Problem pulling out planetary gear assembly from ATX | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Problem pulling out planetary gear assembly from ATX

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by 89FordEscort, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. 89FordEscort

    89FordEscort FEOA Member

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    I'm rebuilding the ATX on my '88 escort and I have a problem removing the planetary gear assembly from the transaxle. The haynes book I'm following says to just pull it up and out of the way but somehow mine is stuck on the sun gear and I was wondering if I'm missing something. Until now, it was easy sailing.

    What happened with my escort is that after 130K original miles the gears inside the torque converter gave out and metals shavings were found inside. Some of them found their way inside the transaxle thus I'm rebuilding it. Have to change the radiator as well because the ATX cooler is inside it.
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  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    My Escorts are all the 2nd gen LX kind, and the Ford Service Manuals have complete instructions for rebuilding those transmissions. I have never worked on a first gen Escort, and dont know how different the automatic transmissions might be. I would try to buy the service manual (the whole set) for your year of Escort to see if it has better instructions than the Haynes manual.
    On my F4EAT transmissions, before you can pull out the planetary stuff, you would need to remove the rubber "O" ring that is on the inner end of the turbine shaft, I.E. inside the bell housing. Otherwise the planetary assembly wont just lift out. When I get to this stage working on the F4EAT I have the transmission sitting on my workbench with the bell housing down. And the turbine shaft comes out with the planetary until you can get to the backside of the planetary. (Im going by memory here, being too lazy to find my Service Manual and look through section 07.)

    One of my Escorts I got with the shavings from the torque converter being the problem. They showed up as shiny particles in the oil pan. There is a flat thrust washer inside the torque converter between the steel impeller (which is welded to the inside of the case) and the frame of the stator, which is aluminum. Then the shavings get into the valve body and cause some of the spool valves to hang up. This is why I always get a rebuilt torque converter when I rebuild an F4EAT. The original thrust bearing gets replaced with a Torrington style bearing during most rebuilds: Plus I call the 800 number and ask about that. This is a problem with high mileage T.C.'s, not just with Escorts. The gent I bought this car from had replaced the original transmission with a JY unit, and didnt change the torque converter; then had the same problem with the replacement transmission. I get my T.C's from the members list at the TCRAonline.com site.

    Im a hobbyist who works only on my family's cars, and I happen to like the Escorts enough that I own and drive five of them. I like the 2nd gen best because from 91 through 96, the cars are so similar under the hood; identical transmissions and engines for instance.

    I flushed out the oil cooler heat exchanger in the radiator, using kerosene and pressurized air from my shop air compressor. I used the clear vinyl tubing attached to the end of the metal lines on the banjo fittings, and caught the outflow in a large glass jar. This way I could keep track of how many shavings were getting blown out. On the 3rd flush the jar stayed clean. I had flushed it in both directions each time. That way I was able to re-use that radiator. I also installed an in-line transmission filter to be on the safe side.

    If the Ford Service Manual set doesnt have the trans rebuild instructions, you might want to contact these folks; atsg.us.com
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  3. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I like to finish off flushing a torque convertor or oil cooler with naptha (i.e. "white gas", etc.) as it is very volatile and pure, so any trace left behind will boil out of the ATF quickly. Of course a tiny amount of kerosene is probably not going to do any harm either.
  4. 89FordEscort

    89FordEscort FEOA Member

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    Guys, thank you very much for the info and trying to help me. I've spent all morning working on it and I finally got the gears out. I used my homemade slide hammer and two C-clamps that I clamped on the end of the planetary gear assembly. Then I hammered away and it was slow going but it was coming out. When I got it out, I looked at the gears and there are two teeth next to each other and the same on the opposite side. Then all the teeth in between these two sets are shaved off by factory. The other gear has two slots 180deg opposite where the two full length teeth slide into. No metal shavings anywhere so I didn't damage the gear when I was pulling it out.

    There is another way to pull the gear set out by using a three jaw puller. The planetary gear set has notches in it where the puller jaws grab onto. The only problem is I don't have a metal table that I could mount the transaxle to and use the puller. I used long socket extension for the puller to screw into then the extension went thru the gear set. There is a hollow hole in middle of all the gears. Then the extension hits the hard metal table and you have to mount the transaxle to the table so it won't move upwards as you screwing in the puller. Then the puller in theory should pull out the planetary gear set. I think this is how they do it in factory.

    I've got haynes manual and also found ATX transmission pdf repair manual online and both are almost word for word. Maybe haynes copied them, but haynes has better black and white pictures while the pdf has black outlines instead of pictures. I would still read both of them. In both of them all they say is to just pull up on the planetary gear set and remove it. My must have been stuck really good.

    Anyways, love this car because it's easy to work on. I already rebuilt the engine and it's now waiting to go in. Interestingly, in the diagnostic section of both books they do not have my diagnosis which is that the transaxle works like normal except the engine shakes at idle and little less at throttle. It's funny that the torque converter failed in such a way as not to cause any drivability problems except for the shaking. I would love to cut it open and peek inside to see what exactly failed. Maybe I'll take it to rebuilders and they can show me.

    I'm going to get new radiator anyways because it's old and might be stopping some flow. Hopefully this message helps out someone.
    Pyoro, zzyzzx and denisond3 like this.

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