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Thread: Automatic Transmission Problems

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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Automatic Transmission Problems

    I have a 95 auto trans with sport shift. On the second day of the HPDE at NSXPO in Vegas, I developed transmission problems. I lost 3rd gear, and then 1st and 4th, which forced me to stop running. These problems developed after I spun out on the track (3 spins at hairpin corners and 30-35 mph). My car is currently at Finlay Acura in Las Vegas. The initial diagnosis is an electrical defect. However their first repair effort did not correct the problem. The trans works well at first, but when the trans gets up to running temperatures, it down shifts from 4th to 3rd to 2nd etc. Finlay is researching this problem, but they indicated that I may need a new trans.

    Below are my questions:
    1. Has anyone had or heard of this problem? If yes, what is the cause and associated repair?
    2. Is it possible that running backwards in a spin is harmful to the auto trans?
    3. Is running an auto trans hard on the track too much for the NSX AT?

    Any info and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mario
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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    NSXPrime Gold ofdlt10's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    hi mario,
    i had the same problem with my '94. it would drop from high gear to a lower gear after warming up. they thought it was the solenoids or the fluid. it was neither. after dismantiling the unit, it was found to be a defective second gear clutch pack.
    the problem was that we couldn't find the parts to repair it. after two months of multiple acura dealers searching in vain (we couldn't even find a new transmission), acura of tempe, arizona found one at the acura remanufactured warehouse in japan. i purchased it and had it shipped back to orlando and installed it here.
    they said the transmission fluid was burned and that caused the failure.
    i change the tranny fluid now with every other oil change (6,000 miles) and i haven't had a problem since.
    good luck with your repairs.

    cheers,
    rog
    "if you stand on the bank of the river long enough...you will see the body of your enemy float by"

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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Thanks Rog,

    I believe that Finlay's first repair try was replacing a solenoid. They were able to get 1st, 3rd and 4th gears back with that repair, but as I stated, the down shift problem manifested itself.

    I was running the car hard in auto mode, not in sport shift mode. So, it is possible that I overheated the trans fluid. I had the fluid replace about 12 months ago. I wonder if it would be beneficial to install an auxiliary trans fluid cooler if Im to track the car again.

    If I may ask, what was the cost of the new trans and the installation cost, so that I know what Im up against as a worst case scenario?
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    There is a company i have seen here on prime, that I think has the number 10 in its name, that builds beefed up nsx automatics. I would try them before I turned a dealer loose with my car. Perhaps others on prime know more about them. Torque convertor is what came apart on my car.
    Last edited by clarkm; 11-04-2010 at 20:10.

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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkm View Post
    There is a company i have seen here on prime, that I think has the number 10 in its name, that builds beefed up nsx automatics. I would try them before I turned a dealer loose with my car. Perhaps others have on prime know more about them. Torque convertor is what came apart on my car.

    Yes, I'm looking at that option. They are called Level 10, somewhere back east. The trans is rebuilt to be stronger for around $3,500 not including shipping (to/from their shop) and installation. I'm going to contact them in the morning to see if they can work with a trans that is exhibiting the problems I described.

    Thanks,

    Mario
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Here is a link to Level 10.

    Good luck with your repair.
    Ken Crowell
    '91 Sebring Silver
    FSTR N U

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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ChopsJazz View Post
    Here is a link to Level 10.

    Good luck with your repair.

    Thanks Ken,
    You saved me a Google search. I'll see what Level 10 has to offer in my situation.

    Mario
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    NSXPrime Gold ofdlt10's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    hi mario,
    the total cost (honda didn't charge me for the core which was normally
    $1500, because mine was disassembled and they won't accept it if it's not all together) with installation came to almost $7k. it also came with a 1 year warranty because it was totally rebuilt by honda.
    also, as i stated, by changing the fluid every 6k miles, i haven't had one bit of trouble.
    sounds like you're getting a lot of good advice.
    talk to you later.

    best regards,
    rog
    "if you stand on the bank of the river long enough...you will see the body of your enemy float by"

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    Smile Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ofdlt10 View Post
    hi mario,
    the total cost (honda didn't charge me for the core which was normally
    $1500, because mine was disassembled and they won't accept it if it's not all together) with installation came to almost $7k. it also came with a 1 year warranty because it was totally rebuilt by honda.
    also, as i stated, by changing the fluid every 6k miles, i haven't had one bit of trouble.
    sounds like you're getting a lot of good advice.
    talk to you later.

    best regards,
    rog
    Yup, another Primer said repair costs were in the 7k range. I guess I better work harder in finding a job!

    Thanks gain
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    In March of this year an NSX auto owner from Simi Valley, CA posted a favorable review on the Level 10 Web Site on the trans he had installed in his car. He signed the review John Doe. Does anyone know this person? Does anyone know an NSX owner who has installed a Level 10 trans?

    Thanks,

    Mario
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    Registered Vendor Cody@LoveFab's Avatar
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    Mario,

    Somebody from the Midwest has a Level 10 transmission but the name is escaping me. Throw up a post in the Midwest forum to find out who it is. Good luck!!!

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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Cody@LoveFab View Post
    Mario,

    Somebody from the Midwest has a Level 10 transmission but the name is escaping me. Throw up a post in the Midwest forum to find out who it is. Good luck!!!
    Hello Cody,

    I see that you made it back home. Thanks for the lead, and thanks again for giving me and my car a ride back to the hotel.

    Best,

    Mario
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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    Registered User charlee's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Have you considered buying a used AT for 3k or less. I am assuming you are running NA. This seems to be way cheaper. Lots of the AT are from people doing a manual conversion. At this rate, you can buy two and last you just as long if not longer than the rebuilt.

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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by charlee View Post
    Have you considered buying a used AT for 3k or less. I am assuming you are running NA. This seems to be way cheaper. Lots of the AT are from people doing a manual conversion. At this rate, you can buy two and last you just as long if not longer than the rebuilt.
    My preference at this time, since I'm unemployed, is the cheapest route. However, if a used AT is not available, and the cost to rebuild or purchase a new trans is semi-close to the Level 10 option, I may bite the bullet and get the Level 10 upgrade knowing that I'll have a stronger trans. I would also like to track my car again in the futuire, the potential reason for my trans failure. I've asked Finley Acura to provide me with all options.

    Tks Mario
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    I did the level 10 Bulet proof trans upgrade and so far its been working great. But I havent had it for long enough to say much about it. They have a 6 month warranty on their products. and They have a great reputation. Tell them Sonny, with the turbo nsx reffered you and the GM will make you a better deal on the price. My tranny is made to handle 500 hp/tq. Check out my build page as i have more info on there...
    http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139094

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    Lightbulb Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    I used Hi-Tech Transmission in Merrifield, Virginia, when I had my automatic transmission rebuilt. The complete rebuild cost me approximately $3500, total, everything, and it came with a 3-year warranty. They have done three or four NSX automatic rebuilds. They were even able to get a hard-to-find part (band?) for my rebuild. They did a fantastic job on mine and I have had no trouble with it whatsoever since it was rebuilt about a year (or was it two?) ago.

    I realize this isn't your part of the country, but if you are in a bind they may be able to help you out with technical advice, or if push came to shove you might be able to ship your transmission to them.

    http://www.httrans.com/
    Last edited by Jett; 11-08-2010 at 16:54.
    1994 Acura NSX now sold - Black/Black/Automatic - "The improvement of driving comfortableness."
    1988 Honda Gold Wing GL1500

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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    UPDATE


    I received pricing from Findlay, 5K for local Vegas rebuild w/ a 1-yr warrantee and a 6K Honda rebuild w/ 3-yr warrantee. Another option is a trans upgraded by Level 10 in New Jersey for about 6.5K. However, their warrantee is only 6-mo. and I would have to ship the trans back to them for on warrantee repairs, not good. Also, several owners on the Supra Forum had bad experiences with Level 10, but all were 4-6 years ago. The last and apparently the best option is Irvine Transmission (recommended by Ramon). Their rebuild cost is 3K and they have a 3 year warrantee. I'll be going back to Vegas to trailer my car home sometime next week.

    Based on conversations with a few owners, tracking a NSX auto trans is not recommended due to the weakness of the trans. Does anyone have other info one way or another on this matter? I really enjoyed the HPDE and would like to track again on occasion, but I would hate have to sell my auto for a manual just to track occasionally.

    Best,

    Mario
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Is it safe to say that the majority of automatic transmissions will need to be rebuilt or replaced around 60-70k?

    If you're an automatic owner and have had an OEM tranny last past this mileage, what are your tips and tricks? What fluid do you use? How often do you flush the fluid?

    I'm looking into buying a OEM tranny and am afraid that if I buy one that hasn't been rebuilt that I'll need to do it at some point (i.e. big waste of time and money). Is dyno testing the tranny good enough to make sure that it won't go out on me?

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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Mario,
    Sorry to hear about the transmission. If you decide to sell it for a manual, let me know. I am looking to get another NSX in the spring, but may be interested in one sooner. Especially to get my old NSX back!

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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by DLHNSX View Post
    Mario,
    Sorry to hear about the transmission. If you decide to sell it for a manual, let me know. I am looking to get another NSX in the spring, but may be interested in one sooner. Especially to get my old NSX back!
    I just sent you a pm!
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Mario, for the money you are listing for a rebuild, you could probably do a manual swap. A used 5-speed is about $1500. You would also need the manual ECU, clutch, shift linkage and manual camshafts (and a manual gauge cluster if you are anal ). Plenty of top-notch shops in CA who could do the work. Might be worth a look.
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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by zero2nsxty View Post
    Is it safe to say that the majority of automatic transmissions will need to be rebuilt or replaced around 60-70k?

    If you're an automatic owner and have had an OEM tranny last past this mileage, what are your tips and tricks? What fluid do you use? How often do you flush the fluid?

    I'm looking into buying a OEM tranny and am afraid that if I buy one that hasn't been rebuilt that I'll need to do it at some point (i.e. big waste of time and money). Is dyno testing the tranny good enough to make sure that it won't go out on me?
    I have not heard about auto trans lasting on average only 60-70 K. I bought the car with 56k. My trans had 109,000 on it when it failed. I'm not sure if participating in the HPDE casued the failure it or just hastened the failure. I just left a message with another 1995 auto owner to see what milegae he has on his car. I'll post that milegae as soon as I hear back from him. I had the trans fluid replaced at least once. Some auto owners replace the fluid with each oil change.
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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Honcho View Post
    Mario, for the money you are listing for a rebuild, you could probably do a manual swap. A used 5-speed is about $1500. You would also need the manual ECU, clutch, shift linkage and manual camshafts (and a manual gauge cluster if you are anal ). Plenty of top-notch shops in CA who could do the work. Might be worth a look.


    I thought of that option, but I'm now selling my car, so I want to keep it an auto.
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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by zero2nsxty View Post
    Is it safe to say that the majority of automatic transmissions will need to be rebuilt or replaced around 60-70k?

    If you're an automatic owner and have had an OEM tranny last past this mileage, what are your tips and tricks? What fluid do you use? How often do you flush the fluid?

    I'm looking into buying a OEM tranny and am afraid that if I buy one that hasn't been rebuilt that I'll need to do it at some point (i.e. big waste of time and money). Is dyno testing the tranny good enough to make sure that it won't go out on me?
    A auto trans is for sale by Hugu (Huggabugga) but is in Eroupe. Another auto trans is in Canada. Both are from pre- 1995 cars.
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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    Charter Gold mcano's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Transmission Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by zero2nsxty View Post
    Is it safe to say that the majority of automatic transmissions will need to be rebuilt or replaced around 60-70k?

    If you're an automatic owner and have had an OEM tranny last past this mileage, what are your tips and tricks? What fluid do you use? How often do you flush the fluid?

    I'm looking into buying a OEM tranny and am afraid that if I buy one that hasn't been rebuilt that I'll need to do it at some point (i.e. big waste of time and money). Is dyno testing the tranny good enough to make sure that it won't go out on me?
    OK, my trans went out at 109,00 miles
    Another auto owner told me his failed at 85,000 miles.
    64 MG Red/79 RX7 Red/86 Audi 5K Grey/sold
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