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Old 04-07-2021, 03:00 PM   #1
Jonnyfive
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Default Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Hello guys.

I have a 1992 Saturn SL1 Automatic that I recently did a engine rebuild on. When I finished installing the motor the car will go into drive or reverse but will stall almost immediately upon releasing the brake pedal. If I rev it a little (to about 1500-2000 rpm) as I put it into drive it will go, but when I stop at a light, it stalls again. I had to drive it for a few miles and it seems to shift fine. It feels like it always has with no discernible problems. It has no check engine light and I have already replaced the IAC, TPS (it was a used TPS but came off of a working car.), MAF sensor and all the vacuum lines surrounding the intake assembly. It also has a new EGR valve and the intake itself was rebuilt and thoroughly cleaned. I thought that it might be the wiring harness going to the Trans-axle but upon inspection I didn't notice anything wrong, but I didn't follow the wiring all the way through the engine bay so I might have missed something. I read on a different sight that it might be something the do with the torque converter and possibly a locking solenoid? Do any of you know how to fix this?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

No one else is going to bite on this one? I can offer some guesses...

Usually the engine will be less likely to stall/die when you release the brake, but you indicate opposite:

"... but will stall almost immediately upon releasing the brake pedal."

That makes me wonder if the brake booster is bad, causing a vacuum leak that changes dramatically when the brake is operated. Try disconnecting the hose to the brake booster, at the intake manifold, and cap/plug the port for the hose on the manifold. See if the engine behaves different with the brake booster removed as a possible engine problem. You could even try driving it like that, but be very careful! Braking effort will be much higher with the booster disconnected, the car will not come to a stop as easily as you are used to.

If no joy with that, then we will discuss the trans/solenoids; but I don't think the converter clutch is your problem here.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

I work late tonight, but I'll try that first thing tomorrow. Thank you.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

What's warm idle rpm? Did you use original sensors from your old engine? Which sensors are new?

*The original plastic round nosed coolant sensor fails on every S-series engine, replaced by everyone with the flat nosed brass sensor.

*Some map sensors clog and create unusual engine running problems.

*The idle air control valve (IACV) sometimes fail or sticks and affects engine running. The iacv is controlled by the pcm to regulate idle from cold engine startup (high idle), lowering idle as the engine warms up until reaching warm idle around 650-850 rpm.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Don't know if it will help but I found this with regard to your question about torque converter lockup.
GM Convertor Lock-Up and the TCC Solenoid
https://www.liveabout.com/gm-convert...lenoid-4062627
...
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Old 04-09-2021, 04:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

I tried messing with the brake booster but no luck. I have a neighbor who is a retired mechanic, he looked at it with me and said it was the valve body of the transmission ;-;. Looks like I have some more work to do. Thank you all so much for your help.
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

The valve body is where the TCC solenoid is. Could be in there or the wiring to it.
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

On my 2000 SL1 the solenoids and valve body were accessible from the top. I had some troubles once and was able to swap solenoids around to see if the problem moved, it did so I replaced the solenoid.
Not sure if it's the same on yours, I have no experience with the 92.
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

I gotta ask... does the engine operation (stalling) still seem related to operating the brake pedal? If so, don't head "out in the weeds" just yet fussing with the trans/VB/solenoids. The brake pedal has no connection to the trans whatsoever; it can't affect the TCC lock/unlock.

Did you try disconnecting the brake booster? (Only applies if "yes", the brake pedal still affects engine)
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

If the torque converter is stuck in lockup, it can stall the engine when put into gear...see first symptom...
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Old 04-09-2021, 07:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

We need the OP to chime in here. The way I read the first post, it does not stall putting it into gear; it stalls when the brake is released! A totally different interpretation by me and you.
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Old 04-09-2021, 07:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

True but the OP did say that his retired mechanic friend said it was caused by a valve body in the transmission issue.
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Old 04-09-2021, 08:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Clarification. The car stalls only after releasing the brake pedal. It goes into gear just fine. If Iím fast enough on the gas I have about .5 of a second to not stall the car after releasing the brake pedal.
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Old 04-09-2021, 08:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Thanks for the clarification. Did your mechanic friend explain why he thinks it's caused by the transmission valve body. If for some reason the torque converter locks up too soon (RPM too low), it will stall the engine.
When you say, you messed with the brake booster, what exactly did you do?
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Old 04-09-2021, 08:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

I know you said you replaced the IAC but maybe try this quick test to ensure it's actually working. It too will cause stalling if not working correctly. https://www.wikihow.com/Check-an-Idle-Air-Control-Valve
Vacuum leaks usually cause a higher than normal idle. If you turned down the idle to compensate for a small vacuum leak that could cause stalling.
Just throwing out ideas at this point.
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Try this:

Remove all three of the "trans" fuses and see how it behaves. You should get R and one forward gear (3rd or 4th), and harsh shifts with all fuses out.

More to the point, when those fuses are out there is no chance the brake pedal or anything else can affect the convertor locking.

I am not quite so certain about the IAC, but I doubt there is any way the brake release could be affecting that either.

The only direct relation between the brake and engine operation is that vacuum line to the brake booster...
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Not sure about the 92, but later second and third gen the TC is the TRS2/TCC fuse which I would remove and try to run as a test. You will lose 2nd gear and TC.

Scan to see if you have an codes/pending codes.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

Pulling fuses might be a good check assuming there is an electrical fault but not if there is a valve body problem as his mechanic friend diagnosed as the cause. His friend could be wrong too, who knows.

Here is some info on failing brake booster symptoms, It says a bad booster can cause a stall when applying the brake:
https://www.yourmechanic.com/article...-brake-booster

The IAC controls engine speed via the ECM anytime the accelerator is not pressed. It is responsible to keep the engine running through load changes at or below idle, such as the transition of removing foot from brake and the transmission taking load before you hit the accelerator. This may explain why it doesn't stall if he revs it a bit.

Without being there to troubleshoot it, it's pure guesswork.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

I don't think this is the TC, but it's easy to rule out. IAC has been replaced, but ... Could be fuel, air, ignition or even crank relearn if changed during the rebuild. Just tossing out ideas.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: Saturn stalls as soon as I put it into drive.

New IAC could be defective or bad wiring to it, easy to rule out too.
We're all about ideas, that's why we're here...lol.
Be interesting to know the idle speed when in park and in gear.
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