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Bonneville Issue


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Guys, let's just take a moment before your next reply so this does not escalate. Want to keep things respectful. If you have any problems, please feel free to take them to a side chat with myself and

You are the forum's grand pooba for a reason. 

Watch Kiwi's vid..... grab a smile,  suddenly somebodys trans cooler does not matter.  

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18 hours ago, Last Indian said:

(The last Indian) an F.1 GTX Grand Prix, highly modified from the bottom up.

842B7583-37E5-4FDD-9EF7-F8F8F60BECA5.jpeg

😍

 

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My 1993 Bonneville SSEI bought for $100 with a crank, no start issue and saved it from being scrapped. 3800 series 1 L67 Supercharged, rebuilt motor, over 200k miles on the body. Gen 3 m92 swap coming soon with other mods. Currently a daily driver but its too nice to stay that way...😁

Ryan - what was the root-cause for the crank-no start? Just curious. The Bonnie's are what stole my heart back in the day to make me a Pontiac guy (had an '89 LE, myself). The 3800's, albeit they have had their issues over the generations, are on a pedestal as being GM's greatest (passenger car) engine.

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  • Founders

Split this topic out so we don't overbear the calendar entries topic. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Ringo64 said:

Split this topic out so we don't overbear the calendar entries topic. Thanks!

Thanks Ringo! I knew it didn’t belong there, but I didn’t know how to comment on the topic without losing the others knowledge of where it went!

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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

You are the forum's grand pooba for a reason. 

He’s like the ultimate Pontiac tech guy!:dancingpontiac:

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19 hours ago, Last Indian said:

Well, not to hijack the calendar thread, but I’ll add my two cents worth, for what it’s worth! Way back in the beginning! Horse & buggy days, when I started delving into automatics, I learned some important things that, no matter what anyone tells you hasn’t changed! An automatic transmission has to be as clean inside as the plate you would eat off of!! That most definitely includes the fluid! The next thing was shift lockup! If you can’t feel it; that’s bad for the tranny! GM always liked a soft shift! And GM of the big three has always had the most automatic transmission problems! The first thing I do with every single GM automatic I’ve ever owned is put in a different tranny fluid! Then I make changes to the tranny itself and I Change the fluid every 15000 miles which requires 3 complete fill and flush. That was to rear wheel drive trannys, FWDs are even worse since their share the fluid with the rear end differential! If you think it’s easy to have a fluid do two opposite things at the same time; I can tell you it’s not! FWD tranny fluids need to have very good properties of adhesion for the tranny while having very good lubricity and high EP characteristics for the differential! 
I’m not boosting, but I have never had a tranny go bad on me, knock wood!

Good stuff. Totally agree on keeping ALL the internals of the trans clean! Transmissions in general (and especially automatic FWD transmissions) really do have a very demanding and all around tough job! It seems that the auto manufacturers want to put a transmission in their various vehicles that "just meets" the requirements of the vehicle. Personally, I would love to have a truck transmission in a car - if it can handle moving a 4000+ lb truck that's loaded down and / or hauling, then it'll have a nice, easy life moving a 2500 lb car!

For all my vehicles, I'm, quite frankly, anal retentive on keeping great maintenance on, among other vehicle-related components, the transmission fluid and filter (and, from what I read, I know you are as well!).

That being said, on my wife's and my previous daily driver ('05 Grand Prix GT2 / 3800 Series 3 with the 4T65-E trans), I had the trans fluid, filter and pan gasket (GM says the gaskets are "lifetime" - I personally don't buy it from first-hand experience) changed very 18k-20k miles (which was annual based on our driving) with whatever the current version of Dexron is out (currently I think it's Dex-VI). As a side note, I have the dealership do the trans fluid service because, in one service iteration, the "trans machine" is hooked up to the trans, the trans' pump pushes the old fluid out and brings the new fluid in all the while flushing the torque converter (which, for me, is high on the importance scale).

Coupled with that, we (especially me) baby our vehicles - no WOT runs / hard accelerations, hard braking (as much as can be avoided), picky about driving over road bumps, etc.. Several years of taking car of the car like this (granted, the car was bought used with, IIRC, around 25k miles), the 4T65-E 1st-2nd clutch pack started slipping.

That's a good point you make about the softness (and duration) of each up / down shift. I drove a, at the time, new 2001 Mercury Sable for a few days and that car REALLY stood out to me on soft (and long) shifts! Wowzers! One of multiple steps I've taken for Ren, specifically, to help with the longevity of the trans is to programmatically change the shift parameters - shift points (RPMs) based on my driving style, shift duration and line pressure (shift firmness).

Transmissions - yay 🙃

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12 hours ago, Stewy said:

For all my vehicles, I'm, quite frankly, anal retentive on keeping great maintenance on, among other vehicle-related components, the transmission fluid and filter (and, from what I read, I know you are as well!).

That being said, on my wife's and my previous daily driver ('05 Grand Prix GT2 / 3800 Series 3 with the 4T65-E trans), I had the trans fluid, filter and pan gasket (GM says the gaskets are "lifetime" - I personally don't buy it from first-hand experience) changed very 18k-20k miles (which was annual based on our driving) with whatever the current version of Dexron is out (currently I think it's Dex-VI). As a side note, I have the dealership do the trans fluid service because, in one service iteration, the "trans machine" is hooked up to the trans, the trans' pump pushes the old fluid out and brings the new fluid in all the while flushing the torque converter (which, for me, is high on the importance scale).

Coupled with that, we (especially me) baby our vehicles - no WOT runs / hard accelerations, hard braking (as much as can be avoided), picky about driving over road bumps, etc.. Several years of taking car of the car like this (granted, the car was bought used with, IIRC, around 25k miles), the 4T65-E 1st-2nd clutch pack started slipping.

That's a good point you make about the softness (and duration) of each up / down shift. I drove a, at the time, new 2001 Mercury Sable for a few days and that car REALLY stood out to me on soft (and long) shifts! Wowzers! One of multiple steps I've taken for Ren, specifically, to help with the longevity of the trans is to programmatically change the shift parameters - shift points (RPMs) based on my driving style, shift duration and line pressure (shift firmness).

Transmissions - yay 🙃

Stewy, I have no doubt you baby all of your cars! And while yes I do as well I also enjoy putting them through their paces. Part of that mentality is similar to your truck transmission analogy, if it can take that work out it should be good with all the other lighter work!

So I’m just giving information here since we can’t really have a back and forth conversation as if we were discussing the topic. The number one enemy of a automatic transmission is heat! Period! Because unlike a manual it has fiber friction plates that degrade from heat more than any other component in the tranny other than the O’ring seals! And still the fiction plates degrade more because they generate enormous amounts of heat right at their surface. So the two heat generated things that kill them are slippage and fluid temp. Slippage can only be controlled two ways fluid characteristics or applied pressure! If you stay with the same transmission oil then the characteristics can’t change so that only leaves applied pressure! Yes you can effect the pressure some what through the ECM, but that is not the same as a mechanical increase! There is an aftermarket company called Intense Racing that sells a performance shift pack that will change the clutch plate lockup to a firmer shift and it gives you three choices as to the firmness you want. I run it in the Indian and I run the firmest one which is strip and it’s not too firm, at least for me. You can hear it on the one video I have on here.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!ApYhZl8sk2DFnhuhvvsQ4dBYqCTx

The other way to effect applied pressure is temperature! The hotter the fluid the thinner, lower viscosity, which translates into lower PSI. If you reduce the heat the whole tranny will thank you! That is why I put in the cooler this past winter! I had procrastinated for years because I don’t drive it that many miles in a year. But this year when I finally did take it out; wow what a difference! It shifts better, especially after it’s been running a while. That is when the heat would normal have started to impact the shifts to the point I could really tell it just wasn’t quite the same! 
 

The other impact of heat on the fluid is oxidation! In 1981 Ford requested Lubrizol, the company I worked for, to start running a test called the ABOT test. Fords test was an Albatross! One huge machine with one arm that drove a half quart size aluminum cup filled with some tranny fluid! The cup of fluid was heated to high temperature while being stirred, a little more complex than that, but it’s not relevant here. Inside hung 4 strips of metal, copper, lead, zinc and aluminum. All this was to mimic oxidation in a transmission, which destroys chemistry, causes corrosion and wear. This became one of my first projects! Ford had not just requested us to run it they wanted a redesign, a better mousetrap. This sat for almost 6 months and nobody knew what to do to build a better mousetrap! They had 6 months left and then Ford was going to visit to see the new test that they had been told was no problem! Guess who the buck got past to! You know what happens when you are at the bottom of the hill! Long story short we met the deadline! The ABOT test was now relatively small, about a 2x2x2 and each test unit ran 4 aluminum test beaker not one! So I dare say I understand the inside life of a automatic transmission fairly well!

I guess what I’m saying is, if you are looking to help the 4t65e not just last, but last much longer and perform better consider impacting the heat! Of all the automatics FWDs as I said are the worst for heat because they must reduce the heat from both the transmission & the transaxle! But this arrangement uses the same size lines the same basic cooler size in the radiator as a rear wheel drive that only cools a transmission and often times in a large core radiator! Think about that!

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14 hours ago, Last Indian said:

The other impact of heat on the fluid is oxidation! In 1981 Ford requested Lubrizol, the company I worked for, to start running a test called the ABOT test. Fords test was an Albatross! One huge machine with one arm that drove a half quart size aluminum cup filled with some tranny fluid! The cup of fluid was heated to high temperature while being stirred, a little more complex than that, but it’s not relevant here. Inside hung 4 strips of metal, copper, lead, zinc and aluminum. All this was to mimic oxidation in a transmission, which destroys chemistry, causes corrosion and wear. This became one of my first projects! Ford had not just requested us to run it they wanted a redesign, a better mousetrap. This sat for almost 6 months and nobody knew what to do to build a better mousetrap! They had 6 months left and then Ford was going to visit to see the new test that they had been told was no problem! Guess who the buck got past to! You know what happens when you are at the bottom of the hill! Long story short we met the deadline! The ABOT test was now relatively small, about a 2x2x2 and each test unit ran 4 aluminum test beaker not one! So I dare say I understand the inside life of a automatic transmission fairly well!

That's pretty interesting 🙂 (well, not necessarily the lackadaisical portion but otherwise interesting!). The lab I send engine, trans and differential fluids to for analysis - Blackstone Labs out of Fort Wayne - it would be a blast to be a fly-on-the-wall to visit their facility and watch as they do their various tests (especially the flash-point tests *pulls box of matches from pocket* 😁).

 

14 hours ago, Last Indian said:

The other way to effect applied pressure is temperature! The hotter the fluid the thinner, lower viscosity, which translates into lower PSI. If you reduce the heat the whole tranny will thank you! That is why I put in the cooler this past winter! I had procrastinated for years because I don’t drive it that many miles in a year. But this year when I finally did take it out; wow what a difference! It shifts better, especially after it’s been running a while. That is when the heat would normal have started to impact the shifts to the point I could really tell it just wasn’t quite the same! 

For close to 19 years (since my 6th generation GP) I have occasionally been thinking about putting an external trans cooler in. I know there are many brands of external coolers - Desert Fox is one that jumps immediately to mind - however I continually come back to the many "pain-in-the-butt" (or the occasional horror) stories of the aftermarket external coolers (regarding leaking and, if left unchecked long enough, trans fluid starvation). Now I have zero idea what make / model of external cooler you run and it very well may be the Rolls Royce of coolers and has / will serve you very well - I'm speaking from my experience only. That said, I am in full agreement that when they are working they provide additional (potentially considerable) air volume movement as well as more efficient cooling of the fluid. On a side note, I would love to get cooling differential covers for both of my truck axles... but for the amount I drive the truck, coupled with how hard I drive it, I would have a very hard time justifying a $400+ investment cost to my wife (who is not a big car / truck person) 😉.

 

15 hours ago, Last Indian said:

There is an aftermarket company called Intense Racing that sells a performance shift pack that will change the clutch plate lockup to a firmer shift and it gives you three choices as to the firmness you want.

Oh yeah, I'm well versed with Intense and not only their offering of the three shift-kit stages but also other aftermarket companies offering the different stages. For a while I was very much considering putting in a stage 2 or 3 in my 6th generation but, and I don't recall why now, decided against it. While I have also considered installing it in my 7th generation, I really don't know how firm the shifts would be with a shift kit AND reprogramming the PCM's BIN file (even if a stage 1 or 2 were to be installed versus a 3). Installation of the kits isn't bad - taking your time, maybe 30 mins (including lifting the front up) providing no issues were encountered.

 

15 hours ago, Last Indian said:

Of all the automatics FWDs as I said are the worst for heat because they must reduce the heat from both the transmission & the transaxle!

For sure. Heat, total double edge sword. Keeps you comfy in the winter but wreaks havoc on your powertrain.  Makes me cringe when I see and auto manufacturers (especially GM, it seems, but I know Ford does it also - maybe not so much FCA... ?) dumping four cylinders in most of their vehicles and then making up for the loss of displacement by tossing on a turbo. Very compact engine space. Very hot turbo. IMO, poor engine bay cooling WITH the turbo. Hrmm... what could go wrong? 🤔

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5 hours ago, Stewy said:

For close to 19 years (since my 6th generation GP) I have occasionally been thinking about putting an external trans cooler in. I know there are many brands of external coolers - Desert Fox is one that jumps immediately to mind - however I continually come back to the many "pain-in-the-butt" (or the occasional horror) stories of the aftermarket external coolers (regarding leaking and, if left unchecked long enough, trans fluid starvation). Now I have zero idea what make / model of external cooler you run and it very well may be the Rolls Royce of coolers and has / will serve you very well - I'm speaking from my experience only. That said, I am in full agreement that when they are working they provide additional (potentially considerable) air volume movement as well as more efficient cooling of the fluid. On a side note, I would love to get cooling differential covers for both of my truck axles... but for the amount I drive the truck, coupled with how hard I drive it, I would have a very hard time justifying a $400+ investment cost to my wife (who is not a big car / truck person) 😉.

Do you trust your radiator? Do you trust the connections of the hoses, and the fittings for tranny lines at the radiator? Do you trust the fact that the guy who disconnected or cut, which ever method they used, as I’ve seen both, those Lines to flush your tranny did it right and put them back together right? If you do why would you not trust one of the oldest principle in mechanics based in human design? If for some reason you don’t feel comfortable in doing the work, hire it! A plate and fin exchanger is hands down the best and using army navy fittings is preferred except for the conversion fitting from flare to an AN fitting. 

5 hours ago, Stewy said:

Oh yeah, I'm well versed with Intense and not only their offering of the three shift-kit stages but also other aftermarket companies offering the different stages. For a while I was very much considering putting in a stage 2 or 3 in my 6th generation but, and I don't recall why now, decided against it. While I have also considered installing it in my 7th generation, I really don't know how firm the shifts would be with a shift kit AND reprogramming the PCM's BIN file (even if a stage 1 or 2 were to be installed versus a 3). Installation of the kits isn't bad - taking your time, maybe 30 mins (including lifting the front up) providing no issues were encountered.

I have a modified ECM! As modified as you can get and this coupled with the shift kit aren’t to much by any stretch! What you hear in that video is a downshift into first then an upshift into second, but just regular driving it shifts nice! It’s firm to the point you know it shifted, but not at all intrusive.

Again I’m just trying to give you a feel for what it could be. 

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18 hours ago, Last Indian said:

Again I’m just trying to give you a feel for what it could be. 

Trust me when I say, I have done more research into the topic than you may, or may not, realize. To each their own. Your car. My car. We each have our desired setup. What works for you may, or may not, work for me and vice versa.

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8 hours ago, Stewy said:

Trust me when I say, I have done more research into the topic than you may, or may not, realize. To each their own. Your car. My car. We each have our desired setup. What works for you may, or may not, work for me and vice versa.

TRUST ME! I don’t give a flying fig if you run a cooler or not! Nor what extensive research you may or may not have done! If you have 8 patents in the field of fluid mechanics and the apparatuses that go with them, and 4 patent pending and all the hundreds of hour of testing them as I have than I’ll listen! But a story of some idiot that can’t install one right and then blames the cooler manufacturer for his incompetence isn’t research. 

The conversation was as much for information for other folks whom might be interested in understanding certain issues with relevance to the transmission issues that occur as anything! It wasn’t all about you, or me!

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15 hours ago, Last Indian said:

TRUST ME! I don’t give a flying fig if you run a cooler or not! Nor what extensive research you may or may not have done! If you have 8 patents in the field of fluid mechanics and the apparatuses that go with them, and 4 patent pending and all the hundreds of hour of testing them as I have than I’ll listen! But a story of some idiot that can’t install one right and then blames the cooler manufacturer for his incompetence isn’t research. 

The conversation was as much for information for other folks whom might be interested in understanding certain issues with relevance to the transmission issues that occur as anything! It wasn’t all about you, or me!

🤦‍♂️Calm down, geeze. I was never calling you out - only relating my experience. My conversations with those who have installed them. My visual inspections of installations. My readings of technical documents relating to them. Guess I can't do that? I do not think less of you for installing one. As I noted previously, I'm happy you have one and that it's working out for you and wish you nothing but continued success. Also as noted, I have no idea what brand you have, how it's specifically installed and so on. For all I know you know the secrete to picking a reputable unit and installing it such that it's issue-free.

 

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Do you trust the connections of the hoses, and the fittings for tranny lines at the radiator?

Only to an extent such that I just (~ a month ago) replaced two OEM trans coolant line fittings because they were weeping. Even the factory connections / lines / etc. will weep (or worse) over time.

 

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But a story of some idiot that can’t install one right and then blames the cooler manufacturer for his incompetence isn’t research

I see... so first hand inspections of units with issues doesn't count... ?

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