2000 Isuzu Trooper Transmission Rebuild 4l30E

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2000 Isuzu Trooper Transmission Rebuild 4l30E

Postby tinman67 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:55 am

I use to own a 1998 Isuzu trooper and loved it. I now drive a 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee limited and it has been a great car but I recently decided to buy another Trooper. About 2 months ago I found a 94 trooper that was having some mechanical issues. So I figured could rebuild the motor and have a pretty decent vehicle for my son and at the same time my son could learn a little about cars. I picked it up for $500.
Within a few days I found a 2000 Trooper that was in great shape but the transmission had failed. It also had a new motor in it so I bought it too. I moved the 94 to the back and decided to focus on the 2000.
After buying it I found this web site and have read a number of good posts about people that have rebuilt transmissions themselves. I figured Why Not!
I did call around to get prices on what a rebuild transmission would cost. The prices ranged between 975 (On Ebay) and about 1600 from my local shop. I also found someone on Craigslist that does bench rebuilds for $300. That sounded pretty good but I have to admit I am a bit skeptical of using someone off of craigslist to rebuild my transmission as I have been burned by someone on craigslist. I am usually very cautious about these things but a year later and I am still posting on craigslist to let everyone know how that guy does business. Anyway, I went back and forth between doing the rebuild myself and having this guy do it. In the long run I decided to try this guy and write about my experience.
So last weekend I pulled the trooper into the garage and put it up on jack stands. I spent about 6 hours dropping the transmission. Putting all the bolts in separate zip lock bags and taking a few photos along the way to make sure I know how to put it back together.
Last night I pulled the transfer case off of the transmission and loaded it in the back of my Jeep. I made arraignments to drop the transmission off today at his shop. Going to ask for all the replaced parts back and have written the ID number off of the transmission down to make sure I get the same one back. Again, probably over the top but I am still a bit nervous about it. The guy comes across like he knows what he is doing and has had most of the right answers to my questions. He said to expect it to take 3 business days for the rebuild but if I get it back in a week I will be happy. I ordered the Transmission Super Master Rebuild Kit from Murphy Automotive. I also purchased the Superior Shift Correction Kit. The rebuilder said it will cost another $50 for him to do the shift kit but I think that is reasonable.
I have already purchased a remanufactured torque converter and it is at home waiting to be installed in the rebuilt transmission. I also plan on purchasing a transmission fluid cooler and filter to add to it. Any suggestions?
I know that I need to replace the torque converter bolts. Anything else I missed?
I will let everyone know how it goes. If it works out this could be a good source for other folks with the 4l30E transmission. If not I will let you know that too!
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Postby The MU » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:19 pm

Yeah, I spent quite some time taking the 4L30E out. Of course, I wasn't going to put a 4L30E in! :) You are right on replacing the torque converter bolts. If you want, I can email you the factory service manual instruction steps. PM me your email addy.

One thing I found easy to do while installation is, seperate the Transfer Case and Transmission. Much easier to put in rather than that whole 400+ lb. back breaker.

I don't know about the shift kits so, someone else will have to chime in on that.

Maybe check the flywheel if there are any irregularities. It'd also be a good idea to check the condition of the range control unit and see if you need to clean it or something.
And yeah, what I did while the drive shafts were down was, grease them. Maybe change the fuel filter while you are at it too.

When you are putting it back in, watch out for the fuel line near the engine it tends to get snagged and makes it hard to put the tranny back in.

There is also a 4 pin harness with purple, pink, colors that fits into the adpater case; the one with the 4 circular pin-outs, that tends to get wedged between the bell housing and engine. Make sure you tuck it out when you put the tranny in.

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Postby Dae » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:35 pm

Heres some info on the shift kit.
http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?t=44049

Im not sure if $50 more is worth it, since he is supposedly "rebuilding" the thing.
It shouldnt be much more work. Unless he charges $50 to drill a couple of holes out of the valve body.

For reinstallation.. make sure to flush out the transmission cooler and its lines. I would replace the rubber ones while im at it.
It would also be a good time to replace any rear engine seals that you have back there.
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Postby tinman67 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:05 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

I dropped the transmission off the other day. Very happy to see that it was an actual transmission shop and the guy said all the right things.

I figured the $50 for the shift kit was a little high but overall if I can get a complete rebuild for $350 plus parts I am still good with that.

He called me last night and said that three of the solenoids were bad so I am going to replace those too. He offered to let me get the parts but he said he could get them.

I also ordered a transmission oil cooler (B&M 70268) and the Remote filter (B&M 80277).

So far I have the following:
- GM 4L30-E Superior Shift Kit (M-S24165E) - $36.95
- GM 4l30-E Transmission Super Master Rebuild Kit 1998-up - $199.95
- Rebuild Labor - $350
- Remanufactured Torque Converter - $119

Still need
- Torque Converter Bolt Set
- Transmission Plate Bolts (Not sure if I really need new ones
- Additional transmission fluid hose
- May also change out the universal joints while I have drive shafts out but not sure yet.

Once I figure out how to load photos I will post some.
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Postby Dae » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:09 pm

Make sure he uses OEM solenoids. I have heard of people using some aftermarket ones and their trans failing shortly after.
If you need the TC bolts, JLEMOND should have those. Just send him a PM. I reused mine.
But if I ever have to drop the trans again, I will get new ones. Those bolts are pretty pricey.
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Postby jessescott » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:11 pm

Just curious, but why is it recommended to use new torque converter bolts? I'm halfway through a transmission swap myself, and had planned to reuse the ones that came with my replacement transmission (it only had 38k on it).
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Postby Dae » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:32 pm

They are torque to yield bolts, they are meant to be used once because they stretch/deform.
But myself, and alot of others that I know have re-used them at least once without any problems. *knocks on wood
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Postby jessescott » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:56 pm

Dae wrote:They are torque to yield bolts, they are meant to be used once because they stretch/deform.
But myself, and alot of others that I know have re-used them at least once without any problems. *knocks on wood


Thanks, I thought it must be something like that. Just to be on the safe side, then, I'll check to see if Jerry has some new ones stocked.
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Postby SurferJoe » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:15 am

Frankly whenever I rebuilt a unit for a bench job - I made sure that if the unit returned failed again for metal contamination, I would NOT warranty the whole unit.

The installer is the one who usually screws up the unit and the bench work is not the cause almost 80% of the time.

No matter how good you clean it - the cooler will always have debris in it from the lat 20 years of running and that's the stuff that hangs solenoids - new or used or rebuilt.

If the heat exchanger was not replaced (a radiator shop job - cheap, really) then there was no warranty. period. You might get away with it - but you might not either. Depends.

Adding another cooler as the only heat exchange would also kill any possible warranty. If the fluid didn't go through a coolant-heated exchanger in the radiator, the unit wasn't gonna make it off warranty anyway so I'd insist that if one is used, it is BEFORE the radiator-installed heat exchanger and not after or solely acting as the only cooler for the transmission.

A cold transmission dies just as badly as an overheated one.

As a minimum - and even if this rebuilder doesn't tell you - add a FRAM magnetic transmission filter in the return line from the cooler back to the transmission pan. It's the very least you can do.

Be sure to add a bottle of ATF Modifier too - the black bottle - to the fluid when you put the unit in unless you have a few hidden cases of 1989 ATF at your disposal. .

I never installed 'shift-kits' (using the words: 'shift-kit' if it's NOT a kit from Gil Younger is against the law) in these units as the only thing you can do is drill a larger mantissa return passageway from the front seal area anyway. Big whoop-tee!

Shift IMPROVER kits can just hide an internal problem until it's too late - unless there's a sloppy work reason to increase line pressures or the biasing pressure rates.

Since the front pumps on these units are max'd out in the first place off the assembly line (a lo-o-ong time ago), I don't like to turn up the work load on them by jacking the line pressure - as that makes them hog out the pump housing and they die sooner.

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Postby Ramblin Fever » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:49 am

This is also one reason why I don't use powermode too much; and in fact, I've nearly stopped using it all together.

Powermode increases line pressure, which as someone noted in the past, isn't always a good thing.

Personally, if the radiator is the original one in the truck, it's time to junk it while you're already in for a rebuild...get a new radiator at the same time, then there's no risk of contamination.
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Postby tinman67 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:00 am

SurferJoe wrote:Frankly whenever I rebuilt a unit for a bench job - I made sure that if the unit returned failed again for metal contamination, I would NOT warranty the whole unit.

The installer is the one who usually screws up the unit and the bench work is not the cause almost 80% of the time.

No matter how good you clean it - the cooler will always have debris in it from the lat 20 years of running and that's the stuff that hangs solenoids - new or used or rebuilt.

If the heat exchanger was not replaced (a radiator shop job - cheap, really) then there was no warranty. period. You might get away with it - but you might not either. Depends.

Adding another cooler as the only heat exchange would also kill any possible warranty. If the fluid didn't go through a coolant-heated exchanger in the radiator, the unit wasn't gonna make it off warranty anyway so I'd insist that if one is used, it is BEFORE the radiator-installed heat exchanger and not after or solely acting as the only cooler for the transmission.

A cold transmission dies just as badly as an overheated one.

As a minimum - and even if this rebuilder doesn't tell you - add a FRAM magnetic transmission filter in the return line from the cooler back to the transmission pan. It's the very least you can do.

Be sure to add a bottle of ATF Modifier too - the black bottle - to the fluid when you put the unit in unless you have a few hidden cases of 1989 ATF at your disposal. .

I never installed 'shift-kits' (using the words: 'shift-kit' if it's NOT a kit from Gil Younger is against the law) in these units as the only thing you can do is drill a larger mantissa return passageway from the front seal area anyway. Big whoop-tee!

Shift IMPROVER kits can just hide an internal problem until it's too late - unless there's a sloppy work reason to increase line pressures or the biasing pressure rates.

Since the front pumps on these units are max'd out in the first place off the assembly line (a lo-o-ong time ago), I don't like to turn up the work load on them by jacking the line pressure - as that makes them hog out the pump housing and they die sooner.

Never poke the bear. He bites.


Ok so I want to make sure I understand. The recommendation is to replace/ rebuild the radiator so I can utilize the built in heat exchanger and the add on cooler with a filter on the return line. Is that correct? I had read that you can use the add on cooler without the radiator heat exchanger but sounds like having both would certainly be the best option. I am in AZ so it does tend to stay a little warm.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Postby SurferJoe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:10 am

NO - you actually missed the point somewhat.

The transmission NEEDS to get to about 160-180ºF to make the fluid work and preserve the rubber parts.

If you run it too cool and/or with only an add-on cooler and not use the heat exchanger in the radiator, you can get too much cooling.

Run the extra cooler for sure - especially in the lowlands of S Arizona - but run it BEFORE the radiator's built-in heat exchanger to take a major thermal load off the cooling system. Then the heat exchanger will bring the fluid closer to the optimum temperature by taking heat from the engine to reheat itself and sending that fluid back to the unit.

This keeps the cooling system for the engine cooler and the thermal load off the radiator and yet keeps the transmission at close to the thermostat's value (190ºF is correct for a thermostat) and your good to go for a long long time.

Be very sure to run a 190ºF thermostat in the engine - or very close to it. Some say a 180ºF unit is best - but that's not a big temperature difference anyway.

I always run a 190-195º thermostat in all my vehicles.

Having the radiator rebuilt isn't what's important - but it's always a good idea - but getting a new heat exchanger is a very good idea and they are very hard to clean and they always release a bit of crud to ruin a good bench job.
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:34 am

Surfer - isn't the heat exchanger built into the bottom of the radiator?

You mention running 190F thermostat - why?

I'm asking cause the 3.2L sohc engines, from factory, came with the 170F thermostat and that's what I've always ran.

It's good to see you back on the board....hope you're feeling ok.
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Postby Mediamonkey11 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:46 am

I'm interested to hear your response to Ramblin's question, but I'm glad to see you post, Joe, hadn't heard from you in a while...
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Postby SurferJoe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:30 am

Surfer - isn't the heat exchanger built into the bottom of the radiator?

Yes - unless it's a cross-flow radiator - and that's why a radiator shop is needed to replace it with a new heat exchanger.


You mention running 190F thermostat - why?

I'm asking cause the 3.2L sohc engines, from factory, came with the 170F thermostat and that's what I've always ran.

Well - a 3.2 may get along quite well with one that low - but it's a killer on the transmission. On some radiators (when I worked in a radiator shop) they put very different sizes of elements in them - some to take a lot of heat from the engine and some to take as little as possible.

I always thought the smaller-capacity ones were for a hotter running engine and vice versa. I still DO as a matter of fact.

So - that in mind - I still state that 190ºF is a prim-o temperature for a transmission however you can achieve it. And therefor 170º is at the very lowest possible temperature for a transmission - at the cooling system, that is.

The actual temp in the unit will be hotter and cooler in various places - but the single biggest heat generator in a unit is the torque convertor.

The gears themselves and certainly the clutches and bands are never going to create much, if any, heat. They should never slip or if they do, you get a few minutes of that and then you rebuild the unit.


It's good to see you back on the board....hope you're feeling ok.

OK is the operative here. I'm not gonna get rid of the problems and they seem to become a heavier load every day. But I am up - still playing the bass and even built one a while back of which I am quite proud.

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OH - I adjusted the valves on my 2.6 today and they needed it! (Bad Joe!)
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:18 am

Sorry to hear you're not feeling better then just ok; my thoughts are with you in aiming to maintain your health.

In short, you're kind of saying that the 170F thermostat is the coldest one would want their engine to run on?

Can that work in my favor too though; like in the summer time, does it help the transmission stay cooler by running a cooler thermostat?

I know in the winter it's probably not a good thing
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Postby SurferJoe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:00 pm

The temperature difference from 170 to 190 is only 20 degrees - and really that's not much as far as heat and heat removal goes.

Using a cooler 'stat is an old wives' tale and in the olden day taking the thermostat out completely was supposed to be a good idea.

It wasn't then and it isn't now.

Engines run best at higher temps - life of the rings and upper cylinder walls and the boiling of coolant at the top of the cylinders inside the jackets caused all sorts of jacket corrosion problems and untoward wear patterns.

In these modern days we don't see cylinder taper much any more because the temperatures of the cylinder walls from top to bottom are so averaged-out that there are no localized hot/cold spots and the wear pattern is overall much nicer.

Rings are very much thinner now to reduce friction - compared to the older engines that had rings that were sometimes over 1/4" thick.

Now in modern engines they look like knife blades and they don't wear badly like one would imagine they would.

The prime reason is controlled temperatures - high controlled temperatures.

The worst part of the day to an engine is the start-up period when it takes a few minutes to even get the temperature to rise to anywhere NEAR normal operating temperature - and then the driver gets to the end of their driveway and gets the mail and drives back to the garage.

The engine never gets hot enough for the oils and coolant to actually get to work correctly. Short hops kill engines and transmissions.

Gasoline has condensed on the cylinder walls since the temperature isn't high enough to flash it into a vapor and that cuts the lubricity-value of the oil and rapid ring/cylinder wear happens - not even considering the contamination of the oil in the crankcase as the unburned liquid gasoline drips into the pan, running past the rings.

My policy is to drive a vehicle no less than five miles for anything - even if it's to go to the mailbox (but in my case it's over a mile away anyway).

But I digress.

Run the engine as hot as the manufacturer states and it's gonna last a lot longer and better and get higher gasoline mileage and performance won't deteriorate as rapidly as one driven by the little old lady from Pasadena.
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:26 pm

Gotcha....yeah the rodeo doesn't get drove a lot, in fact it only gets drove maybe twice a month...however, each time that key is turned it averages 150 miles for that drive.

Actually have a question for you, I changed the engine oil last september, have maybe 1,500 miles, even that might be pushing it....should I change it out or no?

Oil looks good and clean, just worried about moisture build up from the winter.
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Postby SurferJoe » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:56 am

Of course - I have an opinion - I'm prolly the most opinionated person on this site but I'm old and know how to use it.

Yeah - oil is like milk and has a Sell-By date and a Use-By date once it's insrtalled.

If it's been in an engine and has been run up to normal temperatures and allowed to cool back down - then it inhaled a bunch of atmospheric moisture.

AND ::: If allowed to sit dormant for months or bunches of weeks - the water from that humidity is working on the oil, destroying it's additives and generally liberating water vapor into the engine every temperature change - even inhaling more moisture every thermal cycle.

Yeah - I never let an engine sit/run with oil for more than 3,000 miles or 90 days - whichever comes first.

That's maybe just me and I don't demand you follow my course of actions - but it can't hurt.
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Postby buffy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:13 am

Question for Joe (my apologies for the thread hijack)

you stated "Be sure to add a bottle of ATF Modifier too - the black bottle - to the fluid when you put the unit in unless you have a few hidden cases of 1989 ATF at your disposal."

I just had the transmission in my VehiCROSS rebuilt and I refilled it with Valvoline fluids. I did not put any ATF Modifier in it as I did not know I needed to. Do you reccommend that I add some of this to my transmission or am I fine without it?

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Postby SurferJoe » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:04 pm

It depends on the 'Valvoline fluids' and their manufacture date.

It the ATF is rated OVER Dex/Mercon IV - then it's best to run the ATP modifier.

The modifier takes the ATF back to Dexron/Mercon III which is the version that makes your transmission happiest.

BUT - there's one more consideration: IF the TCC is rebuilt using Kevlar, then you absolutely-positively need to use the ATP black bottle in ANY fluid installed.

Otherwise the TCC will chatter or hook so fast it'll feel like a hard-harsh shift and it also may not release cleanly or on time when it uncouples.
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Postby buffy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:15 am

SurferJoe wrote:It depends on the 'Valvoline fluids' and their manufacture date.

It the ATF is rated OVER Dex/Mercon IV - then it's best to run the ATP modifier.

The modifier takes the ATF back to Dexron/Mercon III which is the version that makes your transmission happiest.

BUT - there's one more consideration: IF the TCC is rebuilt using Kevlar, then you absolutely-positively need to use the ATP black bottle in ANY fluid installed.

Otherwise the TCC will chatter or hook so fast it'll feel like a hard-harsh shift and it also may not release cleanly or on time when it uncouples.


Very interesting point you made about not shifting cleanly. When the transmission is cold it seems to not want to change to the next gear until the rpms are real high. I will check what the Valvoline bottle says but it is sounding like I may need the black bottle treatment. Can you suggest where I can get the modifier??

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Postby SurferJoe » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:14 am

buffy wrote:
SurferJoe wrote:It depends on the 'Valvoline fluids' and their manufacture date.

It the ATF is rated OVER Dex/Mercon IV - then it's best to run the ATP modifier.

The modifier takes the ATF back to Dexron/Mercon III which is the version that makes your transmission happiest.

BUT - there's one more consideration: IF the TCC is rebuilt using Kevlar, then you absolutely-positively need to use the ATP black bottle in ANY fluid installed.

Otherwise the TCC will chatter or hook so fast it'll feel like a hard-harsh shift and it also may not release cleanly or on time when it uncouples.


Very interesting point you made about not shifting cleanly.. When the transmission is cold it seems to not want to change to the next gear until the rpms are real high. I will check what the Valvoline bottle says but it is sounding like I may need the black bottle treatment. Can you suggest where I can get the modifier??

Thanks!


Be careful about reading between the lines there ^^^


IF the TCC is rebuilt using Kevlar, then you absolutely-positively need to use the ATP black bottle in ANY fluid installed.

Otherwise the TCC will chatter or hook so fast it'll feel like a hard-harsh shift and it also may not release cleanly or on time when it uncouples.


Typically the friction materials in the unit itself - not including the TCC - are NOT Kevlar. They CAN BE SO at considerable expense to you the owner.


'Cold-late/warm-normal
' is a sign of someone using scarf cut Teflon or polymer seals in the stators and shaft seals. That's a real cheap shot!

Usually that also implies that someone didn't have the correct seal sizing tool for the unit.

The ATF Modifier won't cure or mend that situation.
Joe Vreeland - In The Bitterroot Valley, Montana
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:23 am

Buffy - My truck, from day one, bought brand-new off the lot will have a delayed/harsh first shift from 1st to 2nd if the engine's cold......I noticed this 15yrs ago when truck was bought.

After talking with Isuzu head-quarters about this the first month I owned the truck, it was mentioned that it was a pre-set design built into the truck to encourage the engine to warm up faster.....have no idea if it's true or not.

One thing I can say, I never liked feeling like I was forcing the 1st shift....so I personally have always just gone out and started the truck, if it's been sitting long enough to be cold, I let it idle for 10min before driving.

As long as the temp gauge is off the cold mark, mine shifts smoothly....I've done this for 14yrs and we just know it's something we have to do in letting it idle for a few before we take off.

My first rodeo, a 91 with the same transmission didn't do this, but it was also the OBDI whereas the 97 is an OBDII, I believe it has something to do with emission control crap, but I could be wrong.
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Postby nznsi miG » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:57 pm

Hi Tinman67, I am the guy who installed the superior shift kit in my 4L30e about a year ago and wanted to clarify a couple of things about SurferJoe's advice from above.

SurferJoe wrote:I never installed 'shift-kits' (using the words: 'shift-kit' if it's NOT a kit from Gil Younger is against the law) in these units as the only thing you can do is drill a larger mantissa return passageway from the front seal area anyway. Big whoop-tee!


Admittedly he has never installed one in the 4L30e. There is more inside the kit than just a drill bit. After driving the crap out of it for the last year it's obvious the "big whoop-tee!" comes from the springs you'll replace that change the 1-2 and 3-4 shifts, both up and down. The kit improves the character of our transmission and particularly if running bigger tires like 32s. Just make sure you don't install the part I photographed in my post on the shift kit.

Joe is no doubt a knowledgeable trans mechanic, but his angle on the shift kit reminds me of a discussion we had a while ago about using Chrysler +4 synthetic instead of Dex w/ friction modifier. At first he was dismissive and when pressed, admitted his beef wasn't grounded in any direct experience but rather a knee-jerk reaction to talking about matters outside his comfort zone.

Good luck with the rebuild, I hope it works out well for you. The 4L30e aren't the easiest to rebuild since they need to be just right to avoid internal case leaks and premature failure. The fact that they will go 100k-200k from the factory and some rebuilt ones have only lasted 3-6 months indicates finding a competent shop is of the utmost importance.
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