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727 Upshift


Well-Known Member
Local time
3:21 PM
Oct 28, 2010
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Bandana, NC
Something I’ve been experiencing that has me stumped. My driveway is 1/4 long and quite steep. When I leave the house with my 62’ I push it in low and crawl down the driveway. When I get on the road I push it into drive but it takes several hundred feet at around 15-20 mph to shift out of low Into drive. I’ll drive another 1.5 miles to the intersection and stop and often it does not downshift into 1st. A bit more driving and the shifting seems to return to normal. seems as if the trans needs to warm up to begin shifting properly? Once it’s warmed up the shifts - up and down seem ok. Any thoughts?
If an older Torqueflight sits for a while, the torque converter fluid will drain back into the pan, and the car will be very sluggish to move. My suggestion is to try starting your car in neutral, and let it idle for a minute to refill the converter before putting it in gear. It may have a clogged filter that needs to be changed. Low fluid pressure makes the transmission do weird things. If changing the filter on a cable shift 727, make sure you you have the correct one with two oil pick up holes. Not shifting back into low after a stop can be caused by the kick down rod not coming back fully to rest, allowing fluid pressure to be trapped in the governor circuit.
Yep, fluid is probably like syrup & needs [ + filter ] replacing. Clutches & bands might be worn, takes longer to shift.
If fluid is not burnt, and the kick down linkage is adjusted properly ( service manual shows you how) then it may just be time for a rebuild.
Only 60 years old....
Have you tried stopping at the road and shifting into N then into D?
Sounds like either the governor or 1-2 shift valve is sticky. I say sticky because it works ok after warm up, if it were galled it would be a problem all the time. I’d flush the thing and replace the fluid and filter. If it doesn’t fix it you’re probably due for a rebuild.
If it doesn’t fix it you’re probably due for a rebuild.
I do not know the issue you describe.... but if you do get to the point where you decide to look inside for issues and pull it down, check the valve body carefully for cracks, will be visible from the outside...early (pre-65) Torqueflite valve bodies have a specific spot where they fracture....could be related, or cause a sticky valve.
Older TF’s, stock, don’t have partial-throttle ‘on-demand’ shifting unless flooring the pedal. Anything less will upshift to 2nd around 15-18mph and to 3rd gear by around 25-28mph. If the car isn’t stopped fully, the trans won’t drop back to 1st gear. Might double check the kickdown adjustment.
This is the older cable shift style. I just cleaned the strainer and fluid a few months back using ATF4. Didn’t notice any apparent issues when the pan was off - but then again I wouldn’t really know what to look for. I have not tried stopping at the bottom and putting it in neutral for a bit. I’ll try that the next time out. I’ve been wanting to try adjusting the 1/2 band but need to get a lower reading torque wrench first.
They are not too fussy. Tighten the screw snug with a 5/16" wrench and back it off 2 turns. Lock it down and go.