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Old 04-08-2009, 02:08 AM   #81
jcasekim
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1998 SL2
Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

My reverse slam is mild and intermittent but I've had it with the slamming upshifts into 2nd or 3rd gear. I picked up another cover gasket (in case I need it) and input shaft nut (lost the first one) today from dealer; ordered what I think is a thin-wall 23mm 12pt socket yesterday from McMaster-Carr; and ordering a rebuilt valve body from forum member Special Forces.

I brought my $10 vernier caliper to the dealer and asked the service advisor to show me their thin wall socket so I could measure it. The techs told him they ground down a regular 23mm socket! He did say they have a special tool to hold the input shaft while torquing the nut. Will post results once I torque the input shaft nut or replace the valve body, or both.

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Old 04-18-2009, 01:08 AM   #82
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Just thought I'd post something for you Googleites out there who read the posts trying to fix their own problem:

Had reverse slam problem for awhile, but dealt with it. Then, after about six months of the problem (bought the car from one of those title-loan place auctions for $600, 1995 SL1) it got worse. After the car would warm up it wouldn't shift into reverse at all, or you'd have to gun it pretty hard and by then the RPMs would be so high that when it did clunk into gear it would kill the engine!

One night it wouldn't shift back into drive after shifting into reverse to back into the parking space, so we tried Wolfman's fix with leaving it in reverse with the lucas. It didn't work, because halfway through the "fix" the car would slip out of gear and wouldn't go back in.

Then we tried taking off the transmission cover and tightening the input/output shaft bolts, but they were already tight! Also, we couldn't track down a gasket for the side cover online for a reasonable price, and we don't have a local Saturn dealership, so we were sure to be careful with the cover gasket that was already on there, and put a thin, THIN layer of Black RTV onto it. Hasn't leaked yet.

The we took off the valve body, and tested the solenoids. One of them made a different noise closing than the other four, and it tested with a different resistance on the multimeter, so we switched it (reverse/2nd) with another one we thought was for the 4th gear solenoid. Too bad we switched it with the pressure control solenoid and ended up ruining ALL gears. Whoops.

I broke down and bought a rebuilt valve body off of Ebay ($145 after shipping, not the $195 sonnax-retrofitted ones) and installed it. Everything works like a charm, now. No clunking into reverse, and it stays in gear after warming up.


The thing that led us to the valve body was that when we put the shifter in Reverse or 2nd, there was a buzzing coming from the valve body area. In Drive or 3rd there wasn't. "Shift into Reverse..buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz CLUNK you're in gear" type of thing. If you have that buzzing I would go to the valve body first and skip the other fixes.

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Old 04-18-2009, 11:17 PM   #83
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

The buzzing is actually normal. Those solenoids are pulse-width-modulated, meaning they open and close really fast multiple times a second. Some are quieter than others, but buzzing going into reverse is not an indicator. But what you did to troubleshoot it was definitely a good idea. The point is, you always replace the valve body first, and if it doesn't fix the reverse problem, THEN and only then do you mess with the input shaft nut. I guess I didn't make it clear enough in the original post. The input shaft nut backing out is an aftermath of a bad valve body. You're not treating the cause of the problem by just doing the nut. It's at best a temporary fix.

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Old 04-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #84
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic torpedo View Post
The buzzing is actually normal. Those solenoids are pulse-width-modulated, meaning they open and close really fast multiple times a second. Some are quieter than others, but buzzing going into reverse is not an indicator. But what you did to troubleshoot it was definitely a good idea. The point is, you always replace the valve body first, and if it doesn't fix the reverse problem, THEN and only then do you mess with the input shaft nut. I guess I didn't make it clear enough in the original post. The input shaft nut backing out is an aftermath of a bad valve body. You're not treating the cause of the problem by just doing the nut. It's at best a temporary fix.
We hadn't read this thread yet on how to fix it - I was just going by intuition. Also, when I say "buzzing" I mean LOUD, BAD buzzing, not the normal sound it's supposed to make. I may not be a car person, but I am a board-level electrician. When you're poor, though, and you only have one non-gas-guzzling car, you've got to make things work out immediately. Valve bodies are expensive, but if it was the nut then it would have let us drive the car for a couple of more weeks until we saved up to get the part.

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:04 AM   #85
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

I thought I would offer my experience for reference sake.

First of all, thank you to everyone who posted previously. What a great resource.

I started with no reverse or second. After replacing the module (eBay rebuild), I found the output shaft was loose and I go almost a full turn out of it.

Tips:
To get the output shaft cover off, I removed the brake caliper, had the steering unlocked (to turn the strut to get around bolts) and here is a big one for me. I removed the bolts from the bottom trans mount. This gave me room to push the tranny around a bit and to get past the frame, I used a pry bar to push down on the tranny and it came right out.

It was about an hour and a half job.

Now, the question is, how long until it gets loose again?

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who posted.

Matt

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:06 AM   #86
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Attention Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

FYI: Current prices & part #'s on relevant Saturn parts.

(From Capitol Expressway Saturn of San Jose, CA)
(My vehicle is a '93 Saturn SL2 Automatic. This information should be the same for all years from my understanding. Valve body did not fix my problem whatsoever [trouble in most gears, major slamming] & I am going to replace & tighten up the shaft nuts. I'll let you all know how it works out.)

Side Cover Gasket: (Part #21001684) - $8.75 retail price, in-stock.

Input Shaft Nut: (Part #21001680) - $7.31 retail price, in-stock.

Output Shaft Nut: (Part #21001679) - $6.53 retail price, in-stock.

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Old 08-16-2009, 12:40 PM   #87
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

hello. im fixing a family's saturn car. there is no reverse and a bit of a slipperage on the second gear. the car has over 200k miles i read this whole thread but i dont see how you hold the input shaft from spinning when tryin to torque it to 111 ft

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Old 08-26-2009, 09:42 PM   #88
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Quote:
Originally Posted by defdaboss View Post
hello. im fixing a family's saturn car. there is no reverse and a bit of a slipperage on the second gear. the car has over 200k miles i read this whole thread but i dont see how you hold the input shaft from spinning when tryin to torque it to 111 ft
I had the same problem. Someone mentioned sliding a chain (#40, I believe) in between the input and output shafts to hold them in place. Never tried it myself, since I saw that after I had everything back together.

edit: Here's the link.

Last edited by nivlem7; 08-26-2009 at 09:54 PM..

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #89
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

I've had great results using the Reverse Slam cure detailed in this thread.

I had a rebuilt tranny put in my '95 SC1 back in January. It would periodically slam into reverse (and I sure as heck didn't want to destroy my new $2000 tranny again!).

I put 2 ounces of Auto Rx into the tranny dip stick tube. Then I put the car in reverse with my foot on the brake for roughly 27 minutes (I couldn't decide whether to do it for 25 or 30, so I chose somewhere in the middle).

Results: no reverse slam for over two weeks (hope it continues)!!

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:24 PM   #90
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

I just did the Wolfman cure. I couldn't get to the top right bold on the transmission cover so I loosened the front and back main cradle bolts just a little and than could take that last bolt out. I bent the long tube a little while removing the cover from he transmission. With the cover removed I first thought the input shaft nut was okay, I even pulled on the input shaft to see if the round disk would move and it didn't. Then I put my finger on the input shaft nut and the darn thing was totally loose, in fact it went side ways when I touched it. Apparently the cover was keeping the round disk on the shaft because the nut sure wasn't. I put a new nut on and while torquing got bloodied knuckles. Now I was told I should have put the car into gear rather than in Park to torque the nut. It is still apart so I will post again after trying to torque that way. I also tried to put the cover back on and it wouldn't go in the last 1/2 to 3/4 inch so I am guessing the long tube is bent or something. I am going to re-torque and unbend the long tube and try again. Will let you all know.
Thanks to all who have posted, especially Wolfman and Torpedo. I woud have salvaged the car otherwise.

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Old 10-02-2009, 10:57 AM   #91
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Continuing my previous post....
I wanted to be as sure as possible that the long tube went in straight when I was putting the end piece back on the transmission so I removed the two bolts and nuts that connect the shock to the wheel and moved the shock out of the way. That worked. Prior to that I re-torqued the input shaft nut by putting the transmission into Drive and blocking the rear wheels, still not sure if the torque is right. I put it all together and lo and behold I now have reverse and 2 nd gear working as well as the others. I am very appreciative to Wolfman in particular, he provided this procedure which is great but in addition I had questions along thy and he answered my questions immediately. That is very admirable - thank you Wolfman. Thanks to all others on here, I read all the posts and all gave some insight to me. You all helped me accomplish something I had doubt in being able to accomplish and now it is done and working. Great job everyone!!

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Old 10-16-2009, 10:34 AM   #92
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

So in preperation for what is almost seeming inevitable I picked up a valve body at a junk yard to see what they are made of. Long story short, even the one I got from the yard had a couple problems (who know's might even be why it was there) that were easy to spot. I will wander down at some point to see if I can determine how much blow by there is in it as well.

Please note, I can say with certainty that to properly rebuild these things will likely take even more than you can get a rebuild for (see forum member Special Forces for a deal on a rebuild). If you go the way of the Sonnax sure cure kit that is about $100 for the kit and another $350 (best price I saw) for the tool kit. In my case I happen to have a co-worker that is a machinist so I have a little bit of room on the last part.

Now as for what I found, looks like the two failure points of note, that are glaringly obvious anyway, are a broken cusion spring and on one of the solenoids if you look down the barrol there is a screen missing. The likelyhood of other problems with worn guides is fairly high though.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0118.JPG (117.7 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0121.JPG (119.8 KB, 138 views)

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:05 AM   #93
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Alright, I bought a $300 1997 SC2 to fix up for my GF for Christmas and I've got a question.

Do you have to get the side cover gasket? I called my local (30 minutes away) Saturn dealer and they don't have it in stock since they're closing in two weeks. They could order it for me but I have to go in and pay first. Kind of a pain. I have plenty of RTV around and I've never had a leak with anything else I've used it on.

I already have the valve body here and I think I can turn this around today if I don't have to wait on a gasket.

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Old 12-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #94
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Found another dealer that had one in stock. It was a running, driving car that night.

It needed a laundry list of other parts to make it a nice car. And a wash and wax.

Yesterday we took it on a 250-mile road trip and it did awesome. Now to fix the sunroof leak.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:42 AM   #95
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Hey guys, I forgot to mention, on the last car I did this on, and on the car my friend did a few days ago, you DO NOT NEED to take off the ABS module. Just loosen the master cylinder a tiny bit and you should have plenty of room to take off the valve body cover. Alternatively, take out the lower tranny mount and take the cover off while it's lowered a bit. Cheers!

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Old 01-30-2010, 11:36 AM   #96
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Another tip for those with transmission issues. I just got a car to fix up for a friend. The transmission seemed to be shifting even more odd then the standard Saturn needing a valve body.

After some more trouble shooting, turns out someone gorilla'd the shifter and broke the solenoid that mounts on the side of the shifter (need brake to shift from park?) and they also broke the shifter cable where it sits in the slot on the transmission. They tried to fix it with rubber hose and hose clamps, but the cable won't shift back up into park correctly and the reverse lights stay on.

I guess I'll just go get one for $10 at the junkyard even though they probably spent more time ghetto fixing it with rubber hose.

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Old 02-01-2010, 06:29 PM   #97
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

Question: Will this method fix my "no 4th gear" problem??

Also Can I trust this??
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SATUR...Q5fAccessories

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Old 02-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #98
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Default Re: S-Series automatic transaxle "reverse slam cure-all" HOW-TO

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydromech View Post
Very useful pictures.

Question :

During disassembly - was it necessary to disconnect lower/steering ball joints, remove the whole strut to get access to that cover ?

Thanks
Just wanted to add my two cents.

I bent the input shaft tube slightly to get the end cover off as the strut was in the way. In hind-sight I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation if I'd just unbolted the wheel assembly from the bottom of the strut first (2 big bolts). Then you can move the strut to the right a bit to get enough clearance so the end cover can come straight back. Don't worry, you won't be releasing tension in the spring by doing this.

If you do bend the input shaft tube (the long one) you will not be able to reseat the end cover unless the tube is absolutely straight. I found that a short peice of pipe lined with a bit of tygon tubing makes a good straightening tool. Use a staight-edge to make sure it's as straight as you can get it.

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Old 04-21-2010, 03:27 PM   #99
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

how are you suppose to tighten that nut? both of mine are really tight and i cant turn them at all.

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:02 PM   #100
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Default Re: S-Series Automatic Transaxle "Reverse Slam Cure-All"

also as far as those tubes go, they have alot of play in them. Even if they arent bent how do you put the cover back on if the tubes are loose and just sag down a bit?

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