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Old 09-14-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
Rob1956
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Default Vti failure specifics

With all the documentation of Vue/Ion Vti failures, has anyone on this forum participated in a "teardown" or let's say "autopsy" of a failed tranny and come up with a specific failure pattern, so that GM might learn from this catastrophy? Nissan seems to have it licked....

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Old 09-14-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob1956 View Post
With all the documentation of Vue/Ion Vti failures, has anyone on this forum participated in a "teardown" or let's say "autopsy" of a failed tranny and come up with a specific failure pattern, so that GM might learn from this catastrophy? Nissan seems to have it licked....
JATCO probably makes a better CVT than GM did. If you look at the Nissan Murano forums you'll see it's still a work in progress. Do a google search "problems nissan murano cvt" and you'll get a weeks worth of reading.

I don't know of any information on why the GM unit was so unreliable. It was worse in the VUE than the ION, so I assume the VUE was too much of a load for the design.

...
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

Transmissions in general are declining in quality. I think it's due to the increasing weight of vehicles. Trailblazer SS's and Grand Prix GXPs are known to eat up transmissions, same as the Impalas SS.

Hopefully the new 6L80s and 90s are good and can hold up well.

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Old 09-14-2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

You seem to have written off GM from what may already have taken place years ago in determining faults in their cvt's. Never underestimate the capability of any major company/corporation to already know the facts. Tort liability claims are what brings a giant down as they throw legal firewalls to exhaust the efforts of those bringing suit. A simple look at past history; all the cigarette companies denying tobacco as cancer causing agents, nuclear testing in the Nevada deserts with army personal to 'assess' exposure, General Electric dumping toxic chemical wastes in upstate New York, Dow Chemical's embarrassment in Bhopal, India, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, asbestos, and on and on.

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Old 09-16-2008, 01:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
Transmissions in general are declining in quality. I think it's due to the increasing weight of vehicles. Trailblazer SS's and Grand Prix GXPs are known to eat up transmissions, same as the Impalas SS.

Hopefully the new 6L80s and 90s are good and can hold up well.
Those vehicles also have engines with higher torque output than most and are most likely driven harder than average as well w/ their sportier designation and target demographics. Perhaps transmissions are declining in quality but even if their quality was the same as before we ask more of them today which could give the appearance of poorer quality when the designs were near capacity to begin with. Transmissions have to move increasingly heavier vehicles at much faster speeds than before so it's not just vehicle weight increasing, its engine power as well which is another load on the transmission in itself. Without pulling up any specs, the TBSS is probably the worst of the 3 you mentioned so it wouldn't surprise me if it ate transmissions more often than the other 2.

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

That would be correct. The other issue with the TBSS(and I would assume this extends out to the other vehicles with 4L series trannys) is that in D it doesnt get full pressure or something. This guy explains it better than me, smart guy that works wit one of the better transmission builder shops named Vince.

"Getting back to freemason's theory. In the D3 position the overrun clutch comes on when the trans shifts to third gear or when the trans is shifted manually from OD to D3 for engine braking. Personally the best way to race/beat on one of the transmissions is to have the trans in the D3 position. This way when the trans shifts to third gear the overrun clutch comes on to aid in the holding power for the input sprag and also to help the 3-4 clutch out. Also another problem is if the tires are spinning and suddenly they grab, this is very hard on any transmissions internals. Might stand to reason why we see more AWD/4X4 output shafts break."

Anyways, a quick google search shows that apparently Dodge Durangos have tons of tranny problems too, most at just over 50k miles. And really every other vehicle as well.

I think that what we're seeing is more of a result of vehicles bloating up, and engines bulking up to move them more. And since Americans crave speed whether they admit to it or not, they get even more power to move the vehicles at speeds we find reasonable. It's funny, there's plenty of SUVs and sedans that are much faster than Corvettes, etc. from 10-15 years ago. And as car companies are forced to spend more on materials and technologies while keeping their prices relatively steady, you're going to see them not last as long.

For what it's worth, the oldest Japanese/Korean cars I ever see anymore are CRXs. The rest aren't on the road anymore. Yet I see plenty of old Chevys. Import reliability right there.

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Old 09-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

I was thinking of getting the new Outlander after my 2006 V6 lease is up......but it has a variable transmission!!..... After the nightmare I had with my two 2003 VUE Vti's.... I don't think so..... are they reliable?

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

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Originally Posted by tominsky View Post
I was thinking of getting the new Outlander after my 2006 V6 lease is up......but it has a variable transmission!!..... After the nightmare I had with my two 2003 VUE Vti's.... I don't think so..... are they reliable?
I bought an 03 vue 2 weeks ago with a bad vti, all the symtoms, stops moving when hot, slipping, hard engagement, etc. took the trans out, took it to my friends trans shop and started the teardown proceess. The first thing we noticed was the convertor was bluing meaning this thing got real hot.. The fluid was badly burnt and smelled horrible, now inside the trans we found no real damage. Went to alldata and found saturn had updates on trans lines
valve body, valve body spacer plate, rebuilt trans with all parts mentioned along with a reman convertor. drove car for 2 weeks and it started all over again, come to find out the case halves are pourus, causing an internal oil leak making the pressure to drop low enough to cause the symptoms I have. Called saturn, they are replacing my unit with a replacement unit for 25% of the total cost. If I was the original owner the unit would have been replaced for no charge, up to 100.000 miles, so anyone out there with vti issues, saturn knows they have a problem with these units, and from what I can see, they are beefing up the trans coverage. So I would say give them a call and good luck.

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

Welcome to the forum, styxzx. I hope that you got a very good deal on your 03 Vue VTi to justify all that work and expense.

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Old 11-27-2008, 03:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Vti failure specifics

Excellent post Styx... How much did it cost you at the end?

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