- Learn about common Chevrolet Suburban transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Chevrolet Suburban transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban transmission
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Chevrolet Suburban Transmission Problems & Solutions
A brief Chevrolet Suburban history lesson: In 1935, Chevrolet ran the following ad for their new Chevrolet Carryall Suburban. “…combines the advantages of a passenger car and a light delivery unit. Two in One! This all-purpose vehicle serves you in business or in pleasure. First–it’s a rugged, fast delivery unit of the de luxe Station Wagon type. Second–it’s a trim sedan with a spacious, comfortable interior seating eight persons. In the new Carryall Suburban, Chevrolet gives thousands of business owners and company executives the opportunity to cut their transportation investment in half!” Back in the 30’s, station wagons had brittle, high-maintenance wooden bodies that were mounted on a lightweight car chassis. The Chevrolet Carryall Suburban on the other hand, had an all-steel body with removable seats and a sturdy truck chassis. This revolutionary go-anywhere–do-anything recipe was an immediate hit, and the Suburban has remained in continuous production longer than any American vehicle in history. But Chevy Suburban transmission problems do happen, so let’s have a look at your options.
Common Chevrolet Suburban 4L60E Transmission Problems
Failed 4L60E 1-2 Accumulators
Perhaps the single most common Chevy Suburban 4L60E transmission problem is caused by little cheaply made parts inside the valve body. The 4L60E 1-2 accumulators are supposed to cushion the excess fluid pressure that builds up after a shift. But the piston inside them is made from plastic, and when (not if) they break, you’ll get to enjoy a brief delay between the 1-2 shift, and/or the transmission will ‘slam’ itself into gear. To keep this from happening, every remanufactured 4L60E transmission from Street Smart Transmission receives upgraded 1-2 accumulators, which have much stronger aluminum pistons. Plus, the entire valve body is recalibrated to provide better fluid pressure control and smoother shifts.
Failure of the 3-4 Clutch Pack
If your Chevy Suburban 4L60E suddenly decides not to go into/or slips out of 3rd/4th gears, then one (or more) of the clutch discs inside your 4L60E 3-4 clutch pack has likely failed. Given the considerable torque/weight load that the Chevrolet Suburban 4L60E has to shoulder, SST upgrades every remanufactured 4L60E to a High-Energy 3-4 clutch pack that has 7 discs (Chevrolet only used 6), which are made from a much stronger metal. This upgrade will considerably increase the 4L60E’s torque capacity, and it’s service life..
Common Chevrolet Suburban 6L80E Transmission Problems
Erratic Shifting / Loss of Forward Gears / Overheating
Although the Suburban 6L80E transmission is electronically controlled, it takes hydraulic pressure to translate those ECU commands into velocity. There are numerous 6L80E parts that affect the internal fluid pressure, and many of them were designed to meet ‘cost targets’. Needless to say, premature failures are quite common, and the pressure-related 6L80E transmission problems can range from random slipping, to a completely inoperable ‘Carryall’. Since the Chevy Suburban is actually one of the most durable vehicles on the road, Street Smart Transmission has completely reengineered their reman 6L80E to improve long term reliability/ by optimizing internal fluid pressure control. Some of the targeted improvements include a remanufactured fluid pump with machined pump rotor and pump body mating surfaces. There’s a redesigned stator support and more durable seal rings inside the remanufactured torque convertor. There’s upgraded (see: Stronger/Better Quality) bushings, upgraded Pressure Regulator / PR system components, the valve body is recalibrated, and the Transmission Control Module (TCM) is flashed with the very latest factory calibration updates.
Common Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4L80E Transmission Problems
Stuck in 2nd Gear (4L80E Limp Mode) / Torque Convertor Malfunction
Available only on the 3/4 ton 1991-2007 Chevrolet Suburban 2500, the heavy-duty 4L80E transmission used 8 electrical/mechanical switches called solenoids, to control everything from the gear changes to the torque convertor. If one of them fails, you’ll experience a variety of problems, like stalling when you come to a stop, and slipping between gears, to overdrive failure and Limp Mode (only 2nd gear and Reverse works). Early models also had corrosion problems with the 12-pin connector on the wiring harness that connected the ECU to the solenoids. To address these common 4L80E transmission problems, every SST remanufactured 4L80E transmission gets fully remanufactured solenoids (including the 4L80E TCC solenoid & EPC solenoid), which are bench tested prior to installation. An updated case connector (on pre-1994 models), actuator feed limit valve, force motor, and PR valve are also used to address OE design flaws and extend service life. In addition, the torque convertor gets completely remanufactured and tested before it gets shipped.
How to Solve Chevrolet Suburban Transmission Problems
Option A: Buy a Used Chevrolet Suburban 4L60E / 6L80E transmission or Used Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4L80E Transmission
Because of it’s ruggedly simple design, it’s quite normal to see a used Chevrolet Suburban for sale with 200,000-400,000+ miles. So you really should think twice about buying a used 4L60E transmission / used 6L80E transmission / used 4L80E transmission. Your local junkyard doesn’t have the equipment to thoroughly inspect the internal components, and almost every used Chevrolet Suburban transmission will contain the same brittle OE transmission parts that are causing you problems now. Plus, that 30-90 day warranty doesn’t cover the labor charges to install the “replacement” used Chevy Suburban transmission.
Option B: Buy a Rebuilt Chevrolet Suburban 4L60E / 6L80E transmission or Rebuilt Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4L80E Transmission
Compared to buying a used transmission, having your local mechanic or transmission shop rebuild your existing gearbox might seem like a better option. However “to err is human”, and the one guy responsible for your rebuilt 4L60E / rebuilt 4L80E / rebuilt 6L80E, might miss a hairline crack in a clutch drum, or a weak turbine blade in the torque convertor. He/She might also use a factory rebuild kit, which means you’ll be experiencing the same OE design flaws at some point in the future. Plus, that 1-2 year warranty might not do you any good if you start having more Chevy Suburban transmission problems, and you’re not close to a shop that’ll honor that warranty.
Option C: Buy a Remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban 4L60E / 6L80E transmission or Remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4L80E Transmission
Every remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban transmission that bears the Street Smart Transmission brand, is built in an 85,000 sq-ft factory that’s equipped with the latest state-of-the-art testing, machining and production equipment. All of the upgrades are carefully designed by the automotive engineers in the R&D department, and each reman 4L60E / reman 6L80E / reman 4L80E is assembled by ASE certified technicians that specialize in the specific components (i.e. torque convertors, valve bodies etc) used in GM’s RWD transmissions. Each transmission component is individually dyno tested (like the valve body), or bench tested (like the solenoids) before being included in the build. And during the assembly phase, each remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban transmission has to pass 4 different inspections by Quality Control Managers. The finished Suburban transmission is then dyno tested to break-in all the new parts and verify that it functions the way it’s supposed to. The end result is an upgraded Chevy transmission that will outlast and out perform the original. Plus, the Nationwide 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty will cover you for any necessary transmission repairs that are performed by any licensed repair shop, anywhere in the Continental United States.
So if you want a transmission that’ll be as durable as your ‘big ‘ole Burban’, then give us a call at 1-866-812-7560. Or you can click here to check on the price and availability of a remanufactured Chevrolet Suburban transmission