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last plea for any help with gearbox problems

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  • last plea for any help with gearbox problems

    I have been having auto gearbox problems for the best part of two years now and I have been searching for a solution on and off both here and across the net without much success.
    Iíve put up with it for the love of the car but it's now getting a bit dangerous as pulling out from a sidestreet into traffic is scary as I don't know if the car is going to go!
    This is a last plea for any help before I decide the cars future. The MOT is due next month and there are a few other jobs so i'm weighing up whether to call time on the old girl.

    I have changed the atf fluid twice (albeit only a third each time) which hasnít really helped. I note there are a number of threads on here that read of similar symptoms but none seem to give any solution or have come to a successful conclusion.

    I'll try to give detailed descriptions of the symptoms.

    The early symptoms:

    Speedo stopped working
    Flashing O/D light every two seconds suggesting a sensor fault.
    Then a couple of weeks later:
    Gearbox intermittently dropping out of overdrive/lockup
    It was suggested I replaced the speed sensor Ė speedo still not working so I assume this is an actual speedo fault.
    This progressed to not going into overdrive/lockup, however turning overdrive off and then on forced it into lockup, this seemed to work ok but then after a while it would drop out again.
    Then it would not go into overdrive/lockup at all even trying the above.

    As time progressed it started to take lots of revs to get the car moving from standstill but once on the move it is ok.
    Changed (5ltrs) ATF - Occasionally would go into overdrive/lockup but then drop out again.
    Now will not go into overdrive/lockup at all
    Now on a hill start it takes a huge amount of revs to get moving but once on the flat is ok.
    All the above symptoms are in normal drive or 4WD.
    If I select low 4WD there is loads of torque and the car takes off if I push the gas from a standing start??

    Disregarding the speedo the possible causes that I have found in my hunt for infomation suggest the following:
    atf is shot and needs replacing - I think itís beyond this and although the two changes seemed to improve things it was short lived.
    faulty sensor on the gearbox Ė there are three I think. Ė I changed speed sensor.
    Faulty solenoid inside the gearbox Ė I believe there are three and I donít know which one. Is this a big job?

    The O/D light continues to flash once evry two seconds.
    I have tried to get the fault code by shorting out the "TE1" and "E1" terminals but I could not get any codes to flash.
    I read somewhere that the ECU will put the box into limp mode if itís a solenoid but is this Ďlimp modeí causing the symptoms I am experiencing?
    I appreciate this is a big ask but I have put up with this problem for a long time now and the MOT is due soon. Plus itís getting dangerous trying to pull away at a gap in heavy traffic.

    I hope Iíve given enough information here for those of you with technical knowledge to suggest the most likely faulty component. Or maybe itís just come to the end of the road (although shes only covered 190.000Km)
    If I canít find out what the problem could be I am considering whether to just give up and (reluctantly) retire the surf to the local scrap yard.

    Any help would be greatly and respectfully appreciated.

    Last edited by icsys; 27th May 2012, 12:59.
    One day my paranoia will go away!

  • #2
    Did you check the fluid level with the engine running?

    Dropping in an out of lock-up could be sensor related or the torque converter going bad.

    The speedo sensor doesn't affect gear shifts, it's the smaller, two wire sensor on the transfercase adapter housing that senses output shaft rotation. You can remove it (10mm socket, no fluid will spill out) and give the magnetic tip a wipe before reinserting it.

    If you select the gears manually i.e. select 'L' does it pull away any quicker?

    You could try unplugging the black multi-plug on the transmission (passenger side), and reinserting it to see if that cures the problem.