94 Topaz: Hard pedal effort

Hello,
My girlfriend has recently started having problems with her 94 topaz (2.3L I-4 auto) which I believe to be connected with TSBs 95-1-5, 94-1-6, or 94-12-11 which points to a binding/mal-adjusted throttle
cable. Usually from a start the acc. pedal will resist and the remedy thus far has been to stomp the pedal to 'un-hook' it. If you don't un-hook it then the trans will hang in 1st. After you un-hook it the trans tends to do an immediate 1-3 upshift. Is anyone familiar with this problem? Is it feasible or is it an internal trans issue? Basically I'm looking to fix this myself because it's not worth dumping hundreds of dollars into this car. The car runs great other than that and I'd hate to junk it because I think it's got a lot of life left in it. Any help from someone with a prior experience would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Tim
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schoolofspool wrote:

I suspect the Throttle Valve in the transmission valve body or the linksge is binding, but I don't quite remember how the TV linkage works on a Tempo. Remove the air cleaner housing and the hose to the throttle body. Look for a rod that goes from the transmission to the throttle body near the throttle cable. It's a 2 piece rod, one end inside the other. There should be a spring that,IIRC,holds the 2 pieces together. Make sure the spring is conected. Then make sure the rod is connected at both ends, the plastic grommets tend to fail. If all looks good, disconnect the TV rod at the throttle body and work the throttle and see if it is still binding. If it is, you need a replacement throttle body.(Possibly the cable, but a binding TB is common). If it is not binding at the throttle body, it's probably the Throttle Valve in the transmission. The valve used to be available separately, you'll need to check with the dealer or a trans shop. The valve body needs to be removed from the TOP of the trans, it doesn't require removal of the transmission. It's not hard to do, but if you arent familiar with transmission work you might want to have a shop do it.
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Hello,
Thanks Tom. As soon as I have her car here I will go over what you said. Also, I forgot to mention two things. First that the trans will 3-2 downshift ~40mph and 2-1 ~10mph on deceleration. Secondly if I drop the gear selector into 1st the pedal is next to impossible to move. I don't know if that isolates what's going on but I figured I'd include everything related that's going on. Thanks again for the prompt and informative reply!
Regards, Tim
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schoolofspool wrote:

It's the erratic shifting that makes me suspect the TV or linkage. If it is a problem with the valve or linkage, repair even at a shop shouldn't exceed ~$250 tops. Perhaps much less. If a bushing on the TV rod has failed letting the rod bind the throttle it's about $5 DIY.
It's important to mention: Don't drive the car until it's fixed! If the linkage jams the throttle it could cause loss of control. If it lets the TV pressure drop too low it will very quickly burn up the trans.(A matter of just a few miles).
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