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Racer Dan

Ranting and a transmission that doesn't know what it wants

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I have a 2002 CTD automatic that can't seem to decide what gear that it wants to be in or if it wants the convertor locked or unlocked between 35-40 MPH... Maybe the apps is bad? I remember when the auto manufacturers made stuff that was pretty good. They made cars that didn't blow head gaskets, didn't wear out wheel bearings, etc. GM had Turbo 400 transmissions, Turbo 350's weren't too bad either. Ford had c4 and c6 transmissions that performed quite well and the famous 9" rear end that is still the standard of many racing series to this day. Chrysler had the 727 and 904 transmissions and also the Hemi 4 speeds that were very good. Also the 8 3/4 rear ends as well as the Dana 60 used in many vehicles was durable. The 833 trans was also very durable. The slant 6 Chrysler engine was also very good. Then came the mid 70's and alot of "advancements in technology" came along which I think were disasters in some cases. Lean burn ignition systems coupled with lock up torque convertors, carburetors with tamper proof idle adjustments, light duty differentials with spider gears that failed, front wheel drive cars that blow head gaskets and wipe out cv joints all of the time, automatic transmissions that don't have adjustable linkage shift points like the old ones did so a guy can adjust it to suit his own driving style, lease cars that are designed to last 3 years, lift pumps with inferior parts known to fail and not re-engineered to perform and last, aftermarket wheel bearings that will collapse within a year, rotors that are made on a minimum so once they warp they are scrap, door handles that break and door hinges that wear out rapidly, manual transmissions that don't work properly, etc... For the money that we spend to buy these vehicles we shouldn't need "forums" on the internet to make and keep the things running. It's rediculous really.:confused: I'm just pissed off because all of these automatic transmissions these days aren't worth anything.I have rebuilt 727's and 904's in the past and they were very easy and cheap to do. I can't wait to take apart one of these "new modern" trans and see what they have in them.:rolleyes:

Edited by Racer Dan

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The random lock/unlock is cause by...

[*]PCM flash issue (TSB)

[*]Alternator noise (bad diodes)

[*]APPS sensor

[*]Bad ground

What funny is these truck go years and years without a issue then BAM one morning all hell breaks lose and people start modifing the truck trying to fix the problem. If you relize the truck ran prefect at one time and there is a cause its just a matter of finding it.

Like alternator noise you could pull the alternator fuse to verify.

APPS sensor if you had a live data tool to watch the APPS sensor for wrong values.

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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No I don't have a live data tool yet. I've only owned this truck for 2 years so this is the best that it has ever run except for the shifting issue. A friend owns a starter and alternator rebuilding shop so when the weather warms up a little I will take it in and have him spin it up on the bench and probably just put another one on and maybe one of his starters too. The apps ground is still another option as well, I think you said it's the black/yellow tracer.

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Did you recalibrate the APPS, This usually does nothing for that speed lock unlock but the apps ground rewire trick can but what I found works best for me was to adjust the Throttle valve "TV" cable a bit if you move it towards the cab it will increase the shift point a bit and thus getting past the trouble speed that you drive at a lot that causes the issue. I kick OD off in town and with the tv cable adjusted eliminated the same issue years ago for me. I got my tv cable adjusted so that if you know the rig it will actually grab and lockup in 3rd with the od on even.:wink: Be sure to put a mark on the cable before moving it there is a light grey locking tab that pulls out sideways towards the driverside. The adjustment is really fine and you will only need to move it back about 2 notches, maybe 1/16 of an inch to make a big difference. Pulling cable back increases shift point rpms and moving it forward decreases rpm shift points. Try this, I think you will be suprised at the difference, it will feel like you have a shift kit and will delay all the other shifts by a few rpms also.

Edited by Wild and Free
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Is that tv cable on the pump or the apps? I might go for a ride to a friends shop and pull that cover and see what I have and ground that wire at the same time. Thanks for the info. :) Oh and I did recal the apps a week ago.

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The cable comes out the back side of the apps and runs down to the trans. There are 2 the throttle cable and the tv cable. The pump is computer controlled and has no cables attached to it just a wiring harness.

Edited by Wild and Free

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A warning to those who may try this adjustment......make sure you have a starting reference point on the cable before moving it so that you can get it back to the original position if you don't like the way it works. Do not move it forward too far as this can decrease internal tranny pressures and could possibly burn clutches. This is why the reference mark is important to put on the cable sheeth before moving it. There is a proper way of adjusting it but to adjust it to increase shift points will not hurt a thing. Remember pulling cable back increases shift points.

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I moved the cable ahead and did a road test. I actually moved it ahead 3 times to get it where I like it. Maybe for towing I will move it back a little but for 99% of my driving it will be good. Now I can get into the pedal and it doesn't kick down and shift a 1,000 times and it makes use of the torque of the engine instead of revving for nothing. Thanks again for that tip.

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Did you recalibrate the APPS, This usually does nothing for that speed lock unlock but the apps ground rewire trick can but what I found works best for me was to adjust the Throttle valve "TV" cable a bit if you move it towards the cab it will increase the shift point a bit and thus getting past the trouble speed that you drive at a lot that causes the issue. I kick OD off in town and with the tv cable adjusted eliminated the same issue years ago for me. I got my tv cable adjusted so that if you know the rig it will actually grab and lockup in 3rd with the od on even.:wink: Be sure to put a mark on the cable before moving it there is a light grey locking tab that pulls out sideways towards the driverside. The adjustment is really fine and you will only need to move it back about 2 notches, maybe 1/16 of an inch to make a big difference. Pulling cable back increases shift point rpms and moving it forward decreases rpm shift points. Try this, I think you will be suprised at the difference, it will feel like you have a shift kit and will delay all the other shifts by a few rpms also.

that is an interesting trick....i have never heard that before...but since i do not own any automatic transmissions in any of the vehicles i own, maybe i never paid attention.

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I would drive it really really easy if you moved it forward as that will dercrease tranny pressures and could burn clutch packs if you poor too much power to it. I have never ever moved one forward, everyone I have done and heard of everyone else doing is always pulling it back to increase shift points, now you are probably shiftng into od at like 25mph already.

To be totally honest I would adjust it back and see if you canget it to work fore you that way you won't chance damaging the tranny.

Edited by Wild and Free

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Yea I know what you are saying but I throttle it light and I'm not afraid of burnt clutches anyway because it won't be worth a damn til I rebuild it. I bought the truck used and usually ppl that don't rebuild/repair things don't have any idea when they are abusing them either. If you can't tell by the sound of a machine if it is at operating temp then what more can I say. I've seen ppl jump into a stone cold vehicle and rev it up and away they go. That is fine I guess but even if I were a millionaire I still wouldn't damage things for no reason. I repair machines for a living as a Millwright and I work on cars as a hobby. I'll probably move it back a little bit but it don't really matter because the way the trans works it ain't too good anyway and I'm sure the previous owner abused it more than once.

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Yea I know what you are saying but I throttle it light and I'm not afraid of burnt clutches anyway because it won't be worth a damn til I rebuild it. I bought the truck used and usually ppl that don't rebuild/repair things don't have any idea when they are abusing them either. If you can't tell by the sound of a machine if it is at operating temp then what more can I say. I've seen ppl jump into a stone cold vehicle and rev it up and away they go. That is fine I guess but even if I were a millionaire I still wouldn't damage things for no reason. I repair machines for a living as a Millwright and I work on cars as a hobby. I'll probably move it back a little bit but it don't really matter because the way the trans works it ain't too good anyway and I'm sure the previous owner abused it more than once.

i agree whole heartedly, but there is something to be said about "living to fight another day" if that sucker bombs(do like them allisons and smoke all your clutches) while your driving, your going to have a bad day. personally everyone i ever have known to have an automatic has had it worked or replaced before 150k with one expection. a 94 gmc 2500 with a 350 and 4l60e...it made it to 205k before it shite-ed out. read my sing and you know my opinion. :poke:

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I just went outside and put the cable back to where it was when I started today. When I worked at the Ford foundry they used to have scrap to melt down from another manufacturer and it was automatic transmission parts. I looked at the stuff and couldn't believe how cheap the parts have gotten. The piston in the drum that used to ba a nice cast aluminum piece with a replaceable set of seals is now made of tin with a set of seals bonded to the tin piston. The planetary carriers are lighter duty and of a poor quality. You're right about the automatics that we have now that they aren't worth a s--t. Too many electronic parts to fail, go out of adjustment, head damages them etc. All a bunch of junk.

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Don't be afraid to move it back, it will not hurt anything, if you go to far it will not upshift or have a really delayed upshift. Just go back and try it like you did by moving it forward.

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The way that I adjusted it was basicallly with no throttle pressure until the pedal was pushed a little and it upshifted nice and fast and didn't downshift when I pushed the pedal more which is what I wanted except that then I could tell it wasn't enough throttle pressure to apply the clutches properly. I need to change the ratio at the cable connection. It needs to be moved closer to the fulcrum of the shaft so it can have some throttle pressure and still not downshift when I push the accelerator pedal. If I need it to downshift I can grab the shifter and downshift it myself but they try to idiot-proof these vehicles for the general public and all you end up with is a bunch of ****.

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Mine did the same thing until I installed a lockup controller. I think the problem is low voltage from the alternator.

  • Like 1

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