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brown transmission fluid

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by rusty79, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    looking at buying a 91 k5 that has 193,000 miles on it and to my knowledge has never had a motor/trans rebuild done. everything feels tight strong and there is virtually rust free. But the transmission fluid is brown, it doesnt smell burnt but definatly does not look right. there was no whining from the transmission that i could tell untill i got on it and when the motor wound out in 2nd gear there was a bit of whining (could have just been gear noise). Everything felt great though it shifted just right and in the right place very little slop. Any advice change the fluid leave it? i put 100$ deposit down on the truck so if i walk i lose it. this is 1 of 2 k-5's in my area for 2000 or under. the other one is in way worse shape. any advice cheap ways to get a new/rebuilt 700r4 to swap if it goes? any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Take it to a tranny shop to look at before purchase . Reputable seller should agree .
     
  3. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    problem is the distance between me and the truck its a 45 min drive just to get to it and i dont know of any tranny shops local to them, so i dont think that will be an option. any idea how much a rebuild will cost if i pull it out of the truck?
     
  4. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

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    if ure worried about it take it in-then again could be an additive or just old oil or old oil with additive in it to make run better. if ure looking at a good tranny though, i would choose something with a few less miles on it
     
  5. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    ive looked this is the only k-5 even remotly local to me with under 200000 miles the ones with rebuilds are way out of my price range. 4000+ which is double what im looking to spend the truck feels tight its just one of those thinks i always heard dark fluid was a death sentence for a transmission overall the truck is in fantastic shape for the price basically it needs paint and a radio.
     
  6. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

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    in that case i say go for it, new tranny is still cheaper then. but i say it will still give u some life. autos normally dont just go kaput without symptoms
     
  7. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    If it does not smell burnt it is probably just old and needs to be serviced. Did you test drive it or did you just run through the gear selector?

    Ira
     
  8. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    usually they will wine and shift sloppy but this thing feels tight and solid im buying from a dealership so it may have been rebuilt and they just dont know but the motor in that thing is strong as hell for stock. i smoked the 33's that are on it on accident going around a corner. :eek1: i normally drive a '02 z28 so im used to having some power to :)
     
  9. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

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    sounds good :waytogo:
     
  10. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    Mine was brown when I bought it and I changed the fluid out and it has been 3 years now. It has 173,000 miles on it and still shifts great. If you change the fluid and filter you should be fine.

    Ira
     
  11. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    ne of my first orders of business is a tranny cooler anyway anyone know where to get a good deal on one? only rare towing mostly street driven 50/50 intown highway
     
  12. walla2k5

    walla2k5 1/2 ton status

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    If you're happy with the rest of the rig,I'd say go ahead and buy it.You can always rebuild the tranny later if you have to...
     
  13. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    trying to find an earlier chevy without rust around here is impossible and the only rust on this truck is on the hood its a nice change of pace from my old trucks which used rust holes as a/c. so a tight body with decent interior for that price is a find so im pretty happy with it.
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Take a whiff!

    The fluid might be brown from being old and unchanged--I'd take a whiff,if it smells like burnt popcorn,the tranny has been overheated at least once,and some damage may have been done..if it smells like fresh dextron 2 does,I'd not worry about it..its a toss up whether changing the fluid on a neglected high mileage tranny is a good idea...some say the new fluid will lossen up sludge and send it thru the tranny,killing it eventually...others say it would have croaked anyway!..

    I'd pull the pan,and change the filter right away if you do buy it,and add a cooler too..if your really brave,you could have it "flushed" at a Jiffy Lube or similar place--but I've seen more trannys fail after a "flush" than from just having the filter changed and 4 fresh qts. added..

    If trucks are hard to come by in your area that are rust free,and this one is,I'd buy it if the price was reasonable...I'd much rather put a tranny in a rust free truck,than to have to weld a rotbox back together anyday!. :crazy:
     
  15. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If it's just dirty/dark without smelling burnt it's not a big deal. Just change the normal 5 quarts and filter a couple times... about 3,000 miles apart. That'll bring in new fluid slowly and get all the contaminants out without eating the friction material off. I've done this to many 700R4s.
     
  16. rusty79

    rusty79 1/2 ton status

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    i think ill go ahead and do that the fluid didnt smell burnt and there was no grit in the fluid like youd expect ill prolly just change the fluid a few times and add a cooler as suggested anybody know the normal lifespan before these die 300000 or more possible?
     
  17. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If it lasts more than 100k it means it has either been babied or well-maintained. I've seen some go well in excess of 200k but it was either a miracle or it was well-maintained. The one in my daily driver has 115k on it now (55k mine) and has never been babied but I have taken good care of it. At WOT I get a little slip going into third gear but that's about it.
     
  18. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

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    ive pulled 315,000 out of one. have many times seen 200,000. all depends on driver and maintenance
     
  19. anjieandjohn

    anjieandjohn Registered Member

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    I have an 85 w/ 700R4 and it has 225,000 miles on it and still shifts fine. I just changed the fluid/filter because it was looking a little dirty. It was changed just before I bought the truck in August 04 for $800 and will do it again right before summer time to make sure all the old fluid is cycling out since I havent really driven to many miles since I bought it (around 15K). I replaced the fluid with Max life fluid due to the number of miles on the tranny. I know it isnt going to last forever but I need to take care of it while it does run and shift well.
     
  20. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    I would agree if it doesnt smell burnt its probably OK.
    I dont agree with not flushing all the fluid. I know some say new fluid will break up sludge and kill it but if its that bad already, how long is running it on contaminated, old broken down lube going to prolong it? I dont like the Jiffy Lube type of flush since they use a pressure system. Its very easy to flush it yourself. If you just change the filter and pan you just contaminate 1/4 new fluid with 2/3's old fluid. Yes, performing several changes and you'll get most of it but unless you have a drain plug in your pan its a messy job.

    Go to Costco and get a case of Chevron ATF for about $13, change the filter and add new fluid to the pan plus 1-2 quarts, disconnect the return line to the tranny and direct it into a big bucket, start and let it idle for about 3-4 seconds, shut it off and add a few quarts to the pan and repeat until the new fluid starts coming out into the bucket, reconnect and top off and you should be good to go for another 25K (thats the intervals I change all my vehicle trans at)
     

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