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  #1  
Old 06-15-2011, 08:32 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
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Default PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Hi all,

1996, 2.3L, Auto, 2wd, 190,000mi.
No idea when, or IF my tranny filter has ever been changed, or if the tranny has ever been serviced.

Forgive my lack of brevity...

For the last few weeks, my transmission has been acting up a bit. At first it was some rough shifting into 2nd and 3rd, but I changed the fluid, and it ran better for several days, then it slowly began to act up again. A week or so later I could hear a discernible "whining" sound (reminds me of a turbo charger) when shifting into 2nd, and more so into 3rd, with the shifting into 3rd being more on the rough/jerky side. For the last week or so, the whining noise remained, but the shifting into second improved (mostly normal), and is operating fine, but 3rd has regressed into what I believe is a slip (revs increase, acceleration seems to flatten, then 3rd engages a little roughly if acceleration is continuous, but smoothly if I let off the gas when the "slip" occurs). All other gears have operated exactly as one would expect...no problems.

Today everything changed. Lots of stop-n-go traffic...noticed 3rd really struggling. Got off the expressway, and no sooner than I did, the transmission started kicking out of 3rd, and wouldn't stay. Initially it tried to shift, but it would immediately kick back into 2nd. A few minutes later it started to "fluctuate" (as if continually trying to shift into 3rd, but remained in second. Eventually it got to where it wouldn't move if I had it in Drive, but it would stay in 2nd gear if I had it in the 2nd or 1st gear positions (limp mode?). I limped it home, but it remained in 2nd gear the whole time, and it would "disengage" if I put it into the Drive position while moving. Let it sit for 45 minutes...then took it down the road to scan my codes whereupon it drove normally for about 5 minutes, then started a quick regression into "limp mode" again. Scanned then cleared my trouble codes, and surprisingly, after only sitting for 10 minutes, the tranny operated normally for about 15 minutes, then went back into limp mode again.

I'm hoping this is something simple like a clogged filter, or something it's not liking from the PCM or TCM, versus a trashed tranny. The fact that it runs normally after it's sat awhile, and after the codes were cleared seems to indicate the tranny is "physically" alright, but has either a heat related problem, or something else that affects it after it's run awhile.

I'd certainly welcome anybody input or related experiences that might point me in the right direction on a limited budget.

Here are the codes I pulled today in the order listed as they have accumulated over the last month approximately:

P0125 - only "current" code. Insufficient coolant temp for closed loop fuel control (I can confirm the thermostat is inoperable, but how is this related to the fuel control, and would this explain my off-idle hesitation?...another topic perhaps).

P0761 - shift solenoid C performance stuck off (seems VERY related to my shifting problems...no? Hoping too that C=3rd...would correlate with the issues I'm having with 3rd)

P0420 - catalytic system efficiency below the threshold, bank 1 (this is an old code I keep getting...not sure if it's O2 sensor related or what.

P1000 - Continuous OBD systems readiness test not complete

P1701 - reverse engagement error (reverse has on occasion "kicked" into gear since the tranny started acting up, but it almost didn't go into reverse on two occasions after my troubles started today).

Does anybody have any ideas? I'm stuck "limping" around until this is resolved, and it's going to cramp my style very quickly if work migrates too far from home.

Please....anybody?

Thanks.

Dave

----------

Ok...just read the post by Fordzilla80 regarding the O/D light off situation, and my light did in fact come on and flash when I suspected "limp mode." It did not come on, however, after I cleared my codes, and drove it home...even after it seemed to go back into limp mode. Just thought it worth noting.
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Last edited by fletcher969; 06-15-2011 at 08:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2011, 09:01 PM
darkstar_420 darkstar_420 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

i have no idea but i wanna see the solution
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2011, 09:10 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar_420 View Post
i have no idea but i wanna see the solution
I wanna see the solution too! I'm hoping somebody tells me it sounds like a clogged filter (or that changing it COULD solve some/all of my issues), or it's a bad vacuum source, or something simple like that. It works just fine for a bit when "cold," so my fingers are crossed it's not too major...
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:19 PM
sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Sounds like a rebuild or a new tranny is in your future. There's a reason they recommend 30,000 mile fluid and filter changes. If everone did those like they are supposed too. Transmission shops would be out of business.
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2011, 12:28 PM
Rango88 Rango88 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsandman View Post
Sounds like a rebuild or a new tranny is in your future. There's a reason they recommend 30,000 mile fluid and filter changes. If everone did those like they are supposed too. Transmission shops would be out of business.
I think it might be down for the count dude, I would bring it to a tranny specialist.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:36 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsandman View Post
Sounds like a rebuild or a new tranny is in your future. There's a reason they recommend 30,000 mile fluid and filter changes. If everone did those like they are supposed too. Transmission shops would be out of business.
I've only had this truck for about 10,000 miles, so I have no idea whatsoever what the maintenance has been on this thing, but it's lasted 190,000 miles, so I guess it wasn't totally ignored. I hope you're wrong about the new/rebuild though. As I said, it runs fine until it's warmed up...then it goes south. Mind you, I'm no mechanic, but if it runs fine cold, but not warmed up...it seems like a heat-related or electrical problem. Like something isn't working once the temperature rises. That doesn't mean a rebuild or replacement isn't ultimately what is required, but I'm on a tight budget, and hoping there's a simpler, less costly solution.

----------

Today:

Ran fine for about 3 miles, then started "kicking" out of 3rd, but would eventually go back into 3rd if I had enough speed, and let off the throttle...so it could "float" into 3rd. It also did some "fluctuating" (real quick, back and forth, 2nd-3rd-2nd-3rd stuff before setting into 3rd. Got to work.

On the way home, it went into 3rd initially, but kicked out soon thereafter. It would sometimes go into 3rd, but didn't seem content there, and would kick out into 2nd. Eventually it got to the point where I had to have the lever in the 2nd position, or it would otherwise just disengage altogether in Drive. It wants to go into 3rd, but it just can't hang onto it.

Anyway, when I got home I thought about the P1701 TDC, so I tried putting it into reverse. It went, but it took awhile, and when it finally shifted, it was harsh...and the O/D Off light started flashing.

Anybody? As it is, I'm considering dropping the pan, replacing the filter, and checking the wiring/connectors to/from Solenoid C.

Dave
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:16 PM
Fordzilla80 Fordzilla80 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

I answered your post on another forum.

Toys R uS
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2011, 03:10 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordzilla80 View Post
I answered your post on another forum.

Toys R uS
Thanks....I saw that.

----------

Ok...I got to reading in the manual for the A4LD tranny, and it appears that reverse and 3rd gear have something in common, which might explain why both gears suddenly are BOTH having troubles. According to the manual, the "Reverse and High Clutch E" are applied only when reverse and 3rd (and subsequent higher gears) are engaged. Now the trick is to figure out how that and the Selenoid C are related, and perhaps therein lay the problem or a path to it.

Anybody have a clue?

Aside from that, I had a look-see underneath my truck awhile ago, and nothing out of the ordinary regarding wiring harnesses, vacuum leaks, etc. Everything looks snug, although I did notice there is a "sheath" of some sort on my shift cable just forward of the bracket that holds/directs the cable snug to the tranny. Anyway, I pulled on that just out of curiosity, and it rode along the cable with some resistance, though I had it in my mind it is supposed to play a functional role, and shouldn't move along the cable like it did. Just my imagination, or could my cable be broken or damaged?

EDIT: I have a 4R44E tranny. Didn't see the same info, but instead 3rd and reverse share the direct clutch.
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Last edited by fletcher969; 06-16-2011 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:39 PM
03RangerFX4 03RangerFX4 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

If the trans fluid has a burnt smell, that's usually not a good sign. If you drop the pan and see metal shaving, replace the trans as its out the door. Ranger transmissions are expensive, especially the 5 speed automatic. Good luck!!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:42 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsandman View Post
Sounds like a rebuild or a new tranny is in your future. There's a reason they recommend 30,000 mile fluid and filter changes. If everone did those like they are supposed too. Transmission shops would be out of business.
x2
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:01 PM
Fordzilla80 Fordzilla80 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fletcher969 View Post
Thanks....I saw that.
Keep an eye over there, no sense in me posting in both places.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2011, 07:44 PM
fletcher969 fletcher969 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03RangerFX4 View Post
If the trans fluid has a burnt smell, that's usually not a good sign. If you drop the pan and see metal shaving, replace the trans as its out the door. Ranger transmissions are expensive, especially the 5 speed automatic. Good luck!!!
There's no burnt smell, and it's still red in color. I changed it about a month ago, but there isn't any sign of degradation since then.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordzilla80 View Post
Keep an eye over there, no sense in me posting in both places.
I'll post, you can choose!
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:27 AM
sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fletcher969 View Post
I've only had this truck for about 10,000 miles, so I have no idea whatsoever what the maintenance has been on this thing, but it's lasted 190,000 miles, so I guess it wasn't totally ignored. I hope you're wrong about the new/rebuild though. As I said, it runs fine until it's warmed up...then it goes south. Mind you, I'm no mechanic, but if it runs fine cold, but not warmed up...it seems like a heat-related or electrical problem. Like something isn't working once the temperature rises. That doesn't mean a rebuild or replacement isn't ultimately what is required, but I'm on a tight budget, and hoping there's a simpler, less costly solution.
Oh, I wasn't pointing the finger specifically at you. There are way too many people out there that have the mentality of "all I ever had to do was change the oil" and think that is taking good care of their vehicle. The ones who buy it after them are the ones who pay the price.

For as bad as the transmission is acting up, I doubt it will be a simple fix. You could try changing the filter and fluid two or three times and see if that scrubs all the contminants out of the system. Two changes will replace agood bit of the old fluid but three would replace just about all of it.

You might get away with replacing some solenoids too but with the way the transmission is set up, I don't think any are accessable from outside the case. I don't remember if they are accessable with the pan dropped or not. With as many miles as you have on that transmission and what I believe the treatment of it was in the past, taking it to a shop or getting a transmission from a junk yard is probably going to be in your future.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:35 AM
DieHard4rd DieHard4rd is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

Add a bottle of Lucus to it & sell it
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:41 AM
SalRanger2 SalRanger2 is offline
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Default Re: PLEASE! Need help ASAP...

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Originally Posted by DieHard4rd View Post
Add a bottle of Lucus to it & sell it
haha was just thinkin that. if i were u id put lucas stuff in it. if it fixes it, ship it and buy somethin else. if you want to keep it, tranys junk man. like said before, 90% of ppl dont take care like they should. at 190k, shes tired lol
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