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  #1  
Old January 11th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Rich Campbell
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Dumb Question

What causes a slight hesitation in a 97 auto when it is VERY cold. It seems transmission related because the engine revs fine.....just isn't moving for a split second.

I know I should give it 5min before I move but I was running late today.
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  #2  
Old January 11th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campbell View Post
What causes a slight hesitation in a 97 auto when it is VERY cold. It seems transmission related because the engine revs fine.....just isn't moving for a split second.

I know I should give it 5min before I move but I was running late today.
After a certain point, the transmission fluid starts to thicken up due to the temperature. Pretty normal in most cars. Torque converter takes a moment to start to grab, as the pump just isn't flowing fast enough.

It's one of the reasons that the transmission cooler lines route through your radiator, in order to get the thing up to temperature faster when cold.

-Hans
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Rich Campbell
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Thanks

I will start forcing myself to let it heat up a bit. I check the fluid level and it is fine. I just wanted to see if it happens to anyone else.

Thanks again
Rich
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  #4  
Old January 11th, 2010, 11:31 AM
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When was your last transmission service? Maybe changing the fluid and filter would also help?
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  #5  
Old January 11th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Might have to do that. My fluid color is a clean red.

Someone once told me to leave the transmission alone once it gets past a certain point(mines at 140k) has had regular service since day one. They said they had seem many trans fail & leak after the change.(this was a LR tech)

How difficult of a job is the seal and filter service for a novice DIY.

Thanks
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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I just changed my filter on my '97 and I have to say it was a pain and I'm not sure if it's worth it if you have clean fluid. I needed to drop the pan anyway as my gasket wasn't properly seated and thought I would swap out the filter while I had it off.

First, you have to remove your exhaust y-pipe to remove the filter. That means you'll probably sheer off the bolts connecting it to the muffler if you're not very careful. You'll also need to replace the gaskets connecting the y-pipe to the manifold (probably not a need but I did it anyway since it was off).

Once you have the y-pipe off, (if I remember correctly, that could be the second step) you have to remove the frame crossmember. You'll need a body jack to get it out (about $90 at Harbor Freight). I tried using a bottle jack with some blocks of wood but it didn't work.

You also need to unbolt your sway bar.

So swapping out the transmission filter is pretty easy, getting to it, not so much.

Also, just changing the fluid can be a challenge. I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you have a spare trans plug bolt on hand. They are very fragile and I've snapped two when bolting them down to the recommended torque (32 pounds). Instead, I use the gearbox plug which is the same size if you trim down the magnet. You'll also want to ignore the capacity in the manual. After a change, it can only take four quarts as fluid is retained in the cooler (I think). The manual calls for more than 9.5 quarts.

------ Follow up post added January 11th, 2010 12:07 PM ------

One more thing. When removing your y-pipe, you have to unbolt four O2 sensors. I did that and cleaned them and now I'm throwing O2 "downstream circuit" codes. I've reset them twice and everything seems fine now. Thankfully, I have my handy OBD-II reader.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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If you live somewhere cold, switching to synthetic fluid really improves cold weather performance as the viscosity increase is a lot less.
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  #8  
Old January 11th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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If you live somewhere cold, switching to synthetic fluid really improves cold weather performance as the viscosity increase is a lot less.

Bad idea in a ZF. It tends to kill them as it dislodges junk. In my RRC, I change the fluid every 15-30k, but have not touched the filter in forever. As long as it has been regularly serviced, you should continue to change the fluid. Filter is up to you (in DIIs they changed it from 30k to 90k service interval for the filter).
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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I know a number of people that have had really good results with the valvoline maxlife ATF
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