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4th is like neutral

 
Old 12-22-2018, 11:52 PM
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4th is like neutral

Hello, Acurazine. I'm a long time lurker, and a first time poster. I've browsed this site for a long time to fix my 1999 3.0CL that I loved dearly, but ended up losing control of it and slammed it into a tree, completely totaling it last month. I'm lucky to be alive.
Any who, I've upgraded to a 2003 3.2CL Type S. I absolutely love this car, and it is a massive upgrade to me. I bought it from a second owner, which the first owner is best friends with, at 196k miles. I bought it knowing that 4th gear was broken. The first owner had it recalled years ago, and then the second owner had it rebuilt, and then 6 months later, 4th gear went out. It's basically like driving in neutral.
I've searched the forums, and have found about 1 or 2 threads describing a similar problem, but with no real answers. The car drives perfectly smooth from 1st-3rd gear, besides Reverse slamming occasionally when first starting. I'm able to skip 4th gear on the high way using the SS and rev matching while constantly attempting to upshift.
My question is, what might be the issue, and is it fixable, or do I need a rebuild/swap. I'm quite aware of the glass transmissions (had my 3.0CL Tranny rebuilt due to 3rd gear clutch pack failure), but have reading about pressure switch's being replaced can fix shifting issues, or solenoids being cleaned. I'm considering at least giving the pressure switches a chance before I swap out the tranny.
What are you're thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:19 AM
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Disclaimer; I haven't owned any Honda products with the transmission in your 2003.

With the above said, a few points in no particular order:
  • The 4-Speed unit in your 1999 has basically nothing in common with the 5-Speed unit in your 2003; that said, both were not the most reliable automatic transmissions ever built, far from it actually.
  • Were I in your shoes I would replace both the third and fourth gear pressure switches as well as performing a 3x3 transmission fluid drain/replacement operation (a description of the 3x3 procedure is all over this forum if you don't already know what it means), and see if that fixes your issue.
  • If all else fails, the consensus is to loose the transmission you've got and replace it with the BAYA unit from a 2006-2007 V6 Honda Accord (also referred to as an AV6 transmission). Once again, were I in your shoes, I'd shop for a relatively low mileage unit from a wrecked car and put it in with nothing more than a replacement of the pressure switches and an ATF refresh.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:02 AM
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From what I read, the 3.0cl & 3.2cl have the exact same trannies, just the 3.2cl has an extra gear. I'm not an expert on this subject, so i'm not going to debate it. Just what I've read.
The previous owner said they had the fluid drained & filled, but that he didn't do it. I assume they used some other brand other than a Genuine Honda brand, because he wasn't sure. I plan on doing a drain & fill eventually, but it might be awhile. So pressure switches will be first. I just don't know if that will fix the 4th gear at all.
Aside from all that, a swap is going to be my last resort, and I've been looking at both Odyssey & Accord trannies. Which one is more reliable if it comes down to it? They both seem to be around the same price with plenty of different options on mileages on sites that i've lurked.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
From what I read, the 3.0cl & 3.2cl have the exact same trannies, just the 3.2cl has an extra gear. I'm not an expert on this subject, so i'm not going to debate it. Just what I've read.
The previous owner said they had the fluid drained & filled, but that he didn't do it. I assume they used some other brand other than a Genuine Honda brand, because he wasn't sure. I plan on doing a drain & fill eventually, but it might be awhile. So pressure switches will be first. I just don't know if that will fix the 4th gear at all.
Aside from all that, a swap is going to be my last resort, and I've been looking at both Odyssey & Accord trannies. Which one is more reliable if it comes down to it? They both seem to be around the same price with plenty of different options on mileages on sites that i've lurked.
Not sure what you're reading, but the 4-Speed unit in your old CL has virtually nothing in common with the 5-Speed unit in your new CL. As for which tranny to use as a swap, the consensus is the 2006-2007 Accord V6 transmission, and nothing else.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:33 AM
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They were posts that I read on here. Probably of outdated information. Accord tranny it is then.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
They were posts that I read on here. Probably of outdated information. Accord tranny it is then.
Here's an interesting read on the H5 transmission; http://www.atraonline.com/gears/2007...2007_05_22.pdf

The article makes it quite clear the H5 is a completely new design.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
From what I read, the 3.0cl & 3.2cl have the exact same trannies, just the 3.2cl has an extra gear. I'm not an expert on this subject, so i'm not going to debate it. Just what I've read.
The previous owner said they had the fluid drained & filled, but that he didn't do it. I assume they used some other brand other than a Genuine Honda brand, because he wasn't sure. I plan on doing a drain & fill eventually, but it might be awhile. So pressure switches will be first. I just don't know if that will fix the 4th gear at all.
Aside from all that, a swap is going to be my last resort, and I've been looking at both Odyssey & Accord trannies. Which one is more reliable if it comes down to it? They both seem to be around the same price with plenty of different options on mileages on sites that i've lurked.
Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Not sure what you're reading, but the 4-Speed unit in your old CL has virtually nothing in common with the 5-Speed unit in your new CL. As for which tranny to use as a swap, the consensus is the 2006-2007 Accord V6 transmission, and nothing else.
horseshoez, just an FYI. You may have already read/explored the thread below in your research; however, the quote below is probably what the OP remembers, from back in the day, when the first options for auto tranny swaps into the 2nd gen CL/TL's started to be explored. It is mentioned that an 07 base TL auto tranny could be used as well as an 04-06 oddy trans:

https://acurazine.com/forums/2g-cl-p...l-guys-758220/

Originally Posted by NVA-AV6 View Post
Ok guys......

Preffered would be a 04-06 oddy trans, since it is a mom mobile there is much less chance it has been beaten on and they are plentiful in the yards.

It is not completely a direct drop in there are some parts (trans range switch,trans filter housing) that need to be transferred and a couple holes that are cast into the housing need to be tapped, the bosses are there they just need to be drilled and tapped.

Triptronic is all a matter of ECU, the physical trans has nothing to do with it.
Then it migrated to the BAYA unit from a 2006-2007 V6 Honda Accord, most likely, as you know, because it is 'better' and more plentiful.
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Old 12-23-2018, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by zeta View Post
horseshoez, just an FYI. You may have already read/explored the thread below in your research; however, the quote below is probably what the OP remembers, from back in the day, when the first options for auto tranny swaps into the 2nd gen CL/TL's started to be explored. It is mentioned that an 07 base TL auto tranny could be used as well as an 04-06 oddy trans:

https://acurazine.com/forums/2g-cl-p...l-guys-758220/



Then it migrated to the BAYA unit from a 2006-2007 V6 Honda Accord, most likely, as you know, because it is 'better' and more plentiful.
Thanks, missed that thread. My take away is the AV6 tranny is a bolt-in replacement, the 2007-2008 H5 requires machining to the case to get it to fit.
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Old 12-23-2018, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Thanks, missed that thread. My take away is the AV6 tranny is a bolt-in replacement, the 2007-2008 H5 requires machining to the case to get it to fit.
Exactly, after all these years here, if I had to grapple with this tranny problem today because I made the mistake of buying the auto CL-S rather than the CL-S6, no matter what I read in the past, the AV6 route is not to be disputed as the most correct action.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:47 PM
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Well good news everyone, my 4th gear is working now! I decides to let it sit in 4th gear while driving just to see if it would ever engage. It never did, and instead turned on my check engine light. So I went home, disconnected the battery for a few minutes to turn off the CEL, which worked. I didn't drive it since doing that last night until now. 4th gear engages now, if not slightly rough. Nothing a drain & fill using Honda ATF won't fix I imagine.
Now I can start saving for a 6 speed conversion.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
Now I can start saving for a 6 speed conversion.
Ummm, good luck with that; the cost, time, and ultimate results are neither for light of wallet, scare of time, or faint of heart. Can it be done? Yes, but with varying degrees of success.

Long story short, your best option would be to snag a 5-Speed automatic transmission from a 2006-2007 V6 Honda Accord and put that in.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:54 PM
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I'm aware. It won't be for awhile unfortunately.
I have a lot of threads saved from here about people doing it successfully, and all the parts needed, and what all needs to be done. I've already sourced a manual transmission.
I know it won't be cheap, nor easy, but I do hope to get it done eventually later down the line. But not until this tranny dies.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
I'm aware. It won't be for awhile unfortunately.
I have a lot of threads saved from here about people doing it successfully, and all the parts needed, and what all needs to be done. I've already sourced a manual transmission.
I know it won't be cheap, nor easy, but I do hope to get it done eventually later down the line. But not until this tranny dies.
Where did you get the transmission? Did you get one with a built in LSD or an open diff?
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:28 PM
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The tranny was pulled off of a 3.2CL from a junkyard, so it's an LSD I presume? I'm not a car expert, I'm learning as I go through these threads and having existing problems. I don't intend to install myself, but I know these trannies are rare, so I'll be sitting on it for now.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Thefireball View Post
The tranny was pulled off of a 3.2CL from a junkyard, so it's an LSD I presume? I'm not a car expert, I'm learning as I go through these threads and having existing problems. I don't intend to install myself, but I know these trannies are rare, so I'll be sitting on it for now.
Yes, that's an LSD tranny. If you're not going to be doing the work yourself, how much are you budgeting for the labor and the rest of the parts? Said another way, this could get expensive fast, and by that I mean, the cost of the conversion could easily exceed the value of your car.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Yes, that's an LSD tranny. If you're not going to be doing the work yourself, how much are you budgeting for the labor and the rest of the parts? Said another way, this could get expensive fast, and by that I mean, the cost of the conversion could easily exceed the value of your car.
Sorry for the late response, I've been going off my email for for a notice for reply.
I only paid $1500 for the car in good condition. Really only needs a new trunk/boot lid because it looks like some one beat it with a bat, as well as the emblems that go on it. I really under paid for what I got. So it exceeding it's cost, even up to $3000 for a swap isn't a concern to me. I love Acura's CLs, and I wish they would bring a line of them back. I don't really like the looks of the '04 & up TL's, except maybe the backs of them. Other than that, they're fine.
Budgeting wise, I'm looking at saving up a minimum of $2k, and then asking around to places to kind of get an idea. But right now, the transmission works, and just needs new pressure switches and a drain & fill performed on it. Until it starts to show signs of it actually dying, I'm going to continue driving it before I waste people's time asking for a price evaluation on a conversion.
With that said, I have many friends who are mechanics that are willing to do it (semi) cheaply. I'm really not worried about. I love this car, and I'm willing to take care of it.

Also, I something I realized after disconnecting my battery & having the 4th gear. When I did that, I looked at my dash, and saw my miles was at 194K... When I had bought the car at 196k miles. I have a passed emissions test to prove it.
Is there any kind of explanation as to why that happened? Perhaps the 4th gear not working has something to do with? Maybe it discounted the unused 4th gear miles from the mileage?

Last edited by Thefireball; 01-05-2019 at 03:35 AM.
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