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Rebuild 91-92 A4LD Auto Transmission

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Old 06-11-2000, 01:40 PM   #1
MikeP
 
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Cool

From prior posts (many from Gloria of Extreme4x4), it appears the list of things to do when rebuilding the 1991-1992 A4LD auto transmissions include:
A. Replace:
1. Torque converter with the better lock-up clutch and brazed fins (these are rebuilt units - not the Ford stock "garbage").
2. Clutches including the forward one-way clutch (even if it looks OK).
3. Pump with a new Ford factory unit (no rebuilds).
4. Change bands, both servos (for 2nd & overdrive), seals, and overdrive drum (they get warped).
5. The 3 rubber plugs at top of transmission with metal plugs.
B. Consider getting a "real transmission fluid cooler" (stacked plate type) to replace the stock unit.
C. In 1993 there were significant upgrades to the A4LD auto transmissions (including replacing most thrust bearings with torrington bearings).
Gloria and others have mentioned Dougs Transmission in Arizona as being able to do a great job of rebuilding the A4LD to a heavy duty version (and apparently he will rebuild transmissions shipped to him).

Questions:
1. Would you please suggestion additions, corrections, etc. to the above list?
2. Where can one get the upgraded torque converter with the better lock-up clutch, brazed fins (the rebuilt units)? Perhaps Baumann Engineering (Pendleton, South Carolina).
3. What is a good "real transmission fluid cooler"? Does this imply replacing the stock plastic radiator with a metal radiator and good internal transmission fluid cooler?

My A4LD auto transmission is still functioning OK (sort of OK) - but I want to have a rebuild and your suggestions and advice will be appreciated. Perhaps we can make a A4LD rebuild advisory page.
Mike in Seattle.
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Old 06-12-2000, 12:06 AM   #2
wabbit
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Great idea!!

Mike,
I'll be watching to see the replies you get here. I have an A4LD and I nearly toasted it jammin up Vail pass. Actually, I can't believe it's still going. It got so hot, it boiled out over six quarts of fluid before it just quit. After it quit glowing, I replaced the fluid and drove it another 200 miles home. I'm betting that it is a hurting unit and will soon be due for a rebuild. This is a major expense for me and I can hang with it as long as I can be sure the job is done right.
Hope some good info comes through...




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Old 06-14-2000, 05:26 PM   #3
kilroy
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I'm not familiar with this particular model tranny, but there have been a few mods that I made to an AODE model that I had in my VIC, The main shaft is a two piece unit, one hollow shaft with a smaller solid shaft running through it, that I replaced with a one piece shaft, along with a high performance torque converter. There were a few other mods that I made, but can't remember them all, something about the servos, valve body, and clutch packs. What that mod did was increase the Overdrive capabilities of the trans, and increased it's horsepower handling, less likely to snap or twist when stomping on it.

There was an article a few years back in Fast Fords magazine about it that helped me out with rebuilding it.

Like I said, I have never cracked open a A4LD, so I don't know what the parts consist of.




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Old 06-16-2000, 11:20 AM   #4
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Now here's a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately....

My problem; Trans overheats under load and dumps fluid out the breather tube. It's fine on the hiway and around town (Atlanta). But going uphill for 10-15 minutes in 2wd, not in OD, (40 mph or so) the tranny overheats. The engine temp remains in the normal range the entire time, no problem. The trans is not overfilled. I'm afraid that I'm slowly killing the tranny by overheating it almost every weekend.

Vehicle; 93 Ranger Supercab 4x4, 4.0L V6, A4LD Automatic with the factory "tow package" 140,000 miles. Runs fine, shifts great. New vacume modulator (was leaking), new fan (had several cracks), recent thermostat.

Recently added a second stacked plate type trans cooler up front opposite the factory cooler. This helped some, but it has overheated 3x in the last month driving up Lookout Mountain, TN. So I figured more cooling capacity is the answer. Replaced one of the two stacked plate coolers with a Perma-Cool 6 pass finned cooler with a 10" electric fan in front. You guessed it, it STILL overheats under load. This time in 4WD low range climbing up another mountain side, with the electric fan running.

A few weeks ago I changed the tranny fluid and filter then flushed 3 gallons of fluid thru the cooler lines (to change ALL the fluid), seems to have plenty of flow. Last time I did this was only 15,000 miles ago. Fluid was good, red, not burned. Small amount of sludge in the pan, not an unusual amount. No big chunks.

I've ordered a new fan clutch, hopefully this will help. I'm really stumped here.





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Old 06-16-2000, 11:59 AM   #5
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inner friction??

Gee Hangtime,
We must have someting going on internally that is causing the tranny to heat up. I can't imagine this being "normal".
One thing, I would like to put a temp guage on my pan so I can see it coming before I'm blowing fluid all over.
Any idea of the normal operating temp of the tranny fluid?
I hope someone can help determine what may be causing this and possible solutions...




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Old 06-17-2000, 10:23 AM   #6
rockylaurence
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HangTime; It sounds to me that you have plenty of cooling. I had this problem only once (no mountains in Fl.). I was in a sand-bowl when my front (auto) hubs blew-out. In the process of trying to get out my tranny fluid over heated and overflowed. I was working the tranny hard and maybe it was the incline that caused the problem. Could there be a problem with the fluid pickup in the tranny on inclines? Like I said, it only happened once.
I've looked and haven't found anyone that sells deep pans for our A4LD. Sorry for not having an answer--and asking a few more.




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Old 06-17-2000, 11:56 AM   #7
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OK, I'm now going to reveal what a geek I am...

I currently have THREE trans temp gages on the truck. Two are thermocouple types, one on the cooler outlet line, one on the cooler return line. Both are connected to a handheld Extech thermocouple meter that can do all sorts of neat tricks like min/max/average and T1-T2. They are not IN the trans fluid, just clamped to the outside of the steel tube and heat shielded (from the cat) with some metallized duct tape. I'm after relative readings here, not exact fluid temps.

The third trans temp gage is permanent, same location as the first thermocouple (as a check). Seems to agree within 2-5 deg of the thermocouple.

So yeah, have a pretty good idea of what the temps are, and they vary a lot. Here's some numbers to chew on...

Hiway speed, Cool morning; outlet 150-170 deg F
Hiway speed, Hot humid day; outlet 160-190 deg F
Stop and go traffic, hot day; outlet 170-200 deg F
After a 15 min climb at 45mph, hot day; outlet 200-225 deg F
Trans "Boilover" occurs shortly thereafter at 225-230 deg F.

The difference (T1-T2) runs from about 18 to 40 deg F depending on speed, ambient temp, and what gear I'm in.

Soooo what's it all mean. I have NO idea. Was hoping this would reveal the problem, but it's more info than my feeble mind can handle. :-)

Anyway wabbit, how's that for a long answer to a short question?

rockylaurence; dunno, don't think my case is related to the incline since it's happened towing a trailer on level hiway too. I've had no luck finding a deep pan either. Thanks anywho.

Happy Trails,




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Old 06-17-2000, 07:16 PM   #8
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Cool Auto Trans Temps

Hey Hangtime
Great post about those measured temps! I would think that the auto trans fluid would not boil until a higher temp.than about 230 deg F. And I realize you have the temp. sensor taped to the fluid line so it is probably at a lower temp. than inside the fluid. I wonder what the flow rate is of the trans. fluid going from the trans to the coolers and back. Maybe that fluid flow rate is just too low to accomodate the heat generated when at high load and low gear. Is there any way of checking the auto trans. fluid pumping rate? Note that the rebuild recommendations include replacing this pump. Someone out there must be using this A4LD auto trans. for high load low speed "crawling".
MikeP in Seattle 91 XLT Explorer
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Old 06-20-2000, 10:09 AM   #9
SteveVB
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Hang time,

I think the temps should be in the 160-180 range. With the cooling you have, and the temps your running, I think you have an internal problem. Have the Converter checked, the bands may be gone also.

I would also be interested in any A$LD sources out there.

I can find shift kits and v. bodies but hard parts and HD/performance converters not yet.
some places Ive found, and would like input about:

http://www.drivetrain.com/transautohd.html
In AZ sells HD reman trannys- anyone have any experience with them?


This next one sells a shift correction package also has some info on other parts of the site.
http://trannyman.com/store_superior.html

Found a hard parts supplier- dont know if they are upgraded or not.
http://www.autotransinc.com/REMAND.htm

One more on my list - though havenmt looked at it
http://transtec.com/

There is also a company that sells on E-bay which has a rebuild kit and complete trannys - its located in AZ I dont have the addy, but if you search E- Bay for A4LD I think it will show.

Input for any of the above would be cool.

My local ford trans guy- Performance Automatic. Says the only upgrade he has is a valve body, thought the idea of a new pump was a good one, didnt know about any hard part upgrades.

Anyone have a good HD A4LD rebuild that they would share?
Anyone have a good book on upgrading Autos?

OK thats enough sorry so long.


One more thing- I think the rubber plug is in reference to the manual 5sp. #5 in the first message.




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Old 06-30-2000, 10:44 AM   #10
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Smile Internet Writeup on A4LD Transmission

There is a nice writeup on the A4LD transmission at the internet site http://www.homestead.com/therangerst...AutoTrans.html

including some information from Gloria Zimmerman (Extreme4x4). Has info. on rebuilds and modifications.
Mike in Seattle 91XLT 4x4
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Old 06-30-2000, 11:17 AM   #11
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Does anyone know where to geta book that specifically shows how to take apart and put back together the A4LD trans? Hopefully,(knock on wood) if/when mine decides to go, I will have another car and be able to spend the time to rebuild it myself and replace all of the different things that should be replaced. I am a visual person, then again what man isn't. I work better with pictures and descriptions than with just descriptions, that and the fact that I have never seen one of these things taken apart, makes it difficult to understand what and where all of the parts that you are talking about go.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave




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Old 07-01-2000, 11:55 AM   #12
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Smile

Dave
The Transmission Exchange Co. of Portland, Oregon has some books and manuals on transmission repair and their web site shows some illustrations from their manuals. The site address is
http://www.teleport.com/~txchange/atsg.htm
Does anyone know about this company?
Mike with 91 XLT 4x4 in Seattle
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Old 07-04-2000, 03:27 PM   #13
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I found I was generating a hideous amount of heat after the release springs for the overdrive clutch pack blew. Didn't really cause drivability problems until the valve body got full of spring dust... I did a "complete" rebuild (my bands and clutches were pretty well worn after 155k miles) but DID NOT replace the front one way clutch and after reassembally the transmission runs great except (drumroll please) no reverse, no compression braking in manual first. You should have heard me cuss when I tested it... Otherwise the rebuild went fine and I'd recomend anyone with a good tool set and time to do it themselves. I was told my rebuild was pretty on-par expense wise for an A4LD and the parts ran me $500ish (new overdrive planetary & drum, clutches, all bands [low/reverse was perfect, I could have saved $30 right there], new torque converter, governor, and front pump (I could have probably skipped this). I found a shop that would do the final reassembally (pump alignment and torquing the bellhousing and valve body) for $50 which I felt was a reasonable deal since I don't own the pump alignment tool or a decent torque wrench.

But if you do this remember the golden rule of automatic transmission rebuilding - do it for fun and not to save money, you're quite likely to screw up

Also, I found the ATSG's $12 manual (NAPA parts stocks these or will order them along with any transmission parts house) to cover the teardown and repair..

A few A4LD rebuild pics @

http://www.intrastar.net/~jsuter/transmission/

JS

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Old 07-05-2000, 08:41 AM   #14
kilroy
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DUDE that was one trashed tranny.




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Old 07-05-2000, 02:01 PM   #15
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Hahaha I've heard and seen parts from worse. Getting rid of the metal bits wasn't the easiest task. Compressed air didn't do much since as you can guess there was a lot of burned up ATF in there that was on the gooey side. I ended up after tearing it all the way down getting out the engine soap and the pressure washer at the car wash (much to the amazement of the people there - I whipped out this transmission housing instead of washing the half-an-inch-thick bugs off the front of my Dodge) which got rid of "most". I cleaned the valve body by tearing it down (thats when the ATSG book came in most handy) and washing it out in a pan of very hot (190F) water + soap and working the remaining parts that I couldn't get out (maybe 1/4th of the components are pretty well stuck in there). I immediatly put it back together and poured ATF all over it.

I can't wait to get some time to finish fixing it up. The 4.0 is due for a timing chain, and I think the water pump is going again (thats what I get for buying a rebuilt water pump - about 2 months of use...) but at least its all in the same "neighborhood". I know if I was a good boy I'd rip the engine out and do a nice overhaul on it but I just don't think its "ready" yet - maybe in another 100k

Mom's car shopping and pretty much sold on the '01 Sport. I hope the SOHC will hold up - it sure does have a LOT more throw-your-butt-back-in-the-seat than the new OHV's do.

JS
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Old 09-19-2000, 10:25 AM   #16
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Considering the recent discussions on A4LD transmission problems, perhaps some of you have recommendations on what needs to be done on an A4LD transmission rebuild which can be added to this topic thread. Thanks. Mike in Seattle
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Old 09-19-2000, 09:30 PM   #17
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ive been reading on other threads about the a4ld that you can maually control the torque convertor lock-up. whats the deal with this? i know what stall speed is and how a torque convertor works but whats the deal with manually locking it up?

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Old 09-10-2001, 11:29 PM   #18
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hey whats up with dese frigan transmissions . ive had mine rebuilt countless time s by three different mechanics and no one can get it right .is there any one out there who can rebuild tghis thing right and boost the heavy duttiness of it




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