Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby Julius.k [OP] » June 11th 2011, 11:43am

Hello everyone!
I'm new to this site but I have been reading lots of posts about hard shifting on this forum and most everyone seems very knowledgeable.
Okay, I just bought a 2002 Astro van with 230xxx hyw miles on it. (she drove a hour to work everyday)
the transmission was rebuild about a year ago (have paper work) and there is proper amount of fluid and it is still clean. Now, when rebuilding the
transmission do they replace the solenoids, valves and all that other stuff? (sorry I'm a noob). I'm having issue with hard shifting from 1st to 2nd. other gears work okay. there is no dummy lights on and it does it all the time, when i first start the van or drive 100 miles. I've read that it could be the 1-2 solenoid , shift valve, valve body, cpu, even cat. (I hope it's the catconv or solenoid :pray: ) I don't think cats ever been changed out and it doesn't have that much acceleration. but I don't know when the last time it had a tune up neither. would a tune up fix this problem? Man I just want to pull all my hair out!:banghead: Please Any input would be very appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby paintdrying » June 11th 2011, 8:21pm

I am in the same boat. Hopefully someone will be along to help us.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby Julius.k [OP] » June 13th 2011, 12:17am

:feedback: :feedback:
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby cowboydan » July 4th 2011, 12:53am

hi there. 1st off, a rebuild means everything but the housing is replaced. 2nd, if you had it rebuilt a year ago, you should bring it back to the one who rebuilt it. chances are faulty parts. if they don't honor some sort of warrenty, then they are not reputable.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby drmmhmd » July 4th 2011, 4:32am

The most common problem in the 4L60E transmission is common and easy to fix. If a solenoid fails, it fails, there is no shift. Try running the truck through all the gears manually to make sure that they all work. The problem you describe is the TPS (throttle position sensor), it should move smoothly, it not replace it. Easy fix.


The other usual problem is that the separator plate between the valve body and case gets wear from the ball bearing type valves hitting the separator plate. Aftermarket balls are made of Viton and do not do this. Easiest fix is a B and M shift kit as they supply a new separator plate and Viton balls.

Contrary to what cowboy dan said, the only things that are routinely replaced are clutch plates, rings, seals, gaskets. The electric solenoids are cheap and easy to replace, they are tested simply by applying voltage to them, if they work, they are usually replaced.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby paintdrying » July 4th 2011, 3:07pm

tps, i would have to agree. Mine is bad and is shifting the same way, thanks
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby bobbya » July 7th 2011, 5:37pm

Hello,

I'm the original owner of a 97 astro. I had the same problem, hard shift from 1st to 2nd. It first happened around 30k, they (the dealer) said it was the shifting valve body. Like clock work it happened again around 60k, thankfully I had the extended warranty. At 90k again, no warranty. I won't bore you with Chevy's response or lack there of to this issue. Took it to a reputable Trany shop, was told that inside the shifting valve body there is a piston (don't remember exactly what it does) that wears out the cylinder wall inside the valve body causing the piston to bind. This hang-up causes the computer to think that the trans is slipping, inturn it increases the hydraulic pressure there by causing the hard shift. They installed a kit in which they bore out the cylinder install a steel sleave in the valve body and replace the piston. About $360 back in 2000. They told me this problem was quite common. The van now has 226k, thats 131k miles and 11 years on the repair, it has never missed a beat.

Hope this is helpful.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby paintdrying » July 8th 2011, 6:18pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby cowboydan » July 9th 2011, 12:23am

see, this happens all the time. should it be a recall? yep. is it? nope. but thus far, this is the best answer to this common problem. i think it should be sticky, as there are always new posts of simular problems. i would hate to see this (good info) get lost. it is the most comprehensive explanation i have read. thanx bobbya. it may not be the answer to all hard shift problems. but it is common.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby drmmhmd » July 17th 2011, 2:00am

bobbya wrote:Hello,

I'm the original owner of a 97 astro. I had the same problem, hard shift from 1st to 2nd. It first happened around 30k, they (the dealer) said it was the shifting valve body. Like clock work it happened again around 60k, thankfully I had the extended warranty. At 90k again, no warranty. I won't bore you with Chevy's response or lack there of to this issue. Took it to a reputable Trany shop, was told that inside the shifting valve body there is a piston (don't remember exactly what it does) that wears out the cylinder wall inside the valve body causing the piston to bind. This hang-up causes the computer to think that the trans is slipping, inturn it increases the hydraulic pressure there by causing the hard shift. They installed a kit in which they bore out the cylinder install a steel sleave in the valve body and replace the piston. About $360 back in 2000. They told me this problem was quite common. The van now has 226k, thats 131k miles and 11 years on the repair, it has never missed a beat.

Hope this is helpful.


The repair you are talking about is the "code 1870 repair" in which the TCC (torque converter control) valve hangs up, your converter overheats. similar problem can also occur in the isolator valve, however, i have never seen this on low mileage transmissions. I am wondering if your 1-2 acumulator spring broke,this was common in your year, especially the "yellow spring". the repair was to replace the seals/rings and put the "purple spring" in.I once worked at a dealership and it was common to cheat the factory by making small problems look huge and bill the factory for things that did not happen. Sad, then I came to learn that the same thing goes on in local garages even worse. this is particularily true in transmission shops. transmission rebuilds vary so much that one never knows what they are getting. To properly rebuild a 700r4 or 4l60e requires a lot of work on the valve body. for anyone getting a 4l60e rebuilt, i would encourage you to insist on the mechanic using the Sonnax SureCure 4l60E reconditioning kit. This is in addition to the usual rebuilt kit for seal, bearings, bushings, rings, clutches, etc.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby Morgus » August 5th 2011, 9:45am

I had the same symptom on my van for several years. Recently, the torque converter began leaking. A bushing had separated inside the converter(what I am told) and damaged the converter. After replacing the torque converter, the hard shift disappeared completely. A possibility perhaps.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby zxx » September 18th 2011, 7:31am

I realize you have got your problem fixed now, but I had the same problem on 9/17/2011 and just wanted to let others know who may be reading this post as a means to fix their shifting problem.

My transmission was running a muck. If started first to shift hard into second and progressed to shifting hard in all the gears, if it would shift at all. If I was on the highway trying to pick up speed the transmission would shift into passing gear with the slightest acceleration. O yea, my engine idle was all over the place, going up and down and finally idling way to fast.

My problem turned out to be the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). It is located on the drives side of the throttle body toward the radiator. You will need to remove the 'doghouse' for easier access. The two mounting screws are removed with a 'star bit', sorry not sure of the size.

I was concerned I needed to get into the transmission, but it was an easy $40.00 fix with a part from Advance Auto. If your check engine light comes on or is on that is a good sign the TPS is defective. I had Advance Auto connect the 'code reader' and there it was.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby manny951 » October 9th 2011, 10:15am

my dads van has the same problem but i can feel the 1st and 2nd gear kick in very hard after driving for a while scares me :[
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby TaxiVan » October 10th 2011, 6:25pm

Hi, all.... Here's a little insight into the nature of the problem. My dad's 97 S-10 does this as well. A transmission shop told him that the valve body is made of cheap pot metal, and that there are check balls that are moved by internal pressure to control fluid channels, thereby controlling shifting. After awhile, these balls apparently damage the holes they move back and forth between (hellacious pressure) and sometimes don't seat properly or stick, causing the problem. It is a problem inherent to the 4L60E, supposedly there is a valve body upgrade that fixes this.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby GaryLan1 » November 7th 2011, 2:05am

Daer Friend, I have owed 8 of these vans, all of different year models, but i had a 1998 that had the same problem that you are having, just after i had it rebuilt by a very good mechanic, we tryed a lot of things but the problem the entire time was a bad wireing harness inside the trans. It has a small harness inside the trans that runs to the shift silonoids and that was MY PROBLEM. But i must tell you that even after that was fixed we had determended that the trans case was defective, YES the entire transmission case that holds it all togewther was a lemon. After i got one from a wreck I NEVER HAD ONE SINGLE PROBLEM AGAIN.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby GaryLan1 » November 15th 2011, 4:18am

Im telling you guys that i had a trans rebuilt by a guy who is very good. Mine did the same right after the rebuild and he and i did everything, replaced the valve body, replaced silinoids, and it was the wiring harness thats inside the trans THE WHOLE TIME. tHIS WAS 7 YEARS AGO AND IT COST UNDER 50.00 BUT THE GUY WHO REBUILT IT BOUGHT ALL OF THIS STUFF UNTILL HE GOT IT FIXXED. I saw him do the fix each time so i know 4 a fact he done all of this, Not just told me. So do what you gotta do, but I would try that at leary Lancaster
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby safaree » March 3rd 2012, 4:55pm

So what was the final fix? Would appreciate a follow-up... especially after all the good input. Seems a little selfish to not post the final outcome.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby crgastro » March 22nd 2012, 4:02am

my 98 AWD Astro had to have a different transmission case rebuilt because the original one was that bad (torque converter was gold looking). transmission was rebuilt and has a hard 1-2 shift until it is warmed up. transmission shop installed a B&M Shift Kit. no CEL for the transmission only P0420 code (cat efficiency code.) if we drive in bumper to bumper traffic we will put the van in 2nd gear so we do not get the hard shift. it is not bad unless you are getting on the gas and take your foot off of the gas when it is about to shift then it is a pretty hard shift, otherwise it is not bad, shifts pretty quick now. was rebuilt at 125k miles and now had 217k miles and the transmission is still fine.
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby cookiemonster59 » April 2nd 2012, 8:34pm

As of last Dec. I've owned my '99 ASTRO/V6/2WD/AUTO for about 3 yrs. It ran fine the 1st year, but during the heat of it's second Florida summer, it started 'kicking' HARD when shifting fm 1st-2nd. The rest of the shifts were fine. I have a good friend who's also a top-notch backyard mechanic. He kept telling me we needed to change the filter & fluid, but due to the economy, he's had to go north the last two summers to find work that pays a decent salary, so we hadn't gotten around to doing this. Too late now, :banghead: just a few days ago, I started backing up, but heard a loud BANG :eek: the next thing I knew I had NO REVERSE GEAR!! :screaming: Now I'm wondering if it would pay to rebuild this tranny, or get one out of a junkyard & hope for the best :?:
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Re: Another hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Plz Help me!

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » April 2nd 2012, 9:33pm

cookiemonster59 wrote: As of last Dec. I've owned my '99 ASTRO/V6/2WD/AUTO for about 3 yrs. It ran fine the 1st year, but during the heat of it's second Florida summer, it started 'kicking' HARD when shifting fm 1st-2nd. The rest of the shifts were fine. I have a good friend who's also a top-notch backyard mechanic. He kept telling me we needed to change the filter & fluid, but due to the economy, he's had to go north the last two summers to find work that pays a decent salary, so we hadn't gotten around to doing this. Too late now, :banghead: just a few days ago, I started backing up, but heard a loud BANG :eek: the next thing I knew I had NO REVERSE GEAR!! :screaming: Now I'm wondering if it would pay to rebuild this tranny, or get one out of a junkyard & hope for the best :?:


Loud bang I am thinkin not so good. I would peel it apart myself see what happened. I am a different animal. I would rather rebuild something than chance getting a used one which may not be in any better shape than what I took out. Just do it right once, and get it over with for the next 20 yrs or so. :2:
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