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  1. #1
    Jr. Engineer
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    Default 2004 Silverado 5.3L... Jerky shifting 1st to 2nd

    Hi all,

    I have owned this truck (2004 Silverado 5.3L Z71) for a year now. Ever since I bought it I have noticed that during a slower acceleration from a stop the shift from first to second gear is somewhat to very jerky at times. If I step on the gas a bit more from a standstill it seems to shift more smoothly.

    I have just ignored it assuming it was normal as I have no real issues with it, other than the worry that it might be damaging something in the long run?

    The previous owner had a 5th wheel in this thing I believe (holes in dash below steering wheel where a brake-assist unit would be mounted, 4 holes in bed liner where 5th wheel would be mounted) and I'm wondering if this jerkyness could be the result of heavy towing or is it just normal as I have assumed?

    It is ONLY when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear, and only when accelerating slowly. As well, if I am driving along slowly say right at 20km/h the engine is reving fairly high (around 2000 RPM) and I can tell that it wants to change gears into 2nd but it hesitates until I go a little faster, and then it jerks forward a bit and voila, second gear.

    Anyway, just wondering - is this a normal "GM" experience or should I be looking at this more closely?

  2. #2

    Default

    Get your computer scanned for codes. There are several trouble codes that trigger high line pressure which results in a harsh 1-2 shift. All the other shifts will feel fine.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmiee View Post
    Get your computer scanned for codes.
    Always wondered... is it worth it to invest in a code scanner so that I always have it, or better to just take it to a shop?
    SEAFOAM, I PUT THAT @#!$ IN EVERYTHING!



    2004 Silverado LS 5.3L Z71 Crew Cab
    260,000+ km

  4. #4
    Jr. Engineer
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    Default

    Well, I haven't had it scanned for codes yet... however I replaced the spark plugs yesterday and now the jerky shifting is GONE. This sort of makes sense I guess, but can anyone explain to me why new spark plugs would make for smoother gear changes?

    I went for a drive today and tried everything; quick acceleration, slow acceleration, driving around the 20km/h range, and nothing. One time coming out of a stop light I could feel it shift form first to 2nd ever so slightly, but many other times there was no way to notice except for the RPM drop!

    Who woulda thought that changing the spark plugs (which I was doing just because I didn't know if it had ever been done before on this truck) would solve this problem. I'll watch it for the next month and see if it comes back, but I'm happy!
    SEAFOAM, I PUT THAT @#!$ IN EVERYTHING!



    2004 Silverado LS 5.3L Z71 Crew Cab
    260,000+ km

  5. #5
    Master Mechanic SupplySgt's Avatar
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    Middle TN, displaced Okie
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Ben View Post
    Always wondered... is it worth it to invest in a code scanner so that I always have it, or better to just take it to a shop?
    I bought a code scanner probably 2 or 3 years ago and it paid for itself several times already. Shops usually charge diagnostic fees just to find out the problem.
    93 Suburban (Southern Slayer): TBI 350, 4L60E
    73 Z28 Camaro: L82, TKO 600

    KJ4CLI



    "...Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back..."

  6. #6
    Jr. Engineer
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SupplySgt View Post
    I bought a code scanner probably 2 or 3 years ago and it paid for itself several times already. Shops usually charge diagnostic fees just to find out the problem.

    Yea I was at the dealership today to pick up a part and I asked out of curiousity what they charge there for a code scanning and he said $59.95 CAD JUST to have the codes scanned... if they had to do extra diagnostic work to find the actual problem that would be extra, and THEN the cost of the replacement part and labour to fix it... Think I'll be gettin me one of those scanners lol


    Can't complain too much though, they gave me my 8 spark plugs at $12.00 each, discounted from the regular $16.80 each.
    SEAFOAM, I PUT THAT @#!$ IN EVERYTHING!



    2004 Silverado LS 5.3L Z71 Crew Cab
    260,000+ km

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Ben View Post
    Well, I haven't had it scanned for codes yet... however I replaced the spark plugs yesterday and now the jerky shifting is GONE. This sort of makes sense I guess, but can anyone explain to me why new spark plugs would make for smoother gear changes?

    I went for a drive today and tried everything; quick acceleration, slow acceleration, driving around the 20km/h range, and nothing. One time coming out of a stop light I could feel it shift form first to 2nd ever so slightly, but many other times there was no way to notice except for the RPM drop!

    Who woulda thought that changing the spark plugs (which I was doing just because I didn't know if it had ever been done before on this truck) would solve this problem. I'll watch it for the next month and see if it comes back, but I'm happy!
    What happens is the PCM will lower the line pressure and it will be fine for a while. Maybe forever if you never take it on a trip down the freeway. On the other hand if you do take it on a trip and I'm sure you will and when you pull off the freeway and it's shifting hard, drive it to Autozone and have them scan it. The check engine light may or may not be on but there will be a code stored.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  8. #8
    Jr. Engineer
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmiee View Post
    What happens is the PCM will lower the line pressure and it will be fine for a while. Maybe forever if you never take it on a trip down the freeway. On the other hand if you do take it on a trip and I'm sure you will and when you pull off the freeway and it's shifting hard, drive it to Autozone and have them scan it. The check engine light may or may not be on but there will be a code stored.

    I'm having a tie-rod replaced at a buddy's shop on Friday. I'm pretty sure he has a code scanner so I'll ask him to do it while I'm there. Thanks for the explanation though! Makes sense.
    SEAFOAM, I PUT THAT @#!$ IN EVERYTHING!



    2004 Silverado LS 5.3L Z71 Crew Cab
    260,000+ km

  9. #9
    Jr. Apprentice z71Hauler's Avatar
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    Homestead, Fl.
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    Default

    My truck does the same hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear. I've also noticed it only does it while cold. Let us know what codes if any you read on the pcm.
    2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 5.3 ext. cab

  10. #10
    Jr. Engineer
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by z71Hauler View Post
    My truck does the same hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear. I've also noticed it only does it while cold. Let us know what codes if any you read on the pcm.
    Mine seemed to be that way when I first got the truck a year ago. However, after a summer of driving I quickly realized, regardless of engine temp, it would do it, sometimes WORSE when the engine was warm.

    The truck still seems to have lost this problem for the most part after changing plugs, as I have only felt the 1-2 shift a couple of times, and it is no where near what it was before. Before changing plugs, I had gotten so used to this jerkiness, that I knew EXACTLY when I reached 20km/h (12 mph) and would anticipate the shift without taking my eyes off the road. Now, for the most part, I am actually unaware that it has gone into second gear and I have to look down to notice I'm well above 20km/h.

    I took it on a highway and got it up to 110 km/h (68 mph) relatively quickly, and then came to a stoplight. Pulled away from the stoplight ever so slowly, and it shifted without any fuss.

    I will be sure to let everyone know what codes are found when I have it scanned on Friday.
    SEAFOAM, I PUT THAT @#!$ IN EVERYTHING!



    2004 Silverado LS 5.3L Z71 Crew Cab
    260,000+ km

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