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A4LD no go!

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Captain AirTime, December 16, 2004.

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    1. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      I bought a 92 Exploder with a bad motor, and supposedly a new(er) transmission. It made it the 1/2 hour drive home under its own power, but barely. it was a huge deal to get it over 3500RPM, and it was spewing oil and water from every gasket. No big deal, I had a new motor for it. I was a little concerned that the trans didn't ever go into overdrive, even over 55mph level cruise. the fluid was/is not very nice either.
      Fastforward to this afternoon.
      I finally got the new motor buttoned in, probably the most horrible swap I've ever done. Anyway, its all in, and I went to fire it up. After determining the correct firing order :confused: It finally fired. It was really difficult to crank at first, probably cranked for a full minute off and on before it ran. I ran it untill it warmed up, checking this and that. It runs smooth, revs cleanly, idles well, and restarts easily.
      PROBLEM: no drive in ANY gear position. I held the brake tensely and tried revving it in each position also, and no go. I *think* I can hear a slight load change when shifting it at idle into gear, but its not much, if anything.

      The flexplate had no cracks that I could see when I installed it. Does the TC need to be indexed in some way? I didn't see any indication, so I just bolted it up, and stuck the works up to the trans. a couple rotations, and it slipped together, just like a manual trans. did I do something wrong?

      THe fluid level is about an inch above the crosshatch area on the dipstick when idling level. Considering that I lost a litre quite possibly 2 or more when I removed the motor and torque converter, and a little more from the cooler lines, this is highly suspect.

      At no time did I unplug or remove anything from the trans itself. The engine harness was all accounted for before ignition, and all vac lines connected.

      I didn't drop the trans, only lifted the bellhousing against the body. Is there a chance that I bent or knocked off something important? To the best of my knowledge it should still engage even if all the electrics and vacuum lines are removed, but then I'm a standard trans guy. My only experience with autos is way back when I went through 3 built C4's in my Bronco in less than 2 years. It went in the can and a 4 speed lasted the rest of the trucks life before I totaled it years later.

      So any ideas? I would like to keep the auto, and get a 700R4 when it gives up, but its not going to happen before summer for sure. Either this gets fixed, or I'm going to be scrambling to find a good M5OD, quick! I really don't want to do that, so hopefully someone can tell me I did something stupid and I can fix it easily :fire:
       
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    3. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      LOTS of possibles on this one to start out with. Possible converter to pump misfit.... either it didn't fully engage, or the fit between the two was not right. This would mean the pump isn't pumping.. if this is the problem you have NO pressure. You can pull a line at the cooler and see what you have. A pressure gauge would be FAR more valuable - I did a thread on using a pressure gauge on the A4LD - if you have access to one and want to pop $35-$40 for one it would be a great help, bet you could buy one and sell it for what you paid for it.

      But your description is classic low/no line pressure. 2nd possible is pump....but it worked up to the swap, making that failure seem improbable (see last sentence in this post however). 3rd possible is pressure regulator valve in the valve body. The fact that you might have lacked OD is a probable clogged 3-4 shift solenoid. A gungy trannie can clog that up, in fact is a common problem. If the fluid is bad and gungy, you could also have a clogged filter, and a clogged up pressure reg spool (not high on my list to be honest). You could have a massive leak somewhere within the valve body or transmission. (low probability I would think) But...Everything in the valve body is an under the car DIY repair.

      Yet I am trying to find the obvious thing, since it worked and now doesn;t and all you did was a swap.... I guess I would be remiss if I didn't suggest you check the linkages.

      Another clue for the lack of pressure is fluid level is high, even after you lost some. The fluid level cold with all the fluid drained down will be high. So... I guess what I am saying is that it sounds like you are not picking up and pumping fluid.

      I guess in terms of ease.... check linkages.... check for fluid flow at the cooler and/or (best) use a pressure gauge. go from there (meaning pull the pan...and we can talk you through the rest.

      Things I doubt are a problem if you have NO gears in any selector position: Burned forward clutch, broken bands, bad low reverse solenoid.... and a host of other mechanical problems that usually manifest themselves in a particular gear.

      You are going to have to get dirty to help us help you. If you just did an engine swap, I KNOW that isn't a problem! Let us know what you find out.

      Might want to look at the trannie threads in the "Useful Threads Forum"

      (A similar thread was up a while back, and we all suspected the TC/pump fitment... in the end a new pump solved his problem.... so who knows, but my money is on the TC/pump marriage ...SOMEHOW)
       
    4. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      *sigh*.
      what a PITA.
      Is there any particular index to the TC/trans? will it only go on one way, or is there a wrong way? it (after the usual dicking around) slid together and cinched down cleanly, no force. As it turns out, the radiator has a leak anyway, so I'm going to pull it out. thats as good a time as any to pull the motor off the trans again. The worst part is trying to get it INTO the engine bay with the TC and fan on it. That fan is on there tighter than my 4 foot breaker bar can counter, so I had to leave it in place.

      I need to get this taken care of, its got to be driving next week, one way or another, and I'm NOT spending money on an A4LD beyond flushing and maintenence. When it goes, its GONE!
      I assumed it would be fine to put the TC on the flex plate, and the whole works then onto the trans. Would it have been better to put the TC into the trans, then try to line the motor/flex plate onto the TC? Should I try it that way this time? Damn, I don't want to undo everything again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      SO if I pull off the top cooler line of the integral radiator cooler, it should pump me a nice puddle at idle? I'll try that first, but then I guess its wrench time.
      Thanx for the help, I appreciate it!
       
      Last edited: December 17, 2004
    5. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Captain AirTime, I just want to make sure that I am not reading something into your post...

      Did you install the TQ into the tranny - and then slide the entire engaged unit onto the back of the engine and bolt it up, or did you bolt the TQ to the engine FIRST, then slide the tranny onto it?

      If you installed the TQ onto the engine, then slid the tranny in place, there is no way that you have a good engagement of all three sets of splines/drives for the TQ. That would be your problem...
       
    6. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Yes, GL's right. you need to install the TC into the trannie 1st. There is a spec for where it should sit inside the bell, measured from the rim of the bell. It's covered in the A4LD Rebuild Diary in the Useful Threads forum.
       
    7. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      DOH! DOH! DOH!

      THat's probably it then, but wouldn't it end up is exactly the same place? I mean, once its bolted together, there's not a lot of room for variance!
       
    8. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      I don't know how they go together and still not run - but I've installed perhaps around 250 TQ's and have never had one align correctly unless it was installed into the tranny first...

      Yours has 3 sets of alignments - not just the 2 that older models had - making it even worse still.

      Just pull it back enough to set the TQ into the tranny - make sure that all 3 sets of splines/drives engage and then reinstall it making sure that you get the threads on the TQ lined up with the flex plate when you slide it all together. (also - don't slide the TQ forward until the housing is bolted up).
       
    9. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      But how can you know that they are all engaged? Besides being inside the bellhousing, they are kinda hidden?
      I'm still having a hard time getting my head around the idea that a splined shaft (or set of) can slide into its female counterpart to the specified depth, and not engage. I'll be starting to pull the motor off the bellhousing in about 20 minutes, and try again as you've suggested. At least its not raining here today, like the last 4 days of this horrible project.
      THanx
      Erik
       
    10. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      Oh my goodness.

      You make sure the converter is seated fully, then make sure it doesnt move as you stab the trans (throughthte starter hole.
      The converter should move forward approx 1/4" of an inch once you start to tighten the converter to flex plate bolts...
      Its a PITA I know, but there is only 1 way to do it right.....

      OH and your fan clutch may be reverse rotation, so be careful with that 4' breaker bar.......
       
    11. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      410 Fortune is exactly correct...

      Insert the TQ into the tranny bellhousing - making sure that you rotate it as you insert it, feeling for all the engagements - then slip the entire unit onto the motor, taking care to align the TQ bolts with the flex plate as it slides together. There is actually almost NO pull in once it is in there - they almost fit flush... I just (this second) finished doing mine.

      Sure is a PITA... :thumbdwn: Love to get my hands on the Ford engineer that did away with the old removable cover on the bell housing. Those were a piece of cake.
       
    12. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      4 more bellhousing bolts to remove, then its re-seat time.
      Wish me luck!
       
    13. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      this is frustrating as hell! I've got it where it FEELS seated, but there's only 3/16" depth where it supposedly should be at least 3/8 - 5/8". should the trans be in gear, park, N? I'm about ready to give up on this thing! Oh ya, and its starting to rain :fire: I think I'm at the point where it gets bolted back together for a trial, because there's nothing more I can do. I've tried turning it every which way, and it just doesn't go any deeper.
       
      Last edited: December 17, 2004
    14. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      As you press it into the pump you are going to feel 2 or 3 places where you will, as you rotate it and feel it "klunk" down to another level. I am not sure which "klunk" is onto the driven input shaft, which one is the pump spline engagement and which one is the actual end of the TC engaging the pump center gear. THAT is the the critical one... I have had it just seeingly fall into place, and sometimes had to turn it this way and that tryioing to support it until it made that final fit into the pump gear. Wish I could be more help, it can be frustrating.
       
    15. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      I pulled the TC out and reseated it about 6 times, each time after some fiddling it would get to the same depth. Even though its nominally not deep enough, it felt 3 stages deep, and I FINALLY got the bellhousing seated. THe TC is loosely against the flexplate, it will suck up a tiny bit when I put the nuts on. I got 3 bellhousing bolts in to hold it, and thats all its getting for tonight. I'm soaked and starved, time to quit. Tomorrow afternoon I'll finish buttoning it up and give it a crank. That'll be the proof!
       
    16. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Hey - I got about as far as you did today... Though mine went in easily with the new jack I built, I had a dickens of a time getting the TQ studs to go through the flexplate (again). CURSES Ford... :fire:

      But anyway, mine will be complete tomorrow.
       
    17. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      Ha! that was the easy part! I eyeballed it, and it came together with the stud about 1/16" from going thru the hole. I just touched the crank pulley with the ratchet, and !clunk! the whole thing slid home by itself. Of course, it took about 1.5-2 hours in the dark and pouring rain to get it lined up to the point where it MATTERED about the flexplate allignment LOL!

      I was going to lift the Ex 3-4", thinking that a 6" SOA was too much for what I want, but after crawling around under there for days, It might be an idea :D Have to see how it sits with the 33's on it before I decide how much higher to go.
       
    18. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Check out this home-built tranny jack that I made out of an old Harbor Freight cheapy floor jack...

      (It isn't pretty yet - and it isn't finished, but I needed to use what I had ready.)

      It sits right down on the floor at full collapse - and it will lift up to 36" at its peak... It rolls in all directions - and is stable enough (I did discover that I have to move the plate further to the rear to balance everything - and I am still working on a multi-adjustable plate - what you see in the pictures is just something scabbed on to use the jack).

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    19. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      Very slick :cool: I think I might have to do something like that. Now to keep an eye out for a cheap jack. I see them around, but never look twice if its not a speedy-Lift. How we get spoiled!
       
    20. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      Looks like its time for the T-5 or M5OD. After much pain and suffering, there's no change. The only thing I can clarify is that in Park and Neutral , the idle is slightly lower, as if there is some drag. in any other gear position, the idle rises very slightly. Of course I've checked and rechecked linkage and cables, and it DID get parked where it is under its own power. The only option now is to pull the transmission out. I've about had it with the motor, and its easier to get at those (#*%^)(& bellhousing bolts with the trans hanging down a bit. Wether or not I throw the A4LD in the shitcan, and put in a real transmission, its gotta come out now. I really needed it for next week, but now it looks like rental time, and fix it next year.
       
      Last edited: December 18, 2004
    21. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Please.. before you do that... can you buy, beg, borrow or... rent.... a transmission pressure gauge and check your line pressure? There as a recent thread nearly identical to yours where the A4LD worked before engine work, and not after. Ultimately he found it was the pump (made little sense to me, but who can argue with results.) *I* would LOVE to know your line pressures in every gear. Give us one last chance...get a gauge, please? (And maybe post in another thread what you have learned about the in-out process of this transmission's replacement.) I know you are the on doing the work and we can sit back and drink beer and make suggestions at the expense of your sweat labor.... but hate to not get something fixed. This IS fixable. Need more data.
       
    22. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      But even it if IS the pump, I'm NOT putting money into a questionable transmission. All this experience has done is reinforce my general opinion of automatic transmissions. They are nice to drive in the city, for sure, but enough to offset their inherent weakness? Sure, you can make one last 200K miles. But I drive HARD, and run oversize tires. I tow occasionally, and do deep snow running in the mountains. Autos HATE this, and I understand that. Gimmee back my standard. :mad:
      I'll do as you suggest, since I really don't want to fork out the cash for a swap right now. If it can be fixed for a REASONABLE amount of $, I suppose I'll do it to hold me over.
      Can you point me to the other thread? I didn't come across it when I was looking before I started this one.

      As for line pressures, I bet they are all zero, since there was no fluid in the cooler lines...
       
    23. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Just curious - how long did you let it idle after you got it running?

      Also - the line to the vacuum modulator is connected, right?

      Sometimes it takes some time to get the air bubles out and to get it pumping.

      Oh - and did you test it with the wheels on the ground? That seems to make a difference as well - especially inititially.
       
    24. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      Wheels on the ground, ready to drive away, if it was so inclined.

      The first time it ran long enough to open the thermostat and bring the radiator up to opperating temperature. probably 10-15 minutes.

      This last time, I ran it for maybe a minute. Hmmm. should I let it idle for a while again?
       
    25. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Won't cost you anything to try... Also, did you check the fluid levels while it was warmed up and running?

      I would check the pressures, as Glacier said - it is an easy test - and then you will know what is going on in there. It could be something sticking - it could be that the pump is messed up - hard to tell, but cheap or free tries are worth it.

      You can always make the change over - but that isn't as easy as it seems either...
       
    26. Captain AirTime

      Captain AirTime Active Member

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      I just ran it for about 10 minutes, still nothing. Fluid level is still over full.
      I don't know if I'll have a chance to mess with it until January now, and thats when I go back to work. *sigh*. At least my Ranger seems to be still limping along.
       

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