Drivetrain - Drive and Overdrive can't find 1st Gear | Page 3 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Drivetrain Drive and Overdrive can't find 1st Gear

Discussion in 'Drivetrains' started by Xternyl, May 24, 2020.

  1. Xternyl

    Xternyl FEOA Member

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    253k miles on it, seems like that's the issue. Previous owner says nothing was actually changed Fluids and all, so he probably wore the tranny to the grave. Another tranny should be cheap if I can actually find one, but eventually I hope to swap to my Neon A588 engine or ZX2(if I can find a remote ZX2).
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    I had bought a 2001 ZX2 from a junkyard that had a "bad" transmission. It acted similar to what yours did. I swapped some transmission fluid and put some lucas trans fix in it and it slowly got better over time until I got rid of it with an occasional slippy 1-2 shift.
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  3. Xternyl

    Xternyl FEOA Member

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    Welp 1st/L is pretty much done for. I smelled a light plastic burn smell and it now barely accelerates thru first. It feels like the transmission is ripping itself apart when going into second gear. After second it is fine, but L(because 1st is virtually gone) is terrible and terrifying to drive now. I'm going to put it in a shop probably for a transmission swap. If I can find one in my city.
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  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The business of sounding bad going from first into 2nd is a fairly common event with old F4EAT transmissions. The real fix would be to get a replacement transmission that has had the trangso 'shift kit' installed during the rebuild. One of the things the shift kit does is to tame the really hard bumping shift into 2nd from 1st. I dont know if the typical transmission rebuild shop installs the transgo kit, since the hard shift issue doesnt affect all of the F4EAT transmission. It should cost about $50 for the kit, and is really worth it.

    The "transmission repair shops" are almost never the ones that do the rebuild; they just order a rebuilt unit from a specialty place that does the real 'trans repair', and swap it into your car.
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  5. Xternyl

    Xternyl FEOA Member

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    Is the trans go kit and easy install? And before this is the final judgement, the car will struggle to accelerate from a full stop(that is what I meant by 1st is virtually gone). It is okay on the highway or once I get into second.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The transgo kit gets installed mostly into the valve body. That would be -possible- by dropping the valve bodyout of the trans; but putting in the shift kit wont help if the trans is slipping,i.e. you said it struggles to accelerate from a stop. One or two spings go into one of the accumulators to change the inter-shift timing; but they arent a critical deal - unless the trans is out and opened up on a workbench. I think your problem would only be fixed by doing a rebuild, where you put in new parts (frictionals and steels) in the clutch packs and a new 2-4 band. In other words install the parts from a master rebuild kit and the transgo shift kit.
    Sorry. I hope Im wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  7. Xternyl

    Xternyl FEOA Member

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    Hell, I hope your right I just wanted to have the most info dealing with the issue so I do appreciate it. I would have to do this carefully when I have the time, so I don't mess up anything. Thanks again.
  8. Xternyl

    Xternyl FEOA Member

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    I think the tranny is dieing, occasionally I put 2qts of dex/merc v and it leaks the old out tranny and continues to run. Thanks to all who helped. I'll be swapping trannys soon. Now the engine shake as I stop or go but its fine for now.
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    It might be a good idea to see if the 19 small bolts holding the transmission oil pan are snug. Also the tubing and hoses for the transmission oil cooler might have rusted through and are leaking a little.
    Try parking it over a large sheet of cardboard and letting the engine idle for a while - to see where the fluid is leaking out.
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  10. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I'd fix the leaks, change the fluid and filter, add a bottle of Lucas, and hope for the best.
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