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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
{peace}Question?...has anyone any advice on what to check on these trans; symptom as follows...will not shift out of 2nd gear unless hard on gas and high rpm..(3000/4000)..same when coming from 1st to 2nd. shifts better when warmer outside air temp, but stays in 2nd it seems. truck is a 90 RC, 318, A-518 trans, 31x12.5x15 tires. all opinions welcome. Thanks...G
 

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Have you checked the kickdown linkage, might be loose. A fluid/filter change can help as well..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, I have yet to do any of the mentioned so far as this only recently started and it's been colder than H***...being that I have no garage or funds to pay a shop to do this yet.
Hopefully I will get a chance to do a fluid/ filter change before the snow falls. This RC has 208,000 on it and is the original trans that I am aware of; I did replace the radiator a few ago, Noticed it had the trans cooler packed between the condenser and frontside of radiator...Is this a normal factory setup as part of a tow package option?

Also which is better?, having the trans fluid run thru the radiator then out to the cooler or just straight to the cooler....I plow with this truck (first year of this)....G
 

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My 90 RC came with the tranny cooler. The window sticker doesn't list it as having a tow package, and it shows it in the fsm, too.

I'm not sure on the routing of the cooler lines. I'm planning on replacing rad next spring (I have a brand new one in my 84-has about 500 miles on it). When I replace it, I was just going to leave them the stock way. There's a diagram in the fsm that shows the proper routing.

Ted
 

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The best way to add additional cooling is to plumb in a cooler into the return line to the transmission. That way, any cooling that didn't occur by passing through the cooler in the bottom of the radiator, will be helped by the additional cooler. As far as your symptoms go.....I'd check the kickdown adjustment. Mine is a '90 RC with 144k on it and the kickdown linkage corrodes and binds once in awhile, (I lube it up real good with WD-40), giving me similiar but not as bad of symptoms that you describe, however with 208K on yours.....It may be trying to tell you something too...Mine straightens right out and acts right after I free the linkage up. Doesn't sound like it owes you anything at this point! Good luck!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update.....Well I spent 4 hours this eve on the floor in a semi-heated garage, attempting to inspect/change the fluid/filter; I have to say what a friggen hassle it was! all to no evail...everything looked fine, filter was clean pan was not all gunked up, minor shavings in the bottom(normal I presume for the mileage)and the fluid was just peachy(not burnt or dark)changed out the filter and fluids; buttoned it all back up...did not mess with a band adjustment as I was tired of swimming in fluid.

Dave...you might have a point to the kickdown linkage advice...I do notice that the trans does not want to downshift when the pedal is mashed...maybe it got out of whack when I added the body lift..dunno how though really, but I'll try anything at this time....I have a Haneys for the RC..but I have to say "It Sucks" as far as being detailed goes :mad:...Maybe it is the VSS, or one of the solediods in the trans itself? or a vacuum diaghram solediod(wherever that is)

And what the H*** is the ISC they refer to for this year of truck
in the adjustment of throttle linkage section ???.

I can tear apart and put together engines but tranny's "I have no clue"....thanks all for all the help thus far....G {wave}
 

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I am by no means a tranny guy, but I was just looking at the trouble diagnosis chart in my 90 fsm. If the kickdown band is out of adjustment or the throttle linkage is not adjusted correctly, it will cause a delayed or hardup shift. There are other reasons as well, but they have to do with internal parts being broken or worn out.

ISC is the idle speed control. It's mounted on the throttle body. In layman's terms, it adjusts the idle depending on what is happening on the truck (like if the a/c is on). I know there's people here who are much better at describing things, so I'll leave it to them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cooper30 said:
I am by no means a tranny guy, but I was just looking at the trouble diagnosis chart in my 90 fsm. If the kickdown band is out of adjustment or the throttle linkage is not adjusted correctly, it will cause a delayed or hardup shift. There are other reasons as well, but they have to do with internal parts being broken or worn out.

ISC is the idle speed control. It's mounted on the throttle body. In layman's terms, it adjusts the idle depending on what is happening on the truck (like if the a/c is on). I know there's people here who are much better at describing things, so I'll leave it to them. :)
Sheesh...I should have figured that one out :mad: Turns out I finally broke down and on whim checked for codes; although the check engine light has never flagged me..found it has a code #37 in it...part throttle solenoid lock/unlock...yadda...any ideas if this is a simple fixw/out having to pull the pan again?....and where did you get your fsm?....thanks....G
 

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No idea about the code, but if you put a body lift on and didn't adjust or add to the linkage, thats something that needs to get adjusted properly.
 

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your code is normal, so dont worry about it. I have a 90 w100 long bed, with the 318/A518 combo, and mine does the same thing. I took a code reader to it, flashed the computer, still there. Looked for it on the trans itself, and its not there at all. So you dont have one, dont need one, so dont worry about that. The body lift could have done it. My friends truck did the same thing when he put a body lift on his truck which was an 88. But check that linkage...could be the problem.

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK folks ....talk about weird (then again)...I went plowing last night as we got about 6in. or so....since you rarely get out of first and based on prior plowing w/ same prob and not finding damage in the pan or fluid. For some odd reason the RC seemed to have corrected itself or whatever caused the delay in shifts has unstuck?...but either way it seems to be shifting as it should now.

On a sidebar...when I added my body lift; I did indeed have to extend the linkage so I had a goood welder add a length to it and the RC was acting fine after that as far as shifting goes.

So....cross your fingers and hold your breath, hope this is all good for now or just a sign of worse things to come, either way I feel somewhat better..too bad it was not summer year round, cuz I would rather drive the 72Charger, versus the RC..seriously it is a Beast of a truck...not an eyesore or anything like that but BIG, RED, beastly tough...thanks all...G
 
G

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I think the problem is related to seals inside the transmission. These seals lose pliability in an old transmission, and when cold weather comes they tend to get very hard and fluid blows by them, causing a delayed/harsh upshift, or none at all. This was told to me by a local tranny tech. I have noticed that is is very common to high mileage dodges on very cold days. I would change the fluid and filter asap, and add some seal conditioner like Trans-X
 

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I've read some scary stuff about improper kickdown linkage adjustment or it being just left off. I just swapped the burnt-up lock-up A999 trans with a A904. I've been doing this in the middle of winter, on my back freezing to death outside. What's the proper procedure for adjusting the kickdown linkage??? `88 Dodge 1/2 318
 

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There is actually a Kick-down adjustment procedure in the Dodge shop manual, however, I've always discarded the spring and slowly started increasing the stroke, (Moving the kick down rod towards the front of the truck), about 1/8" at a time and test driving it until it shifted like I like it to.

This adjustment will cause the trans to shift too early and can also cause it to hang in a gear too long and cause the trans to shift excessively hard. Make the adjustments small until it feels like you like it. Don't over-tighten the clamp bolt on the K-rod as it will break off, or the block will split. I'd lube everything up a day ahead of time to loosen it up, first.

I've also found that on my '90 RC A518, after it sits for a week or so, the kickdown linkage gets stiff, (binds and hangs up), causing a noticeable difference, especially in the winter. WD-40 keeps it moving freely.

Dave
 

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G3NMAN said:
{peace}Question?...has anyone any advice on what to check on these trans; symptom as follows...will not shift out of 2nd gear unless hard on gas and high rpm..(3000/4000)..same when coming from 1st to 2nd. shifts better when warmer outside air temp, but stays in 2nd it seems. truck is a 90 RC, 318, A-518 trans, 31x12.5x15 tires. all opinions welcome. Thanks...G
Forgot to mention the most important point......If you have installed a body lift, (2-3"), the kickdown rod is now possibly contacting the firewall during its travel. I had to take mine off of the truck, heat the bends and re-form it so it would accomplish the full range of travel without hitting. I had it on and off of the truck 3 times during this process. Additionally, it restores "length" to the rod, which allows for more adjustment.

Dave
 
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