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Old 05-19-2020, 10:57 AM
Tiha Tiha is offline
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How far do you think you will need to travel?
that is the first question I would ask, kind of like how much ammo do you need.

Then find or make something at least that dependable.

If I had to bug out, I can't imagine traveling more than 2000 before I would hunker down and stay. That is pretty easy to do for most vehicles.
So for me it is more about what will be the most capable when I need it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:09 PM
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Action. Our trucks came with a 4L60e transmission.... too light of a transmission for our trucks. Itís a weak spot.
The 5.3 has too much power and the truck is too heavy for the tranny.

The 4L60e worked good in light duty Astro Vans and Chevy Caprice classics. But doesnít do great with trucks.

If it ever goes out again..... have it replaced with a 4L65e...or have yours rebuilt as a 4L65e ( thatís what I did). All the upgrades
The 4L65e was the transmission after GM did the upgrades to beef up the 4L60e.... Hummer used it

Sounds like you are getting your moneys worth. Donít listen to the Anti-GM fanatics on here. Nothing is perfect. But at least GM is close....
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:44 PM
Grizzly Guy Grizzly Guy is offline
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I have a habit of buying a extra vehicle when I get one I like. When I bought my 99 Astro I started looking and ended up buying 2 more. One running and one not running for $1000 dollars. So I have almost 2 spares of every part. It is super handy having everything on hand and they have paid for themselves now after just a couple of repairs.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:13 AM
clingmansdome clingmansdome is offline
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Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
One thing I have learned is to change the transmission fluid on anything every 40,000 miles and use castrol synthetic ATF fluid. Even though the transmission is running fine, it is very noticeable how much better the transmission works with fresh fluid.

The Honda has a simple drain plug, and you can drain about half the fluid out and replace it every other oil change, which keeps it fresh. 20 bucks or less for a jug of Castrol for Honda.

On the GMC, I have no desire to drop the oil pan, so I have Jiffy lube do their change out with their pump system that uses the cooling lines. Usually 100 bucks and done.

Before I started doing this, I bought a LOT of transmission repairs. The only vehicle that never needed it was a Chevy 1/2 ton van which I drove for 15 years and did almost no maintenance on it, other than the occasional oil change and brake pads. darn thing was indestructible.
I saw a youtube video of a guy changing the transmission fluid by disconnecting the line to the cooler and while running the engine he poured fresh fluid into the tranny. He said to keep pouring fluid in until what was coming out looked like what was going in. My truck had about 60K on it and was kind of jerking through the gears so I tried it and the truck's been shifting smooth as silk since then. The stuff that was coming out was kind of brown and had a burned smell. Don't know if it'll work with all kinds of vehicles, but I was thinking about selling the truck until I did the fluid change and now I figure I'll keep it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly Guy View Post
I have a habit of buying a extra vehicle when I get one I like. When I bought my 99 Astro I started looking and ended up buying 2 more. One running and one not running for $1000 dollars. So I have almost 2 spares of every part. It is super handy having everything on hand and they have paid for themselves now after just a couple of repairs.
I ended up with four second gen subaru's like that, one not running, three others running, which are two more than I need but they are so cheap its hard not to pick them up.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:35 AM
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Having a parts vehicle is definitely a good idea. If u have room to store it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clingmansdome View Post
I saw a youtube video of a guy changing the transmission fluid by disconnecting the line to the cooler and while running the engine he poured fresh fluid into the tranny. He said to keep pouring fluid in until what was coming out looked like what was going in. My truck had about 60K on it and was kind of jerking through the gears so I tried it and the truck's been shifting smooth as silk since then. The stuff that was coming out was kind of brown and had a burned smell. Don't know if it'll work with all kinds of vehicles, but I was thinking about selling the truck until I did the fluid change and now I figure I'll keep it.
Interesting. I don't know how the heck you maintain the right level with that procedure. I guess if you measure how much comes out and put that amount in.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiha View Post
How far do you think you will need to travel?
that is the first question I would ask, kind of like how much ammo do you need.

Then find or make something at least that dependable.

If I had to bug out, I can't imagine traveling more than 2000 before I would hunker down and stay. That is pretty easy to do for most vehicles.
So for me it is more about what will be the most capable when I need it.

Not far. I am surrounded by wilderness but would likely go as deep into the woods as I can get. I likely won't buy every, possible component that I "might" need. I'm looking for those components that fail the most often and that can be replaced by a so-so mechanic (me). I can do a lot of basic repairs and maintenance but don't have the expertise to rebuild a transmission, etc.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:30 PM
clingmansdome clingmansdome is offline
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Interesting. I don't know how the heck you maintain the right level with that procedure. I guess if you measure how much comes out and put that amount in.
It's not very difficult to pour fluid in at about the same rate, or a little faster, than it gets pumped out. When the fluid coming out looks like what you're pouring in, stop and check the level. If it's high pump more out. If it's low add more fluid. The weirdest part for me was that the old fluid was dark brown to almost black and smelled like burned oil, and the new stuff was bright red so it was easy to see when the new stuff was being pumped out.
I'd never seen it done before, but I've been doing it to the same truck about every 30K miles and the tranny shifts great. You can probably still find a video somewhere on the net.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:35 PM
clingmansdome clingmansdome is offline
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I don't know if all vehicles have the tranny cooler, but my truck has the heavy duty towing package which includes the cooler.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:24 PM
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The silverados and sierras from the late 90s through 2007 were great trucks!!
I have a 2003 3/4 ton Sierra. It’s a 6.0L has burner with the 4 speed 4L80e trans. My biggest gripe about it ... the gas mileage - 11 mpg! She gets 11 no matter towing or not. I have seen way too many of the 6.0L trucks with 350,000 and 400,000 miles on them. Some may have been rebuilt but still a great motor. It’s the same platform as the 5.3 and the 4.8L. Mine is also a 4X4 with a manual floor shifter. The push button shifters are more prone to “pump rub” on the transfer case, you need to use the expensive blue transfer case oil, and the electronics tend to fail over time. Rear end is solid and stout! Came with the Eaton locker also known as the G80 based on the RPO code designating the Eaton option.

My brother had an 03 with 388,000 before it was totaled in a wreck. Still ran like new before it was smashed. His biggest repair was a wheel hub assembly.

The motors are bulletproof. The 4l80e is one of the best transmissions they ever built. Rear end is great. Transfer case is great.

I love my truck. Parts for the Silverado and Sierras are everywhere. If SHTF you will be able to find parts. Not that I am discouraging you from having parts on hand.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:13 AM
Tiha Tiha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clingmansdome View Post
It's not very difficult to pour fluid in at about the same rate, or a little faster, than it gets pumped out. When the fluid coming out looks like what you're pouring in, stop and check the level. If it's high pump more out. If it's low add more fluid. The weirdest part for me was that the old fluid was dark brown to almost black and smelled like burned oil, and the new stuff was bright red so it was easy to see when the new stuff was being pumped out.
I'd never seen it done before, but I've been doing it to the same truck about every 30K miles and the tranny shifts great. You can probably still find a video somewhere on the net.
Everyone will tell you not to do it that way. But I have always done it a similar way.

I take the cooler lines off, both of them because I have no idea which is the pressure and which is return.
Put a rubber hose on each line. Can be any hose, I usually use a couple of old 3/4 heater hoses. they are just to keep from making a mess.
Put the hoses in a pan or bucket.
Start the car, watch the fluid run out until the flow stops or you start seeing air.
Shut car off.
Add 6 quarts.
Start car and let fluid run until it looks clean. Dip your finger in it.
If it clears up and looks like clean fluid, shut the car off, re connect the lines and top off as needed.
If it is still dirty, add 6 more quarts and start the car again waiting for it to clear.
typically it takes a case, or 3 gallons to do it this way.

the idea is, don't let the trans run any longer than you have to without fluid flowing through it.
With the cooler line disconnected there is no flow through it.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:11 AM
lasers lasers is offline
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Since it is a 2003 you can probably buy an identical running truck for less than all the spare parts would cost. If you get one with the same engine and transmission, axles, transfer case and wheel base every single part from one can go into the other.

In fact I am in the process of doing the same thing. I have a e150 that needs about $600 worth of parts at the moment. I am going to look at another running but rusted out one this weekend, the guy wants $240 for it and I can leave it at his property so it isn't a problem for me in my yard in town.


By going that route you would have one spare of almost every single part you truck needs. From there get a few cases of fluids and filters and you should be able to limp it along quite a while. And a lot of times it it easier to change an entire part than to fix it. If you try and rebuild an automatic transmission on your own it will cost you almost $1000 in parts and many hours and if you don't know what you are doing there is a good chance it won't work when you put it back in. It is much easier to just put a different transmission in its place.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:12 PM
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I drive a diesel van for work and used to travel out of town regularly. I always kept well stocked just in case. The typical fuses and bulbs, hoses and belts, fluids, etc. I also carried a spare water pump, alternator, and even a starter, though I couldn't have installed that on the side of the road. At least I'd have it at hand if it ended up in the shop.

The few times it broke down, it was always something I didn't carry, like the fuel solenoid driver or the glow plug controller. Dammit!
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
The few times it broke down, it was always something I didn't carry, like the fuel solenoid driver or the glow plug controller. Dammit!
This is why I gave up carrying vehicle specific parts. The only times I've been stranded due to breakdown it was either something I never would have thought to carry, or couldn't fix on the side of the road anyway.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:58 PM
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This is why I gave up carrying vehicle specific parts. The only times I've been stranded due to breakdown it was either something I never would have thought to carry, or couldn't fix on the side of the road anyway.
Yeah, I learned that lesson the hard way with this diesel. But I had decades of experience with older gas powered vehicles that I did spend a lot of time on the side of the road fixing. It makes sense to carry spares. You're going to need them at some point anyway. Might as well have them with you. The only time I've ever had to get hauled in to the shop was when I got this atrocity.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:39 PM
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I spend a lot of time fixing stuff in my driveway, very little on the side of the road.

So. Thinking of the times I've actually be stranded, can't move broke...lets see...

99, failed alternator

2005, blown clutch.

2008, blown headgasket.

2012, broken CV shaft.

2012, shorted wire causing the EFI fuse to blow repeatedly

2018, failed gas pump.


So, in hindsight, I could have carried a spare alternator, cv axle, and gas pump...but in reality, I doubt I could have predicted any of that specifically enough to actually spend the money on the spare parts ahead of time, and those failures are over three different vehicles.

The other stuff I couldn't do on the side of the road anyway, or didn't need any parts anyway.

I LIKE the idea of carrying spare parts, but I've never had the same thing fail twice on me so its hard to shell out thousands of dollars for stuff I probably won't need.

Tools and knowledge are pretty handy though. For instance, when the U joint snapped on my old 89 suburban I removed the shaft completely and put it in 4WD and drove another hundred miles in a FWD suburban.

I didn't do this, but a guy I worked with had an old truck lose its gas pump, so he filled the washer fluid reservoir with gasoline and hooked up the tube to the carb bowl and drove out of the mountains by using the washer pump as the fuel pump.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:18 PM
Don H Don H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clingmansdome View Post
I saw a youtube video of a guy changing the transmission fluid by disconnecting the line to the cooler and while running the engine he poured fresh fluid into the tranny. He said to keep pouring fluid in until what was coming out looked like what was going in. My truck had about 60K on it and was kind of jerking through the gears so I tried it and the truck's been shifting smooth as silk since then. The stuff that was coming out was kind of brown and had a burned smell. Don't know if it'll work with all kinds of vehicles, but I was thinking about selling the truck until I did the fluid change and now I figure I'll keep it.
I do this with my Mazda 3, beats $450 for a transmission "flush".
What I do is pump 3 quarts out through a line from the transmission cooler into a container. Have someone watch until your container has 3 quarts and stop the engine, then add 3 quarts. Do this 3 times and the last time the fluid coming out will be new. There's a video on Youtube showing how to do it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:34 PM
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Once on my 300 mile one way trip from the university to home I got a wiff of antifreeze. I looked in the review mirror and it seemed like a crop dusting the road with green spray. I pulled right over and stop in the nearest wide spot. Looking under the hood, it seems the wings on the block heater had failed - leaving me with a nearly 2" diameter hole in the engine.

I got out my spare freeze plug, a lead hammer and deep well socket. 5 minutes and the hole was filled. I only had 2.5 gallons of water with me. It was well over 100 degrees and there was creek perhaps 1/2 mile down the slope away from the road. I wasn't looking forward to hiking back up that grade with water - the landcruiser takes almost 5 gallon of juice.

Anyway, this old van pulls in behind my rig. The long haired friend of Jesus ask if was ok or needed anything after asking if was saved. He had a couple gallons water to spare so I was on my way in no time. I now carry a 7 gallon reliance water jug 3 seasons.
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