96 T&C in "limp home" mode. Does it need a lot or a little?

I just drove about 40 miles in 2nd gear. Before that it would go into 3rd but after I stopped for gas, it wouldn't, only 1st-2nd.
I know it's a long shot..but does anyone have any idea if this is a sensor or a complete trans re-build? There are 2 trans places in this town (Florence SC) who say they will put it on a computer tomorrow. But I'd like to be able to talk sensibly with them. I have the shop manual.
By the way, recently, when I step on or released the gas pedal, the speedo needle goes crazy for an instant..goes up and back. Like there is a problem with the Throttle Position Sensor (if there is on on this car) I'm just wondering if that sensor could be causing the trans problem?
TIA John
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Fieronut wrote:

Could be as simple as a bad output sensor. The shop should be able to attach a scan tool and check for any stored codes. Since you have a 1996, I believe that there have been a few firmware upgrades. You will probably want to make sure you have the current software.
When was the last time that the fluid and filter were changed?
-KM
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snipped-for-privacy@sisna.com wrote:

I agree with that - the output sensor being bad would cause limp mode (2nd gear only) *and* no speedometer reading. And they often are intermittent when failed. Sounds like what you are experienceing (but no guarantees).
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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The guy replaced the output sensor and that cured the speedo problem but it still would not go into 3rd gear, so he feels it needs a clutch pack, whatever that is. Before the present problem, it seemed to me that the 4th gear clutch was slipping a little also, so he will also put in a convertor. All in all, about $1400. I guess for a 200k mile car, it's not bad. Just wish it hadn't happenend NOW...but then, it NEVER happens conveniently, does it?
Thanx guys, for the info. At least he knew I was not as dumb as I look.
John
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Yeah, the Solenoid pack seems to be a week spot in these transmissions.
In my 1994 GC on boxing bay last year it went into limp mode! Since my trans had been rebuilt within the last 2 years I was a bit aprehensive. Turns out it was the Solenoid pack. $250 and I was back on the road. :)
Funny thing, it had been exhibiting the thump when shifting to low gear rolling to a stop quite frequently. After the Solenoid Pack was replaced, shifted like spanking new!
Fast forward to my 2002 GC. When I purchased it, there was what appeared like oil leaks a plenty. But I purchased a warranty, and it was all covered. I took it in, and they put a UV tracer in the engine oil. No leaks??? So they put UV tracer into the TRANS FLIUD - Holy Hanna, the Solenoid pack was PUKEING oil everywhere - literally.
They replaced the solenoid pack - voila! No more leaks! And - you guessed it - it was ocassionally thumping into first gear when rolling to a stop. After the replacement of the Solenoid Pack - smooth as silk, shifts like new!
Moral of the story, if you start to have that thump problem, first get the trans fluid and filter changed (using ATF +4). If that does not fix the problem, then have the solenoid pack replaced. On these tranmissions the solenoid pack is replaced from the OUTSIDE - so no need to crack the trans to do it.
My van was a lease return, and one of the complaints was a thumping noise. The dealer had replaced the sway bar bushings, and the links - which solved most of the problem - but not all. I bet the previous owner thought the trans was going to fail and dumped it like a hot potato! His loss, my gain!
I am glad that I have so much experience with these vans now. I like them. They are just a little different, but once you know and get used to them, they are great!
wrote:

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Thanx, guys. The guy did replace the sensor and that did fix the speedo problem but it still would not go into 3rd gear. He says it needs a clutch pack, whatever that is. I also had a problem with the 4th gear clutch slipping, so they will also replace the convertor. All in all, about $1400, assuming they find nothing else after it's apart.
I appreciate the help you guys gave me. At least when I talked with him, I didn't sound as dumb as I look!
John
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