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2005 ESV
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78 Posts
Dang, that is a bummer. Another week, at best. You had me on the edge of my seat for the first few posts, and now the plot thickens. At least you'll be having the master builder do it and do it right. Nothing sucks more than having someone who's supposed to know what they're doing wind up doing a shoddy job.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Dang, that is a bummer. Another week, at best. You had me on the edge of my seat for the first few posts, and now the plot thickens. At least you'll be having the master builder do it and do it right. Nothing sucks more than having someone who's supposed to know what they're doing wind up doing a shoddy job.
So true. The good news is that the rebuild did seem to increase the tranny performance at WOT, but it did have some issues with light throttle inputs that progressively got worst the more I drove until 3rd just gave out. I glad that the transmission was able to drive at all when 3rd gave out unlike before and that it happened on my way from work.

The builder ask me how far did I drive it which was about 50miles and he made note that I do put miles on my Caddy; so he knows that any issues will be discovered fairly quickly based on my driving habits. I also told him i have a heavy foot so any issues will be noticed right away in which he agreed.

I believe the owner was hoping that I did not drive the Caddy too hard or very far so that I would not stress the transmission anytime soon. Hell, I peeled out the parking lot; so the owner should have known i would be back soon if the work was subpar in which it was.

Hopefully it get sorted this next week.
 

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2004 ESV
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I believe there is a short break-in period for rebuilt transmissions. I'm glad Mr Transmission is taking care of you. But it seems like the organization as a whole hasn't changed much. Sounds similar to my parent's experience a few decades ago.

For future transmission woes, or even general maintenance, look up Landmark Transmission in Roswell, GA. I know they will be a drive for you, but they are a fantastic business the 2 times I've been there.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
I believe there is a short break-in period for rebuilt transmissions. I'm glad Mr Transmission is taking care of you. But it seems like the organization as a whole hasn't changed much. Sounds similar to my parent's experience a few decades ago.

For future transmission woes, or even general maintenance, look up Landmark Transmission in Roswell, GA. I know they will be a drive for you, but they are a fantastic business the 2 times I've been there.
Thank you. I may give Landmark a try in the future if needed. Hope not anytime soon.

I believe that a well built transmission should be good to go for normal use without a customer break-in. I did not torque brake the engine, just pressed the gas pedal as normal. The transmission should work in WOT and normal throttle conditions, heck I should be able to tow if need be. The builder at Mr. Transmission stated that he does a range of test before giving the rebuild a seal of approval including WOT runs which covers the break-in period.

However, I agree that my local Mr. transmission have not impressed me so far; so I will go another route for transmission work in the future for sure. The owner should have waited until the build expert sorted out my Caddy before pushing it to me not properly tested and flawed.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #26
I got my Caddy back and it seems to drive perfect so far. However, time will tell if the shop did a proper tranny rebuild. So far so good.

I wished that I could take pictures of the internals to show everyone what the rebuild parts look like, but I do not even know what my transmission internals looks like. So hopefully the shop did what they promised. I hate being forced to trust someone to do a job without being able to verify I got what I paid for.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Update: The rebuilt transmission is still going strong after putting more miles on it. It seems to shift better the more I drive it, so the adaptive shift logic is learning my diving pattern and is adapting well.

I will swap out the aftermarket cooler i purchased a while ago because it seem to not be cooling very well(about 210F after an hour of driving) even before the transmission failure. I found a more stock looking cooler with a larger opening between the fins which hopefully does a better job cooling than the unit I have now. The aftermarket unit I have now does have more smaller cooler fins which is suppose to be more surface area overall, but I will just go back to a unit with less number of fins with a larger opening for proper airflow to get thru.

I hope this aftermarket cooler is not what killed my old transmission because everything worked fine until I swapped it in. The old stock cooler developed a leaky crack so I had to replace it.


CSF brand cooler; not an exact fit for the Caddy but it kinda works yet runs a bit hot for my taste compared to the stock cooler. Cooling fins are too small and tightly packed compared to the stock cooler.
 

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2004 ESV
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Was the aftermarket cooler a stock replacement? My OEM one is original, and I don't think I've ever seen more than 195-200 in stop and go, even in the summer.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Was the aftermarket cooler a stock replacement? My OEM one is original, and I don't think I've ever seen more than 195-200 in stop and go, even in the summer.
Same for my old stock cooler; never went over 200F that I noticed.

The aftermarket cooler is for a Silverado 1500 pick-up I believe. I assumed that it would work for my Caddy, but the fins seems too small to get good air flow. Maybe the truck grill allows more airflow than my slotted Caddy grill or the CSF cooler is just crap.
I purchased a 2500 truck cooler by another brand for the Allison transmission that looks like a slight larger stock cooler. Hopefully it fits, seems to have the same mounting holes. It does have larger fins than the cooler I have now. I will find out soon.
 

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2004 ESV
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I forgot about the stock grille on the Escalades. A previous owner installed a mesh grille, so I probably get a little more air flow across the radiator/aux cooler/condenser. This photo also highlights how trashed my bumper is. Wow. Really needs some paint work. Depends on how long I keep the thing.

588789
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
I forgot about the stock grille on the Escalades. A previous owner installed a mesh grille, so I probably get a little more air flow across the radiator/aux cooler/condenser. This photo also highlights how trashed my bumper is. Wow. Really needs some paint work. Depends on how long I keep the thing.

View attachment 588789
I also have a black mesh aftermarket grill that I may use if the temps keep rising above 200F on my commute again tonight. I can live with 210F, however if the temp goes higher than I will swap grills until the new cooler arrive.

However, looking at the stock grill it seems to flow enough air so it may just be a crappy cooler.
 

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2005 Escalade ESV
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41 Posts
That is very impressive. I have had a 96 Suburban and a 05 Escalade and none of the transmission lasted much over 100K. My Escalade is on its 3rd transmission at 208K. ~$2,000 per rebuild a couple of month ago.

Unfortunately I think it just eat its front differential so it my be heading to LKQ.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
That is very impressive. I have had a 96 Suburban and a 05 Escalade and none of the transmission lasted much over 100K. My Escalade is on its 3rd transmission at 208K. ~$2,000 per rebuild a couple of month ago.

Unfortunately I think it just eat its front differential so it my be heading to LKQ.
You are correct. Over 200k on a GM transmission is pretty good I suppose. Hell, over 200k on an automatic transmission from any make is pretty good really.

Hopefully, I can get the rebuilt one to last just as long. I actually believe that the Castrol Dexron VI blended transmission fluid gave the transmission more life. I should have just kept using it instead of going full synthetic Dexron VI.

However, i am beginning to think my aftermarket cooler may have been the issue if it became clogged or reduced the fluid flow which caused the transmission to over heat and burned out the clutches. I should have blew it out with air first before installing to remove any possible debris left over from when it was manufactured.

I will do that with my new cooler before installing it.

Sorry to hear about your front differential. I have been using Royal Purple 75w-90 gear oil in mine for years and is keeping my fingers cross that it keep going with over 220k miles.
 

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2005 ESV
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78 Posts
So glad to hear that you're happy with the transmission work. I would have to agree with you assessment of the cooler as well; those spaces in the grill seem large enough to allow a steak through, let alone ample air. A clogged cooler may have very well been at least a contributing factor in it's demise.

Thanks to all the folks on this forum, I've decided to tackle the transmission maintenance that this thing is desperately needing. 234K miles on it and I'm sure the ATF has never been replaced so it's definitely time for a new filter and fluid in both the transmission and the transfer case.

I just noticed last night that there's an actual transmission temperature gauge on the dash!! <gasp> What can I say, it's my wife's vehicle and my job is to keep it running; not necessarily drive it. :cool: Getting ME from Point A to Point B is what my little Dodge Caliber with a 5-speed is for.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #35
On my drive home this morning from working overnight the transmission temps hit right at 190-200F with mostly light driving for an hour. Yesterday, I was gunning the the throttle and testing out the acceleration on the way home on the same route including stop and go traffic. Probably why the temps climbed a bit over 200F.

I will still swap out the cooler to be safe. I want my transmision fluid temps to max out at about 190F with hard driving like with my old stock trans cooler.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
So glad to hear that you're happy with the transmission work. I would have to agree with you assessment of the cooler as well; those spaces in the grill seem large enough to allow a steak through, let alone ample air. A clogged cooler may have very well been at least a contributing factor in it's demise.

Thanks to all the folks on this forum, I've decided to tackle the transmission maintenance that this thing is desperately needing. 234K miles on it and I'm sure the ATF has never been replaced so it's definitely time for a new filter and fluid in both the transmission and the transfer case.

I just noticed last night that there's an actual transmission temperature gauge on the dash!! <gasp> What can I say, it's my wife's vehicle and my job is to keep it running; not necessarily drive it. :cool: Getting ME from Point A to Point B is what my little Dodge Caliber with a 5-speed is for.
I agree with you. My transmission ran cooler with the stock cooler and never had any issues. However, it could also just been time for my transmission to fail as well due to age and it may just be a coincidence that I swapped coolers just before it failed.

The full synthetic AC/Delco transmission fluid I used could have cleaned out old clutch material in the old fluid which caused my transmission to slip and burn up as well. Old fluid is sometimes the only thing keeping an older transmission from failing since the old fluid has the all the old clutch material floating in it.

I will just use a regular Dexron VI blend for now on; no more full synthetic transmission fluid for this old remade transmission.
 

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2005 ESV
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Old fluid is sometimes is the only thing keeping an older transmission from failing since the old fluid has the all the old clutch material floating in it.
Interesting prospect, almost makes me want to reconsider my plan to replace the fluid/filter in the pan as well as flush out the old fluid from the cooler.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #38
Interesting prospect, almost makes me want to reconsider my plan to replace the fluid/filter in the pan as well as flush out the old fluid from the cooler.
Perform at your own risk. However, i would use a Dexron VI transmission fluid with increase additives for older transmissions to hopefully replace some of the friction material that will be lost over time from old clutch wear.

Castrol older Dexron VI fluid was a blend which worked well in my transmission for years due to having a great additive pack that improved shifting, now it seems that Castrol have gone full synthetic Dexron VI fluid with an improved additive pack. I may still use it for my drain and fills since the old additive pack worked great in my transmission.

I only went full synthetic Dexron VI because I assumed that full synthetic transmission fluid would be better and plus it was from AC/Delco so it was OEM. I should have stuck with the Castrol fluid it seems.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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Discussion Starter #39
Good news. My baby seems to be back in top running shape with the rebuilt transmission. The temps seems to max out about 200F with normal driving after an hour including stop and go traffic. The aftermarket cooler i have is doing a poor job of keeping the transmission cool in normal driving especially when pulling hills. I hate to see what happens if i tow with it. So I will swap it out when the new cooler arrive.

I will also do a Corvette servo swap to extend the life of the transmission by removing the slipping soft 2nd shift. Yes; it is a smooth shift, but I rather firm it up and prolong the life of the transmission since a firmer shift reduces the slipping which cause more wear overtime.

All and all the transmission is working perfectly now. Only two things need to be tweaked to make it perfect; Corvette servo and better aftermarket transmission cooler.
 
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