Rough shift when cold & "hunting"


New member
First of all, huge shout out to the sprinter source community. The amount of knowledge here is amazing! Thanks in advance for any help rendered.

I've got a 2006 t1n passenger setup with 205,000 mostly highway miles. I've got a long record of service for the rig - it's been pretty well cared for. Since I've had it, it's had an issue of rough shifting, most noticeably when it's cold and is just shifted from 1-2. Roughly 150 RPM after the shift the RPMs drop by 300 or so and the van surges forward a bit. This phenomenon also occurs after other shifts happen but it's less pronounced the higher gear it's in... It's hard to notice after the 2-3 shift. I'll also mention that under sometimes when the accelerator is only slightly pressed and the tranny is cold the RPMs fluctuates and as if I were feathering the gas.. That's the part that's miffing me! I can almost always get this to happen in first gear when I'm climbing the slightest of hills at about 10-15 mph. Oh, and I do have RSN but only slightly... I may or may not employ the Dr's (awesome) fix.

So.. I got a rebuild manual and read the posts and was thinking possibly I've got a bad shift solenoid causing the lurch/surge/rough shift. But I've also seen people changing conductor plates/other solenoids and so I wonder if that might explain the hunting/rpm fluctuation I've noticed. I opened the tranny up 5k ago to change the fluid. It had been about 75k since the last owner did it... The fluid was definitely dirty and there were definitely fines stuck to the magnet in the pan BUT the screens under the solenoids were clean as a whistle (huzzah!). I dropped the valve body & cleaned it but didn't take it apart. That maintenance coupled with the new fluid reduced the force of the transmission surge but I'd like to put all these issues to bed while they're still (hopefully) minor.

My quesitons are:
A: What parts should I replace to address the problems listed (and why - I'm big on why)?
B: Are there any other parts (like the conductor plate?) the community suggests changing now so I won't have to get into the tranny for another 50k?

Many thanks!

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Have you called Dr. A? He may have some help for you.

Were I in your situation I'd be tempted to replace the conductor plate assembly.


I believe the cost is about 200 bucks.
Given some attention to detail, it's not a difficult DIY replacement. (As you know.)
The assembly contains many of the parts which could affect what you describe.
If the conductor plate doesn't resolve your issues then at least that is out of the way so you know to look to other causes.

That said, you should call Andy.

:2cents: vic

In my limited experience it doesn't take many miles for the new tranny fluid to lose the rich red color and trend brown. At 75,000 miles your fluid may not have been that bad.
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New member
I'm having similar rough shifting, more so when it's hot. I'm almost convinced to try changing the valve body with a rebuilt unit. I'm thinking the overlap valves are worn, and I figured a whole new valve body with a new conductor plate and solenoids might be worth it for ~$600?


New member
Thanks for the feedback so far.

Aqua: that's good to know about fluid, I was a bit shocked at how not red the fluid was. I didn't know Andy was available to call, I'll do that. I had the same feeling about the conductor plate as well. That's a good deal of new components for by a lot of coin.

Dpatt: that's interesting your similar issue occurs when the rig is hot. i was hoping to avoid a total rebuild and get by on a few hundred bucks if I can. And I do hate to fix things that aren't broken! The problems do occur when shifting manually too, which was weird to me. Thanks for bringing that up


Well-known member
Just a thought!
I have a Fed Ex van in the shop with harsh changes.
Turned out to be a loose rear axle!

In fact the tit style nub locator under the road spring had wallowed out the spring bed on both sides to such an extent that the rear axle was doing the samba under the van on a torque test!
Check yours for insecurity at the U bolts!

Torque is 125 ft lbs and test them with a small hammer tap--listen for the ping!
Essentially the U bolts binds up in the guide tubes and seems tight but its not!
This one was fixed by installing a used axle and road springs for a quick fix!

I salvaged what I could out of a rolling shell 2006 rust free 2006 LWB rig for the repair and the rest went to the crusher!
One less Sprinter on the road I suppose making room for more Landrovers!:lol:
Sick bastard Dennis:thumbup:


I'll also mention that under sometimes when the accelerator is only slightly pressed and the tranny is cold the RPMs fluctuates and as if I were feathering the gas..
Is it something like this?

That used to happen to me in 3rd and 4th gear when cold, turned out to be the TCC lock solenoid. It's cheap and easy to replace once you get the valvebody out.

Programming is different in my Jeep compared to the Sprinter, that's why mine did it in 3rd and 4th gear only.

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