Tranny doesnt shift right | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Tranny doesnt shift right

Discussion in 'Drivetrains' started by chubyboy, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    So i just bout a 93 4 door hatch with an auto. I'm trying g to figure out why the transmission doesnt want to shift until it warms up a bit. Guy I bought it from said to just shift to neutral and back, which after a while works. When i first do this it will shift to the proper gear but then slip/release. Have to repeat the process til I get a mile or two down the road then it shifts fine. Continues to shift fine until it sits long enough for the tranny to cool, such as overnight. Fluid looks good and smells ok.
  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I will be interested if putting in the new slide valve fixes the problem the transmission has.
    There are not many things you can do to a transmission while its in the car, but here is one adjustment you can make. There is a cable running from the throttle valve down behind the intake manifold and over to the front corner of the transmission; the one by the driver's side. This cable is for adjusting the "line pressure" which the transmission uses for shifting. Its sometimes called a 'kickdown cable', but that is not what it does. It lets the transmission use the correct pressure in doing shifts; light pressure for shifts when your foot is barely on the gas pedal, and lots higher pressure when you have the gas pedal pushed down for acceleration.
    Your symptoms might be what you get if the cable is not adjusted, or if it is not connected/clamped at the throttle "wheel". I suppose it could also be that the cable got disconnected somehow inside the transmission; letting the transmission shift as if you were barely pushing on the accelerator. Unfortunately the cables arent sold by Ford dealers anymore, and they are not easy to extract from a car in the junkyard. (I got one a few years ago from a Mazda dealer). You must drop the transmission oil pan, and with some luck you would be able to disconnect where the cable connects inside the bottom of the transmission. Hopefully without the need to unbolt the valve body. You would need to have removed that front-to-rear crossmember that runs under the transmission and bell-housing to see into the transmission.

    But first try the new valve from the "low pump pressure" kit.
    If that doesnt make the problem go away, you could try seeing if the cable is installed, and even adjust it for more pressure. This would normally require having a pressure gauge connected to the port on the front of the transmission.

    If neither of these makes it shift better, then I suspect the transmission has worn 3-4 clutch packs or the 2-4 band is worn. Both of these things get replaced when the transmission gets rebuilt: Its not possible to do this until the transmission is removed from the car and opened up (dismantled). At least these F4EAT transmissions are fairly easy to rebuild. The hard part is getting them out of the car and back in again.
    Good Luck!
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  4. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    So the fluid level seems to be really high, I'm guessing mb a quart or two...I bought a transfer pump and some extra tubing and I'm planning on removing excess fluid from the fill/dipstick tube. Its getting aerated as I noted by a bunch of bubbles on the dipstick.


    EDIT: Hey! Good to see you on here all these years later zzyzzx!
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldnt think the fluid level being too high would affect shifting; but thats just a guess. I have run mine with the level somewhat high, but maybe not as muc as yours is.
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  6. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    Yeah its overfilled at least a few inches above either range on the dipstick, which makes me think it's got WAY too much in it. That and the fluid getting aerated. I know that air in hydraulic systems in general can wreak all sorts of havoc, so I'd imagine in a transmission it could cause all sorts of issues
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  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Aerated fluid could cause an issue, yes. But just to be sure, exactly how are you measuring?

    I am also wondering why/how it got overfilled??
  8. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    I was checking levels with the dipstick. And I forgot to get a pic of how much I removed, but I'll do that tomorrow. I originally was just guessing, taking into account how far up the dipstick it was and roughly how large the transmission is physically.

    EDIT: I too am curious as to how/why it was overfilled that much. That's just how it was when I bought it.
  9. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    Well, turns out that must've not been the sole issue as it did it again this morning, tho not quite as bad. So gonna have to play around with it and check the level again today
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  10. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Were you checking the level with the car warmed up and engine running?
  11. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    And the trans being in Par?
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