'85 tranny prob - First Generation Forum

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'85 tranny prob
Thursday, December 25, 2008 5:58 PM
I have a '85 Cavalier with a 2.0 and am having some transmission issues. I'm not much of a transmission guy myself, so bear with me.

About May I had the problem with the car stalling at stop signs/lights. I had a shop replace, I believe, a clutch solenoid. The car was doing great after that. About a month later, I parked it. About November I started driving it again, well I've noticed the fuel millage has went way down and it's shifting odd. It seems like the torque converter is not locking up, like it's perpetually slipping. I've watched the tach and it's not slipping in the standard sense. The car has nearly 200k on it. and the tranny fluid and filter was changed about 40k miles ago. I know that it needs to be changed and I'm going to try this weekend.

Where do you think my problem is? Am I wasting my time trying to save it with a fluid change? Think it's a tranny prob/torque converter/electrical problem or what? I really have no idea what direction to go with this.


Re: '85 tranny prob
Saturday, December 27, 2008 10:55 PM
Well to keep it simple.Yes it's probally the torque convertor switch(solenoid sticking).If you had a shop just change the switch ONLY,u may have fried the new one installed being I assume you did not have the fluid and filter changed being u did state u may change it.I would try def changing the fluid/filter and if no change u probably need to replace that switch again bc it does effect fuel economy and u can simply disconnect it (I am not sure where it mounted being a manual trans owner) but, it will not hurt the car but will stop the issues.So don't fret over it,do the fluid change and go from there,and worst case you will need another solenoid and advance auto parts or auto zone sell them under transmission parts and it does screw in something YOU can do I think it has a two or three prong plug going to it not sure if it is on the top or side of the trans.What happens is the fluid being old and no longer protects the trans from heat it basically cooks the switch which in turn causes stalling and irractic idle and thats it.So short u should have changed the fluid/filter when the part was replaced bc the old fluid prolly toasted the switch u had installed.

Re: '85 tranny prob
Sunday, December 28, 2008 7:32 AM
It could be another faulty TCC solenoid as Ron suggested. It may also be a faulty pressure switch that actually sends the signal to the TCC to 'lock'. Here's a website that I used when I replaced mine that explains things better & has good pictures.


You could just try another solenoid & pressure switch while you're in there changing the fluid & filter and see what happens.

Also with 200K anything is possible. I've got 150K on mine and its not shifting with authority anymore, but it still works. You could always try a good used TH125 tranny from a boneyard and swap that in. Usually still good and you save $ on a rebuild.

THere's also a T125 rebuild kit for your car that OEM Surplus sells for cheap. Its pictures are here. You could pull your tranny and try your hand and rebuilding for a fraction of the cost. Its not too bad if you have a manual & plenty of time. Is this car your daily driver?

Good luck, and post up what you find if anything.

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