2002 Silverado 5.3L 8cyl

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Own a 2002 Chevy Silverado with approximately 211,000 and recently have been noticing a hard clunk when truck shifts to next gear. No engine light or transmission or engine light codes are present. I drove it to the transmission shop where I previously had it rebuilt thinking that it might be a solenoid. The tranny shop owner took it for a drive and called me up to tell me that there was nothing wrong with the transmission. I told him and described the symptom and that it happens randomly and usually right after slowing down from a 45 minute or longer trip. I continued to tell him that as you slow down to a complete stop and then proceed to accelerate my truck shifts really hard(clunk sound) into the next gear. The shop owner then asked me if he could drive it home to see if anything would happen. He lived 40 minutes away from his shop. I agreed and then he took it to his home. The next day he called me at around noon and he told me that the truck was ready to pick up. I asked if he noticed the hard shift clunk and he said that he noticed that after driving for more than 30 minutes he did. He then said that it had something to do with the splines and was not going to charge me. My wife then went to pick up the truck and brought home the receipt that indicated that they had checked the transmission and there was nothing wrong. The receipt also read "Drive Shaft repair, work not under warranty. Repaired in good faith at no charge to customer". It continued to read, "Note vehicle needs drive shaft work. All labor to remove drive shaft, lube yolk and reinstall drive shaft at no charge". So today, to my surprise, the hard shift clunk is back. My transmission warranty was for 3 years or 36,000 miles. I already put in 23,000 miles in less than one year. I'm worried that my warranty will expire and then I will be stuck with a tranny issue. Please advise Do I have a transmission issue? Do I have a drive shaft issue? What should I do now, should I take it to a different mechanic for a second opinion? Please advise
 
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I would think a worn driveshaft or the splines would clunk all the time not after a long drive , sounds more like tranny issue.
 

RMM

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Probably not a driveshaft issue. Does it clunk between the 3rd-->2nd gear downshift and 2nd-->3rd upshift under light load? How hard of a clunk are we talking? Does the truck shudder or is it mostly the sound?
 

Gito

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Only when taking off from a stop and going into the next gear(1st to 2nd). Again, It happens just before the next gear when taking off from a stop. Not sure about shudder, its more like a hard clunk shift. After that it runs well until you get to another stop and start over.
 
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I have a 99 4x4 silverado extended cab with a 5.3. Mine makes the same noise. With mine it's not the tranny,it's the rear end. It happens sometimes doesn't matter if its hot or cold. Mine has 260000 on the truck,no rebuilds on anything. I bought the truck with 30000 on it. And it made that sound since I bought it,and it has caused no reliability or running issues at all. I did find that when I swapped gear fluid and went with red line in the pumpkin the clunk was lessened. If you think it's the tranny then I suggest trying a fluid swap and see if it helps. Other than that its basically a waiting game.
 

RMM

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Then it's not the typical 4l60e clunk. Not sure what it is but it isn't normal! I've dealt with several dead or dying 4L60E's ...
 

Gito

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I don't want to use the word "clunk" but thats the best word to describe that harsh shift into the gear. This shifting clunk noise and feeling started about 3 weeks ago. I have observed excess oil residue(sweat) around the oil pan, above the oil pan and surrounding area. Not sure if the excess oil residue was an indicator about 3 months ago of what was to happen and what we are dealing with now. I never had 1 oil(engine oil) drop from this truck until about 3 months ago. No other shifting issues observed. No codes light up. No engine light
 
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Search "Silverado slip yoke clunk" on Google and you'll get plenty of hits. A clunk on takeoff seems to be a common problem, but I don't know if that's what you have. It looks like greasing the yoke was one solution, and GM finally released a redesigned yoke for '99-2003 models. Some people claim they fixed it by sticking a rubber ball into the yoke.
 
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Clean the slip yoke on the rear shaft, and lube with Teflon grease, or whatever lube is specced. Eliminate that as a possible cause before spending time trying to diag another noise source.
 
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GM and splines did not get along too well in that era. Intermediate Steering Shafts and the driveline were under par for some reason causing looseness and clunks. The first fix was re-greasing them and that lessened the noise for a few weeks to a few months. Then a new grease was specified and that didn't work well, either. GM issued 2 or 3 revised steering shafts and the jury is still out whether it was solved. Later, when the drive line clunk got ugly, they issued a new nickle plated yoke for the drive shaft. It's not cheap and some folks still get the noise. Many have resorted to hacking or modding Zerk fittings into the shafts to make re-greasing easier but they are asking for trouble as greasing these slip shafts in place makes them act like a hydraulic jack, putting pressure at the slip joints and putting the whole line in compression - risking steering column damage or shooting grease into the tranny. The noise and slop comes back when grease oozes past the splines and the pressure is relieved. The small hollow rubber ball in the yoke trick also puts the driveline in compression without the grease in the tranny issue. Since that also takes a bit of slack out of the pinion gear and the tranny output shaft the noise is further reduced or eliminated but I don't know what long term effect that could have on the bearings. For my steering shaft issue I used a Dorman replacement that uses the old school Double D shaft instead of splines. Steering clunk is gone but that style has more play in it. I modified it to remove the play and have been fine for years. As for my drive line clunk, I tried re-greasing the yoke and it lasted about a week. I have over 200k miles on all original parts and figure it's allowed to make some noise if it wants to. How long ago did the tranny shop re-grease the splines?
 

Gito

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Well I had the tranny rebuilt with these guys last year in July 2012 when the truck had approximately 184,000. I don't know if they greased anything back then. The tranny shop says its time to get my drive shaft repaired and continues to say that the transmission is fine. I will repeat that its a hard shift just before or right at 2nd gear. You can feel the hit or shift when entering 2nd gear so your instinct says its the transmission. The truck continues to shift properly and no abnormal noises or movements that include shuddering or shakes are observed. I want to say that maybe, and thats a big maybe, the hard shift is not experienced when taking off slowly from a stop. I feel like the hit is more noticeable when coming to a last minute quick stop and then immediately accelerating between 1st and 2nd and a 2nd gear being the gear where the clunk or hard shift is felt(experienced). If you read my first description, the tranny shop owner stated that he did also experience the hard shift like clunk but again reassured me that it was not the tranny and instead was something related to the splines. After my visit last week with the tranny shop, my receipt was handed to me an it read: "Drive Shaft repair, work not under warranty. Repaired in good faith at no charge to customer". It continued to read, "Note vehicle needs drive shaft work. All labor to remove drive shaft, lube yolk and reinstall drive shaft at no charge". I will call the tranny shop owner on Monday to let him know that the problem is back..I'm still not clear on what he really did and what he noticed and why he stated my drive shaft still needs work..
 
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Gito

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Replaced 3 U- joints and center bearing on Tuesday. Wednesday evening, after coming to a complete stop and then making a right turn the clunk or hard shift was observed when going into the next gear. What can it be? could my drive shaft be out of balance? Where should I look next?
 
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