HELP! A904 skipping 2nd gear.

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autopar3000

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Hey guys,

This transmission problem is huge for me and I'm hoping someone here can help.

It's a 904 with a shift kit and a mild stall (~2100) non lock-up converter. It's a stock valve body and it has normal automatic shift operation. It was working fine until last night when I was driving and I attempted a moderately brisk acceleration from a stand still. When shifting from 1st gear into 2nd (at about 4500 rpm) it wouldn't go into second properly. I backed off the throttle and it dropped into 3rd. I didn't notice that anything was wrong until I had to come to a stop and tried to get moving again. That's when I found that 2nd gear is gone.

So right now reverse works fine, and if I put the shifter in Drive it will start off in 1st gear but it won't shift into 2nd. If I back off the throttle at, say 3000 rpm, it doesn't feel like it's locked in 1st gear i.e. I don't get a lot of engine braking. If I get it up to about 4000 or 4500 RPM it will skip 2nd and go into 3rd gear. If I put the shifter in 1st gear I do get proper engine braking like you would expect. Trying to manually shift from 1st to 2nd doesn't work - it just stays in 1st unless the revs are high enough for it to go into 3rd (it will only go into 3rd if the shifter is in Drive).

Also, I just took it for a test drive and I'm hearing some clicking or clinking noises right about the time when it should be shifting from 1st to 2nd or when slowing and it should be going from 3rd to 2nd.

Any ideas what's going on?

Thanks,
Mike
 
drop the pan....

look for broken or loose band strut....or broken band..
 
just drop the pan....the strut can replaced/repaired easily ....but if the band is broken...the trans comes out...
 
when the front servo engages...2nd...it pushes on the band strut which is nothing but a small piece of metal that pushes the band to tighten around the drum...

so you got serveral things in play...front servo...band strut...an adjuster that tighten or looses up the strut...and the band...which has lugs on it that engage the band strut...
 
this is a 727...it is bascially the same as a 904

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z166OBLOVAQ"]Part 18. Front Band Adjustment - YouTube[/ame]
 
Tony is likely correct about something possibly breaking or coming loose but I think before I yanked the pan I'd try just adjusting the front band. The adjuster for it is on the left side above the linkage. You tighten down the adjusting screw to 72 inch lbs then back it off 2-1/4 turns and lock down the locknut making sure the adjuster didn't turn with it. If the adjuster screw just freely screws in all the way that's a sure sign something Tony mentioned is the problem.
 
Thanks for the info guys. I haven't had time to take a look at it yet but once I do I'll let you know what the problem is.
 
OK guys, I finally had time to pull the pan. There wasn't anything floating around in the pan and but there is definitely something wrong. The band lever is just flopping around all loose, and the strut is nowhere to be seen. If you have a look at the picture I took you'll see the band lever hanging down.

So what's my next step? Should I remove the valve body in the hopes that this is something I can fix? Or am I better off to button it back up and get the car to the shop?

As always, your replies are much appreciated.

-Mike
 

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The strut is a little wedge shaped bar, it could have just come out. Youll need top pull pan to find it and then determine of the band is broken. Might just be a simple fix, but then youll have to determine WTF caused the strut to fall out. Running it without a kickdown almost skips 2nd too.
dodgeband_struts.png
 
Tony is likely correct about something possibly breaking or coming loose but I think before I yanked the pan I'd try just adjusting the front band. The adjuster for it is on the left side above the linkage. You tighten down the adjusting screw to 72 inch lbs then back it off 2-1/4 turns and lock down the locknut making sure the adjuster didn't turn with it. If the adjuster screw just freely screws in all the way that's a sure sign something Tony mentioned is the problem.

X2 for you and Tony both.
When I first got my car it skipped second and went straight to third, and it was because the band was so far out of adjustment that the pin that comes down out of the servo couldn't travel near far enough to apply the band.
In my case a band adjustment brought everything back to normal. (not expecting this here though)
More likely a broken band I'd bet, because of the clicking noises.

Oops, I just saw that last picture.
I'm not quite with it yet this morning, sorry.
 
yes, time to drop the valve body and see what happened to the pieces that work the band.
 
OK, I'll pull the valve body and see what's going on under there.

Is there anything I need to be careful of when removing the valve body? Never taken one off before.
 
Yup, the accumulator and spring will fall out, passenger side right where the 4 bolts are. Make sure and put em' back.
 
I bet you'll find the strut laying on the top of the valve body. If nothing is broken and you get things back in place and the band adjusted it'll be time to put the valve body back up in place. The accumulator and spring Poison mentioned can be a bugger sometimes. Apply Vaseline to the accumulator body and sealing ring and slide it in place. The Vaseline will hold it there while you bolt the valve body in place. You may also have to rotate the driveshaft a little to get the parking pawl rod to slip back in. Torque the valve body to 100 inch lbs
 
Thanks for the advice on pulling the valve body guys. I should have time to get at it tomorrow and see what's going on in there.
 
Well, Fishy called it. The strut was laying on top of the valve body. It looks like everything is totally fine. Nothing is bent or broken.

All of which begs the question: how the hell did it fall apart? Could it be that the band was so far out of adjustment that it came apart? It sure shifted well - felt like you were getting punched in the back of the head when shifting into 2nd.

Oh well, I guess I'll work on getting it back together tomorrow. If anyone has any ideas as to how or why it came apart in the first place I'd like to hear it. I want to do whatever I can to prevent it from happening again.

-Mike
 
Well, Fishy called it. The strut was laying on top of the valve body. It looks like everything is totally fine. Nothing is bent or broken.

All of which begs the question: how the hell did it fall apart? Could it be that the band was so far out of adjustment that it came apart? It sure shifted well - felt like you were getting punched in the back of the head when shifting into 2nd.

Oh well, I guess I'll work on getting it back together tomorrow. If anyone has any ideas as to how or why it came apart in the first place I'd like to hear it. I want to do whatever I can to prevent it from happening again.

-Mike

I've only saw it happen a few times and when it did the 1-2 shift was kinda mushy right before the strut fell out. Not sure what to say about yours.
 
Gents,

I got the transmission back together and took the car for a long test drive. It shifted perfectly without any issues at all.

I want to thank you guys for your help and advice. I've said it before and I'll say it again: FABO is the best forum on the internet, and it's the people that make it that way.
 
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