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Old 10-25-2020, 08:15 PM   #1
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P30 transmission 3rd gear

My 1988 30 Allegro with a Chevy 454 engine / automatic transmission no longer shifts into 3rd gear. It has 46k miles. Fluid is full and clean. Reverse and second shifts are normal.
It has a gear vendors Overdrive which I can engage as a third gear to bring the RPM down.
Should I just keep driving it? What can I expect it to cost to have it looked at, fixed, replaced? Im in Northeastern Ohio if anyone has any suggestions. Can it be something simple or is it likely just bad.
While the rv is in very nice condition I know Its not worth much. Im concerned about putting thousands into it. Thanks
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:44 PM   #2
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Not shifting is bad, there is one quick check you might do before getting too stressed out. Check and replace the vacum modulator and all the rubber lines leading to the modulator. Modulators run about $25.

Find a good tranny guy, those transmissions are old school hydraulics and can be repaired cost-effectively.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:48 PM   #3
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3rd gear, if that's a TH 400, is the Direct clutch pack......needs to come out and apart.....
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
3rd gear, if that's a TH 400, is the Direct clutch pack......needs to come out and apart.....
A bad modulator would not cause a shifting issue?
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:41 PM   #5
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IF the mod was bad, won't make 1st to 2nd shift till the rpm hit the moon....Op never said what fluid condition was like....and the big can mod on those trannys can be replaced with a th 350 type.....red stripe on it....and there is a way to add another clutch to that pack without any machine work.....
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:32 AM   #6
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Ahh you seem to know your way around those old trannys, great post.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
IF the mod was bad, won't make 1st to 2nd shift till the rpm hit the moon....Op never said what fluid condition was like....and the big can mod on those trannys can be replaced with a th 350 type.....red stripe on it....and there is a way to add another clutch to that pack without any machine work.....
For what its worth, the OP said the fluid was clean and clear.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
IF the mod was bad, won't make 1st to 2nd shift till the rpm hit the moon....Op never said what fluid condition was like....and the big can mod on those trannys can be replaced with a th 350 type.....red stripe on it....and there is a way to add another clutch to that pack without any machine work.....
It took me a bit to grasp the red stripe stuff, adjustable shift points to a degree. I fully intended to pursue this simply because i enjoy tinkering and keeping the engine in a healthy power bad/shift point is always good. Most importantly the modulator in my old girl is 35 yrs old...cheap insurance to replace it.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:02 PM   #9
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Pls get it fixed
I have a 82 PAP30 454 I believe same train.
If it's in good shape which you said it was. It's a oldie but goodie mine had 45000 miles on it and have 74000 miles still run like a top.
Good thread to follow.
Thx
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:24 AM   #10
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I can't speak to your setup but the Turbo 400 transmission has an electrical passing gear kickdown connection. GM installed a switch under the gas pedal which supplied the 12 volts to this connection when you floored it. You could slide under the rv, look for the wire and disconnect it to see if the transmission will now go into third. The downside of disconnecting the wire is the tranny will not downshift automatically.


Back in the day (Young and aggressive) I drove cars which had a modified th400 transmission which I removed the wave plates and accumulators, modified the valve body for instant shifts (bark). These engines had lumpy cams with little vacuum so the modulators were worthless. I had a plug for the modulator which simulated maximum vacuum. It would shift into third by 25mph. For go fast I would manually shift !
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