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Discussion Starter #1
This has been going on for a while, but initially my truck, '86 2.8 with the 700r4, started missing the 2-3 shift when I was close to WOT in the morning on the way to work. It was only in the morning though, so I assumed it was temperature related. I kept running it though since I had no idea what to do with it. I've already been fighting vibrations and other issues for awhile. I've changed the torque converter and fluid/filter twice with it, but not a complete flush. The torque converter helped with the shudder but it didnt completely go away, although, it was much smoother on the drive home in the heat. Then the notorious governor gear gave up so I lost everything but 1st and reverse. That was an easy fix and appeared to fix the 2-3 shift, but it came back after 2 weeks of normal commuting. It stayed about the same for a while though up until recently. Now it misses about every shift, even dropping from 4th to pull a hill. Then just the other day while cruising at about 35mph, it kept lagging and then catching. I could be off the gas for a second and then ease into it, barely any power, and then engine revs would climb and the transmission would grab a second later with a jolt. It did this about 7 times in a row just rolling down the street. It's really violent each time it happens unless I catch it ahead and lift before it slams into gear. At this point, all the research I've done said to check the detent cable which I've never played with in the first place. I only disconnected it once to drop the transmission but the shift miss didn't start until a few months later. I'm at a loss at this point. I kind of just want the transmission to blow up so I can replace the whole thing and know the problem is gone instead of driving around waiting for a disaster. I don't know what else to try so any pointers would be great.
 

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the new guy
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did you end up going and resetting the shift cable? I have never done it on the 2.8 but I know my 94 Silverado had the (basically) same transmission and setting the shift cable was super easy.

look for a t5 swap and be ready one weekend. our 2.8 powered truck is a 5 speed and its not bad, at all. its enjoyable to drive and very easy to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
did you end up going and resetting the shift cable? I have never done it on the 2.8 but I know my 94 Silverado had the (basically) same transmission and setting the shift cable was super easy.

look for a t5 swap and be ready one weekend. our 2.8 powered truck is a 5 speed and its not bad, at all. its enjoyable to drive and very easy to work on.
I didn't reset it, just tried to get it as close to where it was before. I did find a manual truck that had everything I would need to do the swap and definitely considered it. I did get talked out of it though. I was told it's probably more effort than it's worth.
 

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the new guy
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no way, its way worth it. gas mileage improves, acceleration is better. its only more effort then it is worth if its not worth it to you.

I prefer standards. I try to buy standards instead of autos but sometimes you have to swap them. we did my son's bmw summer before last and he loves it. now that he has an m50 motor to put into it (86 325), he is looking for a new 5 speed then the 86 transmission so he can keep the stick
 

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Discussion Starter #5
no way, its way worth it. gas mileage improves, acceleration is better. its only more effort then it is worth if its not worth it to you.

I prefer standards. I try to buy standards instead of autos but sometimes you have to swap them. we did my son's bmw summer before last and he loves it. now that he has an m50 motor to put into it (86 325), he is looking for a new 5 speed then the 86 transmission so he can keep the stick
I'm kind of wishing I went with the swap when I originally found the donor truck a couple months ago. It was a complete truck and had everything. When i first found it, it was when the governor gear went out. I thought the trans was gone gone and started looking around. Then I discovered what the problem was and things were working again so I didn't buy the truck. It would've been a steal though, i think he only wanted $300 because the fuel pump was bad.
 

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the new guy
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that happens to us all.

I recently passed on a 95 single cab f150 with the 300-6 and a 5 speed because I wanted to talk the person down to 500 instead of 800. the next person bought it. 800 was a good deal
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, the trans went out over the weekend. I still have reverse, but when you put it in drive all you get is a nasty whine/grindy noise. It sounds like something's stripped out. I've done a little reading and it sounds like it could be the sunshell that stripped? I'm not sure if that would've caused my 2-3 shift issue, I don't exactly know how automatics work lol. Has anyone tried to rebuild these things? Is it worth it?
 

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Been there Done it
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It's possible to DIY rebuild it, but most 1st attempts that I've seen don't turn out well. There are so many little details that have to be right. Plus you are going to need to purchase a few special tools and some books.
The best route is to find a local independent builder. There are retired trans guys all over the country who do quality work at reasonable prices as a hobby and to make a few bucks. Built right they are a reliable trans. You local builder can recommend the necessary upgrades. A lot of which were included in later 700R4's
Go to a couple local car shows or Caffine and Octane type events and ask around.
PM Tranzman he might be able to recommend a guy in your area.

Doubt you can find a good used one for an 86. Consider using an 89-9? 700R4 core for your rebuild. They have an auxiliary valve body and are stronger overall. Might be hard to find even a core because by 89 a lot of S-series got the 4.3 which used a different case than the 2.8.

DO NOT EVER buy a rebuilt trans off the internet. Most are total ripoffs. The big chains like Aamco aren't much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok! I found a donor truck that might work for a manual conversion. Its a 1991 Standard cab short bed just like my truck, but its the 2.5 manual. I think the bell housing is the same, but im not sure how compatible everything else would be for my truck. Any ideas?
 
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