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2008 Explorer 4.0L Torque Converter Problem

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by fdjames, October 2, 2018.

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    1. fdjames

      fdjames New Member

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      Hi all....first time posting and a new Explorer owner. Alas, also an owner of a problem.

      Noticed a whirring (or purring) noise which corresponds to engine RPM. It sounds EXACTLY like this guy's Ford:



      EXCEPT, it makes no difference what gear...same noise whether in park, neutral, or drive. I took it to my local dealer and asked them to track it down...final word: "Traced the noise to the lower engine, possible imbalance/rubbing internal to the engine or possible torque converter imbalance. Will require torque converter removal to isolate."

      Up until yesterday we had NO other symptoms (it has been intermittently giving us the P0405 EGR code, but pretty sure that is unrelated)...but yesterday my wife noticed a slow to respond engagement of the tranny after a full stop. This leads me to further suspect the Torque Converter...but also worried the tranny may be compromised as well. Any experience?

      I'm going home tonight to check the fluid - thank you very much Ford for NOT providing a dipstick. :)

      Thanks for any insights!
      James
       
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    3. JK080

      JK080 Transmission Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Most of the time converter noise like that will be worse or more noticeable in drive or reverse, if the noise is the same in park and neutral that leads me to think the noise is not coming from the converter.

      Don't get me wrong converters can make noises in all ranges but the noise typically will be louder in gear.
       
    4. fdjames

      fdjames New Member

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      Thanks so much James - really appreciate your expertise and willingness to share it with us. I will let everyone know what the mechanic finds once he pulls the transmission. Fingers crossed that it doesn't break my easily broken bank :)
      James
       
    5. fdjames

      fdjames New Member

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      So, the converter was bad...but unfortunately seems to not have been the (ONLY?) cause of the noise we were/are hearing. Mechanic pulled out the tranny and found the converter to be bad
      7329520026127034897.jpg
      As you can see the back end was hitting against the pump housing of the transmission (note the dings in the raised "fins" and the scraping mark). They believe the remaining noise is the transmission pump, but since they did not feel qualified to pull it out they reassembled and gave it back to me. They did flush the transmission "several times" to flush out debris...they told me the pan looked clean upon arrival and the fluid drained clean also. So HOPEFULLY no damage to the transmission itself. We're not seeing any shifting issue anymore now so I suspect the torque converter replacement fixed that. But the noise remains.

      I assume it would be normal for the pump to make noise regardless of being in neutral or drive? And would a transmission shop pull the tranny and change out the pump alone for me? Or would they insist on a complete rebuild? Any other ideas?

      Thanks!
      James
       
    6. JK080

      JK080 Transmission Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Those marks are not due to anything being wrong with the converter itself, it could contact to the pump cover when the converter is being installed into the pump or maybe something was in the bellhousing or they were there before the converter was even installed, these converters are not originally blue so its been changed out for sure.

      If it was contacting the pump when the engine is running it would be because of a broken flywheel or excessive crankshaft endplay and there should be signs of contact on the pump cover also.

      These pumps can make noise but it usually happens after a rebuild and the pump wasn't aligned correctly when they transmission is rebuilt so that is still a possibility because the transmission has most likely been rebuilt before because the replacement converter is a clue.

      Too late now but they could have reinstalled the transmission without the converter and just a few bellhousing bolts, reinstall the starter and exhaust just to start the engine. If the noise is still there it's not the transmission or converter. Ford uses studs on their converters so you can't just unbolt them and slide them back off the flywheel like you can most others. We have done this many times trying to determine where a noise is coming from.

      The shifting issue probably changed due to the battery being disconnected, that resets the transmissions adapts, the converter would have not much to do with a "slow response downshifting at stops".

      If you pursue this any further I would take it to a transmission shop so if it comes out again they can check the pump for you, they may want to inspect the whole transmission just to make sure nothing else is going on, we call that a reseal based on inspection. We just did this on a Dodge Ram last week that was only leaking out the front, it all looked good so we cleaned the case and put it back together with new seals and gaskets.
       

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