When I took my 85 GT 2.8 for a ride Monday, she was shifting and driving fine for a while. After about 20 minutes rolling around it stalled at a stop. I started it back up and as soon as I put it in gear, it stalled again. I was in a turning lane about to drop into a parking lot so I just limp-rolled it in. I checked the fluid and she was low, so I added a couple quarts. At that point it seemed I added a bit too much, maybe a quart over or less. Drove it around the parking lot for a few minutes and all seemed fine, then out of nowhere it felt as if the trans was slowly disengaging until it went nowhere in drive. Went into reverse with a bit of hesitation. I let it sit for about 5 minutes or so and tried again and it went right back into gear. Drove around again and the same thing happened. It faded into not moving. So at that point I decided to check the temperature of the bellhousing with an infrared temp gun and the casing was at about 190. I could be wrong but I feel like that's a bit high considering it's probably a lot hotter inside. I parked the car and dropped into the nearest bar and let off a little steam, I was kinda pissed haha. After about 2 hours the temperature was about 90 degrees so I decided to give it another go. It made it pretty far down the road but again it slowly faded into not propelling the vehicle. I stopped, turned the car off for a minute, started it back up and put it back in gear and again it would cruise for a bit then drop the gear. At that point I phoned the lady and she used the Regal to push the Fiero back home. [what a sight that was, many funny looks happened.]
So my questions are...is the temperature unusually high and if so OR NOT, what could possibly be causing this? Did I possibly cause more damage overfilling and then attempting to drive it a few more times? I've been reading around a lot but the only information I have gathered that's relevant is: my car stalling initially was more than likely caused by the TCC solenoid sticking, and overfilling too much CAN cause some odd problems. I plan on draining a quart out of the car this weekend.
Any input, criticism and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The first symptoms of stalling sounds like the TCC switch failed. It reacts like stopping a manual shift car without pushing in the clutch. It just chokes the engine down.
I can't address the slipping problem. Just don't know enough about automatics, but it might be worthwhile to drop the pan, change the filter and go back with 4-5 quarts of Dexron II.
The temperature of the bellhousing isn't what you really should be concerned about. A good place to check would be the pan or the main case of the trans since that's where the fluid is. The fluid is what keeps it cooled by circulating through the passages of the radiator.
Alright so what I'm understanding is that I'm mostly correct aside from the temperature possibly being an issue. As far as the TCC solenoid sticking, is there a possibility that it was sticking due to low fluid?
As far as overfilling, it would be safe to assume that:
The fluid is being turned into foam as it moves around moving parts that aren't supposed to be submerged. At first, the fluid has no air bubbles and retains pressure in the trans but as it gets thrashed around from moving, it turns into foam and is no longer an effective hydraulic fluid? After a few minutes of sitting the foam dissipates and is once again maintains pressure effectively until it is again turned into foam. This would be a pretty solid explanation for the "dropping gear" symptom mentioned, and would also explain why it works fine after sitting for a bit.
So now my primary resolution is to remove about a quart,check for a proper level and take it for a drive. Then I should perform the TCC lock/unlock test a few times in a row and see how everything works out.
So I pulled a quart out of the trans and Its darker than it should be. Doesn't smell burnt but its dark. This was brand new fluid with under 10 miles. After removing the quart of fluid which put it to the proper level, the trans is still doing the same thing. It goes into gear and drives fine for a minute, then drops the gear as if going into neutral.
Toast. Get another is easier and often cheap. Get newest year of used parts. TH125c/3T40 have many charges to make them a bit stronger.
Overfill or low fluid can have some pressure but not enough. You drove so friction parts can slip, get very hot and fry off.
You temperature means little here too. Case and oil temp often have enough mass and can hide slipping bands or clutches. Main oil heat source is unlocked TC and heat exchanger in the radiator. Heat exchanger is to heat oil in winter, cool down in summer.