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Discussion Starter #1
(Long post, but if you don't mind reading it all I'd appreciate it. Thank you all in advance for the help.)

My van has been causing me problems when I drive it while it's raining. The transmission doesn't shift correctly while the gear selector is in OD. When it tries to shift from 3rd to 4th the engine revs and the transmission kicks in and out of 4th gear. I have codes P0700, and P0734. I've adjusted the shift linkage several times since the bolt only has a flat washer, and seems to slide through the notch on the linkage. Why the bolt was like that I don't know. I have replaced it with a longer bolt, and star washer, coming up from the bottom, and a keep nut on the top to stop the linkage from moving when it shouldn't. The van shifts fine if I shift it manually, except for OD, and shifts fine while in D. I've also noticed that the starter doesn't want to do anything when it's cold outside the first few times I try to start it, and the finally works and starts the van up (mostly I've noticed this in the morning after it's either snowed over night, or after driving in the snow and parking it over night). I've also had a #5 cylinder misfire while driving in the rain, but runs fine any other time. The battery is brand new, and the alternator is working correctly. I haven't noticed any issues with the van when it's dry out, and the pavement is dry. All of these seem to be due to an electrical issue, since it only happens while it's raining. Has anyone else experienced any, or all, of these problems while drinking in the rain? If so, can you help point me in the right direction for where the electrical issue(s) may be? My first thought was to remove the entire wiring harness from under the hood, and going through the entire thing checking every wire for any breaks, wear, corrosion, melted wires, or broken connectors. I'd rather not go that extreme if I don't need to, so any suggestions you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
 

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There is a large harness that runs across/around the front of the transmission, and hangs down by the pan. The battery is also right above it, so could have contributed to corrosion. My sister's 97 T&C once had a problem with it and my dad fixed it, so not sure exactly what went wrong. Since the cable for the starter also runs down along that same area, it coincides with the other issues you're having so may be the best area to start looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can't seem to get any pics to post, so I'll try to describe what I was trying to post in hopes that someone can help with each of my questions.
1. There's what looks like a support arm coming from the firewall? to the back of the engine block, towards the firewall side of the rear of the block, that is supposed to have a bolt in it. Apparently, someone removed this bolt at some point before I bought the van and didn't replace it. Can anyone tell me what size bolt I need to replace it with? If possible, can someone remove their bolt, and measure the size, thread pitch, and length, for me, please?
2. I unbolted the plug on the solenoid pack, and inside the connector is wet (possibly transmission fluid?). Is this normal? I also noticed what appears to be fluid around where the solenoid pack bolts to the transmission. Is it common for this plug to get transmission fluid in it, or the solenoid pack to leak where the gasket goes? Should I replace the solenoid pack and gasket, or just try a new gasket first? Is there a way to test the resistance of each solenoid to see if they're still good before I spend the money to replace the solenoid pack? I haven't been able to find any resistance values to use as a reference, or a pinout for each of the solenoids, to use to test them to see if they're still withing factory tolerances. I do know applying voltage directly to them will destroy them, or so I've read elsewhere, since they use a PWM voltage to control each of them.
3. While removing the battery tray, I noticed two vacuum lines connecting it to the cruise control servo. I was able to pull one of them off, but the other one broke the plastic nipple off with it. Is there an easy fix for this? My cruise control hasn't work as long as I've owned the van, but that's the least of my worries right now. I need to get the transmission shifting properly before fixing anything else. (I can drive without cruise control, but not with a transmission that doesn't shift correctly or at all.) Just wondered if there's another option to fix this, other than trying to locate another battery tray.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update.
The van drives, and shifts, like there's nothing wrong with it as long as I have it in Drive. It'll shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd just like it should, and downshifts just like it should. No problems with reverse gear either. However, if I put it in OD and drive, when it goes to shift from 3rd to 4th the rpms go up before slipping into and out of 4th gear, then the check engine light will come on and it goes into limp mode. If I shut the van off and put it into D rather than OD it goes back to shifting like there's no problem at all. Has anyone else had the same experience as I am? If so, what was the problem that needed fixed? I would like to test the solenoid pack, but I'm not sure how to check it. I'm assuming that's the problem, unless it's actually 4th gear in the transmission that went bad. Does anyone have the steps to check the solenoid pack? I don't want to replace it before testing it, that way I'm not throwing money at the wrong problem if it's an internal problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I looked at my dash this morning, and realized what I was calling OD is actually D and what I was calling D is 3rd. So, if I leave it in 3rd it shifts fine through all 3 gears both up and down. It's when I put it D is when I have problems with the transmission when it tries to shift from 3rd to 4th. That's when the Service Engine Soon light comes on, and it goes into limp mode. Just wanted to clarify that in case I confused anyone with my other posts.
 
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