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Discussion Starter #1
1997 Plymouth Voyager 2.4 ltr 135,000 miles 3 speed transmission


About 5 months ago my radiator transmissioncooler busted open mixing the antifreeze with the transmission fluid. So I
replaced the radiator and flushed out the Transmission and torque converter.
Afterwards the Transmission shifted like new and had no issues until today.

.While driving, the Trans was slipping a bit then completely went out of gear and had the van towed home.

Keep in mind that if I let the Van cool down a bit it would go into all gears with no issues. But when the Trans if warmed up, NO gears including parking gear won't t work.

. The fluid is fine. I check the radiator fluid and that’s fine as far as a damaged cooler again.

Do you think the transmission is SHOT (I HOPE NOT) or could it be the speed sensors I’ve been reading about or could it be another problem.

Again, the transmission was running beautiful and like new for months.

Any suggestion would be great.

Thank you!!

JAG
 

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I would drop the pan and take a look at what may be on the filter and what may be at the bottom of the pan. If the coolant got on the clutch material, it could have delaminated the clutches. There are pressure taps on the case to determine if you have line pressure when warm. Use ATF+4 only.
Is this the 3 speed or the 4 speed transaxle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ImperialCrown said:
I would drop the pan and take a look at what may be on the filter and what may be at the bottom of the pan. If the coolant got on the clutch material, it could have delaminated the clutches. There are pressure taps on the case to determine if you have line pressure when warm. Use ATF+4 only.
Is this the 3 speed or the 4 speed transaxle?
thanks for helping

This is a 3 speed.

Once I take down the pan, what should I look for? How should I test the pressure taps.


Hopefully don't have to do a flush again and maybe only change the filter again. the fluid at the stick looks good.

Also, do you think the Tranmission could be gone? Is there hope


thank you
 

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There is nothing electronic about the 3-speed (31TH) except the torque converter clutch lock-up over ~42 mph. I would look for goo or debris in the pan bottom (anything that doesn't look like ATF).
A transmission oil pressure gauge may be rentable or loanable from an auto parts store. The taps would be shown in a good service manual that covers the 31TH.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ImperialCrown said:
There is nothing electronic about the 3-speed (31TH) except the torque converter clutch lock-up over ~42 mph. I would look for goo or debris in the pan bottom (anything that doesn't look like ATF).
A transmission oil pressure gauge may be rentable or loanable from an auto parts store. The taps would be shown in a good service manual that covers the 31TH.
Thanks

Once I drop the pan and the filter is completely clogged, could this be the major issue of not going into gear becasue of the restricted flow of ATF?

Do you think I would have to flush the torque converter again or just refilling the ATF lost from the pan is OK?


Again, thanks for helping here.
 

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I think that as the pump draws material up into the filter, it restricts the flow of ATF and eventually the clutches no longer engage.
Mind you this is my take on the situation and you should drop the pan for a visual inspection and assessment before drawing any conclusions about the best course of action to take next from me.
If clutch material has been shed from discs, the transaxle may need a rebuild. Be prepared to replace the filter and fluid with fresh stuff. Don't forget the gasket between the filter and valve body.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ImperialCrown said:
I think that as the pump draws material up into the filter, it restricts the flow of ATF and eventually the clutches no longer engage.
Mind you this is my take on the situation and you should drop the pan for a visual inspection and assessment before drawing any conclusions about the best course of action to take next from me.
If clutch material has been shed from discs, the transaxle may need a rebuild. Be prepared to replace the filter and fluid with fresh stuff. Don't forget the gasket between the filter and valve body.
Thanks! I'll drop the pan and check to see if there is any material etc..

thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Link to a picture of the pan... Not a pretty site.

https://picasaweb.google.com/103158120610585303690/VoyagerTransmission#5847074187897316658


First of all I want to say thanks for helping here!

Ok. Here’s the verdict! The fluid does not look good.

I took the pan down and about 2 ½ + quarts came out. The
fluid did not look good at the bottom of the pan. It’s was kind of thick and
dark reddish brown. There was NO material or debris. See Picture.

The rest of the ATF that came out was red and a bit thick
but not as bad as what you see on the bottom of the pan. However, in my opinion
it’s not all the way consistent with what ATF should look like.

When I first had the issue with the antifreeze mixing with
the ATF due to the broken cooler, it was like thick chocolate milk.

It was deceiving from looking at the ATF from dip stick and
looked somewhat OK.

The bottom line, I didn’t do the first major flush correctly
and didn’t get everything out of the converter when I thought I did and might
have caused some damage.

I also noticed while the van was jacked up that the front
wheels were turning when the van is in the parked gear. I’m assuming the clutch
is not engaged. ???

From your experience, is this transmission repairable? If
so, what are the next steps?

Can I just replace the filter and add new ATF to fill up OR
should I do a complete ATF flush?

If a complete ATF flush is needed, approximately how many
quarts of ATF 4 do I need to flush out the system until it comes out perfectly clear
along with filling up with ATF after the flush?

Thank you,

JAG
 

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By all means try another fluid flush and filter, however keep in mind that may already be too late. A cooler failure has to be caught almost immediately before the damage requires a rebuild.
I have seen ATF on dipsticks that looked brand new until the real story was discovered in the pan bottom.
Is the rest of the van worth installing a used or rebuilt transaxle? Assess what you have and what you can do. See what's out there and call around for estimates.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’m NOT going to replace the trans if the flush doesn’t work.

I got 9 quarts and a new filter and will do the flush in the morning so I'm going to let the
trans drip through the night and get as much as I can out.

I got a feeling I'll be back for more ATF due to the whole system being contaminated and
I want the system's ATF perfectly clear.

Once I get the system clean with new ATF after the flush, I'm going to put another new filter
in IF it fixes the current problem after this flush.


JAG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi,

After reading this article on Allpar. I was wondering if I need to put the voyager in Drive when flushing so the Torque also gets flushed out.

The last time I did a flush, I didn't put the Van in Drive during a flush. ???? Maybe I never got the bad fluid out of the converter.


thanks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For the next portion of the procedure, make sure that the parking brake is set prior to continuing. Start the engine. The transmission needs to be put into "Drive" so the torque converter fluid is changed as well. Some transmissions will only circulate fluid through the torque converter only in drive. This especially applies to the electronically controlled transmissions. [Craig Sherman noted that Drive is needed for most transmissions, based on technical manuals]
After approximately 4 to 5 quarts (obviously, if it's more than 4 quarts, you'll have to turn of the engine, and fetch another milk jug) of fluid have been pumped out, you should notice a change in the color of the fluid. It should go from a brownish red color, to a bright pinkish red color. When this happens, all of the old fluid has been replaced with new fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A success!!

After flushing with 9 quarts of ATF 4 until perfectly clear,
refilled with 2+ quarts and a new filter, the Voyager shifts like new! Wow! When
I checked the dip stick the ATF look so much better then before However, I’m
going to pull down the pan after the next 500 miles to see how things look and
at the same time replace the filter.

I think because I didn’t get a chance to clear out the
converter during the flush while running in neutral was a big deal. It’s good
to know that you need to put the vehicle in Neutral while flushing. With that
entire gunk left behind, it clogged the filter etc and it was a matter of time.


Thank for all for the help Imperial Crown and Bob!!

JAG
 

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I wish you the best of luck with this. Coolant can hide in many places inside the transaxle and multiple flushes is the only way to remove it outside of disassembly and cleaning. It can hurt the front pump and clutch material and start rust. Hopefully no major damage has been done and you still have many miles left in the unit. Revisiting a flush, filter change and reassessment of what may be in the pan bottom in 500 miles is appropriate. **fingers crossed**
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I totally agree.

This time around compared to the multiple flushes I did back when the cooler ruptured I kept pouring in $6.00 quarts of ATF 4 until I got it coming out clear. I would put samples in a clear bottle so I was sure I gotten the ATF as pure as I could while flushing.

When I removed the pan after yesterday's flush, the bottom of the pan looked good as well as what was dripping from the top. I'm sure I probably didn't get it all.

I think the big deal was making sure the vehicle of my type is was in neutral while pumping so you get the bad fluid out of the converter as well as using as much of the correct ATF to flush until clear.

I didnt do it right the first time.

I love this voyager and it's been running great giving me a young 135,000 miles becasue I would maintain the fluids etc I never beat the van and drove it locally. However, when that cooler ruptured, it was the worse thing to happen to the Voyager. This time around, I learned what it takes to flush a transaxle.

Hopefully I'll get some more mileage out of the transmission but got to keep an eye out and check the pan at the next 500 miles.

Thanks for the help

Jag

I believe
 
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