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Back with a tranny Q

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by MICHIGAN BLAZER, Jan 9, 2001.

  1. MICHIGAN BLAZER

    MICHIGAN BLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    I haven't been on this forum in close to 6 months.....but this lost sheep has found it's way home again! Just in time to post a question.
    I guess I'll fill you in a little....I lost 3rd & 4th gear in my 700. It never gave me any indication that it was gonna go(never slipped or gave me ANY problems at all.....but it does have 168,000 miles on it...so I've gotten over it crappin' out on me) I was gonna have a buddy of my husbands look at it and work on it on the side....he would have given me a decent break on the price....he's rebuilt a couple of other things for us.......but he told me he doesn't do auto's......just manuals. So now I'm stuck wondering what to do.
    Oh yeah, did I mention I really don't have the money to take it to a shop. Sooo, I've been tossing around the idea of crackin' it open my self and taking a peek. I've heard two completely different things. Some guys have said that 700's are easy to tear down & rebuild....just kinda tedious, and other guys have said no way....too complicated & hard...bring it to a shop. Time isn't an issue, I've got another truck I've been driving for 2 weeks now. My hubby's not too crazy about the idea of crackin' her open.....but he said he'd think about it if he could get his hands on the tools and manuals for me. I mean i could buy a used one for around $200 out of the paper.....but I really don't want to have to worry about doing this again. I'd just like to have mine rebuilt so i know what I've got.

    So I guess my question is......am I a complete idiot for thinking about rebuilding this myself?? Hubby and I have basic backyard mechanical knowledge & common sense...and i have a REAL desire to save myself a whole bunch of loot. I've searched back through the forum reading a lot of post about tranny's and the 700 in particular....I learned a lot.....not enough unfortunately to help me make this decision. What it comes down to is either i tear it down myself......or......It'll probably take me until spring to save up enough money to get it rebuilt. Any replys would be helpful to me. thanx as always.

    <font color=red>MICHIGAN BLAZER
    <font color=green>89 Fullsize Blazer
    87 Cherokee
    65 IH Scout
     
  2. flcpl4fn

    flcpl4fn 1/2 ton status

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    i had my 700r4 rebuilt about 8 months ago by a shop for $375, of course i had to take it out and reinstall it. you may want to ask around at the shops new you and see what they will do it for.

    '85 Jimmy in Jax, Fl
     
  3. BlazerBoy

    BlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome back... Anyways, I rebuilt my 700 for the first time a couple months ago. I knew nothing about it but had a friend who had a little experiance and was able to get the special tools from his work. It isnt hard to do, actually much more simple than I ever imagined, but if you dont have the special tools you wont get anywhere..... good luck..

    BlazerBoy
    http://generalblueballs.coloradok5.com
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    You ain't got much to lose especially if you have a spare vehicle! Only thing that would suck is getting it in the vehicle and figuring out you did something wrong! If you can get ahold of one, get the rebuild VHS tapes that they have out. The one I got for my 200-4R (another GM OD tranny) was very helpful, some of the steps weren't as easy doing it all by myself, but when I watched the tape, they showed the right way to do it. It really isn't that hard, it is a little long though, and the cleaner your work area, the better.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds links: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck 1/2 ton status

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    Are you the one that made some smart a$$ remarks when I relayed my problem and said that their tranny may be hooched, and you retorted saying you have the same delay going into gear and ohhh, "my tanny must be on it's way out" and what crappy advice it was. If it wasn't you I appologize, and if it was, I'd be a little more supportive or open minded of other people's comments.
    Not to sound like an a$$hole, but that really pi$$ed me off.

    Canuck

    Go Wide or Stay @ Home
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Half of the work is really getting the stupid slushbox in and out of the truck. You can do that yourself for sure, though. Then, a shop should be able to rebuild it for you for a lot less. They'll drop their price at least $300 on the whole job if they don't have to do the pulling on a 4WD.

    That being said, it is possible that the transmission doesn't have to come out to make it work again. The fact that you never got any slipping, but lost some gears implies that it is a hydraulic logic problem. Do the 1-2 and 2-1 shift points seem to come at the right rpm? If not it could be as simple as a TV cable adjustment or replacing the governor. The fact that you have second gear means that the first gear clutch, 2-4 servo and 2-4 band are working. I don't remember for sure, but I think that there is a clutch that is shared for 3rd and 4th. The difference between the two is whether or not the 2-4 band is applied. So that could be the problem, but it might not be with the clutch itself, but with the application.

    If it were mine, I would start flushing the thing out with new fluid until pretty much all of the old crud is out (and believe me, there is a lot). There was a post going around on this yesterday. Then I would drop the pan and remove that valve body to work on it. Be very careful not to loose any check balls or move them around. You will have to break the old gasket apart. What you want to do is take every valve apart ONE AT A TIME and examine all of the springs and parts for damage, clean everything, including the bores in the valve body. Regular spray can brake cleaner works great because it leaves no residue. If you are considering opening and working on the tranny, I highly recommend having a manual, in case anything at all isn't clear. Haynes makes a good one for all GM autos, you should be able to get it at Autozone. Don't even consider doing your first rebuild without a manual. It is likely that the 2-3 apply valve is sticking and this process should free it up. If you wanted, you could look in the manual and only work on the valves that are related to 3rd gear. There is an upshift pressure regulator, a downshift pressure regulator, a 2-3 upshift valve, etc. You will need the gaskets that go on either side of the seperator plate in order to put the tranny back together (and of course the oil pan gasket). If you want to do a shift kit, now is the time and it will come with the right gaskets.

    If cleaning the valve body out doesn't work, then it is probably time for a rebuild. BTW: are you sure that it is shifting from first into second or does it go straight to 3rd? That could be a governor or TV. The governor can be replaced without removing the transmission. Can you shift manually from 1-2-3?

    Before doing anything else, check that the TV cable linkage is adjusted properly.

    <font color=blue>Powered by a Goodwrench 4-bolt longblock [​IMG]
    240hp...for now.</font color=blue>
     
  7. MICHIGAN BLAZER

    MICHIGAN BLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    I tried manually shifting through the gears when it first happened. I can use 1st and 2nd and at about 15mph(on MY speedo....i have 35's) would be around aboust where it shifts to 3rd....instead it goes to neutral. I had to drive it home in 2nd gear....top speed 15mph on my speedo. The only indication i had with the tranny is earlier that day on my way home from work there was a couple seconds where it revved up....like i hit a patch of ice.....and that's what i thought had happened. I took my foot off the gas and everything shifted normally. But like i said i just figured i had hit a patch of ice.....i've done that before on black ice. But I don't even remember if i was in 3rd or overdrive when that happened......roads were crappy & i never thought about it until later that night when i lost my 3rd & 4th. Other than that i've never had it slip once or hesitation or slamming into gear....nothing out of the ordinary. My fluid isn't burnt & didn't see any metal in it....looks normal enough.

    I called around at some shops today and got some guesstamates to rebuild a 700.......mmmm....not good. cheapest so far, with ME taking it out & installing is $700.....I'm sure i can find better but probably nothing under $500. But with these price guesstamates and you guys' feedback I'm really leaning towards doing it myself. I figure it won't hurt any to give it a whirl. I'll give the above mentioned advice a try......anything to avoid those big shop $'s

    Great advice.......thanx everybody

    <font color=red>MICHIGAN BLAZER
    <font color=green>89 Fullsize Blazer
    87 Cherokee
    65 IH Scout
     
  8. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    It goes into nuetral? That's really strange. It means that not only does the tranny not engage the 3-4 clutch, it also lets go of everything else. What I didn't realize before is the you have an ECM in your truck. The shifts are supposed to be controlled by that. You should look and determine if it is a wiring or computer problem. Have you flashed out the trouble codes yet?

    I went through the same thing this summer that you are dealing with now. My torque converter had crapped out, sending chunks of metal back into the oil pump, which broke the rings in the pump, so the pieces chewed big grooves in both sides of the pump casing. I'm actually not sure which one went out first. But anyway, I was getting quoted $1100 and up to rebuild it, which is part of why I decided to do it myself. Everyone I talked to said that I was crazy to even think about it, but I got that Haynes manual and decided that I had a good chance at being able to pull it off. At worst, I reasoned, I could put it back together and take it to a tranny shop. As for special tools, I ended up fabricating about 4 different ones. You're in good shape if you have a friend who works at a transmission shop who can loan you the tools. You probably won't know for sure if you need certain ones until you get to that point. I spent about a 10 hour day taking apart the tranny and cleaning all of the pieces. It is very important to label everything and lay it out in an organized fashion. I had shelves and tables covered with newspapers on which I set each part and labeled it according to it's name in the manual and the step # in which I removed it. I used a B&M Super TransKit for the rebuild which costs about $230 and requires several modifications (some irreversible) to the transmission. The manual for that kit is somewhat hard to follow, so I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the two to make sense out what B&M actually wanted me to do. Their kit seems aimed at someone who has already done rebuilds. It would be much more straightforward to just rebuild it to OE specs. And why not? It lasted 180,000 miles the first time, right? In the end, I ended up have to do modification to portions of the kit completely on my own instincts, since they did not go together as designed.

    The job requires lots of patience, lots of special tools or fabrication of tools, extreme attention to detail and lots of well lit space to lay everything out. It also requires a high degree of mechanical competency. After all, the only tougher job on an automobile is the full engine rebuild. The automatic transmission is actually a lot more complex. Some advice and points to ponder:
    -If you mess it up, a transmission shop will charge you more to make it work right again (or you'll have to buy another one outright).
    -If you take it out and install it and have a shop do the work, you will be required to repeat the process if anything is wrong with the rebuild later on.
    -If you rebuild it yourself, you have nothing to lean on if it never works or if it stops working later on. You're right back where you are right now.
    -Rent a transmission jack.
    -Replace the torque converter. A rebuild is only $100. Why put one back in that could fail at any time and ruin all of your time and money?
    -Flush the tranny cooler before you reattach it to the tranny
    -Add a cooler after the radiator cooler.
    -Make sure the engine is supported before removing the tranny or you can screw up your distributor.
    -There is a reason transmission rebuilding is so expensive. Do it once and you will fully understand.

    Good luck in whatever direction you decide to go. As for myself, I am amazed that these things ever work in the first place [​IMG].

    <font color=blue>Powered by a Goodwrench 4-bolt longblock [​IMG]
    240hp...for now.</font color=blue>
     
  9. MICHIGAN BLAZER

    MICHIGAN BLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    Well, actually i guess i stated it wrong. It doesn't really shift into neutral neutral.........just neutral instead of 3rd(doesn't do anything except rev up) but once I slow out of that gear range it will go back to 2nd......but either way it's all screwed up! Anyway......thanks soooo much for all of that wonderful info Blue......I might head to the parts store and check out one of those manuals tonight after work.....I'll probably pass out after I look @ it. I figure I'll most likely crack it open, unless I can find a heck of a deal somewhere, & might just get too intimidated after opening it & give up before I start. If i don't think I can do it, I doubt I'll tear into it enough to have to have a shop put it back together. But anyways.........thanx.....I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    <font color=red>MICHIGAN BLAZER
    <font color=green>89 Fullsize Blazer
    87 Cherokee
    65 IH Scout
     
  10. moneypit

    moneypit 1/2 ton status

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    Had it happen to me it would hold first hit second then nuetral. It ended up being my governor gear had no teeth left on it Only a $8 part and about a hours labor. Cheapest trans fix I ever had. Good Luck!
     

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