: Possible BIG transmission problem

06-29-06, 11:29 PM
Had the transmission drained, flushed and refilled - per the factory manual - at an independent shop that has, in the past, been excellent in every way.

Then, on my way to the Cadillac dealer in Torrington, CT, (to get new wiper arms and instrument cluster repair) I noticed that the transmisson began to shudder between shifts . . .EVERY SHIFT! Not just the 3 to OD, but 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and so on.

The car didn't do it all the time, but every now and then, along the winding and hilly CT route 4, with speed limits varying wildly from 25 to 55 and anything in between, the trans didn't like it at all even though I pulled the lever down into 3rd to keep it from going into OD.

Question: What color is Dexron III ?
I know Dex II is red since that's the stuff I got all over me whenever I filled the sterndrives on my boat and it looked like I just slashed my wrists. The dipstick on my FWB looks clear and is right up to the full mark.

Any ideas?

Does it sound like I'm about to dip into the bank account for about 3 large?

06-29-06, 11:53 PM
Transmissions are not to be flushed according to the FSM. Drop pan, drain fluid, change filter and reinstall pan. That's it.

AFAIK Dexron III is red like II.

As for shudder issues, check ignition first, 90% of the time ignition issues are interpreted as transmission issues. Don't rush into a trans shop, the'll sell you a trans rebuild with no problem.... Check out the ignition first.

06-30-06, 03:17 PM
The 4L60E is very expensive, but not three large.
For just under two large you can get a Level 3 tranny build from one of the most respectable tranny builders (even FLP), including shipping to your door.
Level 3 trannys are good up to 600HP or 1000HP or something ridiculous.
www.teamtripp.com has a good record for quality builds, also.

Dex III Tranny fluid is pink in color but can be clear when heated up. I would suspect the flush dislodged some crud and caused a clog somewhere. Hope this all works out for you and your wallet.

06-30-06, 07:32 PM
Are there any metal bits in the fluid?

How many miles were on the car when you flushed the fluid? Did you know when it was last flushed?

You are talking around $1800-$2K installed for a nice quality transmission from these guys:

If I were you, I would take it back to the shop and have them drop the pan and see if there are any metal shavings. Also, are you getting a check engine light? It could be a Torque Converter solenoid.


07-01-06, 09:48 AM
Here we go:
1 - No check engine light.
2 - No metal bits in pan (Thank God!!!!:worship: )
3 - Fluid color was tending - just barely - to brownish, thus my interest in getting the trans drained and having the whole magilla flushed as well.
That last bit was per the manual which showed the "special tool" used to flush the cooling radiator used in FWBs.
Car had 91k when I got it and I have no idea if was ever flushed before. But I doubt it.
The shop I use (West Hill Automotive in Newington, CT) has been unbelieveably good in the past. Everybody is either ASE with a couple of the guys GM certified. I left them the Cadillac FSM.
4 - The "Clear" trans fluid I saw after the flush on the stick was actually reddish DexIII when I put enuff of it on a white Kleenex. I went back to West Hill and grilled them as well as had them drive the car.
As you'd expect, the Caddy did it JUST ONCE (!) on the 1-2 shift and only barely perceptible. (!@#$%^&^%$#@) Just like training your dog. When you want to show it off it won't do it!
So, as N1 said, I popped for new plugs, may get new wires, etc., if necessary, if there is any further chattering between gears.
5 - No lights lit and I haven't scanned for codes.
6 - My concern is a few weeks down the road when the car will be towing the PopUp camper. Sure, the Caddy weighs more than twice what the PopUp weighs, but it's still extra strain on everything and I want to ensure that all is up to snuff before setting out for the places Gini and I have invites to. (Delaware, Michigan, Wisconsin, maybe even her bro in CA)

The Ape Man
07-01-06, 09:51 AM
There is a factory additive available for those transmissions. Maybe yours had some and it was lost during the fluid change. I don't know if it will help your problem though. Have your favorite shop check for TSBs on the subject.

07-01-06, 10:20 AM
ApeMan -
Wow! Never heard of the stuff. Thanks for the advice. Will ask the dealer next week when I get my reman {cheaper at $350 than new $850} instrument cluster installed. (Trans indicator wire from lever to indicator snapped. I've been going by detent feel but don't want wife to drive like that)

07-02-06, 04:03 PM
Transmissions are not to be flushed according to the FSM. Drop pan, drain fluid, change filter and reinstall pan. That's it.

AFAIK Dexron III is red like II.

As for shudder issues, check ignition first, 90% of the time ignition issues are interpreted as transmission issues. Don't rush into a trans shop, the'll sell you a trans rebuild with no problem.... Check out the ignition first.

I second every last bit of what N0DIH said^^

Remember from now on--NEVER, EVER "FLUSH"!

Drop pan, drain, new filter, and new fluid and that's it. You start forcefully "cleaning" anything inside a transmission that's been used and put under load for 11 years and almost 100k miles and you're just asking for trouble.

07-03-06, 09:48 PM
I prolly stepped right in it. However, my FSM for the 95 FWB says, on pg. 0B-4:
. . .change both the fluid and filter every 83,000 km (50,000 mi) if used under one of the following conditions listed below. Use DEXRON (R) III fluid, GM P?N 12346143. Refer to SECTION 7A for procedure.
A. In heavy traffic where outside temperature regularly readhes 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).
B. In hilly or mountainous terrain.
C. When doing frequent trailer towing.
D. Uses such as high performance operation.
If vehicle is not used under any of these conditions, the fluid and filter does not require changing.

Therefore, I believe no change would be necessary and I would have to fully agree with the no change theory. However, as I originally noted, the fluid was browinish. After the change, I had to put more than one drop on a Kleenex to see that it was anything OTHERr than clear AND WAS ACTUALLY THE RED DEXRON.

The car came from the DFW area (Owner lived in Waxahatchee, TX according to the title) where temps often exceed 100 degrees F and the car had 91k on the odometer.

But your point is well taken and we'll see what happens in the coming months as we trailer the PopUp.

Thanks, truly, for the advice and concern.

07-06-06, 11:20 AM
Violating the old rule about changing ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME, it is interesting to note that after the plug change, after the fluid change, the transmission shifts so smooth it's like oil poured over my shaved head :)

You can barely hear it but can't feel it at all and all shifts are positive.

So IGNITION has a BUNCH to do with the action of the trans as N1 said.

07-09-06, 02:52 AM
yes change the fluid and filter not powerflush like they use at valvoline.... sounds to me like it could be a torque convertor. I had a 4L80E that did that intermitant shudder and a t/c fixed it in my case. My local tranny builder also build t/c's and showed me what the inside looks like when bad. Mine had a crack internally apparently and didn't have the proper fluid pressure.

07-09-06, 10:19 PM

Would the converter cause the shudder in the 1-2 shift?
I thought it would only do that in the 3-4, or 3-OD shift.

Right now, the car is shifting 'jes fine as Grundoon used to say (as those old enuff to remember the old Pogo Possum comic strips).

07-10-06, 07:13 AM
hmmmmm Now that I think about it, don't think it would do it on the 1-2. Same as a caprice tranny and I have had 6 of those done in my time 1 recently. never had a bad 1-2 shift though. paid between $1100 to $1800 installed 4L60E. Sorry I cant be of more help

07-11-06, 07:58 PM
And while you're at it, if you have to remove the pan - you might consider installing a drain valve in the pan. Makes it alot easier if you have to remove the pan again.

Just food for thought.