD); Current Total Inside

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LS4 Transmission Problem Thread (4T65-HD); Current Total Inside

 
Old 01-04-2011, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JP07GXP View Post
I had a shudder down shifting into first with the paddles. I used Lucas oil tranny additive and I don't know if it just stopped on its own or if the additive helped out. I just got a shift kit from ZZP and I wanna throw it in but I'm now wondering if thats a good idea. I'm thinking I should just leave well enough alone. I am also gonna grab a cooler before too long and throw that on too. Any thoughts on that?
I should add the tranny was fine this whole summer.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:35 AM
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You can add me to the list of tranny problems.

I have TC oscillations, the clunk when leaving first and the occasional hard shift.

Getting a built trans next month before this pos leaves me stranded.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:44 AM
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I would also be curious to see what kind of modifications if any the cars with failed transmissions have. I am also curious as to the driving style. There could be a lot of factors such as previous owner, was it a rental? etc.

If the failure rate is 9% on bone stock cars, I would expect to see a class action lawsuit by now; however the true data for such a thing could be hidden because most of the LS4 cars are still under warranty. Therefore the public is not up in arms because it cost people with warranty nothing.

Was it the Saturn ion back in 2001 or so that had those transmissions that technically didn't have a set number of speeds? It used some cone shaped drums. They failed miserably so GM gave extended warranties and immediately stopped using the transmission. Of course who is to say the reliability problems of the LS4/4t65E-HD combo didn't help persuade the discontinuation of the LS4 in new cars.

I see this poll as a good start, however shouldn't be used as nothing more than an FYI unless there is some supporting data such as why, how and when. I don't doubt for a second the transmission being the weak link and GM knows about it.

Regardless, I see this thread as a great idea. Nice work!

Oh, knock on wood I'm at 56k and still on the original transmission.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JP07GXP View Post
I had a shudder down shifting into first with the paddles. I used Lucas oil tranny additive and I don't know if it just stopped on its own or if the additive helped out. I just got a shift kit from ZZP and I wanna throw it in but I'm now wondering if thats a good idea. I'm thinking I should just leave well enough alone. I am also gonna grab a cooler before too long and throw that on too. Any thoughts on that?
I saw your posts and put you on the original list. I'm certainly not a transmission expert, but I wouldn't put a shift kit in a transmission that is showing or has shown issues in the past, even if they have stopped for the time-being. You might want PM Count of Monte Carlo or Mgpeagle, as they're more up on trans issues than I am.

Originally Posted by DieselPump View Post
You can add me to the list of tranny problems.

I have TC oscillations, the clunk when leaving first and the occasional hard shift.

Getting a built trans next month before this pos leaves me stranded.
Added!

Originally Posted by RKO View Post
I would also be curious to see what kind of modifications if any the cars with failed transmissions have. I am also curious as to the driving style. There could be a lot of factors such as previous owner, was it a rental? etc.

If the failure rate is 9% on bone stock cars, I would expect to see a class action lawsuit by now; however the true data for such a thing could be hidden because most of the LS4 cars are still under warranty. Therefore the public is not up in arms because it cost people with warranty nothing.

Was it the Saturn ion back in 2001 or so that had those transmissions that technically didn't have a set number of speeds? It used some cone shaped drums. They failed miserably so GM gave extended warranties and immediately stopped using the transmission. Of course who is to say the reliability problems of the LS4/4t65E-HD combo didn't help persuade the discontinuation of the LS4 in new cars.

I see this poll as a good start, however shouldn't be used as nothing more than an FYI unless there is some supporting data such as why, how and when. I don't doubt for a second the transmission being the weak link and GM knows about it.

Regardless, I see this thread as a great idea. Nice work!

Oh, knock on wood I'm at 56k and still on the original transmission.
Thanks for your input, you make some very good points.

Mileage, driving style, prior history, and mods were all beyond the scope of what I was trying to capture. The reason was that many members didn't indicate in their posts that specific information, and it would have taken me a lot longer to research through their other previous posts to figure it out, if it exists at all. And while some members did indicate some of this info, I didn't capture it because it wouldn't have mattered statistically. At some point, though, I do want to go back and see the GXP/SS/Super breakdown to determine if the TapShift-equipped GXP was more troublesome than the others. Also, it may be possible to get mileage, and I'll investigate that..

Just based on my experience here in looking at all of the posts, the average member's car on this site has one or two bolt-on mods and/or a tune, and many are completely stock. I know of only one prior rental (bdyman), and driving style ranges from easy (Mels SS, my wife) to severe (AlabamaGuy, JP_GXP). From what I've seen over the past couple of years, trans failures have little to do with maintenance or driving style. I've also spoken at length with Dave @ TEP and he's explained why these transmissions fail. Basically, it was cost-cutting during the push to market with the LS4 drivetrain, as well as some engineering decisions to improve the smoothness of the transmission, that also had the side-effect of making them more likely to fail.

Anyway, I hope expand the scope of this survey, as you've suggested, but it's just going to take time.

And for the record, I agree. GM does know about these problems, as the service writer at my dealer has told me. And since there are only 40,000 or so of these cars out there, GM isn't going to be doing anything about it. They warranty the repair when they're responsible for it, and typically wash their hands when they're not. It's a shame that the Saturn mentality didn't trickle down to the other divisions, as was hoped way back in 1991 when it launched.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:42 AM
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I know is a difficult battle but has someone consider some kind of action towards GM? This is something big, IMO. We f-body owners complain of the roof top paint bubbles but this is way more involved attacking the core of the vehicle mechanical aspect.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:05 PM
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Really? My driving style is "severe"?








Ok that's probably an accurate assessment.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AlabamaGuy View Post
Really? My driving style is "severe"?
Ok that's probably an accurate assessment.
I have proof.

And so do you.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:37 PM
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Yeah I'm glad you didn't take me wrong, the leg work you put in just by searching the posts is work enough.

I know GM eventually did something for the bad paint (white and blue as far as I know) for the first Gen W's when it would all flake away for up to six or so years. There was a class action lawsuit they lost for the first Gen W rear brakes too. The original owner of my old Lumina received around $210 in reimbursment. I even think they coughed up some money for the intake manifold gaskets for the 3400 v6 that was very prone to failure. Thing is, as it was said before, nothing compared to 3k for a transmission. Although I doubt it cost the company 3k for the rebuild and labor... probably an $1100 job they charge 3k for.

I must say I'm paranoid right now, I have my trans cooler ready for spring and (doubt it'll help much) upgraded pan magnets I read about in a previous thread.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RKO View Post
Yeah I'm glad you didn't take me wrong, the leg work you put in just by searching the posts is work enough.

I know GM eventually did something for the bad paint (white and blue as far as I know) for the first Gen W's when it would all flake away for up to six or so years. There was a class action lawsuit they lost for the first Gen W rear brakes too. The original owner of my old Lumina received around $210 in reimbursment. I even think they coughed up some money for the intake manifold gaskets for the 3400 v6 that was very prone to failure. Thing is, as it was said before, nothing compared to 3k for a transmission. Although I doubt it cost the company 3k for the rebuild and labor... probably an $1100 job they charge 3k for.

I must say I'm paranoid right now, I have my trans cooler ready for spring and (doubt it'll help much) upgraded pan magnets I read about in a previous thread.
You know, that paint probably wasn't just with W-bodies. I had a brand new '88 Beretta GT in dark blue metallic that began shedding paint on all upward-facing surfaces 6 months after I bought it. The dealer painted it under warranty with no questions asked. Supposedly, the primer they used didn't grip the paint very well at all. Funny thing is, to this day, you still see certain GM cars (GM-10, as the W-bodies were know as then, as well as N-bodies, L-bodied Berettas and Corsicsas, etc.) from that era.

And you're probably right about GM's cost on R&R for the transmission. From what I understand, the LS4 variant of the 4T65-HD sold as SERTA is basically used parts-bin hardware with new soft parts. Sometimes, you don't even get the hardened LS4 geartrain that the cars came with from the factory.

As for your transmission, a cooler is always good, no matter the application. It probably won't prevent most of the issues that are documented here, but it could extend the life of the trans if you don't have any of the common problems.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LS1 Racing View Post
From what I understand, the LS4 variant of the 4T65-HD sold as SERTA is basically used parts-bin hardware with new soft parts. Sometimes, you don't even get the hardened LS4 geartrain that the cars came with from the factory.
now WHY you gotta tell me that?!?!??!!


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Old 01-04-2011, 02:04 PM
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add me to the list, I got a serta unit in the car after the transmission started bouncing RPM's going into tcc lockup, then lost all gears. 93,000 miles. not sure if the previous owner had any issues with it.

Last edited by boeman; 01-04-2011 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 06MonteSS View Post
now WHY you gotta tell me that?!?!??!!


I did tell you that...Right before you got the SERA trans!

Originally Posted by boeman View Post
add me to the list, I got a serta unit in the car after the transmission started bouncing RPM's going into tcc lockup, then lost all gears. 93,000 miles. not sure if the previous owner had any issues with it.
You were on the list from the beginning!
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LS1 Racing View Post
I know of only one prior rental (bdyman)
Ok ok, now I understand.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:50 PM
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For the record, mine was a rental with ~10k on it when I bought it. The first trans went due to a faulty TCM, I kept beating it even though it was malfunctioning, the flush didn't help either. This factory rebuilt worried me a little bit, but it's perfectly fine.

There are 80K+ LS4 powered vehicles on the road.

And you can take gxp-miller off that list, there is nothing wrong with his transmission. How many other names are on there that shouldn't be? You have single-handedly ruined this forum for me, just so you know. I've put up with a lot of flack about my car and you're the one to run me off. Congratulations, I'm gone like Mike.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:40 PM
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add me to the list, my tranny is in the shoping being built as we speak. I guess i blew out the drum. ohh well **** happens right, at least it gave me an excuse to build the tranny. this guy builds the trannys for my sk modifieds, so hes gonna beef it up for me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JP_GXP View Post
For the record, mine was a rental with ~10k on it when I bought it. The first trans went due to a faulty TCM, I kept beating it even though it was malfunctioning, the flush didn't help either. This factory rebuilt worried me a little bit, but it's perfectly fine.

There are 80K+ LS4 powered vehicles on the road.

And you can take gxp-miller off that list, there is nothing wrong with his transmission. How many other names are on there that shouldn't be? You have single-handedly ruined this forum for me, just so you know. I've put up with a lot of flack about my car and you're the one to run me off. Congratulations, I'm gone like Mike.
A little too much reality, ehh JP?

It's all about you, isn't it? This whole thread and all of the time researching this stuff was done with the sole intent of running you off. This is probably the greatest display of internet narcissism I've ever seen. Unbelievable.

For the record:
  • You are correct about production numbers's. Based on your post on 4/16/2010, there were just under 85,000 LS4 cars built during the run. I stand corrected.
  • Didn't know you weren't smart enough to ease up on your car when you knew it had a problem. That's YOUR problem, not mine.
  • gxp-miller-gxp's issue was taken directly from a post of his. He has chimed in on this thread and did not dispute his inclusion on the list. If he asks to be removed, I will do it.
  • The list of impacted members included names so doubters like you could back check to ensure that I'm didn't make any errors. I can assure you that every single one of them indicated in a post and/or thread that they experienced a problem related with their transmission. If you don't believe that, then you're welcome to look at each members profile and view posts by them, searching for transmission issues. I did the hard work for you by identifying them. Better yet, why not PM them and ask personally?

As for me running you off, I can honestly tell you that I'll lose no sleep over it. This project is intended as a "How bad is it?" exercise, and I had no idea what the results would be. I can assure you that it was not directed at anyone and certainly not intended to run anyone off. I can now see that you're very insecure about your car, as your last paragraph bears that out. It's kinda foolish to feel that way because in the end, it's just a car. Your inability to accept the reality of these trans issues does not mean that those who don't agree are out to get you. Seriously.

If you're so thin-skinned that a survey thread can "run you off", then I would argue that you probably shouldn't be posting here anyway.

Not to be harsh, but as they say, "Don't let the door hit you on the ***..."

Last edited by LS1 Racing; 01-05-2011 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dapope1 View Post
add me to the list, my tranny is in the shoping being built as we speak. I guess i blew out the drum. ohh well **** happens right, at least it gave me an excuse to build the tranny. this guy builds the trannys for my sk modifieds, so hes gonna beef it up for me.
You were on the original list, based on one of your posts.

Let us know how the rebuild goes!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:28 PM
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I think the direction and point of the thread may be misleading. What's meant for informative purposes could be taken as negativity toward the platform.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:42 PM
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to make it 100k on a trans and act like its an achievement..... is sad!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AlabamaGuy View Post
I think the direction and point of the thread may be misleading. What's meant for informative purposes could be taken as negativity toward the platform.
PM sent, Travis.
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