September 2004 Archives - Transmission Digest
September 2004 Issue

Beginning with the 1999 model year, Isuzu NPR, GMC Forward Tiltmaster, Chevrolet Forward, Nissan UD and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks no longer use the JR403E Electromatic transmission.

These trucks now are equipped with the Aisin Seiki 450-43LE transmission (see Figure 1), a Toyota-designed transmission that is almost identical to a 1993-94 Toyota Land Cruiser A442F transmission.

There She Blows!

Lately on the phone lines, we’ve had a rash of calls concerning transmission fluid spewing out the filler tube on trucks equipped with the JR403E Electromatic transmission once the transmission reaches operating temperature.

Subarus Have Their Own Set of Problems

The four-speed automatic Subaru is a first cousin to the RE4RO1A, RE4RO3A and JR403, but the Subaru version of this transmission has not been plagued by the converter-clutch problems that have afflicted other members of its family. The Subaru was the only one to offer an all-wheel-drive option, which has allowed it to have its own set of problems.

New Venture Gear Transfer Cases

In the manual-transmission market, stick-shift transmissions make up roughly 20% of the vehicle population, with automatic transmissions grabbing the lion’s share of the market. The transfer-case market has exploded with the variety of SUVs and crossover vehicles being added to the market and the fact that whether the transmission is manual or automatic, a transfer case must be involved to obtain four-wheel drive.

Dealing With Angry People

Angry with you? Not necessarily. When people are angry these days, many times it’s because they have higher expectations than ever before and those expectations somehow are not being met. It is funny, though, that not so many years ago people didn’t expect very much from anything – not from the products they bought nor from the customer service they received. But owing to such vast improvements in both areas, people now have grown to expect much-better and more-durable products. At the same time they also believe that good customer relations is nothing special anymore. It has become a given. They expect to get value for their money, and if for some reason that doesn’t happen they expect someone to rectify the problem with the utmost speed and the least amount of fuss.

An Optical Illusion

There is nothing more frustrating for any technician and/or shop owner than to encounter a late-model vehicle experiencing problems and have no diagnostic codes to go by. One well-experienced example of this would be with pre-1996 vehicles. Many different styles of electronic transmissions would not set a code for an inhibitor switch because there were no codes for the computer to produce. So when it would malfunction, it would leave the technician clueless as to the source of the problem.