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Old 11-02-2016, 11:23 AM   #1
hider
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Dizzy Need HELP with shifting issues

I have a 2002 Sl2 with 77k on it that has developed some strange issues and I really need pointed in the right direction.

One day while driving the car started downshifting extremely hard. I checked the fluid level and it was fine. At that time I performed a fluid and filter change using the valve line dex/merc fluid in the blue bottle. This made the shifting feel smoother but I still noticed it shifting hard at random. I checked the charging system and discovered a bad battery so I replaced that and at the same time did new plugs and wires. The battery replacement seemed to fix the hard shifting issue but now there is a dead spot when stepping on the gas as the car downshifts. You can feel it start to downshift then it will feel like it dies and then it finishes the shift and accelerates. I have not noticed it happening if I downshift manually with the shifter. As of last night I have also noticed I am not getting the rpm drop of the torque converter lock up above 45 miles an hour. I have no idea where to start next. On a side note the car has not thrown any codes.

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Old 11-02-2016, 11:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

What was your Alternator output voltage? Check the 3 TRS Fuses under the hood. If they are good, you might want to check your Solenoid resistance.

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Old 11-03-2016, 01:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by hider View Post
I have a 2002 Sl2 with 77k on it that has developed some strange issues and I really need pointed in the right direction.

One day while driving the car started downshifting extremely hard. I checked the fluid level and it was fine. At that time I performed a fluid and filter change using the valve line dex/merc fluid in the blue bottle. This made the shifting feel smoother but I still noticed it shifting hard at random. I checked the charging system and discovered a bad battery so I replaced that and at the same time did new plugs and wires. The battery replacement seemed to fix the hard shifting issue but now there is a dead spot when stepping on the gas as the car downshifts. You can feel it start to downshift then it will feel like it dies and then it finishes the shift and accelerates. I have not noticed it happening if I downshift manually with the shifter. As of last night I have also noticed I am not getting the rpm drop of the torque converter lock up above 45 miles an hour. I have no idea where to start next. On a side note the car has not thrown any codes.
Your torque converter clutch solenoid needs to be checked, in addition to the fuses for shifting.

Saturn TAATs are prone to valve body failure, and the TCC solenoid is inside the valve body. When it is commanded "ON" the clutch is not engaged. The TCC solenoid should be "ON" at all times in first gear, and in Reverse.

Second, Third, and Fourth gears it can turn "OFF" and engages the clutch, BUT the following things have to be true:
Speed above 25mph(40 km/h)
Throttle and engine load being very light
Brake switch inactive

Excessive throttle and engine load should disengage the clutch, by turning the solenoid "ON". This allows for more power when you don't need to downshift.

Anytime the brakes are active, even just touching the pedal, the TCC solenoid should turn "ON" and release the clutch.

I suspect your TPS may be starting to go faulty, because as you depress the accelerator, it loses power, but if you downshift manually the symptoms don't show up.

TAATs use TPS info within the PCM to detect shift points/quality.

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 142k - Iron Duke w/auto
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 183k - DOHC w/auto 1qt/100mi

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Old 11-30-2016, 01:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Finally had a chance to look at a few things, alternator output is between 13.5 and 14 volts depending on the load. All the fuses are good, I was able to reproduce the dead spot when downshifting using the shifter. There are times when the car shifts perfectly with no dead spot but it's random. I guess the next step would be testing solenoid resistance or would it be better to just replace the line pressure and tcc solenoid?

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Old 11-30-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

http://kenpartintransmissionparts.com/


Ken Partin sells just the solenoid assemblies.

Your problem sounds like it is related to a faulty clutch of low line pressure. It could be the solenoids or a more serious problem such as a worn set of clutch packs/front pump assembly.

The dead spot in your down shift can be recreated by manually downshifting. This is a clear indicator that clutch engagement is definitely a suspect. If you pull the VB to replace solenoids, you will want to test your clutches as well. You can use pressurized air to test the clutches.

...
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1995 Saturn SC2 @ 183k - DOHC w/auto 1qt/100mi

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Old 11-30-2016, 10:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

How do I test the clutches? Would I just be focusing on testing the line pressure solenoid?

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Old 12-06-2016, 02:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Bump

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Old 12-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

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How do I test the clutches? Would I just be focusing on testing the line pressure solenoid?
I would measure the resistance of all 5 Solenoids first.

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Old 12-06-2016, 09:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

I am not sure how to test the clutches, as my clutches amd input shaft were good when I replaced my VB last week.

When you get ready to test the solenoids, make sure to inspect the wiring on the top cover. Check the nut holding the plug into the cover. Mine was so loose, I didn't even have to put a ratchet on it. It shouldn't be over-torqued, either. Once it is finger tight, maybe 1/8 turn is all that is needed to keep it secure.

Over torqueing this bolt can damage the bus plate amd the pins. So take your time and be careful.

I believe the resistance can be tested without removing the cover.

According to Sonnax's website, these TAATs like to start acting up around the 60,000-mile mark, which is just CONVENIENT for GM considering they were sold with 3-year/50,000-mile power train warranties, originally.

You can email Ken Partin, with questions, and also try to PM Special Forces. He is another transmission VB rebuilder, here in the forums, and in addition to Chazberry's information he may be able to provide additional answers to you.

The rebuilt VB he sold me has fully corrected my transmission, and I have almost 165k miles on my car.

...
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1995 Saturn SC2 @ 183k - DOHC w/auto 1qt/100mi

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Old 12-06-2016, 11:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post

I believe the resistance can be tested without removing the cover.
You can measure from the ECM connector to the fuse block. Pull the battery cables. Pull the three solenoid fuses. Pull the connector from the ECM. Meter from the appropriate connector pins to the fuse terminals in the fuse block. This way you can look for bad solenoids and bad wiring.

...
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claybury View Post
You can measure from the ECM connector to the fuse block.
This is a good idea since your PCM is under the hood. I don't have the wiring diagram for 2002, but the OBD-I pin-out is:
TRS LP - F1
TRS 2/TCC - F2
TRS 3/4 - F3
TRS 3/4 - E10
TRS 2/TCC - E14

Not sure if this changed for OBD-II.

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Old 12-07-2016, 10:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

2002 SL2/SC2 PCM to transmission wiring diagram. IIRC, the J1 PCM connector pins are numbered the along the long rows. Teeny tiny numbers are molded in the plastic.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf transaxle.pdf (115.8 KB, 26 views)

...
2002 SC2 1.9L
2007 Vue 3.5L
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1974 Triumph Spitfire 3.1L V6
2002 Ram duelly diesel 5.9L
1975 Honda PA50 0.05L (Swarm and destroy)

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Old 12-07-2016, 11:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by hider View Post
Finally had a chance to look at a few things, alternator output is between 13.5 and 14 volts depending on the load. All the fuses are good, I was able to reproduce the dead spot when downshifting using the shifter. There are times when the car shifts perfectly with no dead spot but it's random. I guess the next step would be testing solenoid resistance or would it be better to just replace the line pressure and tcc solenoid?
So can we go back to this for a minute? 13.5 to 14 is not sufficient running voltage for these transmissions. You tested the output via the battery while the car was running? 14.4VDC is what you should be getting.

If so you need to change your alternator. The transmission will shift erratically without proper voltage.

...
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Stopped by another auto parts store on the way home and had the charging system checked, this time it showed 14.5 volts from the alternator. I will check the resistance on the solenoids this weekend and go from there. I really appreciate everyone's help!

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Old 12-10-2016, 08:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Need HELP with shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by hider View Post
Stopped by another auto parts store on the way home and had the charging system checked, this time it showed 14.5 volts from the alternator. I will check the resistance on the solenoids this weekend and go from there. I really appreciate everyone's help!
That sounds better. Checking the solenoids will be a good next test.

...
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