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Old 08-08-2009, 12:31 PM   #1
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Tranny problem on 1986 Chieftain

We were gifted a 86 Chieftain and have been getting it going after it has sat for about 6 years.

I was able to start it and blow all of the mouse nests out of the exhaust.

The Tranny whined and I shut it off and checked the fluid and saw none.

I put some in and started it up and when I move the leaver I get nothing.

I checked the linkage and it is moving.

I believe I have a 454 motor, I have no idea what transmission I have or what a potential next step should be.

it also acts like there is not a lockout with the brake to change the gears.

Is there a anti-backup something on this rig? We were able to push it just fine and free but when we tried to pull it back about 10 feet it acted like it was in gear?

your help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
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not sure on your rv if your parking break is in back drums or if you look at the rear of the transmission do you see a device that looks like a dreak drum. if the fluid leaked out of the transmission you will have to shift from drive to reverse a few times to get the fluid into the converter(with motor running) bet you have a chevy 454 turbo 400.after shifting gears check oil again repeat steps again till fluid is full.
reply back with results let me know a little more on rig make size
dave
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #3
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Please be careful NOT to overfill your trannie....454 has a TH400 trannie in it which is one "tuff" trannie....

It will take some time for the pump to distribute the fluid throughout the torque convertor and trannie.....Also shifting through the gears while running is a big help.

Jim
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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Thanks to you for your responses.

I have a lettle more information:
The engine is a 454
The Transmission is a 3-sped turbo 475
The parking brake is to the rear drums

I have tried letting the engine run and shifting through the gears and I am currently not getting any response.

About how long do I need to let it run?

I do notice that I get a whine from the motor or the tranny that changes as I move the gearshift leaver.

Is there any kind of electrical or mechanical lockout on these rigs that prevent shifting if the brake petal is not depressed? My gearshift leaver can move freely without any brake.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman86 View Post
Thanks to you for your responses.

I have a lettle more information:
The engine is a 454
The Transmission is a 3-sped turbo 475
The parking brake is to the rear drums

I have tried letting the engine run and shifting through the gears and I am currently not getting any response.

About how long do I need to let it run?

I do notice that I get a whine from the motor or the tranny that changes as I move the gearshift leaver.

Is there any kind of electrical or mechanical lockout on these rigs that prevent shifting if the brake petal is not depressed? My gearshift leaver can move freely without any brake.
There is NO lockout on your trannie, Either the pump vanes are broken or your super low on trannie fluid...Have you rechecked the fluid level?
Fluid doesn't disappear for no reason so I'm thinking the pump went south, Either way you will need to pull it down and have it gone through (PITA).
Time to leave it running for me is about 5 minutes and I do shift through the gears for about 1 minute per gear then recheck the fluid level....
1 inch or a dab more below the full line with a cold/cool trannie will be close then you can heat it up by sticking it into reverse for a quick warmup...

Jim
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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I have checked the fluid level and initially it did not register on the stick at all.

I added a gallon of fluid and it is now above the full hot line when the motor is cold.

I have not yet let it run for 5 min's as I get worried about the whining noise.

How hard is it to pull the tranny if I can't get it going and would I be better off getting a new tranny that is more than a 3 speed that would be better?

thanks again...
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman86 View Post
I have checked the fluid level and initially it did not register on the stick at all.

I added a gallon of fluid and it is now above the full hot line when the motor is cold.

I have not yet let it run for 5 min's as I get worried about the whining noise.

How hard is it to pull the tranny if I can't get it going and would I be better off getting a new tranny that is more than a 3 speed that would be better?

thanks again...
Humm, Now you have overfilled the trannie which is just as bad as low on fluid.....
Don't really know how hard it is to pull your trannie due to the many configurations of installations, Mine is a beast...
Do you have a great trannie shop in town?
Local shops (the good ones) can rebuild for around $600.00-$700.00 and can order a tighter torque comvertor as a package deal,
"Summitracing.com" also has the rebuilts for around $1000.00 but please stay away from the "B&M" trannies...
We (the boyz) decided to order up a tight torque after much arguement and thought we could cut down the RPMs by 250 at cruise speed...Another failure BUT it did cut it down by 125 RPM at 60 MPH, Also dropped the idle speed about 35 RPM...Expensive test but so what.
Stick with the 3 speed cuz the others require extensive mods with computers and drive shaft that may need to be stretched or shrunk.
The whining noise is from the pump not picking up the fluid, I would also pay for better "Steels & corks" (your clutch plates) and a better pump & shift kit to shift quicker and harder.....See what the shop has to offer.....

Jim
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:33 AM   #8
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ok thanks for that.

I am basically in denial about getting the tranny rebuilt at this point.

I pulled out some fluid to get the level down cold and ran it for about 5 minutes and all I got was a loud backfire from the driverside bank of cyllindars.

Is there something that prevents the MH from being pulled backwards? I can push it forward no problem and it glides free. When I try to pull it backwards it's like it is in gear.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:37 AM   #9
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so it's off to the rebuild shop next week on a flat bed.

I am being told that it's about $ 500 to get it out and tear it apart to figure out what is all wrong

Then all the parts and putting it back together and they will do the shift kit and all of the HD stuff that I mentioned to him as part of the posts.

All togher he told me to figure on about $ 2,000 for the whole thing. I know he is good because of prior experience but it seems pretty pricy..

plus the 200 for the flat bed
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #10
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Now might be the perfect time to purchase a digital temp guage along with the sender and bung, Gotta be carefull on the placement of the bung cuz of the sender might bang in the valve body......
One thing I enjoy about the sender placement is how easy it is to drain the pan without the typical mess of a full pan.....
You will also know what the temps that feed your trannie are, During the cool months here in the low desert mine (at first) ran around 150-160 in stop & go traffic....
One 115 + day the trannie got up to 190 which made me nervous so 1 more small stacked plate cooler was added....End of that problem.
Just keep the trannie cool and it will live a long life.....170 is a very good temp.

Jim
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