1993 A442 transmission issues/reality check.

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Mar 21, 2010
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So I have had my truck for 2 years now and bought it with a receipt for a AAmco tranny rebuild that was only 10,000 miles old. I have never thought that the truck has shifted quite right, down shifts are delayed, and when I power into them, the RPM's tend to flare a bit more than they should. I had various issues with improper gear engagement: go to start out in drive and the truck is in a much higher gear than first, only happens every once in a while. Recently I have had the issue where the truck goes to shift from 1st to 2nd and it goes up to a taller gear without even engaging 2nd. I just recently realized that my kickdown cable was too tight, now it is at factory specs but issues have popped up with the cable at factory specs yesterday. This weekend I did a fluid flush the Rodney way, pulled the pan and cleaned the filter. Filter was really clean, fluid looked pretty good and did not smell burnt, and there was minimal buildup on the magnets in the pan. Tomorrow I am planning on checking the solenoids for proper resistance and making sure that the new fluid is at the perfect level. So, I am just looking for opinions on the best way to proceed. I could drive it till it fails, have triple A, but I found a good deal on a very low mile toyota a442 and might pull the trigger on that. The other option is to shop around for a good local transmission shop in Seattle to diagnose and repair. Since I have a receipt from AAmco for 3 grand and the tranny is having issues I am a little leary of a rebuild. Any opinions on Replaciing or rebuilding the torque converter as well? I know that SOR will not warranty one of their transmissions without proof of purchase of either a new or rebuilt torque converter. Is it even possible that my transmission has symptoms of failure without showing any nastiness in the pan or fluid? Just looking for a bit of guidance outside of my typical paranoid overengineering mind. Thanks yall.
 
id be willing to bet aamco used aftermarket solenoids to increase their profit. toyota ones are pricey but they work. id start there.
 
I have a 93 and after dropping the valve body to do the throttle cable and having the trans out for an engine replacement I had pretty much the exact issues you described. There is a switch on the drivers side that I thought was just the neutral safety switch but it actually tells the ECU what gear is selected. One indication that this is out of whack is if your lights on the cluster may not work in all gears. Mine would show Park and Drive and I think Reverse id I remember, but the others didn't work (I didn't notice until I dug into it...I usually don't have it in 1 or 2). I adjusted the switch so all the lights came on to correspond with the gear I had it in and it worked great.

The symptoms didn't manifest right away so it is possible that they did your rebuild and didn't get this adjusted correctly. I don't think a rebuild would replace the suspect solenoids by default. Check that before you plunk out for the solenoids...the symptoms are similar to the solenoid issue and given that it was apart I'd think the odds are good that is it.
 
I have a 93 and after dropping the valve body to do the throttle cable and having the trans out for an engine replacement I had pretty much the exact issues you described. There is a switch on the drivers side that I thought was just the neutral safety switch but it actually tells the ECU what gear is selected. One indication that this is out of whack is if your lights on the cluster may not work in all gears. Mine would show Park and Drive and I think Reverse id I remember, but the others didn't work (I didn't notice until I dug into it...I usually don't have it in 1 or 2). I adjusted the switch so all the lights came on to correspond with the gear I had it in and it worked great.

The symptoms didn't manifest right away so it is possible that they did your rebuild and didn't get this adjusted correctly. I don't think a rebuild would replace the suspect solenoids by default. Check that before you plunk out for the solenoids...the symptoms are similar to the solenoid issue and given that it was apart I'd think the odds are good that is it.

All the solenoids tested out ok. The transmission tech that I took the truck to is saying that he thinks the Valve Body itself is worn out, which could be the issue since it is the only part on this transmission that has not been RR'd. Kirk, I just lost all the lights on the cluster by my shift handle as well as the OD light on the guage cluster a few months ago but every other gear selection light works on the guage cluster aside from the d light which has never worked. I did an engine swap last summer and had no trans issues prior to that. That switch that you are talking about has peeked my interest. Can you describe in detail what you did to adjust it? Is there a dedicated procedure in the FSM? I am picking up my truck tonight from the trans shop to take it camping this weekend and would love to try to check the switch before I plunk down any coin for repairs.
 
B Legit said:
All the solenoids tested out ok. The transmission tech that I took the truck to is saying that he thinks the Valve Body itself is worn out, which could be the issue since it is the only part on this transmission that has not been RR'd. Kirk, I just lost all the lights on the cluster by my shift handle as well as the OD light on the guage cluster a few months ago but every other gear selection light works on the guage cluster aside from the d light which has never worked. I did an engine swap last summer and had no trans issues prior to that. That switch that you are talking about has peeked my interest. Can you describe in detail what you did to adjust it? Is there a dedicated procedure in the FSM? I am picking up my truck tonight from the trans shop to take it camping this weekend and would love to try to check the switch before I plunk down any coin for repairs.

Well I'll do my best...I'm in Afghanistan and haven't seen my truck in several months. I do believe the FSM has the procedure and there is a thread or 2 on here. But it is directly opposite od where the linkage goes into the transmission on the passenger side. It kind of surrounds the other side of that shaft on the drivers side. You move the gear selector in the truck...this moves the linkage which turns this shaft. This switch sits on this shaft outside the case. It has like 3 bolts you loosen. The holes allow for adjustment. You move it until its right. I know...clear as mud. Maybe someone with access to there truck can chime in. I'll see if any of our 70s have a similar set up here and if so I'll snap some pics. Sorry I'm not able to recall it a little better.
 
Well I'll do my best...I'm in Afghanistan and haven't seen my truck in several months. I do believe the FSM has the procedure and there is a thread or 2 on here. But it is directly opposite od where the linkage goes into the transmission on the passenger side. It kind of surrounds the other side of that shaft on the drivers side. You move the gear selector in the truck...this moves the linkage which turns this shaft. This switch sits on this shaft outside the case. It has like 3 bolts you loosen. The holes allow for adjustment. You move it until its right. I know...clear as mud. Maybe someone with access to there truck can chime in. I'll see if any of our 70s have a similar set up here and if so I'll snap some pics. Sorry I'm not able to recall it a little better.


That is enough for me Kirk. Don't even think of apologizing. You've been a great help. Were the indicator lights that you were talking about on the dash or on the shift cluster? Stay safe over there.
 
Cluster

The lights between the tach and speedo were out of whack on mine. I was going to look at our 70 series trucks then I realized that they are all sticks :doh:
 
Ha, I wish mine was a stick, then I would know what the hell is going on with it. :)
 
Thought i would give back and update this thread with what I ended up doing to fix my issue. Ended up pulling the valve body and having it inspected and it was good, but ended up testing all shift solenoids on the bench (obviously the superior method,) and found one to be way out of spec. Replaced it with a new OEM ss and replaced the kickdown cable as well since it was way beyond it's days of service and the truck has been shifting fine. Had an unrelated transmission issue yesterday after a weekend of wheeling but am going to start a new thread for that one.:hillbilly:
 
Thanks for the update, had you checked the solenoids while they were still in the tranny? I'm having a hard time understanding my FSM but it looks like they are testing them still in the truck.
 
Yeah, I tested them while they were still in at the harness as recommended in the FSM, and they tested fine that way. Didn't show the failure until it was bench tested, which makes sense as my issues were intermittent (the solenoid wasn't dead, just much higher resistance that factory specs and the other solenoids). If I were to need to test them again, I would just plan a tranny service around it, remove the pan, replace the filter, and test the solenoids mounted in place in the pan but at the connectors with them unplugged. They are mounted externally on the valve body.
 
Thanks, that's what I couldn't understand, posts are saying test the solenoids but FSM shows testing them at the harness. I'm going to try that this weekend, sure would be great to have a properly shifting truck again
Aloha
 

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