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  1. #1

    Default Transmission Going Out! Best Plan of Action?

    Hello, I'm from Tulsa, OK. I'm new to the site. I'm here because I need expert advice on what to do next.

    I have a 1996 Cheyenne 1500 P/U with the 4.3 L Vortec and (I think the 4L60E 4 speed auto tranny). It's got 160,xxx miles on it.

    Last week the transmission started slipping real bad during upshifts especially from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. The best way I can describe it is that the truck shudders as it tries to shift. It does not seem to slip while it is in gear though. Only during upshifting.... Hopefully a simple fix? Better not get my hopes up I guess.

    There is fluid inside but has started to burn and turn orange. I know the thing is probably a goner and need to take the best course of action to ensure a long life for this truck with a second transmission or trans/engine combo. It is my first vehicle so I don't plan on getting rid of it so easily.

    Is it possible the 96 4.3 vortec can be fitted with a newer more durable 4L80E? or something else better? I'm open to manual trannys

    An LS swap sure sounds entertaining but not sure my wallet could take such a hit at this time....

    Thanks for any and all advice!

  2. #2


    My 2 cents worth (and that's probably about what it is worth, so I'll give it to you for free).

    If you are planning to drive this little 1500 hard enough to justify a 4L80E upgrade, you should probably also be considering replacing the 10 bolt rear end with a 14 bolt. If 4wd, you also should be figuring out how to get a stronger front end underneath it. At that point, it seems to me that it would be easier (and maybe cheaper) to ditch the 1500 and get a 2500.

    It seems to me that, in the hands of a good rebuilder, the 4L60E can be rebuilt to handle just about anything a 4.3 L V6 could throw at it.
    '98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
    '92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
    "My toys were the greasy cogs and springs and pistons that lay around all over the place, and these, I can promise you, were far more fun to play with than most of the plastic rubbish children are given nowadays." Danny in Roald Dahl's Danny The Champion of the World

  3. #3


    The 4L60E is a great transmission and will stand up to alot of abuse as long as it's maintained properly. The key is maintenence and keeping the fluid from overheating. If you can find a reputable rebuilder and have it rebuilt with all the updates it should last a long time, if maintained.

    97 Chevrolet Suburban K1500 5.7L
    78 GMC High Sierra K1500
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go thru life.

  4. #4


    Your L60 is big enough and your 10 bolt is also good to go. I would start by changing your trans fluid and filter. This may give you some time. Shop around, you should be able to find a small local shop that specilizes in rebuilds for a decent price. good luck

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