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Trans_ Service
Trans_ Service, ..................
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 4818
Experience:  .................
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97 camry, soft kit and torque converter installed. no

Customer Question

97 camry, soft kit and torque converter installed. no transmission manual, 2nd 3rd reverse work great! nothing in first manually or in drive. starts out in second gear. used original bolts in reman torque converter... said to cut bolts shorter to not damage
turbine. may be source of problem but it looked like they all cleared... if turbine is locked up could that cause no first gear issue? also when at cruising speeds if throttle pedal is pushed down past half way the trans kicks out of gear till rpms drop and
then re engages.. internal issue? external? would reverse work right if first does not? tried adjusting cables.. did not seem to help.. no cel.. help...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

was that work done to this car to correct this problem ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No trans was weak but ran fine.
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

was it weak as in it was slipping ?

i would not worry about the converter bolt issue as the car would still have reverse and move possibly hard or slow and same with ist gear as with 2nd and 3rd being good it is not a converter issue

when you say soft kit what exactly was replaced and how deep did you have it apart ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Soft as in seals clutches and check balls. I pulled it completely down except for differential segment. Valve body was just gaskets, check balls. Did not remove valves...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Put new seals in accumulators and brake pistons.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seemed to slip slightly when it kicks down on hard uphill climbs.. Had rebuilt motor..figured trans could be spruced up while it was out.. Mother in-laws car from out of state. Wanted it to be reliable for her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
New steel plates as well.
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

at this point we know the pump is good and the converter since the car moves

as for what exactly in side the transmission that is causing this problem is hard to say as a good amount of things like the second coat brake or the first brake or possibly the OD brake would be suspect of those devices themselves or the clutch packs for them or those clutch packs not being applied or an issue with the valve body

with no codes it should not be the computer or solenoids

this is 100 % an internal issue causing this problem

alot of times it is cheaper and less time consuming to pick up a complete used / junk yard transmission and just swap it out or pull it and drop it off at the local transmission shop for them to go through it for you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At this point I am just concerned how far into it I have to go.. Do you have acces to schematics or xploded illustrations of valve body and break down on internals that would be useful?
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

i do not

lets see if another expert does

hang on another expert will reply back to you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Different expert here. Please allow me to assist on your request. Based on what you are stating, thsi sounds very much like a clearance issue inside the transmission. Toyota Transaxles are notorious for specific clearances. It is safe to assume that since you have 2nd and 3rd gear, you are losing pressure to the direct clutch pack someplace in the trans. Since you have replaced the clutches, you may have excess clearance. We have experienced this in the shop. There are two flanges that are available to make up the specific clearance. There are also a few other things in this trans that are selective. I cannot post the manual here (copywrite laws, etc), but, with a problem like this, you need the manual, which gives you all of the clearances that should be present and what is available if your clearances are not within spec. Your absolute best source for this material is the official Toyota tech website ( for a small fee, you can register for a short period of time and download the entire trans shop manual. This tells you everything you need to know about this trans, and gives you options for excess clearance issues. Hopefully, this will get you where you need to be. In any case, it looks a lot like the trans needs to come back out. At this point, you need to consider how deep you want to go here. The risk of a second incorrect clearance my require you to pull it back out again. This is where a good used unit becomes extremely attractive.

Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reply; I will be very glad to help you further.

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