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Old 08-09-2008, 04:40 AM   #1
Bruce Rock
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Kaukauna, WI
Posts: 326

2000 SL2
2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Pressure regulator cushion spring

I'm in the process of taking apart the valve body on the '99. There was a small amount of ferrous particles attached to the solenoids, in some of the corners, attached to the pressure regulator boast sleeve, the spring guide and the washer. All of the particles had the morphology of normal rubbing wear particles. The line pressure regulator valve was surprising free of particles.

One surprised I had was that the pressure regulator bore looked good-smooth and shiny. I expected it to be galled. But what surprised me the most was the ends of the pressure regulator cushion spring looked like they had been hammered on. The ends also had a slight burr. While the manual says this spring should be orange. it was a gray, steel color while the ends were shiny from getting beat up. The parts this spring pushes against were smooth. Now how does that happen? A hardened steel spring working against hardened steel parts and only the springs gets worn And what happened to the abnormal wear particles I would have expected this to produce

Terms used are from the Sonnax site:

Transmission had reverse slam but I didn't check line pressures.

What have been others experience with inspection of this bore and cushioning spring?
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
MichelleG will become famous soon enoughMichelleG will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 95
Default Re: Pressure regulator cushion spring

OK I'll add my 2 cents worth and give your question a bump, as I seen no replies...good luck.

Pressure spring failures I thought were generally broke springs not weakened. Maybe some one can provide the actual new spring height and that would tell if it has fatigued & compressed??? Your VB sounds in fine condition and those accumulations in corners are even noted-described in ATSG manual.

Being recently intimate with a 97 TAAT .... (I am no expert on TAAT) I believe as you implied the ferrous particles are expected, and will magnetize to the actuator-solenoids. The later generation actuators got screens to avoid them from plugging actuator seats.

I found 2 magnets on my TAAT. One on spin on filter and one on internal pan type filter. The usual non ferrous particles accumulate in the early stages of tranny break in. Some claim after this initial stage you need not re-install them I cleaned my spin on 1st and tried all the cures notes elsewhere.

I did over 4000 miles between services (continuing with reverse grinding problem) and found no more ferrous particles on the spin on magnet when I did most recent tranny pull - split and hard part R&R (reverse dog clutch and reverse gear). The internals were spotless and it all went back together as is where was.

You might just want to clean the obvious metal off solenoids and out of the corners of the VB. Maybe the factory cut offs in spring MFG is how it came? So deburr spring & spools as you noted sharps. Slap it all on and do the pressure test if still in trouble. Can't comment on color except a cost savings....LOL.

BTW, I may assume that VB Pressure reg issues alone would effect all forward and Rev gears. You mention Rev slam issue, Fluid, filter change and Wolfman cure all easy try's to start with. Yes VB can be a culprit, now did input nut shaft job yet? That may be next.
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Michigan!
Posts: 469

2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: Pressure regulator cushion spring

Reverse slam?
REPLACE the input shaft nut...
and while you're in there, replace the output shaft nut as well.

Good Luck!

2005 ION 2 5 spd 202,155 miles
2001 SL1 Auto 298,252 miles
1997 Sl1 Auto 163,266 miles
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
Bruce Rock
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Kaukauna, WI
Posts: 326

2000 SL2
2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Pressure regulator cushion spring

I had planned on doing the nuts going into this. Never did the Wolfman's cure. Didn't want to waste the tranny fluid. And yes, both nuts were loose. I could remove the input shaft nut with the torque wrench set at 50 ft-lbs and it never clicked. The driven gear on the output shaft had a very slight wobble to it. I cleaned up the parts and put it back together using the original nuts but with red threadlocker. I had 0.014" clearance between the 1st drive gear and bearing. Specs call for 0.003" to 0.017".

Car has about 140,000 miles on it. Couldn't even see a wear pattern of the 1st drive gear or driven gear.

Local Saturn dealer says he can't sell me the cushioning spring. Have to buy a whole new valve body at $600.00+
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