2004R won't downshift into 1st at stop


Mar 26, 2013
I am hoping someone here can give me a few tips on something to try since I won't be able to talk to Chris at CK (where I purchased my Street/Strip 2004R transmission earlier this year) until Monday and my car is my daily driver.
Yesterday, out of nowhere, I noticed my car won't shift into 1st when I come to a complete stop. This just started to happen even though the TV cable was never touched from it's previous position which allowed the transmission to operate as it should. The idle is set at 800 rpm in park/neutral and idles at 600 rpm when in R/4/3/2/1.
I plan on hooking up a gauge again tommorow to record pressures, but I have already confirmed with Chris at CK that my pressures are right where they should be earlier in the week(unless of course they have changed, which I will confirm tommorow).
Can anyone with experience with these transmission offer any advice as to what they think might cause this kind of problem to a transmission that was fine 2 days ago?
Or even tips on what a person can try to correct this just so I can continue to drive my car to work/etc without fear of screwing anything up further. Is this something that can cause damage or is it basically an inconvenience? I noticed that the trans will only start out in 1st if I manually shift the gear selector into 1st after the car has been driven, but upon initial startup/takeoff it starts in 1st like it should.

Thanks in advance for any feedback until I get the chance to disuss this with Chris.
Base line pressure could be too high. You can loosen TV a few clicks as long as it still gets max TV at WOT and be fine. If not wait until CK advises since it is his unit.
Thanks Steve for the reply. I will try to reset the TV cable again today even though it hasn't been touched. I don't want to leave a gauge hooked up, but at this point I think that may be my best option instead of installing/uninstalling it.
One thing that confuses me is why it would just start doing this even though it didn't for the past ~600~ miles.
Is there anything else that 'dictates' this besides just the TV cable setting (at this point, I can't believe the TV cable adjustment is the cause but I will go through it again to be sure). Could something be happening inside as far as the ValveBody, servo, accumulator springs, etc/etc?

I appreciate the reply and wish it would have shown itself before the weekend so I could have talked to Chris. This car is my daily driver during the better weather months so I was hoping to get something resolved ASAP before the work week starts.
I'm no trans guy but when that happened to me I was told the spring was stiff [fresh rebuild]and would work in within a few miles and it did.

until then I would put the trans in first or neutral first and then put it back in drive and it would start off in first, I was told that it wouldn't hurt the trans.

The only other thing I think it could be is one of the valves are sticking but that's just a guess, I would just make sure that you get it to start off in first to avoid any damage until Chris can rectify the problem for you.
might be the lockup solenoid sticking when it gets hot...that is if you have a locking converter
Well I hooked the gauge up again and verified that all the pressure readings are right where they were before and where they should be. I do have a lockup converter, but I was thinking that if the converter was staying locked it would cause the car to stall out when I came to a stop wouldn't it? Also, I don't think it is a converter issue since the transmission will go into 1st as it should but only if I manually shift it there.
Definitely not right so I will try to get ahold of Chris tommorow while I am at work and get his take on it.
Thanks everyone for the replies.
Just to follow up (maybe this will help someone in the future?) I talked to Chris at CK and he suggested I take the TV cable off the carb (with motor off/not running) and pull it for full TV travel approx. 10 times and then start car with TV cable still unhooked and pull it again 10 times. Re-hook up cable and give it a try. It seems to have fixed whatever was going on and the trans now downshifts to 1st everytime when I come to a stop.
TV was probably hanging up a bit causing the min. pressure to be too high.
BTW what were the pressures?
I verified that the pressures never changed as well as the fact that the TV cable position/adjustment were never changed so IMO it had to be something ~sticking~(?) but something that didn't show via pressure readings. I am confident it had nothing to do with TV cable adjustment since this happened without any change to TV cable adjustment and the pressures are the same as the pressures below that I posted in another thread a short time ago.

P- 65 psi P- 280 psi
R- 135 psi R- 285 psi
N- 60 psi N- 275 psi
4- 60 psi 4- 265 psi
3- 60 psi 3- 260 psi
2- 175 psi 2- 175 psi
1- 170 psi 1- 175 psi

Whatever caused it, I hope it was just a freak incident and doesn't turn into a common occurrence. Hasn't been a problem in the last few days driving to/from work thankfully.
I think you are right about something sticking. This sound like a valve body problem. Drop the
pan for an inspection. Open the filter while you're at it. This will give you an idea of the condition of the unit.
Well, it started doing this again :(
Can anyone offer any input to why this can happen other than TV adjustment? I still have the gauge installed and the pressures are right where they should be and where they have been the entire time and nothing has changed. Something is obviously 'sticking' somewhere. I plan on taking the car to the strip at some point. I'd hate to leave the tree in 2nd and since the car is column shift, I also don't want to have to manually shift it going down the track. Either way, this shouldn't be happening so if anyone could offer any input as to "why" they think so I'm all ears. TIA.
I had a problem with mine suddenly starting out in second gear. I could manually downshift into first but in drive I never got first gear. I took it to Mike Kurtz at Century transmission and he replaced the valve body. It's been working great ever since. I thought I was going to be due for a built transmission but at this point I'm sure I'm just buying time on the original.
It started working correctly again yesterday. I'm guessing something is in fact sticking in the valvebody.
Well the trans has now failed (I had a feeling this was coming eventually). I parked the car on friday after driving home 21 miles from work and everything seemed to be fine (I didn't notice anything acting abnormal, it didn't fail to start out in 1st gear at any point after coming to a stop, etc/etc). I let the car sit 2 days and now it doesn't want to move in any forward gear at first, but it will slowly start to move and then start stuttering like something is 'jamming up' inside the transmission. The pressure will climb on the gauge as it always had, but I haven't floored it or anything to cause even more carnage to see if it will go past 180 psi with the trans in gear (which is as high as I let it go or as heavy as I push the throttle) before I give up and let off the throttle. Reverse seems to be 100% functional, but when I put it in any forward gear I don't even feel the trans 'clunk' or anything (using this term loosely, I'm sure anyone who has driven an automatic vehicle knows what I mean). TV cable unhooked shows pressures at no TV(60 psi) and full TV(285 psi) are right where they have always been and where they should be.
At this point, I guess something in the valve body has failed altogether. I haven't even put 2000 miles on this trans with 99% of those miles being normal/unagressive driving.
I am definitely bummed :(
Sorry to hear this... I must say i predicted it though.... I must either have a lot of experience dealing with what u are going through or im physic... LMK if you need any help getting steered in the right direction on where to take that trans. Always down to help where i can.
Thanks Blevins. I can't say that I didn't have any idea this would ever happen, but for some reason I was still hoping for the best. I don't really want to have to remove the transmission and go through all the bullshit of what a person who doesn't have the luxury of a garage to work in only understands, but alas that is what I will have to do. It is hard to just give up and cut my losses at this point. I have WAY too much money wrapped up in this to end up with nothing less than what I paid for. Hopefully everything will work out this time around.
Trust me i feel for you, i really do... Like i've said before i lost 3500$ dealing with CK... It really sucks! And my offer still stand. LMK if you need a trans guy i know a few good ones now after my ordeal.....
Thanks Blevins. I just got the transmission out and will get it ready to ship back to CK. I am very hopeful that it all works out as it should once I get the trans back. I do know that I need a transmission that will last even behind my mild engine. HP/TQ had nothing to do with whatever went wrong this time. If I need to find a different supplier, I will get in touch, but again I am hopeful that everything works out this time around.