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Thread: Another transmission thread ...

  1. #1
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    Another transmission thread ...

    I know there are a lot of these, and I have read just about everything I can find about changing the transmission filter and pan gasgets (both). I will going to the auto parts store in the morning to get the needed supplies. I am hoping this will fix my issue.

    The issue:
    • Engine running, in park, no issues.
    • Engine running, in any other gear selection (including neutral) I get a weird grinding noise.
    • Also, in first gear car moves, then slips, then grabs hard, then slips, etc ...
    • No slipping in reverse


    I just got the VX, less than 48 hours ago actually. Previous owner said he knew about the slip and parked it once it started and hadn't driven it since. It worked well enough to get it onto a trailer, then back off again and into it's current parking spot, but sounds ... well it sounds like a dry grinding. I haven't yet check the fluid level as the VX is parked on a slight incline at the moment and I don't have a replacement gasket for the fill bolt. There is also a nice thick layer of what looks to be oil over everything underneath from the front to the back. I don't think this VX has ever been washed! LOL! However, there are no drips on the ground.

    I am hoping that with a fluid/filter change it will cure it. Should I also get the "Lucas Transmission Fix" fluid? Or no?
    Last edited by Thelgord : 07/01/2017 at 10:44 PM

  2. #2
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    Slipping trannies are no bueno. With all that dried fluid underneath, it sounds like it's been leaking for a bit. Hopefully all the fluid didn't come out, but your stating that the truck is now grinding...not a good sign. That the previous owner "stopped driving it immediately" when the slipping started is kinda sus @ this point. Kind of hard to believe they didn't know about it.

    Last year I picked up a Trooper that had a slipping tranny. I didn't care b/c it was for the engine. The previous owner told me that I had to drive it like a stick, i.e., start in low and then shift into higher drive gears to force it. I drove it like that 200 miles back home, and then it died right out front. Didn't move for 3 months, and then it had enough juice to move into the garage.

    The options for the tranny vary. These are known for being kinda janky. Some people think that flushing will remove all the junk which will cause more leaking, etc. Others swear by it. I kept trying to fix my fluid leak and semi-slipping tranny and finally got fed up and swapped in a 5MT. I haven't worried since.
    Last edited by eternal21 : 07/03/2017 at 01:12 AM

  3. #3
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    When I dropped the two pans I got maybe 1/3 of a quart of fluid out of it, so basically dry. I'll be honest, I was worried that I was going to need a replacement.

    A couple gallons of Dextron III, a quart of Lucas Oil's Magic Wonder Concoction and new gaskets and a filter and the transmission is now working great. So grinding, no slipping, and (so far anyway) no leaking.
    --------
    VX Status: Running and drivable (again) ... so much to do ...

  4. #4
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    Makes me wonder how did the previous owner not notice the leaking....?

  5. #5
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    I will NEVER listen to anyone who says that flushing a transmission will make more problems. If it's to that point already, then you inherited a problem child when you bought it. I change my fluid every 15k miles like clockwork...and I don't even remember the last time I had transmission issues.

    p.s.
    always, always, always use full synthetic. Oil, Transmission or Gearbox...makes no difference.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipd View Post
    p.s.
    always, always, always use full synthetic. Oil, Transmission or Gearbox...makes no difference.
    Always good advice ...

  7. #7
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    5W-40 Rotella T6 for the engine is highly recommended by Jerry. I switched to it myself to combat oil burning. And it has helped. Price isn't bad, either. I use RP for everything else.

  8. #8
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    rotella is what i swear by. the full synthetic, the t6 (iirc) not the other stuff. it's the one in the blue bottle. used it on my other cars too. stuff is GOLD. it says it's for diesels...but it's just regular oil. it has more cleaning agents than regular oil because it's a "diesel" oil. All that means is that it keeps your engine cleaner.

  9. #9
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    Now that I have the transmission sorted, what fluid does the transfers case use?

  10. #10
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    I have my son's Green VX. I got the gaskets for the tranny pan(s) and the tranny filter and tranny additive. I have taken the VX to two tranny shops and two general mechanics and asked for a fluid change. All four shops in Orange County refused to change the fluid. One tranny shop test drove the VX and said the VX slips in second gear. That shop dismissed replacing the electronic shift solenoids (a $150 part per this forum). That shop quoted am outrageous $4,150 to rebuild the tranny.

    So where can I go for a simple tranny fluid change (in SoCal) or do I have to try to wrench the VX myself? The VX has 113,000 miles and this forum says the tranny should last until 150,000 miles. Any advice or assistance would be very much appreciated. The VX makes a whiney roaring sound when started and has only slipped on two occasions when I drove the VX.

  11. #11
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    Option 1) Wrench it your self. If you do this you will need to drop the cross-member in order to remove the larger of the two pans. It isn't difficult but it is time consuming and messy. For the smaller sump pan you will need to fill about 2/3 full before re-installing it. That means holding it place with one hand while starting at least two bolts with the other. A second set of hands will help a lot, but if it is just you, you can feed all of the bolts through the gasket before putting it place and they "should" stay in place. It worked for me last weekend anyway. You will also need a fluid pump to put the fluid back in. The pump I had couldn't handle the thicker, heavier additive so I put the additive in the smaller pan before reinstalling it.

    Option 2) As we all know Isuzu's are not officially supported in the U.S. anymore. However most Subaru dealerships still work on them and can get parts for them. Of course you are also paying dealership prices for labor. They also have the specialized tools that an Isuzu transmission needs (should you want to change the solonoid) where other shops may have to purchase these tools and are probably passing this cost on to you.

    Option 3) Look for a small independent garage that specializes in off-road vehicles. This will be hit and miss. I am not from so-cal, so I have no idea what's your specific area.

    Otiom 4) Go to the unemployment office early in the morning and ask if anyone wants to make a hundred bucks for some light mechanical work. Sounds shady, but a some of these people really know what they are doing and could use the money for honest work. It is not uncommon to find someone who knows how to turn a wrench.

  12. #12
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    start calling your local transmission shops, say you have a General Motors 4L30E tranny and want to know what their flat rate rebuild price is with a year or so warranty. $1250 is a good number. Do not tell them you have an Isuzu VX upfront. It will be a totally nightmare for them to drop the tranny and most bolts will snap off rather than screw off. If they don't know what a GM 4L30E is, hang up and move on to next shop. 4L30E is the weakest possible transmission that could have been engineered into our VX's and are all doomed to total failure. It was originally meant for Chevy Chevette tiny cars, not a 4WD all the time. E gave it 1 more gear but no more durability. Also have them install an real oil intercooler, about $125 and have them totally bypass the radiator's oil coolers as it's location and design is a total joke, I have seen the cross section, it is more likely to heat up the oil rather than cool it. So bypass it totally. Been there, done that I have.

  13. #13
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    EDIT:

    Forget I asked anything

  14. #14
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    u can save it, my rebuild is perfect, I will not open it for 100K, tranny people pretty much say, don't mess with it, they are beautifully sealed, mint looking inside even when destroyed. ATF fluid keeps them looking clean and new. My rebuild should have cost double. Exhaust had to come off also to get tranny out, I took the time to strip off rust and paint it all and had shop put it all back with stainless steel hardware. Gotta plan long term with these VX's, I am never giving it up. Mine forever

  15. #15
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    I have only had my VX for a around three weeks now. I have already learned a ton of info about it, and I still don't think I know enough. LOL!

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