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dantheman85x 02-16-2009 07:31 PM

1989 635CSI Tranny problem!
I have an '89 635 with around 244k miles on it. It's got some issues, but the motor and transmission have never been an problem. As I'm driving home on Sunday morning in a horrible rainstorm, it begins limping around, and I had to give it a ton of gas to get going. It was struggling to get up a grade on the highway and was running at almost 4000 RPM.

Basically, I determined that it was unable to get out of 3rd gear (automatic obviously) and this light on the dash was on (I've never seen it before). It indicated an "Electronic Shift" something or other.

As the manual confirms, the car will only run in 3rd gear because of a shift circuit something or other (I'm at work, just recounting what I read, sorry...).

I've made an appointment with my mechanic, and he referred to it as "limp mode" on the phone. He assumed there was something pretty wrong with the transmission.:banghead:

I did a Google search last night on my phone and came across another thread in this forum last night where a guy had the same issue. I guess it was a grounding problem? I made sure my battery terminals were all clean and that no wires were in disrepair or anything this morning. I'd had a few last night and haven't been able to find that thread again...

If you've had the same issue, let me know! I want good news!

dantheman85x 02-19-2009 11:28 AM

So, my mechanic just called. Looks like the tranny is finished. Said I'd be looking at a used one for $650 or a rebuilt one for $2,000. Obviously, since the car is worth $3,000 tops, the new one is not an option.

Anyone have an idea what converting it to a manual transmission would run?

6 Brit 02-19-2009 01:49 PM

probably a lot more

Sixdown 02-19-2009 05:57 PM

Converting to a manual will require plenty of work. You'd need a whole list of items including the pedal box, the transmission, the linkage, clutch cylinder, etc. It really isn't worth it unless you're willing to spend 2k+ on it. Labor will add far more to that.

Get a used automatic as they're pretty common transmissions.

dantheman85x 02-20-2009 09:27 PM

Looks like I'm gonna go with a used tranny (140k on it) . Best I can do is $650 for that used one (plus labor). Ugly scene overall. Wish I had the cash to go with another vehicle but that's not the case.

6 Brit 02-23-2009 10:55 AM

these transmissions very rarely go bad so it should be money well spent =)
it's a sweet car stick with it ;)

dantheman85x 03-04-2009 11:13 PM


Expecting to have to replace the full transmission, my mechanic determined that it was actually the transmission's pressure hose that needed to be replaced...

After realizing it wasn't the entire tranny that had gone bad, they shifted attention toward the actual pressure control unit ($1,400 part)... luckily it was just the hose. After also fixing a radiator leak, the whole bill was just under $1,100... a bargain considering the alternative.

I was going to have to sell my Fender American Telecaster to pay for it all... glad none of that happened.

Make sure you have a knowledgeable, trustworthy mechanic!!

Got her back today and is running well.

6 Brit 03-05-2009 08:41 AM

I was going to say those tranny's just don't go bad like...ever

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