'97 Bonneville Trans


Old 01-18-04, 02:32 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 438
'97 Bonneville Trans

OK, it's official, every vehicle I own is having problems. I'm scared to start the riding mower now.

'97 Bonneville, 3.8 4T60-E Tranny
Rode with wife in Pontiac yesterday (getting Suburban from tire shop) and noticed transmission slipping slightly @ 40-50 mph. Changed Trans fluid and filter this morning (last changed 30,000 mi back) fluid looked OK and very little sludge on pan magnet. I knocked off the Thermostatic Element when I was wrestling with the filter seal. Re-installed everything, put in fluid, cranked engine and the car will absolutely not move. Doesn't even try. Pulled back down (got out the manual this time) checked filter for cracks at the pickup tube. I had installed the thermo element upside down. Put it back on right, put in fluid and again nothing. The pan is filling up with four quarts of fluid. Book says it takes @ 7 quarts for filter change refill. I don't think it took 7 on past changes. I broke loose a cooling line nut with the engine running and fluid barely leaked out like it's not under any pressure at all. This car had great low end pick-up before. Could my screwup with the thermostatic element caused a problem? What exactly does that do? Anyone have suggestions before I call the tow truck???
TowGuy, what do you charge to come to Louisiana?
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Old 01-18-04, 10:40 PM
mike from nj
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did you check the fluid level when you had the original slipping issue?

after you add 4 quarts, what does the dipstick say? just keep adding until it's full. and on a level ground, and in the correct gear(and idling)

low fluid and a seal installed wrong on the filter will always cause a slipping trans.
Old 01-19-04, 05:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 438
Fluid level showed to full line in both instances.
Old 01-19-04, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
The specs call for 7.4 quarts so if it's only taking 4 you either have a leak before the oil pump(including filter and seal)or the oil pump isn't working at all.Channel plate gaskets are common on this trans but usually fluid comes out the vent because they usually go bad on the pressure side of the pump but nothing suprises me anymore.How many miles on the car?There are filters in the oil pump also maybe one is clogged.

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