Thinking of a new trans, called some ppl (Long)

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12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
I am starting to seriously think about getting a new transmission in my Buick. It's had harsh shifts for quite some time and the dreaded whine that comes along with max adapt. I didn't get the exact codes last time i had it scanned but it was max adapt and i am sure with the rough mileage it's had the clutches are worn to the max. I can see clutch material in the fluid every time i wipe the dipstick or change the fluid through the fill tube, and it gets black pretty quick. I won't be able to do anything right away so i am checking out my options. I am leaning heavily towards a powersource re manufactured unit, but the cost is substantial, $1699 + i have to pay someone to install it, which not sure but will probably cost around $450 at best. Brown's quoted me $450 for the install. They also rebuild for over the phone estimate of $1400-$1600 depending on if they have to replace any hard parts or electronics. http://www.bestrebuilttransmissions.com/4T65Etarget.htm I haven't taken it to a transmission shop yet, as i am un sure of the quality of the few shops, and haven't had the money for the full rebuild yet. I am pretty sure they will just want to slap a full rebuild no matter what, but i really don't like the short warranties most transmission shops give. Brown's rebuild is the 12mo/12,000 mile standard... The powersource unit has 3 year 100,000 miles. If i do go local i have a couple of options. MR. Tranmission, Pro Tranmission, Brown's Transmission and Complete Auto Repairs are the ones listed around me. Mr. Transmission quoted me $1800-$2400 over the phone, $1800 is the full rebuild + new aftermarket TC only, and it will likely be more expensive he said if needs hard parts or electronics, all with the same 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. The guy did seem pretty confident and was willing to talk about anything i asked although he said he wouldn't install my own transmission since he has in the past and seen the junk autozone puts together in person for remans. The guy at Mr. Transmission said hes been doing it 35 years and seems pretty nice too, obviously said hes rebuilt tons of these transmissions. I asked him if he would install my own provided fluid (Maxlife) and he said he would as long as it wasn't something stupid like Trickshift. He said the difference between the regular fluid and Amsoil is the cost, and if it makes it to 150,000 miles on the original fluid why change anything? He said it would need about 12+ quarts for me if i provided the fluid and he would knock off the cost of his shop dex/merc. Pro tranmission does a full rebuild for $2000-$2300 and he said usually the electronics need to be replaced with a max adapt code and will probably be on the upper end of the $2300 cost, but the warranty is 3 years 36,000 miles. He said the warranty covers everything but neglect of running out of fluid or burning rubber dropping it from neutral. This shop said he uses a DEX-4 w/Lubegard!, i said you use ATF+4 with Lubegard? He said it's a synthetic Dex-3. I said so you use a Dex 6? He said yeah with Lubegard. He said i could provide my own Maxlife and would save a few bucks if i did. He said provide no less than 11 quarts for this job. (Over all Shop fluid knowledge -1 again) Pro transmission also said he could install a myriad of different clutches if i wanted, he said they use OEM, but he could get whatever i wanted for cost, Raybestos, Redline, and named a few others, but recommended the OEM clutches. So i am confused yet again, obviously the local shop Brown's seems enticing, and Pro transmission has the best local warranty, but thought i would ask for opinions and see what the general population has to say about the matter.
 
Messages
356
Location
south haven mi
Many people have installed shift kits in these trans and took care of the long shift problems.Those quotes see kinda high to me.I took mine out and took it to a trans place they charged me 500.00 and I picked it up a week later.Another option would be to buy the parts yourself and then see what they would charge.I would shop around.Rock auto has remans and car-part.com as well even ebay.
 
Messages
186
Location
WI
I agree... this is alot of money to be putting in a car this old, in my opinion.... Either go cheaper, if possible, or used ( some like LKQ parts are 6 mo or 1 yr warranty also) or a different car... I see you are in kentucky, probably not a huge rust concern ? but even to you, fixed... at 2 grand is alot for the rest of the "old car" to go with it... is it really worth it ? (age, mileage, cost, etc ?)
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
In every town there is "the shop". It is easily recognized by the huge amount of cars and trucks around it. Our local trans guy gives a lifetime warranty and is very competitive. All he requires of us is to see the vehicle once a year. I found him by attending a local car meet in a parking lot. Ask around, the hot rodders know...
 
Messages
3,392
Location
Raleigh ,NC
I've been through the same problem with my Buick. I posted on here many times about it. Delayed engagement. Hard shifts very common with the 4T65E. These transmissions need a complete rebuild with upgraded NOT OEM parts. I first tried the shift kit. Did zero. It only masks the problem anyway. I then replaced the PCS. These solenoids are notorious for failing. PITA job that I did over two afternoons. After all this the problem persisted. I spoke to several experienced transmission builders. They all said the valve body was damaged and I needed a rebuild with upgraded parts. They were right. I also spoke to Dave at Triple Edge. He said rebuild. http://www.tripleedgeperformance.com/GM_Standard_Replacement.html That's what I did. It fixed the problem.
 

901Memphis

Thread starter
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
I am aware of the shift kits by transgo and have looked at installing one, but don't think it's going to fix the high mileage issue and old clutches. The transmission has higher mileage than the engine, probably 150k+. I am pretty sure it needs a full rebuild. It's been hard shifting for 2 years and i see clutch material in every fluid change and also when i check the fluid on the dipstick. One of the shops i talked to did say they update the valve body in every re build, i wish i had noted that now i talked to too many people in a short time period. As far as condition goes the car is in pretty good condition paint wise and body wise for its age besides the rocker panel rust and a few places under the car. The rest of the car is okay, but rust is a factor for Kentucky. I think if the transmission were replaced, the rest of the car wouldn't have trouble making it to the 3 year end of warranty mark. I don't have the toolbox to handle big jobs on the car and live in an apartment where i am not allowed to work on the car, so probably not an option to do the work myself. I don't think i can afford a car payment at this time and also don't think i could find a better car for $2000 once the transmission is rebuilt, although i am sure it's possible. http://buickforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3281&d=1355735364 http://buickforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3275&d=1355732982 Those are a couple of year+ older pics, the only thing you can't see is the awful rocker panel rust, the rest of the car is pretty okay for age. Yes i know the lighting is awful.
 

901Memphis

Thread starter
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: bullwinkle
I have a guy on the west side of Cincinnati whose rebuilt several transmissions for me-Michael Crone Transmission on Glenway Ave.-see if he can help you. He's done 3 of mine.
Kinda far away but do you have any more information?
 

901Memphis

Thread starter
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
If anyones wondering i think i have shifted my preference to pro tranmission since they offer the 3 year warranty and similar price to the power source, actually cheaper when you factor in the core charge. I doubt i would do more than 36,000 miles in 3 years anyways. I am not sure how you deal with the core charge or an online ordered transmission, and i doubt they are going to pay for return shipping, which could get costly. I am looking at tax return time to purchase this transmission rebuild, so i have some time to weigh my options on if i can afford a car payment and just drive it til i junk it.
 
Messages
1,092
Location
ohio
call ridge transmission in pleasant ridge. they are family owned and considered the go to place when area independent shops take transmissions out, then deliver them to ridge to rebuild.
 
Last edited:

901Memphis

Thread starter
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: caravanmike
call ridge transmission in pleasant ridge. they are family owned and considered the go to place when area independent shops take transmissions out, then deliver them to ridge to rebuild.
Thanks i will give them a call and see what they have to say.
 
Messages
3,392
Location
Raleigh ,NC
That's what I did. I found a local shop with a solid reputation for rebuilds. I told them exactly what I wanted. Upgraded parts. Sonnax kits etc. I dropped the car off Thursday 7 AM. It was up on the rack before I left. Transmission was on their work bench before lunch. Saturday lunch time I picked the car up. Paid them in $100 bills. I must say the car now drives perfectly. They put Dexron VI and a bottle of lubegard red in the trans. I have to take it back at the 12 month mark for a fluid change.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Quote:
I am not sure how you deal with the core charge or an online ordered transmission
And how would you handle a warranty replacement? If they agreed to replace the transmission, you'd still be out the extra labor cost. A top local shop sounds like the best deal.
 

901Memphis

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Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Ken2
Quote:
I am not sure how you deal with the core charge or an online ordered transmission
And how would you handle a warranty replacement? If they agreed to replace the transmission, you'd still be out the extra labor cost. A top local shop sounds like the best deal.
To my knowledge powersource warrants the transmission through many approved installation shops and pays them for all labor if the warranty work is approved. From what I've read they don't have many issues with their products due to the high standards they practices and parts they use. I haven't read a bad review that wasn't sketchy or just plain neglect like running low on fluid. My original transmission is approximately 150,000 miles. Here is the video of their operation and one of the reasons they are in my top 2 choices. PowerSource Engines and Transmissions: http://youtu.be/qAwTpfGTCp0
 
Messages
5,651
Location
Iowa
Originally Posted By: BurrWinder
I agree... this is alot of money to be putting in a car this old, in my opinion.... Either go cheaper, if possible, or used ( some like LKQ parts are 6 mo or 1 yr warranty also) or a different car... I see you are in kentucky, probably not a huge rust concern ? but even to you, fixed... at 2 grand is alot for the rest of the "old car" to go with it... is it really worth it ? (age, mileage, cost, etc ?)
A lot of money in an old car? What? It's still newer than anything we own. It's also a darn sight cheaper than paying 10-15k for a newer car. Some people get so wrapped up in a car's age and it's perceived value. If it's still in good shape and will only need a transmission to continue further service and keep the owner satisfied then why not? There has to be "value" in NOT spending multiple times more on another car, right? Memphis- I would also recommend checking out an indy shop that installs either Jasper or Certified Transmission products. I have dealt with either of those and they are top notch. Also- you seem mechanically inclined enough, you should consider doing it yourself if you can find/mooch the work space. I've done more of these than I can count on my back using jack stands and floor jack and/or a transmission jack. The list of tools required isn't really that long. As an example, I had a 4T65E out of a Buick Rendezvous out in about an hour- including jacking the car up and placing on stands, supporting the engine, removing the sub frame, the whole nine yards . Granted, I was using a brutal little Snap On 3/8" impact, but you get the idea.
 

901Memphis

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12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
The Indy shop only going to charge 450 to install the power source if I go that route. I'd rather pay that than attempt this myself, it's a bit over my head and comfort zone. I don't have too many other shops close by unless I cross the state line. Pro transmission seems like a good bet to me, but it's $2300...
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
The Indy shop only going to charge 450 to install the power source if I go that route. I'd rather pay that than attempt this myself, it's a bit over my head and comfort zone.
Do they meet your statement--- "To my knowledge powersource warrants the transmission through many approved installation shops " So the Powersource transmission costs $1700 plus $450 to install = $2150 vs. prices close to that at shops where you can meet the guy doing the rebuild. Not enough price difference to jump on the mail order transmission even if that is an "approved" shop. Maybe that is your best option, but not because of price.
 

901Memphis

Thread starter
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Ken2
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
The Indy shop only going to charge 450 to install the power source if I go that route. I'd rather pay that than attempt this myself, it's a bit over my head and comfort zone.
Do they meet your statement--- "To my knowledge powersource warrants the transmission through many approved installation shops " So the Powersource transmission costs $1700 plus $450 to install = $2150 vs. prices close to that at shops where you can meet the guy doing the rebuild. Not enough price difference to jump on the mail order transmission even if that is an "approved" shop. Maybe that is your best option, but not because of price.
They have an 800 number i want to call and ask them a few questions. I much prefer the local shop, but i believe the power source units are built using higher standards than the guy in the shop, since they do so many of them and have excellent QC from what i've read, but if it's going to be a PITA to ship the core back to them or cost a lot i probably won't use power source. Does anyone know what clutches are best to use when rebuilding the 4T65E? I want to ask pro transmission if they can get certain aftermarket clutches if there are better ones than oem.
 

901Memphis

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Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
This is what my dipstick looks like when I wipe it after a few weeks, lots of black junk on the first pass. The second wipe after checking fluid level is in the second picture on the right.
 
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