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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, 4 months later, I finally got my SS running today. I pulled the motor and trans so I could clean and repaint the frame, firewall, etc. The car started up and ran fine, but when I went to move it, I realized that it had only two gears - Park and Drive. In Park, it would lock the transmission, but if you put it in the Neutral or Reverse positions, the car would creep forward. When we pulled the engine, we forgot to drain the tranny and all of the fluid leaked out of the tailshaft. I put in about 6.5 quarts today, and it is reading slightly above full on the dipstick. Also, I noticed that when you put the car into gear, it doesn't really feel like it enganges, the car doesn't lurch forward like every other chevelle i;ve driven. The tranny worked fine before we took it out, and we didn't mess with it while it was off (didn't even unbolt it from the engine). Has anyone ever had this happen to them before?

I really don't want to have to rebuild the tranny. If that trans comes out, a 4-Speed is going in, simple as that. Thanks.

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Ian McDermott
1970 Chevelle SS 396
Gold Member #101
E-mail: [email protected]
Web page: chevelle.dhs.org
ICQ UIN: 3923441
 

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Sounds to me like low on fluid...you are checking the level while the engine is running, right? With the motor running: pull the dipstick, wipe it clean, put it back in, pull it out and read it.
 

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You didn't say what kind of shifter you have, but I'll guess as to what the problem COULD be. If you have a column gear indicator, the adjustment could be off on the rod that comes off the steering column. It has happened to me before.

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1970 Chevelle SS Clone 502-580HP
1992 Trans Am Conv(4Sale)
1992 Taurus SHO
Mercer, PA
 

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My thoughts are somewhat with Sam above. Sometimes, the lever on an aftermarket shifter on up-side-down, and the curved rod/lever from a stock shifter can be installed up-side-down. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ooops, I forgot to mention it. I'm using an original staple shifter and cable, which, as far as I can tell, are non-adjustable. I let the car run and let the fluid pump through the trans for a while, and it is still about a half pint above full when the motor is hot. I really think the problem is internal, because if the linkage were messed up, then you would be missing gears on the end (either Low or Park) rather than those in the middle (Reverse and Nuetral).

Anyone on this site familiar with the guts of a TH-400? I also hear a grindy/whiney noise from inside the trans. It has always made this noise, even when Reverse and stuff worked.
Thanks.

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Ian McDermott
1970 Chevelle SS 396
Gold Member #101
E-mail: [email protected]
Web page: chevelle.dhs.org
ICQ UIN: 3923441
 

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I blew a cooler line in my motorhome with a T400 and after the repair and refill, it took some time before it shifted correctly. Maybe give it some time.

Cam
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Really, no fluid is pumped when it's in Park? I never knew that. Well, since I have no neutral, should I put it in drive and just sit in the driveway with my foot on the brake for 10 or 15 minutes? I don't know how, or if, it shifts, because I can't back it out of the driveway and into the street to drive it. This is probably the strangest problem I've ever come up against.
Thanks for the help though, guys.

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Ian McDermott
1970 Chevelle SS 396
Gold Member #101
E-mail: [email protected]
Web page: chevelle.dhs.org
ICQ UIN: 3923441
 

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If reverse isn't working and the problem is internal then your low-reverse band isn't engaging. In reverse it is the only thing that engages; also, if you put it in low-one then the low-reverse band engages. In Drive, however, first-gear is engaged by the ring-gear and sun-gear of the simpson gearset locking together through the clutch packs. How did this happen from pulling the engine and tranny and then reinstalling them? Don't know! Maybe there is something plugging one of the passages in the vavle-body. I would suggest trying a filter and oil change. Use a magnet in the pan you drained the oil into to see if you get any metal particles. Look at the oil in the light to see if you see a metallic sheen.
 

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Nope, when you are in park the tranny is doing nothing. That's why during winter when you are warming up your vehicle you should put your car in neutral and apply the park brake, that way the fluid in you tranny gets warmed up too.

To get it in neutral, it won't go into neutral no matter where you place the shifter? When I started up my 454 and tried driving it the tranny was shifter wrong, wouldn't grab the gear and lunge forward or back, it would just kinda slowly start moving like it was using a friction plate. Turned out to be low on oil. I would guess that maybe your torque converter has no oil in it yet if you haven't been running it in neutral. If you can't get it into neutral at all I can't help you, a tranny expert I am not.

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Chris Dagenais
Saskatchewan
'71 Malibu with a home built 454!
member.xoom.com/Gandalf80/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys. Do you think it would be worth the trouble of pushing it into the street and driving around the block a few times? I guess that would be the best way to get the fluid circulating.

Also, if there are parts of the tranny that are not getting fluid, do I risk severely damaging anything by running the car?

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Ian McDermott
1970 Chevelle SS 396
Gold Member #101
E-mail: [email protected]
Web page: chevelle.dhs.org
ICQ UIN: 3923441
 

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I never heard of the fluid not pumping in park, the converter is still turning so the front pump should be running, right? I have installed quite a few transmissions, including with new converters, and always let the trans fill with the engine running and trans in park, and the trans and converter certainly did fill, definately enough to drive the car. Hate to say it Havoc but sounds like front pump or other internal problems, especially when you said you used to have whining or grinding noises even when everything worked. It may be time for a trans swap!

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70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
55 chevy prostreet
 

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Ya, I may be wrong about the oil not moving. because i'm not a tranny expert but my tranny needed to be run in neutral before the level started to drop after adding oil.

Just becuase the tourque converter is turning doesn't mean the internals of the tranny are turning though, even the pump. The converter can spin freely can't it?

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Chris Dagenais
Saskatchewan
'71 Malibu with a home built 454!
member.xoom.com/Gandalf80/
 

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When the engine is running, the pump is runing. The two notches (wrech flats on F#RDS) on the end of the torque converter are what engage the pump, and the torque converter output shaft is welded to the body, as is the tabs that bolt to the flex plate, so the pump always spins. It sounds like the filter is clogged. You should not attempt to run the car untill you pull the pan and check it out, if it is indeed clogged, and you drive the car, you will burn up the clutches & steels. Look at the oil in the pan before you discard it, if you see very fine steel & aluminum particles, that's ok, tranny's are designed to wear in this manner. But if you see pieces bigger than say 320 grit sand paper, you may be too late. If you see clutch material (which will look very dark, and clumps up into a big pile in the pan), it should be rebuilt, also if you see any material that lookes like brass filings, you should rebuild it. If you don't see anything in the pan, crack open the trans filter with a hammer, and separate the two pices of cloth-like material inside the filter, you will definitely see some particles in there. If you have a screen type filter, you'll see the clogg right away. One last word, if your trans fliud resembles a strawberry milkshake, you've got water in the fluid, and you must get it rebuilt.

Hope it's just a clogged filter!
 

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What kind of trans is it? The TH400 has an electric throttle control cable or "kick down". Did you check if the cable is adjusted properly? The TH350 has a manual cable. Its worth a check.
 

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The engine is running the fluid is circulating through the trans the selector only re directs it to the bands,and clutches.And Joe there is no cable on a TH400 and no adjustment it is controled by a switch on the accelerator pedal...FRED

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I forgot to reply you may have a pressure regulator valve stuck not allowing pressure to build up.Pull the pan and make sure the valve is free you should be able the move it with your thumb.Could be just something was dislodged and jammed.It is in the front pump it can be removed in the car,it is located right beside the dip stick tube when viewed from below.You could also check by doing pressuer tests with out taking it apart...FRED

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Juat another thought. If you seperated the engine from tranny the two tabs ETDSS was referring to might not have engaged all the way and you are not inserted into the pump. I used to work with a transmission guy and this happened more than you can imagine. I also think you can do everything in park as you can in nuetral. If I am not mistaken the only difference is in park you are engaging a pawl or dog to stop the vehicle from moving. Please let us all know what you find


Jeff Palazzolo
1966 El Camino
Pacific (St Louis) MO
 
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