Transmission on 96 dodge van

I've been having some issues with the automatic transmission on my 96 Dodge van recently. It has a V8 motor with a 3 speed automatic transmission and AC.
The transmission seems to slip when going into the top gear, The slip seems to start around 28-30 mph and it doesn't fully engage until around 38-40 mph, lifting my foot from the gas seems to help the shift. It has also started to slip a little when going from 1st to second gear and will occasionally 'clunk' into reverse when I shift.
I've checked the tranny fluid and it seems to be at or near the correct level.
Can anyone suggest what the problem might be?
Best regards.
Bed
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Try adjusting the front band. If that doesn't do it (and I'm guessing it won't), your rear clutch pack is worn. The clunk in reverse is "normal", depending on severity, and could be from a number of things in the driveline. More details on the noise would help find the source.
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wrote:

The clunk doesn't happen every time I shift into reverse. Normally it goes into reverse smoothly. Not much actual noise is created. By the 'clunk', I mean it goes into reverse in a rough or abrupt jerking manner.
If adjusting the front band doesn't help, does the rear clutch pack problem mean the transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced?
Thank you for your advice.
Bed
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This could be a matter of driveline "slack", or a worn u-joint. Check the driveshaft and the rear for play, and you'll likely find your clunk.

Yes. When you do the band adjustment, you'll likely find debris in the pan that will indicate wear of the clutches.
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Since the OP notes that its starting to slip on the 1-2 shift as well, I meant to say rear clutch pack.
The front clutch pack would have nothing to do with the 1-2 shift slipping.
Further, if the front pack were slipping, he'd have said something about reverse slipping, not "clunking".
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Yes, it had.

True.
Yup. But gear reduction make it such that the slipping will occur in situations with less mechanical advantage.... say 2nd or 3rd range.
But in this case, reverse was not slipping, thus indicating that the 2-3 shift problem was either delayed band release or rear clutch slipping. It could be both, but it won't be the front clutch, because its doing fine in the reverse range.
It could be a clogged filter, but.... in a 3spd AT, if the filter is clogged, something had to clog it.... like clutch facing material.
I'll stand by my long distance diagnosis until further facts about the trans in question come in. Perhaps instead of attacking me, you should attempt to help someone.
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wrote:
Thanks to both of you for your advice. My initial thought is to take it to a garage for 'Transmission service' where they clean the filter, adjust the bands and replace the fluid. This would be a fairly inexpensive item of around 40-50$. If that did not help or only helped a little then I would take it to the local transmission shop.
I do have another question: Most of my driving is short trips of a few miles or less on surface streets at 30 mph or less. Maybe 5% of my driving is on the highway. Would these frequent short trips have a deleterious effect on my transmission?
One more question: What cost range would rebuilding the transmission fall into?
Best regards,
Bed

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They should have little effect on the transmission.

Depending on a number of variables, $700-2000, but thats a guess based on local (to me) costs.
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Blue_Eyed_Devil wrote:

will wear out. So yes, things are more likely to go wrong sooner if you do a lot of short trips with stopping and starting (hence, more gear shifting) than if you drive mostly at highway speeds where the transmission does significantly less shifting. Also, the harder you accelerate, the worse it is on your drivetrain in general (not what you asked, but possibly helpful anyway).
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