Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 23rd 2010, 2:59am

I drive 44 miles round trip to/from work. Every now and then, and only part of the way, my van won't shift up to overdrive. Before this happened, there were no strange leaks, smoke, or noises. It just decided one day it wasn't going to shift past 3rd.

It will shift in Reverse, Park, 1st and 2nd just fine. Even manually shifting down to 2nd and 1st works just fine.

Any ideas?

It's a stock 95 Astro, with the stock automatic 4L60 (I assume) transmission.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby Astroplane » March 23rd 2010, 3:23am

You are saying the 2-3 shift is OK but no OD?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 23rd 2010, 3:50am

Astroplane wrote:You are saying the 2-3 shift is OK but no OD?


Actually, it seems to start out in 2nd or 3rd as well. It DOES shift, but maybe it only goes from 2nd to 3rd? It so hard to tell bcause it only does it sometimes.

OK, if i had to narrow it down to a specific detailed description, I would say this:

Normally it shifts just fine, but...
when it acts up, it starts in 2nd gear then only shifts up to 3rd gear.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby sufferee » March 23rd 2010, 4:03am

No 1st or 4th available; trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : ShiftA solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 23rd 2010, 5:04am

I'll have to see if I have 1st gear next time it does it.

What am I looking for in the pan?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby Astroplane » March 23rd 2010, 5:23am

g0t0pless wrote:Normally it shifts just fine, but...
when it acts up, it starts in 2nd gear then only shifts up to 3rd gear.

Have this van scanned for trans codes. Currently, this qualifies as an intermittent. Probably a sticking shift solenoid on its' way out. I wouldn't drop the pan until we have a little more info.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 23rd 2010, 5:29am

I just had it scanned on Sunday.

The only error is a temp sensor. WIll be fixed ASAP, but shouldnt affect the transmission.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby Astroplane » March 23rd 2010, 6:24am

Even if there are no codes, live data will allow you to diagnose with a greater deal of certainty. If you want to proceed without diagnosis: Drop pan, inspect fluid/pan/magnet. Replace shift solenoids A and B AND solenoid o-rings. Make sure wiring connections to new solenoids are secure. If internal wiring harness insulation shows signs of rub through or cracking, replace wire harness. Clean pan/magnet. Replace filter/gasket/fluid.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 23rd 2010, 2:09pm

Astroplane wrote:Even if there are no codes, live data will allow you to diagnose with a greater deal of certainty. If you want to proceed without diagnosis: Drop pan, inspect fluid/pan/magnet. Replace shift solenoids A and B AND solenoid o-rings. Make sure wiring connections to new solenoids are secure. If internal wiring harness insulation shows signs of rub through or cracking, replace wire harness. Clean pan/magnet. Replace filter/gasket/fluid.


You can get live data from OBD I?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby Astroplane » March 24th 2010, 3:23am

On GM, we have live engine data all the way back to '81. OBD 1 has nothing to do with it. A good scanner is the key. A reputable diagnostic shop, whether dealer or independent, will have the needed tool. Do you remember a code or a questionable reading on the temp sensor?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 24th 2010, 4:14am

OK, here's some specifics on the shifting problems:

I drove all the way to work with no problems.
On the way home, about 3 miles from my home, it started to act up. I was pulling away from a stop sign, and when it shifted from 1st to 2nd, it shifted just a bit hard er than usual. It shifted from 2nd to 3rd just fine, but stayed in 3rd. So I slowed down, manually shifted down to 2nd, and it shifted. I then slowed down more and tried to shift down to 1st. It just stayed in 2nd.

So I completely stopped, shifted back into OD and got on the gas a little. It started out in 2nd, shifted to 3rd, and stayed in 3rd.

I made my way to Wal-Mart for some grocery shopping instead of stopping home first. I was on Wal-Mart for about an hour.

I got back in the van, and it shifted just fine all the way home, a distance of about 8 miles.

So, its almost as if my transmission is heating up after a while and it starts acting up.

If I need to replace the solenoids, can someone give me a part number or something to ask for at the parts store?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 24th 2010, 4:19am

I found this diagram, but what am I replacing? My van is a 95.

And what exactly is that a picture of? The bottom with the pan removed? Which is end is the front?

Boy do I feel dumb.

http://www.pdqparts.com/content/pdf/CUA0102-1.pdf
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 24th 2010, 4:25am

Here's a Youtube video showing how to replace the solenoids:

[youtube]<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OGckmJK2rNQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OGckmJK2rNQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object[/youtube]
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby sufferee » March 24th 2010, 4:30am

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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 24th 2010, 5:07am

sufferee wrote:go to pless, would this help?

https://www.drivetrain.com/parts_catalo ... s_on_4L60E



Sounds like my problem:

Will not work in 1st or 4th available Transmission shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in Drive or Over Drive and locks the converter
ShiftA solenoid failed. Or a wiring problem from PCM to Transmission.. or PCM.
Easy fix in the pan.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby Astroplane » March 24th 2010, 6:07am

Replace both shift solenoids. Note they are the same part number for A and B.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » March 25th 2010, 2:56pm

Astroplane wrote:Replace both shift solenoids. Note they are the same part number for A and B.


I ordered a solenoid replacement kit from my local transmission shop. Includes both solenoids, o-rings, and a new pan gasket. I'll be replacing the solenoids on Saturday. Wish me luck!
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » April 2nd 2010, 8:19pm

I swapped out both old shift solenoids with new ones. Put in a new pan gasket and filter, and filler it up with some PennzOil high milegae transmission fluid. So far so good.

I'll tell you waht though, replacing those solenoids was easy as hell.
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » April 5th 2010, 3:42am

Well, no go. My transmission is still doing exactly the same thing.

As soon as it gets up to normal temperature, it stops shifting out of 3rd gear. It wont shift up or down on it's own.

ANy other ideas?
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Re: Won't shift past 3rd gear. But only some days.

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » April 5th 2010, 4:05am

This sounds like my problem as well:

3rd gear starts, can manually shift through all gears. When car has been turned off for a bit, then back on it will run normally.

Speed Sensor (VSS) dropoff w/ Hi-stall converter. The rpms are too high, but Speed Sensor (VSS) is showing no movement. Happens after a tire burning take-off. Doesn't store a code, will not throw a CEL.

Reprogram PCM for Speed Sensor (VSS) dropoff.

How do I reprogam the PCM?
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