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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Scotia, NY - a little town in Schenectady county just west of Albany.

I’ve also called around to shops and so far, nobody really wants to work on it… these cars are getting tough to service unless you DIY aren’t they?


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93 NA ATX 3000gt DOHC
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To help you understand the importance of trans control lever being in correct location (detent) at same time park/neutral switch is lined up. The manual spool valve circled in red, is located by the control lever detent on the transmission. When you select a gear from inside car that valve moves to proper position to route fluid to different passages you can see leaving it, at same time the park/neutral switch must send correct signal to TCU for proper solenoid valves operation. That’s why it’s important that inside console lever places trans control lever in proper position.
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Scotia, NY - a little town in Schenectady county just west of Albany.

I’ve also called around to shops and so far, nobody really wants to work on it… these cars are getting tough to service unless you DIY aren’t they?
I have a working spare MD755013 from a ’93 I’d be willing for you to try, if you were close enough to me, but man your closer to New Hampshire than southeast Virginia. Maybe someone closer to you with proper part# unit might see this and offer one up for a test.

Yeah it’s getting hard to find someone to work them, even I wouldn’t attempt to do major internal work on them even having a general understanding of automatic transmissions from FAR past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Well, I called around to some transmission shops. First of all, nobody really wants to touch this car… it’s crazy! I know they were super complicated in 1995, but are they really that complicated compared to a brand new car, even a more pedestrian one like a Civic or Accord?

The shop that originally rebuilt the transmission in 2014 for the previous owner is going to take a look at it though. I just loaded it onto a flatbed to get brought up there. We’ll see how this goes!

I’m going to feel dumb if it ends up being something simple but I was at a bit of a crossroads, I kind of wanted to try a fluid and filter change but without it shifting into gear I was afraid I’d refill it to the wrong level and risk further damage. The there was a better-than-zero probability I’d have to drain it again because it would turn out the issue was the valve body (or something attached to it, like the solenoids). And honestly, I couldn’t even find a valve body, and looking at a picture of it, I have zero confidence in my ability to do a DIY rebuild or even cleaning.

Are we in the valley right now? Like I know with classic cars, first the parts dry up, then there’s a resurgence as the community fills the void. Is it likely to get better from here as the remaining 3000GTs end up in the hands of people like me, who wanted one as a teen but couldn’t even come close to affording it?


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Well, I called around to some transmission shops. First of all, nobody really wants to touch this car… it’s crazy! I know they were super complicated in 1995, but are they really that complicated compared to a brand new car, even a more pedestrian one like a Civic or Accord?

The shop that originally rebuilt the transmission in 2014 for the previous owner is going to take a look at it though. I just loaded it onto a flatbed to get brought up there. We’ll see how this goes!

............ And honestly, I couldn’t even find a valve body, and looking at a picture of it, I have zero confidence in my ability to do a DIY rebuild or even cleaning.......
Reason it’s hard to find shops willing to work on these transmissions, is they require someone with previous experience with these particular transmissions. As you mentioned they were complicated with electronics in early 90’s before sophisticated troubleshooting devices to point repairmen in correct direction. Unlike later years as sophistication advanced so did the advanced electronic troubleshooting support devices.

Hopefully original transmission service can locate problem without another rebuild being required. Wishing you luck with this move.

No you wouldn’t want to take on a valve body cleaning or rebuild, they have many parts and pieces including even small steel balls in some that fall out when disassembled. You’d have to know where those balls/etc. go in order to get it reassembled correctly. And that description is of valve bodies I messed with ~ 5 decades ago with no electronics, just mechanical linkages and some occasional vacuum modulators.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Reason it’s hard to find shops willing to work on these transmissions, is they require someone with previous experience with these particular transmissions. As you mentioned they were complicated with electronics in early 90’s before sophisticated troubleshooting devices to point repairmen in correct direction. Unlike later years as sophistication advanced so did the advanced electronic troubleshooting support devices.

Hopefully original transmission service can locate problem without another rebuild being required. Wishing you luck with this move.

No you wouldn’t want to take on a valve body cleaning or rebuild, they have many parts and pieces including even small steel balls in some that fall out when disassembled. You’d have to know where those balls/etc. go in order to get it reassembled correctly. And that description is of valve bodies I messed with ~ 5 decades ago with no electronics, just mechanical linkages and some occasional vacuum modulators.
Yeah, it will be pretty annoying if another rebuild is needed - I checked the Carfax again and it turns out it's been LESS than 4000 miles since the rebuild. The previous owner had it rebuilt in 2014 at around 114k. I bought it from him in 2017 with 115k, and I'm now at 117,800. (I have the 3000GT insured through Hagerty as a classic, so I'm limited on miles anyway, and I also only drive it on nice days. I also drive less these days).

I'm still inclined to believe it's something electronic or hydraulic, not mechanical. Unless the rebuild was done incorrectly, regardless of the fact that it's been 7 years, it should have lasted far longer than 3800 miles, unless rebuilds have a tendency to not last as long as factory-original.

Honestly, if the thing needs another complete overhaul, I've toyed with trying to hunt down a junked manual... I doubt the expense of having that installed would be significantly higher than a rebuild, and on the other end I now have a manual 3000GT :) only problem being I'd want it done right - working cruise control, park/neutral safety wires maybe hooked up to a clutch switch instead of jumped, etc).
 

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it should have lasted far longer than 3800 miles, unless rebuilds have a tendency to not last as long as factory-original.
Rebuild should last as long as original if done right, mine was rebuilt at ~ 111K and now has ~142k on it, so it’s lasted ~ 31K so far with no signs of failure yet. With the exception of TCU failure which wasn't caused by the rebuild.

For automatic to manual swap to be done right as you outlined, will require a lot of wiring modifications or complete wiring harness swap also. There’s more than just the clutch switch involved, there’s even differences in gauge cluster wiring like the manual doesn’t have the OD off and PWR indicator lights in tach. Manual doesn’t have solenoid valves, pulse generator and park/neutral switch connector\wires that you ran test on . The manual does have a different reverse switch at trans, also it does use a starter relay you now don’t have and in some cases an anti-theft starter disable relay. This might not be all that’s involved, just what pops into my mind without any research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Fun update… I heard from the shop that did the original rebuild, and they “think the issue is something internal” but they don’t have the computers to read it (of course, because of that hybrid OBD1/2 system it uses). The mechanic is talking to the guy who used to work there and probably DID the rebuild, and also talking to someone he knows at a Mitsubishi dealer… Just waiting to hear back.


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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Ok… heard back again… they’ve ruled out electrical causes, and say they need to drop the transmission again to get inside it (for $2800-$3500). Is that fair, or do I need a second opinion on this?

I definitely don’t have the skills to do internal transmission work at home.

I also inquired about a goodwill “cost sharing” arrangement on the second rebuild, because it was rebuilt 7 years (well outside the warranty) but only 3800 miles ago. The mechanic actually said it’s likely that sitting that much instead of getting driven is what caused the problem in the first place. True? False? Convenient excuse?

I haven’t authorized anything yet.


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I’d think that price is in the average range. I’d say not being driven enough fails in the Convenient Excuse category; I have a Dodge pickup that doesn’t get driven much that I’ve gone 5 years only putting 3600 miles on it, automatic transmission is still working fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
That’s kind of my thought as well… I have a Honda minivan I haven’t driven much more than that, and it’s fine! And the transmission’s never been rebuilt! 2000 miles/yr tops. Covid, ya know?

I brought up all the diagnostic work I’ve already done and my strong suspicion that it’ll ultimately fall on valve body or solenoids (which are mounted to the valve body), all of which doesn’t require dropping the transmission, just the pan. Figured it was worth checking into before going the route of a full rebuild and the shop said they don’t do that, if it’s inside they do the whole thing. Seems weird.

I’m studying the factory service manual some more, and honestly, thinking of having the car brought home as I have a lead on a mechanic who knows classic imports and might be able to assist further on some of the on-vehicle repairs that I suspect are ultimately going to fix it.

I also called Aamco (yes, I know, but our local one has gotten pretty good reviews)… I got a great vibe from the guy I talked to. He actually seemed to surprisingly know about the 3000GT and F4A33 transmission, and when I described my symptoms he immediately thought valve body or solenoids. He said even if they had to do a full rebuild it would be $2100, and if as he suspects it’s just the valve body it would be less than that and if just solenoids, even less and DIYable.

I’ll probably follow up with that mechanic about the on-vehicle stuff and once it’s ruled out, hand it off to Aamco if a bigger repair is needed. Guess it’s a good thing Hagerty gives me free towing.


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I also called Aamco (yes, I know, but our local one has gotten pretty good reviews)… I got a great vibe from the guy I talked to. He actually seemed to surprisingly know about the 3000GT and F4A33 transmission, and when I described my symptoms he immediately thought valve body or solenoids. He said even if they had to do a full rebuild it would be $2100, and if as he suspects it’s just the valve body it would be less than that and if just solenoids, even less and DIYable.
Name of service provider is not as important as ability of person doing the work. It sounds like the guy from Aamco has a more logical approach than where you have it now, never heard of transmission service that wouldn't check valve body without a complete rebuild.
 
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