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Automatic transmission stopped shifting farther than 1st gear but does get into park, reverse, drive, just doesn't upshift


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Turn overdrive off then manually shift through the gears. L is low or first gear, then 2 and see if you can feel a change, then drive which would be 3rd. 

Have you been driving it with overdrive on all the time. That can cause heat problems and possibly damage the tranny. 

I'm sure some of the guys here will have some other ideas. 

Linda S

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Broken/jammed transmission shifter cable. It goes from the throttle body to the transmission. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/26/2022 at 8:34 AM, WME said:

Broken/jammed transmission shifter cable. It goes from the throttle body to the transmission. 

Hi! Thank you so much! I found it and does seem to be jammed. Oiled it and pulled back and forth to try to unjam it. Do you have any suggestions? Sometimes it shifts and sometimes it doesn't into 3rd or it takes waaaaaay to long to shift. 

Is it hard to find? Any pointers? I don't seem to be finding it in my auto parts stores. 

I appreciate your time so much, thank you for answering and sharing your knowledge. 💗

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Just now, Marinette said:

Hi! Thank you so much! I found it and does seem to be jammed. Oiled it and pulled back and forth to try to unjam it. Do you have any suggestions? Sometimes it shifts and sometimes it doesn't into 3rd or it takes waaaaaay to long to shift. 

Is it hard to find? Any pointers? I don't seem to be finding it in my auto parts stores. 

I appreciate your time so much, thank you for answering and sharing your knowledge. 💗

 

 

It is working better but not 100% all the time and it's scary to try to get on the freeway and not know whether it's gonna shift or not. 

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Detention Cable.
 


    I know some members have had trouble finding this cable as it’s been discontinued. I pulled this quote from another Toyota site. I know nothing about the auto transmission but wanted to put it out here.
 


     
 


    I recently rebuilt my 22r engine and while reinstalling the engine and auto. trans discovered my detent\kick down cable was not functioning. Upon further investigation found the ball on the end of the cable inside the transmission had worn off. Then, I also discovered Toyota has discontinued the 84-88 detent cable. After retro fitting a number of different cables discovered that the 1990-92 Toyota Land Cruiser Cable to fit into my 85 pickup and worked great. The cable is a little longer but once it is fasten to the hold down fitting on the intake manifold it works just as good as original.
    
    The part number for this cable is Parts Geek----1990-1992 Toyota Land Cruiser Automatic Transmission Kickdown Cable - Pioneer Cables CA-2015......  https://www.partsgeek.com/ss/?i=1&ssq=Part+#:+CA-2015 or https://tinyurl.com/6mm32s7b
 
Don’t know if this will help. Seems these cables are hard to find.

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From your description does not sound like a transmission cable issue. A few things: you said the transmission has fresh fluid. What type did you use? I like to check my trans fluid level when the motor is hot. Check your fluid level cold and hot to ensure you have the correct amount. You will also have to describe your shifting problem in more detail. I'm assuming you have a 22re motor. Small motor for a motorhome and it works hard going uphill and on the freeway. Depending on the steepness of a hill and how hard you are applying the throttle the transmission may not shift beyond 2nd gear and you may not be able to get going faster than 35-45 mph. On steeper inclines the trans may downshift to 1st if you are pushing it and may not go faster than 25-30mph.  On the highway if you are going up an incline with strong wind resistance it is not uncommon for the transmission to downshift to 2nd to maintain speed. 

 

I installed a tachometer because I was not used to hearing how hard a motor like ours has to work in certain situations. Allows you to understand what is normal better regarding shifting and RPM's. 

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35 minutes ago, fred heath said:

Detention Cable.
 


    I know some members have had trouble finding this cable as it’s been discontinued. I pulled this quote from another Toyota site. I know nothing about the auto transmission but wanted to put it out here.
 


     
 


    I recently rebuilt my 22r engine and while reinstalling the engine and auto. trans discovered my detent\kick down cable was not functioning. Upon further investigation found the ball on the end of the cable inside the transmission had worn off. Then, I also discovered Toyota has discontinued the 84-88 detent cable. After retro fitting a number of different cables discovered that the 1990-92 Toyota Land Cruiser Cable to fit into my 85 pickup and worked great. The cable is a little longer but once it is fasten to the hold down fitting on the intake manifold it works just as good as original.
    
    The part number for this cable is Parts Geek----1990-1992 Toyota Land Cruiser Automatic Transmission Kickdown Cable - Pioneer Cables CA-2015......  https://www.partsgeek.com/ss/?i=1&ssq=Part+#:+CA-2015 or https://tinyurl.com/6mm32s7b
 
Don’t know if this will help. Seems these cables are hard to find.

Thank you!! I will try this 💗💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾😊🙏🏾🙏🏾

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You should be able to move the cable with your finger engine off there should be a fair amount of movement 1/2 an inch or so with and easy return of the cable. If isn't moving it maybe stuck full throttle that will cause it not to shift. If it's just broken it will quick shift. There are two cables one for the throttle the other for the trans. Because of the MH weight full throttle is pretty normal so I guessing it's stuck full throttle. Not  a guarantee but the TV cable usually has a red boot at the throttle body. If all else fails the trans pan will need to be dropped to have a look.

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I have never had to work on the Toyota's tranny but on other brands I have had to replace vacuum lines to the transmission when the shifting was not working correctly. I'd check any vacuum lines going to the transmission.

 

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In the first response to you, Linda suggested testing the gears. Go ahead and do that and let us know if that is hitting all of your gears correctly when you force shift it like that. Let’s just verify that the transmission is working correctly first. 
 

If messing with that cable made it down shift better, then either you need to soak some PB Blaster into that cable and Keep working it, or possibly replace the cable.  The cable causing the problem is called the kickdown cable. It is $50 at Advanced Auto Parts. 

But seriously, if you don’t have PB Blaster Get some and put it in your emergency first aid kit. Not only are your cables probably 30+ years old, but so are all the little levers and joints on your throttle body. Try working all of those loose with PB Blaster, and work on your kick down cable. 
 

You are probably going to want to do this by disconnecting it at the throttlebody, so that somebody in the truck can work the accelerator pedal while you gently pull/hold on the cable.
 

if you have a shot manual for your truck, look in it and figure out what the adjustment procedure is for your kick cable. I have found in past experiences with automatic transmission kick down cables that frequently tightening them up a little more then what the factory suggestion is, will make them kick down and shift a little bit quicker if you do. This will make the truck feel like a whole different beast but do this a little bit at a time and wait until after you have gotten the cable freed up. 
 

This really sounds like a cable problem.  It really sounds like you can salvage it too, but $50 for a new one might be worth it if you verify for sure working it back and forth makes an improvement. 

Edited by thewanderlustking
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16 hours ago, neilp said:

I have never had to work on the Toyota's tranny but on other brands I have had to replace vacuum lines to the transmission when the shifting was not working correctly. I'd check any vacuum lines going to the transmission.

 

It doesn't have any.

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On 4/5/2022 at 12:57 PM, Marinette said:

 

 

It is working better but not 100% all the time and it's scary to try to get on the freeway and not know whether it's gonna shift or not. 

More often than not the thin cable inside wares a grove in the outer cable where it curves the most so no amount of lube will fix it. Those transmission are exceptionally dependable and they do an amazing job with a vehicle that's way over weight. Although the cable replacement is pretty straight forward it does require the trans pan to be removed so it's not a really easy backyard project. It's real name is a TV cable (throttle valve) often called a "kick down cable".

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