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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Novato, California, United States

    Default Slack in transmission

    Sorry if this is a post of an already submitted question... just running out the door for Fathers Day and not having a lot of time to do searches...

    My 1992 Silverado (5.7 liter) automatic transmission has some slack in the transmission between acceleration and coast and is quite evident when stopping and starting (intersections, stop lights). It seems the universal joints in the driveshaft are tight and showing no evidence of excessive wear. What are the possible causes of this? Transmission or rear ring and pinion gearing?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2


    Welcome to the club, Philip. Is your truck 2wd or 4x4 and 1500 or 2500?

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  3. #3


    Could be a worn carrier. My 96 Tahoe with the G80 is pretty sloppy. With the park brake set, and the trans in neutral, how much can you twist the rear driveshaft?
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Novato, California, United States


    It's a 2wd 1500 truck.

    I haven't tried it just yet with the trans in neutral. I last hand tested it with it in gear and it didn't seem like there was any slop then (was primarily checking for worn universal joints in the shaft). I'll re-check to see if there is a lot of slop with the trans in neutral.

    My 1992 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) had a similar problem before I replaced the transfer case slip yoke with a CV style shaft and new custom CV drive shaft (needed once I lifted it for 35" tires). It was most likely a combination of slop in the transfer case shaft and old slip yoke drive shaft.

    In this case, it's a 2wd, so no transfer case in the mix. Just the trannie, drive shaft and R&P gears (which there shouldn't be any slop in the ring and pinion, right?).

    If there ends up being a lot of slop with the trans in neutral, and it appears to be in the trans, what are the indications there? Leave it be, or is it about to grenade on me at the most inconvenient time (and thus better to fix it now before it decides to btfu)?

  5. #5
    Jr. Apprentice Clunker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Central Texas


    I have a '08 1500 4wd and have similar problems. I'm getting ready to take to the dealership hoping the powertrain warranty will cover it. I just hope they don't try to tell me that it's 'normal' or a 'characteristic' of the '08 models. I've tried to spin the drive shaft with my hands as well and there is no slack that I can notice. But when I'm driving, there is definitely some slack somewhere. Very evident between coasting and accelerating and when shifting between drive and reverse (like when backing up into a parking spot). Good luck with yours.

  6. #6


    I am glad to hear that you are planning to work with your local dealership regarding your concern. Please feel free to keep me posted. Thank you in advance.

    Tricia, GM Customer Service.

  7. #7


    My '93 Sub (2WD) had the same symptoms. I found posts here that gave many feasible explanations but none of them corrected my problem. Then one day when backing out of the garage there was a loud bang and the trans bought the farm. $1700 later with a rebuilt transmission, my driveline slop is gone! I'm just sayin'............

    1993 GMC Suburban C1500 (my cream puff)
    2003 S10 Blazer 4x4 auto (the wife's wheels)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Novato, California, United States


    Well - still living with this situation. I did finally crawl under the truck with it in neutral and the parking brake off (in a place where it wouldn't roll down hill and with the wheels chok'd). The drive shaft has maybe a 10 degree turn of slack in it before the R&P gear engages in the rear. Not nearly enough to explain the amount of slack that is felt between stopping and starting. So I have a feeling its within the transmission (as Lee's Suburban has given testimony to). So most likely I'll just deal with it until it gives up the ghost. Just hoping I'm not too far from the house when it decides to BTFU.

  9. #9


    Check your U-Joints. That's most likely area to have the slack.
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