1996 Caprice won't shift from 1st gear. - Chevy Impala Forums

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Chevy Caprice General and Technical discussion for the Chevy Caprice (1965-1996), which shares the B-Body platform with the Chevy Impala.

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Old 05-16-2009, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1996 Caprice won't shift from 1st gear.

Ok, here goes, remember how the other day I was asking about radiators for my car? Well I bought a new radiator, but now I have a new problem...


We drop the new radiator in and fill my overfill up... Start up the car check for leaks, no leaks (yay!) Then we go to take it for a spin backed up out of my buddies driveway and put it into Dive (Overdrive).

All seems normal until around the time it should shift into 2nd gear...

As we continued on we figured maybe there was some sludge buildup inside my driveshaft from getting stuck in a puddle of mud, then the rev limiter kicks in at about 42 miles per hour all the while we didn't hear or feel my tranny shift from 1st gear...

So here is my dilema, It engages all gears properly but won't shift out of 1st gear, any ideas or tips on what could cause this? I mean my buddy John and I bought some tranny treatment gunk but still didn't work, and I don't think my "drive" went out since it will still engage 1st gear.

So right now it sits as though I got a new radiator but have inadvertantly inhereted a NEW problem. And I can't even say "lol" after that since I don't really find this to be a laughing matter.

It's probably something extremely simple that we are over looking due to us just dropping the tranny out of his '94 Silverado 1500. So right now tranny's are the last thing on our minds, lol.

So please any help is and will be greatly apprecitaed.


Tony

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Old 05-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Internal shift problem or if electronic controlled then the solenoid pack. Might check the electrical connections on the tranny and make sure all are connected.

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Old 05-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Are there any specific tranny wires to look for besides the basic lines? Example being like a plug wire that you *usually* wouldn't see on a '96 tranny? Also, I checked the tranny fluid it's not brown nor does it smell burned, also, after I put the fluid in, tranny seems to not be leaking any where, my buddy and I were thinking maybe a vacuum line but we are not certain.

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Old 05-17-2009, 06:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Angry

I suppose the car is still drivable, but I have no intentions on using it for derby driving...

Also, I should note that there was an LT1 swap done in my car along with the tranny swap so I am assuming it would be the 4L60E for my tranny but it could still be the 700R4 right?

I was also thinking if my Cats got clogged up, would that affect my shifting procces?

When my car was stuck, it was stuck in about 9 inches of mud water while my frame sat on a lip of mud so that's why I am thinking my tranny may have got a bit clogged up.

So I am still open to suggestions and ideas or even answers.

And once again, any and all help is and will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-17-2009, 09:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I suppose the car is still drivable, but I have no intentions on using it for derby driving...

Also, I should note that there was an LT1 swap done in my car along with the tranny swap so I am assuming it would be the 4L60E for my tranny but it could still be the 700R4 right?

I was also thinking if my Cats got clogged up, would that affect my shifting procces?

When my car was stuck, it was stuck in about 9 inches of mud water while my frame sat on a lip of mud so that's why I am thinking my tranny may have got a bit clogged up.

So I am still open to suggestions and ideas or even answers.

And once again, any and all help is and will be greatly appreciated.



i dont think u can fit a 7000r4 in a caprice without heavy heavy modifications so its prob the stock trans

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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so the stock trans in my Caprice would be the 4L60E then right?

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You will need to get the car up on some ramps or jack stands and look under the car at the tranny. Yes it could be that an electrical connector or vacuum line came off of the tranny. But you will need to look under the car and see.

The 4L60E would be an electronic control tranny and may be the type in your car.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm heading over to my buddies house this evening and were gonna take it to his bro's warehouse down the road so we'll be able to lift it, on a side note also, what would be a good quick and easy way to "purge" my transmission, what I mean by purge is more or less clean out my Tranny shell and so on incase I do have some mud build up inside my drive shaft and what not. And also thank you very much guys for your input and suggestions.

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Old 05-17-2009, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm heading over to my buddies house this evening and were gonna take it to his bro's warehouse down the road so we'll be able to lift it, on a side note also, what would be a good quick and easy way to "purge" my transmission, what I mean by purge is more or less clean out my Tranny shell and so on incase I do have some mud build up inside my drive shaft and what not. And also thank you very much guys for your input and suggestions.
Whenever a trans is acting odd, it's usually a good thing to do the regular trans service: drop the pan, change the fluid and install a new filter and gasket. That's usually the first step if it hasn't been done recently.
The amount of sludge in the pan (looks like aluminum paint) is an indicator of the transmission's condition. Usually there's maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon, if there's a tablespoon's worth in there the trans is ready to rebuild.

Common sense would tell you go over every connector that could have possibly been disconnected when you did the rad.

I think the driveshaft is sealed so there's little chance of anything getting in there.

Good luck on it

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Old 05-17-2009, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Alright, we lifted my car, everything seems to be hooked up properly, I'm gonna get a new filter soon and all my appropriate fluids, now I am just praying that maybe my tranny isn't completely dead :( Although it seems the more we "test drive" it the fluid is getting browner and browner everytime.

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Old 05-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Browning fluid in this case means that the fluid is getting hot, very hot. If the tranny feels like it slips on takeoff then you may as well get ready for a rebuild.

You might check the local salvage yards for a tranny and take a chance that it will work and get you by for a while.

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Old 05-17-2009, 07:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure my TPS is still hooked up, here I'll try to give you the little kid re-enactment of what my car sounds like from take off and acceleration:


vrrrroooooommmmmmm, (should shift here, BUT.....) VVVVRRRRROOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM


See the difference? After the point where it should shift to second it just continues to climb till the rev limiter tells it that it is peaked out at 2500ish RPM's and then the Rev Limiter kicks in and lets you know "You cannot pass".

So, what I will do I will text my buddy and have him check my TPS in the morning before he goes to class, but it does feel as though my tranny *waits* to grab the other gears after I shift to them.

For example

Reverse is perfect, put it into Drive and it takes about 2 Mississippi's before it engages Drive or any "forward" gear.

And thank you for the heads up on the Salvage Yard tranny idea, but I vividly remember my dads horrible luck with SY Tranny's lol. I am not looking forward to taking it to a shop and even though my buddy is a DIY Mechanic, he refuses to work on Tranny's so I guess I am SOL.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a '92 Roadmaster and you had to let it warm up for several minutes before you could get it to go forward.

I changed the trans fluid and added a container of Lucas Transmission Fix (I still cringe at putting that thick goop in there but it was all or nothing) and believe it or not, the trans stopped screwing up and functioned for another year until I scrapped the car for parts.

In general you probably couldn't find anyone more skeptical of those automotive "fixes in can" they've sold forever, but on a couple of instances the Lucas stuff has actually worked for me, but only as a last resort.

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'll give it a shot, but I won't cross my fingers to much, thank you for the input.

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok, I did a Filter change and after I dropped the pan my Tranny fluid was grey with a few small Metal shavings inside the pan, but here is the weird part...

After the change, now the fluid is its normal color, no burning odor but it still will not shift from 1st gear, any ideas?

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