Transmission - Works and shifts in drive - does NOT work in reverse



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Thread: Transmission - Works and shifts in drive - does NOT work in reverse

  1. #1
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    Transmission - Works and shifts in drive - does NOT work in reverse

    Today I was put into a situation entering a parking garage. The gate arm wouldn't open. The nose of my 1999 Grand Voyager 3.3 Flex van was pointed down the entrance ramp.

    I placed the transmission in reverse and applied the throttle to back out of the entrance (to reverse going uphill). I was rewarded with smoke coming out of the driver side wheel well and NO rearward movement. The van did shudder a bit before the smoke.

    A maintenance person got the gate working and I was able to drive the van down into the garage. I parked it and took care of my business. When I was leaving I started the van and placed it in reverse no movement. The tach RPMs did not drop like they had a load.

    I physically pushed the van out of the parking space (flat surface) and then placed it in drive and drove up the ramp with no problems. I drove on the highway at 60 mph on the way home and it seemed normal. No warning lights have come on no check engine.

    I get home and put the shifter in reverse no movement.

    There is handwriting on the trans case indicating a date and mileage of the rebuild. It was rebuilt in 2007 with 115,000 miles on the van. It now has 150,800 miles. Im the 3rd owner.

    27 years ago I was a trained auto tech. I surmise that a reverse band has failed. Ive read some threads here about changing the solenoid pack but Im pretty sure that is not the cause.

    I'm eager to hear any opinions or experiences from fellow minivan owners. Thanks.

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    My buddy's 01 lost reverse and he had to get a new tranny. It still drove forward with no problem.
    01 Dodge Grand Caravan (Sport) 3.3
    New tranny at 99,650 miles
    Currently 123,000 miles

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    These transmissions lose reverse gear first when they are low on fluid. I'm going to speculate that you were low on fluid, reverse partially engaged but couldn't hold, and you gave it gas and just burnt out reverse. There are NO bands in these trannies, just clutch packs. Since reverse still doesn't work, it's replace/rebuild time. Would've been easier to check the fluid level first. Sorry that happened to you, but live and learn.
    DAN(husband of member STEPHANIE)

    2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited - Dark Charcoal Metallic with chrome trim, taupe leather interior, loaded. In need of rust repair on rockers and liftgate. Now enjoying the new family mommy-mobile!

    Knowledge can never be wisdom without experience.
    "Your experience is a commodity."
    "Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor."
    DRIVE = LOVE

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    Yeah a solenoid pack is not going to cause to you lose reverse... time for a transmission (no bands in these transmissions). Or press your luck and see how long you can last. I know one person that has not had reverse for 6 months now in their Saturn. You just have to watch how you park...
    Jeff
    http://www.facebook.com/eddie.munster
    Current:
    2007 Grand Caravan/3.8L V6/103K mi/original 41TE
    2006 300C/5.7L HEMI V8/128/K mi/original W5A580
    2002 PT Cruiser/2.4L I4/139K mi/original 40TE
    1992 S-10/4.3L V6/249K mi/original 4L60E
    Previous minivans:
    1997 Grand Voyager SE/traded@192K mi/3.3L V6/original 41TE
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport/3.8L V6/traded@124K mi/original 41TE
    2007 T&C/3.8L V6/traded@44K mi/ original 41TE
    2010 T&C Touring/3.8L V6/the ex's@72K mi/original 62TE

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgbat View Post
    Yeah a solenoid pack is not going to cause to you lose reverse... time for a transmission (no bands in these transmissions). Or press your luck and see how long you can last. I know one person that has not had reverse for 6 months now in their Saturn. You just have to watch how you park...
    What Jeff said. No bands, most likely smoked clutches. A neighbor of mine has been driving his Ram for a year and a half with a busted reverse band. He pulls in his driveway and coasts out into the street.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

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    I had changed the radiator, water pump, radiator hoses and Mopar transmission cooler lines (cooler lines were spotless inside when installed) on the June 25-26 weekend. I’ve been checking fluid levels, including transmission, frequently as air gets purged out of the cooling system.

    I thought the steep incline was why the van wouldn’t move in reverse so yes, more gas - then failure. I live in SE Texas – it is very flat here. The only hills are man made. I checked the trans fluid level immediately after I got the van parked in the garage – level was still fine. I would believe that the transmission experienced a temporary low fluid-like condition due to the pump inlet port being exposed to air due to the steep incline. (Just thinking out loud/guessing here). It could also be that the previous owner let it get low on fluid and a pre-existing worn clutch pack condition was already there – unknown to me.

    Thank for the insight on the clutch packs vs. bands in these transmissions. It’s been a long time since I was in an automatic transmission class.

    I put 60 miles on the van last night. If it was going to leave me stranded I wanted to find out then. It drives fine other than reverse.

    At the moment I plan to take it to these guys. They have about the best reputation of any trans shop in SE Texas. I suspect the cost will be in the $2500 range – what I paid for the van.
    http://www.circledtrans.com/index.php

    Until then, I definitely have to choose my parking spots strategically!
    Last edited by MOSDAUMD; 07-01-2011 at 11:47 AM.

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    You used ATF+4 fluid, right?

    If it is just burnt clutches, someone mechanically inclined could probably rebuild the tranny. My dad rebuilt the one in their 94 Caravan, and he is a retired bodyman. He's had no mechanical training, just life experience.

    So the level WAS good. You may be right about the incline being too great. That's a good thing for the rest of us to be aware of, thanks!

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