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Transmission Shifts Hard From 1st To 2nd Gear

34230 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  kms250
I am driving a '99 Vulcan Taurus with 71k miles. A year ago (10k ago), I noticed a somewhat unusually quick shift from the first to the second gear at low speeds. Gradually it became worse, and now it jerks and shifts really hard. It only happens when I am driving really slow in the first gear without touching the gas pedal or when I'm going down the hill from a stop. Other than this, the tranny works just fine.
The tranny is AX4S, I know it's AXOD's twin, the fluid looks fine and the fluid level is OK too.
Planning to bring the car to a tranny shop for a checkup.
Did anyone have similar problem, and what was the fix?
Any input is helpful.
Will let you know the results after I visit the tranny shop.
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It is also possible the speed sensor may be bad. It's about $25 for the part.

Here's how to replace it:

A. You'll need the following:

Two jackstands
Socket wrench
socket wrench extender bars
3/4 inch long socket
19mm long socket (95 and earlier models only)
8 mm socket
10 mm socket
13 mm socket (96 and later models only)
Lug Remover
Pliers (95 and earlier models only)
Lithium Grease (95 and earlier models only)

1. Loosen the lug nuts on the two front wheels,
jack up the car and place jackstands on each side
near the wheels. Remove the passenger front wheel.

2. Being in the area of the passenger fender well,
look into the rear engine compartment and you'll see
the rear motor mount. It looks like a fat cone.

(95 and earlier models)
Loosen but do not remove both the top and lower
motor mount bolts using the 17 mm and 3/4 inch
sockets and extender bars.

(96 and later models)
Remove the lower motor mount nut with the 3/4 inch
socket and extender bar then remove the two 13 mm
nuts on the top of the motor mount.

3. Place a jack under the oil pan and if possible,
use a block of wood between the oil pan and jack.
Jack up the engine enough so that the engine is

(95 and earlier models)
You'll see the correlation between being able to
remove the bolts on the motor mount and how far the
engine is jacked up. Alternate between the two until
the bolts and removed and remove the mount.

(96 and later models)
Jack up the engine until the mount can be removed.
Remove the mount.

4. Now lower the engine until it cannot lower any
further (it will eventually stop). Be sure the jack
is still supporting the engine.

Looking into the engine compartment from the
passenger fender well, you'll see the transmission.
Right near the top right of the transmission towards
the passenger wheel well is a cap with two 10mm or
8 mm bolts. It's really hidden unless the engine is
lowered to see it. You'll have to really stretch
your hands/arms in there to get at the cap. Remove
the two 10mm or 8 mm bolts and remove the cap. On
the cap is the sensor.

5. (95 and earlier models only)
In order to pull the cap with the sensor towards
you for easier access to the switch you'll need to
disconnect the speedomotor cable (using pliers to
remove the clip) in the engine compartment near the

(All models)
After disconnecting these, you'll gain a precious
inch or two on the electrical cable. Disconnect the
electrical connector from the switch and pull the cap
and switch out of the car. It may be possible to
pull the cap and switch out first.

6. Using the 8mm or 10 mm socket remove the clip from
the speedomotor cable going into the switch
(if equipped) and install the new sensor. Ensure the
electrical connector will fit in the sensor OK
(sometimes the sensor comes with a rubber fitting
preventing the connectors from mating properly.

(95 and earlier models)
When installing the new switch put lithium grease in
the connector where the speedomotor cable is inserted.

7. Reinstall the cap onto the transmission,
ensuring the electrical connector is securely on the
sensor. When reinstalling the speedomotor cable, it
may not cooperative about being snaked back to the
area near the firewall where it was disconnected
from. Ensure the cable is snaked back to that area
or it will be very difficult to retrieve the cable

8. Reconnect ther speedomotor cable (if equipped)
and electrical cables disconnected near the firewall
(if applicable).

9. Jack the engine back up to reinstall the motor
mount, lower the jack on the engine, mount the
tire, lower the car and tighten the lug nuts.

Good Luck!

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