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Old 08-18-2003, 01:09 AM   #1
wolfman
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Wrench Reverse "Slam" Cure in Saturn Autotransaxles

NOTE: This proceedure "can" often cure a delayed engagement or reverse (reverse slam) in Saturn autotransaxles PROVIDED you have not waited "too long"

DO NOT MAKE UP YOUR "OWN VERSION" follow the instructions exactly...

The "works nearly everytime" cure for the reverse "slam"

1. Change the transaxle fluid and filter (use "conventional" not synthetic fluid)
2. Add your choice of automatic transmission fluid additive (transmedic, Lucas etc...personal choice, Prolong auto transmission additive)
3. Start the car firmly set the parking brake, chock the wheels and or back it up against a firm immovable object (A brick wall works well)
4. Put the car in REVERSE and LEAVE IT THERE, RUNNING, IN REVERSE, for about 20-30 mins at idle.

What this does is use the clean transaxle fluid and additive to flush out the reverse passage in the valve body by simulating driving in reverse for about 10 miles. IT WILL NOT HARM THE TRANSAXLE OR ENGINE IN ANY WAY. After completing this proceedure, (99 times out of 100) your reverse slam will vanish for at least several months and maybe forever (actually usually forever is a better description) Maintain the transaxle correctly from that point forward. If it initially does not work for long, you can REPEAT the proceedure without changing the clean fluid and sometimes net good results BUT if after 2 tries things have not improved you are probably looking at valve body replacement. YOU MUST CHANGE THE FLUID FIRST! Doing this with "dirty" fluid still in the transaxle may actually make it WORSE. Also "normal" transmissiopn "flushes" WILL NOT cure this problem, as they don't feed enough "warm" clean fluid through the valve body for long enough.

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Old 08-18-2003, 07:49 PM   #2
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Default Wolfman?, about reverse slam fix

Wolfman

Tried your fix using "Slick 50" Tranny additive.

It was thick as STP.

Followed proceedure exactly, didn't work. Do you think it was because additive was too thick?

Has anyone used "slick 50" (the real thick stuff) with success?

Thought I would try an over the counter "flush" then new fluid again and "prolong".


I am an aircraft mechanic and inspector so mechanically replacing valve body doesn't scare me. Is there some re-calibration other than the "learn" capability of the PCM?I have a 1992 SC parts car (same slam problem) and it only took 30 minutes to pull the valve body.

VBX (Valve Body Express) at 866-243-8829 sells a rebuilt, waranteed valve body for $199 (they don't have a web site).
I am considering that option.

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Old 08-20-2003, 02:24 PM   #3
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Valve body replacement "can" actually be EASIER in a Saturn because the valve body is on TOP of the transaxle and replacement can be done FROM ABOVE without removing the tranasaxle from the car. I would strongly suggest getting the exploded diagram of the transaxle from http://www.Alldata.com before attempting it however, as there are only certain bolts that need to be removed and others that pretty much MUST be left alone. Remove the wrong ones and it is easy to lose small parts by having them fall down INSIDE the transaxle. If that happens, the transaxle must be removed and disassembled to retrieve them. Once the new valve body is in place, just a PCM reset (unhook neg battery cable for 15 Seconds) is all that is required for the PCM to "start from scratch" and deal with the new pieces.

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Old 08-22-2003, 01:59 AM   #4
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Yes, I was going to type that. If you have a slam going into reverse, your valve body is done and needs to be replaced.
It's even easier if you have three of them in a rotation. Hehehe. I have one in the car, one in pieces ready to be rebult and one rebuilt, ready to go in the car.
I go through transmissions like candy, but valve bodies are the sugar.. Hense why I have the rotation thing going.
Of course, not everyone races like I do, so the rotation may be a bit extreme.
My suggestion, if you need your valve body repaired or replaced, is to either do it yourself or pay to have a new one installed. Getting your old one rebuilt costs almost the same as getting a new one, dealership wise. Tranny shops may have a better deal.
Before I started rotating valve bodies, I ran into a racing emergency and I only trust the tranny guy at Saturn of Dayton South. Well, they didn't have any new valve bodies and only one rebuld kit at the North facility.. No difference in charges though. Ouch..
Yet oh so worth the money when, even on an ailing tranny, I STILL had the fastest Saturn at the dragstrip.

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Old 08-22-2003, 09:14 PM   #5
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What does the kit cost? Where do you get yours?
Do you replace the pressure regulator spool, or the reverse spool?
How about the solenoids? I called alldata and they said the exploded diagram of the valve body doesn"t show the check ball location. (I took my spare body apart and they fell out, luckily on the bench) Anyone got a diagram they could E-mail me or where I can find a good Saturn tranny manual? Does anyone know if a 1992 DOHC and 1993 SOHC valve body are the same?
Thanks, Bill, central Texas.

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Old 08-22-2003, 10:11 PM   #6
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If you can get a warranteed rebuilt valve body for $199, BUY IT! It'll save you major hassles and that is about 1/3 of new from Saturn!

...
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Old 08-25-2003, 05:52 PM   #7
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Could this proceedure be done with the drive wheels raised off the ground on jack stands and the brakes off? The reason is this would reduce the heat load on the engine (overheating) and, in my opinion, would be less dangerous than leaving a car unattended in reverse & the brakes on.

Bob

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Old 08-25-2003, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by meseville
Could this proceedure be done with the drive wheels raised off the ground on jack stands and the brakes off? The reason is this would reduce the heat load on the engine (overheating) and, in my opinion, would be less dangerous than leaving a car unattended in reverse & the brakes on.

Bob
NO (See "Don't make up your own version" on the original post..)
You WANT to raise the pressure through the valve body (what letting it sit with the wheels stationary in gear does) AND you WANT the transaxle to heat up (to allow the fluid with the additive to better flush out the clogged passages that are the cause of the problem) This should NOT cause a car with no cooling system or radiator fan isssues to overheat as it is essentially the same thing as sitting stuck in traffic only you'll be in reverse.. I never said to "leave the car unattended" just to "leave it there, running in reverse". Leaving a car in gear and running up on jackstands is far more dangerous than leaving it sitting on the ground, imagine what would happen if it fell off the jackstands in gear and running!

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Old 09-04-2003, 09:19 AM   #9
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Interesting procedure.

I've been experiencing trouble with the transmission in my 93 SC2 (135k) for a few months now, fortunately (maybe) I only drive about 10-15 miles a week on average.

After my father-in-law read me the riot act for not changing the fluid for the past 40k miles, we took it to a reputable shop to have it diagnosed. Their advise was to have it torn down and rebuild to a tune of $1800-$2400.

We figured that I might as well wait until it died completely before shelling out the cash. In the mean time we figured we'd tinker with it and see if it could be salvaged. We didn't want to replace the fluid all at once fearing that the cleansers in the new fluid might make sludge break up in clumps and cause more problems so we changed the filter, drained 1 quart and put in a fresh quart. I ran it for 2 weeks like that, then did the filter again and 2 quarts replacement.

At my FIL's suggestion, I've been letting the car sit in reverse for 10-15 minutes every few days to flush out the reverse mechanism.

Short point to this story is that I think it is working. Tonight I am doing a full change on the transmission and will let it sit in reverse as you recommended.

Thanks for your tip. It's good to know that we might be on the path to salvaging the transmission.

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Old 09-05-2003, 01:14 AM   #10
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Use Moble 1 Syn. ATF, it shift so much better..

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Old 09-30-2003, 01:39 PM   #11
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I'm finally getting back with a followup on my previous post.

I did a full trans fluid and filter change about 3 weeks ago. I included a transmission additive that my father-in-law picked up from Saturn. I drove around the neighborhood a bit, noticed that the forward shifting was a bit smoother. Then I set the car in reverse as prescribed for 1/2 hour. I took the car for a long drive (2 hours) out the freeway, through some rural roads to my wife's workplace, and then back again. On the way back I was in some stop & go traffic towards the last 2 (of about 20) miles on the freeway after a good 65 mph cruise. The transmission didn't seem to want to go into 3rd gear and then the SES light came on. It did finally go into 3rd while I was on the road. I stopped at the market to do some shopping, came out about an hour later. The car started and drove fine, no trouble getting into 3rd then. I later checked the code and found that it indicated a problem with going into 3rd gear (11-23?).

The car was out again last week for the same trip up to my wife's work, but this time it sat in the lot for about an hour before starting the commute home. The outside temp was hotter, however. Traffic was extremely heavy stop & go on the last leg, and no problems with the shifting.

Shifting into reverse comes much easier, although not as well as it should. It still requires some reving when the car is well warmed up, maybe up to 1300 rpm. Today I coughed up $180 to have Saturn do a diagnosis on the trans. Their conclusion: valve body replacement, $900. My reasoning for taking it to them at this point was to rule out the pressure nut, and other possible problems (bad pump). I'm going to get the car back w/o having the work done, and continue my course with trying to salvage the valve body. I'm hoping that part of the reason that it has not gotten much better yet is because the car has had only less than 700 miles put on it since I first began this process, and most of those miles have been for short (under 10 miles) trips.

I may put synthetic fluid in the transmission at my next change. I'm a bit leary of doing it all at once; I wonder if I should introduce it slowly since the car has so many miles on it (ie: 3 quarts regular fluid, 1 quart synthetic). Any thoughts on this?

In a related thread, someone had questioned why the additive is included in the change. I'm no mechanic, but I'll share my ideas: 1) Additives usually have detergents in them that will help to break down sludge and varnish inside the valve body, thus improving the flow of fluid through them and unsticking valves that might have build-up on them; 2) also, additives often advertise that they will lower the operating temperature of the trans. If they do in fact do this, it would help to keep the viscosity of the fluid, and consequently the pressure, higher.

An big thanks to all who have posted what they know of this problem.

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Old 05-17-2004, 11:26 PM   #12
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This fix worked nicely on my 99 SL2. Changed fluid, added Prolong, and idled car in reverse 1/2 hour using my ramps as a big wheel chuck. The noise was gone, transmission never sounded better!

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Old 05-17-2004, 11:39 PM   #13
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This fix worked nicely on my 99 SL2. Changed fluid, added Prolong, and idled car in reverse 1/2 hour using my ramps as a big wheel chuck. The noise was gone, transmission never sounded better!

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Old 05-20-2004, 11:49 PM   #14
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Try the "reverse slam" cure first. It does work if you have a gummed up or fine metal contaminated valve body. I tried it and it didn't work. I ordered an ATSG (Automatic transmission Service group) Saturn TAAT manual 800-254-7722 or 305-670-4161 www.transonline.com or www.atsgmiami.com
Good thing I did. Any good "shade tree" mechanic can pull the valve body in 30 minutes to an hour. READ THE BOOK FIRST! It will tell you everything you need to know about the Saturn TAAT tranny, it even has exploded diagrams of the valve body. You take out the battery and battery holder and the valve body is right under the cover on the top of the transmission. Be sure to get ALL the dirt off the of the tranny cover especially around the bolts and between cover and tranny, you don't want ANY crud falling into the transmission. (if you have the Anti-lock brakes it takes a little longer because you have to unplug the electrical connector, take the two nuts off that connect the master cylinder to the booster and move the whole ABS and master cylinder forward and then up slightly so you can get the transmission cover off, DON'T disconnect any brake lines, you dont have to.) The book shows what bolts to leave in the valve body so all the parts don't fall apart into the transmission (page 75, figure 172). I found a broken spring and scored bore in my valve body (been a couple of months but believe it was the orange spring in the line pressure regulating valve) The ATSG book is amazing!! I had a spare valve body from a 92 (mine is 93) and the book told me how to determine if it was a "second design" (they changed in mid 92) The book also told me that the 92 had the wrong solenoids (actuators) so I used mine from the 93. I believe that 93 thru 99 use the same valve body, Wolfman, can can confirm this? If you get a valve body from the guys in my earlier post or a wrecking yard the replacement is very easy. be sure to get a transmission pan gasket, Try AMMCO transmission or Saturn dealer. I was very careful and saved mine then used the "brush in can" permatex aircraft gasket sealer. DON'T USE RTV OR SILICONE. If a chunk of it squeezes out inside the tranny you will have REAL problems. go real easy with the permatex or better yet use a new gasket and no sealer. I'll help any way I can.

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Old 05-21-2004, 10:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by pcleiter

I may put synthetic fluid in the transmission at my next change. I'm a bit leary of doing it all at once; I wonder if I should introduce it slowly since the car has so many miles on it (ie: 3 quarts regular fluid, 1 quart synthetic). Any thoughts on this?

Do it all at once, it's not like you can make it any worst.

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Old 08-02-2004, 02:58 PM   #16
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Why is synthetic ATF not recommended for this procedure? Is any specific additive recommened for the slam fix or is straight ATF the way to go?
TIA,
Raymond

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Old 08-02-2004, 10:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by rjm65
Why is synthetic ATF not recommended for this procedure? Is any specific additive recommened for the slam fix or is straight ATF the way to go?
TIA,
Raymond
Wolfman explains in this link why sythetic is not recommended.


http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...150#post435150

Did you read the first post by Wolfman? He gives sample of transmission additive you can use, and his
"personal choice, Prolong auto transmission additive". I had a bottle, so I used the Prolong with great success. The additive will help dissolve what is gumming up things, along with conventional transmission fluid which will get hotter and do a better job of dissolving things.

...
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by wolfman
I recommend non-sythetic ATF as part of the reverse "slam" fix because most transmission additives work better with non-sythetic fluid and non-sythetic fluid runs hotter than synthetic. You need that heat combined with the additive to cleanse those passages. After the "slam" goes away, you can switch to synthetic ATF (Mobil 1 recommended) if you so desire at the next regular change or sooner. Just DON'T extend the change intervals!

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Old 08-12-2004, 09:35 AM   #19
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would this help me out..cause my car will only slam when my engine is real hot..like the other day me and friends were goin 100 down the interstate, fishtailin the corners in town and stuff like that, then when goin to reverse it started slamin...just curious.

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Old 08-12-2004, 11:12 AM   #20
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[
Quote:
Originally posted by the_skin_eater
would this help me out..cause my car will only slam when my engine is real hot..like the other day me and friends were goin 100 down the interstate, fishtailin the corners in town and stuff like that, then when goin to reverse it started slamin...just curious.
I had it 2 times in six months. Both times I was pushing the car. One was when I was late for work. The other time was when I came back from a 75 mile highway trip going 75 mph. So, I came to this site, used the reverse slam fix posted by Wolfman, and then had no problem. However, the dealership changed the fluid when I got the car last August. I did not change the filter when doing the fix since it was very new. When I drained the fluid 5 quarts came out. I put 4 quarts back in. Two days ago I wanted to switch fluid to Mobil 1 ATF. Four quarts came out, and I put 4 quarts back in. In checking the dipstick it seemed to be at or above the hot full mark. Then I looked at a chart from Alldata to use when checking the transmission fluid. It has more detail than the owner’s manual. It shows that the max hot for 4 wheel towing and the ideal operating hot range being at the top of the cross hatch marks. Max hot for non 4-wheel towing is the line above the word fill and max cold fill is the middle dot in hatch marks. I just looked at my dipstick. Looks like I am about a half a quart above the ideal range. That would put the fluid over a quart over the max hot level when the dealership did the service. I have a feeling the reason the max hot for 4-wheel towing is just above the hatch marks is because the heat generated causes the fluid to expand. Add that to the 1 quart I was overfilled by the dealership, and maybe this contributed to the reverse slam. That is why I am going to make sure the fluid is at the top of the hatch marks, and not at the hot max full mark. If my theory is correct, overfilling may contribute/cause the reverse slam when it is excessively hot. I would check your fluid level, if it is way overfilled, removing some fluid may help (and it may not without following Wolfman's fix). I use reverse 2 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It seems if it were just a sticky valve body I would have had reverse slam more often. Just my 2 cents. I am a newbie, not an expert.

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