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  #1  
Old 03-29-2001, 01:01 PM
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I just got a '74 Dart Swinger 318/auto yesterday and after putting in a new distributor the thing runs and drives great. The only problem I have is that it won't go into 3rd gear no matter what the speed. The transmission seems to work very smoothly otherwise although it was a little low on fluid when I got it, took care of that immediately of course. I thought that possibly the shifter linkage was misadjusted, so when driving I played with the shifter position but still it wouldn't shift. I even put it into neutral and then pulled the shifter down until it went into gear but still no 3rd. I took it out onto the highway at 60 mph then let completely off the gas, no 3rd. Has anybody out there had similar problems or have any advice? Other than this the car is great... 60K original miles and perfect except for sun damage to the front seat and paint, the paint is buffing out nicely. Green with black vinyl top in excellent condition. Oh yea, it was only $375!! I obviously want to keep this one.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2001, 03:27 PM
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Chargerdude Chargerdude is offline
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Cool

Been there, done that. I had the same problem awhile back in a 72 Charger 400 with a 727 Torqueflite and did exactly as suggested, drop the pan take the valve body out and checked the valves, put in a shiftkit and tried that but it still didn't work. Eventually a new valve body proved to be the remedy, it seems in the shift kit you don't totally disassemble the valvebody and that's where my problem was. New valve body from a local supplier - $24.99 getting rubber at gear changes - - - priceless!!
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2001, 03:53 PM
swinger340 swinger340 is offline
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I had/still have, the same problem with my 904, except it skips second all together. It goes straight from first to third. I bought a new 904, and after a month, it now does the same, except i get second, buts its sloppy? Whats going on?
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2001, 08:04 PM
Slant6Duster Slant6Duster is offline
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I am very experienced in this situation, I will tell you what it is even though it might not be it still but this is what I did.. First off, you have a sloppy linkage between the shifter and the actually gear of the tranny, easy fix problem is a stock center console and shifter for it, direct linkage guarantees no missing gears or almost no slip. What I did is I mounted a whole crap load of washers to keep the linkage from wabbling on both ends of the shaft, I put in the cotter pin(or how ever you spell that) and adjusted the linkage with it in nuetral. If you dont fix this problem soon, your linkage will get sloppy, and then when you place it into park it will think its in nuetral, and it wont shift into park unless you pop opne the hood and adjust the linkage yourself... I had to do this for quite some time before i knew what was happening... I became an expert at it, now parking on hills was a pain, because I would have to hold my car in place while poping open the hood and hitting that linkage.... And I must say you need to run pretty fast to do this!

In the meantime, while you are driving and it still wont kick into third, get to the speed limit, pop it in nuetral, than slap it back into drive, slow down and then speed up and if you here it go into 3rd grats, if not you will have to try again until you do... But if you need a center console..... Reply back and i will hook ya up with a place where you can get the console with linkage and everything for like under 300, it comes with linkage, shifter, console, and hardware, might replace the hardware because its from a junkyard, but these are Arizona Rust free Parts. Any more questions on the car not going into third, just ask, I can come up with some more solutions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

74 Gold Duster 225(soon to be 318 magnum)
I would attach pictures, but it dont seem to work for me..
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2001, 08:20 PM
ben440brown ben440brown is offline
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Well, goose -- the tv linkage could be your problem. The tower where the shift lever and Throttle lever are on the transmission is prone to sticking. The TV shaft passes through the shift tower, and has a seal, washer and E-clip on top. You can see these (maybe use a mirror) on top without removing any levers. Water seeps down inside and rust forms, causing the inner shaft to stick to the outer. You can tell by stroking the tv linkage -- if it is stiff and doesn't travel as far as it should, you have found the problem. Spray PB Blast on there and work it until it is freed up.
You see, the TV linkage sticks and the trans 'thinks' you have the throttle wide open, so you are in kickdown all the time.

Good luck

Ben
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2001, 09:45 PM
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Default reverse gives trouble too

I thought I had cured the problem with reverse which is why I didn't mention it in my earlier post. It still does the same thing; put it into reverse and it makes a small "bump" noise but doesn't actually go into gear. Rev it for a second and then it suddenly bangs into gear (no slipping), often chirping the tires because it's revved up. It seems to get better as the trans warms up; yesterday, after driving around the block a couple times and then putting it in and out of reverse a few times it started going directly into reverse. The book I have says that both problems could be due to a malfunctioning valve body but there is no other single problem which could cause both troubles. I really don't want to bother putting another valve body in! I had enough of that when I put in the shift kit for my RR last year, what a pain and takes hours to wash the tranny fluid off your hair and... so any thoughts? Maybe I should just try changing the filter/fluid first? And check the external linkages of course.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2001, 10:13 PM
ben440brown ben440brown is offline
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Actually, goose, the problem with reverse and high gear are directly related (pun intended). The front clutch (as the Mopar manuals call it), or direct clutch, does double duty in a Torqueflight (and other transmissions) -- It is the reverse input clutch and the high clutch. What you describe is a common condition -- the rubber clutch piston seals have hardened and shrunken. That explains the delayed engagement in reverse when cold that improves when the transmission warms up. But in reverse, line pressure is boosted to over 200 psi, which can overcome the leaky piston seals. However, in Drive, line pressure is only about 60 psi -- not enough to shift into high gear. Does the transmission neutral out (engine revs, but quits pulling) when it tries to shift to third, or does it stay in second? If it neutrals out, what I just said applies to your trans and it is overhaul time (sorry!).

Let me know here what you find.

Ben
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2001, 10:49 PM
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It just stays in second, no neutral out. I suppose part of the problem is that the thing only has 60K miles on it; it obviously had to have been unused for quite a while so the various rubber parts have probably dried up to some extent. Would putting some sealant conditioner in it help? The person I bought it from had been driving it fairly regularly and mentioned that reverse was being troublesome but didn't say anything about third. She didn't know much about cars though and the thing's fairly quiet so she probably didn't know it wasn't shifting; it took me a little while to realize as a matter of fact. I do have a spare tranny but am sick of doing tranny swaps...
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2001, 11:07 AM
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bbaspense bbaspense is offline
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I had that happen in my Big Block Aspen a few year ago. I was driving home and lost 3rd. I got home and lost reverse. I dropped the pan and it was full of Clutch shavings. Rebuild time...sorry.

Make sure you have a GOOD shop do your rebuild. While your in there anyways you should get yourself a lockup up 904 and have them swap the higher first gear into your old 904. I've seen this done many times and it really helps. Many Stock Eliminator guys have passed this trick on to me. I'm going to do this when I build my Crate Motor car.

Also you can put a performance converter in since the tranny will be out. I have seen many high 14 second 318 cars with little or no modifications run and still keep it's excellent durability and mileage.

Jason
indychamp@hotmail.com
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2001, 10:59 PM
Jkat Jkat is offline
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Question skips 2nd

Hi swinger 340 ,iv'e got the same problem with my 904, since my last rebuild ther tranny does not hold second at all and skips straight to 3rd, it was fine before the rebuild. Under power and manul shifting it holds all the gears fine. Also i've noticed that taking off from the lights when hot and under load, it jolts when it starts goin, as if it where in neutral at the lights. I checked and cleaned the vbody straight after the rebuild, everything seemed ok and made no diff. I also have no partial throttle kick down, ie it only kicksdown at wot. I've been driving it like this for 800km and until something brakes i'm goin to leave it until I can think of a solution.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2001, 06:47 PM
Jims451 Jims451 is offline
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If the linkages is adjusted correctly....
Make sure the front band is adjusted correctly, if it is too tight it won't release.
It mat be the clutches are worn out or the valve body is messed up.

I list third gear once on a fairly fresh rebuild (with shift kit.)
The shift kits increased pressure blew out (cracked) a fluid passage wall in the valve body so the trans never would shift into third gear.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2001, 11:40 PM
ben440brown ben440brown is offline
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Jkat -- sounds like your throttle linkage (to trans) is not adjusted properly -- it needs more pressure!

Adjust it until the shift points are right and the part-throttle kickdown works.

Good Luck

ben
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