unplug lockup solenoid - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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unplug lockup solenoid

My daughter's Grand Am is doing a weird slight bucking thing at highway cruising speed, which it doesn't do if you drop it down into 3rd. I'm guessing it's the lockup solenoid for the torque converter acting up. Trans. is a 4T40-E I believe. My question is will unplugging the solenoid, for now, cause excess heat? Don't really want to get into fixing it at the moment but don't want to trash the transmission in the meantime either.

Mark

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 08:30 AM
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Smile Re: unplug lockup solenoid

I had an '81 Chevy pickup with the TH-350c that would not run properly with the lock up unplugged. On the Grand Am I am pretty sure the computer will not like it if you unplug it.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 08:31 AM
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Not locking up in overdrive will generate heat in the trans. In a 1:1 gear or lower gears the torque is being multiplied in the trans lockup is less an issue but when in overdrive torque is being reduced through the trans and the result is heat without the lockup.

I would look into the crank position sensor and the cam position sensor. They work with the computer and engine timing and one does low speed timing the other high speed timing control. I had the same problem on a 3.4L in an Impala and it was one of the two sensors...

...Dennis

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Thanks for the response guys. Looks like the general consensus is it's not a good idea to run it unplugged. The plan was to unplug the solenoid, providing there is a connector that can be unplugged outside the trans, to see if it got rid of the problem. If so, I was going to leave it that way till I could pull the case off the transmission and change the solenoid. Now if the connector is actually inside the case... then all this thinking is for nothing and I might as well just swap out the solenoid and be done with it.

It idles great. Runs through all the gears just fine. Everything is good untill it hits 4th gear and the converter locks up. It almost feels like an ABS/traction control issue. The problem goes away though when you shift it to '3' and just run it as a 3-speed.

Mark

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 12:26 PM
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Did you mean 4T60
Kinda need to know the year/model also

A failing solenoid can cause 'surge' ...
Does she drive it long distances?
Does it stay 'locked' after coming down from cruise speed - and/or stall when she pulls up to stop signs?

It's not hard to replace the Lock Up Solenoid on most GM front drive models.
Just pull the left front (drivers) side tire, the plastic inner fender panel and you have access to the side pan on the trans - the solenoid is inside this pan.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
Did you mean 4T60
Kinda need to know the year/model also

A failing solenoid can cause 'surge' ...
Does she drive it long distances?
Does it stay 'locked' after coming down from cruise speed - and/or stall when she pulls up to stop signs?

It's not hard to replace the Lock Up Solenoid on most GM front drive models.
Just pull the left front (drivers) side tire, the plastic inner fender panel and you have access to the side pan on the trans - the solenoid is inside this pan.
I also thought it was a 4T60-E like in my Grand Prix but I read somewhere it was a 4T40. Didn't know there was such a thing, but I have been wrong once before I think.

It's a '99 Grand AM with a 3.4. I'm using it as a 'spare' car for now but she will be driving it again soon and may be moving a couple hours away if she gets the new job.

It's kinda hard to describe. It feels like the lockup kicks in, or the abs kicks in for a split second or something. Happens randomly with no sort of constant time interval or anything. Just every so often you'll feel a 'kick' in the front end. The first time it did it to me was during a hard rain and I actually thought it was the traction control freaking out, but I drove it again a couple days later to test it out and it did the same thing on dry pavement. Only happens in 4th gear with it locked up. It does not stick when slowing down making the car stall or anything though. Everything works as it should, except in lockup mode.

Mark

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 02:21 PM
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Wink Re: unplug lockup solenoid

I'd bet it's 440T4 then ...

Still would check the solenoid circuit first and then the solenoid itself.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 12, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

I'll be checking it out this weekend. I'll do anything to put off mowing...

Mark

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 17th, 12, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Got the car up on stands to check the transmission fluid level. It has no trans. dipstick... You have to pull a plug underneath with the engine running and if fluid squirts you in the face you're good to go. One of GM's better ideas for sure. Anyway, cranked it up and got under there and coolant started gushing out from the front of the engine. Soooooo, started tearing into that problem and it looks like the timing/water pump cover sprung a leak.

Also found what may have been the cruise speed bucking problem. When I pulled the balancer off there was an old rag or something wound up inside of it, looking like it could have been blocking the crank sensor. Dennis, you may have been onto something. We'll find out when I get it back together. Who knows how long that friggin' rag has been in there. It was pretty well oil soaked and rotted away.

Mark

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80 Chevy C10 406 4-speed

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 07:49 AM
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Talking Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrekke View Post
... Also found what may have been the cruise speed bucking problem. When I pulled the balancer off there was an old rag or something wound up inside of it...
... Who knows how long that friggin' rag has been in there. It was pretty well oil soaked and rotted away.

Mark
PUT THAT RAG BACK - that's part the perpetual oil leak retrofit system

I agree with Dennis, a defective crank sensor will keep a trans from sifting properly

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 09:22 AM
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
PUT THAT RAG BACK - that's part the perpetual oil leak retrofit system

I agree with Dennis, a defective crank sensor will keep a trans from sifting properly
Will it effect shifting? The 2000 Impala just stuttered sometimes in overdrive when driving along steady. Never had a shifting issue except when the wife brought it home from the trans shop after having the trans serviced but that turned out to be they forgot to fill the trans after buttoning up the pan!

Mark, let us know if removing the rag cleared up the problem...

...Dennis

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
PUT THAT RAG BACK - that's part the perpetual oil leak retrofit system
And it has worked flawlessly. 184K and didn't leak a drop of oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
The 2000 Impala just stuttered sometimes in overdrive when driving along steady. Mark, let us know if removing the rag cleared up the problem...
That's pretty much what her car is doing. Has a funny feel to it though which made me think it was an ABS or transmission problem.

I'm going to start putting it back together tonight. I suspect the rag was the problem. It was behind the pulley, torn up and wound around the blades that the sensor reads. I'm replacing the sensor and crank seal while I've got it all apart though, but if the problem goes away I'm sure it was the rag.

Mark

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66 Mustang coupe 6 cyl. auto
80 Chevy C10 406 4-speed

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 12:51 PM
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

If you want to rule out the TCC easily, just put your foot on the brake enough to light the brake lights - this will drop out the TCC.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by stouchton View Post
If you want to rule out the TCC easily, just put your foot on the brake enough to light the brake lights - this will drop out the TCC.
Interesting. Thanks.

Mark

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66 Mustang coupe 6 cyl. auto
80 Chevy C10 406 4-speed

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 12, 01:27 PM
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Wink Re: unplug lockup solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by stouchton View Post
If you want to rule out the TCC easily, just put your foot on the brake enough to light the brake lights - this will drop out the TCC.
Unless ...
The internal Solenoid is defective
Then the TCC will not release as designed.

And DjD - the crank sensor is used to signal the trans control of the engine speed vs. the driveline speed and there is an algorithm to select trans gearing and lock-up operation.

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