Drivetrain - Disaster struck the ZX2 transmission | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Drivetrain Disaster struck the ZX2 transmission

Discussion in 'Drivetrains' started by bent_rod, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    After a complete rebuild job on the automatic transmission it has lost all main line pressure in just 300 miles of driving. The pump pressure regulator valve was not stuck. After draining the ATF I found it to be milky pink and the fluid level was much too high on the dipstick. Draining the coolant showed pink transmission fluid floating on top.
    From what I can tell the only way the two could get mixed is because of a leak in the radiator/transmission cooler.
    Any other ideas?
  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Is your antifreeze low?
  3. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    Yes had to keep adding coolant, 50/ 50 mix.
    I did see a couple of small external leaks on side of radiator, also could smell hot antifreeze, but didn't think about an internal leak into the ATF.
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks to the feoa forums, I now have another thing to check as part of putting an auto trans back into the car.

    Sorry to hear about your situation.
  5. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    I found an old thread that said to watch out for a leaking trans cooler heat exchanger in the radiator. But it was after the disaster. I have a new radiator on the way and an external transmission cooler. I installed a transmission cooler on my 2000 SE because of old rusted out plumbing tubes. Glad I did. No way to get mixed fluids now.
  6. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    A long story, I will try to cut short and to the points as possible.
    I don't think the frictions in the transmission liked the antifreeze that mixed with the ATF from the defective heat exchanger in the radiator. Would not have trusted the transmission without replacing everything inside again. Too much work to do that all again and am very short of funds for this project. The decision was made to try a JY transmission.
    I went to one of the local Pick N Pull JYs and found a ZX2 with only 129K miles on it and pulled the transmission out of that car. The car had been owned by a young girl just before it found its way into the JY. Her grandmother was the first owner. People leave a lot of personal items in cars after a wreck.
    Back in the summer when I was at the JY it was hot, 107F heat index. After working for two days I did manage to get the transmission out by myself, with a little help pushing the A frame engine lift around. Without the aid of my air impact wrench the work was very difficult and left me in a depleted state of health.
    I flushed out the rebuilt torque converter that only had 300 miles on it and installed it with the JY transmission. That was a big mistake, come to find out the lock up clutch inside the torque converter was coming apart and it quickly filled up the JY transmission with junk that looked like paper towel fiber debris. The transmission only worked for 5 miles. Because of other obligations the ZX2 project was put on the shelf.
    Jump forward. The Transmission valve body was taken off the JY transmission and no junk was found inside the valve body. The filter was completely filled with the debris from the torque converter, cutting off AFT flow to the pump. The transmission was pulled out one more time to replace the torque converter. The ATF cooler and lines were flushe out. Also I flushed out all the passageways inside the transmission with compressed air and solvent. The valve body was taken apart and cleaned/ checked.
    I found that the TCC valve in the valve body was sticking sometimes (around one time out of 10) at about half way travel of the spool valve and wouldn't let the spring return it all the way back. I checked the original valve body and found the same thing was going on with that TCC valve. Good lesson here, don't just flip the spools valves a little bit, they must be depressed completely to make sure that they return every time. After working with my Bench Buddy brush and some #600 paper I was able to get the spool valve to travel freely again every time.
    I now have the JY transmission back in the ZX2 and it is working good. My grandson needs the car to drive, he has been using his mother's car. With five people in the family and only two working cars it has been difficult at times.
    denisond3 likes this.

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