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Old December 28th, 2003, 20:37
lapaul lapaul is offline
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automatic transmission problem on 90 xj need help and advice

As I was starting on a trip yesterday, the automatic transmission on my 90 xj stopped shifting on the freeway. .
When I gave it gas the engine would rev, but wouldn't increase speed.

I pulled over on the side of freeway and noticed transmission fluid coming from the vicinity of the hose that connects to the radiator, (not sure incoming or outgoing).

I got my xj towed to a mechanic who put on a new hose (he cut off the metal connector so he could attach a hose with hose clamps--not sure if this was a good idea --but didn't know he was going to do it until he was done)

He said the transmission fluid from dipstick showed full.

I am not sure how to read the dipstick, everytime I look it looks full and more,
whether I read it cold or hot--I can't tell where the transmission fluid stops, unlike the oil dipstick the fluid on the transmission dipstick seems to go up a good part of the dipstick past the add and full lines and seems to stick to the dipstick.
I drove my xj it to pep boys to get some more fluid (it doesn't shift up from first gear or go more than 25 mph- and the mechanic at pep boys said it showed full also.

My question-- since I had a leak, and have a problem shifting, does it make sense to put in some more fluid--even if the dipstick reads full, to see if this solves the problem, before I take it to a transmission shop.

It makes sense to me I must have lost some fluid while I had the leak--or why else would it have stopped upshifting.

CAn I put in fluid thru the dipstick, and if not what do I need to do to put in more fluid. Is there some other way besides checking the dipstick to tell if I need transmission fluid.

Any other advice.

My xj is raised 5 " with 31 inch tires so I can get under it.

I just bought the xj a few months ago. I was told it had a rebuilt transmission about 50,000 miles before, but I don't know when the fluid or filter was last changed. Fluid looks good and doesn't smell burnt.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 22:10
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Goatman Goatman is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 11,444
Re: automatic transmission problem on 90 xj need help and advice

The quick disconnect coupler hooking the tranny line to the radiator trans cooler line coming undone is somewhat common, it has happened to me. The fix is to do exactly as that mechanic did, cut off the coupler and reconnect it with a small hose clamp.

It also can be difficult to determine the correct fluid fill height on the XJ's AW4 transmission. I would imagine that the trans would be low on fluid after blowing some out when the line came undone, and that could account for the lack of shifting. In that case, I don't know why the dipstick would show fluid above the full mark, unless it's really low and just foaming. The dipstick shows a cold level on one side and a hot level on the other side, so be sure you're reading the correct side. You do add fluid through the dipstick tube.

I'd try adding some fluid and see if it starts to work properly. The AW4 is notorious for blowing fluid out the vent on top if it's overfull, so I'd put some in and see what it won't hurt anything. The other thing you might do is get a tranny service, that way they'll drain it and refill it to the correct level.

What you haven't said is how many miles are on your rig, or how far you drove it when it didn't shift properly and the line was off.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 08:14
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tkm tkm is offline
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Location: northern kentucky
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Re: automatic transmission problem on 90 xj need help and advice

assuming that you know to check the fluid level with the engine idleing in nutral what does to fluid look like? is it bright red or almost brown and does it look like there is crap in the fluid?

never mind I just saw where you said it looks good.

and yes use a funel and fill through the dip stick tube.
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