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Discussion Starter #1
As Red Dust is slowly but steadily inching towards 200 K mark I've been wondering about
driving and use habits that would prolong tranny's life.

I don't use overdrive in city traffic, awoid drag race starts, don't beat my truck when its cold, try to keep up a solid maintenance schedule, etc.

I've also had the habit of sticking the tranny in N when idling for longer periods in traffic or lights. However, in latest issue of American Classics (british magazine dedicated to yank iron) there was an article on tranny rebuilds and on some kind of do and don't box it said that N should not be used when idling stationay.

So, my q is: when idling for 1 - 3 minutes should I keep it in D or stick it to N?
How about longer; say 5 -15 min.; idling periods? N or P?

-J
 

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Go ahead & put it in neutral Johnny. It'll save you gas not having the engine loaded down against the trans, & also save you wear and tear on the trans/tc. Did the magazine give a reason for why not to let it idle in neutral at a stop? The reason I wouldn't put it in park at a stop light, is if someone taps you at anything more than 1 or 2 mph, it it will break the parking pawl
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tell us about the truck. Year/model/engine/transmission.
Ah, silly me! Sorry! Red Dust is a rear wheel drive '89 Sportside with 350 tbi and what ever tranny it left the factory with, 3 speeds + overdrive.

stephan said:
Did the magazine give a reason for why not to let it idle in neutral at a stop?
Nah, it simply says, it is a no-no for prolonged tranny life. :=0

-J
 

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Your driving habits and maintenance are the key to prolonging your trans life. Sounds like you have that covered.
 

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Driving habits, and regular maintenance play a role. Also, if you're truck is turning over bigger tires, or you have lot's of engine mod's, that can play a role also. Trying to push 400hp into a stock 700R4 (Your transmission) is not going to work. Trying to turn over big 37's with 3.42' gearing is not going to work.

Also, 700R4's, 4L60's, 4L60E's and a few others are not that "toughest" transmissions out there. So taking good care of them help out quite a bit

I've lived and I learned. Trying to run 35's, on a already weak 4l60e and driving like a 16 year old did not work out soo well for me. Oh well, I got a built up tranmission now :)
 

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Nah, it simply says, it is a no-no for prolonged tranny life. :=0

-J
Johnny, is it possible that the magazine article meant don't coast with your trans in neutral & they just didn't word it clearly ?
 

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I'm going to go with Stephan on this one as I know that I have read multiple articles as well as catching hell from my dad about coasting down hill in N. I think that it has to do with the tranny fluid circulation pump is actually driven from the engine input and with out that you can burn the tranny out.
 

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Unless the IACV opens further when the truck is idling in gear vs idling there is no difference in fuel consumption. My scanner does not show IACV position so I cat confirm on my 96 Tahoe. However, MAF and calculated load does not change.

I would not put my truck in N at a stop light for two reasons.

1-Safety. If you need to move quickly, there is a response time to shift back into gear plus the time for the transmission to engage before you can apply power.

2-Clutch wear. All that shifting in and out of gear causes a minimal amount of wear on the clutches and pistons, seals, etc. This wear will far outweigh the tiny bit of heat generated in the TC by idling in gear.

To maximize your transmission life, start by running full synthetic ATF such as Mobil 1. You want to do a full exchange to replace as much of the fluid as possible. The completely safe DIY process has been detailed several times here. Use Lube Gard transmission additive. Keeping the transmission in D/3 rather than overdrive will reduce shifting and save wear.

There is no difference in idling in Park vs Neutral on these transmissions. Dodges have that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Johnny, is it possible that the magazine article meant don't coast with your trans in neutral & they just didn't word it clearly ?
Dunno. However, this would not be the 1st time I've read some dubious technical content from UK car mags in general, so most likely this is the case.

-J
 
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