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 Post subject: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:09 pm
Posts: 6
Hello. First off let me say that I am a member of a few other forums and I know how frustrating it can be when newbs join and ask questions that are easily answered by doing a simple search. I did try to search your forums, and did not find an answer, but I may not know the correct terms to search. Thanks in advance for any help.

I have a 1999 Dodge Neon with about 135000 miles. Every time the 3 spd auto tranny "kicks down" it stays in that gear. The only way it seems to shift out of this gear is to stop, put it in park, and then back into drive. It will then shift up and down through the gears fine, until it is "kicked down" again. Any thoughts on what this could be?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Location: West Virginia, USA
Ever changed the fluid and filter?

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Think you need a bigger throttle body? See here - http://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=364335&p=3001134#p3001134
Header Design Basics - http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/header_basics/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 6:38 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Do the maintenance and see if that helps. Check the kickdown linkage itself, it might be sticking. If that fails, it might need the bands adjusted....

Craig

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Summer: 2007 Honda DOHC I-4 6Spd CBR600RR Black (funnest)
Winter: 1995 Dodge SOHC I-4 5Spd Neon Highline Green (funner)
Other: 2001 Nissan DOHC I-4 5Spd Sentra XE Blue (fun)


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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:23 am
Posts: 1052
Location: Altoona, PA
The kickdown sticking in 2nd is relatively common. Remove the battery and its tray. You'll see the shift lever and throttle lever on the transmission. Spray them with PB Blaster, WD 40, or a silicone lubricant. Let it soak in for at least 5 minutes. Then move the throttle lever back and forth. The throttle lever is to one that has the cable that attaches to the throttle body. Move the lever back and forth throughout its range till you feel no binding. 80% of the time, this will solve the problem.

Kickdown occurs when throttle pressure exceeds governor pressure. Upshift occurs when governor pressure exceeds throttle pressure. When the lever binds, the trans is fooled into thinking that you have more pressure on the throttle than you actually do, so it doesn't upshift.

If lubricating the throttle lever doesn't cure your problem, then do as sketchman and Leusent recommend and change your trans fluid and filter and adjust the low/reverse band (covered by the pan) and the kickdown/2nd gear band (on the external trans). Use only Mopar ATF + 4.

31TH ATX BAND ADJUSTMENT:

KICKDOWN BAND
The kickdown band adjusting screw is located on
left side (top front) of the transaxle case.
(1) Loosen locknut and back–off nut approximately
five turns. Test adjusting screw for free turning in
the transaxle case.
(2) Using wrench, tighten adjusting screw to 8
N·m (72 in. lbs.).
(3) Back–off adjusting screw 2 1/4 turns. Hold adjusting screw in this
position and tighten locknut to 47 N·m (35ft. lbs.)

LOW/REVERSE BAND
To adjust low/reverse band, proceed as follows:
(1) Loosen and back off locknut approximately five
turns.
(2) Using an inch-pound torque wrench, tighten
adjusting screw to 5 N·m (41 in. lbs.).
(3) Back–off adjusting screw 3 1/2 turns. (4) Tighten locknut to 14 N·m (10 ft. lbs.).

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And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.
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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:09 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Extra thanks to Sandstone, I really appreciate the time you took to explain it all in detail. It really helps me out.

I actually bought the car a week ago. I took a friend who is good with cars to help me test it. We took it on a fairly long test drive, it drove really nice and was very clean and well taken care of overall, so I bought it. I saw a little oil coming from the rear of the engine, but not very much, so I wasn't very alarmed. Not 15 minutes later I pulled out from a stop light and it kicked down. From then on...trouble. Of course It didnt do it on the test drive, but I honestly dont know if I kicked it down then. Either way, it does it now...every time.

I drove it 45 minutes home and had no problems as long as I didnt kick it down. Seems to shift quite well, and seems very decisive when shifting into a gear if that makes sense. There is no hesitation.

The next morning i saw plenty of drops of oil under where she was parked...more trouble Im sure! I really have not even looked into that leak yet. And on top of that, I notice that it idles pretty rough when its cold...even more trouble!!

Well, I have it at a friend's repair shop. He has been doing some research on it, but didnt really know where to start. I will certainly pass this on to him, and we'll go from there.

I'm sure the oil leak wont be too hard to find, but any suggestions on the rough idle when cold?

Thanks again, you guys are amazing!


Last edited by kipp438 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:23 am
Posts: 1052
Location: Altoona, PA
When having any sort of engine-related issue with a neon, like your neon's rough idling when cold, the first thing to do is the "key dance" to retrieve diagnostic trouble codes. See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=256874 and viewtopic.php?f=1&t=281606

More specific codes can be retrieved by attaching a diagnostic scanner ($100-$300 at your local auto parts store). If you intend to work on the neon yourself, the diagnostic scanner will pay for itself very rapidly.

These codes point you to specific diagnoses that take most of the guesswork out of the repair process.

I've found neons to be very easy cars to work on and inexpensive to maintain. There's also a fantastic online support network. I love working on neons.

Good luck and have fun!

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1997 Plymouth neon expresso
1988 Dodge Power Ram
1984 Dodge RamCharger
1996 Jeep Cherokee
1999 Jeep Cherokee


And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.
-Simon and Garfunkel, "The Sound of Silence"


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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:09 pm
Posts: 6
Wow, more great info! Thanks! The shop that its at has all the professional computers and scanner goodies. He said it showed no codes at all for him. I'm sure he'll be able to smooth it out, but I thought there might be a common problem with idle or something. Thanks again!!


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 Post subject: Re: Kickdown sticks?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:09 pm
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Just FYI, my mechanic says lubing up those levers did the trick. It was still sticky a little, but they were going to work it a bit more when they change the fluid.

Thanks again!


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