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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help here please!

Two weeks ago, I had a transmission hose break on my 96 Rodeo. We were able to get it to my mother's to get fixed. We did not know that the 96 does not have a dipstick for the tranny fluid until the work was to begin. Called local Isuzu dealer and was told that it had to go on a rack to fill it. Took it to a garage up the street and they put the fluid in it. I did not pick up the truck from there, Mom did so there were no questions asked. We got it home, ran fine, until Christmas eve.

When you pull out in it, it sounds and feels like you are on gravel-it does a little spin of the back tires. Once you are rolling, it shifts fine. Do you think that there may not be enough tranny fluid in there? It is going back up on a rack New Years Day to be checked, I am just wondering if this may be it. Or could my filter possibly be dirty being that I was so low on fluid?

I am hoping this is something simple. We bought the 95 this past February-I fell in love with it. (I went from luxury/sports cars to that). Then went to get rid of our pickup, found the 96 and he took the 95, I got the 96. (96 had leather-he works on tanks-not a good combo) I fell in love with these and looking in the future to own another-that is why I am hoping that this is going to be something simple.

Any opinions here?
 

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I would have it checked out by a specialist. These trannies are electronic and store codes when they are experiencing problems.

There could be too little fluid causing problems with the tranny, but now there could be other problems as well as a result of this.

Take it to AAMCO, they have a pretty good warranty on the work they do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is going to a Transmission shop over the weekend. (We do not have AAMCOs around here! ) I am hoping it is going to be something simple. The last thing I need is another bill!

I haven't driven it in a week now and it is killing me. I sure do miss her.
Woke up this morning thinking it was stolen only to call BF and find out he left it in the garage! Felt really stupid. :?

Hard to believe we have 2 zuzus only a year apart and so much of a difference between them. :)
 

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sgt- It's unlikely you did any permanent damage to your 4L30E. These electronic trannys adjust themselves to ATF pressure & temperature, so it may have gotten a little out of whack as it tried to run on low ATF pressure (due to the leak). If you have not serviced the tranny in awile, now is a good time to have a quality tranny shop pull the main pan, change the filter, ATF and change those ATF cooler hoses!!! A reset of the transmission control module should restore shift quality. Pull the power on it or reset it with a scan tool. G/luck
Joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Joel-boy did your reply lift a weight off of my shoulders. :) As far as the service part of the tranny, I have no idea when anything was done to this. I have only owned it a few months. The people that I have talked to seem to agree that no damage was done. It has been parked until we can find some answers-no sense in doing anymore damage. BF is calling the tranny shop now to set things up. I will let you know the verdict.

I know that this should have nothing to do with it, but I keep thinking if I would not have put it in 4WD that day, this might not have happened. :oops:

I can't wait to get it back on the road. As cold as those leather seats get on these cold days in SW PA, I sure do miss the feel of them. :(

Shannon (aka Sgt Boots)
 

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My wife and I bought a 97 Rodeo with 104K miles in Chicago and drove it home 150 miles with no problems -- but we didn't know we had a leak in the gasket of the transmission and so a few days later the transmission started running very rough! When shifting into gear it would kick pretty hard and the shift from first to second felt like getting rear ended by a semi -- a big long slip with nothing happening and then BAM! the rear tires would spin and the whole vehicle would lurch forward.

I pulled the main pan and adapter pan off (it was leaking at the adapter pan) -- put in a new filter, two new gaskets, brand new fluid and some Lucas Oil transmission additive. The old fluid was burnt, so I put the Lucas Oil in to revatilize what I couldn't get out -- the torque converter holds a couple of quarts that you can't get to unless you have a machine to hook to the cooler lines -- or you can do 2 or 3 complete fluid changes by dropping the main pan, but that was WAY TOO MUCH WORK!

I'm happy to report that there has been no problem over the past 4,000 miles. It has shifted and ran well everyday since taking care of the low fluid problem. You'll probably be ok -- it's pretty unlikely that you damaged anything.

BTW -- you can add fluid to these yourself...but you need one of those pumps that fits on a gallon container and a hose to stick in there. The tranny needs to be moderately warm (drive around the block). You just take the fill plug out (the higher one) and add fluid to the warm tranny until it begins to drip out the fill plug hole. Hopefully you won't have to ever do that after your mechanic fixes everything up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Well, I talked to 4 transmission shops and they seem to think the problem is that the gears/clutches? are burnt up for first gear.

I questioned about it running fine for a day then starting to slip, they say that tranny fluid has detergent in it which has "cleaned them', but after you run it for a while, it starts to act up again.

Being that it runs fine through all the other gears, they are pinpointing the problem to first gear. They also said, with it running fine in the other gears, the tranny is full of fluid.

I just don't know what to think. BF does not want to accept that this may be it. I seem to think that it is. Going to the garage over the weekend though. Find out the diagnosis then.

Until then, she is in the garage on jack stands!

:x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

Shan

Have a toast for me tonight please-just wish me luck!
 

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The 4l30E is an electronic tranny. From what I understand these trannies do not need fluid to "shift" like their non-electronic counterparts. A certain amount of fluid is needed for the torque converter to operate and for proper lubrication and cooling of all the components, but this tranny can shift through the gears without normal hydraulic pressure.

There is no hydraulic governor that controls the bands in this transmission so it will shift (although rough).

I believe it is supposed to run in 3rd gear under certain problems.

I'm not sure how a shop can diagnose a tranny without examining it. I wouldn't trust such an opinion.
 

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Probably not the same but I had a Dodge pick-up once the had Tranny probs just like you're describing. It turned out to be too much fluid in there. It hated getting into first from park or reverse but in all the other gears it was fine. You never know. It might be that simple. I hope so.
Happy new year.

Cris
 

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Find another transmission shop!!!! Don't trust someone trying to diagnose anything over the phone -- they already have it made up in their minds what you're problem is. Does your doctor diagnose you over the phone??? NO PROFESSIONAL will ever diagnose or attempt to diagnose something without FIRST LOOKING AT IT!!!

If you're going to take it to a tranny shop then take it to someone else, have them test it and diagnose it properly, ask to see the results and be very inquisitive with them. The place you're thinking of going to could just tell you they think it's first gear and that they'll have to rebuild the transmission and charge you $1500. Don't accept that.

Before I ever did any of this I would change the fluid again and put in a quart of Lucas Oil transmission fluid additive. If the problem doesn't go away within a few days then take it to the shop. Lucas oil for the tranny costs about $8.

This transmission is computer controlled and it goes into a 'fail safe' mode when it receives any type of catastrophic error codes in the computer. I don't know if 1st failing would be enough to put it into fail safe, but I assume it would.

Just be very careful with anyone who tries and tell you what the problem is over the phone...I have a very close mechanic friend who says the same thing every time I call with a description of a problem "bring it in, I'll have to look at it!"
 

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Find another transmission shop!!!! Don't trust someone trying to diagnose anything over the phone -- they already have it made up in their minds what you're problem is. Does your doctor diagnose you over the phone??? NO PROFESSIONAL will ever diagnose or attempt to diagnose something without FIRST LOOKING AT IT!!!

If you're going to take it to a tranny shop then take it to someone else, have them test it and diagnose it properly, ask to see the results and be very inquisitive with them. The place you're thinking of going to could just tell you they think it's first gear and that they'll have to rebuild the transmission and charge you $1500. Don't accept that.

Before I ever did any of this I would change the fluid again and put in a quart of Lucas Oil transmission fluid additive. If the problem doesn't go away within a few days then take it to the shop. Lucas oil for the tranny costs about $8.

This transmission is computer controlled and it goes into a 'fail safe' mode when it receives any type of catastrophic error codes in the computer. I don't know if 1st failing would be enough to put it into fail safe, but I assume it would.

WHEN MY TRANNY WAS LOW ON FLUID: It shifted rough from Park to Drive and then shifting from 1st to 2nd was terrible! After that shift, it ran fine until it downshifted from 2 to 1 again. Gears 2 through 4 all worked perfectly. I, like you, assumed something was very wrong...but changing the fluid and adding some Lucas Oil fixed the problem. I was simply low on fluid and had nasty old fluid in there. 4,000 miles without one problem since I changed the fluid.

Just be very careful with anyone who tries and tell you what the problem is over the phone...I have a very close mechanic friend who says the same thing every time I call with a description of a problem "bring it in, I'll have to look at it!"
 
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