04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

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Thread: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

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    Walking
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    04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Ok I got a 2004 Silverado 5.3 regular cab. I have not had any problems with the transmission since I had it. The RPM gauge has been out since I had it, also during the day you can't see PRND321 but at night it is illuminated. Ok I had a set of 20 inch wheels put on my truck. Drove duck hunting come home. Finished putting cd player in my truck. Went to leave to go see my parents and when I put the truck in drive it seemed to have no power taking off. I knew something wasnt right so I stopped cut the truck off and cranked it, made sure I had it in drive then took off again and just took off like it was sick. Well I went on to my parents thinking that it might change and maybe I was just worrying too much. Well got going good and it shifted fine into all gears but would not go into overdrive. I knew something was def wrong. I stopped at end of road and put it in 1st and so on an so forth an it does not slip a bit manually shifting it. But if you take off in drive it is like it starts out in 3rd gear or something and has no power. Well took it to transmission shop and the main guy was out and the one working did not have much experience but I had him hook it up to tester. He said all the sensors tested good. He drove it and said he thought it was the valve body or something in it. I took pan off looked at oil was no metal shavings or anything to be concerned about or anything on magnet. There was a little gunk in bottom like from where the fluid needed to be replaced maybe I dont know. I put new fluid back in, new filter and put it all back on. I had my check engine light codes ran at autozone and had 9 codes and all was transmission codes. All said something about selenoids or could be some type of fuse or something electronically. If anyone knows anything about this I would appreciate any help or advice. I was told that I should have had my truck calorbrated for the 20 in rims at dealer but I think the transmission messing up a day after I put rims on to be a coincidence. I know many friends that have 20 inch wheels or bigger and never got there truck calorbrated. I am in college and need my truck fixed asap. Please help!!!

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    That would be no power to your transmission control module. The TCM on your truck is located on the shift lever on the drivers side of the transmission. However the loss of power probably doesn't stem from there.

    I'm willing to bet the issue you have is under the dash. I have a 2001 Suburban (5.3L 4L60e GMT-800) and I had Best Buy install a remote start/ Alarm system. They did a **** job on it and it periodically causes my dash (IP cluster) and transmission to lose electrical power. When this happens "Safe Mode" is engaged; 3rd gear starts, no OD.

    Your transmission is electronically controlled through solenoids that control hydraulic flow that tell what gears to engage and when based on a myriad of information from the engine and speed sensors. If the TCM has no power it can't engage or disengage the solenoids properly. Manually selecting gears will work because when you manually select 1st or second it will manually by pass the solenoids and allow those gears to engage.

    The fix is to find out where the break in power is coming from and repair it. You are going to need a schematic to find the right wires to chase, and a multi-meter.

    Couple things to check real quick though. Under the drivers side dash (below the steering wheel) remove that panel and on the left hand side you will see the back side of the fuse cluster. Check for loose plugs there (they wiggle loose over the miles sometimes).

    It shouldn't be a mechanical failure. It, from all your information, should be an electrical failure. Especially with the problem being intermittent.

    Also note that a problem with the IP cluster (guages) will not cause a transmission problem, but a transmission electrical problem CAN cause a IP cluster problem.

    Good Luck. Finding that schematic is a bitch! Here's a link to a related problem discussed in a different forum.

    Also, no frets about the wheels bro. I got 22's, had them for about 60K miles and no issues to date. I just hope that when you got those rims you ensured the offset, back spacing, and hub holes were to GMT800 specs. If not, you WILL have steering related problems (steering box, power steering pump failures, etc). That statement remains true for ALL cars. An easy way to check if your wheels are the right fit is to turn your steering wheel lock to lock several times while parked on concrete. Back the vehicle up and check the marks the tires left. If they show a perfect pivot on center you're good. If they look like they are dragging in and out of the traction patch center, no bueno.

    The calibration needed depends on if you changed the Diameter of the tire when you switch from stock to the 20's. Here's the math:

    Diameter = (TW/25.4)*(TP)*2 + WD

    Where TW = Tire width (in mm)
    TP = Tire Profile (in percentage)
    WD = Wheel Diameter

    Exp. 265/75R16 would be (optional stock for GMT800 4x4 models)
    (265/25.4)*(0.75)*2 + 16 = 31.6"

    Exp 2. 305/45R22
    (305/25.4)*(0.45)*2 + 22 = 32.8"

    Once you know the two tire diameter you need to figure the difference in percentage they are.

    32.8/31.6=103.8% (which is more than the typically acceptable 3% variance)

    Ohh, and welcome to GMI!

    Also, how many miles on the truck, how many since you got it? Do you know the previous maintenance history? Changing the fluid could lead to problems relatively soon (as in transmission rebuild time) if the trans wasn't properly maintained before you. I have personally experienced the failure of a transmission due to pulling out old fluid that was making it work. It's weird.
    Last edited by hrcslam; 09-21-2012 at 12:18 AM.


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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    If the truck has an external fuel filter, change that as well. If you don't know anything about electronics, don't jack with it other than the plug ins. If you do find a loose connection, secure the connection, get the codes cleared, and drive it again. If the codes don't come back, great. If they do, get the prob fixed. Keep driving, and it is gonna cost you some major bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    If the truck has an external fuel filter, change that as well. If you don't know anything about electronics, don't jack with it other than the plug ins. If you do find a loose connection, secure the connection, get the codes cleared, and drive it again. If the codes don't come back, great. If they do, get the prob fixed. Keep driving, and it is gonna cost you some major bucks.
    Yeah good points. Something I overlooked earlier. Did you cut any wires to put the stereo in?

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    You never said what the codes were that you had but if you are having second gear starts, no 4th gear and harsh shifts, then you need to remove the valvebody and have the AFL circuit reamed out and replaced with a Sonnax one. This is a very common problem in this unit we see this issue more in my shop than units that are burned out. If you remove the valvebody and take it to a good transmission shop you should be back on the road the same day. Your transmission does not haved to come out for this problem.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Was this ever resolved? I am going through the exact same thing.Getting expen$ive trying to figure out.I will post results if remedied.So far I have replaced solenoids in trans.,ignition

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Truelove View Post
    Was this ever resolved? I am going through the exact same thing.Getting expen$ive trying to figure out.I will post results if remedied.So far I have replaced solenoids in trans.,ignition
    What are the codes and what is your truck doing? I also need the year and if it is half ton or heavy duty.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Truelove View Post
    Was this ever resolved? I am going through the exact same thing.Getting expen$ive trying to figure out.I will post results if remedied.So far I have replaced solenoids in trans.,ignition
    Your best bet is to take it to a good trans shop and let them fix it. I do my own transmission work. But it is very difficult to troubleshoot a vehicle over the internet. If your issues are the same as the OP see the comments above.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    I'm betting the sun gear is shot. They are notorious for issues on the GMT-800's.
    Get used to more.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    Your best bet is to take it to a good trans shop and let them fix it. I do my own transmission work. But it is very difficult to troubleshoot a vehicle over the internet. If your issues are the same as the OP see the comments above.

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    No, it's not hard to trouble shoot, if you know the codes and the issue I can tell him what the problem is. I've been rebuilding transmissions, differentials and transfer cases for 34 years, 26 years in my own shop. If you have been doing your own transmission repairs you should at least know how the unit works both electrically and mechanically, so you can trouble shoot properly.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    The codes were P0740,P0753,P0785,repaired @ Trans.Shop,ignition replaced,remote starter removed by an installer.

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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SeetheUSA View Post
    I'm betting the sun gear is shot. They are notorious for issues on the GMT-800's.
    I removed mine with a hardened unit. Good cheap insurance if you ask me.


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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBUC View Post
    No, it's not hard to trouble shoot, if you know the codes and the issue I can tell him what the problem is. I've been rebuilding transmissions, differentials and transfer cases for 34 years, 26 years in my own shop. If you have been doing your own transmission repairs you should at least know how the unit works both electrically and mechanically, so you can trouble shoot properly.
    I don't do this professionally so I think the OP is in good hands with you.

    Every time my trans performed in the manner explained it was an electrical issue related to remote start.

    The reason I say it's difficult is because issues like this arise due to none transmission related problems. Like remote starts and ignition switches.

    I can troubleshoot these issues in person much easier than over a forum.


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    Last edited by hrcslam; 03-25-2014 at 05:43 PM.


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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Truelove View Post
    The codes were P0740,P0753,P0785,repaired @ Trans.Shop,ignition replaced,remote starter removed by an installer.
    I would ensure the remote start was properly removed.

    All those codes are electrical related.

    Personally I'd remove the IP cover and lower dash cover under the steering wheel. Then look for any loose wires and or connections. Repair as necessary. The focus area will be to the left of the steering wheel.

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    Last edited by hrcslam; 03-25-2014 at 05:46 PM.


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    Re: 04 Silverado 5.3 Transmission Problems!!!

    Yes,I made sure I taped every wire.Went through it all,it looked good,but had it removed anyway.All joints were soldered,it looked nice BUT...it's history.It seems to be running fine for now,no hard shift,shifts through all gears fine,so I hope all is well.I would like to thank everyone for their input,BIG help.I do have another question though,when I was testing wires,I found I had no power@the off white wire in the ignition and no power@the four 10A fuses (mid right 21,22,26,27),tach is still FU and only have high on heater fan.(This truck was over $40G new)

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