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Old 08-13-2018, 11:25 PM   #1
Saturn Night
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Default A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Ok, I waited for about 3 days to post this, because I wanted to see if this was a consistent slamming issue or get the pattern of symptoms before asking for help.

I just turned 200k, today. The transmission fluid was changed at 193,999 miles and a new WIX filter installed. The VB was replaced from Special Forces, at 163k when the car was purchased in 2016. I used Advance Auto(Car Quest) Mutli-Vehicle ATF at the change(O'REILLY was sold out of their Premium ATC), which showed to be Dexron-III fluid and topped it off with Lucas Transmission additive. The prior fluid change had Lucas Transmission additive in it when the VB was changed, as well.

The issue started on Friday, as I left work. I pulled out onto the road and the car was lurching as if the 2nd Gear clutch was slipping badly. And the TCC slammed during the engagement. Then it began slamming on all upshifts amd all downshifts, until the fluid got warm. Once the car was up to temp, it shifted as it is supposed to. No slamming. No slipping or lurching of the car.

Saturday morning, I go out to leave for work and after the car warmed up to just above the C line, I shift into Reverse and SLAM.(No Delay). So, I pull out onto the road. Shift into Drive and SLAM. The car slammed on ALL shifts, up and down, and reverse the entire 20 mile drive. I checked the fluid level and it is only one diamond below the full mark. No visible leaking fluid.

So, after work, I pulled the LPP fuse and the PCM B fuse for about 5 minutes. I started the car cold, allowed it to warm up to just off the C line like I always do. I drove the car home that night and not a single issue. Did a complete set of 10 upshifts and downshifts. Did the 5x 4-3 downshifts @ 35mph.

Drove to work on Sunday morning and home Sunday night without any issues.

Start my car this morning, and go to pull out onto the road to take my used engine oil to Advance for recycling, and it lurches in first gear on the take off as if the clutch was slipping and began slamming in all gears. Get to Advamce Auto, pull the PCM B fuse/LPP Fuse out for a few minutes. Plug them back in. Start the car and it drives perfectly fine.

Later this evening, I just left to make a short trip. Engine warmed up to just off the C line, no slam into reverse. Pull out onto the street, lurches and slips on the takeoff and begins slamming all shifts and gears. Get to Sheetz, pull the PCM B/LPP fuses, and restart the car after a few minutes. It drives perfectly fine. Even found a few back roads where I could floor the car and see if it would run to 6k like it should and check for slippage or bad clutches. Not a single slam at all. Transmission held the gears to 6k without issue. Although, I did lose a high speed(3rd Gear) race to a Ford Fusion with the 160hp 2.3L engine in the process of all this.

My transmission relearns were performed in "Normal" mode. I regularly drive the car in "Performance" mode so it winds the gears out a little further before shifting. This last trip, after resetting the PCM, I left it in Normal mode.

Please note, that I have reset the PCM with both warm fluid and cold fluid. The issue is returning either way, at this point.

Any ideas on what is causing the symptoms?

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Old 08-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Just a little update. The PCM finally dropped codes, after a re-learn drive today.

Transmission Code 13: Line Pressure High
Transmission Code 95: Line Pressure Circuit Intermittent Fault

A test of the solenoids showed that all 5 solenoids are around 5.1-5.8 ohms. I have no bent pins in the plug, and no burnt/broken, cracked wiring to the plug.

Sticking Pressure Regulator Valve, Bad Solenoid, or time for a new VB already?

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Old 08-14-2018, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Sticking Pressure Regulator Valve, Bad Solenoid, or time for a new VB already?
Some FSM pages fwiw.
I'm leaning toward an intermittent electrical gremlin. If it was a Solenoid sticking, I wouldn't think that would go away after a fuse pull reset. And that Code 95 suggests the same thing.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg TAAT31.jpg (190.7 KB, 5 views)

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Old 08-14-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Is there anything that would indicate an issue with a possible stuck pressure regulator valve, causing a short in the solenoid, by chance?

Here is why I ask. Today, the engine was totally cold, I pulled the fuses and even pulled the PCM 1 fuse in addition. The battery was also disconnected, while I checked the resistance at the pins to the bus plate.

When I restarted, the issue was present with gear slamming immediately, and there was an initial slip into 1st gear on the take off from backing out of my driveway. Reverse also slammed.

Granted, it took more than 5 sets of upshifts to code the PCM, but once it did, the shifting did get a little softer. You could still feel the upshifts, but not slamming.

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Old 08-14-2018, 01:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

I don't think the PR spool being mechanically stuck could affect the solenoid coil at all. However, SF does not put the PR Sonnax parts in; there could be a problem in there.

Do you have a gauge connected to read LP while this is being investigated?

The LP solenoid could be intermittent, coil turns going open/shorted at whim due to vibration or temp. How about swapping that solenoid with one of the others to see if the symptoms change? I don't think any of the VB rebuilders put in all new solenoids.

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Old 08-14-2018, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Here's some more pages that are referenced . . .

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...1&d=1285076720
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...7&d=1285076570
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...8&d=1285076570
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...9&d=1285076570

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Old 08-14-2018, 02:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

I think I left off this one . . .

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...0&d=1461466355

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Old 08-14-2018, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Looking at the FSM pages, I will likely have to open up that VB and pull it out. It could be a faulty PCM, or the BUS Plate.

Like I said, the issue is no longer intermittent now that the codes dropped today. It slams whether I pull the fuses or not, now.

Maybe I'll just swap an entire transmission into it. Idk at the point, because I really don't have the money for this at all. Thanks for the info, Chazberry and Billr.

I have some work to do this weekend, and I'll update of anything changes.

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Old 08-17-2018, 09:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Ok, it is definitely something in the VB, because i started the engine completely cold. The car has sat for a few days, and it did not slam until after about 2-3 minutes of driving, which means the fluid was warming up. Time to break out some tools, when the weather breaks. Got rain coming the next two days.

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Old 08-17-2018, 11:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I don't think the PR spool being mechanically stuck could affect the solenoid coil at all. However, SF does not put the PR Sonnax parts in; there could be a problem in there.

Do you have a gauge connected to read LP while this is being investigated?

The LP solenoid could be intermittent, coil turns going open/shorted at whim due to vibration or temp. How about swapping that solenoid with one of the others to see if the symptoms change? I don't think any of the VB rebuilders put in all new solenoids.
I don't have a gauge to connect to one of the cooling lines, for testing line pressure. I do know that both Special Forces and Ken Partin test the valves they do not upgrade and they sell individual solenoids, and Ken Partin sells the pan gaskets too.

So, I can get the parts available, if needed. I will tear into the valve body and open it up this weekend. With my above post, the clutches seem to be fine and if the input shaft nut was loose, I wouldn't have reverse and slamming gears no matter what the fluid temp is.

Maybe the Lucas additive is causing the valves to stick or the solenoid is over heating. Then again, I don't baby this car all the time either, so it does get hammered on occasionally. The VB could have a worn out bore, that tested fine when it was rebuilt. Won't know until I tear it open.

I think I am sticking with just O'REILLY Premium ATF pr another higher-quality Dexron-III and like my engine, no additives in the transmission either, from here on out.

OldNuc recommends that TorqueDrive from AMSOil, and that is Dexron-III, right?

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Old 08-17-2018, 02:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

You don't need to fuss with a cooler line to test LP. Tee into the port where the trans-temp sensor connects (near spin-on filter and turbine-speed sensor). That port is 1/8" FPT, so easy to get necessary fitting for the tee.

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Old 08-17-2018, 02:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I think I am sticking with just O'REILLY Premium ATF pr another higher-quality Dexron-III and like my engine, no additives in the transmission either, from here on out.

OldNuc recommends that TorqueDrive from AMSOil, and that is Dexron-III, right?
I try to avoid additives myself.

According to the O'Reilly site, their Premium ATF Dexron III/Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended for all automatic transmissions requiring Dexron IIIH Dexron IIE, Dexron II,Dexron or Mercon transmission fluids.

From the AMSoil site . . .
PRODUCT APPLICATIONS
AMSOIL recommends Torque-Drive for use in heavy-duty, on- and off-highway automatic transmissions requiring any of the following specifications: Allison TES-295, TES-389, C-4; Ford MERCON V; GM DEXRON III-H; MAN 339 Type V-1, 339 Type V-2, 339 Type Z-1, 339 Type Z-2, 339 Type Z-3, 339F; MB 236.91, 236.10; Voith 55.6335, 55.6336; Volvo 97340, 97341; ZF TE-ML 03D, TE-ML 04D, TE-ML 14A, TE-ML 14B, TE-ML 14C, TE-ML 17C, TE-ML 20B, TE-ML 20C.

Some info in case you want to check line pressure . . .

FSM Pages:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...5&d=1328382752
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...7&d=1328382883

Pressure Chart:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...3&d=1329187074

Gauge Set Up Threads:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=11
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...3&postcount=93
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...0&postcount=89

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Old 08-17-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

I appreciate all the help. I have the VB out and swapped the 4th Gear solenoid with the LP solenoid. I won't be able to drive the car without a replacement pan gasket. The pins are solid on all 5 solenoids. All solenoids tested good for ohms. My DMM is pretty beat up and ranges 1.5 ohms between its own pins, so the 6.1-6.4 ohms would translate to 4.5-4.9 ohms. The ATSG manual shows this is an acceptable range. There is a spacer plate at the very front of the valve body, for the valve that is directly under that brass exhaust piece on the top-rear of the valve body(behind the plug connector). THAT spacer plate can be moved by fingertip in my valve body, and I don't think that is normal at all. Any ideas or experience with those?

Here is my next question, the Hollander Interchange for the MP7 shows to be 1995-2002. Now, newer transmissions have a reusable, rubber gasket. Am I able to use the newer gasket on my 1995 transmission. I mean, I don't mind ordering gaskets from Ken Partin because keeping him in business helps keep our auto trans Saturns on the road and he has been great to work with bia email. If I can switch this out and get a reusable gasket, I have a permanent solution to constantly waiting on the shipping from Columbus to Leavittsburg. I wish he lived a little closer, and I could just drive to his shop and pick them up. If I can't, maybe I'll order like 3 of them and keep some spares on hand. Wasn't expdcting this problem to happen. Ironic, that it occurred right at 200,000 miles

And, Yes, Chazberry. There will be no more additives in my transmission fluid. I have been running that Premium ATF in both my cars(a THM-125C 3-speed auto in my Grand Am) since I bought both cars and neither has had a problem.

...
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

And I will head to the hardware store, at some point, to get a T-flange and a high pressure gauge for testing LP at the temp sensor. That will be easy, peasy over splicing the lines.

Hell, I almost considered converting to an MP2 5-speed with the wider gears. I found an article from the 1993 Chicago Tribune where they tested a manual SC2 and felt the manual should have been adapted to all pf GM's lines instead of the (and I quote the author) "arthritic" manuals used by other GM divisions.

To be honest, I love the automatic transmission in these cars. When they run correctly, you never feel anything but the TCC engage. Saturn knew what they were doing with either transmission design, imo.

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Old 08-18-2018, 08:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
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Now, newer transmissions have a reusable, rubber gasket. Am I able to use the newer gasket on my 1995 transmission.
No - that newer gasket only has 8 holes - yours has 13. I've had the pan off my '95 twice and left the original gasket on there.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...2&d=1416288547

Quote:
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To be honest, I love the automatic transmission in these cars. When they run correctly, you never feel anything but the TCC engage. Saturn knew what they were doing with either transmission design, imo.
When I was at the dealer buying my 1st Saturn, I remember seeing an award that Saturn got for the design of the TAAT.

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Old 08-18-2018, 04:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Ok, to clarify the rubber gasket. I checked on wholesalegmpartsonline.com for a 1998 SC2.

It lists Saturn P/N 21003202 as Not Available but shows as a 1996-2002 Saturn S-Series interchange, with 13 holes, and is the "2nd Design" according to the diagram and literature.

The Pan shows to be Saturn P/N 21003201, also discontinued, but also has 13 holes. Also a 1996-2002 interchange.

However, finding a bad core transmission to rob the cover and gasket from is proving to be rather difficult, and I won't rip apart a good transmission that guaranteed to sell when some negligent owner(that hasn't found our saturnfans forums yet) blows the VB out from not changing their fluid.

No big deal. It was merely trying to get the car back to drivable as quickly as possible. I will wait for the gaskets to come from Ken Partin.

Thanks for everything, guys. I did a relearn today(with fluid leaking from the pan). All 10 upshifts/downshifts were flawless. All 5 4-3 downshifts were fine. Amd even the D3 downshift learn for 3-2(5x per the ATSG service manual) went great. Lost about -quart of fluid during the short drive to set the adaptives, so I won't be driving it for a little while longer.

Let the car cool back down for about 2 hrs, started it up and no slamming gears. Maybe the solenoid was shorting its connection, because a few of the mounting bolts were finger loose when I pulled the VB yesterday.

I don't really know what specifically caused the issue, but I will be keeping an eye on the shifts and fluid level/condition.

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Old 08-18-2018, 05:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Amazon has a new OE gasket for 13 bucks
https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-21003.../dp/B005OV8VPQ

And this websit claims to sell the cover of $30, but I've never heard of this site before so it may or may not be legitimate.
https://www.umfsmarket.top/saturn-gm...01-p-8721.html

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Old 08-18-2018, 07:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
It lists Saturn P/N 21003202 as Not Available but shows as a 1996-2002 Saturn S-Series interchange, with 13 holes, and is the "2nd Design" according to the diagram and literature.

The Pan shows to be Saturn P/N 21003201, also discontinued, but also has 13 holes. Also a 1996-2002 interchange.
This information is WRONG. Check with RockAuto.
The '96 and earlier gasket is 13 hole (Pt #21001683 or 10302A).
The '97 and later gasket is 8 hole (Pt #21003202 or 10302B).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
Amazon has a new OE gasket for 13 bucks
https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-21003.../dp/B005OV8VPQ
This looks like the 8 hole gasket for '97 and later. Saturn Night has a '95.

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Old 08-18-2018, 07:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

RockAuto has both VALVE BODY COVER gaskets, 13 or 8 hole. There is NO pan on this transmission.

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Old 08-18-2018, 07:31 PM   #20
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1997 SL2
Default Re: A Confusing MP7 Slamming Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
This information is WRONG. Check with RockAuto.
The '96 and earlier gasket is 13 hole (Pt #21001683 or 10302A).
The '97 and later gasket is 8 hole (Pt #21003202 or 10302B).



This looks like the 8 hole gasket for '97 and later. Saturn Night has a '95.
Ah, I see, my bad. That would mean the part I linked for the cover is also wrong.(correct part no. being 21001584) Unfortunately, unlike the 97+ cover I can't find it anywhere online. The gasket though can be found on RockAuto, like Chazberry said.
https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...r+gasket,10664

...
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1997 SL2, 109K miles

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