A4LD Rebuilt! But it doesn't work right :( | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A4LD Rebuilt! But it doesn't work right :(


New Member
December 7, 2011
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So I recently finished the A4LD rebuild for my brother's '94 Explorer and reinstalled it. This is my 4th tranny rebuild but my first A4LD. I was using the ATSG manual at first, but later I found the handy "how to guides" in this forum.

On my first test drive I find out that in OD or D, it stays in 1st gear. Manual 1st works fine. Manual 2nd works fine. So I try driving in 1st and shift to 2nd, which works fine. Next I shift to D but it downshifts to 1st.

My first attempt to fix it was to adjust the manual linkage. This helped the shift indicator line up better and made each gear easier to find, but did nothing to fix my problem.

After a little research here on the forums, I was thinking it might be a sticking governor. But before I tore anything apart I learned about the stall test and pressure test.

The stall tests showed that in 1st, 2nd, D and OD the stall speed is about 1600rpm. However, in reverse it went to 3000rpm! I stopped the test quickly to keep it from going any higher. I tried moving the vehicle afterwards and reverse was slipping horribly, but the forward gears were still fine. So does this mean the low/reverse servo may be leaking?

I got a pressure tester and ran the tests. All these results are in psig. At idle I got P/N=62, R=73, and 1/2/D/OD=62. At fast idle (1000rpm) R=73 and 1/2/D/OD=65. At WOT I got R=75 and 1/2/D/OD=65. So at idle everything look good, but I'm seriously lacking some pressure at fast idle and WOT. I'm not sure what this is telling me except that I have internal leakage?

I felt good about my rebuild, but near the end I bent the Z-link while tightening the 7/8" nut. I straightened it but could not find any info on the positioning of the manual valve relative to the valvebody. I can swap the Z-link and parts around it from another tranny if that is the problem.

Any ideas on where to start? I'm thinking of leaving the tranny in the vehicle and dropping the pan. Then I can replace the Z-link, but how do I know the manual valve will be in the right spot? I can also look at the low/reverse servo seals. The low/reverse servo can come out without removing the valvebody, right?

Well... you seem to have a lot going on there. I would suspect that you have a VB issue. Did you rebuild the VB and or at least clean it? Did the tranny grenade before you rebuilt it or was it just slipping? Reason I ask is that it blew up there would be a great deal of garbage carried throughout the VB, the governor etc etc. Did you use a new TC and clean the cooler lines?

How did it work after you changed the z link? If you read Glacier's VB rebuild thread I believe it shows the valve in it's proper place relative to the z-link.

Welcome to this forum! Did you remember to plug the vacuum line back onto the modulator? You mentioned that the shift linkage was adjusted, but did you adjust the kickdown cable, and the bands as well? Did you install an adjustable modulator? If so, was it adjusted? The pressure is low, so I would suspect a valve body or gasket issue. Did you check the front pump gears for hair line cracks during the rebuild?