4R44E Band Adjustment Trouble | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4R44E Band Adjustment Trouble


Active Member
November 1, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ranger, 4cyl 2.3L
I bought the vehicle with 120k miles, and now have 180k, so I decided I should do a band adjustment even though it was shifting smoothly. ....duh...I know...if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I'm still kicking myself over it.

Anyway the end of the intermediate adjustment stud was so corroded that the locknut jammed on it when backing it off. So then it was welded to the stud, and I tightened them back down until I could figure out what to do. Well the first shift into 2nd at very slow speed and it was like hitting the brakes.....so...too tight. I backed off the locknut and adjustment stud and left it loose. It actually drove fine that way, and amazingly did not leak any fluid. Of course I needed to fix it right.

I got a new adjustment stud and locknut from Ford. I backed the old one all the way out. I assumed any parts the new one needed to contact would line up in a channel of some sort. Not so! There is a little shoe the stud rests in that fell out into the pan. So I pulled the pan and got the shoe back into place with a great deal of commotion.

Here's the problem. The adjustment stud goes all the way into its shaft, and contacts the shoe that rests on the notch in the anchor, but it just keeps going in until there are not enough threads on the stud for the locknut.
This is just with finger tightening. If I remove the stud, and put a screwdriver in the shaft and push on the anchor I do feel the band tighten against the drum. Also with the stud and shoe in place I can see the band tightening as I bring the stud in, so I believe I have everything lined up properly. I am pretty sure the bands are not so thick when new that enough wear can occur for the adjuster to bottom out, but I don't really know. I have only seen pictures of the new bands.

I was pressed for time so had to put it back together. It now wants to stay in first unless I ease way off the throttle, but then drives ok in 2nd-4th.
That may be due to low fluid since I did not have enough on hand to refill it completely. I will check out that aspect tomorrow.

Does anyone know what is going on with this intermediate band and why the adjuster stud never puts enough pressure on the band for the 120"lbs?
Any advice will be greatly apprecieted.

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Welcome to this forum! Maybe the band is not making contact on the opposite side where the servo presses against it with the other anchor strut. Check both sides. The small band anchor strut has to align with the groove on the band. Check # 4 in my list of useful threads for more information: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158160

Band Trouble

Thanks Brooklyn. That thought had occured to me while I had the pan off, but the apply side is not visible. On the thread you referred me to is a pic of the apply side which I guess is visible with the valve body removed. http://www.explorerforum.com/photopost/data/2/15286DSCN4975.JPG
In this pic I cannot see where it makes contact with the band. If indeed the band has come off on the apply side, do you know if there is a way for me to get it back on without pulling the transmission?

I'll try that, thanks. I think it may work because.....when I called a shop and inquired about a rebuild, they said the turn around time was at least 2 days. When I described the problem like I did here, they were still saying they would rebuild it, and still wanted around $1k, but said they would put a rush on it and the turnaround time was 6 hrs! I suspect they were not going to rebuild it, and just fix the band from underneath. I've never heard of a full rebuild being promised back the same day...and on a Friday at that.

That may be so, but it is still dishonest for them to tell me they are rebuilding my tranny when they plan to do a swap. Then there are those places that tell you anything to get you in the door, knowing that once they get your vehicle apart you are at their mercy. I talked to asnother shop that refused to tell me the most a rebuild could be. They gave me a remove and remount price of $500 and said the rebuild "depends". I understand that but certainly there has to be some limit. They would not tell me what that was though. That's why I try to do so many repairs myself. This time it backfired though....haha.