Huge thanks go out to Steve for the many assists while I did what no trans guy would/should ever do.
Mixed and matched parts that is. The final tally:
1. Pulled original trans and swapped with his "built" one
2. Pulled "broken built" one a week later and diagnosed the broken chain etc.
3. Pulled the guts from an 05 GXP trans and built this transmission
4. Dropped the cradle and pulled the side pan to swap the A soleniod (1-2)
5. Dropped the cradle to swap the 05 channel plate with a 98 plate
6. Dropped the cradle to swap the manual valve
7. Full success on all fronts.
In #1 the trans had an acceleration wobble based on rpm and acceleration, not speed. Probably the chain beating it'* way around the gears.
#4 was done because there was no 1st or 4th gears. This usually would point us to the 1-2 shift soleniod that is commonly known as soleniod A. Didn't fix the issue.
#5 The VB
to channel plate spacer was reviewed from the 05 and 98 years. Obvious differences sent the channel plate into the mix as it was probably different. Some differences were noted when it was pulled. Very minor though.
#6 Now we have 1st and 4th, but the shifter is one position off. When selecting N you get reverse and when selecting 3 you get drive.
I made a few tools along the way as well. One set of tools was two long bolts w/o the heads. These were used to hold the channel plate gaskets in place better than trans goo would. They also helped line up the pieces on the first try. Another tool is a little plastic box with a couple switches and some wiring. This plugs into the transmission and allows you to isolate the soleniods from the computer control and car'* wiring. Which told me that the soleniod was doing it'* job and the issue was likely the channel plate differences.
Thanks so much Steve, I'm not sure I could have made the journey w/o your help.