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1972 DODGE B-300 (360 eng. - auto trans problem)

1972 Model DODGE B-300 (360 eng. - auto trans problem) - manufactured May 1971. I have been told that this is a model 727 transmission.

The transmission on my car seems to be failing catastrophically all of a sudden (with maybe 3 or 4 days' notice!). Suddenly I have no "REVERSE" gear. I park facing uphill in a slightly-sloping driveway. I back out of the driveway every morning.

A few days ago, it seemed to "stick" in reverse as I backed out, like the emergency brake was engaging as it rolled backwards, but I could pop it out of reverse and back again and drive out - or "rev" it and get it to move. I topped off the trans fluid (which often leaks to a low level) when this first happened so that is full now. It was OK for a few days.

This morning, it stuck several times while backing out of the driveway and it was VERY difficult to back up. Now (after this morning's problem!) I can't get any "clunk" in reverse when I try to back out of the near-level place where it resides during the day. It won't move at all when I give it some gas in reverse - it is revving freely with no movement - it will not go backwards in reverse at all. Even stranger - if I put it into "PARK" and give it some gas, it tries to go "FORWARD" for some reason.

I get reasonable responses from the gears for "DRIVE" and "1" and "2" - just "REVERSE" is disconnected or inactive and "PARK" is behaving incorrectly. Could this be some kind of adjustment or "linkage" problem on a 35-year-old car to make "REVERSE" gear engage when I shift?

Do I need to rebuild or replace my trans entirely - or is there some smaller subset of parts I can replace to fix "REVERSE"????????
 

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Do It In A Van
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First thing to do it get on a level surface and check your fluid level again in Neutral, just to be sure the fluid level is okay. Remember if the transmission is cold, the fluid level should be between the ADD and FULL marks.

Before condemning the transmission, you should check to make sure the linkage is adjusted properly. You said it tries to move forward in Park, so I'm thinking a possible linkage adjustment is in order. I have a '72 factory service manual that I'll check and scan the pages that deal with the adjustment.

However, if it turns out that you've lost Reverse, then a complete rebuild is in order. I don't know of any parts that will just fix Reverse.
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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I agree, I suspect it's a linkage problem. I would check the lever were the linkage comes out of the steering column (worn bushings) and the lever on the transmission (tightness), and all other plastic bushings including those on the "bell crank assembly".
The only part that is common internally is the linkage. I would disconnect the linkage at the transmission, block the rear wheels so it won't roll (set the parking brake if it works also) . With the engine off you should be able to shift between P-R-N-D-2-1 positions and feel a detent between each position.
:IDEA: Depending on how steep your driveway is, the temperature at night and how often you drive it ts possible that torque convertor drain-back has some roll in the problem also. If this is the case, starting in neutral will pull the fluid that drains back into the torque converter. The fluid could cause drag on the reverse band. This usually takes a few days to occur. So start-up in neutral if your parked uphill for a few days in a row.
--B-300--
 
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