1997 Pontiac Transport with 185,000 miles.
A month or so back, I started getting a 2-3 second squeel that sounded
like a slipping belt that eventually engaged at the end of the 2-3
second squeel. I noticed the power steering was dripping onto the
Serpentine belt and dismissed the problem as a slipping belt. Then on
a subsequent trip down to South Carolina, the Service Engine Soon
(SES) light appeared and the tranmission would no longer lock up the
Autozone found two (2) error codes, both of which were P1870.
After surfing the web last night I found a bunch of info on the P1870
that had to do with slipping Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) problems.
Most of the posts had to do with Chevy Trucks, not minivans. It
appears that GM replaced cast iron their valve body with Aluminum and
suffered loss of wear resistance. Apparently the valve gets worn and
fails to generate proper pressure to the TCC, and causes it to slip.
Last evening I pulled the PowerTrain Control Module (PCM) fuse in
effort to clear the code. This didn't work, but this morning I once
again experienced the 2-3 second squeel as the TCC tried to engage.
I have called the Transmission shop and they are quoting prices from
$800 to $2000. I am about ready to sell the minivan for $2000-2500;
hence, this sort of investment seems foolish.
1) Is the TCC probably toast?
2) If I replace the Torque converter ($119 at Autozone) will I also be
replacing the TCC?
3) How much of an effort is it to replace the torque converter on a 97
transport? Do I have to remove the tranny onto a bench?
4) For the valve body, I see there are several companies that make a
"Bore & Sleeve Kit." Anyone have experience with this kit? What
special tools are required? How much of an effort to get the valve
body out so it can be bored and resleeved?
5) Is there any wisdom in rebuilding the valve body first and then
replacing the torque converter only if the problem persists? (Does it
make far more sense to replace both while I'm elbow deep in the
tranny? (remember, I am going to resell this soon and I want to be
honest as to what I have repaired)
Thanks in advance.