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1994 Interpid with 3.3 . `125,000 miles.
Won't up-shift. Reverse and low work but it won't shift out of low gear. It Did shift out of low on two test runs (both times cold) but then makes the next shift into nothing... total slip... until it kicks back down into the lower gear. After the tranny warms up it's Reverse/Low only

This car was wrecked, sat a long time and had the airbags deployed. I bought it and another Intrepid that was wrecked in the rear to make one decent daily driver out of the two. We spent today swapping sensors/control modules hoping to stumble onto a bad one, changing tranny filters, and stuff like that... no change. The next step, I guess, is to swap the Tranny but I was hoping I was missing a simply solution somewhere (like a bad wire to a sensor, but what sensor controls higher drive shifts?)) I got a Haynes Intepid book that says there are Vehicle Speed Sensors (VSS) on the tranny, so we took one of the sensor (?) plugs out to see what was there.... there is nothing there, just a plug in a hole... So the VSS sensors are deep inside there and those are just access holes??? What do these do? Can we mess with them. Should we mess with them?

A little advice appreciated, we're backyard mechanics trying to finally make the leap out of the 60's-70's rides and into the 90's.... Yea. I know it's 2006 but 1994 is new to me. My '77 New York (440) just sucks down to much gas and my '72 Plymouth Scamp (slant-6) is currently out-of-service (reverse went out, broken servo ring).
 

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Do you have a check engine light, if you do have you checked for codes? You should have speed sensors, if you don't this would cause the car to go into limp mode which means the car will not shif out of second gear. This sounds to me like what is going on. There should be an input and an output sensor on each wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
popimp said:
Do you have a check engine light, if you do have you checked for codes? You should have speed sensors, if you don't this would cause the car to go into limp mode which means the car will not shif out of second gear. This sounds to me like what is going on. There should be an input and an output sensor on each wheel.
The check engine light is not on (but does work). I did check the codes 3 flashes, 5 flashes, 5 flashes. I also forgot to mention that we changed the rear brake drums over to disc-brakes from the other car, but didn't wire the ABS up on the rear (the car only had ABS brakes on the front, drums on the back originally.) The ABS/Brake light is not on either.

So there is an input and output sensor on each wheel? All four wheels or just the front ones? (the sensor plugs I was talking about, from the book) are on the right side of the tranny just above the pan.
 

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input and output are on the tranny. The easiest thing to do is prolly just to thrown a new tranny in it. If you read in the how tos you can put a 98-2004 tranny in yours. You can get these as cheap as about 125, and if you have already done all that work, it wouldn't be too hard. Just an idea.
-Taaf-
 

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Sorry, I just about choked on that ridiculous answer from Tdog to "just throw in a new tranny". I though I recovered from the "input and output sensor on each wheel" but then this... Cough Cough, OK I'm better now. God don't you love it when people who have no idea what they're talking about give advice- it makes things just that much ****in harder to fix.
I'm assuming you checked the tranny fluid so I'll get right to the meat.

JD you have a 42LE transmission and it sounds very much like it's in limp mode. It could be a number of things- some even engine related in fact but here's my recommendation:

First, reset the tranny computer. Do this by Driving the engine till warm and then pull over and turn key off, on, off, on, off, on ,off rapidly (remember this is just ON, not START!)
Now that tranny computer is reset, drive the car WHERE THERE IS NO TRAFFIC (you'll see why soon) and see how it shifts. The 42LE sucks monkey nuts and what I'm kind of guessing you'll find is it will shift to maybe second but then it will slip and you can give it all the gas you want but it won't go anywhere and you'll be stuck (hey, didn't I just tell you to make sure to drive where there wasn't traffic?).
Once the car stops it should kick in gear by itself or force it by shifting to reverse then back to drive (or even 1st).
If this happens, it's quite likely your tranny is toasted. You can verify this by getting the computer scanned (only a dealer or tranny shop can do it) and they'll likely find "slip" codes- a combination of these spells certain death for you tranny. If you're lucky, they'll find something else- I hope they do.

You can also drop the tranny pan and look at the oil- usually tranny's with internal slip have lots of metal in the pan and oil.

Good luck. I've got my fingers crossed for you.
 

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Well, I'am going to put in my two cents, here's a pic of the input/output sensor location, and in the middle of those two is the Tranny Range Sensor, have you swaped that Sensor out too?:



And to clear the code's doing the on/off key trick as stated above, you will have to do it 50-100 times (as per service manual). Just disconnect the batt for a few minutes. If you have replace all the Sensors, then I would go ahead and get the TCM Scanned by a tranny shop or dealer. The dealer would be able to give you a more detailed info on the tranny with their computer, but you'll pay more for it. If it's to trashed, then look at another tranny.
 

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Service manual is wrong. 4 KOKO cycles will clear tranny computer. Or maybe you read it wrong in that it's 50-100 drive cycles before the code clears (similar to MIL). But 4 KOKO's will do it and this is the easiest way for the OP to start his troubleshooting.
This is the advantage of having actual knowledge rather than just a service manual and a digital scanner.
Furthermore, I'm trying to help this guy do a methodical, intelligent troubleshoot to isolate the tranny 100% as the sole etiological cause. I only want to reset the tranny PCM, not the engine PCM so we retain any MIL codes. By disconnecting battery, both PCM's would clear and we don't know which for 100% certain.
Let's keep our heads here, and do this right. It's lots of fun to post diagrams and quotes from a manual but this is a major job that requires precision troubleshooting to prevent a shitload of unnecessary work and expense.

Even if all roads point to tranny- I would still sooner get a scan for $45 at a independent tranny shop than just go an swap a tranny. A PCV valve, a Thermostat, yes just swap it if in doubt. A transmission? No- that you oughta troubleshoot more thoroughly first.
 

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Umm, I wonder why, if the Mr. Masked Marauder knows a whole lot about the LH Platform, why hide himself. Come-on man !! Maybe some of this guy's on here like to see some of these diagram from a service manual, so they can see the location of these parts ! Don't go a shoot down everyone on the site a say that he's wrong ! Well hell, since I just wasted my time posting what I think, let's get back to help him. But before anything else let's hear what he has to say.
 

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LMAO @ Froggy-

We have just seen someone here in this very thread tell a guy who suspects a tranny problem "easiest thing to do is go ahead and swap tranny" and then it's followed up by another person who says the input and output sensors are on the wheel and then finally a guy who gives poor troubleshooting information which would defeat the ability to single out the only possible cause (not to mention tries to help someone prepared to do a tranny swap by pointing to a diagram of the speed sensors as if someone doing a tranny wouldn't be able to quite easily figure that out) and then you come on and say I should be ignored because I claim there is a lack of technical ability on this site.

And yes the FSM is either wrong, or that other guy read it wrong. 4KOKO's clears the tranny- I do it all the damn time. You might want to check this yourself before telling me off for challengine the FSM, like it's an infallible holy relic or something.

And FWIW, I apologized for the term soccer mom car. It's a family car. The family may or may not have a soccer mom. But it is a GREAT family car and I love mine dearly. What it is NOT though is a performance car. That's why it's my daily driver and my other car is for the track. The day I put a CAI on an intrepid is the day I start shopping for a honda civic with a 3 foot wing.

Now kindly leave- I'm trying to help someone out here.
 

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Umm, I was pointing to the TRS Sensor location, not the Output/Input Sensors. If you know so much about these car please tell me what the TRS Sensor does. And here's the info from the manual about clearing codes doing the Key, On/OFF trick:

Clearing Codes

To erase DTC's, use the Erase Trouble Code data screen on the DRB III scan tool or equivalent (see manufactures instructions). Do not erase the DTC's until all of the problems have been investigated and repaired. After the component failure has been repaired, the computer will erase the fault codes after 50-100 ON/OFF turns of the ignition key.

Not drive cycles.
 

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Well we have ruled out that you have misread the manual StrongT, I agree it is not drive cycles. It is clear they are stating On/Off's

However 4 rapid KOKO's will absolutely reset the tranny computer and get it out of limp mode so this guy can do his troubleshooting----so the manual is errant or we are both misinterpreting it.
Not sure what to say about that but I assure you the 4 KOKO's will do the trick. I do this all the time for tranny diagnosis on intrepids. When the OP verifies a significant difference in the tranny's behavior after doing this, we'll see. Otherwise, feel free to use your diagram and unplug your output sensor and try it yourself. The car will indeed exit limp mode until the error is detected again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank You, everyone. The Tranny had to be changed and is now done. It took me 6 hours working at a very, very leisurely pace... it probably could've been done in 4 hours or less. It was one of the easier ones I've ever done. The off/on key trick suggested by Masked Marauder worked exactly like he said it would and the car did exactly what he said it would do. We breifly discussed running the Trans computer box into town for a scan, but 'town' is 30 miles away and $45 is a lot of $$$ to me at the moment so we just went ahead with the Trans swap. The car runs beautifully now and looks really good.... we made very slight modifications to the front brake calipers and the car now has a set of old style Mopar Ralley wheels on it (improved the looks 100%, I'll post Pics in a week or so after we touch-up a little paint... fender, hood, bumper, ect). I also appreciate the diagram posted and other info, as I said before, 1994 is New to me and I'm learning as I go. Any info is valuable and I think I can pick out the really good stuff from the so-so stuff (Limp Mode was a new one for me, I had no idea todays cars did stuff like that... previousely, we always ripped the computer stuff out and dropped in non-computer V-8). With out meaning to insult anyone, I tend to think the Intrepid is a 'Soccer Mom' ride too.... mine even has a baby seat built into the back seat. I think the car is a Beautiful Family car (I also have a '72 Duster, 340 4sp. for my 'play' car) and mine is going to be the daily 'grocery go-getter'.
While putting on the old-style Ralley wheels, we discussed converting an Intepid into a 440 CID ( or 400 CID, have several of both) rear-wheel drive 'sleeper' ride... maybe that will be next winters project, we did a little measuring and know we can make it all fit. Thanks again, everyone. :))
 

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JD, congratulations and I am really glad I was able to help and I appreciate your acknowledgement, hopefully Froggy will lay off me now.

I just want to say one thing though- I am TOTALLY AWED that you could swap a tranny in 6 hours!!!!!! OMG!!! I consider myself pretty good and it takes me about 9 or 10 working at a good pace!

Anyway congratulations and thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Masked Marauder said:
I just want to say one thing though- I am TOTALLY AWED that you could swap a tranny in 6 hours!!!!!! OMG!!! I consider myself pretty good and it takes me about 9 or 10 working at a good pace!
Thanks :) Two of us did it. It was actually a lot easier than I thought (my second front wheel drive job). We lifted the front-end up about 2 feet (ramps), popped off the ball-joints after re-blocking and moved the discs out of the way to pull the axles out. Took the exhaust off at the manifold and pulled it backward which allowed the tran to drop pretty much straight down (I did have to to heat and pull the 'Y-pipes' off the big cat to get them back up in there). The hardest part was getting the replacement tran up on the floor jack (the car was to low to do it except after it was slid under the car... quite the He-man lift when laying on your back using one arm, whew!!!) Then the floor jack wouldn't go up quite high enough, so we had to hang the tran up under the car with chains to re-block. We also suported the the back of the engine with a cherry picker. (I took a few pictures) We're good mechanics, but are just clueless with some of this new stuff. I know we could do one of these Intrepids in 4 hours... I even stopped to read the newspaper when it came and ran to the store for cigs). Note: We threw that Haynes 'How-to" book in the corner before we even began after reading the hood needed to come off to replace this Tran..... why???... lol. My 'helper buddy' use to be the yard-hand at a junkyard for years and really knows how to rip things a part quick and easy without damaging it.
C'ya
JD
 
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