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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my trans freshened up recently and the shop accidentally broke the weatherpack connector on my OE solenoid. Dodge wants nearly $200 for one. I searched online and found a butt-load of these things for about half price, so I ordered a Delco unit for a mid-90's Camaro T-56. Same length, plug and thread/actuator dimensions. Only differences are brass vs steel and physical diameter & hex. The steel unit is much lighter.

Run it?
 

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Simple mechanical device. I'd run it. I never power shifted into 5th and missed it so I doubt it'll get much use.

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Come to think of it, when I switched to a 6060 trans, it didn't even have a reverse lock out on it. Ran that for years with no problem.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hate idiot lights and several of my family members drive it now and then. I don't want any problems from shifting mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They all have a financial stake in the motor now. How can I refuse them?
 

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Mine screwed up on me once. I was in the parking lot of a fancy grocery store and it refused to go in reverse. As I was pushing the car out of my spot, a pretty lady walked by and said--"nice car". I replied---"not right now, it isn't". went home and drove it for 3 more years without a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, the car has been running, but using the AC/Delco unit, will only engage reverse on a twin post lift with no load on the drive train. It will then engage one time when back on the wheels, and no more.

After driving the car about 40 total miles, and on the way to the trans shop to investigate, the car coasted to a halt with me on the side of the highway refusing to shift at all. It had to be roll-back towed for the first time in 24 years.

They paid for the tow and rebuilt the trans. They found the new reverse gear and bearing cage overheated and dropping needle bearings out. They then drove it 4 miles and called me yesterday to come pick it up. I put it in reverse to leave and it wouldn't go. Tried 6 times, then had a mechanic try. He got it twice, then nothing.

I grabbed my old OEM solenoid and took it by this morning. Me and the shop owner methodically tested both solenoids individually, then installed on the trans. He said the Delco unit would not release at all, and the OEM with damaged connector socket would, but not reliably. So, I ordered a new OEM and should have it on Monday.

We'll see...:mad:
 
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So, the car has been running, but using the AC/Delco unit, will only engage reverse on a twin post lift with no load on the drive train. It will then engage one time when back on the wheels, and no more.

After driving the car about 40 total miles, and on the way to the trans shop to investigate, the car coasted to a halt with me on the side of the highway refusing to shift at all. It had to be roll-back towed for the first time in 24 years.

They paid for the tow and rebuilt the trans. They found the new reverse gear and bearing cage overheated and dropping needle bearings out. They then drove it 4 miles and called me yesterday to come pick it up. I put it in reverse to leave and it wouldn't go. Tried 6 times, then had a mechanic try. He got it twice, then nothing.

I grabbed my old OEM solenoid and took it by this morning. Me and the shop owner methodically tested both solenoids individually, then installed on the trans. He said the Delco unit would not release at all, and the OEM with damaged connector socket would, but not reliably. So, I ordered a new OEM and should have it on Monday.

We'll see...
DAMN Dean. Sorry to hear about your bad time.. OEM for the win, eh? Did they have to use various bits of wood blocks to get her up the roll back or did they just throw the tow hooks on your hood vents and yank?

Mine had a hell of a time getting on when I had to. They refused to do it and had me in the driver's seat the whole time lol

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I helped point him to the R-hook slots on the front frame rails, then steered the car as the winch pulled it up. No wood blocks available. The fascia dragged some, but it's pretty battered already. The worst part was when my '71 GTX exhaust tips dragged on the pavement for what felt like an eternity, but at least I was being rescued and not standing in the cold wind on the side of the highway any longer. I was f'n PISSED OFF.

I took my DRB-III to the shop this morning and scrolled through to the power train actuator tests. Unfortunately, the only trans test I could run was the skip-shift solenoid. Lock-out was not on the menu. Lucky me. :rolleyes:

I still have some more things to do to the car at home, but the SOB has now been at the trans shop for 2 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hopefully, this is the end of the story. My car has been in the transmission shop for 20 days now trying to get this shifting deal figured out. I haven't been pushing too hard because I've been very busy at work lately.

They installed the Dodge lockout unit, which was BOTH the solenoid and the 90* actuator mechanism that attaches to the side of the shifter pocket. That's why it costs double what just the solenoid cost. It was still tough to get into reverse, so they removed the urethane trans bushing and milled about 0.12" off the mounting plate bonded to the bushing. Still having some issues, they moved the trans slightly back toward centerline from hard left and that did the trick.

The IPSCO shifter really should be bought along with their slightly thinner billet crossmember if you plan to run a urethane trans mount bushing.

Now, it's time for final alignment, corner balance and ENGINE BREAK-IN!! :smiles:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
18 month update:

I've had my car on 2 big tracks last fall - Road America and COTA. At Road America, my car was both puking and swallowing oil. The OE PCV system is wholly inadequate for the new motor, as it is pushing oil out of the block breather and into the intake manifold at the rate of almost 1 quart per track session. I got the black/orange meatball flag on my last timed session due to oil.

When I loaded it up for the trip home, the whole undercarriage was coated in oil mist as well. I pulled the belly pan off this winter and there was trans fluid all over it, along with the lower frame rails and rear support x-member. I sprayed it all clean and looked more closely. Turns out the newer solenoid's o-ring is too small to seal all the hot oil sloshing around at high G's. If you study the attached photo, you'll see a large chamfer that is the main problem. I researched using either Dowty Seal, (aluminum washer w/rubber lip seal at the ID) or a fatter o-ring. The latter was quickest to try, so I installed that and it feels like it has just the right amount of crush resistance to do the trick.

As for the engine oil consumption - I've been experimenting with alternative block vent plumbing and installing the biggest catch can that will fit in the tight confines of the Gen 2 engine compartment. I'm headed for COTA again in mid-May, so I'll post an update afterwards.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sooooo..... The fucker is leaking through the solenoid! The fatter o-ring seems to be working perfectly, but I still get a leak out of the plastic electrical connector and that's just putting around town easily. Do any brands or OE applications have a solid plunger? IIRC, the fat brass OE unit was solid. Any comments? I can't put this thing on the track again doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I've certainly been thinking about that. I determined that it's an M20-1.5 thread, so a plug would work. I also may have found a simpler explanation - I pulled the fill level plug this evening and fluid is right at the bottom of the threads. As much fluid as has pushed out at RA and COTA, it would appear that the trans shop may have overfilled it the last time they were in it. I'm not sure how they would overfill by 1/2 to 1qt, unless they filled it while it was standing on its nose, or laying on its side, then screwed the plug in and installed in the car. One other possibility is that they didn't get the tail shaft housing sealed correctly because there is always a drop right at the joint at BDC. The output yoke seal is dry and clean.
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