1984 k10 700r4 won't shift out of 2nd please help!

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Spookee

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Hi! We recently bought a 1984 chevy k10 with a 700R4 transmission. it sat for about 14 months before we bought it, so we are chipping away at getting work done on it. It has been our daily driver truck but now is having a shifting problem that we can't figure out! This forum has a lot of great information so I'm hoping someone has an idea or can point us in the right direction.

Last month we had the intake gaskets replaced and a transmission service to change the fluid. Thing were working OK (truck still needed work) but it was shifting fine as best we could tell. The throttle had what felt like a hitch in it, you'd press it and it would get hung up, so you'd press it harder and the truck would sort of jump like something got unstuck. So we replaced the throttle cable and kick down cable and it seemed to be driving better, except we noticed that at first the truck was having a hard time getting into overdrive when going up a hill - we have heard that this can be common for 700R4 transmissions?

Throughout the process there were some points where the throttle would get hard and you couldn't press it down unless you put the truck into park to reset it and get the pressure off. So we were told to get the valve related to internal pressure in the transmission (sorry idk what this is called) replaced. At this time we also noticed that the overdrive shifting issue was becoming more of an issue. It was taking the truck a long time to get to 3rd - 4th and pick up speed in a way that was different from when we first got it.

We got the valve replaced and right away noticed that it wasn't shifting as smoothly, you felt it more and it was clunkier but the cable wasn't getting locked up. But the overdrive issue persisted especially when going up steep hills when not already at a high speed. When the trans shop replaced the valve they didn't have to drop the whole transmission. He also said that he didn't see any metal shavings or anything that would indicate a more serious problem.

Also, I don't remember exactly when it was done but we had the carb adjusted because it was having a hard time starting in the morning, so it was adjusted to a high idle that we had to kick down by punching the throttle before we drove. I wonder if this is related to the issue now.

We called the trans guy back and he didn't think our issue was anything major - he said we should just try driving it around in 3rd gear manual and see how it was. So we started to drive in 3rd gear manual and noticed a few times when accelerating uphill that it was now having a hard time getting from 2nd to 3rd. We would accelerate and feel the truck try to shift and the RPMs would increase, the engine would rev and try to kick up to 3rd but it would go back down to 2nd and then we'd eventually have to let off the gas and slowly ease back in and accelerate at a really slow rate. Eventually it would get itself from 2nd to 3rd

However...last night after filling up the tank with gas (premium), the truck drove the smoothest it has in a long time, shifted smoothly and even got up to overdrive until we had to come to a stop to make a left turn, deaccelerating from 55 to 0. Then after making the turn the truck could not get back into 3rd, it wouldn't shift beyond 2nd. Tried to drop it into park a couple times, turn off and restart but nothing mattered. Ended up having to drive home very slowly in manual 2nd. We also checked the trans fluid and it is clear/red without any metal bits or gunk that we can see.

We were told by the trans people to rule out the kick down cable or the throttle cable so we fiddled with them last night with no difference, still couldn't get out of 2nd gear. At this point we are unsure what to do, 2 transmission shops didn't think that it was anything major in the transmission but we have no idea. Could it be because of the high idle adjustment? or related to the carb since our Edelbrock is older. Not sure where to start since we are not well versed in older vehicles. Any help would be really appreciated!
 

AuroraGirl

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setting the choke shouldnt be an issue here. but what carb are you using? aftermarket? OEM? what is your transmission shiftl inkage looking like is it adjusted right? lines up on the dash? If you should into overdrive by pushing the shifter handle forward while moving the needle indicator, does it neatly slot in on the OD detent and line up?
 

scrap--metal

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setting the choke shouldnt be an issue here.
Auroragirl is right. The carb/choke/idle shouldn't be related to your transmission issue. The only common link there is the TV cable linkage at the carb.

I don't know what to suggest, but a using pressure gauge that can be monitored while driving can tell you a lot.
 

AuroraGirl

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Auroragirl is right. The carb/choke/idle shouldn't be related to your transmission issue. The only common link there is the TV cable linkage at the carb.

I don't know what to suggest, but a using pressure gauge that can be monitored while driving can tell you a lot.
and since the throttle goes back to where it was, just kicks up the little cam that the choke sticks on only, even if mattered the articulation point for the tv cable goes back to square one

Thats hwy im curious if this is a qjet or othr brand, it may need a geometry fix
 

Spookee

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and since the throttle goes back to where it was, just kicks up the little cam that the choke sticks on only, even if mattered the articulation point for the tv cable goes back to square one

Thats hwy im curious if this is a qjet or othr brand, it may need a geometry fix
Thanks for your quick reply! I am really not sure if the carb is aftermarket or oem. We bought the truck off my husband's buddy and he didn't have much info on it other than at some point the engine and transmission had maybe been replaced? Here are some photos of the throttle cable bracket, looks like it is an Edelbrock as well.

As for the dash the shift window doesn't show us anything! we have to count when putting the truck into gear because the window doesn't show shifting....
 

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Spookee

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Auroragirl is right. The carb/choke/idle shouldn't be related to your transmission issue. The only common link there is the TV cable linkage at the carb.

I don't know what to suggest, but a using pressure gauge that can be monitored while driving can tell you a lot.
Thank you for the tip!
 

AuroraGirl

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Thanks for your quick reply! I am really not sure if the carb is aftermarket or oem. We bought the truck off my husband's buddy and he didn't have much info on it other than at some point the engine and transmission had maybe been replaced? Here are some photos of the throttle cable bracket, looks like it is an Edelbrock as well.

As for the dash the shift window doesn't show us anything! we have to count when putting the truck into gear because the window doesn't show shifting....
that looks like a tv cable geometry bracket

with the engine running, how tight is that slack in that tv cable(bottom bracket)
 

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700r4 doesn't have a kick down cable,the cable is a throttle valve cable and regulates the transmission line pressure,running without the cable or one that is incorrectly adjusted will do internal transmission damage. How did you adjust the TV cable? I am afraid that you have an internal transmission issue,as there is no adjustment or inputs other than the shift lever and TV cable,if you are sure you are manually shifting into drive,try adjusting the TV cable but I think you are facing a trip to the transmission shop.
 

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Are you sure it just isn't the converter is just not locking? If you shift into 3rd it will feel like 4 shifts, OD will feel like 5 if working?
 

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Thanks for your quick reply! I am really not sure if the carb is aftermarket or oem. We bought the truck off my husband's buddy and he didn't have much info on it other than at some point the engine and transmission had maybe been replaced? Here are some photos of the throttle cable bracket, looks like it is an Edelbrock as well.

As for the dash the shift window doesn't show us anything! we have to count when putting the truck into gear because the window doesn't show shifting....
THAT MAKES me think your shifter cable and linkage isnt properly setup, because if its not reflecting the righht gear position, then there is a chance your gear shifts arent matching the detents on the column. its very important the detents match the proper position for the shift valve thingy inside the trans
 

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I hate to suggest it, but when you mention now it tries to go to 3rd but it's not there and slowly goes back to 2nd, sounds to me like the 3/4 clutch pack may be toast now. You got to realize, if that TV cable isn't set correctly, it doesn't take long to cook that 3/4 clutch pack and if it's huntin' for 3rd but it's not there is what's telling me 3rd might not exist anymore. Now if you'd have said it won't go to 3rd, then I'd say it could be something else. A new @NickTransmissions would probably know better than anyone. I've gotten way rusty and forgotten a lot now.
 

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I hate to suggest it, but when you mention now it tries to go to 3rd but it's not there and slowly goes back to 2nd, sounds to me like the 3/4 clutch pack may be toast now. You got to realize, if that TV cable isn't set correctly, it doesn't take long to cook that 3/4 clutch pack and if it's huntin' for 3rd but it's not there is what's telling me 3rd might not exist anymore. Now if you'd have said it won't go to 3rd, then I'd say it could be something else. A new @NickTransmissions would probably know better than anyone. I've gotten way rusty and forgotten a lot now.
the cable appears ot be in teh right spot but im worried looking at it thats its not properly adjusted.
 

AuroraGirl

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Thanks for your quick reply! I am really not sure if the carb is aftermarket or oem. We bought the truck off my husband's buddy and he didn't have much info on it other than at some point the engine and transmission had maybe been replaced? Here are some photos of the throttle cable bracket, looks like it is an Edelbrock as well.

As for the dash the shift window doesn't show us anything! we have to count when putting the truck into gear because the window doesn't show shifting....
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You must be registered for see images attach

I cant tell what carb it is either but it appears to have the same brackets asd a 1406 edelbrock, but the throttle opening and the idle cam either are somehow active or are grossly not set right.. on .. now which one is it?
here is my linkage with nothing on it
You must be registered for see images attach

Assuming it is an edelbrock type carb, it just appears to be forward much more than its supposed to. or, rather, rearward,. too vertical. so the geometry may not be right
 

AuroraGirl

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Thanks for your quick reply! I am really not sure if the carb is aftermarket or oem. We bought the truck off my husband's buddy and he didn't have much info on it other than at some point the engine and transmission had maybe been replaced? Here are some photos of the throttle cable bracket, looks like it is an Edelbrock as well.

As for the dash the shift window doesn't show us anything! we have to count when putting the truck into gear because the window doesn't show shifting....
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach

I cant tell what carb it is either but it appears to have the same brackets asd a 1406 edelbrock, but the throttle opening and the idle cam either are somehow active or are grossly not set right.. on .. now which one is it?
here is my linkage with nothing on it
You must be registered for see images attach
 

NickTransmissions

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Hi! We recently bought a 1984 chevy k10 with a 700R4 transmission. it sat for about 14 months before we bought it, so we are chipping away at getting work done on it. It has been our daily driver truck but now is having a shifting problem that we can't figure out! This forum has a lot of great information so I'm hoping someone has an idea or can point us in the right direction.

Last month we had the intake gaskets replaced and a transmission service to change the fluid. Thing were working OK (truck still needed work) but it was shifting fine as best we could tell. The throttle had what felt like a hitch in it, you'd press it and it would get hung up, so you'd press it harder and the truck would sort of jump like something got unstuck. So we replaced the throttle cable and kick down cable and it seemed to be driving better, except we noticed that at first the truck was having a hard time getting into overdrive when going up a hill - we have heard that this can be common for 700R4 transmissions?

Throughout the process there were some points where the throttle would get hard and you couldn't press it down unless you put the truck into park to reset it and get the pressure off. So we were told to get the valve related to internal pressure in the transmission (sorry idk what this is called) replaced. At this time we also noticed that the overdrive shifting issue was becoming more of an issue. It was taking the truck a long time to get to 3rd - 4th and pick up speed in a way that was different from when we first got it.

We got the valve replaced and right away noticed that it wasn't shifting as smoothly, you felt it more and it was clunkier but the cable wasn't getting locked up. But the overdrive issue persisted especially when going up steep hills when not already at a high speed. When the trans shop replaced the valve they didn't have to drop the whole transmission. He also said that he didn't see any metal shavings or anything that would indicate a more serious problem.

Also, I don't remember exactly when it was done but we had the carb adjusted because it was having a hard time starting in the morning, so it was adjusted to a high idle that we had to kick down by punching the throttle before we drove. I wonder if this is related to the issue now.

We called the trans guy back and he didn't think our issue was anything major - he said we should just try driving it around in 3rd gear manual and see how it was. So we started to drive in 3rd gear manual and noticed a few times when accelerating uphill that it was now having a hard time getting from 2nd to 3rd. We would accelerate and feel the truck try to shift and the RPMs would increase, the engine would rev and try to kick up to 3rd but it would go back down to 2nd and then we'd eventually have to let off the gas and slowly ease back in and accelerate at a really slow rate. Eventually it would get itself from 2nd to 3rd

However...last night after filling up the tank with gas (premium), the truck drove the smoothest it has in a long time, shifted smoothly and even got up to overdrive until we had to come to a stop to make a left turn, deaccelerating from 55 to 0. Then after making the turn the truck could not get back into 3rd, it wouldn't shift beyond 2nd. Tried to drop it into park a couple times, turn off and restart but nothing mattered. Ended up having to drive home very slowly in manual 2nd. We also checked the trans fluid and it is clear/red without any metal bits or gunk that we can see.

We were told by the trans people to rule out the kick down cable or the throttle cable so we fiddled with them last night with no difference, still couldn't get out of 2nd gear. At this point we are unsure what to do, 2 transmission shops didn't think that it was anything major in the transmission but we have no idea. Could it be because of the high idle adjustment? or related to the carb since our Edelbrock is older. Not sure where to start since we are not well versed in older vehicles. Any help would be really appreciated!
What are your line pressure readings at idle, min TV and full TV? If you dont know, find a transmission pressure gauge, hook it in and run the line pressure test.

Follow these instructions, let us know the results.
 

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