May 2004 Archives - Transmission Digest
A New Way of Looking at Things

If a 1998 or newer Kia enters your shop with code P1624, MIL request signal from TCM to ECM, and/or P1121, TPS signal malfunction from ECM to TCM, here’s a new approach to diagnosing and solving the code.

I Don’t Like the Cold

The past winter months brought to surface a condition of no upshift from first gear when cold with the SAAB/Volvo 50-42LE transmission. When it warms up, all shift sequences are restored. The time in which this occurs varies.

Why Don’t They Make Any Money?

I spent the past two evenings presenting an advanced sales seminar and one on figuring the cost of doing business to a group of owners and managers of transmission and general-repair shops. One shop owner showed up with his entire crew – a service writer and three technicians. As I was speaking with him after class, he told me that his main reason for bringing them all was to show them where the money is supposed to be made, how it gets paid out and what’s supposed to be left over as profit. He also wanted them all to realize that everyone in the shop eventually comes into contact with customers in one way or another, meaning that they all play a role, no matter how small, in making the sale.

Miracles Do Happen

A 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee was brought to a Cottman Transmission shop in Jennings, Mo. The customer‘s complaints were typical for this model transmission and correct for the mileage of the vehicle. A complete transmission and converter rebuild were sold and, because of the chronic cooler-line problems, a cooler-line update was sold for added security.

May 2004 Issue

Beginning at the start of production for some 1999 models, BMW introduced a new five-speed automatic transmission (see Figure 1) that is designed and manufactured by General Motors Powertrain division in Strasbourg, France. This new transmission is designated the A5S 360R in BMW 3-and 5-series applications and the 5L40-E in Cadillac CTS applications.

The 5L40-E transmission is a completely new-design rear-wheel-drive unit and was designed to be a four- or five-speed. The same case and components are used for both applications with the exception of the 2nd clutch and the 2nd sprag clutch, and the use of a smaller Ravigneaux planetary carrier assembly in the four-speed version.

Six-Speed Solutions

The T56 now is found in Camaros, Firebirds, Dodge Vipers, C5 Corvettes, Aston Martins, the Australian Holden, Mustang Cobra R’s, the new Pontiac GTO and the just-released Cadillac CTS-V. Tremec also developed an aftermarket T56 unit that replaces the T5 units used in earlier Mustangs, Camaros and Firebirds. This unit is a direct bolt-in, which will require some modification to the cross member, driveshaft and, on Mustangs, the exhaust system.