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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a special problem with my automatic transaxle on a Dodge Stratus (V6) and i am looking for help.
Not possible in France because these cars are very rare (mechanics wants to replace the transaxle, not to repair it).

A month ago, the car won't shift above the first gear. The transaxle goes to neutral instead of second gear.
No Check engine light.

As I found a part of clips in the oil pan, I thought it was the clips of the 2/4 clutch which was broken.

I Changed the followings parts :
- All the discs
- The solenoid
- of course the broken clip of the 2/4 clutch
- The inpout and output sensors

Just a part of clip was broken and the 2/4 clutch seemed OK


After this, the car did exactly the same. :scared:

I start one first gear and instead of second, it goes in neutral. I need to restart the car to go again in first gear only.

So I replace the valve body (by a used one but working), thinking of an hydraulic problem.

Still the same problem !!! :frusty:

I disconnected the solenoid to stay in limp mode (second gear). The car won't start (stay in neutral)

The second gear is definitly out.

Now I think that it is a little part of the clip which could be in the transaxle body between valve body and clutches.
I say that because all was replace ans I didn't find all the parts of the broken clip in the transaxle.


I took the pressures as it is mentioned in the manual.

In L position, at 32 km/h (20 mph), the pressure at the low reverse test port is OK (130 psi)
In 3 position, at 48 km/h (30 mph), the pressure at the underdrive test port is OK (130 psi)
In D position, at 32 km/h (20 mph), the pressure at the overdrive test port is 0 psi instead of 74 to 95 psi. When the vehicle is raised, the transaxle stay in first gear. It doen't go to neutral as on the road. But doesn't shift in second. This may be the reason of this pressure ?
In D position, at 48 km/h (30 mph), the pressure at the 2/4 test port is 24 psi instead of 75 to 95 psi
Impossible to do the test at 50 mph because car stay in first gear and I have kinds neighbours.


Now I wonder what it could be and I don't want to take the transaxle off the car a second time if I don't know what it is.

Somebody can help me ?

Thanks a lot

Pierre
 

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Welcome to Allpar. There may not be a 'ck engine' light, but there may still be fault codes stored in the TCM (transaxle control module) that may be useful here. What year is yours?
The 'ck engine' light is basically for engine (PCM) fault codes although on later cars a transaxle fault would illuminate the 'ck engine' light and post a P0700 fault code to alert the driver that a fault was stored in the TCM.
You may need more than a generic engine fault code reader or scan tool to read TCM codes.
Broken snap rings (clips) were fairly common on older vehicles and the Chrysler rebuild kits came with new ones. They didn't want us to re-use old snap rings. The 2-4 clutch reaction plate and tapered snap ring have one side up and can be mistakenly installed wrong.
No 2nd gear is likely a 2/4 or underdrive (UD) or broken hard part issue.
In D at 32 km/h (20 mph), overdrive would not be engaged yet so the 0 pressure at the port would be expected.
OD (4th gear) won't engage until ~ 72 km/h (45 mph).
In D at 48 km/h (30 mph), it would still be too slow to apply the 2/4 clutch for OD.
I am puzzled at the 24 psi as I would expect 0-2 psi to leave the clutch not applied. Perhaps there could be some internal hydraulic leakage in the input clutches assembly (like the underdrive clutch)? Residual pressure on an unapplied clutch element will cause premature clutch wear and probably limp-in mode.
This probably isn't an electrical problem and you have done well by diagnosing this with ATF pressures. I still suspect an internal hydraulic (leakage) or a mechanical issue (like a broken hard part).
There have been many updates done to the 41TE (A-604) transaxle. Many times a remanufactured unit is the best way out as updating hard parts can get into thousands of dollars.
It would be nice to know any TCM fault codes, but sadly I do think that the unit will have to come back out for disassembly.
By the way, your english is excellent.

http://diagramas.diagramasde.com/otros/Manual+de+Reparacion+para+Transmision+Automatica%20(SPIRIT).pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your answer

The car is a 1995 Stratus (2.5)

I am sure that it is not a broken part because all the mecanics parts were verified when I changed the discs.
I also replaced the valve body and the torque converter ...

I suspect a small part af the broken snap ring which is in the 2/4 circuit but not in the valve body.

The Low reverse is ok (first gear ok) so why I suspect the 2/4 circuit.


Do yoy know if it is normal that, when the car is raised, the transaxle remains in first gear even at 65 km/h as it shift to neutral instead of second gear on the road ?

Maybe I should take the 2/4 pressure in L position. It should be around 130 psi ?


Thanks

Pierre
 

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The 2/4 clutch is fed directly off the valve body. There is a rubber seal that mates up directly with the clutch piston drum when the valve body is raised into position, along with the 2 accumulator pistons that sit atop the valve body and enter their bores in the case.
This rubber seal must be in place for hydraulic pressure to be transferred from the valve body to the 2/4 clutch when 2nd gear is actuated.
The underdrive clutch is located in the input clutch assembly and also required for 2nd gear operation.
Without either clutch operating, 2nd gear will feel like neutral.
Even with all the electrical connectors to the TCM, solenoid pack and transaxle disconnected, you should still have 2nd gear which is the default forward gear.

P.S.- If you have a rubber tipped air gun and compressed air, you can air test the clutches for gross leaks with the valve body down. This may help diagnosis by locating leaky seals/housings.
The service manual should show the clutch pressure ports to blow into for tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,

How can you explain that when the car is raised, the transaxle remains in first gear even at 65 km/h. The transaxle doesn't try to operate the second gear.
On the road, I have neutral instead of second gear.

I will operate the air pressure test but I don't find the test port
Service manual : Apply air pressure to the feed hole located on the 2/4 clutch retainer.
Where is this hole ?

Thanks

Pierre
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok,

I found the test port fot the 2/4.
It is a very small hole in the clutch retainer !
The seal is correctly installed.


How can you explain that when the wheels are raised, the transaxle remains in first gear even at 65 km/h. The transaxle doesn't try to operate the second gear.
On the road, the transaxle try to shift in second gear (but goes in neutral).

Pierre
 

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Were the input clutches disassembled, cleaned and rebuilt with new seals? I know that you installed new clutch friction elements. Lipped seals must be orientated correctly with the lip facing the pressure. D-seals have no orientation except for the rounded edge resting on the moving seal surface.
There is a screened vent and pressure bleed orifice in one of the input clutch retainers that, if plugged with debris will keep clutches unintentionally partially applied (dragging on) and this can rapidly wear the other input clutches while keeping things partially engaged. The input clutches are the OD, UD and reverse clutch packs. This partial engagement can keep the front wheels spinning off the ground.
The mysterious 24 psi in your 2/4 clutch would result in partial engagement and could cause rapid clutch wear as well as excessive heat. I still think that an internal pressure leak is occurring at possibly a failed seal, etc.
Internal friction between the driving and driven elements inside the transaxle can keep the front wheels turning with the engine running and the wheels off the ground. If you apply the brakes with the front wheels spinning, does it load down the engine like it is actually in gear or do the front wheels stop with the engine sounding like it is in neutral?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here I am again.
When I am in D position, the wheels off the ground, if I apply the brake, the front wheels stop and the engine sounds like it is neutral. This seems normal.

This morning I took the pressure at the 2/4 pressure test point with the transaxle in limp mode (disconnecting the solenoid). The 2/4 clutch should be actuated.
In D position, the pressure is very low (about 25 psi) and doesn't change as the engine is accelerate.

Does this mean that it is surely a pressure problem ant cannot be a problem with the clutch elements ?

Thanks
 

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There is either insufficient pressure being delivered to the 2/4 clutch or the 2/4 clutch piston/retainer has a hydraulic leak that is dropping pressure. Somewhere in the hydraulic circuit, there may be a bad fluid leak.
If the direct air test of the 2/4 clutch is a nice 'thump' then the clutch itself is probably OK. If the air test has a bad hiss, then something may be wrong inside the 2/4 clutch with the piston, seals or retainer. You are getting some good diagnosis done here.

118-baf8056d3d.png
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As soon as the weather is better, i will check the 2/4 clutch with air pressure.
Today the car is outside and it is raining...

I will also check the gaskets of the solenoids.
There is a gasket, a template and another gasket between solenoid and transaxle.
I suspect a bad installation and maybe a closed circuit.

Pierre
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Today I have removed the plate between Solenoid and transaxle and only installed one gasket as mentioned on differents forums (the gasket which fit with new solenoids).
Pressure are better but not sufficient (about 45 psi at 2/4 test port)
The car can shift in second gear and then goes in limp mode.

I have replaced the hydraulic bloc by a remanufactured one and it is the same !!

The pressures for the first gear are goods so the pump is going well.

When the hydraulic bloc was off, I tried the 2/4 clutch with air pressure (30 psi). Nothing move ??
I'm not sure of my method for this test.
The hole on the housing 2/4 piston is very small and quite completely closed by the ring piston outer ? Is it normal ? Fluid cannot go by this hole !

I have no more idea :yawn:

Thanks
 

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The fluid hole in the 2/4 clutch must not be obscured so that the conical rubber valve body pressure port can mate up to it with the valve body in place.
If a snap ring is in the way, then something may not be positioned correctly.
A rubber cone-tipped air gun test of the 2/4 clutch is helpful in diagnosis when it is placed against the clutch retainer and a solid 'thump' is heard when the clutch is applied with compressed air. This means that the piston seals are sealing.
The solenoid pack was redesigned in 2000 and any replacement solenoid packs should be the newer style. The new style did away with using the 2 gaskets and sandwich plate and now only use a single gasket with no sandwich plate. The new solenoid pack also got rid of the 'zzzick' noise when selecting a gear range and operate silently.
The gasket was changed to fit the newer style as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks,

It is the ring piston outer which is in the way. (part which is inside the housing where there is the hole)

I try to post a picture

Regards
 

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I understand what you are looking at. Yes, part of the outer 2/4 piston seal will be visible through the fluid apply hole. That won't hinder 2/4 clutch operation.
The air test thump will confirm that the clutch seals are good before you put it back together. The cone tip on the valve body mating seal has to be facing upwards toward the retainer apply hole.
Was the replacement valve body the same part number?
With 1st gear pressure and application being strong, I suspect an internal or cross-clutch (the compound input clutch assembly) fluid leak in the 2/4 or underdrive fluid circuit. Were all 3 reaction seal rings OK on the front clutch where it enters the input clutches? Does the Underdrive clutch pass an air apply test?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did the air test and I have a problem with the 2/4 clutch. No pressure. No 2/4 clutch operation. I have a serious leak.

It would be easy but the transaxle is already installed !

The valve body is the right one. I have a spare transaxle for training. I permuted the valve body but it is the same so I installed the genuine one.

I suspect snap ring which is broken again. The small part of the snap ring that I can see from the bottom of the transaxle is right installed.

You said "The 2-4 clutch reaction plate and tapered snap ring have one side up and can be mistakenly installed wrong."

I have just bought a 2/4 clutch snap ring and I didn't see face up and down !

Thanks
 

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I'm sorry that it has to come back out of the car and partially apart. Maybe a seal is reversed or torn? The wide, flat and without a paint-mark snap ring isn't directional, but others are.
Don't feel bad. My first 41TE rebuild didn't work the first time either. Not many people would even know where to begin when faced with something like this if not technically-minded.
Good diagnostic work!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks
My fear is that, if it is the snap ring which is broken, as it is the second time, maybe there is another problem and it will broke again ...
A no end story.
As soon as the weather is better I take the transaxle off the car.

Papiweb
 
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