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Discussion Starter #1
I have the 1993 Sundance 2.2L with 3-speed automatic transmission that is starting to give me problems. I bought the car 4 years ago with 26K miles on it. It has been a great car, but I have had some issues lately (luckily I can work on my own vehicles). I about 6 months ago with about 70K on the car, I started losing power and determined by loss of coolant it was the head gasket. I removed the head and this proved to be correct. I had the head machined and replace the head gasket. Foolishly I did not replace the timing belt. About 4 weeks ago the timing belt lost about 4 inches worth of teeth on me and left me calling AAA. I replaced the timing belt, and drove for about a week, then one morning when I started it up, the oil light came on and would not go off. I drove one of my other vehicles to work (you always have other vehicles when your newest is a 1997 Astro van and you work on your own vehicles). When I got home after work, I removed the sensor and started the engine. No oil came out the sensor hole. I dropped the oil pan (great fun) and replaced the oil pump. When I started the engine oil literally gushed out of the hole and the valve train was noticeably quieter. However, since then the transmission seemed balky at shifting to 3rd gear. I replaced the transmission fluid and filter, and it seemed to help for a couple of days and today it did not seem to shift to 3rd at all. Unless the motor blows up I cannot think of anything else I would need to do to it, and don't know if there is anything that is DIY on this transmission issue. I would put another transmission in it if that is required, but wonder if there is any other opinions on this or what the problem could be?

Thanks

Crankavich
 

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First off, welcome to Allpar!
There are a couple of things that could be causing this. Firstly, the A413 (3-speed) is not nearly as picky as the A604 (4-speed) about its fluid, but ATF+4 is recommended. The A413 uses bands to effect gear changes. If you didn't adjust the bands, particularly the kickdown band, this could be causing your problem. Throttle pressure linkage is also suspect, especially if your 1-2 shift seems to have crept up. See http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/torqueflite-tom-hand.html for more information (an A413 is essentially a down-rated A904 turned sideways). Low fluid level or a clogged valve body could also be at play here. An FSM should have pressure specs and test procedure for diagnosis using the nipples (pressure taps) on the front (well, side, technically, but front if you're looking at it installed) of the transmission case. You'll need a pressure gauge that can read whatever range the tests say, probably up to 250 PSI, and a source of compressed air for the tests, IIRC.
As you'll notice in the block diagrams toward the bottom of that article, the difference between 2 and 3 is the engagement of the front clutch. This may also be the problem, but I imagine a blown front clutch or broken servos would cause no third gear at all (once the band releases, the engine would rev way out, because no gear would be engaged). If adjusting the bands and linkages doesn't fix the problem, and if the tests in the FSM seem to indicate three's an internal problem, you may have to go down the rebuild route. I would not say that it's out of the relam of a DIY'er who has alternate transportation, so long as you have an FSM. It'll be about $150 for a rebuild kit with new steels plus about a week of labor if you take your time. The A413 is a solid, reliable transmission which I would say is worth the rebuild if you think you can handle it. It's essentially the same in concept as any other automatic transmission up through the early 1990's. (As a sidenote, the 4 speed A604 was one of the first electronically controlled transmissions to make it to market, in 1989. It has no bands; all of its gear changes are clutched. As a rule, A604 repairs tend to be more in-depth and expensive. Despite its early problems from teething and improper fluid, the A604, later renamed the 41TE, became the cornerstone of Chrysler's FWD transmission lineup until fairly recently. Its reputation precedes it in may cases, but the 41TE and later A604 are very reliable.)
 

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One more thing to add to the list above: if the cables (especially the kickdown cable) are corroded and not moving freely you can also have issues with the transmission not shifting properly.
 

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And one more to add to Valiant's suggestion, make sure the kickdown lever on the front of the trans is moving freely, they like to get corroded, bind up or hang and cause all sorts of trans issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the prompt replies and the link to an excellent article. I have a shop manual and will check out the linkages tonight. The latest development is not good. I picked up my car from the airport parking lot yesterday afternoon and when I started it up and put it in gear it would not move. I tried to determine if the linkage was moving, but could not be sure if it was because I could not shift and look at it the same time. After a minute or two of trying, the car went into reverse when I shifted it there and then into 1st when I move the shifter. It seemed kind of sluggish as if it were slipping. I pulled out and the car would once again not go into 3rd. I got on the parkway and drove at 50mph for a couple of miles and then all of the sudden the car jumped between 2nd and 3rd for about 5 seconds and then stayed in 3rd. I drove about 12 miles at 60mph, and got off an exit. After going down a long hill the car would not go into 3rd again. I drove about 5 miles and stopped for a light. Seemed like 2nd started slipping. By the time I got home, it seemed like it was in 1st gear. Luckily it was 25 mph speed limit area. I will look into the linages after work, but I am putting a concrete floor in the garage starting this weekend (finally can use a creeper) so I may not be able to tear into the transmission for a bit. I will update you on the situation. I have visited this site for years as I have had numerous plymouth and dodge minivans, a Breeze, and still have a 1990 Lebaron Convertible in very nice shape ( I replaced the top myself, very interesting process). This is the first time I could not easily find information I was looking for. Thanks for the help!
 

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I would definitely check the transmission fluid. I have a '95 Spirit which had the transmission fluid seep out over the course of 8 months while she was sitting from a variety of leaking seals and gaskets. I've used Lucas in my power steering pump when the seals started to leak, and that stemmed the flow and seems to be still holding after a few years, so I put some of their "transmission fix" in my trans last year (the leakage has been an issue for a while). It certainly isn't the miracle product they claim it to be, but it did seem to help a bit.
 
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