Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Transmission to Rear-end

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Crews69
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Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by Crews69 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:53 pm

Hey so I own a 69 Camaro and installed a relatively built 383 stroker in it along with a new b&m holeshot 2400 stall converter and a new TCI super street fighter Th400. I recently swapped cams in the engine and was out doing some fine tuning when my tranny started whining. Almost like an old power steering pump but a little deeper in sound. I was only a mile from home and I returned straight away.
I contacted TCI with a description of the problem and he immediately asked what the gap between the TC and flex plate was when I installed it. I had no clue so he said I may have had to big of a gap there and should have shimmed it. Which would result in a fried pump and or TC. I went home and took the converter bolts out and measured. It was .057". I believe that is acceptable. However when I roll the converter over I can hear metal or something tinkering around in there. So I'm pretty sure this converter is toast. Attached is a photo of what I filtered out of the drain plug when I drained the transmission. It is not magnetic and I'm almost positive it is aluminum.
Do you think I could throw a new converter in there without having to rebuild the whole damn thing? Sob has less than 5k miles on it...
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numboltz
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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by numboltz » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:29 am

Converter engagement with the inner oil pump drive dogs has often been an issue,
both with 350s and 400s and this is made worse if the crankshaft end play is excessive.

Basically, if the converter was installed with too much endplay, the front edges of the
inner rotor drive dogs can get rubbed off or broken off entirely. Rotors are just powdered metal.
Occasionally, the rubbed off dogs will put a force to the rear on the inner rotor and
it can act like an end mill. I have seen them take a 1/4" of cast iron out of the rear
pump half. This was so common back in the day that it was checked on install and if
necessary, one 3/8 flatwasher per bolt was installed between the driveplate and the t/c.

If the T/C was installed with out enough endplay, the end mill thingy could happen
especially if the converter had never been actually engaged with the pump lugs.
Usually, the installer would feel that the crank had locked up when trying to finish
installing the converter bolts. But I have seen lots of DIYs ignore that.

If any of this happened, look for fine cast iron particles in the fluid and the inside of the pan.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by Crews69 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:07 am

Since I last posted I have removed the pan. I found a lot more aluminum in there. I can hear debris in the converter if I turn it. The end play measured .057".
I have no idea why this converter failed. It was brand new. And so was my TCI Tranny that now has a load of shit in it. TCI said I could likely just change the converter and flush the system with a new filter and run it. But I am not so sure. I was quoted 495.00 to tear it down and clean etc. then I buy a new converter "not a B&M". And then reinstall it all for about a grand said and done.
One odd thing is this dowel pin was about 1/16" from falling all the way out. It inserts at the housing for the shift shaft.
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numboltz
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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by numboltz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:54 am

Open up the filter with a pair of slip joint pliers, if it is a stock type filter with the dacron
mesh there will be a lot more stuff in it. A good OEM type filter will trap most crap. If it
is a high perf screen type, not so much. Is it aluminum fersure? Not magnetic? Run a magnet
around in the pan and see if it picks up fine particles. Any black plastic?

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by exhaustgases » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:40 am

And a good reason to have a nice bolt together torque converter. I hate the weld together junk, the only reason they went to that design years ago is its cheap to manufacture. Industrial transmissions have bolt together TC's unless somethings changed in the past few years or so.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbOjetFYVK0


Yeah what a couple of new tc's or tear downs, and you paid for the bolt together unit.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by Crews69 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:41 am

numboltz wrote:Open up the filter with a pair of slip joint pliers, if it is a stock type filter with the dacron
mesh there will be a lot more stuff in it. A good OEM type filter will trap most crap. If it
is a high perf screen type, not so much. Is it aluminum fersure? Not magnetic? Run a magnet
around in the pan and see if it picks up fine particles. Any black plastic?
Yes I did use a magnet. It's definitely aluminum. And it has the TCI filter in it which I'm pretty sure is a high performance screen type.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by Crews69 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:44 am

exhaustgases wrote:And a good reason to have a nice bolt together torque converter. I hate the weld together junk, the only reason they went to that design years ago is its cheap to manufacture. Industrial transmissions have bolt together TC's unless somethings changed in the past few years or so.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbOjetFYVK0


Yeah what a couple of new tc's or tear downs, and you paid for the bolt together unit.
Yeah man i am just furious this thing failed. It cost me like 350 new. I thought "oh well b&m should be good enough to handle a 400 horse 383. I only have less than 5k on it along with the new transmission.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by Crews69 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:46 am

Crews69 wrote:
exhaustgases wrote:And a good reason to have a nice bolt together torque converter. I hate the weld together junk, the only reason they went to that design years ago is its cheap to manufacture. Industrial transmissions have bolt together TC's unless somethings changed in the past few years or so.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbOjetFYVK0


Yeah what a couple of new tc's or tear downs, and you paid for the bolt together unit.
Yeah man i am just furious this thing failed. It cost me like 350 new. I thought "oh well b&m should be good enough to handle a 400 horse 383. I only have less than 5k on it along with the new transmission that cost an additional 2k.
I'm just going to take it into our local high performance tranny shop and let them tear down the 400 and clean it out. Repair anything damaged. And buy a new 2400 stall converter. I just had CamKing from this forum custom grind a cam for my setup also.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by autogear » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:04 pm

Give Michael @ Freakshow converters in Abilene TX a call...Very good converters at a VERY reasonable price. I will never buy another shelf stock converter again.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by exhaustgases » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:08 pm

autogear wrote:Give Michael @ Freakshow converters in Abilene TX a call...Very good converters at a VERY reasonable price. I will never buy another shelf stock converter again.
The problem is if something in the trans goes your into a new or getting the TC redone again. Unless you spend the 50k or what ever it takes for the machines to do it yourself. Bolt together TC about 1K per the last Jegs ad I saw.

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Post by dwilliams » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:51 am

Crews69 wrote:I was quoted 495.00 to tear it down and clean etc. then I buy a new converter "not a B&M". And then reinstall it all for about a grand said and done.
If you can put together an engine you can rebuild a T400. It's not rocket surgery. Get Ron Sessions' T400 book for step-by-step directions. You'll need a slide hammer, some modified C-clamps, and some homemade tools for this and that, no big deal.

The T400 comes apart as subassemblies; you pull the pump and remove the clutch packs in order. Lay them out on a table - I used a hollow-core door across sawhorses - to keep everything in order, though most of it only goes together one way.

90% of the work in going through an automatic is cleaning. 9% is measuring clearances - mostly feeler gauge stuff. The last 1% is barely above "monkeys can do it."

I made this web page about building a T350: http://dave2.freeshell.org/car1/TWtrans/twtrans.htm It's a very close cousin to the T400.

If you don't have space or time to do it yourself, no problem. But if you want it done *right*, go DIY. Really. Old 3-speed automatics like the T400 are way simpler than they look. If I can successfully rebuild a Turbo-Hydramatic and have it work, you could probably do it blind drunk using a Harbor Freight crescent wrench and a rock.

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Re:

Post by Crews69 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:34 pm

dwilliams wrote:
Crews69 wrote:I was quoted 495.00 to tear it down and clean etc. then I buy a new converter "not a B&M". And then reinstall it all for about a grand said and done.
If you can put together an engine you can rebuild a T400. It's not rocket surgery. Get Ron Sessions' T400 book for step-by-step directions. You'll need a slide hammer, some modified C-clamps, and some homemade tools for this and that, no big deal.

The T400 comes apart as subassemblies; you pull the pump and remove the clutch packs in order. Lay them out on a table - I used a hollow-core door across sawhorses - to keep everything in order, though most of it only goes together one way.

90% of the work in going through an automatic is cleaning. 9% is measuring clearances - mostly feeler gauge stuff. The last 1% is barely above "monkeys can do it."

I made this web page about building a T350: http://dave2.freeshell.org/car1/TWtrans/twtrans.htm It's a very close cousin to the T400.

If you don't have space or time to do it yourself, no problem. But if you want it done *right*, go DIY. Really. Old 3-speed automatics like the T400 are way simpler than they look. If I can successfully rebuild a Turbo-Hydramatic and have it work, you could probably do it blind drunk using a Harbor Freight crescent wrench and a rock.
Hahaha yeah I tore it apart and cleaned it all out today with my buddy rfoll. It really was a piece of cake. I just always hear horror stories of guys trying to rebuild their granny's and they last about fifty miles haha.
Now I just need to muscle this pig back up in there. Hopefully the new TCI converter holds up better than that garbage b&m converter.

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by 77cruiser » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:55 am

Going through a similar deal with my 200-4r, I think the sprag in the converter is broken or splines stripped from the stator support.
Jim

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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by SupStk » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:43 am

For you guys that are experiencing converter failures or other issues leaving shrapnel in the pan, don't forget to flush the cooler. Installing a filter on the return line would be advised also.

Just for what its worth, .050" is enough for converter to flexplate clearance. You can go up to 3/16 (.187) before adding shims.
Monty Frerichs
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Re: Aluminum in tranny fluid?

Post by jred » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:03 pm

atsg Manuel built my 4l60e years ago when my tranny guy wouldn't rebuild it for me because on the electronics...this book is great and has all the needed upgrades step by step tear down and assembly with pictures diagrams how to check all the electrical components wiring which way the thrust washers face and the lipped o rings seals I've built three of these transmissions followed the book and had no problems at all.. good luck and remember clean clean clean...

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