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'88 Vanagon auto trans won't shift from 1st
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busboyjake
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:59 pm    Post subject: '88 Vanagon auto trans won't shift from 1st Reply with quote

I have an 88 with an auto.

It will not shift out of 1st. It goes fine into reverse, neutral and all drive selections, just won't shift. It only freewheels and the engine revs. When it gets to the rpm for first gear then you feel it engage.

I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order. Fluid levels are normal. No abnormal noises or clunks.

Any ideas? Do I need a transaxle rebuild? Will a fluid/pan seal change do any good?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order>>

What in the heck is the linkage interface?

Let me ask you this question in plain english;
Is the downshift rod set up properly and free, in conjunction with the throttle linkage / cable position?
It's not locked up on the side of the trans linkage?
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busboyjake
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
<<I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order>>

What in the heck is the linkage interface?

Let me ask you this question in plain english;
Is the downshift rod set up properly and free, in conjunction with the throttle linkage / cable position?
It's not locked up on the side of the trans linkage?


Yes. That was what I meant by "linkage interface" - where the downshift lever and the shifter linkage connect to the trans.

Downshift moves freely and returns. Linkage seems to operate correctly. What goes on inside is where I'm lost.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy,

If you can clarify what you mean by freewheeling, that would help. I'm looking at your process as you describe it and I'm not getting a clear picture of what's going on.

Are you able to drive in the forward direction at all?

Are you able to manually shift 1st to 2nd to D on the auto shifter?

More information, please.

kourt
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: '88 vanagon auto won't shift from 1st Reply with quote

busboyjake wrote:
I have an 88 with an auto.

It will not shift out of 1st. It goes fine into reverse, neutral and all drive selections, just won't shift. It only freewheels and the engine revs. When it gets to the rpm for first gear then you feel it engage.

I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order. Fluid levels are normal. No abnormal noises or clunks.

Any ideas? Do I need a transaxle rebuild? Will a fluid/pan seal change do any good?


Unfortunately, if the linkage is correct and you're certain of that (I'd disconnect it and move it by hand on the transmission to double check), given the information above it sounds like you've got an internal problem. One can remove and inspect, clean the valve body, do line pressure tests, etc. but this is venturing into the area of a specialist.

How are you checking the fluid level? The wrong procedure here can yield inaccurate results.

Kevin
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always have a hard time diagnosing something without knowing the history, because that puts everything in context. For instance, yesterday did you go drag racing with 1000lbs of bricks? Or did you buy this van like this and are trying to figure out what the problem is? Or were you on a vacation trip and suddenly coasted to the side of the road? Or have you had it since new and never an issue until this morning at the coffee shop it wouldn't move?

So, a little build up would be good - tells a lot.
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AtlasShrugged
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: '88 vanagon auto won't shift from 1st Reply with quote

busboyjake wrote:
I have an 88 with an auto.

It will not shift out of 1st. It goes fine into reverse, neutral and all drive selections, just won't shift. It only freewheels and the engine revs. When it gets to the rpm for first gear then you feel it engage.

I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order. Fluid levels are normal. No abnormal noises or clunks.

Any ideas? Do I need a transaxle rebuild? Will a fluid/pan seal change do any good?


Sounds like an internal problem. Sorry.

Drop the transmission pan and see if there is debris in the filter and pan. Is the filter clean or plugged up?

With care..remove the multiple 10mm head bolts and drop the valve body, there is a metal rod on the valve body the swings into the shifter gear..note the location..inside the transmission. There is a big spring and an accumulator piston on top of the valve body..the spring will drop out..the piston will probably stay in place.

Once the valve body is off..look up into the transmission. You will see some holes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The two holes on the left of the picture and the far right hole are pressurized to engage the metal clad seals in the clutch packs.

You have first/reverse and that clutch pack can be seen up inside the transmission and energized with compressed air in the far left hole. Use a rubber tipped nozzle and some air pressure and look..you will see the drum push the clutch pack. There is a pronounced "clunk" too.

Now using compressed air pressurize the other hole next to the far left hole..you can't see this clutch pack..but should hear a solid "clunk"..that is your forward clutch pack..which is most likely not working..you may hear air escaping and no "clunk" ..the forward clutch pack is engaged all the time and when it fails you lose 2-3 gears.

Now go to the far right hole..and pressurize it..you will probably hear a "clunk"..that is your direct clutch pack..that is your 3rd gear.

The middle hole goes to the pump..no testing with air pressure there.

Now the second gear band piston..



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That oval hole between the two threaded holes is a pressure port for the second gear brake band piston..use some compressed air and a grease rag (seal off the air some you can charge the port). See if the second gear piston is moving and compressing the brake band. You can see this looking up into the transmission. If that is not working..then the seals on the piston are shot...most likely not an issue..but check anyways.

Sometimes the problem is the valve body..they can get dirty and the seal between a 6mm check ball and the separator plate can get worn and cause problems..I don't think that is your problem..do the tests first..and let us know.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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AtlasShrugged
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a failed metal clad seal..which may be your problem. This one is from the direct drive clutch pack..the metal clad seal for the forward clutch pack is built the same way..and can fail when they get old too. When the forward clutch pack fails (bad metal clad seal, bad or broken spring or worn discs) you lose 2-3 gears..you will have first and reverse.

Here is a picture of a broken return spring from a forward clutch pack too. The older 010 transmissions had this spring which was updated to the spring shown at the far right.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome replies!

I'll tear into it tomorrow and perform the above tests.

Some history - as requested:
I owned this bus from 2007 to 2009. It stayed with my ex-girlfriend. It returned to me a few months ago with the following report - "it wouldn't go any faster than 35mph" and "something is wrong with the transmission." It sat for six months or so before I hailed it home.

It will drive forward, reverse, with no problems.
If you leave it in 1, it will drive in 1 like a manual stuck in 1.

If you put it in 2 or d, it will drive through the speed range of 1 and never shift. If you roll downhill it will slip out and "freewheel" or Rev freely until you hit the upper rpm range of 1 and engage.

Also worth mentioning - the water pump is about to explode. You can grab the pull and move it around like a ball joint!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: '88 vanagon auto won't shift from 1st Reply with quote

AtlasShrugged wrote:
busboyjake wrote:
I have an 88 with an auto.

It will not shift out of 1st. It goes fine into reverse, neutral and all drive selections, just won't shift. It only freewheels and the engine revs. When it gets to the rpm for first gear then you feel it engage.

I checked the linkage interface and it all seems to be in order. Fluid levels are normal. No abnormal noises or clunks.

Any ideas? Do I need a transaxle rebuild? Will a fluid/pan seal change do any good?


Sounds like an internal problem. Sorry.

Drop the transmission pan and see if there is debris in the filter and pan. Is the filter clean or plugged up?

With care..remove the multiple 10mm head bolts and drop the valve body, there is a metal rod on the valve body the swings into the shifter gear..note the location..inside the transmission. There is a big spring and an accumulator piston on top of the valve body..the spring will drop out..the piston will probably stay in place.

Once the valve body is off..look up into the transmission. You will see some holes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The two holes on the left of the picture and the far right hole are pressurized to engage the metal clad seals in the clutch packs.

You have first/reverse and that clutch pack can be seen up inside the transmission and energized with compressed air in the far left hole. Use a rubber tipped nozzle and some air pressure and look..you will see the drum push the clutch pack. There is a pronounced "clunk" too.

Now using compressed air pressurize the other hole next to the far left hole..you can't see this clutch pack..but should hear a solid "clunk"..that is your forward clutch pack..which is most likely not working..you may hear air escaping and no "clunk" ..the forward clutch pack is engaged all the time and when it fails you lose 2-3 gears.

Now go to the far right hole..and pressurize it..you will probably hear a "clunk"..that is your direct clutch pack..that is your 3rd gear.

The middle hole goes to the pump..no testing with air pressure there.

Now the second gear band piston..



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That oval hole between the two threaded holes is a pressure port for the second gear brake band piston..use some compressed air and a grease rag (seal off the air some you can charge the port). See if the second gear piston is moving and compressing the brake band. You can see this looking up into the transmission. If that is not working..then the seals on the piston are shot...most likely not an issue..but check anyways.

Sometimes the problem is the valve body..they can get dirty and the seal between a 6mm check ball and the separator plate can get worn and cause problems..I don't think that is your problem..do the tests first..and let us know.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Ok, pan is off but valve body will not budge. Remove all the Phillips head screws? I'm a little scared this thing will explode into a million little pieces.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you removed the Phillips head screws, you need to re-install the screws..carefully, then tighten them to 35 inch/lbs. They hold the valve body together..they do not need to be removed to drop the valve body. Once you have those back in and tightened..

Remove the 10MM head bolts to remove the valve body..watch out for the big spring and accumulator piston..the spring will drop out.

If you did remove all the 10mm head bolts (check and be sure, should be 11 of them) the valve body should just drop down..if it is stuck..give it a gentle tap or two with a soft object..like a wood hammer handle..just a tap or two.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AtlasShrugged wrote:
If you removed the Phillips head screws, you need to re-install the screws..carefully, then tighten them to 35 inch/lbs. They hold the valve body together..they do not need to be removed to drop the valve body. Once you have those back in and tightened..

Remove the 10MM head bolts to remove the valve body..watch out for the big spring and accumulator piston..the spring will drop out.

If you did remove all the 10mm head bolts (check and be sure, should be 11 of them) the valve body should just drop down..if it is stuck..give it a gentle tap or two with a soft object..like a wood hammer handle..just a tap or two.


I forgot to pull the filter first. The last bolt is inside. Got it down, letting it drip. The filter was full of crud.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
I'll test the rest next.
Anything I should do to the valve body? Run some solvent through it?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those large pieces are a thrust washer. The automatic needs to come apart. Sorry, no magic wand or fluid will solve that.

Atlas Shrugged, that is probably the best post on automatics I have seen here. I nominate it for a sticky of it's own. thank you. mark
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That white plastic is a broken thrust washer..sorry..you need to remove the transmission. VW used that part in a couple of places in the 010. The fact the thrust washer is broken indicates some big wear inside the transmission. Probably the bushings and thrust bearings are worn out too.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark..sorry about the double up on the thrust washer(s)...Thanks
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They feel like paper gasket.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are pieces of one or more thrust washers. In production there were plastic ones and brass ones. Without them, the clutch packs will be all over the place in the case. If you are lucky the damage is limited. It needs to come apart. No getting around it.


There is an excellent thread of from a member that overhauled his automatic on a picnic table. If you have some shop skills and can stay organized, you can do this yourself. If not, don't even bother opening it up. Send it to someone that does these for a living. It is not paper.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plastic thrust washers..the white VW washers..when they get old they become discolored and very brittle.

Below are pictures of the old (cracked) thrust washer..now amber in color. An older and more durable black thrust washer and the new replacement white thrust washer.

The black thrust washers, with the same VW part number are more durable. You find those in older 010 automatics. The white thrust washers are a replacement part.

The best are the bronze thrust washers found in Audi turbo 010..below is a picture of the tri-pointed bronze thrust washer in a planetary gear set. VW used a white plastic tri-pointed thrust washer made of the same brittle material there too. They almost always are fragile when you rebuild the automatic and will crack when handling them.

If you can't find an Audi turbo 010 transmission..then look for a Porsche 924/944 automatic to pirate parts out of. The Porsche 010 has bronze tri-pointed thrust washers (not plastic) and (usually) the better black thrust washers. The clutch/drums can be used too. Later Porsche 924/944 010 automatics where pretty stout units..not as good as the Audi turbo 010..but better than the VW 010. The one way clutch in the Porsche was a built up metal assembly too, rather than plastic. Very tough indeed.

If you try and do your own rebuild..find a good used transmission. Don't pay too much for any used Porsche/Audi transmission. You could be disappointed if the transmission was rebuilt or exchanged somewhere in its history using the more fragile plastic parts.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the upside, this is a good time to get at that water pump

can you tell him what other parts to upgrade during a rebuild?

I recall threads about using the beefier Audi tranny also.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would try and find another 010 transmission..best being an Audi turbo..or Porsche 924/944 to pirate parts out of. A Bentley manual and clean work area.

Or..he can just take the broken Vanagon transmission out, disassemble and see how bad the wear is. You don't need a donor transmission..but it can be handy for other parts.

Once he has the old VW 010 out..take it apart and see what is damaged.

Keeping the transmission parts segregated on a different work bench, disassemble the used Audi/Porsche transmission. Measure the wear on that transmission.

Depending on what used Audi/Porsche transmission you have..the planetaries and other internal parts may not move to the Vanagon 010 transmission..FYI..if you go that route.

Using the Bentley..measure the bushings and examine all the bits. Keep everything in order and take pictures.

Plan on new metal clad pistons (3) new frictions (use Raybestos frictions), new steels and a complete gasket set.

If you need new thrust washers and your extra transmission doesn't have the good stuff inside or you can't find a donor transmission..then you can order the transmission special parts from the local Porsche dealer. Porsche will still supply the older 010 transmission parts that VW lists as NLA. Unfortunately the thrust washer spares will be plastic, not bronze. Porsche still will order some of the different sized clutch pack shims/pressure plates..if you need them. Porsche prices are amazingly less expensive on some 010 parts than VW..if VW even has them listed.



I have used several sources for parts. https://www.wittrans.com/ has the very good Raybestos frictions..metal clad seals and misc parts. They have a gasket set too. Their website is clunky..but they have the parts and are reasonable in price. You may have to call and set up an account. You will want to talk with them anyways to get what you need.


I use Jim Ellis Porsche's online parts for the thrust washers and misc bits that VW lists as NLA. Use the 1990 944 automatic for ordering 010 parts for the Vanagon. You cannot use the Porsche planetaries, annulus gear, drive shell or drive plate from a 924/944..but other parts will work just fine. Any part that has 010 in the first three part numbers should work (VW was very good at putting part numbers on some parts (like the thrust washers)..use those VW numbers when looking up spares with Porsche if you can.

http://www.jimellisporscheparts.com/showAssembly.a...gory=20123
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