Noise from the torque converter, easiest solution?

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Jun 11, 2011
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

I have a 1986 HJ60 with the A440F automatic transmission. The truck has been sitting in the PO driveway for 1.5 years before I bought it and putted it back on the road.

I have a problem because it drives smoothly, it shift smoothly (although there's is probably a problem with the kickdown cable because it doesn't down shift properly), but when I'm closing to 80 km/h, it starts vibrating from under the truck, like a hugh vibration making the whole truck vibrate. If I let go the gas, it stops. If I keep going, it will pass. If I go up a hill, it will reappear. If I drive in 3rd gear, to 80km/h, no problem.

I figured it was the torque converter from reading (problem with locking of the O/D), so I tried to put 1 can and a quarter of Seafoam Trans-tune, and I also did the "Rodney party trick" (alias putting the truck on park at 60 mph). Lube-guard is hard to get here in Quebec. After doing around 40 km, city and highway, the vibration is still there, but lesser than before. Next step is the "rodney flush" which I will do next week.

What happens if the rodney flush fails? I have two truck, this one and another HJ60 1987 which is in bad shape. I want to keep the costs as low as possible. Would it be simplier just to swap the transfer case, or should I swap the whole transmission, knowning that the other one works perfectly? Should I only buy a new torque converter?

Also, if I change the transfer case/transmission, is there any rebuild kit that are basics and easy to install? I don't wanna do a complex A440f/transfer case rebuilt, but I would like to change the basic parts... Is it easy to change the bearings inside the transfer case? Is there any part I should change while I'm there?

Lots of question :)
I can only answer from what I had happen to me, and what my garage did. I had a whirling sound coming from the shifter area (tranny). It was the torque converter, and I believe my garage first tried to rebuild the tranny, then replaced it. I'll actually check with my garage and get the details. This is the second tranny issue that I've read about, and since I had the same issue, I want to help! Personally, if I were you, I'd love to swap out for the h55f, just because I love driving stick. Thats just me.
Just talked to my old garage (awkward talking with an ex gf.....), and they did a complete R&R on the transmission. It had a one year warranty, which we had to utilize because the problem came back. I couldn't get out of the guy whether they just replaced the torque converter or the whole tranny, but in any case, it wasn't cheap... sorry if this is bad news, but with our trucks, in my opinion, its worth the little bit more...
Not an option to swap, an H55f... Too expensive...

What I really need to know is if people actually change only the torque converter, or it's better to change the whole transmission?

If the transmission is otherwise OK, then it's fine to just swap the TC. If you have a second known good transmission, you might as well swap, since it isn't any more work to put a different transmission back in...
Yup. Sounds a lot like the lock-up clutch in the torque converter. Mine was doing the same thing when I bought it going up hillls, but it had 250K on the odometer.

Like the previous post says, you can just replace the torque converter but after all the effort to get to it you may as well take care of the transmission too.

One concern about the torque converter clutch wearing out is the left over clutch material clogging the narrow passages in the tranmission causing problem later on.

I have one of Rodney's transmisions in mine, but they ain't cheap. If money is tight, replacing only the torque converter may buy the time to save more cash and plan a transmission rebuild on your schedule...not when the cruiser is demanding it.
you would want to be absolutely sure its the transmission before ripping it out , i wouldn't rule out a balance issue with drive shaft or bad uni's either , but if u checked it out and think its defiantly the tranny i would try a full 'rodney' flush and adjust the kickdown cable, if u can get a product called Lucas automatic transmission stop slip its magic stuff, also change the filter screen. this is all relativity cheap to do if done yourself. I done all this to mine and got it from not being able to drive 10 meters to being fully operational, imo ur mad to pull it out and just replace the TC or replace the box with a 2nd hand auto have you priced a TC? last time i checked they were dear as poison, but if money is tight this could be a option all be it a risky one and not recommended, and you may end up pulling it out again sooner rather than later because if the TC is stuffed most likely the rest of the transmission will be fairly average also. i just done a h55f 5 speed conversion on my 61 its not really expensive i bought a 2nd hand box and all parts various parts required for the conversion for $800 and bought a full rebuild kit transfer and box, 5 speed conversion can be done fairly cheap if you do the work yourself its defiantly ALOT cheaper than getting the auto rebuilt plus its now unreal to drive..... what im trying to say i guess is dont rule it out as a option because it can be done correctly on a budget. anyways if u want to be dodgy and do it on the cheap and ur sure its the tranny, take the one out of the donor car u have that you know is "good" and run it. transfer kits are cheap and its not the hardest job to do, u will how ever need access to a press and basic workshop tools and of course getting the auto out is fun haha.

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