2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

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Thread: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

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    2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Long time reader, haven't posted since 2008 (I think).

    As of lately my vehicle has been plagued with a transmission gremlin. It's been hard shifting alot lately and it feels as if its under performing as well. To give you some background of my vehicle, I am the second owner, and it currently has about 176k miles on it. Here's whats up:

    Symptoms Include:
    • Hard shifting

    • Higher RPM Reving

    • Slower start-off (stop to go)


    What I have done:
    • Change Transmission Fluid

    • Change Transmission Filter



    Unfortunately the issue continues to persist. I went to a local parts store and they hooked up their reader to my Grand Prix which came out with the following error code (attached). The young man there did not understand what the error was, so he was unable to give me any positive feedback.

    I do not want to loose my vehicle, Im quite fond of it and would love to fix it up and add a nice body kit to it for some flare. Help me guys, let me know what the issue may be so I can move forward with repairing my vehicle before it gets worse! I look to you for support!

    Thanks for reading this.
    Mark

    P.S. - Dont know if this is connected but my cruise control no longer activates as well.

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    it isn't the transmission fix that is making it shift hard is it? usually that stuff is when it is slipping so it helps clutch grab a bit more, but if it is good, it might be hard shifting...

    but... you have no 1st or 4th?!



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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    No, it was hard shifting before. I did find something interesting though by researching online...

    The PCM is detecting the solenoid is not performing properly. According to my ATSG guide for the 4T65E tranny P0751 which is a class "B" DTC error code indicates 1 - 2 Shift Solenoid Performance problem. All shift solenoids work as a logic gate based on the signals received from the PCM. One not working could conceivably affect other shifting, etc.

    P0751 does the following:

    It disables shift adapts.
    Commands maximum line pressure.
    Inhibits 3 - 2 downshifts when speed is greater than 30 mph

    Basically the 1 - 2 shift solenoid is sticking in the off position and should be replaced.
    Maybe this is the answer?

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    There are a few causes that can cause your problems.

    1. Bad solenoid
    2. Bad harness to solenoid
    3. Loose harness connection to transmission
    4. Blown fuse
    5. Gunk in valve body
    6. Bad clutches
    7. Clogged Cat

    You can start with the easy stuff, check fuses, pull main trans plug -clean and re-install.

    It's likely not the cat because you aren't getting any engine related codes. But that also doesn't rule it completely out, I've seen it happen before. Cat get's clogged, no codes (on an OBD2 car to boot) and the trans goes on the fritz.

    Unfortunately, for the W-Body cars, you have to drop the trans to access the trans pan for the solenoids and harness. In which case you should just rebuild it while it's out.

    When you say it shifts hard, is that while it's in Drive? Or is it when you manually shift it between gears?

    If it is shifting on it's own in Drive then the trans is getting power to the TCM. If not I'd check for power to the TCM (fuse typically). But you aren't getting the code for no TCM power so it's highly unlikely to be that.

    Also, how often do you have the trans serviced? Every 30-50K miles? If not, or you are not sure, swapping fluids and adding a fluid additive can make the problems worse with that many miles on the trans.

    Honestly, it's probably time for a rebuild. Those cars are heavy, with a good amount of power. If the trans has never been rebuild than it lasted a good while. The re-build is pretty straight forward with these transmissions too of you feel like tackling it your self, but you will need a special tool that requires a press. And you have to drop the front K-member out to get the trans out too. It's a lot of work, but will save you thousands if you are inclined to do it yourself. Also, there is a ton of information on how to rebuild these on the interwebz (GM built millions upon tens of millions of the transmissions used in your car, yearly for well over a couple of decades).
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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeper View Post
    No, it was hard shifting before. I did find something interesting though by researching online...



    Maybe this is the answer?
    That's sounds like the most likely source of the problem. But the trans pan is located on the side of the transmission. Which doesn't allow removal of it while the trans is in the car.

    Here's a pic



    As you can see there's a pan on the bottom (for the filter) and one on the side (for the valve body, clutches, gears, chain, and solenoids). The one on the side will need to come off for the solenoid to be replaced.



    To get that pan off you need to drop the trans out. If you are that far, and the trans hasn't been rebuilt recently, you might as well have it rebuilt.

    Check out this link (post #7 for solenoid locations).
    Last edited by hrcslam; 03-19-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    There are a few causes that can cause your problems.

    1. Bad solenoid
    2. Bad harness to solenoid
    3. Loose harness connection to transmission
    4. Blown fuse
    5. Gunk in valve body
    6. Bad clutches
    7. Clogged Cat
    So based on what your options are for the issue and the information I found, would you still say its possibly a bad solenoid? Considering this requires alot of work, I understand this will hit my wallet quickly. I normally work on my car but considering the remove of such a key member, I dont think I have the right experience nor tools to have this removed on my own.

    It shifts hard when I'm driving. It has its days, 90% chance of hard shifting, 10% normal shifting. Today for example on the way home it acted just fine, but it still revs high.

    I've never serviced the transmission. With the recent problems that were occurring this prompted me to change the transmission fluid thinking it was the cause.

    So it sounds like I'm looking at:

    1. Dropping transmission
    2. Removing side pan
    3. Rebuilding transmission
    4. Replacing sensor
    5. Putting the transmission back in

    Am I looking at spending thousands of dollars here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeper View Post
    So based on what your options are for the issue and the information I found, would you still say its possibly a bad solenoid? Considering this requires alot of work, I understand this will hit my wallet quickly. I normally work on my car but considering the remove of such a key member, I dont think I have the right experience nor tools to have this removed on my own.

    It shifts hard when I'm driving. It has its days, 90% chance of hard shifting, 10% normal shifting. Today for example on the way home it acted just fine, but it still revs high.

    I've never serviced the transmission. With the recent problems that were occurring this prompted me to change the transmission fluid thinking it was the cause.

    So it sounds like I'm looking at:

    1. Dropping transmission
    2. Removing side pan
    3. Rebuilding transmission
    4. Replacing sensor
    5. Putting the transmission back in

    Am I looking at spending thousands of dollars here?
    Yes. If you take it to a reputable shop, I'm not sure on the current going rate but last I checked in 2008 it was about $1600-2000. But that will come with a warranty. That is when I decided I will rebuild all of my own transmissions, I also made quite a bit of money doing this to cars I bought off of craigslist. Many blown transmissions for $1000-$1500 cars on Craigslist that are worth easily double that fixed.

    If you did it your self it could be done for less than $600 including fluids and tools.

    I have rebuilt these transmissions in my garage with basic hand tools and a press, not easy next trans I do I'm getting that special tool. But you can do without the special tool if you find a trans shop that will do that part for you for a small fee. I had a local shop do mine for free, but I also bought all my parts and kits from them.

    I recommend you do an internet search on how to rebuild your trans before getting started so you know what you are up against.

    If you are still revving high on your good days it sounds like your clutches are about done anyway. It's likely your solenoid is fine and you have clutch debris clogging up your valve body. There is a way to check that once you get access to your solenoid though.

    EDIT: You have the stronger 4T65e, the difference is only in the gear train though.


    The good news is your trans isn't grinding, so your gear train is good. Here's what you'll need.

    1. 4T65e rebuild kit (~$350)
    2. Jacks (2 makes it a lot easier; one being a trans jack- not necesarry but very nice to have)
    3. Jack stands - go high, but not higher than the jacks can reach the engine or trans pan. On a side note, there is a tool made so support the engine from the top that helps a lot about $75. But you could use a 4X4 piece of wood in it's place. This will eliminate a jack stand from under the oil pan; which is how I did it.
    4. Trans Fluid (about 8 quarts ~$40)
    5. Inline magnetic filter (not required, but highly highly highly recommended ~$15; see link for details). This should be installed on the trans fluid cooling return line (low pressure side) where ever is easiest to access.
    6. Transmission Clutch Spring Compression tool (that special tool I told you about, apparantly there is a universal tool that eliminates the press: see link ~$150; there's this one too for about $120)
    7. A really really long extension (or combination there of to reach over 30" - the longer the better). You will need this one to access the trans to engine mounting bold that is located under the rear exhaust manifold. You have to come from the passenger side wheel well under the manifold all the way to the bolt.

    So you are looking at about $555 total out of your pocket with what I listed above for everything you need (not including the engine support bar).

    It sounds like you have some tools available so you may only need the items I listed above and a 2nd jack if you don't have one. Also, Harbor Freight sells a transmission jack for under $100 too.

    Check out this link for a good tutorial with pics.

    Also, once you gain access to your solenoids, take a 9V battery and -with two wires- connect it to each solenoid. If it clicks, it's good. Dont leave power to them though, just touch them to make it click. No click, no good.

    Good luck! If you were in Tucson, AZ I'd be willing to help. In any case, let us know how it goes so we know if this fixes your problem or if it was something else for good reference for members and lurkers alike.
    Last edited by hrcslam; 03-20-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Bad to hear that your Granp is having problems. If it is revving high it can also be the torque converter. But like everyone have said if you drip the trans you might as well rebuild it. If money is a problem just leave run it for some time until you can have it. Mine shifts kind of weird into 4 gear but I' m not going to do anything when she goes I'll just rebuild it. She is starting to do the thing this ars make with the abs that activate at low speed and I'm going to focus on that first. Good luck and nice looking Grand Prix you got there.

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Consider the amazing luck that you got 176k out of this tranny without a rebuild already. Granp is definitely living right.

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Its my understanding the 4th gear input shaft gets worn out on this tranny so you never get out of 3rd - if you are driving 60-70 mph and are over 3K RPM then you dont have a 4th gear anymore in this unit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goochman View Post
    Its my understanding the 4th gear input shaft gets worn out on this tranny so you never get out of 3rd - if you are driving 60-70 mph and are over 3K RPM then you dont have a 4th gear anymore in this unit.
    I haven't heard of that issue. Does that apply to the gear set for the 4L65e too?

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    If you're not skilled at tranny repair, ask your GM dealer the price of rebuild vs SRTA replacement. If you're going to keep the car, it may be a worthwhile consideration.

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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    "If you're not skilled at tranny repair, ask your GM dealer the price of rebuild vs SRTA replacement. If you're going to keep the car, it may be a worthwhile consideration. "

    This, most definitely, without a doubt.

    Just for the record, any dealer or good tranny shop can and often does work inside the side cover without pulling the trans. If you didn't already have so many miles on it having the solenoids replaced as necessary would be a good idea, but it your case it would just be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkbill View Post
    "If you're not skilled at tranny repair, ask your GM dealer the price of rebuild vs SRTA replacement. If you're going to keep the car, it may be a worthwhile consideration. "

    This, most definitely, without a doubt.

    Just for the record, any dealer or good tranny shop can and often does work inside the side cover without pulling the trans. If you didn't already have so many miles on it having the solenoids replaced as necessary would be a good idea, but it your case it would just be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    Have you ever worked on a W bodied 4T65e? Not possible too access those solenoids with the trans in the car.

    Here's a pic for reference.



    You can clearly see the filter pan, then very close to that on the driver's side is the engine cradle. Directly above that is the side pan, and an inch away from the side pan is the car frame rails. I've personally tried to remove this pan while still in the car. It is not possible. The clearance required to remove a 3" deep pan with only 1" of clearance and 2.75" of trans internals in the way; not possible. The frame has to come out and the trans has to come down.

    Maybe in other cars with transverse mounted engines, but certainly not in a W-body.
    Last edited by hrcslam; 03-20-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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    Re: 2004 Grand Prix Transmission Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    Have you ever worked on a W bodied 4T65e? Not possible too access those solenoids with the trans in the car.

    Here's a pic for reference.


    You can clearly see the filter pan, then very close to that on the driver's side is the engine cradle. Directly above that is the side pan, and an inch away from the side pan is the car frame rails. I've personally tried to remove this pan while still in the car. It is not possible. The clearance required to remove a 3" deep pan with only 1" of clearance and 2.75" of trans internals in the way; not possible. The frame has to come out and the trans has to come down.

    Maybe in other cars with transverse mounted engines, but certainly not in a W-body.
    With all your pics of the 4T60E you're misleading him in the fact that this unit has a 4T65E and yes you can access the solenoids with the transmission in the car and we do it everyday in my shop. He needs to scan the unit and find out the codes from there he has to remove the bottom pan and see if there is any clutch material in the pan, if there is none you can do the repairs with out removing the transmission. At this point you can not do anything with out knowing the codes, these codes will tell you what is the main and minor issues and with 176,000 miles you will have both.

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