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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorta continued from another post, but I had it in the wrong section I think. Anyway, got a 2001 Impala 3.8 with 139,000 on it. Already had the typical work done to it... catalytic converter and o2 sensors, thermostat, intake manifold and gasket repair, and a few other things. But the transmission is now acting up.

So, it starts, drives, and shifts fine with no problems, until I get to 4th gear, or Drive. It never shifts from 3rd gear, no matter what. Tried Lucas cleaner but nothing. Took it in yesterday to have it scanned at a transmission shop, but there are no error codes. Funny part is that the computer "reports" that the car is in 1st gear... ALL the time. If it's in Park, Neutral, Reverse, or whatever, the computer thinks it is in 1st gear. This is odd because it seems like the car wouldn't even start with the computer thinking it is in 1st gear instead of Park.

Anyway, trans shop says it "could" be the relay that is inside the transmission, about 550-600 to replace. This brings up a lot of questions for me... Can I do something to reset the computer completely and then have it scanned again? Do I just have the relay replaced? Or do I just have the transmission rebuilt totally, which includes replacing the relay, because of the high mileage?
 

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A friend told me once that their is a small metal ball in the tranny of these cars that sometimes can get stuck or 'stick'.This can cause problems.

Also your cars PCM may not be controling the tranny like it should.I had this happen to me once on my old '94 B4U Caprice LS.I bought a used PCM at a salvage yard and it fixed the problem.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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sounds like your quad driver module that controls the shift went out. check your fuses with a test light and see if they all have power. I have had the similar problem but i had a fuses blow because the O2 harness had fell on the header.
 

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tell the trans shop to reset the trans adapts, and then drive it for a bit to get the trans to do a relearn. If it still shifts hard, then its most likely the pressure control solenoid
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The car is at the trans shop now, so I am waiting for a call. They have another "test" they can do, which involves another more in-depth scan. They said this one, which I have to pay for an hour of labor to have done, bypasses the relay. What they told me is, that in theory, this will see exactly what the trans is doing, rather that what the relay and/or the computer thinks it is doing. Obviously there is a difference... They are supposed to call me after the "test" is done... I will ask them about the reset, and then drive it to let it do a relearn. As far as the fuses go, which ones need to be chacked? Sorta seems like it would be acting up more that just the single gear if it were something like that though... But I guess I don't know for sure. Will post again when they call me back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Had it further inspected... It is the typical weak 4th gear issue that these transmissions have. Other gears appear to be fine, but 4th is out. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it now, if anything at all... Any suggestions, other than the $1600 cost for a rebuild? Ha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just an update, so others know that this can be done... I found a local guy who does transmission work out of his home garage, which is his business. He dropped the pan and did an inspection... He showed me the fluid and it is hardly dirty at all, so he thinks he can just replace the 4th gear assembly. He claims to have done it on several of these cars that have this same problem. He will also do the other basic stuff like replace the internal relay, sensor, and the syleniod. But he is doing all of that, with a warranty, all for $600 out the door. Will be picking up the car later today, or maybe tomorrow so I will update after that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Car is still running great with no issues at all. I have put 650 miles on it since the trans work was done. Just wanted to share with everyone because all the local trans shops I talked to said that this could not be done. Obviously, it can. But of course, it's not a full rebuild so there is a chance for another part to fail... Anyway, good luck to anyone else who encounters this same problem.
 

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damn wwd transmissions are 6th gens give us enough probs:biggrin:
 
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