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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And unfortunately is out of warranty. I purchased the trans spring of 2009 and had it installed shortly after. Paid $2,200 for their level 2 with 9.5" 3K RPM Stall and trans cooler. I drove the car about 500 miles on a bolt on factory internal LT1 car with tops 300hp to the wheels. The car then was in a fender bender (light damage to the front right part of bumper and fender) and sat for a year with only an occasional trip around the block. The times I drove it the trans felt great and had no issues. I finally scrounged together the funds to dump into the body work for the car and began driving it more regularly again.

I began driving it occasionally on the weekends in nice weather. Put another probably 2K miles on it in 2011. Last year I did put some decent miles on it driving it daily to and from work another 4K or so. November of 2012 I was on my way to work and all of the sudden I noticed when trying to pass on the highway the car did not pull the way it usually did. Felt like it was hitting a wall and wouldn't go anywhere. Now keep in mind when the trans was running correctly it felt AWESOME. I loved the way it shifted and it felt very "crisp". When I got to work I popped the hood, pulled the trans dip stick and the fluid was completely black! I had changed the fluid/filter summer of 2012 and the fluid was perfect. I contacted Performabuilt and was told to change the Pressure Control Solenoid.

I then took my car to my shop, put her on the lift and dropped the trans pan. Tons of clutch material in the pan.. Pulled the trans out and opened it up to find lots of fried clutches. Everything else looked good to my eyes. I replaced the clutches cleaned old debris, looked for broken hard parts and anything else that looked amiss. Didn't see anything.. I'm not trans guy but I decided to give mine a shot. Put everything back together and put trans in car and its worse... S&*T.. I'm really sour with the situation. I do not want to ship my trans back to Performabuilt for their so called 600HP level 2 rebuild. I'm kind of torn on what to do. I've heard FLT is the end all be all of 4l60's but I don't want to spend 2K + for another (shipped to me trans) that I cant easily return for warranty work if need be. I wish I had driven the car more in the warranty period it would have probably broken and I would have had some recourse.

So should I drop the cash on an FLT,RPM,CPT trans or say screw it and pop in a t56 with a nice clutch and not worry about killing transmissions anymore? A stock rebuild on a t56 is pretty straight forward as is the swap and would be more than adequate for my bolt on 300hp LT1 car. Thoughts?
 

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To bad about your trans, what kind of input did you get from your
Trans guy that could have caused the problem with the clutches?
I have a level 3 FLT trans in my 96 Roadmaster wagon,I have had the
trans in for about 5k miles with no problems. I would say that I am pleased
with Chucks work to this point. Why not return the trans to the shop that
origionally built it for a diagnosis,I think that would be an important piece
of information. Even though its out of warrenty most companies will
treat you properly. Weather you believe it or not, these specialty
companies live or die on their reputations so they want to make good
on their work. If you decide to return it ,please keep the guys on the
website ,in the loop,now you have all of wondering about our trans clutches! ed :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I pulled the trans apart myself and found the burned clutches. Everything else looks fine honestly. I'm thinking maybe the servo was leaking and cause the 2nd and 3rd clutches to burn up. I wish I knew more but I don't/. Just trying to replace parts I can see that are worn (which was clutches only at first sight) but I obviously missed something because it's not driving properly.. I don't feel comfortable spending the cash to ship back to Performabuilt and end up another $1,000 light in my pocket and on the back of a tow truck in another 7-10K Miles...

I may be completely off base and wrong in assuming this but honestly there are countless threads on nightmare stories from folks who have bought their Transmissions from Perfomabuilt. I can't believe for a second that this many people are dissatisfied and it's not Performabuilts fault. Maybe their build quality has improved since I bought my trans in from them in 2009.. On the other hand I feel jipped, burned, ripped off etc. and i'm not the only one..
 

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Well if thats the case,where there are several people that are not satisfied with Performabuilt boxes then, go to Finish Line. I was really
grasping at straws when my trans went bad,I must have talked with
4 to 5 trans rebuilders before I choose FLT. Their was no special reason
that I choose FLT, everyone was very accomidating on the phone, so it was a coin toss and so I went with FLT. ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They've got some great reviews from a vast vast majority of the threads i've read. I'm starting to lean towards swapping for a t56 as much as I don't want to. Just feel like they're more reliable and considerably cheaper in the long run. Def a lot more simple than the 4l60's
 

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Yes, I would say a manual trans is much more reliable than an auto,but
alot of our automatic transmissions go 100k plus miles. On the other
side of the coin,a standard trans is good as long as you have the
proper components,flywheel,clutch and pressure plate installed in
your ride. From what I have seen flywheels ,clutches and pressure
plates can cost a bunch. If you are going manual dont cheap out on
the other parts. Another plus is that a manual trans will give you
better fuel economy. ed
 

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There are many variable that could cause this issue including some vehicle related issues such as a failed or dirty or over oil air filter or an inaccurate Maff due to oil contamination among other things even a filter becoming clogged (we do ask that it be changed at 1000 miles) However after replacing the clutches and finding nothing else wrong and assuming replacement of the Pressure solenoid as I said could be many things even vehicle related which sounds possible even probable since this was sudden and nothing mechanical was found, Many are not aware that pressure is controlled by the PCM and affected by a range of things TPS, MAF and other variables any of which can cause low line and of course with low line clutches particularly the 3-4 clutch will burn up very quickly within miles actually of course this in and of itself will restrict the filter and cause even more damage.
We have the longest warranty in the business and we offer the best restore deal in the business 995 which includes all parts and labor and give a who new warranty and shipping one way. No one can touch that out there. I do not feel its entirely fair to trash us over a trans that by your own statement was great for 7000 miles then suddenly this happened and in particular a trans from 2009 when we don't even know why or what happened as mentioned could be a host of things ranging from yes a trans problem to a vehicle control issue.
The servo is very unlikely as its was a new billet piece and is really just a chunk of aluminum with a Teflon ring on it unless your saying the Teflon ring was bad rolled or damaged in some way that would not be the cause.
If all shifts are soft then its a pressure control issue either solenoid as i told you on the phone or a vehicle related issue. Provided the trans was assembled properly you can actually verify that the trans can do a pressure rise (if indeed you replaced the solenoid I mentioned) by simply using a gauge in the pressure port with the harness unplugged from trans and the engine running you should see about 200 PSI give or take depending on the adjustment to the solenoid again provided was changed If you do see this high line unplugged but cannot duplicate it with harness plugged in gunning to full throttle the you have a control issue with the vehicle. You will of course need to turn off vehicle and clear codes before doing the plugged in test. Sine we did not get to see the unit I cant really say much more except we are IMO a very fair company and in fact would have done the restore to the unit which considering its from 2009 almost 4 years ago and 2 years out of warranty I think was and is very reasonable.
Frank at PerformaBuilt
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think a 300HP bolt on LT1 killing a $2200 Trans that's rated for 600hp in 7K miles is reasonable at all. There are ZERO codes in the computer and nothing else is amiss. The problem is with the Trans itself and nothing more. I understand that a lot goes into building a transmission and things can and will go wrong. Yes, my situation is/was unfortunate that the car sat for so long but none the less you sold me a $2200 transmission that wasn't what you claimed it to be. Several other you've sold a Trans to have been through the same thing. Explain why on earth I should be comftorbale with spending yet another thousand dollars with you?
 

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So should I drop the cash on an FLT,RPM,CPT trans or say screw it and pop in a t56 with a nice clutch and not worry about killing transmissions anymore? A stock rebuild on a t56 is pretty straight forward as is the swap and would be more than adequate for my bolt on 300hp LT1 car. Thoughts?
You definitely shouldn't need some fancy "600 hp" build for a near stock LT1. It sounds like you just need somebody to properly build your 4L60E. It is a transmission that few people know how to do correctly from front to back - including the tuning of it...

Which clutches were burnt when you had it apart? You say that you lost 2nd gear. That would indicate a band issue. What servos were used in the initial build?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
2nd and 3rd clutches were toast. Not sure which Servos performabuilt lists on their stage 2 build but whatever it is that's what I paid for. In no way am I expecting to get anything out of Performabuilt since I'm way out of warranty due to time not mileage. Just making sure others know about my experience. And if you're considering their products please do yourself a favor and google them before purchasing.. LOTS of others in the same boat I'm in today.
 

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Since I have been building transmissions for about 25 years, and I own my own transmission/performance shop, I think I'll just continue to build my own... :lol:

I was just curious as to what you found burned up. There is no 2nd gear "clutch" in a 4L60E. Second gear is created by engaging the band, which holds the rear sun gear stationary, overdriving first gear - which is obviously already in operation at that point.

The clutch that you, most likely, saw burned up was the 3-4 clutch. This is a very, VERY common failure in the 4L60E and, quite honestly, where many transmission "builders" run into trouble. A proper 3-4 stackup, with the proper parts and hardware is extremely important, but the hydraulics that control and actuate the 3-4 are equally important. Knowing what to look for and install, as well as having the proper tools to do so is what makes or breaks the setup...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm obviously not that versed in Trans rebuilds which is why I thought I would leave it to the "professionals".. 2nd and 3rd gear were gone.. What I assumed was the 2nd and 3rd clutches was actually the 3-4 clutch pack like you stated I'm sure. Just figured I'd pull her apart myself and try and learn something. I'm going to pull it back apart and see what I can do... At this point ill keep trying till I figure it out..
 

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Here's my way of looking at it. If a customer only has 7000 miles on a trans I built and it toasted the 3-4s, I'd fix it. The freaking car wasn't even running for the largest majority of the warranty. All I'm going to say is, you're not alone in this complaint. I see or hear about it several times a week.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know. And that's what upsets me the most. If my transmission was just a freak occurrence and I hadn't recently read about so many other people in the same situation as I am I would accept it as being bad luck for me. But seeing that there are several unhappy customers on the F-Bod forums and the GM truck forums ticks me off to no end.
 

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LT1553; If what you are saying is true,that is ,about the many problems at Performabuilt ,then at least this would be the way I would feel about it
if it were my shop. We know Frank @ PB trans is listening,so this is his
opportunity to " make good " on a transmission that he's rebuilt.
Everyone continues to learn, perhaps ,just perhaps he may have stacked
the clutch pack incorrectly or something else. But this is a chance to help you Mr LT1553 and his business. Lets see what happens. ed :poke:
 

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While I do feel for your issue like i said its been near 4 years as you stated, Regardless of stated millage how many years should we in your opinion warranty trans for ? We use a strict time 1 or 2 year warranty. Or what if we offer mileage lets say 12000 miles or even 20000 miles and on the flip side as we do have a few customers who do you drove 30000 miles in a year, The the argument would be it should have lasted longer? Kinda a no win really. We IMO build a Great Product and we have literally 1000s out there to prove it as of this month we crossed 3000 units since 2005 and yes as with anything we have a small number of people we were unable to make happy not for lack of trying. And as always they will be very vocal but in comparison to the whole they are a tiny number and that I am proud to say considering some of the cars and trucks we build transmissions for and the abuse they take.
I cant say what happened with your trans could be many things however as you said it worked Great for 7000 miles then suddenly this happened. 7000 miles and a sudden failure would not point to builder error IMO perhaps a parts failure or electrical failure.
On another note having no codes does not mean there is no problem its simply means no hard fault with a sensor being out of its total operating range, Like I mentioned the MAF this is actually a service bulletin send out by GM not me and it will set no codes but will once it happens burn the trans up quickly in particular the 3-4 clutch could fail in matter of a few miles in that situation.
I think our 995 restore is fair and certainly better than anything anyone else offers out there a more typical refresh runs 250 to 350 plus shipping and parts which is in effect a blank check , In addition most refresh do not come with a whole new warranty but typically reading 60 to 90 days.
I am not sure how much more we could do short of offering a well literal forever warranty with no defined limits to be honest .
I am sorry you are not happy and had a failure we may or may not ever know what happened or why, In the case of the trans going from working great to slipping literally overnight I would say if its a mechanical failure it would have to be something very very obvious and was sudden and not a running long term failure over time as would be the case with Hydraulics issues in the trans (small leaks etc) and I stand by the possibility of outside causes to since pressure shift timing everything is controlled by the PCM , The fact that you replaced the burned clutches and still have soft shifts in all gears would point to a pressure problem and a problem that did not exist for the first 7000 miles.
The restore option is still open to you even though usually once a unit has been opened and repaired by someone else its not, But I will make exception as I would be very curious to see what I can see that actually was the cause if trans internal. In addition before you pull the unit I would indeed do the pressure test I mentioned above as it could very well answer many questions and help to narrow down the true reason for the issue.
Frank
 

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If you can find a way to get your trans to me, I'll fix it for nothing. I hate seeing people get taken advantage of and BSed.

Frank
 

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Hmm Frank Polite and professional as always I see , Anyway I think my offer is fair , And good to know You Stand behind your units forever for free Frank Ill remember that.
 

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If you can find a way to get your trans to me, I'll fix it for nothing. I hate seeing people get taken advantage of and BSed.

Frank
Way to go, Frank... After thinking about this thread last night, I was literally going to post the same thing! These kinds of stories drive me insane...
 
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