2000 Buick Regal: Why did trans 'blow up' at 50K miles?

This is a 2000 Buick Regal w/3.8L SC V6 with just over 50K miles.
I noticed that the transmission suddenly began slipping very badly without any warning. Fortunately this happened two blocks from the dealer.
The dealer said the pan was 'full of metal shavings' and recommended a replacement with a rebuilt one which, apparently, can't be found west of the Rockies. Cost is about $2,600. Plus they found the left tie-rod end was worn at the hub for another $600.
Maybe I've been lucky, but I'm kind of used to getting at least 90K miles on a car before something like this happens. Up until now, the car was very reliable (except for the bad HVAC display heads they put in all the cars and later replaced for free.)
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I would be interested to know what part failed?

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So would I. But that would require tearing down the bad transmission for another $500 or so, and this is going to cost me enough as it is. I'm assuming that simply swapping it out for a rebuilt would be cheaper than a tear-down and repair.
I guess there's always AAMCO! (Joking)
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Did you buy the car new or used?
Seeing you have a supercharged 3800, constantly hotrodding the car could have caused your early transmission failure.
With only 50,000 miles was the trans oil ever changed?
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~294,824 miles_~_~_
~_~_~_~_U.S.A._~_~_~_~_~_
~~~The Former Fleet ~~~ 89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible 78 Holiday 88 coupe 68 LeSabre convertible 73 Impala sedan
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I bought it new, although the dealer had driven 3,700 miles on it. I bought it at the end of the model year. My "hotrodding" days are behind me. The car had all the scheduled maintenance performed on it. They say to change the transmission fluid at 50K, so I presume it had not been changed before since it now has 50K.
One of the first things I did when it started slipping was to stop on a level surface and check the fluid level, and it was full and looked normal on the dipstick.
I checked the NHTSA database and found little or nothing as far as complaints or problems with this transmission. The only possible hit is TSB 260201 which says, "SOME VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH THE 4T65E TRANSMISSION MAY EXPERIENCE A CONDITION WHERE THE FOURTH CLUTCH IS BURNT UP." I didn't pay to read the whole thing, though. The SC engine uses the 4T65E-HD model, but it still could apply.
I guess this is just one of those random things that sometimes happens.
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I came across this thread while looking for problems with 3800 supercharged engines with transmission problems.
I own a Regal GS that was purchased new in 1998. Didn't much care about the supercharged engine but it came with the GS and my wife and I liked the creature comforts of the GS.
I too developed tranny troubles but it was long after the warranty expired. I took it to a local tranny shop that was recommended by a local mechanic that I trust. I live in a small town and everybody seems to know who does good work and who doesn't. The mechanic changed the fluid and found the filter full of metal particles.
The tranny was rebuilt and, according to the two mechanics who own the shop ( and say they do all the warranty rebuilds for the Chevy/Buick dealer in the neighboring small town) the "sun gear" was the failure mechanism in this transmission. Apparently GM, on newer models of SC-engined Regals started making this gear stronger. I assumed heat treated. They claim that they normally saw failures of this transmission happening around 20 to 25 thousand miles - and still under warranty.
Mine was rebuilt for $1200 which is apparently a good deal but then again, I live in a small town. I haven't had any trouble since.
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Someone wrote:

your make model and trannie type. Tell them exactly what happened and what the dealer said. Then see what they say.
Here is a brand new one on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&itemy28827548&category3727&sspagename=WDVW
Bob
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