A Couple Transmission Questions

Transmissions and Rear Ends

  1. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Hello gang,

    So I've had my '80 Córdoba for about a week and a half now. (It's got the 318 (5.2L) in it btw) For the first week, it ran great (the engine still does) then all of a sudden the transmission started acting up today, first this morning as I arrived at work, trying to back into my parking spot, putting it in reverse, it started to buck and shudder. Of course I was to start working at 9am so I couldn't do anything with it until I got off. Then when 5pm finally came, I left work and got in the car to see what was what. Well, the cold transmission seemed fine at first and thought that maybe my experience in the morning was just a fluke.. but no, as I got a couple miles down the road, I noticed the tranny was now starting to slip heavily in all forward gears, until finally I had nothing. I slowed down to about 10mph and it picked up 1st gear for a minute, but then nothing again. I ended up having to pull it off the road and called my buddy to come tow it the rest of the way home.

    So.. now I know why I got such a good deal on the car lol! Sure seems funny that the transmission would go out a week into owning the car...

    Anyway, I DO remember messing with the linkage by the carb the other night, but wouldn't think that would cause the tranny to completely go out. Would it?

    I am very mechanically inclined, but I've never done anything to an automatic transmission other than change input and output sensors. I've read a couple things about "adjusting bands"... but I doubt that would help this one slipping so bad. Would it?

    My other questions are; which transmissions fit in this car with the 318? Which transmission do I have? (It's a 1980 with column shift) I'd be looking for a direct bolt in swap without having to make any modifications.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked the fluid level? Did you see a trail of fluid into your parking spot?
     
  3. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Of course I checked the fluid. Warm running engine, in neutral, car on a level surface... checked the fluid and it's right on the FULL marker... blood red. No leaks or spills anywhere. That would be obvious! lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  4. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to decide whether I should spend the money on flushing this transmission and a new filter etc., or just go ahead and plan on replacing the transmission.

    Also.. I was just thinking; it looks like it's over filled actually... and I've read that could cause slippage.

    I think I'll try doing the front band adjustment, and drain some of the fluid and see what happens. Maybe add a bottle of Lucas tranny fix? I don't even know what kind of fluid this guy has in here... Maybe that's part of the problem.
     
  5. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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  6. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    If the fluid level is good,and the KD linkage is adjusted half-decent;
    and it slips in reverse, but NOT in manual low, then the L/R band is good.
    If it slips in reverse and also in manual low. Then the L/R band may need adjustment.But if after adjusting it, it still slips, then the tranny may be done.
    If it slips in reverse and third gear, (NOT "Drive" position, but going down the road in third gear), Then the Hi-drum is slipping and the tranny may be done.
    With nice red oil,
    I would do an air pressure test before the tranny comes down. If all the servos and clutch packs are snapping nicely,then STOP! DO NOT take the tranny down just yet. Then I would take the valvebody apart first and check it out, maybe it has issues.
    If the VB turns out to be good,I would then check the pressure in the L/R servo with the tranny in R, before taking it out. This will tell you if the pump is any good. You would be looking for 220psi or more @ 1000rpm.
    Then the tranny would come down
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  7. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'll have to look into this.
     
  8. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    OOPs That's no quite right.
    if it slips in reverse, but not in manual low, with a standard VB, The L/R band may be bad, cuz the over-running clutch is still engaged, so even with a bad L/R band, or band adjustment, it would still drive away normally, in either L or D.
    So if it only slips in reverse, and no other gear, then the first go-to is the band.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  9. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about my trans woes today. The other day, before I started having the issues, I was messing around under the hood. I pulled the breather assembly off to check out the carb etc. and I remember messing with the "kick down" linkage by the carb. I moved it down and back up again a couple times... Then put the breather back on.

    My question is, that's not something that'd cause the tranny to act up like I described is it? I was talking to one of my neighbors, and he's like "what? Trannys don't just go from working totally fine to totally gone just like that!" I'm like "well... it did" :|

    Could there be a vacuum hose or something that I may have knocked loose? I really can't believe it myself.. that it worked great for the first week, then took a giant crap on me.
     
  10. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to just bite the bullet and have it towed up to this trans specialty place here in town and have it professionally done. Anything else that could happen to this car I could fix myself. The 318? I could rebuild the whole damn engine right here at home, but the transmission no.. rebuilding or even diagnosing an automatic trans is beyond my technical skills.
     
  11. MiradaMegacab

    MiradaMegacab Well-Known Member

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    You're in Fla?

    Www.turboaction.com has some great trans and tq converters... I'd stay with a 904, 999 as they have a low 1st gear and can handle your power requirements.
     
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  12. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    No you didn't mess anything up, unless a piece of linkage became unhooked, which is not very likely, and honestly when it slips in reverse there is a 99% chance it's either a very low fluid level, or it's a L/R band adjustment problem.
    >When you put a Mopar tranny into reverse All other circuits are rendered dead and the pump goes into maximum pressure mode.So either the pump is sucking air(pressure test it), or the servo for the L/R band has an issue, and it can only have one of three issues; 1) it is out of travel,(needs adjustment)or 2) It's seal isn't sealing anymore,(needs replacing) or 3) it is busted (remove pan for adjustment,inspection or replacement).
    >If the slipping carries on for any great length of time,because the band lining has fallen off or worn off, then the drum it acts on is often destroyed.
    >Occasionally the band anchor breaks off, or the strut falls out, but then you have NO reverse at all.Manual Low still works thru the sprag, with the band going for a free ride.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
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  13. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    When transmission is working fine to then won’t move/slips, in most cases, it is from lack of transmission fluid, generally from a major leak (ie: front pump seal, hole knocked in pan, trans cooler line broke, etc.).

    In the other cases, it is transmission clutches failed – but generally clutches give you some time of acting up, before failed beyond drivable.

    If you checked transmission fluid level and it is OK, then I think the transmission is cooked.

    Note: I have driven cars (both mine and others) when things happened. Sometimes you have notice, sometimes not.

    I do know an automatic transmission will not work without fluid. What you describe sounds like number one suspect is from low fluid level.
    If you checked, then time to get out the sneakers.
    BudW
     
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  14. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Yes, I checked, and checked again. Yesterday, I started her up, let her warm up for a good 10-15 minutes and checked the fluid again. Still looks good, albeit a little above the full marker. (This is what makes me think the guy that sold the car to me added something to the trans fluid) Anyway, I put it in R and it was just like N and making a weird metallic whine sound until I gave it some gas, then it slammed into R (loud bang sound). So I moved it back to N, and then gently to D - nothing, like it's still in neutral!

    Maybe I just need to add some more sawdust?!! J/k!!!

    Seriously, I'm scheduled to have the car picked up and taken into this trans specialty shop here in town today. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
     
  15. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, it broke and now you be walking (ie: sneakers reference).
    Sorry to hear that.

    The problem sounds pump related (lack of pressure) and might because of a stopped up filter.
    The problem is why is filter stopped up. Whatever the reason is, you are not going to be able to fix it under the car, so sounds like you are heading in correct direction for repairs.

    The good news is 904/998/999 are maybe one of (if not the) cheapest transmissions to rebuild on the market.
     
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  16. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Ok, the Doba is on it's way to the shop.
     
  17. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    I haven't pulled the pan off and looked, but isn't the filter held on by a bolt? A friend of mine suggested that maybe the filter fell off and is laying in the pan where the pump can't get any fluid.
     
  18. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    The filter is held on by 3 screws.

    It is rare for the screws to fall out, but even if it did, that area is still submerged in ATF.
     
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  19. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    Loud bangs from the tranny, is the death rattle.
     
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  20. Intrepolicious

    Intrepolicious Well-Known Member

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    Stopped by and checked on the Cordoba on my way to work today. They were putting the trans back together; new front and rear bands, new clutch packs, new pump, etc etc. should be ready by tomorrow or Sat at the latest.
     
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