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Old 06-01-2011, 10:28 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
Ford Ranger Owner
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 62
Default Automatic...slip, whine, jerk.

Hi all...

1996 Ranger, 2.3L, Auto-trans, 2wd, 190,000+ miles.

Quickly...timing belt broke a few weeks ago. Fixed that problems a couple of other issues have cropped up, and because I can't be sure they aren't related somehow to one another, I'll toss them all out.

As I mentioned....timing belt broke. Pulled vehicle (in neutral) for about 7 miles. Fixed timing belt, replaced the plugs and wires. Engine runs fine except for a slight off-idle hesitation. Noticed the ABS light was on (possibly from working the brakes while towing/pulling it), and the check engine light came on (well before my tranny issue began), but I've literally not had the time to see what codes will show, but I'm going to in the next day or two regardless.

A week or so ago, my transmission started to act up. First it was a slight "jerk" going into reverse which became more pronounced during the next couple of days. Then I started to notice it was jerking slightly going into 2nd, and a bit more so shifting into 3rd which got worse during the next couple of days after I noticed it. A day or two later (perhaps because I was more observant than usual), I noticed a whining sound (noticeable, but not super loud) during shifts in 2nd and 3rd, with the sound more prevalent while shifting into 3rd, and I noticed too a "winding up" or rise in RPMs just before it would shift into 3rd (slip?). On another occasion, the tranny just didn't seem to want to move while I was taking off from a parked position, so I decided it really needed looked at.

Long story short, I changed the fluid (fluid was a mostly brown with slight reddish color, but no off or burnt smells. , and it seemed to work fine for about one day, then the symptoms came back, but so far (again, after only one day) the symptoms are a bit less pronounced, particularly in 2nd gear where it's mostly a smooth shift with ever so slight a jerk, but I did notice a few hours ago there is a slight whining noise again in both 2nd, and all the aforementioned symptoms for 3rd gear are coming back (LOTS of stop and go traffic...50 or so miles since fluid change). Might be worth mentioning too that the symptoms are more pronounced after I've driven several miles. Drives fine in 1st, and no problems once it's shifted into 3rd or beyond. The jerk into reverse hasn't shown up yet again since the fluid change.

Funds are limited, so I'm hoping there's a relatively cheap solution. I've read where a clogged/dirty filter might cause the whining sound and rough shifts, and I did have some contamination awhile back when my radiator/tranny cooler leaked and mixed, but I flushed everything out, and it appeared to be clean....but then again??? Read too where the pump can cause a whining noise, and hard shifts. Read another thread where the VSS, differential, hard shifts, PCM, etc. might be possible scenarios (not sure if so on my vehicle). Just pulling at straws at this point....

Looking for whatever suggestions other might have....crossing my fingers this thing isn't going to have to be replaced. Will have some time over the weekend to look it over, so I'm hoping to have a list of things to check out.

Thanks ahead of time!!!

1998 Ranger Sport, 2WD, 3.0L.

Last edited by fletcher969; 06-01-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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