2004r Killing Me!!!! Help!!!



Okay, here's the deal. Tranny is in a 87 Monte. NOT a SS car. Added a lower geared rear, so since I needed to change speedo gears ( drive and driven ) I figured why not go ahead and install a shift-kit in the 95k mile 2004R..which had performed FLAWLESSLY, albeit with soft factory ( non HP ) shifts.

I've done a few shift kits in the 2004R, never had any problems. So off I go, this was the cheapy Trans Go kit w/ better PR valve , TV boost and intermediate boost valve.

I got the TV boost sleeve stuck in the PR bore without any of the other components behind it, ended up putting everything back together and "blowing" it out. After, new boost valves and PR regulator w/ spring installed WITHOUT problems.

Followed the shift kit directions, put the tranny back together. Fill it w/ fluid, go for test drive.

NOTE: At the same time I added a Monte SS governor assembly ( as I needed the 10 tooth gear anyway )

1-2 shift is great, NO 2-3 shift UNLESS you put the column shifter in OD ( 4th) then it shifts to 3rd... NO 4th AT ALL.

Tried playing w/ TV, no 4th gear, just later, harder shifts.

Dropped everything again. checked for misplaced checkballs, mis-aligned gaskets, took valvebody back apart and checked mods..EVERYTHING was right on. Even took the servo back apart and re-checked all the mods. Put it back together with new gaskets..added 4 qts fluid.

Drove car, it shifted fine, EVEN into 4th!!! Drove around for about 10 minutes. Came back, checked fluid, added a quart ( it was low ) took it back out for a drive...NO 4th gear. No 2-3 shift unless in OD position...just like before...!!!!!!!! WTF???

Okay...dropped the pan again.. swapped to the ORIGINAL governor and just swapped the gear on I needed. ALL Springs were there and fine. Used new gasket on governor cover.

Drove it....it WORKED....came back, added another qt of ATF ( it was low ) went for a drive.. it still worked, then driving along at 65mph or so in 4th, it just sort of "slid" into 3rd...no real downshift. Moved the shifter to 3rd, ( after slowing down ) and it shifted to 2nd!!! Moved shifter to 2nd and it DID NOT downshift ( stayed in 2nd ).

Dropped the pan AGAIN...checked everything...got pissed off and went to the junkyard and pulled a complete valvebody from a '82 Caprice w/ 307 and 2004R. Swapped ALL the shift kit parts INTO the "new-to-me" valvebody....installed...4 qts of ATF...go for a drive....IT SHIFTS!!! NICE 1-2 shift, SOFT 2-3 shift, and a GREAT 3-4 shift....

So what happened? Did the original valvebody just die when I dropped it? ALSO the tranny started "buzzing" in gear the day BEFORE I started messing w/ the shift kit....I figured it was the stock PR jumping around in the bore ( common or so I 'm told ).

It buzzed off and on EVEN w/ the new PR valve, but I haven't noticed a buzzing so far w/ the different valvebody.

I THINK I may have put the wrong TV spring in... IF I did, and put the stock TV spring in the valvebody, would that cause the soft 2-3 shift?

The shifts are WAY to early at WOT, and I'm sure the original governor explains it ( 3200 RPM shifts ) , so I'm gonna drop the pan, check the TV spring ( can't I just remove the TV assembly, pull the pin, then remove the TV bushing and plunger to get at the spring? I wouldn't think I'd need to drop the VB ??? ) and install the MONTE SS governor and see if this helps....

Also, I know the NA V-6 servo has less apply area...will adding a Turbo 200 servo help the 2-3 shift? Really don't want to shell out for a Super Servo or something, since the tranny will be replaced by a manual in the next 30k or so...and it's not a high HP application...

Right now the 2-3 shift is VERY soft....it shifts, but feels really MUSHY. The downshift from 4th to 3rd feels firmer than the upshift and EVEN with MORE TV adjustment, it doesn't want to downshift into 2nd when you punch in 3rd...could this be caused by the wrong TV spring ( too weak ) ???

Any help greatly appreciated. I'm getting TOO GOOD at dropping and installing the valvebody.....I did it yesterday in less than 2 hours, and that includes putting it on jackstands, removing the shift kit from one to VB, putting it in the other VB, re-installing, etc etc..

Who doesn't care about tire-chirping shifts, that's directly-related to engine torque anyway...I just want nice , firm , QUICK shifts to preserve the tranny until I get my motor built.
As quoted by the guy above

"Also, I know the NA V-6 servo has less apply area...will adding a Turbo 200 servo help the 2-3 shift? Really don't want to shell out for a Super Servo or something, since the tranny will be replaced by a manual in the next 30k or so...and it's not a high HP application... "

Sounds like now maybe the time to go to the manual. screw the 30K do it now.:)

Oh btw......what do you want for the core?

Well, it's screwy again. Drove it to work for the first time...got on the Interstate at 6:30 am, about 40 degrees outside...Autometer mechanical temp gauge jumped to almost 230 QUICK. Pulled over and let it idle in Park and the temp DROPPED QUICKLY back to where it always runs at 190 degrees. Once I got off the interstate and slowed down to 40-50 mph, the temp was fine, a little warmer than normal, but not too bad. On the way home, same deal, it heated up , had to stop and let it idle to cool it off, so I could get home.

I'm thinking now that the buzzing noise I started to get in gear, the DAY BEFORE I started messing with the shift kit, was telling me the tranny was screwing up. YOu guys have any thoughts? I'm broke right now, and just want to get the car driveable again. I found another 87 Monte LS 4.3 car in the boneyard. HOPEFULLY it's got the 2004R, if so I'm going to pull the whole tranny. I'll try JUST the stock valvebody w/ no kit to see what it does, but I'm guessing something went South in the tranny. Just my luck.

It's a shame too... it was shifting GREAT except for the soggy 2-3 shift. Oh well.

BTW, what's the best donor cars to look for? I know the Turbo Buick tranny's, then the 442 and SS tranny's, but after that what's the best to look for? Later model better? V-8 model stronger?

And as for the core.... you guys want it, you pay for shipping and give me $100 and it's yours.

If not, I'm going to tear the thing down myself...Now I'm pissed. When I can't fix something, I tend to get pissed...then take it apart and figure out how to fix it.

There was no major crap in the pan either....and the insides are REALLY clean too... you think I could have screwed something up when I had to "blow" the TV boost valve out by cranking it?

And the weird thing is, this tranny seems to EAT ATF... there are NO leaks... but when I drain it I get like 3-4 quarts out. But when I refill it, it always takes AT LEAST 5-6 quarts. And yes, I'm checking it at normal operating temp, level ground, in Park.

On the upside, I can now swap valvebody's in my driveway in UNDER 2 hours, including installing the shift kit.


Who WILL figure this thing out, even if ( when ) it kills me.
I guess the smell of ATF does grow on ya huh?
Sounds like either a converter problem or the center support insert has spun. Plugged radiator would give same symptom. (or plugged or restricted cooler) When this happens third will get "soft" and the lube circuit is cut off. Seen it many times. ask Lonnie dyers. heheheheheh he had one tear him up.

and what code was it ? Cz? br? $100.00 I would do that. then once I repair it i will let you know what you overlooked....Heheheheh
COnverter? Even though everything was fine before this install started? It's not the radiator...Car was driven everyday before this shift kit install from hell started and always ran 185-200 degrees depending on RPM's and outside temp.

Plugged cooler huh? What's the best way to flush it out?

If not, I'll just have the radiator redone... they can do the cooler portion too... right?

I'm going to try a few more things with it... I refuse to let this get the best of me. And being I'm a tech by trade, I'll replace ONE thing at a time until I fix it.

First things first, I'm going to swap to a known good STOCK valvebody and put the stock PR valve and boost valves back in.

Then I guess I'll see from there...

If you install a hose to bypass the radiator cooler..that should test to see if the cooler is plugged.Just for a test....or install a separate cooler.

On the valve body...dunno