Tranny hesitation from launch on '97? (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 5, 2004
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Not a REAL launch (i.e. 1/4 mile-style)...just from a dig...errr....I mean stop.

My wife's '97 is getting a slight hesitation from the tranny when getting moving from a stop (almost feels like it is slightly slipping). I also notice it under one particular throttle/load combo above idle as well.

I don't believe it's the engine missing...it definitely feels like driveline. Tranny fluid level is fine, and was replaced in the past 3 years/20k miles.

Any thoughts?
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
89
 
 
It's not a clunk. It's more like tranny/TC slippage.

I'm not fond of having to 2nd-gear start this thing--it's already a slug, especially at altitude!
 
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May 5, 2004
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Since not many have provided their experience/knowledge on this topic, I guess it's just not that common among 80s?
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
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Somewhere in the foothills...
 
 
Check the adjustment on the transmission kick-down cable. I believe it is called a throttle cable in the FSM. There is/was a detailed post with pictures, detailing the adjustment of the cable per the FSM specs.
-B-
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
355
Not a REAL launch (i.e. 1/4 mile-style)...just from a dig...errr....I mean stop.

My wife's '97 is getting a slight hesitation from the tranny when getting moving from a stop (almost feels like it is slightly slipping). I also notice it under one particular throttle/load combo above idle as well.

I don't believe it's the engine missing...it definitely feels like driveline. Tranny fluid level is fine, and was replaced in the past 3 years/20k miles.

Any thoughts?
Do what Beowulf said

Sorry I think there is too little info here.
Slipping tranny could be due to multiple reasons. From clutch pack going bad, torque converter having problems to simply your fluid cooking.
You did not say if it slipps every time or only after some run, Also when it slipps do you get RPMs goign up and truck not accelerating? Is it slipping on every gear or some, What happens when you going in reverse.
Replace fluid first, 3years/20k miles for Soccer Mom mobile could be a lot especialy if previous fluid was soem low quality, make sure its level to FSM specs.
I had tranny slipp before and it went away after puring Mobil ATF.
Hope any of this helps.
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
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Thank you for the suggestions on the kick-down cable and fluid. (The tranny doesn't hesitate on gear changes and it kicks down normally--do I still need to do the kick-down cable?)

I had thought 20k would be plenty fresh, but I guess the 80s really like fresh fluid. These are hard 20k miles--no towing, but mostly ultra short hops around (a very small) town.

The slippage is most easily observed taking off from a stop in 1st gear. I did notice the other day a slight whiff of burnt fluid after I parked the vehicle...which I thought was unusual in 20 degree weather in driving conditions that seldom get the tranny up to operational temperature (short hops).
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
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Thank you for the suggestions on the kick-down cable and fluid.

I had thought 20k would be plenty fresh, but I guess the 80s really like fresh fluid. These are hard 20k miles--no towing, but mostly ultra short hops around (a very small) town.

The slippage is most easily observed taking off from a stop in 1st gear. I did notice the other day a slight whiff of burnt fluid after I parked the vehicle...which I thought was unusual in 20 degree weather in driving conditions that seldom get the tranny up to operational temperature (short hops).
Every body's 20K is different and if your wife drives like mine :princess: you should have changed 10K ago :cheers:
If you smell burned fluid, change fluid immediately to new one.
Do you get tranny temp sensor to go off?
If you doing yourself I would sugest drain/refill fluid and check your tranny flter.
Your last change was that
1. drain/refill
2. drain/refill+ filter change
3. Flush performed by service station
 
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Somewhere in the foothills...
 
 
I had thought 20k would be plenty fresh, but I guess the 80s really like fresh fluid.
I don't change mine that often; probably 30k to 60k but I have been doing full fluid replacements the last 2 times that it was changed. A drain/fill only gets about 20% of the fluid and it takes a lot of cycles to get fresh fluid throughout the transmission so that is why I have been doing the full fluid replacement routine.

We just don't see very many transmission problems with any of the 3 automatics that we received here in the US market. The 93-94 transmissions have a few reported solenoid failures. The later 95-97 transmissions have a few failures. Maybe you can find some others with a search but they are a rare problem in the 80-series.

The kick-down cable adjustment could still be your problem. You pull up to a stop, the transmission doesn't shift to low, you goose it, the transmission "slips", then shifts to low. This is not uncommon and is a minor adjustment that will only take you a few minutes to do and maybe an hour to do the research here on 'Mud and find the relevant threads. If you come up empty on the SEARCH then let me know and I will try to help you find the information. The adjustment procedure is also in your Factory Service Manual (FSM) [you *do* have one don't you? :D ]

I would start as follows:
Advanced Search, 80-Section only, posts only, Keywords: (kick* tran*) or (kick tran*) or (throttle transmission) or (throttle tran*)

-B-
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
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Thanks again guys for the recommendations.

My last fluid change was the full fluid replacement via the top hose from the tranny cooler. I have not seen the tranny temp light go on at all.

Beowulf--I did find the link to the cable adjustment page, and yes, I do have the FSM.

The two suggestions given are simple enough--I just wanted to make sure there weren't other common issues that I was not aware of.

Again--thanks for the advice!
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
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Thanks again guys for the recommendations.

My last fluid change was the full fluid replacement via the top hose from the tranny cooler. I have not seen the tranny temp light go on at all.

Beowulf--I did find the link to the cable adjustment page, and yes, I do have the FSM.

The two suggestions given are simple enough--I just wanted to make sure there weren't other common issues that I was not aware of.

Again--thanks for the advice!
You are welcome. Are you doign by itself?
If you dont remember when tranny filter was replaced then get the kit and replace it. Or atleast open up and clean it. I still would get the kit with new seal just in case you open up and seal can not be reused
 
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May 5, 2004
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I will be doing it myself.

I had been reluctant to get up into the filter and open the pan...but if it's not that big a job then I'll do it.

I have noticed a couple other operating parameters surrounding the "slippage": does NOT happen in reverse. Is even worse when I do "2nd gear start" vs normal 1st gear start.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
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Location
SLC Utah
 
slightly different issue?

I am experiencing similar symptoms?
Truck will be idling normal at a light, I feel transmission ready to go, and as the gas is applied it the trans shifts out of 1st into 3rd or o/d. If I start in 1st it takes off in 1st, and if I shift manually up to 2nd and then to 3rd it stays in each and I am able to drive. It downshifts while braking as it should. It seems worse when it warms a bit. No problems in reverse.
No check engine or trans lights. (I haven't tried to read any codes though.)
I replaced the HG at the end of April. All May and June it ran fine.
Speedometer / odom. stopped working (a few weeks prior to this shifting issue) Which has an electric sending unit not a cable.
After I topped the trans fluid off the shift issue seamed to go away. But now about 2 weeks later, the fluid level seams right, doesn't smell burnt or look too dark, and the problem is fairly consistent. I say fairly as it isn't happening at every start.
I have been looking for fluid leak, but there isn't any.
I adjusted my cables just where they were when I reassembled from the head gasket replacement.
And had previously adjusted the cable to prevent the clunk after letting off the gas peddle too early. But very different now.

The FSM's possible causes list:
Electronic control
Valve body
Solenoid valve
as the 3 likely faults for my closest match on the problem list.

I am not driving it until i get it fixed. And will likely be taking it in for a diagnostic. Although I would rather not if it isn't major.

1994
1fz-fe
170,000 miles

thanks
Jake
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
89
 
 
As an update I dropped the tranny pan and pulled the filter--it was pristine clean, with no clogs or metal shavings anywhere. Fluid was in great shape--good color and smell. This was a bit disappointing, as I was hoping it was a fluid issue.

I am absolutely convinced my issue is a torque converter going bad. It slips right around the 1700-1900 rpm area and nowhere else. No issues shifting up or down whatsoever--just slippage in a small rpm band.

As long as there is no driveline shock or jolting, and the problem doesn't get worse, I'm tempted to just let it be, as I have no idea where to source a reasonably-priced torque converter.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
390
Location
East Hampton, CT
 
I had a similar issue but solved it 90% by replacing the throttle cable. I still need to play with the throttle body cable adjustments and that kick down trans cable. My cruse control cable needs to be adjusted too so the throttle body plays a large role with the computer and how the truck shifts. I think im getting closer to solving the issue if i just had some time to spend on it. My 2 cents...
 

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