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Thread: 96 Suburban 2500 4x2 Transmission Question

  1. #1
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    Default 96 Suburban 2500 4x2 Transmission Question

    I may be buying a 96 3/4 ton suburban, 2 wheel drive with a 6.5 diesel. It has 225,000 miles on it. The transmission has never been rebuilt. It doesnt seem to give any problems, not when cold, or hot or anything. The torque converter locks and unlocks when it should. The only time i the truck does anything strange at all is when im pulling a hill, and i have to make the truck work, like, when it comes out of overdrive and my foot is on the floor, it jerks once in a while, say maybe every 10 seconds or so. Once it goes back into overdrive and im no longer working the truck to pull the hill or whatever, it doesnt do it anymore. I dont know if its transmission related or engine but thats the only strange thing i could think of that it does. Now then, the truck belongs to my boss, and id be using it to go to work, including pulling my 7,000 pound power washer trailer when i am not busy with him. He says the only reason he hasnt sold me the truck yet is because he is worried that he'd sell it to me and then something would go wrong with it. Now with that being said, ive driven the truck myself for the last 2 1/2 months and there is nothing seriously wrong with it. Nothing i am concerned with *except* the transmission. Even then that is only because of the milage on it. It doesnt give any indication whatsoever that there might be any problems with it, unless that jerk i described is the transmission. It doesnt leak and the only noise it makes is in first gear around take off, it sounds just like any other heavy duty transmission ive heard, like in a school bus or something. That whiney noise they make as they speed up. It doesnt shift oddly, ever. Not when cold, not when hot, or any other time. It just has 225k on it, and has pulled, alot. Now the question is, how long does a 4l80E transmission typically last if taken care of? Boss has never abused this truck. Its never been run hot, always had its maintainence. He doesnt try and race people to the stoplight or drive like a bat out of hell. His driving habbits are closer to those of grandma and grandpa. Does it sound like i should really worry about it, or should i just find another truck thats maybe had transmission work done less that 225,000 miles ago? lol.
    1996 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x2 6.5 TD 4L80E 225,000 Miles. New IP, lift pump, glow plug controller, harmonic balancer

    1979 Chevy C10 Pickup, Long Bed, 454 with TH400 and 14 bolt FF 4.10 rear

    1976 Ford Pinto Sedan With Trunk. 2.3/4 Speed 151k Miles

    1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 2.3/4 Speed 100k Miles

    1979 Ford Pinto Sedan 2.3/Auto 107k

  2. #2
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    The jerking on high fuel demand is more likely to be lift pump problem or dirty fuel filter. Autos don't have a square cut low gear like a bus and therefore should be quiet.
    Grant H.
    1994 6.5 turbo GMC K2500 HD suburban "F" VIN FSD heat sync #9 resistor, PMD in the bumper, no cat, mechanical waste gate, 220,000 miles, 4L80E Positrac 3.73 diff, 17 mpg highway.
    1982 4x4 shortbed 6.2 Chev 260,000 miles untouched motor 17 MPG 4.27 diff. Best thing I ever owned, 21 years.

  3. #3
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    The lift pump is new but not sure about the fuel filter. Probably need to drain the stuff out of the fuel filter bowl, too. School buses dont use the same transmissions that heavy duty pickups use?
    1996 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x2 6.5 TD 4L80E 225,000 Miles. New IP, lift pump, glow plug controller, harmonic balancer

    1979 Chevy C10 Pickup, Long Bed, 454 with TH400 and 14 bolt FF 4.10 rear

    1976 Ford Pinto Sedan With Trunk. 2.3/4 Speed 151k Miles

    1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 2.3/4 Speed 100k Miles

    1979 Ford Pinto Sedan 2.3/Auto 107k

  4. #4
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    No, the general public won't accept the noise, in modern cars/pickups. The gears are "helical cut to be noise free, and they are planetary gears in auto trans, even more quiet. I have a 3/4 ton with 4L80E and it is quiet.
    Grant H.
    1994 6.5 turbo GMC K2500 HD suburban "F" VIN FSD heat sync #9 resistor, PMD in the bumper, no cat, mechanical waste gate, 220,000 miles, 4L80E Positrac 3.73 diff, 17 mpg highway.
    1982 4x4 shortbed 6.2 Chev 260,000 miles untouched motor 17 MPG 4.27 diff. Best thing I ever owned, 21 years.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm well dont know whats going on then. If i take it to a transmission shop can they run a test on it or something and tell me the condition of the transmission?
    1996 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x2 6.5 TD 4L80E 225,000 Miles. New IP, lift pump, glow plug controller, harmonic balancer

    1979 Chevy C10 Pickup, Long Bed, 454 with TH400 and 14 bolt FF 4.10 rear

    1976 Ford Pinto Sedan With Trunk. 2.3/4 Speed 151k Miles

    1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 2.3/4 Speed 100k Miles

    1979 Ford Pinto Sedan 2.3/Auto 107k

  6. #6
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    If they drive it and it sounds like an old school bus in first gear they will want to rebuild it. It most likely has worn bearings in the planetary gears so that they don't mesh right and hence make a noise, or the bearings are making the noise.
    Last edited by grancito; 09-20-2007 at 11:40 PM.
    Grant H.
    1994 6.5 turbo GMC K2500 HD suburban "F" VIN FSD heat sync #9 resistor, PMD in the bumper, no cat, mechanical waste gate, 220,000 miles, 4L80E Positrac 3.73 diff, 17 mpg highway.
    1982 4x4 shortbed 6.2 Chev 260,000 miles untouched motor 17 MPG 4.27 diff. Best thing I ever owned, 21 years.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grancito View Post
    If they drive it and it sounds like an old school bus in first gear they will want to rebuild it. It most likely has worn bearings in the planetary gears so that they don't mesh right and hence make a noise, or the bearings are making the noise.
    Not what i wanted to hear lol. Think it would make it pulling 7,000 pounds for a while? I just need it to last long enough to get my business started and making a decent income. If the trans goes down hill then, id be able to afford a rebuild. Im afraid of the bill tho. That could be probably $3,000. The whole truck probably isnt worth much more than that, but if i put that in it and get 200k more out of it (shouldnt be too hard to do with a diesel) it would be worth it.
    1996 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x2 6.5 TD 4L80E 225,000 Miles. New IP, lift pump, glow plug controller, harmonic balancer

    1979 Chevy C10 Pickup, Long Bed, 454 with TH400 and 14 bolt FF 4.10 rear

    1976 Ford Pinto Sedan With Trunk. 2.3/4 Speed 151k Miles

    1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 2.3/4 Speed 100k Miles

    1979 Ford Pinto Sedan 2.3/Auto 107k

  8. #8
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    Could be that it had to pull hard in low gear a lot so it wore. If you did not tow with it and was easy on first gear, it could last some time. One of the costs of a repair is that the shop doesn't want returns so replaces everything. I rebuilt the 700R4 in the Chev last time, it destroyed the first/ reverse roller clutch and I had both first and second gear at the same time. Makes a good parking brake. On dissasembly, it had 170,000 miles since last rebuild, there were no worn parts, just the broken pieces, cost $35 to repair. If you could find someone to make a repair like that without guarantie you could still get a lot of miles out of the transmission for little cost.
    Grant H.
    1994 6.5 turbo GMC K2500 HD suburban "F" VIN FSD heat sync #9 resistor, PMD in the bumper, no cat, mechanical waste gate, 220,000 miles, 4L80E Positrac 3.73 diff, 17 mpg highway.
    1982 4x4 shortbed 6.2 Chev 260,000 miles untouched motor 17 MPG 4.27 diff. Best thing I ever owned, 21 years.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2007
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    Springfield, Missouri U.S.A.
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    Well the truck is titled as a 1/2 ton, was ordered a 1/2 ton but is labeled 3/4 ton and has 8 lug wheels. However i beleive it has 3.42 gears which the way i undestand it are only supposed to be 1/2 ton gears. So, with that being said, the 3.42 gears will be harder on the transmission than the 3.73s or 4.10s especially in 1st gear. So 1st gear probably did get alot of hard use. I like the 3.42s because of the milage they give me. I'll look for a shop that will just fix whats wrong if there are any out there. That is, once it starts giving problems.
    1996 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x2 6.5 TD 4L80E 225,000 Miles. New IP, lift pump, glow plug controller, harmonic balancer

    1979 Chevy C10 Pickup, Long Bed, 454 with TH400 and 14 bolt FF 4.10 rear

    1976 Ford Pinto Sedan With Trunk. 2.3/4 Speed 151k Miles

    1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 2.3/4 Speed 100k Miles

    1979 Ford Pinto Sedan 2.3/Auto 107k

  10. #10
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    That all sounds logical except the weight confussion, wonder how that happened?
    Grant H.
    1994 6.5 turbo GMC K2500 HD suburban "F" VIN FSD heat sync #9 resistor, PMD in the bumper, no cat, mechanical waste gate, 220,000 miles, 4L80E Positrac 3.73 diff, 17 mpg highway.
    1982 4x4 shortbed 6.2 Chev 260,000 miles untouched motor 17 MPG 4.27 diff. Best thing I ever owned, 21 years.

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