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Old 11-01-2008, 05:23 PM   #1
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700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

This is a great site. I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys have. This is my first post, so go easy if this is a bonehead question...

I bought an 88 camaro recently with 700r4 and 305 tbi. I knew when I bought it that it had transmission problems. Here's the story:

1. At first it would shift into drive, but reverse was really weak - would have to give 2000 rpm for the car to barely even roll in reverse. Only drove it onto and off the trailer.
2. At home, I discovered it was over 4 qts low on fluid - I added dexron to the proper level. Now reverse is no problem. Test drive indicates it won't shift out of first gear when in drive. It just stays in first.
3. Searched the forums here, found a similar story where it turned out to be a stripped governor drive gear.
4. Went under the car looking for the governor cover - found it right where it was supposed to be. Didn't try to remove it yet.
5. Saw the two connection wire hanging down on the driver side of the transmission, near the governor cover. The lead is relatively short, so it would seem to go to the transmission itself somewhere.

Can anyone identify this wiring connection from the pics? What is it for, where should it go? And the big question....could this be my shifting problem?

THANKS in advance for your time.

P.S. It doesn't look too hard to remove the governor cover with the transmission in the car. BUT - It looks like it would be difficult to reinstall the cover - no space for a hammer. Has anyone done this with the transmission in the car?
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Do your reverse lights work? That plug may be for the solenoid for the reverse lights. There should be VERY little that's electronic on the 700R4.

Also if you put a jack under the rear of the transmission you can remove the bolts for the cross member and lower the rear of the tranny down which may give you more room. You may need to remove the torwue arm to do this...be careful there is most likely some pressure on this and it may pop out a little at you. There's a rubber pushing on this (it bolts to the tail of the transmission) and it may be worth replacing. If the rubber bushing is rotted away you'll hear a clunking when the car does finally shift again...

Last edited by Boosted_SS; 11-01-2008 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Thanks, Boosted_SS. What you said made sense. So, I ran out and checked the reverse lights. Fortunately (unfortunately?), the reverse lights do work. Any other thoughts?

I think you are probably right about having to lower the back of the transmission for clearance to install a governor cover.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

only thing i can think of thats electronic on our 700r4 transmissions is, the reverse switch, torque converter lock up, and thats about it. do you got bad gas mileage on the highway? that would be a giveaway that the torque converter isnt locking up.

also i had the same reverse problem before, turned out it was also very low on fluid, then i added it and one day i had to change a radiator,i forgot to tighten down one clamp boom goes the upper hose, overheats alittle, transmission dies. only had reverse and 1st and sometimes 2nd. id say you have a whole lot of damage on that tranny, check for metal in the pan, if theres a lot, give it a flush and hopefully thatll give you alittle longevity
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Torque converter lockup is a big white 4 prong plug right on the side of the tranny. It looks like this...

Click the image to open in full size.
----------
I believe that in the first picture I can see your lockup converter is plugged in. Are you able to pully the cover off the wires and try to trace them back. it looks like the wires for the lockup converter are housed withing that same cover...

Last edited by Boosted_SS; 11-01-2008 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

If the consensus is that these transmissions only have electrical connections for torque convertor and backup lights, that means this wire is not my "won't shift out of first" problem. I will probably go ahead with inspecting the governor gear. When I lower the back of the trans to look at the governor, hopefully I can see where this connector is supposed to go, as well.

If the governor gear is ok, I will conclude that it's tranmission rebuild time.
I will be hitting the "search" button big time to do research on kits, mods, etc.

Thanks gurkgurkgurk - actually I don't know what the highway mileage is, I've only had it 3 weeks and it came with a week tranny so I haven't really driven it except to find out that it won't shift out of first.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

I"m saying that it's rebuild time...Just my opinion...
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

There's no reverse light switch on a 700R4. The 700R4 is also completely hydraulic, there's nothing electrical that will effect the shifting in any way.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

looks like an electric speedo plug
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Thanks everybody for the input.

Boosted SS, good side view photo of the transmission. The wire loom for the electrical plug in question actually goes upward around the pan area of the transmission over towards the white plug you show and the wires for the white plug actually join into the same wire loom. Does this shed any light on the mystery plug? Actually the path of the mystery plug is similar to the path of the red wire in your photo coming off the white plug. Where does that red wire go?

Tylersb350, this car has a functioning speedometer and judging by the appearance from under the car it uses a mechanical cable. Did Chevy include the wiring for the electric speedo even though my car uses a mechanical speedo? The mystery plug is long enough that if I take out all the slack, it can just reach where the mechanical speedo plug goes into the transmission.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:40 PM   #11
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Not really. Sorry.

The only reason that would hook up to the speedo is for a speed density setup for the fuel injection. 88's didn't have this from the factory. The previous owner may have converted to this and then switched it back before it was sold to you. Speed density is more accepting of mods than a Mass Air setup is...
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted_SS View Post
The only reason that would hook up to the speedo is for a speed density setup for the fuel injection. 88's didn't have this from the factory.
No, it would hook up to a transmission-mounted VSS to drive an electronic speedo. An 88 Camaro has a cable-driven speedo. Regardless of whether it's MAF or not, it also still has a VSS, but it's mounted on the back of the instrument cluster. An 88 Firebird does have an electronic speedo, and does use that connector.

Quote:
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Speed density is more accepting of mods than a Mass Air setup is...

Last edited by Apeiron; 11-01-2008 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Apeiron, let me make sure I am following you. What I think you are saying is that this connection is indeed for an electronic speedo, but that it will be unused on my car - since 88 camaros use cable driven speedos.

If that is correct, my question is why do I have this connection? There would seem to be two options:
1) did all 88 f-bodies use the same transmission harness?
2) they were not all the same, but for some reason I have a firebird harness?

It would seem that either way that I just need to tuck this connection out of the way and move on. Is this right?

Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:50 PM   #14
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

thanks for clearing that up apeiron
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:16 PM   #15
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
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Not really. Sorry.

The only reason that would hook up to the speedo is for a speed density setup for the fuel injection. 88's didn't have this from the factory. The previous owner may have converted to this and then switched it back before it was sold to you. Speed density is more accepting of mods than a Mass Air setup is...
its actually the other way around. MAF is more accepting than SD
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:12 AM   #16
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

That's not what I was told by a very reliable source...
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:17 AM   #17
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

thats a speedo plug. has absolutely nothing to do with your upshift problem. drop the pan on the transmission and see what goin on in there.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:42 AM   #18
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

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That's not what I was told by a very reliable source...
well i dunno what to tell you

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/tp...y+speed+maf+vs

theres one thread, but there are countless. case and point, MAF is alot more forgiving and accepting of mods, for example you can go supercharged with a MAF setup and not have to tune*(although you should so you can get the most bang for your buck) but with a SD setup you cant just bolt on the supercharger and go. something to do with the fact that MAF actually meters the air and knows how much is going in as compared to how SD has to calculate it and doesnt know the exact amount of air coming through.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:36 PM   #19
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

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That's not what I was told by a very reliable source...
Might be time to reevaluate the reliability of that source.

SD works with a pile of assumptions about how the engine behaves. As soon as you change things, those assumptions are no longer valid.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #20
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 327Chevy View Post
Apeiron, let me make sure I am following you. What I think you are saying is that this connection is indeed for an electronic speedo, but that it will be unused on my car - since 88 camaros use cable driven speedos.

If that is correct, my question is why do I have this connection? There would seem to be two options:
1) did all 88 f-bodies use the same transmission harness?
2) they were not all the same, but for some reason I have a firebird harness?

It would seem that either way that I just need to tuck this connection out of the way and move on. Is this right?

Thanks.
My 87 Firebird has this same connector hanging unused next to the transmission. Since I have a Firebird this connector should be used right? My speedometer does work too.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:36 PM   #21
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

the v.s.s. connector is more square in shape with 2 wires also.
the connector shown looks like temp sensor option in cooler line plug?-it plugs into the upper cooler line-i've seen them in impalas but they were newer with the 4l60e. not sure if it came in any 88 camaro's.

another thing to check before condemning the whole trans is if the throttle valve is stuck internally in the valvebody. This will cause no upshifts. Aftermarket has valves with springs behind them to help prevents stuck t.v. valve. The plunger may move o.k. and feel as if the cable pulls and springs back but that doesn't mean the valve isn't stuck. Check the governor first-then check the throttle valve with the valve body off. NOTE: sometimes you can just pull the plunger and sleeve out by removing the roll pin with pan off and use a really strong pocket magnet to free the valve. again i'm not talking about the plunger and spring but the valve that you can't see behind them.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:07 AM   #22
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 327Chevy View Post
Apeiron, let me make sure I am following you. What I think you are saying is that this connection is indeed for an electronic speedo, but that it will be unused on my car - since 88 camaros use cable driven speedos.

If that is correct, my question is why do I have this connection? There would seem to be two options:
1) did all 88 f-bodies use the same transmission harness?
2) they were not all the same, but for some reason I have a firebird harness?

It would seem that either way that I just need to tuck this connection out of the way and move on. Is this right?

Thanks.
I think I can probably clear up the "mystery wire" problem for you. I have an 89 RS Camaro, and it has the exact same plug you showed in your photo. Mine has never been hooked up either. What that plug/wire assembly actually is, is the reverse light switch plug for a T5 (manual trans) equipped car. I think the deal is that GM just used the same harness for automatic or manual trans cars around our years. Mine also has a cable-driven speedo, and came with a 700r4 from the factory, yet that same plug is on mine, and it's factory-taped to the rest of the trans harness to keep it from hanging down. Out of curiosity I grabbed a T5 reverse light switch, crawled under the car with it, and it plugs right in to that connector. I've seen several other posts on here over the years with guys wondering what the "mystery wire" is for.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:30 PM   #23
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Possibly the T5 reverse light connector. Just a guess. I can not think of anything else. Do you have the wire colors to look on a schematic?
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:33 PM   #24
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Looks like the vss connector to me (for the elctric vss in the firebirds anwyay). Maybe the cable driven camaros came with the same harness the firebirds did + their cable system? Yellow + Purple is definitely the VSS colors on my 87 (and that's the plug end).
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:40 AM   #25
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
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Possibly the T5 reverse light connector. Just a guess. I can not think of anything else. Do you have the wire colors to look on a schematic?
I've got the 89 GM factory shop manual in the house here somewhere. It's got full wiring schematics. I'll take a look and get back to you. I'm still betting it's the extra connector for T5 reverse lights though.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:41 PM   #26
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

just my thoughts...
I have a 89 that was a 305 TBI not 355 TPI....I too
have that same plug that is homeless.....


so with so many of us with the same plug...tape it off, hide it, do what ever.
we all have the same harness regardless.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:06 PM   #27
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

its a VSS wire , i think......and i think all cars had them because of the berlintta with the eletronic speedo, i may be wrong, but it looks just like the VSS plug and its just long enough to plug into were the VSS would go
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:40 PM   #28
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
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just my thoughts...
I have a 89 that was a 305 TBI not 355 TPI....I too
have that same plug that is homeless.....


so with so many of us with the same plug...tape it off, hide it, do what ever.
we all have the same harness regardless.
Same here. Mine was a 305 TBI/700r4 car originally as well.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #29
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
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There's no reverse light switch on a 700R4. The 700R4 is also completely hydraulic, there's nothing electrical that will effect the shifting in any way.
Well, While we're on THIS subject, what is the solution to reverse lights that don't work, same trans. I mean, if there is no reverse light switch on the 700r4, how do the lights know when the car is in reverse?
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:50 PM   #30
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Technically there IS a reverse light switch on a 700r4. It's integrated into the switch that plugs into the automatic shifter. This same switch also controls the safety neutral function (i.e. car won't start unless the shifter is in the Park position). These switches are relocated on a manual trans car, with the safety neutral switch located on the clutch pedal and the reverse light switch being screwed into the driver's side of the transmission case. On an automatic car, it's a multi-function switch on the floor shift assembly. If your reverse lights aren't working, it could be a bad wire in that plug, bad switch, or maybe a blown fuse. Could even be the reverse light bulbs are burnt out if you haven't ever checked them.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:04 PM   #31
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

i have the black plug just like the ones in the first pic and a 4 pronged white plug that are just laying under the hood on a 87 iroc 350 tpi i have looked all over for where they go. Any help please write back>>>
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #32
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

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Originally Posted by BRuppe89 View Post
i have the black plug just like the ones in the first pic and a 4 pronged white plug that are just laying under the hood on a 87 iroc 350 tpi i have looked all over for where they go. Any help please write back>>>
The black plug is not important, but the white, 4-prong one plugs into the transmission case above the valve body/fluid pan on the driver's side, and it's what controls the lockup funtion on your torque converter. You really need that to be hooked up as your trans won't function properly when it's supposed to be in overdrive(4th gear). The torque converter is supposed to be locked up when you're in OD. The spot where it plugs in is pretty easy to find. It's above the fluid pan on the driver's side just a little bit back from where your shift cable hooks up to the linkage on the side of the trans.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:37 PM   #33
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

ok i got a 89 camaro 305 and the same wire 2 but i only have 2 gears so how do i fix this
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #34
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

If your speedo is working, the 2-wire plug that I took a picture of goes nowhere. It is used only for cars with the electronic speedo sender. Mine was a mechanical speedo sender, so the plug doesn't have anything to connect to on my transmission.

This plug had nothing to do with my transmission problem.

My problem was caused by some genius (previous owner) hooking up the TV cable wrong which fried the transmission. He hooked it up to the wrong point on the throttle bracket so the cable moved in the opposite direction it should have.

Recently I swapped in another 700r4 from an 87 IROC. I put in a transgo shift kit, cheap 2200-2600 stall converter, and new external transmission seals. So far so good.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #35
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

It's a vss connector. im guessing they put that on all of them even if cable driven to make manufacturing faster/easier/cheaper. I had an engine cone 24 for the vss and ordered one, I recieved the electronic one from autozone (by putting my camaros info into the computer which kind of confuses me.) I ordered the correct driven gear for the end of the sensor and will be testing if the electronic can be used and will fix my problem because the stalling at a stop while in drive or reverse is bothering me way to much and the bucking on a highway drive.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #36
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

i have the female part of the plug on my 91 camaro but the male end is different, but still just hangin there does that make a difference???
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:18 AM   #37
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpstgermain View Post
It's a vss connector. im guessing they put that on all of them even if cable driven to make manufacturing faster/easier/cheaper. I had an engine cone 24 for the vss and ordered one, I recieved the electronic one from autozone (by putting my camaros info into the computer which kind of confuses me.) I ordered the correct driven gear for the end of the sensor and will be testing if the electronic can be used and will fix my problem because the stalling at a stop while in drive or reverse is bothering me way to much and the bucking on a highway drive.
If that doesn't fix your problem, the symptoms you're describing might also indicate a problem with your torque converter lockup function. Naturally, the converter is supposed to unlock whenever you come to a stop. If it's staying locked up, that could cause your engine to stall. Of course now that I think about it, that indeed could be associated with the VSS as well. With a malfunctioning VSS the computer might not realize when the car has stopped moving, causing the converter to stay locked. I hope you post up again after replacing the VSS. It'll be interesting to see if it fixes your problem or not.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:20 AM   #38
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

Damn, I just realized that post was from 2009! Lol.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:20 PM   #39
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Re: 700R4 - Can you idnentify this wire / plug?

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Originally Posted by Pat Hall View Post
The black plug is not important, but the white, 4-prong one plugs into the transmission case above the valve body/fluid pan on the driver's side, and it's what controls the lockup funtion on your torque converter. You really need that to be hooked up as your trans won't function properly when it's supposed to be in overdrive(4th gear). The torque converter is supposed to be locked up when you're in OD. The spot where it plugs in is pretty easy to find. It's above the fluid pan on the driver's side just a little bit back from where your shift cable hooks up to the linkage on the side of the trans.
So I am having the same problem but my white plug has a wire that goes over the transmission to a plug on the other side. Also the white plug wires are cut and are left hanging under the dash. One of the wires has power when in "run or started" and the other does not. I have looked everywhere for the other half that were cut from under the dash and have no idea where they go. do you know what wires I might be looking for?
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:20 PM
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