F-4EAT Transmission Interchange | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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F-4EAT Transmission Interchange

Discussion in 'Drivetrains' started by mike hummel, May 17, 2015.

  1. mike hummel

    mike hummel New Member

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    HELP, HELP, HELP!! I have a 1991 Ford Escort 1.9 Liter 5 Door hatchback with the F-4EAT transmission which will not shift above 2nd gear. I have troubleshot all the sensors, kickdown cable and the torque converter and regretfully determined the clutch packs are bad internally. Long story short in my area finding a trans the will fit the 1.9 liter is like finding a needle in a haystack so what I need to know is will a trans from a different motor size, year or model bolt right up to the 1.9 liter without needing to change axles and everything else. I realize the gear ratio's may be different which is ok with me as long as it will shift properly and go down the road. The car is my daughters college transportation and otherwise is in great shape so I hate to scrap it. Already put $3,000 into new long block, new paint, completely rebuilt suspension front to rear so the trans will be the last thing to replace to basically have a "new" car. PLEASE HELP, I NEED TO FIX THIS ISSUE ASAP.

    I have read other places a 1.8 and 2.0 will work without changing axles or anything but have also read only a 1.9 F-4EAT trans will work can some please give me a correct answer or better idea what direction I should go to fix this issue ASAP without rebuilding (no shops in my area will do it) or having to purchase a whole new unit. I would prefer to purchase a used unit to install back in the car. Thanks for the help ahead of time.
  2. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    The 1.8l trans doesn't have the same bolt pattern. The 2.0l trans is virtually the same but is does have modifications, I'm not sure if it would work. One big differance is most of the 2.0l trans' do not have a kickdown cable. So you would be unable to downshift by flooring it, assuming everything else works...

    Honestly, the autos, in all Escorts, are a bit unreliable from the factory. It is not until after they are rebuilt with quality/upgraded parts that they are decent. From my understanding they are not to difficult to rebuild at home. A few members have gone that route; hopefully a few will chime in. You can also swap in a 5 speed trans.
  3. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    http://www.car-part.com for a used one. You will need to know if you need a TX or TJ variety, look for some big letters on it. How many miles are on yours? I am still thinking that you may just have a bad VSS, range selector switch, or maybe a bad ground. When was the last time you changed the fluid or filter in the transmission?



    I have 229K on my original 1995 automatic transmission.
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forums: We would be glad to know the mileage the transmission has on it, and how long you have owned the car, i.e. is this a new problem during your ownership or did it come that way? Does it have enough fluid in it,and what color is the fluid? Should be reddish - brown indicates a lot of wear.
    The only transmissions that would work without extensive modifications to the shifting control would be another F4EAT from the 91-96 LXEscorts.
    When it should be shifting into 3rd what does it do? Does it simply stay in 2nd with the engine spinning faster as the car goes faster, or does it go into a sort of neutral or do lots of shipping? When you slow down again, is it in 2nd still - or not feeling like it is a definite gear?
    I will send you a 'conversation' with more info; look for it in your in-box.
  5. sundance561

    sundance561 2B gravel

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    Morning I'm kinda in the same boat with finding a needle in a haystack,, Im finding automatics for 2.0 everywhere but finding one for a 1.9 is obsolete (the cast iron oil pump rust thru it happened to my wife's 94 mercury trace r) and all the trans I look at the pumps are really rusted,,, you say extensive mods.. can you give me some or more ideas,, thinking about switching to a 5 speed I can buy a donor car,,switch everything over:: tranny, pedals, axles, New clutch everything,,, then again it's to nice to junk or scrape out thanks for anything and everything
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The shfiting mods would involve turning your 2nd gen Esocrt into a 3rd gen Escort, as far as the transmission and its wiring and control stuff is concerned. I wouldnt attempt it, but would continue looking for F4EEAT parts, or an entire Escort parts car.

    My first Escort was a 92LX with the automatic transmission. I like it well enough that I wanted to try a 5-speed, so I bought one that had sawllowed an inlet valve seat, and fixed it up. I still have both of those, plus 2 more 2nd gens with the automatic transmissions; all are daily driver's.
    I fixed up a 95 sedan for a nephew, now it needs the oil pump replaced, or the leak welded or brazed shut. I will be looking on ebay for an oil pump assembly, and in junkyards and dismantlers for a less rusty F4EAT.
  7. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Looks like my 3rd gen F4EAT trans has developed a slight leak. I haven't had time to really poke around to see where the leak is coming from but it looks like tranny fluid from the reddish color on the ground. I looked underneath the car but didn't see any wet spots on the undercarriage covers. Are there common leak areas that I should investigate first for these ATX's?

    John
  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    A fairly common leak would be the input seal, at the inner end of the torque converter. These have been known to get pushed outward by the fluid pressure until they leak. If that is what it is, it can be a big leak. The fix is to pull the trans out from the engine, remove t.c. and install a new seal. They even make a 'seal retainer', being a ring that holds the seal in, with 3 legs that get clamped under the bolts for the seal housing.
    Another common leak source is a rusted steel tube for the fluid cooler, or a bad rubber hose. The steel tubes seem to get rusty where they run along the bottom of the radiator. A badly rusted steel tube can be replaced by sawing it short, and putting in a longer section of rubber hose. A special hose is made for handling transmission fluid, that can withstand higher temps, but I think fuel line hose would be good enough. Just remember to re-snug the clamps now and then.
    The cast iron housing for the oil pump at the driver's side of the transmission can get really rusty - and begin to leak. I have this situation with my nephews 95LX sedan. I may have to pull the transmission and either find an oil pump housing that isnt so rusty, or try welding'brazing over the rusted through spot. This is a spot that is also rusty on the other 4 F4EAT transmissions I have rebuilt - and so far I havent seen any body making new pump housings for these transmissions.
    There are also the output seals that can go bad - if they were damaged during CV axle removal at some point. The lids for the accumulators arent likely to leak, unless the trans was rebuilt by some clutz like I am.
    An oil pan whose bolts have been overtightened could result in a gasket failing.
  9. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Hmmm....looks like an MTX transplant is in my near future!!!;)

    John
  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Admittedly Im an old retired guy having plenty of time to fiddle with my hobby (old cars), and I prefer to start with fixing up a car that already doesnt run, but: I dont think of either type of transmission as being overall better/easier or more reliable. Im glad I have both kinds.
  11. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    In my case, I've always been looking for more torque and better gas mileage out of the car. I think an MTX will help in that department especially a shorter geared zx2 MTX. More than likely what I'll do is find a cheap, good running zx2, pull the MTX/DOHC and drop it into the wagon. That seems to be the easiest way to gain a little more HP/torque without my having to hassle with not being able to pass smog. I already spoke to the BAR(Bureau of Automotive Repair) here in Cali and they told me as long as the engine was offered on the model and it is the same or later year I don't need a referee to approve it.

    Pretty sure the zx2 console won't fit in the wagon so I'll need to find a manual wagon in the yard and pull the console. As far as I know all the clutch stuff will swap directly over.

    John
  12. sundance561

    sundance561 2B gravel

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    i'm looking at buying a used automatic trans,,I found one around my home area for 125.00 and I'm thinking about rebuilding it myself(haven't done a rebuild in 25 years but just like they said in school once you do a couple you won't forget) I found a website where I can buy a new oil pump for 165.00,, where can you find a good rebuild kit at...all the trannys around western and northern pa have the pumps just rusted bad(all the salt they put down here in western pa. and that pump, right in front of the left front tire is just a matter of time.. cast iron and salt.. no good),, that's what happened to my 94 merc tracer trio very good car just not enough to scrap still has a lot of life in her then again maybe I find a rusted out one with a 5 speed and swap every thing over like I did with my bronco 2 took a couple of weekends... but its easier to swap a clutch than try to find a replacement automatic Jim
  13. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    We used to have a 95 Dodge Neon automatic. Changing from the automatic to a manual was considered a plug and play interchange, not requiring any electrical changes, except to plug the switch into the existing connector for the clutch starter interlock. I like standard transmissions, but still didnt swap it.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  14. scheki

    scheki Active Member

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    I think my oil pump cast is leaking too. Was looking for replacement options but seems I willl need to get a new trans to use as parts.
  15. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I would search online (google) for places that sell "transmission hard parts". Then give them an email or a call, asking about a rebuilt oil pump for an F4EAT. And of course, keep looking on ebay. There may be sellers on ebay having other transmission parts, that could also provide F4EAT stuff.
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  16. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Go to a u-pull it junkyard and get one. If they ask what it is say oil pump.
  17. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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  18. Supersedona

    Supersedona FEOA Member

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    Is there a 3rd gen to 2nd gen work around for the auto trans swap? I have a guy who wants stupid cheap for a 97 and i have a 94
  19. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The F4EATs for the SOHC 1.9L engines were all the same from 91 up through about 96 or 97; I forget which – after that they changed to having a different method for controlling transmission fluid line pressure; but were still F4EAT's.

    The thing to look for is whether there is a cable emerging from the top front of the transmission, on the driver's side. That cable would run behind the intake manifold and connect to the same place as the throttle cable does, on the throttle disc.

    If the 97 doesnt have that cable it would be the newer type, that depends on a solenoid controlling the fluid line pressure for controlling shifts; and the car's PCM would need o have that function on it. It is not possible to adapt the two types of fluid pressure control.

    Sometimes junkyards will unhook the cable and remove it with the transmission. Its fairly easy to do that. But sometimes they just cut the cable. This creates the problem of replacing that cable. The last time I asked at a Ford dealer they said it was “obsolete” - meaning they dont stock it or list it in their computer. I had to replace one that I had damaged, and got it from a Mazda dealer, by telling them I had a 93 Protege. It cost about $100. That was a few years ago.

    In which case you would have to open up the bottom of the transmission, and probably remove the valve body, to be able to remove the old cable and install the replacement. It can not be replaced just from the outside.

    We will be eager to know the outcome.
  20. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    97 was last year for kick down cable

    98 and newer uses a sensor to control line pressure
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  21. Supersedona

    Supersedona FEOA Member

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    Good news is the guy sold me a 97 with intact cable and a 'rebuilt' torque converter for $80. Feels and looks good unmounted, less slop than the one that is in the car now. I wish I had a way to find out if the TC that came with it is better than the new Florida/torrington bearing model I just paid 190 for. If it is worth while, I would like to keep the one that is rebuilt and send the expensive one back, since the one that came with the trans is still sealed/unused.
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