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95 LeBaron Trans issues

Discussion in 'EEK! - Every Extended-K Car' started by wolf_walker, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. wolf_walker

    wolf_walker Member

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    So the overpriced 60K mile LeBaron my darlin lady absolutely had to have is behaving precisely like a 90's Chrysler does as I tried to explain to her before buying it, meaning the trans is acting up.

    I think, possibly optimistically, that the solenoid pack is crapped out, or a bad connection, and/or wrong fluid in it, or control module. It seems to be thunk-ign in and out of gear, started with reverse, now seems to do it in 1st as well. Haven't gone beyond 1st gear since it started acting up. The last time I looked at it, it lost all drive in D or R while I was fooling around, key off/on and it was back, hence the thinking it's electrical. I did try pulling the battery cable for awhile, no change.
    It's never slipped or shifted weird before, fluid doesn't smell burnt (but does smell like dex III, I don't remember what atf+ chrysler fluid smells like).

    Anyway, plan is to check for corrosion in any electrical connections, change fluid and filter and swap out the solenoid pack. My question is, of the several available on Rock Auto, any particular brand known to be junk/great? Pioneer, Standard Motor Products, ATP?

    And if anyone has the parts to swap this to a manual trans I'd be mighty interested in hearing a price.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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  3. manybrews

    manybrews Well-Known Member

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    By 95 the majority of the internals were heavily modified and improved from the early models.
    So you're probably correct in your assumptions of something more electrical in nature.

    I would exchange the solenoid pack, both speed sensors and the fluid.
    Having said that, there could still be an internal issue. Just tossing parts at it can get expensive fast.
    But around 95 they were just starting to mess around with flashable modules.. I don't remember if the 95 was, or if you would need to get a new module if there was a software update.
    A lot of shifting issues were improved with software over the years.
     
  4. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    1995 would have a flashable TCM.
    The thing that concerns me is that you said it eventually didn't move forward or backward. Even with no electronics at all, you should still have forward (second gear only) and reverse.
    I know it's not cheap, but it really is worth having the error codes and the CVIs (a measure of wear) read from the transmission before proceeding. This does require a special scanner that can access the TCM for this information. But it's better to know before you start throwing parts and money at it if the transmission is having only electrical or mechanical issues.

    I've purchased several 1990's products with "bad" transmissions very inexpensively over the years. Only one had a truly bad transmission and needed rebuilt. Despite all the suggestions that the solenoid packs were problematic, I never came across a bad one in any of the A604 cars I owned. I did invest in a SnapOn MT2500 scanner back then to diagnose and decide which vehicles to buy.
     
  5. george w

    Level III Supporter

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    I had a 94 LeBaron convertible that required two transmission rebuilds. One at about 120K miles and a second at about 250K miles. I sold the car to a coworker about 5 years ago with 360K miles on it. He hasn't used it it over a year but I understand that it's still OK. I have to make a note to ask him for my 300,000 mile club license plate frame back. I now have an identical 95 convertible with only 60K miles and it's been perfect. I think 95 was the year that most of the tranny problems were solved.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.

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