<VV> living with trouble

djtcz at comcast.net djtcz at comcast.net
Thu Jul 8 20:40:33 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 

From: Jim Houston <jhouston001 at cfl.rr.com> 
Sent: Mon, Jun 7, 2010 12:28 pm 
Subject: Re: <VV> Lockup Problems Re: more PG vs 4spd thoughts 


Too late to worry about it now, but couldn't you have put a switch in somewhere that allowed you to enable or disable the lockout?? Kinda like selective overdrive... 

Jim Houston 

On 6/7/2010 11:52 AM, frankcb at aol.com wrote: 
> Ken and Matt, 
> True, but problems can arise from the lockup mechanism as I found out one evening when I drove?my late wife's 89 Chevy Beretta (3 speed auto with lockup) to a?NJACE club meeting.? All was well until I got near and slowed down to enter?the meeting place.? The car acted like it had a manual trans and I needed to put the clutch pedal in.? So I shifted to neutral and coasted to a?parking place.? The lockup solenoid had failed to function correctly and kept the trans "locked up" even when it should have released it.? After the meeting, the lockup had finally disengaged and I was able to begin driving home, but I was afraid of a?reoccurrence of the problem so I had to choose highways and avoid?local roads that had stoplights and stop signs.? After exiting the highway near my house I had to slow down for a light and could?feel the same problem beginning to reappear, but I was able to get throught the light without having to completely stop.? As soon as I got the car in my own driv 
> ay and braked to a stop, the engine shuddered and stalled since the trans (a 125C as I remember) remained locked up.? Subsequent research on the?Internet revealed that this was a known problem with this?GM 3 speed trans and with more research (and the shop manual that I always buy when I get a new car) I was able to locate and disconnect the wiring to the lockup solenoid.? From then on the problem was solved but the trans would never lockup again so I only used the car for local trips.? I was afraid that long trips with?NO lockup would lead to overheating of the ATF.? This?is not a problem with our Corvair PGs since they are designed?without a lockup feature. 
> Frank Burkhard?????? 

My older male cousin had a Celebrity. It had developed some kind of increasingly frequent issue with the converter locking up. Stalling, requiring angrily burning rubber when he slammed from neutral to drive, and made him such a crazy man his elderly aunt (a hot ticket independent yankee lady) soon refused to drive with him. It had gone on over a year when I heard about it. All sources, including a buddy who was a zone rep for GM, said the symptoms indicated it was almost certainly the solenoid, and a common and typical failure. Much like the ignition "module" that lived in the hot bowels of the distributor on most US cars back then that failed so often you could buy them in the KMart auto Dept. I got a new GM solenoid for about $40. It was accessible under a cover on the side of the transmission, when the wheel and a few trinkets were removed. We changed it in the driveway in a morning. As predicted The car instantly shifted properly, and did so consistently for the few more years he kept the car. I think I got a thank you card from his aunt. 

NAPA sells the Echlin equivalent for about $24 today. 

Electrics and electronics in hot oil dont' seem to fare well. Honda 350 dirt bike ignitions, Harley and Honda and other MC stators all had definite too short lives, just like the TCC solenoid. Things are better now.

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