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1-2 Band

File: 4L30-E
Date: 2/20/04

4L30-E 1-2 Band Failure

Research by Jeff Parlee, International Technical Consultant
The hotline has had some calls recently on 1-2
band failure after overhaul. Most of these bands are
only lasting about 100 miles. The cause seems to
be a loss of band release oil, which allows the band
to drag in 4th gear. Some of the units had a worn
case where the servo piston pin goes through, but
most cases were in good shape. The Regional
Technical Managers are reporting finding cracked
second clutch drums as the source of the problem.
When you first think about it you could say that the
second clutch drum should not have anything to do
with it, but after looking at an oil circuit diagram a
leak in the second clutch circuit makes a lot of
Lets see why... Start at the 1-2 shift. The 1-2
shift valve moves to allow orificed (#17d), drive oil
to be routed to the second clutch and the 1-2
accumulator. Orificed (#16e), drive oil is waiting at
the 2-3 shift valve (See Figure 1).
When the 2-3 shift valve strokes, the orificed
drive oil now goes to apply the 3rd clutch and to the
release side of the 1-2 servo (See Figure 2).
Now, lets review what is going on in 3rd. We
have orifice (#17d) feeding the second clutch circuit
and orifice (#16e) feeding the third clutch circuit.

The 3-4 shift brings with it a problem. When

the 3-4 shift valve moves it cuts off the oil feed from
orifice (#17d) and replaces it with oil from servo
release supplied by orifice (#16e). Now the 2nd
clutch accumulator, 3rd clutch, and servo release are
being supplied by orifice (#16e) (See Figure 3).
That means if you have a leak in any of these areas,
you can starve the other components of the oil
pressure that need to operate correctly.
Lets look at the 1-2 servo. The apply side
and the release side of the 1-2 servo have virtually
the same surface area. When both sides of the
servo piston have fluid pressure, to release the band,
the spring is the only difference that keeps the band
off. That is why the spring is so strong. Since 1-2
apply has its own fluid supply from the manual
valve, any leak that lowers the pressure on the
release side is going to allow the band to come back
on in 4th.
The second clutch drums are prone to cracking
in the area shown in figure 4. Many of these drums
will air check fine on the bench at room temperature.
They will, however, leak from the heat and stress of
working inside the transmission.
Be sure not to overlook the servo pin to case
clearance. Excessive clearance here will also cause
a loss of servo release oil.

2004 AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in U.S.A.


Figure 1

1-2 Shift



Page 2

Figure 2

2-3 Shift



Page 3

Figure 3

3-4 Shift



Page 4

17d is
by shift

Figure 4

2nd Clutch Drum

Look for cracks in this area.

Also check in the ring

area for cracks.

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