This 1997 Saturn CL2 is not shifting correctly. I had just put a used transmission from a SL2 also a 1997. Installation went fine. All wires are connected. Is this units shifting controlled electronicly? And can it be another shift control electronic issue? The shift position indicator module was removed from the old trans that was originally in the car. Could it be that it isn't positioned correctly? Would that cause it to shift fine in first and then shift to second and then immediately slip back into first again? Is this transmission already blown? Give me a hand here!
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I guess my first question would be - are you saying it is slipping in 3rd gear ? If you push the gas pedal to the floor it should downshift into a lower gear. If it is slipping, or not upshifting into 3rd gear, I'm afraid chances are the transmission is toast. You can take it to a couple of shops for estimates but they will probably want to pull the pan and take a look inside.
I think you need to call around to junkyards and find a used transmission to fit your car. You can find sites by googling it as well. Most likely any saturn manual transmission 91-98 will fit, possibly even up to 2002 if you stay with the S series cars. They have an interchange which will tell you.
Take this time to replace the clutch too. The big caveat here is that the DOHC cars SL2 SW2 SC2, transmissions have a different final gear ratio than the SOHC cars Sl1, SC1 SW1 so you have to know which type you have and get one from a donor vehicle which is the same.
I have a 97 SL2 and it has the typical slam into reverse, but also after a couple minutes of driving it downshifts... It stays there for like 3-5 minutes then runs fine afterwards... What is the problem?
It sounds like you have the wrong transmission. If your car is a DOHC aka an SL2, SC2, or SW2 then you have an MP7 transmission. If you have a SOHC, aka a SL1, SC1, or SW1 then you have an MP6. You need the right transmission for the right motor...DOHC needs the MP7 while the SOHC needs the MP6.
On top of that, you need the correct gear ratios which changed over the years. Your '97 CANNOT use a '98-'02 transmission. It must be 1991-1997 if it is an MP7 or 1993-1997 if it is an MP6.
Otherwise the PCM will not shift the wrong transmission.