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Ternkiem

1st Gen Transmission Issues...AGAIN

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Hey guys...I’m having issues with my auto tranny (518?). Truck is a 1993 D250 2-wheel Drive.

Here’s some background info...

My factory tranny lasted me 226k miles...freaking awesome towing up yo 18k pounds!!

So when it finally was time I figure to go the same route but...

 

This is a reman that has under well under 40k miles on it that I bought from a place just off of Hwy 18 on the West Valley Hwy probably 3-4 years ago at a cost of $3500.

I have NOT done any heavy towing since I installed this.  But now it’s giving me fits and of course it’s out of warranty.

When driving down the road it shifts super smooth my mileage is great (if I keep my foot out of it I can get 24-26 on the freeway).

The problem is...if I’m driving and need to stop and back up for whatever reason, stop briefly (like look at something on the side of the road), then go forward again it SOMETIMES does not want to do the 1-2 shift.  
To get it to shift I either need to shut the truck off and wait until the pressure bleeds down the fire it back up again OR...

I need to put my foot to the floor.  Then of course the pressure will build and it will SLAM into the upshift.

i changed the fluid and filter last weekend and there was so much filings I couldn’t even see the magnet...I mean it was nearly a 1/8” thick glob of filings!!

 

Now...I understand that I’m probably looking at a rebuild 🤦🏻‍♂️ but is this something I can do myself (unless it requires special tools I have most mechanics tools already) or do I absolutely have to get it done by a shop?  
I only have like $2000 to get it done so I’m looking for advise and maybe sone assistance?

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The stuff on the magnet was is really fine or course like drill shavings? I would not be at all surprised to not be able to see the magnet as long as it's fines and not chunks.
I am trying to remember what all we did to Terry's first gen auto? I would think a line pressure issue would be an easy fix.
Mark Smith knows much more about these than I have forgot

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Really fine stuff...like face powder fine.

 

How do I tell what model the tranny is?

Edited by Ternkiem

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Not shifting into 2nd can be as simple as a worn accumulator piston in the bore. The fine stuff shouldn’t be that deep in bottom. A layer that you can make finger marks in is normal, but ability to pile up is not. 
 

Pull the valve body and replace the accumulator piston with a no leak style. See where that lands you. If it’s not that, the apply piston may be getting cocked in the bore and sticking. 
 

Factory rebuild parts aren’t too expensive for your truck. If you don’t put big pieces through the converter, you shouldn’t need to buy new. Just the clutches and steels. Only special part is a press to take apart the overdrive housing. You’ll need a specific tool to allow you to press it and remove a snap ring, with enough stroke to let the load off the spring. 
 

If you have a press, I have the special tool I’d let you borrow. Rest is just paying attention and reading dial indicators, calipers and competent use of feeler gauges. 
 

If you’re thinking of more, see what valve body mods your builder used. If stock, Transgo shift kit is a must. 

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10 hours ago, marksmith said:

Not shifting into 2nd can be as simple as a worn accumulator piston in the bore. The fine stuff shouldn’t be that deep in bottom. A layer that you can make finger marks in is normal, but ability to pile up is not. 
 

Pull the valve body and replace the accumulator piston with a no leak style. See where that lands you. If it’s not that, the apply piston may be getting cocked in the bore and sticking. 
 

Factory rebuild parts aren’t too expensive for your truck. If you don’t put big pieces through the converter, you shouldn’t need to buy new. Just the clutches and steels. Only special part is a press to take apart the overdrive housing. You’ll need a specific tool to allow you to press it and remove a snap ring, with enough stroke to let the load off the spring. 
 

If you have a press, I have the special tool I’d let you borrow. Rest is just paying attention and reading dial indicators, calipers and competent use of feeler gauges. 
 

If you’re thinking of more, see what valve body mods your builder used. If stock, Transgo shift kit is a must. 

 

The sure cure kit from transgo correct? 

and a billet accumulator piston? 

I wasn't sure if I was confusing the first gen trans with a second gen. 

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I certainly don't know as much as the two Mark's above when it comes to auto trannys but I agree completely with their advice. i would try a Transgo shift kit and billet accumulator piston before taking it to a shop for a rebuild. The issues you are describing do not warrant a full rebuild or replacement IMHO. The build up on the magnet would be a concern of mine either... completely normal.

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5 hours ago, Torque Monkey said:

I certainly don't know as much as the two Mark's above when it comes to auto trannys but I agree completely with their advice. i would try a Transgo shift kit and billet accumulator piston before taking it to a shop for a rebuild. The issues you are describing do not warrant a full rebuild or replacement IMHO. The build up on the magnet would be a concern of mine either... completely normal.

 

The buildup would not be a concern 

I am sure that's what you were saying just wanted to clarify  

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6 minutes ago, HOSS said:

 

The buildup would not be a concern 

I am sure that's what you were saying just wanted to clarify  


That is correct. My day started on almost Hoss time. I’m not in my right mind...

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20 hours ago, marksmith said:

Not shifting into 2nd can be as simple as a worn accumulator piston in the bore. The fine stuff shouldn’t be that deep in bottom. A layer that you can make finger marks in is normal, but ability to pile up is not. 
 

Pull the valve body and replace the accumulator piston with a no leak style. See where that lands you. If it’s not that, the apply piston may be getting cocked in the bore and sticking. 
 

Factory rebuild parts aren’t too expensive for your truck. If you don’t put big pieces through the converter, you shouldn’t need to buy new. Just the clutches and steels. Only special part is a press to take apart the overdrive housing. You’ll need a specific tool to allow you to press it and remove a snap ring, with enough stroke to let the load off the spring. 
 

If you have a press, I have the special tool I’d let you borrow. Rest is just paying attention and reading dial indicators, calipers and competent use of feeler gauges. 
 

If you’re thinking of more, see what valve body mods your builder used. If stock, Transgo shift kit is a must. 
 

Mark Smith...clutches and steels?
I thought this 1st gen had bands?  🤷🏻‍♂️

When I bought this tranny I asked for a heavy duty one.  And an ULTRA-Low stall torque converter (for better mileage).  I went through 3 others from them before they just ended up building the converter.  Since the tranny went in I had other motor issues (leaking head gasket, etc.) and a bad injector pump.  When my mechanic did the repairs he recommended I install a performance pump and injectors...so I did.  He says I’m still only at MAYBE 250 hp.  But that is the grand total of my mods.

 

Anyway...about all I know on my tranny is that it’s supposed to be heavy duty I guess that has something to do with the valve body assembly? And the converter like I said is an ULTRA-low stall and No Lockup.
 

Can you tell I know almost enough to be dangerous? 😆
 

I'm ok with this shift kit and billet accumulator piston...how would you keep that apply piston from sticking?

 

 

I can already see this is gonna be a fun job with this torn rotator cuff...WooHoo!

 

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You have one band. It controls second gear. Not shifting to second is accumulator piston or apply piston bypassing. Rest of trans is clutch packs. 

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marksmith...how do I tell if I have a 618, a 47RH, or a 47RE?

I believe it’s supposed to be an RH for 1993.

Edited by Ternkiem

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RH/RE is lockup version

 

618 is OD version of 727. Some reason I was thinking it is 518 though. 

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Most auto 1st gens (all I know of that were not swapped to a lock-up version) had the A518 transmission.  They were non-lockup.  If it has the lockup version, then that most likely would have been changed in the first swap.

Edited by carl20320

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So...what are some obvious visual identifiers to look for so I can determine which tranny I have?

Edited by Ternkiem

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Stock units are in fact A518 transmissions. Can’t find literature on a 618. 
 

As long as it’s a stock, overdrive trans, it’s what’s under there. 

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First gen has no lockup. It would be nice if they had the same style TQ as the 2nd gens do,but no such luck.

You got really good life out of your first tranny in that truck. Sorry the replacement is giving you fits.

The boys here will get you on the right track.Just follow  their Guidance , they won’t lead you astray.

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So...I just got off the phone with TRC (the place I bought the tranny from).

What they sold me was a 47RH (Heavy Duty...whatever that involves) with a NON-LOCKUP converter.  The even had the special note that this was a custom built Ultra-low stall at my request.  Purchased in 2012.

 

Now that I know what I have...I have other questions for you all.


Other than this issue, which again only happens occasionally after going in reverse, and I need this truck...can I continue to drive it while I look for another tranny and rebuild it.  
Or is this actually a pretty easy 1-2 day job I can do with it installed on the truck?  
Yeah...I know things like this are always easier on a bench but I’m 1 guy with a torn rotator cuff so the  R & R would be really rough on me and marksmith makes this sound like a pretty simple fix.


Either way I’m gonna start looking for parts or another RH to build next week.

Edited by Ternkiem

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If the trans shifts tight no slipping then it’s valve body issue and rebuild won’t help either have valve body rebuilt by a shop or exchange for rebuilt/ performance and the other upgrades while it’s out. Beings it’s RH it’s all hydraulic controlled shifts no computer input except overdrive 

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A non lockup 47rh?????
Why the heck would they even do that? I realize that getting the lockup converter to work is a pain unless you do a mystery switch (a button to lock the converter) I put a 47rh in a friend's 93 and when he decided he needed the lockup to be automatic not on a switch I had to turn it over to Diesel outfitters to complete because figuring out the electronics to make the lockup and overdrive work was outside my paygrade. It works great to this day several years later. I would seriously consider making the transmission perform as it was designed to. Give Mike a call and ask him what it would take to make the lockup work.

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On 5/21/2020 at 6:54 PM, marksmith said:

RH/RE is lockup version

 

618 is OD version of 727. Some reason I was thinking it is 518 though. 

The rh has three wires on second plug on the top the re has multiple. The rh was 95 and older the re was 96 and newer the 94 to 95 version was rh with lockup torque converter. 
it’s possible you have the 518 with 618 internal heavy duty clutch packs stronger parts

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On 5/21/2020 at 6:05 AM, HOSS said:

 

The sure cure kit from transgo correct? 

and a billet accumulator piston? 

I wasn't sure if I was confusing the first gen trans with a second gen. 


So,are you going to go the cheaper easier route first to see if that’s all that was needed ?

If it was my time and money I would take the advice of the people here who have experience with these 

beasts. I hate to waste money reinventing the wheel if there’s an easier way to fix things right.

I also have torn up rotators,but in both shoulders. A real pain when under a truck in awkward places.

 

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16 hours ago, HOSS said:

A non lockup 47rh?????
Why the heck would they even do that? I realize that getting the lockup converter to work is a pain unless you do a mystery switch (a button to lock the converter) I put a 47rh in a friend's 93 and when he decided he needed the lockup to be automatic not on a switch I had to turn it over to Diesel outfitters to complete because figuring out the electronics to make the lockup and overdrive work was outside my paygrade. It works great to this day several years later. I would seriously consider making the transmission perform as it was designed to. Give Mike a call and ask him what it would take to make the lockup work.


We set That truck up with a couple pressure switches that are adjustable, connected to the line pressure. By doing that you can adjust what speed the OD was shifted and then when the torque converter locked. There was some electrical circuits built into as well to lock out OD IIRC. Interestingly enough, the A518 removed From that 93 is the one that is now in the Rat. I bought the tranny from the owner of the 93. It’s OD is also controlled by a pressure switch with a lock out switch. It isn’t hard to do but it takes some time to get the switches adjusted properly.

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