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  1. #1

    Default Uh Oh!! .... Torque Converter?

    I have a 96 Fullsize 5.7 350 with a 4l60 Transmission, I believe.
    Bone Stock truck.
    Transmission has been shifting flawlessly from the day i've owned it.
    So smooth you don't even feel it.
    But, on the highway, at high speeds when giving very little acceleration on a downhill or a stretch where torque is not needed, the truck will hesitate.
    I am used to it, it's been doing this for about a couple of months now.
    Havent found time to get under there and check it out. I believe it was a TCC Solenoid causing this.

    Today on the highway, I noticed the truck was shifting weird. It would downshift easier then usual while accelerating on the freeway. The accelerator felt different.
    After getting off the highway, I noticed it would not shift into second gear from the stop very easy. It had to get to 5000RPM before it would do it. Or I could shift by letting go of the gas.

    Got home, and there is oil all over. It was spewing oil from the back. I can't seem to find out where it is coming from. It looks like motor oil. I wondering if it is dark/brown transmission or converter oil.

    I'm stumped.

    Any suggestions, ideas, do and dont's, would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    stephan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Far West, Oregon USA,
    Blog Entries


    Welcome to the club CT. Your description of the recent shifting problems would make me think that this is trans fluid. Check both your engine oil & trans dipsticks & see which one is low. Low engine oil shouldn't affect the trans shifting so my guess is trans fluid. Fill it to the proper level before you run it any more, clean it up as best as possible so you can see where it's leaking from when you start it back up.
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol

  3. #3


    Sounds like what I had years ago with my '96 Burb. The fluid is spewing out the vent on top of the trans. from getting to hot. I hate to tell you but it sounds like a total rebuild. The sun shells in those year trans were very weak and they crack, then the clutches start to slip.

    ---------- Post added at 06:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:13 PM ----------

    I forgot, welcome to the club.

  4. #4


    Wow. Thanks for the welcomes.

    Wondering if what you guys thought about 'Limp Mode'?
    I can understand the transmission getting overheated and letting out the oil.
    Thanks for that info. Because for the life of me I couldn't find a leak spot. And it was almost all over the transfer case and not the transmission. (They say it shoots back onto the t-case if leaking from vent).

    Wondering if my TCC Solenoid took a shat, it would cause the transmission to act up like it is.
    I am in a jamb. It gets me. This tranny shifts perfectly, it's actually very strong, holds up on the steepest hills, never overheated before (I plow with it, as well).....

  5. #5


    Mine was running fine until I took a trip from Alabama to Central Florida, got about 20 miles from my destination and the 'burb seemed to loose power, when I pulled over it had trans fluid all over the rear doors and the under truck. Towed to house and next morning it ran fine, but I put a scanner on it when I drove and the trans was slipping. It slowly got worse. Had it rebuilt and updated with heavy duty parts.

  6. #6
    Sr. Mechanic Ethan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Cedar Park, TX


    Humm, sounds like burnt tranny fluid if it looks like motor oil, if that's the case, then just let the tranny die, cause putting new fluid in it will kill it pretty quick. Your gona need a new tranny, that's for sure.

    My truck would do that slipping thing, and it still does, but I flushed half the fluid, replaced the filter, and threw on a external tranny cooler and I haven't really had any problems since. Replacing the fluid every 40,000 miles or 3 years and replacing the filter regularly is a must for these trucks, that's how most people blow out the trannys with these trucks, towing in Overdrive, and not changing the fluid.
    1994 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext Cab 350 cuin TBI in dark Chevy blue
    160,000+ miles
    Original paint
    Original interior
    Original engine and tranny
    wrecked twice stolen once
    Diamond Plate bed rails
    Power windows
    Original Alloy wheels
    Original fancy smancy cup holder
    Tow package
    Original plastic bed liner
    K&N Cone Air Intake
    Dual MagnaFlow exhaust(not true dual) with chrome tips
    MSD Street Fire Performance Ignition coil

  7. #7
    Master Mechanic daddytech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Portland TN


    If the fluid in the transmission and filter have been changed every 12,000-14,000 miles like it's supposed to be then the fluid would still be red not brown. If like some people it's never been changed then it will probably be burned and brown and will not smell at all like oil motor oil and transmission fluid have distinctly different smells and it's really hard to confuse the two. the easiest way to tell which is which is to keep a really close eye on your fluids and see which one you have to keep adding to in order to determine which is leaking out. also when it does leak out if you'll put your finger in the puddle and see if there is even a red tint to the fluid if so then it's trasmission fluid and more than likely if it's coming from where the motor and transmission are joined up it will be your front seal before anything else. If the fluid is black or completely dark brown on your finger with no red tint then more than likely you have an oil leak

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