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Tranny not responding

M

marcfouchi

Guest
Hey all,
just got my '78 vette off the delivery truck from the auction. Its one of those auctions where they don't tell you ANYTHING about the car or its history, so I'm still in discovery mode. I threw a battery in it, checked the fluid levels, had a key made, and cranked it up. Sounds beautiful.... however, when I tried to shift the automatic into reverse or drive, it doesn't budge... don't even feel a bump like its kicking into gear. I looked underneath, and the shift cable seems to be connected to the stick.... (I saw it move when my wife was shifting it). The reverse lights come on when its in reverse position. The tran. fluid level is okay from what I can see on the dipstick.
I don't have any experience with transmissions, so could anyone give some suggestions as to what I should do to troubleshoot this? Hopefully, I won't have to pull it out and have it rebuilt.
Thanks.
Marc
 
M

marcfouchi

Guest
by the way,
I put it in R, 3, 2, & 1 while engine was running... no movement or sound.
And it doesn't roll while its in park, rolls freely in neutral, and gives resistance in 3, 2, and 1.
-Marc
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
Change the fluid and filter first off. Look in the pan for crud and smell the fluid. It's possible a not so honest person already changed it and you will not find anything, but there should be crud of one sort or another in there to tell you what's wrong. Worth a shot, a transimsion isnt cheap, and if it dosent move after the fluid change your most likely in for a rebuild or a converter.. :(

And DONT take it somewhere and have them flush or change just the fluid as most quick lube places do, actually get under there and change it or have a mechanic do it right.
 
7

78SilvAnniv

Guest
Welcome, marcfouchi!

...from another 78SA!

Yow! What a problem to have straight off the truck!
Can you do a check on a vehicle this old with the internet group that checks vins?
Good luck.
Silver aka:Heidi
 
M

marcfouchi

Guest
thanks, glad to be here.
I think Carfax only goes back 20 years, but I'll give it a shot.

There's no telling what this car has been through. The previous owner didn't feel like getting keys made, so they ran a wire from the battery, out the door, into the engine compartment, and into the wiring harness to the starter wire! The door opening mechanisms were frozen so they had the window down so they could hop in like Dukes of Hazard :) ... (just had to take door panel off and WD40 to open)
There's a pencil stuck in a hose that's connected to the carburetor (don't know what that is, yet) You can see that here:
vettepics006.jpg

And when I press the hazard button, "Love Me Tender" plays from inside the steering column... (sounds like an electronic greeting card) That's actually kind of funny!

But at least the engine runs! :) Didn't expect much else for what I payed. Looking forward to lots of fun whippin' this baby back in shape.
 
M

marcfouchi

Guest
whoops.. sorry, pics don't work. I'll work on that! :)
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Marc,

I had the same exact thing happen (in fact that is how I bought it so cheap) to a Camaro I bought a few years ago. Worst yet, it had a rebuilt trans in it less than 3,000 miles before.

When it was installed, the jobber did not get the torque converter pushed all the way in. So, it got jammed against the pump and cracked the pump as well as the end of the converter. Bottom line, no pump, no movement.

In either event, sounds like a bad trans pump. The bad news is the whole thing has to come out. The good news is, that if it is just a pump it won't cost all that much to put back together.


Chris
 
L

Ls1smlblck

Guest
Ditto, or my have a few valves sticking/ clogged in your valve body. Either way you need to pop the pan off first and check it out. The drop the tranny. It's a PITA but has to be done.
 
M

marcfouchi

Guest
Thanks.... I'll check those things out and let you know what happens this week.
-Marc
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
A slimy way to check

remove the tranny hoses from the radiator and shove some hose over the end ( use a Ty Wrap or two to secure it.

Put the hoses in a tall bucket

FIRE HER UP

the fluid should be pumping like MAD if the pump is good.

Dont run it to long ( for obvious reasons )


Mike
 
M

marcfouchi

Guest
Got it <whew>.... just a leak. Filled it back up, and voila - movement. Strange, though... I'm still puzzled. I don't see anything dripping underneath. When the car is tilted on a tow truck or transport, does the fluid have a better chance of leaking out?
Hmm...
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
The car must have been sitting for a while, and the o-ring seal at the tip of the input shaft is bad. This won't cause a problem when you drive it all the time, but when it sits for a while the fluid will drain back from the converter into the trans, and it will overfill the trans body and leak out. Yes, tilting the car too much (like on a flat bed) will accelerate the same situation.


Good you got it working! That is $1,000 less you will have to spend to get it back in driving condition.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
185
Location
Falls Church, Va
Corvette
1972 Coupe ZZ4 / 4 Speed
Welcome to CAC. Glad to hear the tranny works!

Don't feel bad.. my Vette is a bit of a mess to. (although it doesn't play any Elvis songs)

:)

-Gooney
 
D

Dave L.

Guest
Marc- Sounds like a real project car.I know you will enjoy every moment getting that back into shape.Good Luck!
 
J

jsimpson

Guest
Sounds like an ideal candidate for a 700R4 conversion!
 

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