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Dreaded AT delayed forward engagement


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 09:26 AM

I have a 99 AT OBW with delayed forward engagement. It sometimes/often won't go into drive quickly after shifting from reverse. The problem has gotten really bad the last couple of weeks. Sometimes, I have to rev the motor slightly several times to get the trany to engage. I added a little ATF to slightly over fill status, that hasn't helped. Otherwise the trany performs well. I changed the trany fluid several times last summer. The car has 160K on the odo.

The 99s have been written up repeatedly with this problem. One writer posted a tech bulletin from ATRA saying two common causes for this problem is a faulty low clutch timing solenoid, or shrunken or worn low clutch outer piston seal.

I have never worked on a trany other than to change fluid. Are the above two causes something that I can work on with my car in my driveway with the car lifted on drive up ramps, and the tranny pan pulled? If not, I would appreciate any advise on how best to address this problem. Thanks!

#2 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:29 AM

your options are to try a concoction of fluids....an additive so to speak. you can search for options. this seems to help some people. or have the trans pulled and rebuilt. a friend with a 99 Legacy GT had hers done by a family friend last summer for $900 (but that may have included other work too as she had other problems...like the 99 speedo issue as well). he's a retired transmission rebuilder.

there's really nothing you can do that's easy. the "easiest" way to repair it would be to swap in another transmission. i think i'd go with a non-1999 trans if possible.

when i was searching for info for the friend i mentioned above i ran across a thread of a guy who did the "concoction fix" a few years ago. i contacted him and he said the car did noticeably better for 3 years up until he got rid of it and he never had to get it fixed. so that seems like a reasonable try.

#3 johnceggleston

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:45 AM

i think i'd go with a non-1999 trans if possible.


the 99s with this problem were the first of the phase 2 trans (different connector from phase 1 ), i think. so you'll want to go '00 and later, but stay close to your year. i'm not familiar wit hwhich ones will work and which ones won't and i doubt man,y if any, salvage yards will guess.

#4 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:48 AM

when i was searching for info for the friend i mentioned above i ran across a thread of a guy who did the "concoction fix" a few years ago. i contacted him and he said the car did noticeably better for 3 years up until he got rid of it and he never had to get it fixed. so that seems like a reasonable try.[/QUOTE]


Does your friend remember the ingredients and ratio amounts of the "concoctuin fix?" Maybe, I will give that a try!

I added some Lucas trany fix last Fall. That maybe helped a little for a while, but not anymore.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:58 AM

my friend didn't try the concoction she just decided to have it fixed by the transmission guy.

the concoction guy was a member of this board that i contacted who had done it a few years ago. you can search the board and find a few ingredients and different suggestions. i wouldn't say there's *one* way or even a *typical* way to deal with it, there's just not enough experience to say emphatically that one is better than all other possibilities. read the suggestions, try the internet as a search and start there.

#6 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 12:02 PM

my friend didn't try the concoction she just decided to have it fixed by the transmission guy.

the concoction guy was a member of this board that i contacted who had done it a few years ago. you can search the board and find a few ingredients and different suggestions. i wouldn't say there's *one* way or even a *typical* way to deal with it, there's just not enough experience to say emphatically that one is better than all other possibilities. read the suggestions, try the internet as a search and start there.



Thanks, I will do that.

#7 bdecriscio

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:59 PM

Thanks, I will do that.

Hi All, I'm the concoction guy that Grossgary mentioned and unfortunatly I didn't do anything other than what you have already done, that is multiple fluid changes and a bottle of the Lucas transmission fix. I will add that my multiple fluid changes by the drain and fill method were preceeded by a power flush at a garage not too long before my experiment. Another member had posted that it did indeed take a number of attempts at fluid replacement before he had sucess, which prompted my efforts . I still have the car 99 Outback wagon and although I'm dealing with other issues caused by a horrible head gasket job, the delayed engagement problem has never returned. Good luck if you try the fuid change route. Bob
P.S. I did drop and reuse the external filter and also started the car briefly with the fluid out to spin a little extra fluid out of the torque converter(probably dumb but I did get almost 10 qts. of fluid out)

#8 nipper

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 03:41 PM

I have been told that this is repairable, and a 600.00 repair. That was on the outback board, but maybe that guys shop is the only person i have ever heard of fixing it. There is also a related thread on here about it.

nipper

#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:41 PM

I have been told that this is repairable, and a 600.00 repair. That was on the outback board, but maybe that guys shop is the only person i have ever heard of fixing it. There is also a related thread on here about it.

nipper


my memory of the related thread is that the problem was a bad seal... o-ring maybe. the thread was very specific.

would a fluid "designed" to enhance, improve, renew seals be a possible additive? or are they just bunk?

#10 nipper

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:44 PM

my memory of the related thread is that the problem was a bad seal... o-ring maybe. the thread was very specific.

would a fluid "designed" to enhance, improve, renew seals be a possible additive? or are they just bunk?


The problem is that this seal shrinks. Additives are meant to swell seals that are the proper side to begin with.

i look at it this way, when you have tried everything else, you are staring down the barrel of a major repair bill, a little additive can't make it worse.

At best it will avoid the inevetable, at worst nothing will happen.

nipper

#11 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:50 PM

Hi All, I'm the concoction guy that Grossgary mentioned

GREAT! thanks a bunch bob for piping up and letting us know the details, that's great!

#12 Rooster2

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 11:25 AM

Thanks guys for all the thoughts and advise. I did a search on this forum, but could not find what others have used as a "cocktail" to solve my trany delayed forward engagement. I did not see any response that it is a simple matter of dropping the pan to replace a low clutch timing solenoid, or shrunken or worn low clutch outer piston seal. So, it is my assumption that the trany has to be removed from the car, and bench torn down to replace those items.

I guess that leaves me with either replacing the trany with one from a wrecking yard, or the "bandaid" approach of changing ATF fluid and filter, and adding fresh ATF and cocktail additives in hopes of helping the problem.

Since it is now just a PIA problem, as the trany performs perfectly once moving. I will do the bandaid approach for now. I know I have to do something. More than once, I have wondered if the car was going to get me home, when I have had to wait 20 or 30 seconds to get the car to engage in "D" when stopped.




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