Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby swifty3565 [OP] » September 30th 2008, 8:55pm

Hi,
I have a 97 safari, 2wd. The van has 198000 on it and overall it is great. The problem is that the trans shifts very hard from 1st to 2nd when the trans gets warm. Fluid looks good and has been changed several times. This problem has been going on for about 90,000 miles. Has anybody else run into this, and does anybody know the cause/fix for it.

Thanks
Mike
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » September 30th 2008, 9:59pm

Hi swifty3565
The most common problem with the hard 1-2 shift, is a faulty 1-2 shift solenoid. I had mine done awhile ago because of it, that cured the problem for me and hopefully for you as well. They also replaced the Pressure Control Solenoid Valve and might be a suggestion to have that done while they are in their. This isn't a transmission pull and can be done in the van, so don't let anyone try selling you another transmission because of it, if they do, then my suggestion is to leave and don't go back. My bill was just under $400.00 with taxes where i live. If it happens again, I will do it myself.

My weak point has always been transmissions, but after being here and on the old forum for awhile and talking to other members and reading up on the procedures on how to do it, I'm confident now I could have done it the first time it happened, but that's the past.

The reason for this Hard shift is where the location of that particular solenoid is inside the transmission. For some reason it picks-up more of the metal powder created from normal wear and tear and sticks to the back of the solenoid and shorts the circuit when that particular solenoid is energized, this is why you get the hard 1-2 shift as explained to me in most cases. (about 95% of the time).
Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby swifty3565 [OP] » September 30th 2008, 11:16pm

Thanks for the information. I am pretty mechanical and not afraid to tackle a project, are the instructions for this project located anywhere here on the site?

Thanks
Mike
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » October 1st 2008, 12:28am

Hi swifty3565
You can do a search here for "Transmission" or "Solenoid" but I don't think there is much on it at this site. The "Old Site Forum" is located at the top of this home page site, and may give better results to your search string. The old forum had a great deal of information on this subject and I'm sure you will find something their. Hope this helps. :)

PS: This may help:
cgi/ib/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=6;t=14478;st=0
On the 6th picture down, the 1-2 solenoid is located at the back of the transmission right next to the 3-4 solenoid. They both have yellow clips and the yellow clip on the "Passenger" side is the 1-2 solenoid. The Pressure Control Solenoid Valve is located on the passenger side of the transmission as well (Black Cylinder Shape under the wire harness). Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby msgale » October 13th 2008, 2:55am

common problem, and easy and cheap fix. Done it a few times
new solenoid is about $30 or so, you drop the pan, probably spilling fluid allover yourself in the process, and the solenoid is visible at the bottom of the trans.

let it drip 15 minutes to get all the fluid out,then replacement is obvoius. you will need a manual or picture t o identify which of the solenoids is the 1-2 shift solenoid, i dont recall.


while you're there, change the filter and maybe the fluid, too
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby gillbates » October 25th 2008, 11:29pm

I had that problem, on my 97, years ago and GM had several tsb's out that suggested replacing the valve body. I did that and I've had 65,000 hard shift free miles since then. I heard there was an aftermarket kit available for the problem also. Any good transmission shop should know about this issue and since the valve body sits on the bottom of the transmission it's a fairly cheap fix.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby macdaddy » November 24th 2008, 5:18am

I'm having a problem with the 1st to 2nd shift as well, but it is not a hard shift more of a missed shift. when acclerating thru 1st it will rarely ever make it to 2nd unless i let off the gas completly, if i hold the pedal steady the enigine revs til it hits a limter and i let off. This problem has just recently occured after very little driving over 4 months and now it happens everytime. Just wondering if this problem could be related to the same solenoid u guys are discussing, or could it be a deeper issue?
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby astro355 » November 24th 2008, 1:25pm

msgale wrote:common problem, and easy and cheap fix. Done it a few times
new solenoid is about $30 or so, you drop the pan, probably spilling fluid allover yourself in the process, and the solenoid is visible at the bottom of the trans.

let it drip 15 minutes to get all the fluid out,then replacement is obvoius. you will need a manual or picture t o identify which of the solenoids is the 1-2 shift solenoid, i dont recall.


while you're there, change the filter and maybe the fluid, too


And install a drain plug in the pan. $10 or so and if you have to work on the trans again, it makes it a lot easier.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » November 25th 2008, 9:44am

Hi macdaddy
It does sound similar yes. I don't rule anything out until it's fixed, but your still getting 1st and 2nd drive gears. What scares me the most here is you hitting the rev limiter in between gears. If that decides to kick in at those rpms your either going to be shot to the moon or your going to drop that transmission right on the ground in about 100 different pieces.

You know you have a problem, so don't force the issue, that just compounds it to a much larger one. Just "light" throttle between those shift points until you can have it looked at or repaired. Hope this helps. Take Care. :)
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Big_kidBig_kid is online! » November 25th 2008, 12:30pm

macdaddy wrote:I'm having a problem with the 1st to 2nd shift as well, but it is not a hard shift more of a missed shift. when acclerating thru 1st it will rarely ever make it to 2nd unless i let off the gas completly, if i hold the pedal steady the enigine revs til it hits a limter and i let off. This problem has just recently occured after very little driving over 4 months and now it happens everytime. Just wondering if this problem could be related to the same solenoid u guys are discussing, or could it be a deeper issue?


Is your fluid dark and/or smell burnt? I once had to drive from NY to FL with no 2nd gear(turbo 250), it wasn't fun.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby astro355 » November 25th 2008, 2:10pm

Is the problem only with the 1-2 shift? Does it happen with 2-3 or 3-4 shift?

What happens if you are in second gear and you punch it? Same with 3rd or 4th gear?
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby macdaddy » November 25th 2008, 8:46pm

Thanks for the replies,
The only time i am having the issue is up from 1st to 2nd, down shifting is fine, but if u punch it it will down shift to 1st and not get back to 2nd . The only other shifting issue is my OD will bounce in and out at some speeds, which i am sure is causing unneccessary wear. I am going to take her for a good drive, I used to have the 1st-2nd hard shift problem after a good highway drive but can't seem to make it happen any more.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby astro355 » November 25th 2008, 9:28pm

The bouncing in and out of OD is more than likely the torque convertor lockup engaging and disengaging. That would be a seperate problem by itself.

I hate working on automatic transmissions (especially when I can't see them). If I had to take a wild guess, I would have to say that the seal on the 1-2 acculumator is leaking. Not a big leak, just enough were warm fluid with a higher line pressure will leak past the seal. I have worked on a couple of these. Worst part about those were there was no telltale damage to the seal, piston or bore. It was kind of a leap of faith that the new seal would fix the problem.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby HydroDog » November 26th 2008, 7:58am

Here is a copy of a old post from the old site of a fix that worked great for me. It was posted by BIGAT and he nailed it on the head that the problem is the TCC valve and the bore clearance. When the bore gets worn fluid gets behind the valve and can not lock up the torque converter effectively. The computer then will boost the line pressure up to compensate resulting in the harsh 1-2 shift. I have over 25000 on my van since the mod and has worked great and the best par is was simple and cheap to do.
Read on:

You can fix that TCC reg. apply valve problem by drilling a .032" hole in the bore plug without removing the valve body. I've fixed dozens like this but GM doesn't approve of this method. They just sell you a recond. VB instead. The bore plug is @1/2' thick so I take a long 1/8" drillbit and drill into the plug @ 1/4". Then I drill the .032" hole the rest of the way thru. What happens is when the valve and bore wear, fluid gets behind the valve and keeps it from moving all the way. This hole is there to releive the fliud buildup behind the valve. It has worked on every one I have done this to. '97 & '98 are the years this happens most.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » November 26th 2008, 8:40am

Hi macdaddy
The advice above is excellent, BigCat was the tranny Guru for sure (amazing knowledge). Their is one other area here I would like to mention that hasn't been posted yet. I had the same scenario you are having now with the OD/TCC kicking in and out when it was engaged. This may or may not be your problem but it is simple enough to check. Their is a plug-in/harness that is hooked up to the drivers side rail that leads to the transmission that has the wires to control the electronic part of the transmission.

In that harness is also the TCC wire that controls lock up from a signal sent from the computer to the transmission (I"believe" it's the brown one), but more importantly here is the plug-in itself. After inspecting that particular plug-in, I saw a lot of dirt and corrosion from moisture getting into. I cleaned the plug-in out and used "Die-Electric grease" to prevent that from happening anymore, and that cured my OD/TCC intermittent lock unlock condition when it was engaged. Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby astro355 » November 26th 2008, 1:31pm

Well, I definitely glad that the OP mentioned the other problem with the trans.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby macdaddy » November 26th 2008, 11:01pm

Wow lots of info thanks, definetly gonna check into that connection matrixx, I am stating to get pretty concerned, my experience inside automatic transmissions has never gone past chaging a filter. Is there any pictures of the bore plug u guys are referring too? I was somewhat optmistic about maybe changing the shift solenoid but it sounds asthough my problem may go beyond that. I think I might have to let a tranny shop take a look. I'm really not sure how to start trouble-shooting, It's unfortunate, I was told when i bought the van the transimission was replaced about 75k before.
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » November 27th 2008, 3:34am

Hi macdaddy & swifty3565

Swifty3565 I stand corrected on the 1-2 solenoid location, I said it was on the passenger side but it's actually on the drivers side, my apologies. Here is a great write up with pictures LocDoc did on the old forum, he did an outstanding job with this I feel.

LocDocs Pictures: cgi/ib/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=6;t=14478;st=0

macdaddy, Here is a diagram where you should be able to see the 1-2 shift solenoid location, with this diagram reference go to the link I posted to LocDocs pictures he took and you get to see where the Locations are with actual pictures of the transmission. Hope this helps. :)
Attachments
Solenoid Dia..jpg
4L60E Solenoid Locations
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby m3k1 » March 14th 2009, 9:44pm

I was having the same issue on my 2000 GMC 2WD Van about the 1st to 2nd gear shift issue. It would start doing it after I drove my van around for awhile. I found that by shutting off my engine and letting it sit for 10 Sec plus that it would go away. It would come back after 10 mins or so of driving. I should have took care of it sooner.

Now my trans has started slipping in all gears until I shut my engine off for a few secs. after that it will act fine after I restart the engine and take off, but after I let up on the petal or a few secs at the top of my gear it will start doing it again. I made it home by shifting into neutral killing the engine, giving it a few secs and then restarting it.

I don't think the clutches are bad since it still works for a brief min or two through all gears with power. Would this fix here still work? If so would any of the shift kits come with these parts?
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Re: Hard shift 1st to 2nd

Postby Matrixx » March 15th 2009, 3:29am

Hi m3k1

I doubt it. It seems you have an overall problem, not a specific (1-2 hard shift).
Do you have any codes lighting up?
Is the transmission fluid level correct (checked at driving temperature (hot))?
How does the fluid look?

Let us know, thanks.:)
96-GMC Safari - Rwd - Original Transmission - Exhaust - Air Cared - 3.73 Limited Slip Rear End - Motor Replaced - 91 octane (Chevron) for the last 14 years - MFI Upgrade - 640,000 Kilometers.
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Matrixx
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
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It is currently January 28th 2021, 4:03pm

Automatic Forum
AutomaticThe purpose of an Automatic Transmission is similar to that of a manual transmission, the auto tranny's primary duty is to allow the engine to operate in its narrow range of speeds while providing a wide range of output speeds.
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