1985 Chrysler 5th Avenue Car will not go in reverse!

Tiny
ALEXTRUBEK
  • MEMBER
  • 1985 CHRYSLER 5TH AVENUE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I had a trans fluid leak, so I changed the filter and trans pan gasket, refilled with fluid, and everything was fine for that day. Next day, when I first cranked up, the trans was a little slippery, but straightened up when the car warmed up more. Next day, hadnt cranked up or driven all day long, and now the trans fluid stick is reading no fluid, and it wont go in reverse! I dont see a pool of trans fluid under the car! What could possibly be wrong? Im completely stumped.
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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 AT 9:35 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No idea what "slippery" means. A common cause of no reverse is a broken low / reverse band, however, given the history, it sounds like the fluid is low. If you didn't drain the torque converter, it should have taken about four quarts to refill after removing the pan. Inspect the bottom and rear of the transmission for leaks. You won't have a puddle if it doesn't leak until the engine is running. If you can't find a reason for the low fluid level, check the coolant in the radiator. If the fluid looks like brown mud, the internal transmission cooler is leaking.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 3:24 AM
Tiny
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When I say slippery I mean it kinda slips out of accelerating when the car is changing gears the first time at about 20-35mph I think? And when I changer the trans gasket and filter, the only thing I drained was the fluid from the pan with all the bolts in it. Im not sure if thats the torque converter or not, but that was the only thing I drained. Coolant looks fine though. Nothing abnormal looking about it. And if the fluid is only leaking when I drive, what could cause that? IF that is the case, because I have NO idea whats going on!
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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 8:47 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Did it take about 4 quarts to fill the fluid? Double-check the level after the engine is warmed up, you run the gear shift lever through all the gears, and end up in park or neutral. Fluid will splash up onto the dipstick, so wipe it off before putting it back in to check the level. The fluid should be bright red. If it is pink and foamy, air is being sucked up around the filter. Air compresses and will prevent the clutch packs from fully applying. Slippage under load or upshifts will result.

To drain the torque converter requires removing the front inspection cover to get to the drain plug. Since the mid to late '70s most converters no longer have drain plugs. If you had drained it, it would have taken nine quarts to refill the transmission.

Besides low fluid, engine runaway during upshifts can be caused by a missing filter gasket or the filter is mispositioned or loose, or the kickdown (throttle pressure) linkage became disconnected. A big clue that the linkage is disconnected is it will always upshift at exactly the same speed regardless whether you're slowly speeding up or are under heavy acceleration. Watch that lever above the gear shift lever on the left side of the transmission. It should move rearward when a helper presses the gas pedal down.

Some fluid can leak from the pan gasket when the engine is off because fluid will run down from the clutches and fill the pan higher than the lip. Aerated fluid can make its way up to the vent and leak out, but that will only happen when the engine is running. The fluid will appear in the front of the transmission. Fluid can also leak from the rear of the tail shaft where the drive shaft comes out, but it's not under pressure there. Only a little fluid will leak out of that seal after the engine is turned off. It will just leave a small spot on the ground, but once the engine is started, fluid will work its way back there and start to leak again. You should see wetness there too if that's the cause of a leak.

Did this trouble start after you replaced the filter, or were you trying to solve an existing problem?

Caradiodoc

caradiodoc
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 1:47 AM
Tiny
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I was attempting to fix and existing problem. One of my friends who is current;y going to school for automotive tech said it may be a front seal leak, cause ive noticed it only leaks when the car is in gear. Like in reverse, or drive or nuetral. So all my fluid is leaking out as im driving it. Thats why I havent noticed any big puddles over night or when I park somewhere. Trying to get a good estimate to possibly fix it for good now. And its not leaking anywhere around the pan, as far as I can see anyway.
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Front pump seal should leak in park too, anytime the engine is running. Fluid will be dripping from the front inspection cover. You might look at the two cooler lines going to the radiator too. There's not much pressure in them; it's lowest in park. The rear seal will also leak when driving, but not as fast when you're standing still. Fluid isn't under pressure there; it has to splash up there as you drive. Even if it only leaks when driving, you should be able to see the evidence when you crawl underneath. The alternative is to strap yourself under the car while someone else drives it. I recommend someone you can trust to avoid pot holes!

Caradiodoc
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Friday, January 15th, 2010 AT 2:43 AM
Tiny
ALEXTRUBEK
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Finally got back to working on the car and there was a leak in the hose that runs trans fluid somewhere by the radiator area. Running smooth again! Thanx everyone for the input!
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 9:09 AM

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