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Automatic Transmission Woes


 
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rehack
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Post: #1   PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Automatic Transmission Woes Reply with quote

I have a 2004 Dodge Neon SE, auto tranny.

On my commute home from work a week ago all of a sudden I couldn't accelerate. It just revved up. I coasted off the freeway, managed to limp into a parking lot and got it towed home. The whole underside of the car was coated in ATF. I could get it into gear but only if I revved it up and as the revs came down it would catch and I could accelerate in that gear until I let off the pedal and then it wouldn't be in gear again.

I thought it was a ATX cooler hose, so I replaced it. But afterwards, the hose connections were good and the ATF still blew all over the ground. After looking it up and poking around underneath it seemed like maybe the shift solenoid gasket blew out. So I ordered a new one and replaced it. Put more ATF in, started it and again it blew ATF all over the ground. This time for the first time a few drops of ATF were strawberry pink (only a couple of drops, but it still makes me nervous) 99% of the ATF is just clean and clear.

At this point, what ideas do you have to get this fixed? I never did an external oil cooler, still use the stock one inside the radiator.
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occasional demons
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2001 Dodge Neon ES

Post: #2   PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the coolant. The heat exchanger in the radiator probably failed.
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rehack
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Post: #3   PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heat exchanger fail pushing coolant into the tranny turns it into a strawberry milkshake of death. If it isn't reversed and pushed the milkshake into the coolant passages on the motor. Seems like it runs fine, no engine cooling issues, just the ATF puking. But the only way to fix the heat exchanger is to replace the radiator isn't it? Or could I plug the cooler ports on the existing radiator and add an external cooler?

Because of the strange NGC stuff, can I swap an auto tranny without an PCM reflash? How much work is involved in converting to a MTX? MTX + new PCM? Or is it more involved than that? I can probably find a previous thread about that so I'll do some searching.
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occasional demons
Mr One World
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Location: Ashland, Ohio

2001 Dodge Neon ES

Post: #4   PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you didn't drive it when the ATF began to get coolant into it, and the previous slipping didn't cook any clutches, you may get lucky by bypassing the heat exchanger and use an external cooler.

You might need to flush it a couple of times if it drives normally. I would first just loop the lines on the ATX and drive/attempt to drive it to see what happens, before investing in an external cooler.

Because the 41/40te bases it's shift schedule on operating temps, you need to also plumb in an oil thermostat to keep it happy. Otherwise, just the cooler alone might keep it too cool, and it will shift weird.

I learned this on my '94 Shadow after putting an aux cooler on it.

Permacool thermostat
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/prm-1060/overview/

I prefer stacked plate style coolers over tube and fin.

You can swap another 40te, or 41te (2002/2003, or 2001/2003 if you live where export neons are imported)into the car without flashing the PCM. You should have a Quick Learn Procedure done to help the PCM adapt to the replacement ATX faster, reducing chances of excess wear as it relearns the clutch volumes, etc.


There are threads on swapping an MTX into NGC. You'll need the PCM, having it flashed to your SKIM/VIN, possibly a passenger half shaft, the pedals inside the car, hydro clutch components, some re wiring, and of course the MTX.

You can contact Ryan about flashing the PCM here, or by PM: http://forum.2gn.org/viewtopic.php?t=68676
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rehack
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Post: #5   PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot, OD.

Yeah, I'll experiment with the looped lines, I need to get the leak stopped first, obviously the cooler is leaking, but it's still hemorrhaging all the ATF off the front of the transmission itself, just a big ol' fountain. I thought it was the shift solenoid gasket, but replacing the gasket gave me zero change.

To be honest, I'm probably just going to get a new ATX rad with the integrated oil cooler, this one lasted 150k, I only need it to last another 50-75k before I'm probably just finished with the car. With all honesty, I am tired of this car with the ATX, I would probably keep it forever if it was a manual, which is why I asked about the mtx swap, but I don't think I've even spend the money to do the swap just due to the hassle.

I'm not sure yet, A transmission is $130+core at the local parts yard, and they get 03-05 neons pretty often, it's just a pain to pull them in the yard. At this point, I just want to get the tranny fixed (or replaced with like) and sell it and start looking for a decent condition MTX neon.

I'll keep you posted on what I do or what happens. Thanks again, OD, and anyone else that looked at my post as well.
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Post: #6   PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fast forward 2 months, it was a split tranny cooler line. I cracked the bottom of the radiator getting the line off so now I'm waiting on a new radiator.
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akirony
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2003 Dodge Neon SXT

Post: #7   PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the update. You are a Scholar!
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