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Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

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200ci66
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Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #1 by 200ci66 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:14 am

Hello, my transmission has always been a little tricky to put into park, so I decided to pull my transmission this winter after my car decided to roll down a hill (scary, someone completely eliminated my ebrake too). Tore apart the transmission AT SCHOOL and found it was the parking pawl and parking gear. Rebuilt and went through the entire transmission. I have park now. Great. Only issue is now I don't have reverse! I put a B&M shift improver kit in the valve body and had my torque converter rebuilt. Other than that i followed the rebuild procedure and everything was to spec.

Now my transmissions back in the car, my transmission class is over, and I'm left with a car that I can't even back out of the garage. I'm curious as to what components actually engage reverse. I'm good with engines, but transmissions are new to me. Which valves in the valve body should I check? What components in the transmission?

I'll go ahead and answer questions I think I'll be asked... when I shift back and forth from park to reverse my rpms fluctuate.. Not as much as they would if it actually went in gear but my idle is higher in park/neutral than in "reverse". I went to stage 2 in the shift improver kit, and it does go forward without any issue (no sounds, etc)
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

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ludwig
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #2 by ludwig » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:50 am

Check your transmission fluid. Make sure it is completely full. Mine did that too between forward and reverse after it was standing for a while. It would also rev and drop. On launch, it would not go into gear, then it would slap into gear and lunge.

Fluid level was way too low. Let it idle until it gets warm and check the level. Fill as needed. My dipstick was completely dry. When you rebuild a trans, there are a lot of nooks and crannies that take fluid. They need to get topped up. Fill and refill while it is all the way warm.
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200ci66
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #3 by 200ci66 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:59 am

Do I need to shift through all gears to get the fluid circulated? I've put up to almost 10 quarts in it that includes 2-3 quarts in torque converter before putting in the tranny. It's up to the full mark on the stick.
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

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ludwig
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #4 by ludwig » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:02 pm

I ended up shifting back and forth until the pumps filled.

I'm not saying that is what is wrong, just that what I had was solved with more fluid. And make sure it is all the way warm. It would surge slightly at idle until it was filled. The level can drop as it warms up.
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200ci66
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #5 by 200ci66 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:07 pm

Ok, I'll try letting it idle for a long time tonight see if the fluid level drops.
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

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bubba22349
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #6 by bubba22349 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:01 pm

You might also raise the back wheels off the ground with jack stands and run the trans through the gears but be carful when going form drive into reverse. Use your brakes to stop the wheels turning before putting it into reverse from drive or vis versa. Sadly I believe your problem is more then likely caused by the valve body and you will need to go back inside to check that everything is assembled right. Having another good working valve body to use as a reference or lots of good pictures will likely find the problem. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #7 by ludwig » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:26 pm

THAT is a much more knowledgable answer. Thanks. I thought it might be the valve body but I don't know enough to make a valid statement.
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200ci66
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #8 by 200ci66 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:20 pm

If it IS in the Valve Body then that is 100% fine with me, at least the valve body can be removed without dropping the Transmission. What if I dropped the pan, removed the valve body, and took the valve body to a good transmission shop? Do transmission shops usually have the resources and (if necessary) parts to make a valve body work correctly?

Edit: and I have raised the back wheels off the ground, definitely have my forward speeds but definitely no reverse.
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

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bubba22349
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #9 by bubba22349 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:52 pm

Sure
200ci66 wrote:What if I dropped the pan, removed the valve body, and took the valve body to a good transmission shop? Do transmission shops usually have the resources and (if necessary) parts to make a valve body work correctly?

Edit: and I have raised the back wheels off the ground, definitely have my forward speeds but definitely no reverse.


Sure a real good transmission shop should be able to help you get it working right many will have the parts too since it's still a popular trans, but some may not keep or carry parts for the older models. When you pull the pan also check that the shifting linkage to valve body gear selector valve is right before dropping it. Pictures would help with that to know its right. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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200ci66
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #10 by 200ci66 » Wed May 20, 2015 11:00 pm

Bringing back an old thread, this stupid thing STILL will not go into reverse. Took out my transmission (again) and had a shop rebuild it (again) a month later I put it back in, nothing. When I click it into reverse by hand on the outside of the transmission it has reverse, but when the shifter arm clicks it into reverse nothing happens. I can literally watch the shifter arm rotate into reverse and nothing is happening. What in the world is going on?


Edit - if I didnt make it clear enough, the transmission will physically go into reverse. It's gotta be something with the shifter linkage but I don't know what.
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

User avatar
bubba22349
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Posts: 9189
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Flagstaff, Az. 86005 near the old Route 66

Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #11 by bubba22349 » Thu May 21, 2015 12:08 am

Is the shifter Handel sloppy feeling? There is a plastic bushing that can be worn out, and there is a metal bushing in the trans shifter arm (inside a rubber bushing) if one or more of those are worn out or the rubber is soft it might be the cause. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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ludwig
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #12 by ludwig » Thu May 21, 2015 10:54 am

If you get the handle stiffened up with new plastic bushings, you need to reset the handle.

There are two bolts holding the shift lever T-handle to the shifter lever on top of the transmission under the car. With the engine off and the wheels blocked, loosen both bolts and push the shifter lever all the way toward the back to where it goes into 1st/low. Make sure it is all the way down there. then pull the T handle down all the way to the L position but no farther. Tighten the bolts. This should allow enough play for the shifter to fall into R at the top of the arc. If this isn't enough, loosen the bolts and move the shift lever (on top of the trans) to the R position. Then tighten the bolts. This will probably be enough to hit both R and L.

If one or the other fails to engage, because it misses the spot on the detent, you need to kind of split the difference. All this takes some rattling back and forth from the driver's seat to the underside.

The adjustment depends on having fresh shifter bushings in the T-stick pivot so you get a positive engagement. The bushings are quite cheap and all the Mustang parts houses have them.
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200ci66
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Re: Fresh C4 build will not go into reverse

Post #13 by 200ci66 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Well guys.. Months later and I still have no reverse (after driving it I learned I have no third gear either). I've had it at two different shops, and honestly as much money that I've spent trying to get this C4 right again I could have swapped a t5 in there. I know everyone's got that one thing that they're sure it is, but none of these transmission "experts" around here seem to know. I mean I figured a C4 would be a simple trans... I've had it in and out myself 4 times and another shop has even installed it. I don't know what I did when I took it apart to mess it up but I'm ready to give up and post a wanted AD for a new C4. I'm sure someone out there has swapped a t5 or a 3 speed in there and has a C4 sitting around. Let me know! I'm intrested. I'd like a 70-up so I could use my torque converter.
66 Mustang with matching 200 & 1968 C4
3.20 Rear End, Split Headers, Turbo Mufflers, 2.25 inch Exhaust, Holley 5200, Cold Air Induction, 68 distributor, Pertronix, Flamethrower Coil, Rear Air Shocks

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