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Thread: Legnum autobox slipping in all gears

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    Legnum autobox slipping in all gears

    Hello,

    I have had a 1996 Legnum for a few months now, it has generally been shifting fine.
    Now after driving about half a miles the gears seem to slip/not engage properly and just revs out. Sometimes the neutral light has been flashing when trying to change between gears. It seems to be doing this in all gears not just 1 and 2. Is it likely the oil just needs to be changed or maybe something more severe?
    I know there are a few posts about this but non of them really seem to be the same issue. People are saying drive a 100 miles or so and it sorts its out but I can bare drive one.
    Any help would be great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie_sbc View Post
    Hello,

    I have had a 1996 Legnum for a few months now, it has generally been shifting fine.
    Now after driving about half a miles the gears seem to slip/not engage properly and just revs out. Sometimes the neutral light has been flashing when trying to change between gears. It seems to be doing this in all gears not just 1 and 2. Is it likely the oil just needs to be changed or maybe something more severe?
    I know there are a few posts about this but non of them really seem to be the same issue. People are saying drive a 100 miles or so and it sorts its out but I can bare drive one.
    Any help would be great!
    Is your current oil level is ok? maybe you have some leak and lost some oil hence from good shifts it become slippery?

    Changing oil for amsoil by dynamic change (whole 12ish litres) would be my first step to try fix it, if that fails then I would start looking for replacement box, btw amsoil is well know to 'cure' bad/slippery boxes.
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  3. #3
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    The flashing N usually occurs when the box is in limp mode. There may be a stored fault code that could point to the issue, which you can obtain using the 'flashy dash' method. I'll paste something below that gives you instructions.

    But yes, the common issues are wrong ATF level, wrong ATF (e.g. Dexron III rather than ATF that meets or exceeds Mitsubishi SP-III ATF) or worn out fluid (often dark brown in colour).

    If it is a fluid issue, then Amsoil ATF is by far and away the best thing for these boxes in terms of cleaning, temperature performance and longevity.
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    Reading the VR-4's Diagnostic Codes

    Main code-reading thread can be found here, though you might not be able to see it.

    However, this is the first page:

    Here is a simple illustration of the OBD-II port located on the underside of the dash, near the driver's left knee:

    ----------------------------
    \.01.02.03.04.05.06.07.08../
    .\09.10.11.12.13.14.15.16./
    ..------------------------


    Grounding pin 1 is the way to obtain any stored error codes. You can ground it to a chassis point, any other earth, or most usually (because it's closest and easiest) pin 4.

    I use a short piece of wire with stripped ends for the desired effect. A paperclip may also suffice. Some of you may even choose to put in a little switch, so it can be turned on and off as you please!

    Instructions:

    1. Earth pin 1, in your chosen fashion;
    2. Turn the ignition on;
    3. You will then have the flashy dash (lights flashing should be Engine Management Light, TCL OFF light (if equipped), 'Skiddy Car' light, 'N' on auto selector (if applicable), AYC light (if equipped), ABS light, SRS light;
    4. Any light that is flashing regularly (about twice a second) has no stored codes;
    5. Any light flashing irregularly, will cycle through all stored codes, repeatedly;
    6. Each code is two digits, and zeroes are not used, i.e. the lowest code possible is 11, and the highest is 99;
    7. Long flashes (about a second or so each) indicate the first digit, while short flashes indicate the second digit;
    8. There is about two seconds between each stored code;
    9. Note the codes down, then refer to the diagnostic codes list.

    To clear the stored codes, disconnect the battery (NB: This does not clear SRS codes, which have to be MUT-II reset, as far as is presently known). Sorry folks, this does mean however that any lovely stored settings in the auto ECU will also be lost.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by elnevio View Post
    The flashing N usually occurs when the box is in limp mode. There may be a stored fault code that could point to the issue, which you can obtain using the 'flashy dash' method. I'll paste something below that gives you instructions.

    But yes, the common issues are wrong ATF level, wrong ATF (e.g. Dexron III rather than ATF that meets or exceeds Mitsubishi SP-III ATF) or worn out fluid (often dark brown in colour).

    If it is a fluid issue, then Amsoil ATF is by far and away the best thing for these boxes in terms of cleaning, temperature performance and longevity.

    Thanks a lot for this.
    I pulled the dipstick out and the ATF was pretty dark brown in colour. I am not sure when it was last changed.
    Hopefully it is just this. I have some faith it might be as it goes through all the gears for a little while then trips out.

  6. #6

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    Thanks so much for this. All really helpful.
    I am going to get it to a garage this week,
    Hopefully it will just be the ATF, as i said it goes through all the gears fine for a little while then trips out.
    The TCL light was flashing on and off the other day for a while when i was on the motorway, when i stopped and started again it seemed to correct it self.

    thanks again.

  7. #7
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    As Adam mentioned above, ensure you do a full flush and don't just replace whats in the sump.

    There is a full guide in the members area - https://www.clubvr4.com/forum/showth...-Change-(VR-4)

    '97 Manual Legnum in silver with some subtle mods

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  8. #8
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    Hi Charlie,

    Yes old horrible brown fluid won't help! Try to avoid driving it at all until you can replace the fluid.

    Get yourself around 12-13 litres of Amsoil ATF, and if the garage have never done a VR-4 gearbox before, present them with the guide and ask them to follow it. If they question it or suggest that they know better or say something like "oh no you don't need to do that", then walk away and look for an alternative garage who are willing to follow those instructions.

    Where in the country are you? There may be someone nearby who knows what they're doing with these, and may be able to help you out!

  9. #9

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    Thanks a lot for this.
    I can't see that page yet as I am new to the forum but interested to see the process.
    I live in Peckham (south east london), my friend I got the car off used to take it to RMS Garage in Deptford. He says they are very good and they do a lot of work with JDM cars. I am going to try and get it there in the week. Reckon it will be ok driving it a few miles down the road?
    Form your experience is this likely to be the problem. As I said before when I first start the car it seems fine then after a half mile or so the problem occurs. Turning the car on and off helps a bit too.

  10. #10
    TAR's Avatar

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    the gearbox will always struggle with old brown ATF. Your issue sounds like a classic case where a full flush will work wonders.

  11. #11

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    nice one!!!

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