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First Generation Legend (1986-1990) Discuss the 1st Generation Honda/Acura Legend (US 8

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Old 04-25-06, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can't Shift Past 2nd Gear - AT Tranny

Hello all, I'm having problems with my AT tranny and I'm not sure what's causing it. The car does not seem to want to shift out of 2nd gear. When I drive it in regular D or S3 it just revs high and won't go past 20-25 mph unless I shift it down to 2. At that point most I can get out of the car is 40-45 mph at 4.5 to 5 rpm.

I've tried searching through other threads and from what I've read it seems as if it could be a bad TCU or clogged solenoids. Also, I tried looking for the TCU to see if I find any codes but I can't find it. Where do I search? I looked under the driver's seat but only thing I see is the stuff for the power seat and some black metal block.

Is my tranny gone or can I hope it's something smaller??? Don't know whether to take it to a tranmission shop or try some things at home. What do you guys recommend? Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-25-06, 09:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x060x
Hello all, I'm having problems with my AT tranny and I'm not sure what's causing it. The car does not seem to want to shift out of 2nd gear. When I drive it in regular D or S3 it just revs high and won't go past 20-25 mph unless I shift it down to 2. At that point most I can get out of the car is 40-45 mph at 4.5 to 5 rpm.

I've tried searching through other threads and from what I've read it seems as if it could be a bad TCU or clogged solenoids. Also, I tried looking for the TCU to see if I find any codes but I can't find it. Where do I search? I looked under the driver's seat but only thing I see is the stuff for the power seat and some black metal block.

Is my tranny gone or can I hope it's something smaller??? Don't know whether to take it to a tranmission shop or try some things at home. What do you guys recommend? Thanks for your help!
Clean your solenoids yourself, it is not too hard a job. Lots of info on this site on how to do it. good luck.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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if im correct i think the ecu is located under the passenger side seat on the '90 . but on my 87 my ecu is under the passenger side footwell under the carpet. im not much of a auto tranny guy. but if its not the ecu if you dont get replies soon enough i would definately take it in. or just go down to your local autozone,advance auto parts, or napa. i prefer advance in my town because im a preferred customer and i cang et my codes cheked for free but anywyas hope this helps
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Old 04-25-06, 05:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do Gil's flush, and if that doesn't work have it taken in.

I have a similar problem. I have to put it in D2, get it up to 45-55, push it all the way forward into neutral, let the gas go, wait for the tranny to disengage (like 1.5 seconds), then drop it into D4. Works fine. I can get it to shift from 1st to 2nd, but not 2nd to 3rd. My solenoids probably need cleaning, but I don't have the time.
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Old 04-25-06, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the ECU is under the footwell on the coupes, under the driver's(?) seat on the sedans. the TCU is located under the passenger seat (i think on both body styles).

i know that both the ecu and tcu are located under the seats in the sedan, and in the coupe, everything is on the passenger side (under the footwell, and under the seat).
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Old 04-25-06, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yes, drivers seat on sedans. my buddies did this same thing. trans was gone. solenoid cleaning did nothing neither did the 4x flush. you can try it though.
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Old 04-25-06, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention that I can still go in Reverse with no problem, no crunching noises either. I checked the TCU it's not showing any codes. I asked someone to check if the led light goes on in the TCU when I turn the ignition key and it does light up so I guess that means the TCU is not fried out or anything, or so I think. I also took the car for a small drive and checked the TCU again this time while the car was on, again no codes.

Is it normal for the TCU to not show anything even though the tranny clearly isn't working right?

I've got the car sitting outside with the battery out hoping to see if a simple reset will at least help in the meantime. I've checked out the DIY's on cleaning the solenoids but I don't have all the hardware. Like the 12V thing to test the solenoids. Thanks again guys, big help!
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Old 04-25-06, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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these cars have very limited code definitions. primative computer systems and lack of faster processing. lol, who needs the computer to tell you whats wrong when this thing has like 8 pressure test ports, lol. have you changed the trans fluid lately? how does the fluid look and smell. also, remember, check the transmission fluid with the car off! not running, like alot of other cars.
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Originally Posted by Jrod@Buschur@ evowned.com
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Old 04-25-06, 07:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reeeky2001
Do Gil's flush, and if that doesn't work have it taken in.

I have a similar problem. I have to put it in D2, get it up to 45-55, push it all the way forward into neutral, let the gas go, wait for the tranny to disengage (like 1.5 seconds), then drop it into D4. Works fine. I can get it to shift from 1st to 2nd, but not 2nd to 3rd. My solenoids probably need cleaning, but I don't have the time.
If you take the car in, the shop will say you need a new or rebuilt tranny. Clean the solenoids good and if that doesn't work either buy some used working shift solenoids or buy some new ones before taking it into a shop. The 4x flush is a good idea and putting in new Honda ATF or dex3 with black Lubegard, which is what I do, will help the shifting alot but it won't unplug the solenoids if they are in need of cleaning.
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Old 04-25-06, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah I checked the fluid earlier today while the car was still cold. It was a little above the middle of the dipstick which based on what the manual says seems to be the norm'. The fluid itself looked pretty clean with that slight reddish tone still there. Haven't smelled it yet.

I did a 3x flush about 2 years ago using Honda fluid and it ran fine for awhile. Then it just started shifting really rough at take off, it'd kinda jerk you a bit. Since then I haven't done anything else to it.

BTW what are pressure ports? I don't know much but I'm trying to learn.
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Old 04-25-06, 07:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm67
If you take the car in, the shop will say you need a new or rebuilt tranny. Clean the solenoids good and if that doesn't work either buy some used working shift solenoids or buy some new ones before taking it into a shop. The 4x flush is a good idea and putting in new Honda ATF or dex3 with black Lubegard, which is what I do, will help the shifting alot but it won't unplug the solenoids if they are in need of cleaning.
Yeah that's what I'm worried about also. Having to pay big bucks for a rebuilt or new transmission. I'm going to read up a bit more on the solenoid cleaning and see if I can give that a shot.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Check the archive 'sticky'. Has an online manual that works. And good AT stuff.

archive... G1 Official DIY's Thread...

manual... http://www.arnach.net/service/index.php

Check the AT 'symptom-to component chart' in manual. 9-30.pdf, or close to it.

BTW... VERY good sign that Reverse still works. So shift cable adj probably OK, valve body not clogged, shift fork not bent or broken, 2nd gear OK, and 4th clutch OK.

Guys are right about trans shops and the rest. I doubt you need more than properly cleaned or new solenoids.

Last edited by DallasLedge89; 04-25-06 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-26-06, 12:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well I worked up the courage to try and clean the solenoids but I've only been able to get to the bottom one. I cleaned the screens but haven't been able to unplug the actual solenoid from its connector. Also, there are a couple of fat hoses in the way of the top solenoid and I don't know how to get around them.

Here's a few pic's of where I'm having problems, maybe they'll help other noobs like myself :







I'm going to try and see if I can get away with cleaning only the bottom solenoid based on what I've read from some other posts. Hopefully that will fix my shifting problems... for now.
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Old 04-26-06, 01:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The first time I did my solenoids I had the exact same 2 problems, I couldn't disconnect the wire and I couldn't get the lock-up ones off. You got the shift screens nicely cleand, put it all back together now and give it a test drive. If it fixes your problem and your lock-ups work fine then you are done. If not then the second time is way faster to get to the solenoids. I later managed to get my lock-up solenoids off after disconnecting the tranny cooler lines and the screens weren't very dirty anyways. hope it works out!
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Old 04-26-06, 09:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I just started having the same problem with my car yesterday. It was alittle low on tranny fluid and it dropped down to 39 degrees (F) and it didn't wanna come out of second til it was warmed up. It used to shift very hard (only had the car about 2 weeks) and it would alot of the time chirp the tires going into second and it shifted hard like that through all the gears. I put some of that tranny additive the 2 part stuff (have to tell you later i am at school and don't remember exactly what it was) and then after driving it a couple miles then letting it sit for about 3 hours it would shift up through the gears and the hard shifting was gone. Only time will tell if the problem is solved I let my dad take the car today and i took the truck so i wont know how it did for sure til later today but it did seem to help alot last night.
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