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Flight Pitch/Triple Tubine Trans sticky in "low" until warm


Smartin
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What would cause the TT transmission to keep from shifting into a higher gear for a couple minutes while the car is still cold? After that, I can feel it release and the transmission feels awesome. I am just now dropping the pan to clean out the filter and replace the fluid, but so far, everything looks ok in there.

Possibly some sort of sticky valve that new fluid will hopefully loosen up? This issue just came up, and I need to get it fixed asap.

Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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Adam,

New fluid may not loosen it up, but a can of B-12 ChemTool sure will. Pour it right into the transmission filler tube, and drive the car, or even better, jack up the rear wheels and put the trans. in Drive and let it run jacked up (gets the fluid to all of the front seals & such). Then, let the rear wheels down, jack it up in the front, and let it idle and shift from P to N to D to G, etc. while front is jacked up.

Pete

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Don't be surprised if the B-12 turns the atf reallly dark, even "black". I remember some mechanics doing that on a trans before they'd do a fluid/filter change. Seemed to work well if there was any suspected varnish in the valve body.

Happy New Year!

NTX5467

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Yes, B-12 also comes in 16-ounce cans--that's what I use. Just leave it in and drive the car with it (unless it turns everything black like Willis says--I've never seen it that bad). Most of the excess liquid will evaporate off after several miles of driving, so no worry about overfilling it.

Pete

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Although I have never been a proponent of "wrenches in a can", after reading a few strings on the Buick forum I went to Advance auto Parts and bought a can of Trans X Automatic Transmission Treatment. I took my '60 Electra out and brought everything to full operating temperature. I pulled into the garage and added the stuff, took a drive around the block and the car has not suffered its morning sickness since. I'm happy and that alone says a lot. I would recommend it.

What you describe sounds like my car when I wasn't getting suction on the pump. It would slip until the pump output came up. Then you could feel in become solid and catch. It was good for the rest of the day.

The actual cause is the pump losing prime when it sits because of excess clearance in the pump impeller. I was planning a rebuild next year. Everything is fine since I poured the juice in.

Bernie

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I suspect you'll find that it'll get darker/blacker than you might ever suspect, even if it's been serviced reasonably regularly in its life. As Pete noted, the 16oz can is the "container of choice" in this case. What's in the gallon cans is different -- more carburetor soak oriented than something I'd want in my gas tank -- at least that's the way I understand it. The gallon can is more of a downsized/hobby version of the 5 gallon can of carb soak cleaner.

What's in the 16oz can is the same as what's in the spray can. A good bit of "lacquer thinner" sort of stuff. Add it to the trans, drive it a while, then get a good drain/drip change from the oil pan's removal. If the converter has a drain plug, you can drain that too. If no converter drain plug, you might want to consider doing that one change, then waiting a hundred miles or so and doing a fluid change (only, no filter, unless you just want to do the filter again) again.

As for what fluid? The current version of Dexron III, now usually marketed as "Multi-Make" atf. Read on the back of the bottle to see that the main spec it meets is Dexron III. It might not hurt to add a pint can of GM Automatic Transmission Conditioner, for good measure, or use the Valvoline MaxLife Dexron atf. Both have a little bit of "seal conditioner" and the GM item has some extra detergent in it, for good measure. I remember that when I put the GM conditioner in my '77 Camaro, with a fresh change of Dexron II (at the time), it made it shift a bit quicker than with just the GM atf alone. It ended up being as quick as the later Dexron IIE fluid for the electronic-controlled automatics. As GM has now changed to the semi-syn Dex VI, for the newer 6-speed automatics, I highly suspect no dealer will have Dex III in stock any more. Hence, your favorite brand at the auto supply of the Dex III atf.

Right now, though, the main issue is to get things freed-up internally. The "extras" can come later.

Please keep us posted on your progress (or otherwise).

NTX5467

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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=dynaflow%20low%20angle%20high%20angle&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CD4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Frestorecarsclassifieds.com%2Fwiki%2Fshow_pdf.pdf%3Fn%3D15224&ei=H8z0UMv9JcHq2AW-sIGIAg&usg=AFQjCNE-BXFhSCcO3j9DH65xlanthxjWTw&bvm=bv.41018144,d.b2I

If you are satisfied that the engine and tranny mounts/thrust pads are intact and correct, and linkages functioning correctly, the above link might help. I'm thinking that the stator is stays stuck in the low angle position and that seems to be controlled mechanically. Pressure tests always help, but are a pain.

Willie

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  • 1 year later...

I just got off the phone with Dynaflow guru Jim Hughes. He is betting on hardened seals that eventually warm up an expand, allowing the transmission to function correctly. Unfortunately, that requires his skills in replacing them. I will either pull it out when I go to Columbus this Summer and deliver it to him, or do it over this coming Winter.

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Adam: When you say it is sticking in low, do you mean (when in D) it seems to be in a low range? If so, the torque converter does all the work on this, as this has 3 turbines and two of them are 1st and 2nd range. However if the neutral clutch is not getting engaged or the forward clutch again is not getting engaged, the transmission will behave like it is in a reduction range. Think of this opposite of a typical stepper transmission. If the clutches are worn, or the annular piston o-ring seals are worn, then the transmission will do this. The seals warm up and seal enough to engage the clutches. Sounds like a rebuild might be in order. I would try some Lucas transmission stuff and see if that works. If you need a rebuild done, then have Lamar Wilkins do the job. He is on the west coast.

Also, I use type FA in my Flight pitch and works just fine.

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I just got off the phone with Dynaflow guru Jim Hughes. He is betting on hardened seals that eventually warm up an expand, allowing the transmission to function correctly. Unfortunately, that requires his skills in replacing them. I will either pull it out when I go to Columbus this Summer and deliver it to him, or do it over this coming Winter.
You may want to emphasize to Jim that you have a Flight pitch triple turbine Dynaflow, not the Variable pitch. Parts are pretty hard to find for the Flight pitch.
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  • 6 months later...

To wrap up this thread, I had the transmission rebuilt by a local guy who sourced the parts from Fatsco and Northwestern?...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

There were 2 or 3 spun/bad bushings and a couple of the bearings were completely destroyed. All new clutches and other bits...it worked like a charm when I reinstalled it. Much more crisp that it had ever been before.

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