View Full Version : Few questions about a non-a

06-11-2009, 01:37 PM
Well not so much questions as I'd like to hear some opinions about this for curiosity sake

My fiance has a 92 plymouth grand voyager with the 3.3 and the dreaded a604 transmission. After 180k+ miles it's starting to lose oil pressure fast, he just replaced the timing chain and oil pump in September so it's not the oil pump, therefore it's more likely than not that it's the main bearings in the engine. We're not trying to fix it or save it or anything like that because he's basically just driving it until it goes, but at the same time we'd like to keep it running for at least another year plus to save up some money.

Anyways, this is what one of his master techs at work reccommended: Put in a quart of trans fluid with his old oil, run it hot for a while, drain everything out, put new oil in and a quart of Lucas. Anyone ever heard of this before? He did it, and it'll shoot up to 40+ psi when he's driving it, but at hot idle his gauge still reads low, which brings me to my next question.... has anyone ever dealt with the Cyberdrine (sp?) gauges? I know they read low at or below 6psi, but his won't jump out of the low reading until after he hits about 1300+ rpms.

We're going to buy a dial gauge like I have in my ciera ($20 at Harbor Freight and it has 7 different LED backlight colors) and we'll see if it reads differently, I'm just wondering if the gauge he has is a POS.

On a side note, the van is having shifting issues too, he just had the transmission rebuilt a year ago (lasted 180k can't complain but...) we're thinking the guy used the old torque converter because it doesn't like first gear. Sometimes it starts itself out in second, one time we were idling up to a stop sign and it didn't want to shift out of first (felt like he was tapping the brakes), but once you get it up to highway speeds it shifts smoothly again.

Like I said, we're only looking to get a couple more years out of it, the body is rusting out anyways (even though it's not Really an issue since it has a full frame) and someone stole his bumper skin when he lived farther north :ugh2:

I don't know if this would be classified as a rant, or some questions, but if anyone wants to throw some opinions in here or tips to keep it goin we're listening

06-11-2009, 01:42 PM
I've heard of tranny fluid to clean the gunk out of an engine. The problem with engine flushes, is that sometimes the gunk is holding the gaskets and seals together. You could discover that the engine leaks like a sieve after the tranny fluid treatment.

What weight of oil are you running? IIRC, my old 94 Voyager with the 3.0 called for 10w30. A thought might be just an oil change and some lucas. Possibly try some 10w40 (or even better) 15w40 and a bottle of Lucas.

As for the tranny, Lucas makes a tranny additive. Some people claim good success with it.

06-11-2009, 01:47 PM
I think he did put 10w40 in it with the Lucas.... and the oil pressure still isn't great. That's why I'm thinking to try a different gauge. The engine was rebuilt from the top up at 60k (ish) and he did the oil pan gasket and what not in november with the timing chain... I'll tell him to watch for leaks though, thanks for the tips :D

06-11-2009, 11:44 PM
20w50 oil, bottle of lucas, and a prayer. The cam bearings are probly shot, and its only a decline from there. But my caddy run about 30k miles on bad cam bearings. So just keep driving it until its done..

06-12-2009, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the info Pontiac, appreciate the info

06-12-2009, 01:03 AM
i alway keep a nice mechaile oil gaugle around for dianosics (im using an older Stewart waner oil gaugle) if you think it the gauge check like that. but im going with Pontiac's fix. 20w50 and drive it tell it dies. the good news is cam bearing ware very slow (about to rebuilds worth of ware ;) ) if that the problem.

06-12-2009, 03:50 AM
If it wasn't a pain in the ass to get to he'd hook up his oil pressure tester on it, it's buried on those vans. That's kind of why I was thinking the dial gauge, because now I'm not so sure as to the quality of cyberdyne... a few of the segments are already blown out on the thing, one blew about a month after I got it.

07-29-2009, 01:08 PM
Ok, just to update, the oil pressure is staying steady with the heavier oil and the stabelizer, obviously still something that's going to go... but we did find out what the issue with the shifting seems to be.

Yesterday it was acting up again so he took it into work and hooked up a scan tool to the engine computer and another to the trans computer. It came up with a/c codes which he took out his a/c system so that's no big deal, But it showed up with a code for coil #2 SO it seems as though his voyager has been running periodically on 4 cylinders, which can mimick a bad shift, and can throw the trans off.... so we'll be checking out the wires to the coil first since he's had problems with the wires to a different coil a few years ago. He always wanted his van to be different, introducing the first 92 voyager that can switch from 4 to 6 to 4 to 6 cylinders whenever IT wants to... lol

07-30-2009, 01:29 AM

My grandfather used transmission fluid to clean out the crankcase in the old days. That's how they did it back then without all the stuff we have today. It only takes 1/2 cup of tranny fluid in the oil. The exhaust will smoke and it'll clean the engine out. But since you're looking to extend the engine life, I wouldn't do that. Tranny fluid is meant to remove old oil. You want the old oil to stay, to help seal as much as possible.

I've used Lucas in the gas tank to clean my fuel injectors. LOVE the stuff. A mechanic friend of mine recommended it to me, and it does make a difference. I tend to put in 1 cup of Lucas with a full tank twice a year- once in the winter, and once in the spring. But, that's not relevant to your issue. Never tried the stuff in transmissions, and I wouldn't try it.

There is this oil thickener that I use with high mileage engines, and it's so thick, and golden colored. Love the stuff. Engines run quieter with this, and oil protection is higher. It's thick like molasses.

Much like this:

Wal-mart has something like this, in a smaller container for something like $1.99, and that's what I use. I don't remember exactly what it's called. I just go and grab it, and been using it for the past 2 years with our old cars. (Walmart only has one brand of thick oil, so no mistake there when you look for it.) I still use it with my Century, but I only put in a dollop rather than the whole thing since my century only has 80k miles now.

As for your transmission problem, I agree, could be the coil. My wife's Ford Focus did the same thing. I thought it was the transmission. Car drove like hell, and every time I tried to accelerate, it'd decelerate and threaten to soft-sieze. (Now that I know what it was, but at the time, thought it was the tranny overheating) Turned out that the coil was no-good, and the car was running on only 3 cylinders. Put in new coil, ran like new!

It's just me, but I wouldn't put motor oil in the tranny. I'd look for heavier weight tranny fluid. Trannies are ultra sensitive about having dirt and stuff in the fluid. Putting old oil would only introduce contaminants in the system. I'm sure even with a simple tranny flush, your van will be happier with fresh tranny fluid, even if it's the original weight that you're supposed to use.


07-30-2009, 06:20 PM
Also my teacher told me that with the exact van and trans, a plug wire was arching next to the transmissions ECU, and it was cauing erratic shifts, 2nd gear starts, and odd things. I personally wouldnt use thick ass oil. Its just going to starve the engine of oil when its cold and wear it out quicker. ONLY USE AFT+4 IN THAT TRANS! It will destroy it if you put dexron or especially motor oil in it.

07-31-2009, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the tips guys :) We'll change the oil before winter to compensate for being too thick. We know alll about the fluid, but I haven't heard about the plug wires arching, I'll definately mention that and the thicker oil from walmart to him.

Thanks again guys, always good to have lots of opinions

08-01-2009, 04:43 PM
Hi SilentWing, my recomendation would be to use the goverment deal 'cash for clunkers'
you did say you were going to get a new van and 4500 bucks is a good peice of change,
some dealers are offering 4500 + 4500 for a total of 9000 dollars on a new vehicle.

cut your expenses now and not several hundred down the road, the program may not be around when you are willing to get another vehicle.

Crazy K
08-01-2009, 08:23 PM
Hi SilentWing, my recomendation would be to use the goverment deal 'cash for clunkers'
you did say you were going to get a new van and 4500 bucks is a good peice of change,
some dealers are offering 4500 + 4500 for a total of 9000 dollars on a new vehicle.

cut your expenses now and not several hundred down the road, the program may not be around when you are willing to get another vehicle.

that would be all great and dandy if they have great credit and don't mind getting stuck with car payments...

but then again, they could buy a used car next year and the depreciation of new vs used will be worth more than that $4500.

besides.. the a604 is an Overdrive transmission... and may be too efficient for the program! if it was a 3 speed on the otherhand....

08-01-2009, 11:36 PM
yeah the problem with that is the vehicle has to get less than 18mpg combined city and highway from what I've read from the bombardment of fliers we've recieved, and even if we could get it we'd get maybe 200 for it, and he'd pretty much have to buy a prius to get anywhere Near the 4500... not to mention I don't support the cash for clunkers program. Thanks anyways....

What he's going to do is drive it for as long as it'll last putting the minimal amount of money in it possible, then he wants to get an 01-07 body-style caravan sxt with the 3.8... we'll try to figure out if the new vans with the 4.0 are just a stroked 3.8 for modification purposes but he doesn't want to buy one of the 08+ caravans... they look way too much like imports in the back *cough Scion XB*

10-09-2009, 08:36 PM
Dragging this back up.... I've got a request for you guys.

Can anyone get their hands on a TCM for a 92-95 caravan or voyager with the 3.3L engine that's still working for a decent price? (they want 50+ on fleabay) I know a few of you can get decent prices from your local JY's or maybe you have another source...

Basically we've narrowed it down to the shifting problem most likely coming from the torque converter lockup, it only happens when the engine is hot... but now because of it it either bogs down terribly or slams the gears every so often. The plan is to change the fluid in case the idiot shop that rebuilt it used non Mopar fluid and replace the TCM as cheaply as possible.

Thanks in advance

10-21-2009, 09:36 PM
Cancel that... turns out the poor van is going to be RIP soon, The bearing that the CV shaft goes into pissed a big puddle of trans fluid out, and at this point it would need a CV shaft, the bearing (which we're not sure if it's a press in in which case he'd need to remove the diff case to have a shop press a new one in), and possibly either the solenoid pack or torque converter or both since we can't figure out which one is causing the irratic shifting ... for a couple of days the dogging down problem stopped but it didn't have OD anymore (1800 RPMs at 50 mph). That on top of the fact that the body has been going (the floor pans are starting to seperate) and the windshield is cracked leads us to the conclusion that trying to fix the transmission problem would only put a bandaid on the overall condition at a cost of who knows what by the time we found the real problem.

So the plan is drive it until it goes then he's gonna get a newer one... sad times