Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:34 pm Post subject: Trans problem update
My Imp is a 2002 LS 3.8, 140 k. and I've made a few post srecently about my trans problems. So a month or two ago I was having banging in gear from a stop going 1-2 and 2-3, and whining / howling noise. I went in and changed the PCS solenoid which fixed these low speed banging problems, but I still had a lingering problem.
Occasionally at highway speeds I would get a shudder under light throttle under partial load such as going up a hill. I figured maybe this problem was there before and I never didn't pay that much attention to it with the more frequent banging on the low speed shifts. It seemed like a harsh TCC apply or release. Sometimes the shudder was minor, other times it was more violent. I read up on the TEP site for t/s and exchanged some emails with Dave.
Checked the MAF , looked clean, but I sprayed with MAF cleaner. Problem still there.
Went back in and replaced the TCC solenoid (I know I should have done that the first time, but I didn't see the need at the time). Problem still there after replacing the TCC solenoid.
Took the car to the dealer to diagnose any problems and they couldn't get it to do it after driving 50 miles. No codes either.
At this point I was considering buying a rebuilt trans from TEP, figuring it was in the valve body with the TCC apply or release, or maybe my TC was failing. (TEP by the way now offers a new Basic Build that is $1375 shipped, no core charge).
Drove the car a little while longer contemplating buying a rebuilt trans, before it really started to act up. Shudder, jerk, sputter, you name it. Then it threw a MAF code which wouldn't go away. I replaced the MAF sensor and after a few hundred miles all my problems have gone away with the shudder at high way speeds with the TC lockup.
Well my problems have mostly gone away. The only problem I seem to have now is the car is a little lethargic about 40 mph and above and doesn't want to downshift unless I really step on it. I'm thinking maybe my cat. is starting to get plugged, which may have contributed to my MAF problem. I also had the aft O2 sensor code some where in the midst of these problems and replaced that as well. I had replaced the same O2 sensor about a year ago.
Thinking of getting a cat w/ downpipe from ZZP and maybe a PCM, but have heard mixed reviews about the PCM. I'm mostly interested in it for the removal of the converter related code, so I can run the non-GM cat, and also not have to deal with the simulator for emissions inspection.
Last edited by MarkH on Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:09 am; edited 4 times in total
Here is a tip that saved me a couple hours when doing the solenoid replacement the second time. See pic of the strut, steering knuckle/hub assembly, and control arm assembly below. I removed these parts as one unit, rather than splitting the steering knuckle from the control arm ball joint and unbolting it from the strut. This probably saved a couple hours during the disassembly and re-assembly. To do this, I simply removed the three nuts at the top of the strut tower, disconnected the tie-rod end, and removed the two long bolts that hold the control arm to the engine cradle... and also removed the axle shaft from trans and hub
A couple obligatory pics with the side cover off the trans. The oil pump needs to be removed to get to the TCC solenoid and one of the shift solenoids on the left side of the valve body. The PCS solenoid also on the left side, can be replaced without removing the oil pump. There is a silver bolt (in 2nd pic, top around 11 o'clock ) that you want to leave in the oil pump (holds pump together) otherwise the pump will fall apart when you remove the other 11 bolts (black ones) that hold the pump to the valve body. I also replaced the pressure switch manifold and the 1-2 and 2-3 shift solenoids. One of the shift solenoids is visible (1st pic) on top right of the valve body below the pressure switch manifold.
One additional thing I replaced was the o-ring on the end plug for the TCC regulated apply valve. This end plug is easily removed without removing the valve body. The end plug for the TCC apply valve is in the bore just below the bore for the TCC solenoid. Mine was hard as a rock and didn't fit very snug in the bore. This o-ring is mentioned as a problem spot in the trans-go shift kit instructions. The o-ring is a # 012 and should be viton (higher temp rating) as opposed to nitrile per a conversation I had with a Sonnax rep. I ordered the o-ring from the O-ring Store for 11 cents plus shipping.
Last edited by MarkH on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:51 pm; edited 3 times in total
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