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A4LD Valve Body Rebuild Diary

CDW6212R

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Generally for any valve body kit, if a hole is larger than specified, nothing needs to be done. Just be sure that you work on the exact holes specified. Watch the locking clips/ springs, very carefully. They sometimes fly out, or fall out, and they are sometimes impossible to find. Regards,
 



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Longjohn119

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Already done, filled, and ready for a road test ... well except for finishing mounting a steering damper ... was getting too late to be making a bunch of noise with a drill

I also need to re-adjust the shift cable/linkage, it's off just a hair now, probably from that indexer sleeve taking up the slop but that's not a big deal

Next up an external filter ...
 






CDW6212R

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FYI, you can also buy an inline filter at a trans parts shop. The one I have is supposed to be good for over 25,000 miles. Regards,
 






Glacier991

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And yes LongJohn I did notice the oversize hole you mentioned. (sorry was away when you sent that and just now saw it). I have added pics of the bore that needed transgo springs and that i couldn't disassemble.... so I think we are more or less complete.

So back together, describe any changes in performance you notice ?
 






Longjohn119

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Well I also did the seals in the low/reverse servo so that demon is gone, no clunk, no delay now ...

As for the VB rebuilt and shift kit .... crisp shifts, firm but not at all harsh ... under heavy acceleration it feels like a 4 speed not a 3 speed with OD, no more slop and slide into OD
 






Glacier991

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Thanks for the report!

ps. where did you end up getting the seals for the low reverse servo?
 






Longjohn119

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It was a Transtec kit and the last thing I'll ever by from Makco Distributing since they palmed off an old set WITHOUT the updated double lipped seals and stuck me with O-rings ....

Obviously they have a special set of old stock they dump on 'Joe Shmoes' ....
 






Glacier991

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The transtec kits do not have the double lip seals far as i know. It is Transtar's set that does, from what I hear. Don't feel bad, I've bought several Transtec sets from many places and never gotten double lipped seals. (I think Transtec makes about the best rebuild kits around, they are OEM for Ford.... yet why no doublle lip seal is a mystery. I'm still searching for the elusive double lip seal... so if someone finds a source PLEASE let me know!
 






Longjohn119

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Well then I don't feel so bad ... I figure it should be OK for a few years and then I'll just change them again, at least it's not too much work especially since I do have a drain on the tranny pan now

BTW the no OD issue I had, I put in a new solenoid and torqued the VB properly and it worked like a charm ... can't wait to see how it works pulling my little (14 ft) fishing boat

I've been a big believer in shift kits and extra coolers for a long time, I used to install them in my Dad's fleet of F250's back in the late 70's and early 80's and KNOW they double and triple the life of a tranny that's uised hard under a big load a lot ...

I still need to adjust the bands but have to wait until I am physically able to pull the front driveshaft out of the way ... doesn't look like it's ever been off the truck and I can't risk slipping that disk again in my upper back ... soon as my buddy gets his new kitchen cabinets installed I'll be able to access his pit again, it's a lot easier on my back standing up and cracking things like that loose
 






Glacier991

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I can hear that. I plan my last garage to have a pit AND a lift (yeahsure right, but I can dream). And yes with a drain replacing the O-rings is much easier. Word of advice, on the flat I guess OD is ok, but my recommendation for towing with the A4LD is skip using OD. Run the extra 500 rpm in Drive.

Thanks again for sharing. Richard Dodd up in Redding CA is about done rebuilding his A4LD, says he'll post his experiences.... he's down to rebuilding his VB. Pat Morrison in Davis CA rebuilt his, but I haven't heard if he has had a chance to reinstall it yet... I'll try and get him to post his experiences. (they both borrowed the tool sets). So, more and more folks are throwing off the fear of trannies and doing things to make the first gen's last a little longer, which is what the diaries were all about.

Speaking of which, I had a new experience tonight removing a spool. I'll do a separate write up on it....I learned something, and want to share it.
 






Longjohn119

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I haven't been using OD for towing at all ... I don't go much over 55-60 because my boat trailer has those small tires and you'll burn the bearings off the hubs trying to do 70-75 ... so no OD towing isn't a big deal and I don't go very far ... most of the time I go about 3 miles away and the speed limit is 45 and under ... It's just a 14 ft flatbottom with decks and a few accessories, the hubs bearing and spindle are new and the tongue weight is only 75 lbs so it's not much of an extra load on the tranny ... sometimes I even forget it's back there ....
 






Glacier991

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VB PROBLEM and Solution

I said I'd share and experience I had during a VB rebuild.

I had gone around the block cleaning and rebuilding a used valve body bore by bore, and when I came around to the last one I neded to do, the BOOST valve, which I definitely planned to upgrade, it was stuck. I mean it moved in it's range of travel "ok", but when I removed the keeper it would start to come out and then stick. DAMN. The ONE bore I think is important to upgrade.

So I fiddled, played nursed, coaxed. Nada.

I left it overnight and did it again. Nada.

It then struck me, maybe when I was cleaning off the very stuck on gasket with the razor blade a piece of gasket material got down into the bore and was causing the sticking. So I turned it upside down (again) and using brake cleaner did my best. No help.

Finally I decided either I was going to fix this, or use this VB for parts. SO..... I drilled a hole in the end of the boost valve (since it was being replaced anyway) and screwed a screw into it..... then I put some vice grips in the screw at right angles so I could smack the side of em with a hammer.... did it work? Not at first but once I got a big enough hammer it did. Did I find any gasket ? no. (I still think that might have played a role and is a good precautionary tale as I got serious about checking and did pull out some pieces elsewhere that might have caused future problems.

Here is the removed valve

15286DSCN5928.JPG


So, the bore appeared ok, and since the new one was using O rings I wasn't worried.... went to install it and ....NOPE.....would not go in, the bore was out of round!

The sealing rings are pretty far down the bore, soo, I decided to ream it back to round...I gotta tell you my set of adjustable reamers has saved the day more than once.... so I reamed it...

15286DSCN5925.JPG


and didn't go very deep into the bore .. the eccentricity was outboard mainly

15286DSCN5926.JPG


And (you didn't see this here!) then I burnished and polished the reamed portion using 600 grit paper... (ordinarily this would be a no no but since this is outboard of the sealing area and I am using O rings in any event I felt it was ok...)

15286DSCN5927.JPG


The new valve, post reaming? Fits just fine. Problem solved.

15286DSCN5929.JPG


DO BE CAREFUL about getting gasket scraps into the old body.

Was the bore out of round before I removed the valve using brute force? I have no idea. Was it gasket material that caused the problem? I have no idea but suspect it played a role. Anyway, if someone encounters a similar problem, now you have one more idea to try.
 






Longjohn119

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Where'd you get that adjustable reamer ... I can think of dozens of things I could use that for from making cabinets for electronics projects to HVAC ... I have several reamers but all are fixed and all are tapered to make them usable for different sized holes
 






Glacier991

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Actually I picked them up years ago from an early Harbor Freight store..... they are a little crude, but were about $70 for a set of 8.... they work, though every time I use em I think I should take a couple hours and smooth up their operation..
 






ox13

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Ok just one question before I order my kit and other parts what size check balls do I need to order I see that they come 10 in a bag and in different size's I jsut want to make sure I get the correct size when placeing my order.

Thanks
 






Glacier991

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1/4 inch. You know you kind of threw me because I had never measured them. so I did. Here's what I found:

15286DSCN6017.jpg


I wonder how many kids even learned how to read one of these, I too rely on my digitals... and this old micrometer (obviously non digital) is an oldie (and a cheapie)... it's thrown in my general toolbox, I keep my nice ones in a machinists chest)....
 






Glacier991

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I also wanted to show you all something else. I picked up a spare A4LD VB to harvest from. I decided that after wrestling with the Boost valve, I wasn't real happy with how the spool inside that bore slid...seemed a tad sticky... it was ok, but not perfect. So I decided to "harvest" a replacement spool from my donor body... when I took the boost valve out on the "harvester" valve body.... guess what I found nestled in the springs? This:
15286DSCN6018-med.JPG


looks like bearing material to me, but in this spot! look at the size!

15286DSCN6019.JPG


I guess the moral may be that if you pick up a donor VB without a KNOWN history, maybe you should pull it apart more than you might be tempted to. This blew me away.

Also, if you need an A4LD VB part, let me know, I have a small inventory.
 






CDW6212R

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Yes Chris, I learned that lesson once with an AOD valve body from a "burned up" donor 85 AOD. I cleaned about 80% of it, installed a TransGo SYSKO kit. The 86 Crown Vic had almost no reverse, and after one fourteen mile trip, all other gears were slipping. There was obviously something else that I didn't get to.

That's why I fiercly avoid burned up transmissions. Cleanliness is paramount in an automatic. A burned up transmission is almost garanteed to fail again sooner than normal. Regards,
 






ox13

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Thanks for the info on the size of the check balls, I just like to have everything before I start a job that way I don't loose track of what I'm doing, as for the old micrometer you can't beat them that is what I use at home, now at work our SOP states that we must use the digital.

Oh by the way nice write up on the valve body I showed it to my of the guy's that I work with and he could not get over how much time you put into it. I'm thankful you did it give's me new hope that I can build the tranny that I want for my Explorer.
 



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Glacier991

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Have you checked out the entire rebuild Diary yet ?
 






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