New owner. Odd questions for trans

Drivetrain discussion including Transmission, Differential, Driveshaft, and related items.
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Buck531
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:44 am

New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by Buck531 » Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:27 am

So I picked up this 2012 PPV Caprice about a month ago. it's been great. Done a few things to get it going. Still need to do a few more. My main question is...

When the car is cold and I start it, it's fine. Pull out of driveway, go down the street. (depending on how much throttle i give it.. not much), it will shift pretty hard from 1st to 2nd. then I drive 100 yards or so to the light. Drive off again from the light. shifts ok. Get to the next light kinda shudders going into 2nd. then when it got to 3rd wasn't sure what was going on. Went into 3rd, then came out. I dunno, it felt strange. After it warms up it appears to be fine. normal shifting. etc.

I've heard some odd things going on with the trans in these cars. I'm used to a 4t65 HD trans out of a FWD car. i know the 1st gear is short.. and yeah.. its short compared to what i'm used to.

Should I drop the trans pan and see what the fluid looks like and change it out a few times? or is there something else going on?
'12 Caprice 6.0. Roto-fab intake. Camaro SS 20" wheels.
87 Fiero. 3800 Swapped. cam, head, headers, Gen V, etc 11.75 @ 116

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Mooseman
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Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by Mooseman » Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:16 pm

A pan drop would be a good idea to see if there's anything in there like metal or excessive clutch material. Fluid condition is also a good indicator. You could do a full fluid exchange by disconnecting the line at the tranny cooler (can't remember which so do both), connecting clear hoses to the lines, put the ends into a bucket and run it until all the fluid is pumped out. Makes for a cleaner pan drop too. Change the filter and bolt pan back on. Fill with fluid and run it a bit, stop, refill and repeat until fluid comes out clear red. After the last flush, reconnect the lines to the cooler, refill and check final level as per service manual.

I know it's a PITA doing this with no dipstick tube but it's still easier than dropping the pan multiple times.

If that doesn't resolve it, try resetting the trans pressure adapts if you have access to a scanner capable of advanced operations, like a Tech 2 or Snap On. That can help the trans relearn its pressures.
2011 Caprice PPV, former RCMP test vehicle, never put into service
Build Thread: http://www.newcaprice.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2419

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HoldOn SV
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Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by HoldOn SV » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:53 am

Since it's operating normally after warmed up, I'd top it off to see if that helps too.
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bstoner
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Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by bstoner » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:14 pm

You can also add a trans dipstick if you want. JRE sells a kit. And while you are doing a trans pan drop you can upgrade to the deeper pan and filter for more capacity. Couple simple upgrades to think about while you are there.
2014 Caprice PPV, 6.0L, BTR Stage 2 Cam, 3.45, 3" exhaust, Rotofab intake, Chris Henry tuned, future LSA....

Buck531
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:44 am

Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by Buck531 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:43 pm

Thanks for the replies. Now. onto the dumb questions.

Where's the trans fill at?
Do I just fill it until it starts to come out the fill tube?
Does it take Dex 6 I'm assuming?

Garage space is kinda scarce when I have an 88 Fiero I've been working on doing a 3800 swap on. That and it's supposed to be a high of 20 degrees here in Ohio. ugh.
'12 Caprice 6.0. Roto-fab intake. Camaro SS 20" wheels.
87 Fiero. 3800 Swapped. cam, head, headers, Gen V, etc 11.75 @ 116

bstoner
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Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by bstoner » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 pm

Car has to be level. Transmission warmed up. You remove the bottom bolt that looks like a drain plug. When the trans is hot the fluid will dribble out when full. If no dribble then on the passenger side there is a rubber plug you pry up and out. Pump fluid into trans there until it dribbles out the hole. (By now you realize why so many install a dipstick! LOL)

Break out the carharts and cardboard. Everyday during my lunch I have been working on a head/cam install in the driveway for an hour. Today it was warm enough and the snow melted so I pulled the oil pan. Fun times....

On a side note I love the 3800. Those blocks are a tank. Take way more boost then you think without chipping a piston. I ran tons of boost (intercooled, top swapped, E85, 2.75 pulley) and it never missed a beat. If it wasn't for limitations of the platform, crap trans, and FWD I would still have it. Sold it to get the Caprice. Did you see Ed came out with an upgraded TVS 2300 S/C adapter. I ran his intercooler. Top notch quality. It is pricy but a 3800 with a TVS2300 would be amazing! $$$$
2014 Caprice PPV, 6.0L, BTR Stage 2 Cam, 3.45, 3" exhaust, Rotofab intake, Chris Henry tuned, future LSA....

Buck531
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:44 am

Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by Buck531 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:17 am

bstoner wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 pm
Car has to be level. Transmission warmed up. You remove the bottom bolt that looks like a drain plug. When the trans is hot the fluid will dribble out when full. If no dribble then on the passenger side there is a rubber plug you pry up and out. Pump fluid into trans there until it dribbles out the hole. (By now you realize why so many install a dipstick! LOL)

Break out the carharts and cardboard. Everyday during my lunch I have been working on a head/cam install in the driveway for an hour. Today it was warm enough and the snow melted so I pulled the oil pan. Fun times....

On a side note I love the 3800. Those blocks are a tank. Take way more boost then you think without chipping a piston. I ran tons of boost (intercooled, top swapped, E85, 2.75 pulley) and it never missed a beat. If it wasn't for limitations of the platform, crap trans, and FWD I would still have it. Sold it to get the Caprice. Did you see Ed came out with an upgraded TVS 2300 S/C adapter. I ran his intercooler. Top notch quality. It is pricy but a 3800 with a TVS2300 would be amazing! $$$$
heh yeah. I'm still on a stock rebult 4t65 non HD trans and can cut a high 1.6 60' on Toyo street tires ;).

Anyhoo.. I put the trans in sport mode right after I started it. Didn't seem to bang 2nd gear as bad as it would be with it off. I'm assuming that sport mode is line pressure? Might make sense if it's low.

I'm taking it to a shop in a week or two and getting the camaro pan installed with 2 gallons of Dex VI. We'll see what happens.
'12 Caprice 6.0. Roto-fab intake. Camaro SS 20" wheels.
87 Fiero. 3800 Swapped. cam, head, headers, Gen V, etc 11.75 @ 116

bstoner
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed May 05, 2021 7:12 pm

Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by bstoner » Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:38 pm

That is awesome! I went through 3 transmissions before I went with a Triple Edge Performance max build. I ran Mickey Thompson ET Streets. Nice tires but the suspension would unload the front tires and you really had to peddle it out of the hole. At least it kept me from snapping chains. LOL. I bet it would be a beast in the light weight RWD Fiero. Nice setup!
2014 Caprice PPV, 6.0L, BTR Stage 2 Cam, 3.45, 3" exhaust, Rotofab intake, Chris Henry tuned, future LSA....

Buck531
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:44 am

Re: New owner. Odd questions for trans

Post by Buck531 » Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:45 pm

Update. Had the pan dropped. The fluid looked like black coffee with a hint of red. oooooooooffffff. Had my guy put on a camaro pan, new filter, 1 1/2 gallons of AC Delco Dex VI. Shifts perfectly now.
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'12 Caprice 6.0. Roto-fab intake. Camaro SS 20" wheels.
87 Fiero. 3800 Swapped. cam, head, headers, Gen V, etc 11.75 @ 116

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