Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by Glacier991, January 20, 2004.
Steve, good idea. Thanks! Maybe I'll use velcro...
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You must be one of those guys who can work on an engine in a white shirt and not get dirty. I used a bunch of biohazard plastic bags marked with a sharpie. In no time my oily fingers were erasing everything I had written. Had to go to paper slips in the bags.
whats the fun in not getting dirty? When I get home from work i am covered in greese and grime
Well, I'd like to claim the "white lab coat" award for cleanliness in auto mechanics, but unfortunately my GF would rat me out in a heartbeat - she won't even let me wash my auto work clothes in the same wash batch as her things. In the past, I had resorted to Opera House's method of paper INSIDE the baggies. But - I got this Dymo thingie for Christmas, and it seemed like a great use for it - and hey - so far it seems to work! So chalk it up to childlike joy in using a new toy. Plus, it looks kinda snazzy and professional, no?
More seriously though, of most auto repairs, you DO want to maintain a higher degree of cleanliness in auto transmission work (than in say, brake work, or repacking bearings (g)).
On another note - I had intended to add the upgraded 3-4 shift solenoid. (The newer version was less prone to getting clogged causing shifting problems.) I did at least until I priced the new Ford part - a shift solenoid (I'm figuring to myself, probably 30-40 bucks - in other words twice what it's worth.) FORD quoted me $179. Yep, really. NO way am I going to pop that much. I'll make sure the old one is really clean and the add on filtration and attention to drain intervals should make this pretty much a no brainer... $179 ? who are they kidding????
ELI - I brought the trannie home and degreased and pressure washed it. I'd recommend to anyone to do that first - get rid of the worst of the grease and the crud. I also recommend removing the pan and draining the fluid that you can while it is still in the car. Put the pan back on (no need to use all the bolts) and then remove the transmission. Saves dealing with the excess fluid mess later - to a degree.
My trannie has been putside for a year and so has corrosion etc, I'll be sandblasting the outside of the case and bellhousing (blasting THAT anyway before shipping it off for machining) and tanking the main case.
I'm constantly doing homework, to figure out any possible improvement to this trannie. Some time back someone, I do not remember who, Aldive? first suggested the 4R55E went to a new spiral cut friction. I worried about it needing Mercon V and let it go at that.
Then SteveVB mentioned it again, and it's been niggling at my brain...
Since then, in various places I have read the why's (lowered hydraulic friction in non-engagement (read HEAT)) and better heat dispersion at higher speeds.... sounded like a winner to me. Did some more research and find out that they fit - some wierd issues with numbers of plates used in the later 4R's as compared to the A4LD's (fewer - even though the thicknesses seem to be the same odd... including 2 plate OD's) IF and I mean IF my thought about Mercon V is a legitimate issue, hell I'll just go with AMSOIL synthetic - covers both bases.
So my question is, does ANYONE know ANYTHING about this issue and subject? Any and all help happily accepted. Lately I think I'd buy an expensive dinner with some FORD engineer in their transmission department, I have SOOO many questions I cannot find answers to - just to pepper him or her with Q's I need to know the answers for. (WHY did FORD change this, how come this went from this to that, etc).
Chime in if you have even an inkling or a clue. Please.
ps. Since the A4LD didn't die, mechanically, in 1994, I'm now into the 4R55E for upgrade ideas - new territory with tons of Q's. (as if the A4LD alone didn't have enough - like why did FORD go to double wrap bands in the early 90's and abandon them a couple years later?) Plus trying to figure out legimate changes due to the differences in the new computer controlled trannies vs. plain old improvements that were backwards compataible. Sheesh. If you watch the progression of bearings vs washers inside the transmission it's difficult to understand. I mean is a bearing not inherently superior to a washer? Does a washer give you some added benefit (other than cost) as opposed to a bearing? If cost were not an object would you do all bearings anytime you could? Can I mix and match bearings from various years (assuming my end play numbers come out right) ?
Trannie nerdies share! (thanks) Trannie newbies, RESEARCH. We may be plowing new ground here - and then YOU share! ELI, you are front and center! I mean there are a few gazillion of the pre 95 S'Ploders out there that might benefit from some good answers!
This is starting to feel like "reverse engineering" the transmission in a way, but maybe that's what it takes.
Time for more teardown. I'm going to start bellhousing backwards to center support, then do the back end and the governor bore. Headed out of town a bit so tonight will just be the front end back to the center support....
We're on the engine support stand, and rotated to put the bellhousing UP. I'm going to remove the bellhousing bolts - FORD says to discard them in favor of new ones... we'll explore that a bit later. For now let's remove the bolts...
and then the bellhousing/pump assembly
with that removed we see a thrust washer atop the OD drum as we finally look into the guts of this beast:
The thrust washer bearing surface is down, so let's turn it over:
I am not some expert, but frankly the bearing surface looked a little scratched to me. Was going to replace it anyway, but lets mark that - thrust washer number 1- as a "bulletproof item number 1" - I wondered if FORD ever put a needle bearing here, but through the 4R55 at least, they hadn't. NEW though - for our rebuild.
Good time to go ahead and loosen the band adjustment screws... not tough to do, although you may just as likely remove the screw as the locknut when you undo it, that's ok...
I took this pic to give you an idea where the screw heads to... if you follow the line of the screw, you can see where it hits the anchor strut on the OD band..
Ok, now remove the servos.... OD and intermediate...
Snap ring plier time. Although, no where does it say this, but the snap rings are a not fun aspect of this job. Tough to get a lasting grip with your snap rings pliers, ANY size. The trick is to use a screwdriver and when you have momentarily compressed the ring, insert the screwdriver in the slot for it, and pry the right from there- the snap ring itself isn't going to be easy to get out JUST using pliers.. here a pic...
See the little notch to the left of the pliers (7 O'clock position)? that's where to put the screwdriver.
Once the ring is out the cover does not exactly jump off - even though there is a spring behind it.... first one I used screwdrivers to rocker it up and out, then I tried using large pliers, easier and faster. You CAN use air, but hey, this worked and I didn't have to look where to apply the air - if you DO use air, make sure you limit the pressure to 15 lbs or so - no rocket covers please.
Here is the OD servo cover coming off
Here's the Intermediate servo coming out
and here is it out
The reason we did this was so we can remove the first of the bands - the OD band. With the "binders" removed we can take the band out... first we take out the items which help anchor the band, and which apply the "apply" pressure. Needle nose pliers are handy, though if you drop one of these items, it's not headed far, the center support will catch it and you can retrieve it later. Here is the anchor strut
On the opposite side is a similar "Apply strut"
Now the OD band can come out. This was a '91 - with the double wrap band - and I think I answered my Q about the double wrap bands. I was told by some trannie folks that a double wrap applies more quickly for firmer shifts - but gosh in comparison to the big single wrap - it looks puny. No wonder FORD abandoned it. My advice - empirically? Use the single wrap. (93 up). Here's the band. IF you plan to reuse it, mark the anchor side somehow so it gets put back in the same way.... no reversing one once it's been used please! This one is gonna get replaced with a single wrap new band. Bulletproof tip #2
Ok, band out of the way, we are looking at the top of the OD or Coast clutch drum. This one has a one way clutch in it, try turning it either way and see. One way works, other way locks. When we remove it, we have the drum and the clutch pack inside - drum coming out:
turned over, looking in at the clutch pack - this one has 3 plates in it... (standard 4.0 complement) IF I go to spiral cut friction plates, I'd say leave this one alone, the waffle pattern is ok to my mind- for most driving this one is engaged - I do not expect to find a lot of wear.
Looking above at the OD drum - above -
(It's a crappy photo and I apologize) but do you see the copper colored bushing inside? A wear item. I have a replacement, but not sure how easy it will be to get the old one out and new one in. In my book, especially on a rebuild if metal was found in the pan, a replacement item, either the bushing or a new drum with a replacement bushing in it. Bulletproof item number 3. I'll mike this one and the replacment and show you more in the item by item rebuild.
Time for the notorious OD planetary here it comes:
While in this view, I am not sure if you can make it out, but there is a large "washerlike" disc on the end of the shaft, with outer lugs on it. This one is pristine, but Opera House reported it as a problem area... replace it on rebuild. Bullet proof tip No. 4. Here's the planetary turned over -
This appears to be a HD one. Notice all the little needle bearings in the "nose"? How'd you like to have them contaminated with metal particles? (As small as they are a teensey particle would seem like a boulder in comparison) A "metal in the pan" replacement item if you ask me (e.g if your trannie had metal in the pan on rebuild to any degree, consider this a replacement item. Bulletproof tip item number 5 - new clean OD planetary.) This one was ok and from a trannie that looks ok, so I'll clean it and put on the shelf for the "inexpensve A4LD rebuild. The NEW one only cost $45 though - keep that in mind.
Next out is the OD center shaft assembly...
And here it is out - there is more than meets the eye here -we'l discuss this on item by item rebuild. There is an aftermarket item which "bears" on this, which is interesting. We'll explore that too on the rebuild.
Finally, here we are at the center support - with a thrust washer - No 3. THIS ONE.... FORD did replace with a needle bearing type in 93 - so will we on our rebuild.
Bullet Proof tip no. (what? ) 6?
With everything else out, we can remove the pin and the OD apply lever - it comes out throught the valve body part of the case....
All right, we've completed this part of the teardown - to the case center support - which is a HUGE bullet proof upgrade item in itself... that's where this will stop for now...
Here's what we took out today
Recognize the baggies ? (I'm nagging now, right?)
Next up - the extension housing and governor -
Looking inside at the governor assembly:
This aspect should prove interesting as a potential DIY repair item you can do with the trannie still in the car (with the tranfer case and extension housing off). We'll resleeve our govenor to steel when we do it (Bulletproof tip No. 7).
That's it for now, will pick up later next week - I'm for a bit of R&R.
By the way: Feel free to chime in with thoughts, ideas, questions we might like answered and helpful criticisms. This is a learning process for me, anyway. Like to try and make it one for as many as can use it as well.
Ok, 'm back, some new items, and ready to finish the teardown. I'll ask a moderator - I am thinking that after the teardown pics, I should start a "2nd part" thread, so the bandwidth needs for all the pics is lessened, as is the load time. Can they be linked later if the thread is worthy?
Ok a couple new items.... well one anyway, the other is being researched. I think I can use a high performance C-4 intermediate band. I'm gong to measure them both (A4LD ad C-4) on the drum. The C-4 band can be bought "TOUGH" (eg. solid band like low/reverse I think)
I'm starting to hunt across the FORD line.... esp with HP trannies. If anyone has ideas of knows of other parts that may work, let us know! By Sunday this thing will be all apart - then comes next the component rebuilds and analysis of what might be done to improve them, as we go. (And the special governor rebuild section). All help appreciated, ideas too, rumors as well.. Stay tuned.
[Late addition - well I got the C-4 band... built like a rock, solid iron band. And, it doesn't fit. Oh well. I tried!]
Glacier if i remember correctly you are going to need to remove the center support and intermediate drum to get the shaft out of the rear(govenor side).
Nice write up so far.
Steve it's ALL coming out this case is gonna be naked... even pounding out the rear reverse drum bearing race. I'm only part way thru the disassembly. (When done the case will be tanked and cleaned thoroughly). Once full apart, then it's time to evaluate the bulletproofness of each component before reassembly. I'd like to see the info sheets on the TransGo and Superior shift kits. Still willing to fax em ? I am impressed with the Sonnax fixes - will likely incorporate all of them.
Sure no problem on the documentation. I dont remember if you sent me a number or not- e-mail me the number and a time- Ill be in and out all day waiting for word back on some houses I bid on, but if I get the info this afternoon, I can do it this evening.
From you post you said from bell to center support and then you were going to work on the govenor side. Maybe Im not understanding you, but before you can work on the govenor side you have to remove the CS, and the intermediate and rev assemblies.
When you get the case clean- check the rear of the case where the rev thrust washer wears on the case. Be interested to see a pic of that area on yours.
I agree on the sonnax parts- I was impressed with their replacement boost valve.
I also think that every bushing needs to be replaced in a rebuild.
Steve VB wrote
Steve I fully agree. If we're going to "rebuild" to a high standard we should replace any significant wearing part, or be prepared to justify why we didn't. I have the bushings and plan to replace all of em.
As for the governor, you can work on it with the shaft in place, as you might with it in the car. Not resleeve it or anything, but at least get at it. But you are right overall. (Your knowledge is based on "being there" in your rebuild and is appreciated!)
Anyway I decided to remove the rest of the case internal components, so will be posting pictures later tonight. Had a little surprise I found - be fun to share it...incipient failure...
Nude tranny pictures; does that mean they're "X" rated? .....OK, bad joke.
You invited opinions on the Merc V ATF earlier;
It's actually a semi-synth formula and I think Ford went to it for cooler running and to extend the clutch life. (It has more friction modifiers and is more "slippery") It also helps with TC "shudder", which late model Fords are plagued with. The sprial cut in the discs probably aids in keeping the lube film uniform along the disc face. Any xR55E parts that will fit would probably be beneficial, and I'd use the Merc V with the xR55E clutches.
Just my two cents, and I can't wait for more pics. Good writeup!
Thaks for the input! That's along the lines of what I thought.... wonder if I use 5R55 frictions in one place if I ought to use them throughout? and the TC ? Does it need to be 5R? Do they vary material to the fluid? I've never experienced shudder, but a stronger OD bore return spring (planned) should help that problem I think. (Sonnax again... I am appreciating them more and more).
Mercon vs. Mercon V
I found this link ATF Specifications which in turn has links to the specs for both Mercon and Mercon V.
Also, there is this thread where we were discussing it and I posted a TSB on applications which require Mercon vs. those which require Mercon V Mercon vs Mercon V
I'm attaching the chart for the TSB, but the quality isn't that great.
Excellent thread by the way
Great ! Thanks Dogfriend. Tha was what I hoping this thread could be, a collaboration - to the ultimate rebuild.
The chart came out pretty bad. If you really need the info, email me and I will send a PDF copy so you can zoom in and read it.
The basic info is that Mercon V was only used for certain applications starting in 97. That was the same year they introduced the 5R55E. They list some 4R44E applications (Ranger,Aerostar?) that also use Mercon V starting in 97.
Well I figured that if push came to shove I could use AMSOIL synthetic.... and cover all my bases.
STRIKE ONE - the C-4 BAND -
I wanted to use the C-4 intermediate band... thought it would fit (NOT) but here is why I wanted to use it...
The A4LD band is rubber banded to shape, it's flexible...
Similar size.... not easy to see but the C-4 band is cast iron.... much sturdier...
Not to make too much of it.... but look see how much sturdier the C-4 is!
So... a worthy goal... frustrated.... dang. Now you know why I chased it!
Ok, you heard me wax enthusiastic about these guys. Never heard of 'em a while ago, but now I know a littl bit about them.... amazing thin needle bearings designed to take the place of thrust washers.... bearings instead of oiled surfaces.... reminds me of the roller cams on some 4.0 engines.... less friction and sooo thin... look...here is a Torrington and the washer it replaces
As for thickness?...
Or better yet look here:
The Torrington bearing is nearly as thin as the solid metal "thrust" washer !!! Incredible. A MUST on rebuilds on this trannie. In my humble opinion.
TEARDOWN - CONTINUED
Ok we'll finish the teardown today. Let's start back inside the case, where we left off at the center support.
The support is held in place by a lage snap ring and secured by a screw. Pry it loose from the case on one end using a screwdriver
then grasp the ring and pull it upward, the snap ring will peel itself out
The bolt is held by a nut inside the case.
The bolt is an allen head, located in the valve body
It' easy to remove using a 5mm allen head socket
Once it's out the center support can be wiggled loose and brought up out of the case
and we can see now the top of the intermediate drum underneath
On top of the intermediate drum is a washer (or a bearing in later applications (93 on). We'll use a bearing.
This washer looked a little scored - not bad, but like metal particles were in the fluid lubricating it
Now we can get at the intermediate band - it's just like before, remove the struts and wriggle the band up and out. It's tight space and this is a little tricky - I dropped a strut down inside and had to retreve it later
The drum assembly comes out as a "package", and it's slightly heavy
Now we see the forward ring gear and the bearing sitting on top of it. It is a torrington, though slightly thicker - it' #6
Here's a side view (bad pic I apologize)
Ring gear comes right out
On the back there is another bearing (#7) - it's the innermost outer gray ring (does THAT make sense?) - and yes - another bushing to be inspected or replaced (replaced on our rebuild - all bushings)
This exposes the forward planet - which comes right out
(notice that is a steel 6 pinion - standard on 4.0's)
On cursory exam this one looks good
Now we are down to the "input shell" this is where it starts to get interesting
When I remove it, there is a thrust washer on the back, number 8 -
see the 3 tabbed washer sitting on the rear ?
When I turn it over I find this - bearing material shredded and largely gone - you can even see a sliver of it off one edge
Here's another picture of it nice huh ?
Look at the mating bearing surface on the back of the shell - yuck [as it turns out, a steel washer was left out of this rebuild - hence this failure - I'll point it out on the rebuild]
Since I am down to it, I'll remove the reverse band - seems almost like an interruption of discovery..
We're looking at the reverse planet now inside the ring gear housing - on 4.0 models there is no snap ring retaining it
When I inspected it, I found this - galled points, and a hunk of a tooth just sitting there...and a bent support web...ow.
Look at the backside - this is not normal... all chewed up
Caused me to reinspect the sun gear in the input shell - the retaining ring looks like it is loose and was chewing into the planet - note the teeth - damaged - replace time.
Well, back in the case, you just have to suspect what's left isn't pretty... here is the ring gear for the planetary... I haven't pulled the output shaft yet...
4.0 engine use an oil dam, it's next up to come out
Then you are at the ring gear and it's washers, front and back.... my pictures do not do it justice but let's just say that the front bearing is TOAST
Now the snap ring... FORD says not to reuse it....
with the snap ring out, the ring gear can come out...
as you an see, there's large thrust washer on the back (which was more or less ok)
The one inside was another matter - bad picture but use your imagination -Ugly damage
Last thing out is the reverse drum. It looks okay overall, but can you see the HUNKS of metal in it ? Whoa!
Someone asked for a peek at the back end, behind the bearing race - not a great shot but best can do...the wave washer is a problem child - this will get a special treatment in our rebuild.. this "wave washer is also reputed to be the genesis of the governor problems
I've flipped the transmission around, and removed the bolts holding the extension housing in place, I'm taking it off here
That clearly exposes the governor - which comes off with a couple bolts (more on the governor to follow later in this article)
Here's the underside showing the fluid passages
And now I can pull the output shaft free of the transmission
Next out is the Governor oil collector. This can be a trouble spot for it has steel rings riding in an aluminum bore - we will resleeve his bore to steel..
This one looks good though - But try an old machinist's trick... a fingernail can detect incredibly small variations on a flat surface.. I "nailed" this one and it was good... you can see the resting place for the steel rings though...will sleeve it anyway
The bronzy thing is the back most washer... #11. This one looked pretty good.... minor scoring fom metal but overall not too bad. I'd not - on a "bulletproof" rebuild, ever reuse any washer, and this one will get replaced
Ok now we remove the last bits.. the modulator is held in place by a Y clip/clamp bolted to the case... this bolt also holds the heatshield. Do not lose this - FORD wants $19 for it!! Yes for a double headed BOLT !
Showing the clip/clamp off
If you do NOT want to drop a part, ANY part, this would be number one NEVER TO LOSE! The Modulator pin...
It easily falls out. SAVE it. Hell...CHERISH IT !
Next up the neutral/reverse switch.... Ford has a special tool, but a 19mm thinwall deep socket will work, mine was not hard to dislodge.....
Here's the two tools.... silver is the deep thinwall
the aftermarket fits, though with a lot of points....
I'll admit the FORD one is a better fit, but essential ? no...
Ok what's left are inside levers and the like... have to take the case (now VERY LIGHT) off the stand to get those out.
Here is the inside view of the main shaft - nut loosened, yu can se the retaining pin in the middle right edge of the picture - this is a PITA to get out...
Here's it, pointed out... I tried to remove it without success, so I sprung for a special tool... shuld have it in a couple days - for $15 it seemed worthwhile, we'll see..
I will add pix of that when I get it, just to be complete, and then the next thread will be component disassembly and evaluation - and case machining. Feel free to chime in with ideas - my newest one is C-6 seals in some places! (I know I never give up).
ps. if you think this thread is worthwhile let me know - o if you need to see something I ovelooked - it is a LOT of work to do thisa, and sometimes I wonder how many people are interested, or may benefit.
pps. For those awaiting governor info, that's coming next (that's for those of you with pre '95 Explorers - '95 and up do not have either a governor or a vacuum modulator, those functions now being handled electronically).
I've talked to many mechanics and the thrust washers around the center support are not really a source of weakness in these trannies.
Are the torrington bearings good to have? SURE.
Are they necessary when rebuilding an A4ld? No.. if you have the older style center support, just get new thrust washers (#3 and #4 I think) for it and call it good. My thrust washers around my center support showed very very little sign of wear after 85k miles.
IF anyone takes this route and keeps the thrust washers then YOU SHOULD MAKE THE OIL HOLE MODIFICATION TO THE CENTER SUPPORT- if it hasnt been done. There were identified oiling problems to the #4 washer, and before the factory replaced the washer with the #5 bearing the fix was to drill the center support to add a lube hole for the bearing.
Good points, both. The idea on this rebuild is to go "all out" - not saying that some of the avenues chosen for this rebuild are "essential". But as we go along these types of comments are most welcome, as with the responses they bring as well. Thanks guys!
Note: This thread will soon be ended an a new one started on evaluating component parts prior to rebuild. Old threads (like this one) will be linked.