'16 Silverado Transmission woes

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Apr 10, 2016
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A friend bought a '16 Silverado 1500 a year ago - 5.3/auto, double cab, 4x4 - and has been pulling a 33' camper with it extensively since then. (To the tune of about 10K a year, total mileage is more like 25K a year. Camper and cargo total about 7,500 lbs.) He's generally happy with the truck and it's required no undue work before this point, but now at 95k the torque converter has left the scene and, after replacing it, the transmission is on its last legs as well.

If he can do a few upgrades to the truck - especially the trans. - to prevent more major component failures, he'd keep the truck. Fixing its current issues and selling it in favor of a machine less prone to trouble is also an option, but choosing *what* that would be is also a struggle. Doesn't want the higher maintenance/repair liability of a diesel. One of my top recommendations for an alternative would be a clean, low-mileage 6.0/4L80 or 8.1-powered GMT800.

In a nutshell - is there any upgraded (aftermarket, I'm sure) transmissions for this truck that has some of its chronic weak points addressed, that would hold up to this use for quite some time? Any other chronic weak points in the engine, etc. that will rear their heads soon, given the way he's using the truck? TIA.
 
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A 33' camper is a fair load, but I wouldn't expect such a short service life of the trans. Did he ever change the fluid?
 
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We have a 07 GMC Sierra 1500 with a 6.0 engine and with a 4l70E super duty transmission with 120,000 miles and we tow a big wake surf boat with it about 6900 Pounds of weight and the transmission does fine but we do change fluid every 2 years and replace the filter and replaced it with good fluid.
 
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Was the fluid ever changed? If I towed that much with an automatic transmission, I would change the fluid at least once every 10k miles.

I had a chance to tow with a 5.3/6 speed recently and I loved how well it towed. Even with the 3.08 gears.
 

Alex_V

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10K seems pretty excessive, but the fluid was changed at least twice in that 95K.

Ram02, the torque converter shudder/ailure on these boxes is very common.
 
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Sep 20, 2016
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MN
The problem with that trans isn't the internals themselves, its the programming. The torque converter lockup clutch fails and floods the transmission with crap because the programming. The lockup on the torque converter is accomplished by using a pulse width modulated technique which creates a bit of slip in order to create a smooth driving experience.

One of the reasons they are so aggressive with slipping in the torque converter is so you cant feel switching between 4 cylinder mode and 8 cylinder mode.

I think tuning out AFM and programming the transmission to lockup the converter it bit more aggressively would allow everything to last much longer.

The 6L80E is a solid transmission plagued by a questionable torque converter and questionable programming.
 
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Dec 19, 2013
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Fort Worth, Texas
Tman220 summed up the issue pretty well, I can't believe the converter was swapped out without a tear down & inspection of the transmission......That's pretty much standard operating procedure.

I would have a Billet Cover Twin Disc torque converter built, I have my converter builder use THIS kit. Then have the trans rebuilt by a professional transmission mechanic using THIS kit.

Have the AFM turn off in the tune so you can also turn off the PWM TCC Apply.
 
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Feb 23, 2019
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Arlington,TX
Tman220 summed up the issue pretty well, I can't believe the converter was swapped out without a tear down & inspection of the transmission......That's pretty much standard operating procedure.

I would have a Billet Cover Twin Disc torque converter built, I have my converter builder use THIS kit. Then have the trans rebuilt by a professional transmission mechanic using THIS kit.

Have the AFM turn off in the tune so you can also turn off the PWM TCC Apply.
Hi Clinebarger. Is the PWM TCC apply a simple on/off in HP tuners??
 

CKN

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Oct 14, 2014
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That's a lot of camper for a 1/2 ton pickup.

That is a alot of camper for that truck. The sweet spot for those trucks is right around 5,000 pounds. Especially with those kind of towing miles.

I have owned three......
 
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CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
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7,159
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Utah
The problem with that trans isn't the internals themselves, its the programming. The torque converter lockup clutch fails and floods the transmission with crap because the programming. The lockup on the torque converter is accomplished by using a pulse width modulated technique which creates a bit of slip in order to create a smooth driving experience.

One of the reasons they are so aggressive with slipping in the torque converter is so you cant feel switching between 4 cylinder mode and 8 cylinder mode.

I think tuning out AFM and programming the transmission to lockup the converter it bit more aggressively would allow everything to last much longer.

The 6L80E is a solid transmission plagued by a questionable torque converter and questionable programming.

I cannot disagree with this statement. Somebody know their trucks...........

I have the issue where the torque converter doesn't unlock (only sometimes) until the very last minute when stopping-and it results in a sensation like you got "hit from behind". This is a fairly common issues according to the Silverado boards. I am getting ready to take it in for an oil change and will complain but there is no remedy available.
 
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When the torque converter was replaced I would of looked and examined the transmission too to see. From what I understand is these are typical issues with these is the transmission. Don’t know if it’s anything an upgrade could help or not.
 
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