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Remanufactured GMC C1500 Transmissions 

  • Learn about common GMC C1500transmission problems 
  • Everything you need to know when shopping for a GMC C1500transmission for sale 
  • How and when to buy a remanufactured GMC C1500transmission 

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Remanufactured GMC C1500 Transmissions 


The GMT400 GMC C1500 is one of the most iconic pickup trucks ever sold in North America. It’s slab-sided styling and reliable engines made it a go-to choice for workers and recreational users alike. However GMC C1500 transmission problems can happen with both the 4L60 and 4L80E. So let’s see if installing a remanufactured GMC C1500 transmission can keep your workhorse from being sent to the glue factory. 


Common GMC C1500 4L60 Transmission Problems  


No Reverse 

One of the most common 4L60E transmission problems is the complete failure to engage reverse. There are many potential sources of this problem, which is ultimately brought on as the miles increase. The first culprit could be the low reverse clutch pack, where the disks are too worn out to engage reverse gear. 


If this is the case, you will likely see metal shavings in the transmission fluid when you remove the transmission pan. Or the problem could be coming from the valve body, which could mean that warping occurred due to excessive heat, or the reverse circuit has failed. 

Also, inspect the piston bore for scraping and score marks. This type of wear can lead to future reliability issues. So smooth out the bore with emery cloth, then remove the excess dust/debris with Brake Cleaner. 


Harsh or Delayed 12 Shift 

If your 4L60E transmission is pausing between first and second gear, it could be due to a worn or broken 24 transmission band. The steel 4L60E 2-4 transmission band is lined with a friction material that helps it to engage the clutch drum and execute the gear change. 

As that material wears away, the band will slip on the drum and delay the shift, or cause it to slip between the two gears. This is a common problem on higher mileage vehicles. 


This issue can also be caused by a faulty Throttle Position Sensor/TPS. With the ignition in the On’ position, you can test the 4L60E TPS using a voltmeter. If it is working, the voltage should increase/decrease in a smooth, linear line as you move the TPS. To find the correct voltage readings for your vehicle, refer to the shop manual. 


Shudder When Shifting From 1st to 2nd 

Another common problem is when it either slams’ into second gear, or doesnt seem to want to shift into second and the engine just revs. 


Take a look at the 1-2 accumulator. This little shock absorber-like device lives inside the valve body and dampens the excess fluid pressure that builds after a gear change. If the little plastic piston or the spring inside of it breaks, youll feel the fluid pressure buildup as the transmission sort of jerks itself into gear. 

If left un-repaired, this problem will eventually cause serious damage to the clutches and clutch drum assembly. 


Common GMC C1500 4L80 Transmission Problems  


Erratic Shifting 

Since this was an early electronically controlled transmission, many shift problems/Check Engine Lights can be attributed to a failed input/output speed sensor, or throttle position sensor. 


Slipping Between Gears/Failure to Shift 

The 4L80E uses a total of 8 solenoids to actuate gear changes, and activate the lockup torque converter. These little plungers are used to control the ATF fluid pressure, and theyre activated by an electric charge that passes through a coil of wire thats wrapped around the plunger mechanism. If excessive vibrations or an electrical surge causes the solenoid to short out, youll start to experience serious problems. 



The primary function of automatic transmission fluid is to remove heat from the moving parts inside. If youre towing/hauling a heavy load and the radiator cooler cant properly cool the ATF, the transmission will overheat, causing significant damage to the valve body, seals, clutches, bands, and other parts. 


How to Solve GMC C1500 Transmission Problems 


Solution A: Buy a Used GMC C1500 Transmission  

Going to the local junkyard and picking up a used GMC C1500 transmission might seem like the cheapest and fastest option. But you need to consider the fact that you don’t know what the actual shape of the internal components are. It could very well be on the verge of transmission problems of its own, which would leave you in the exact same predicament that you’re in now. And that 30 – 90 day junkyard warranty probably won’t cover labor charges to install the replacement transmission if something goes wrong. 


Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt GMC C1500 Transmission  

Getting a rebuilt GMC C1500 transmission would probably seem like a better idea. However, a lot of mechanics and transmission shops will only rebuild your GMC C1500 transmission back to its original factory specifications. Which means that all of those factory design flaws are still going to be inplay. And that rebuilt transmission warranty might only be good at certain shops, which could do you no good if you have transmission problems while you’re traveling. 


Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured GMC C1500 Transmission  

If you want to get the most service life out of your little luxury SUV as possible, then you really should consider a remanufactured GMC C1500 transmission from Street Smart Transmission. Each one is completely disassembled and re-remanufactured, so nothing is left to chance. Theyre also modified to correct the factory design flaws, which will greatly extend the service life. Plus, you get a 3-Year/Unlimited Mile Nationwide Warranty. This will cover parts and labor charges at any licensed repair shop in the Continental United States, giving you a lot more flexibility and coverage.