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Transmission won't go after fluid change

Discussion in 'Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, &' started by elkhunter, November 25, 2004.

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    1. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      I just finished changing the transmission filter and put in the 4 quarts of fluid in a 1991 Explorer with a 4.0. Now it will not go into any gear. The fluid level is too high on the dipstick but 4 quarts was from the Haynes manual. It acts like the pump isn't picking up the prime. Hopefully someone here can give me a clue. I tried the search method and found nothing. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
       
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    3. matt97

      matt97 Active Member

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      had a similiar problem with my broncoII , seems that when I installed the new filter,the o-rings did not slide far enough into the valve body and it sucked air instead of fluid.
       
    4. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      Thank you. I never even thought about that. I will start over tomorrow. I am soooo full right now I would never fit under there.
       
    5. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Yes quite often those O-rings are omitted and also sometimes the bolt spacer is not used....both are necessary. Worry not... the worst part of your problem is going to be the 2nd tranny bath. The "My A4LD Rebuild Diary" (In useful threads) has pictures of all this in.... part 3B or 4 as I recall.

      Oh heck, here is that post... save ya some time.

      The filter you want to use is the one made my SPX called the microfelt filter. FRAM markets it. Unfortunately PEP Boys does not carry it, nor does AutoZone. Kragen (or the other names it uses in other parts of the country)...DOES. It is cheaper from bulkpart.com, but you need to make sure you order the o-rings and gasket. In my rebuild kit... the O-rings had to be ferreted out from the mess in the grab bag.... I have heard some sellers do not even include them.... leading to DIY errors... By the way I checked a box at Kragen today - the FRAM one... it HAD the O-rings....
      ...Let's walk through this....here's the filter...bottom

      [​IMG]

      and top..

      [​IMG]

      The filter essentially "plugs" into the bottom of the valve body.... in 2 holes... a BIG one...

      [​IMG]

      and a smaller one...

      [​IMG]

      the fit needs a "gasket" or in our case an O-ring... here's one on the big "plug in" portion of the filter...

      [​IMG]

      and here is one on the smaller one...you can clearly see the "microfelt" element....

      [​IMG]

      speaking of which here is a view thru the pickup....

      [​IMG]

      The early filters were but a poor screen... this filter is MUCH better... BUT... people need to know what ALL is needed.... so SAVE the O-rings off the old one and reuse them.... Oh and the attachment bolt they provide.... is too long... SO do they give us 2 bolts and instructions? NOOOO we get but a single bolt... with a funky washer/spaer on it... if you are 4WD... USE THAT washer/spacer.... (it is almost like they WANT you to mess it up, ya know? grrrr)... here is the bolt AND washer/spacer (whichever you prefer to call it)

      [​IMG]

      another view

      [​IMG]

      One last note.. lube the O-rings.. it is a tight fit and may require a little effort to seat it properly....it needs to be liquid tight.

      Here it is installed...

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: November 27, 2004
    6. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      I just finished changing it again. I used a PTC filter, did it before I read your post, lubed the o-rings, and did use the spacer both times. A little history-I backed the thing up and drove it forward into my garage. I put a new engine in it, cracked headS, and changed the transmission fluid. It has never moved since. The 4 quarts of oil put the level way up on the stick. It acts like the pump isn't working. I bolted the convertor to the flywheel and didn't need to force the two together. I used my fingers to pull the convertor to the flywheel. Is there something here I did wrong? I did read your overhaul procedure and tried to find something there that I might have screwed up on. It was very good but I am afraid I still need help. Hopefully I have given good clues. My thoughts now are leading to the mating of the convertor to flex plate. Am I even close to being on the right track?
       
    7. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      "I bolted the convertor to the flywheel and didn't need to force the two together. I used my fingers to pull the convertor to the flywheel. " That sounds ok. There are three engagements the TC has to make into the transmission, one of them being the pump. With the transmission being slightly overfilled, even missing O rings wouldn't have kept it from moving. I'd still have to think the converter is not fully engaged. The pilot should be a little over a half inch in from the face of the transmission. With TC bolts loose, the TC should still be "free" in the bolt holes. Hate to say it, but is the shift linkage still hooked up? I always leave something off!
       
    8. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      All the shift linkage is hooked up. I had my wife 'go through the gears' while the pan was off. Everything seemed okay in that area. Is there a way to check to see if the converter is in fact totally engaged? I could take the starter back off. Would removing the nuts and turning the converter give a sign that it was engaged or not? The filters that I put on were both the felt-looking type. I just have a sneaking hunch the problem has to be related to the front part. I removed and replaced the engine but the transmission and transfer case stayed put. I even tried shifting to 4 wheel drive but still nothing. I reread Glaciers Diary and still couldn't come up with any clues. Does the pump push the fluid to the radiator and cooler first? I could take a line off to see if it is even trying to pump if I knew which one was coming from the transmission-top or bottom. Right now I am ready to try about anything including but not limited to explosives.
       
    9. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      Okay, I pulled the starter and felt behind the bolts. The bolt bosses are definitely up tight against the flex plate. I did find the vacuum line on the passenger side of the transmission was off. I put it back on and still nothing. I pulled the rubber line off where it returns the oil to the transmission and started it. Nothing! It really seems like the further I go the behinder I get! I did have to use the new flex plate that came with the new engine because it had more bolts to hold the flex plate to the engine. I can't see where that could be causing this problem. Hopefully someone can give me something. I am at the point of thinking I am going to get the pleasure of pulling the transfer case and transmission to get to the root of this. I already pulled the engine so at least I will be working in new territory. Glacier, if you are listening, I just might be trying your diary to work. Did you ever figure the total cost of the home rebuild?
       
    10. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Elkhunter... I need to total it all up... I want to break it down into levels of rebuild... so people could pick which level they wanted to go to. I'm reasonably sure it is between $750 and $1000 for the full out rebuild.

      If you have no pressure whatever and all you did was pull the engine and then do a pan drop fluid change and a filter replacement (which it sounds like you did correctly) the issue points to the pump in my mind.... and probably TC engagement. Are you sure you pulled the right line on the cooler? (I mean you probably did, just checking).... it really sounds like no fluid pressure (ah to have a trannie pressure gauge in every pot... errr toolbox.)
       
    11. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      I am sure I pulled the right line but only a few drops came out. I have to agree that something is wrong in there and I have started work on it. This time I am starting at the rear driveline because all of the engine parts are clean. I just love washing parts and these parts will look different than the other parts. I guess since I have moved to new territory I am an 'explorer'. I will keep you posted. Thank you for the assistance!
       
    12. Brain

      Brain Elite Explorer

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      Sorry it took a while for me to respond, but my net connection was down due to the latest snowstorm here.

      Did you rev the engine when you were checking for fluid flow at the cooler? I know that mine didn't have much (or barely any) flow until I revved the engine a bit. Even if you pulled the "wrong" line, you should still get flow, maybe just not quite from where you expected it to come from. I like the rubber connections right behind the front bumper because they are on the bottom (less mess) and are just connected with hose clamps. For a flush I'd pull the one going from the front cooler back to the tranny (that way you get old fluid out of the cooler as well).

      When you say you pulled the converter to the flexplate using your fingers, how far did you have to pull it? If it was more than a little bit the converter could have been disconnected from the pump. Page 1 (post #3) and 5 (post #81) show the TC and pump details so you can see how much it could be pulled forward without disengaging the pump gear (not much).
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117793&page=1&pp=20

      Glacier's A4LD rebuild diary is a great resource as well:
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119991

      The vacuum line being disconnected would only make the tranny think that you were at full throttle (making it shift at higher RPMs), besides having engine vacuum issues.
       
    13. elkhunter

      elkhunter Active Member

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      Okay, Glacier and Brain, I am going to post my findings under 'Under the hood and driveline' since the 911 part has turned into the long term affect. I will lable it 'convertor and transmission'.
       
    14. Abom

      Abom Active Member

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      BUMP !

      I just changed my filter and cleaned my magnet / pan out, and was having issues with the transmission delaying when shifting between P and R when cold. The kit that I bought had the o-rings in a seperate baggy on the BACK of the cardboard that was shrink wrapped (in other words, I didn't see it at first). So, I went ahead and installed the filter without the o-rings. To boot, my tranny fluid was smelling quite odd after only being in there for 1 day.

      I came across this thread in a search and nearly hit myself over my head with my socket wrench when I realized that I didn't put the o-rings on, something so simple, yet got overlooked because I didn't see the new ones in the packaging.

      Thank you for the details and pictures, they most likely saved my transmission from my blonde moment !!!
       

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