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Overdrive Solenoid and Torque Converter Clutch failure

17335 Views 25 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DaingMaing
So I had a CEL show up the otherday. I didnt really think twice about it because I thought it was from a misfire. I usually get one every now and then when the battery has slowly drained over a few weeks to the point of barely starting the car. It'll chug for a few minutes but once warm it levels out and runs fine. This CEL showed up while I was warming up the car, and charging the main battery with the alternator. I WAS NOT IN MOTION. I WAS PARKED.

Well I drove it to Montrose today, and noticed I didn't have 4th/overdrive, but it also seems to not have 1st as well. There is no pick up and go, just slowly gets up to speed. It drove like it was in a limp mode of some sort. I should also mention that Reverse is just fine as well.

I played around with the O/D button, and trying to coax the trans into shifting down to forth. no luck. Other than a bit higher MPG and higher trans temp, It really wasnt a problem. Once I got to a gas station, I checked the fluid and it did smell burnt, but not like burnt oil. It was more of an electrical/plastic burnt smell.

I stopped at the local Vatozone, and had them look at the check engine light cause: two things came up from the reader:

1.) Torque Converter Clutch malfunction (solenoid maybe? I dont recall exactly which one)
2.) 3-4 Solenoid failure

I have not heard of either of these, and am educating myself via the FSM currently. I thought I would ask y'all for some advice.

What am I looking at with the torque converter. As I said, I have second and third, and it seems to shift between the two just fine. If the converter clutch was bad, wouldn't the car be undriveable at highway speeds?
Second, is the OD solenoid in the valve body, on the outside of the case, or in the OD unit itself? the FSM is not clear on this
For now, its not an issue, but in a month I will be hauling some axles about 1400 miles, and although OD is not an issue; I may need 1st going over some passes with the extra weight.

I have a month to fix it, and need to get on this quickly.


Below are a few clips from the troubleshooting guide in the FSM:


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Do you have a TV cable? I would try adjusting that. Do you have a small vacuum leak?
Veddy Nice! I appreciate the extra work put into the harness and wiring. Definitely makes for a much nicer repair. Especially when you have to work on it 2 years down the road.

1 question, why the rag tape? Just to give it a more factory install look, or is their a specific function you were seeking?

Thanks, Love your write-ups.
I find that the electrical tape stiffens and gets hard after the elements get to it. If you look at the pictures I have of the temp senders in the post above(when I had just finished it from just under two years ago), those taped up connections have stiffened and unraveled to the point where one of the connections lost it's plastic coating and is now full of dirt and trans oil. I anticipate having to repair that connection eventually.

The cloth/tar-ish tape creates a water tight seal, and once the trans heats up a few times that tape is gonna be slightly flexible yet solid during everyday use. Also, once the dirt and dust gets on the outer shell, I think it'll be even more impervious to the elements.

Now, the last issue with the plug's wires melting most likely came from the internal temps of the transmission. I have the large cooler and the temp gauges for the trans oil installed since that event, and do not expect to have to ever pull it again to repair; mostly because I can monitor the internal temps at three different spots in the cooling circuit.

I wanted to have a water tight, element proof covering so as to not have any kind of chemical or oil on the wires that eventually could lead to degradation of the plastic sheathing of the wires. Resulting in having to do this repair again.

Ultimately, time will tell if this method will fail at some point, but I do not expect it to.
Awsome! Thanks!

I'm Just curious as to some of the wired melted more of the insulation than the others?? Do you think it was because they were slightly farther away?? Sorry, carry on with the funeral! :D
Looks like a royal pita. Think I'll follow your advice and not do this myself. :thumbsup:
1 - 4 of 26 Posts