A4LD Valve Body Rebuild Journal - Reassembly (w/pics) | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

A4LD Valve Body Rebuild Journal - Reassembly (w/pics)

TN_Explorer

Active Member
Joined
October 27, 2004
Messages
76
Reaction score
0
City, State
Manchester, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
5-1991's; 1-94; 1-2000
OK, we’ve pulled the VB off and disassembled it and ordered our parts. I purchased the Sonnax Indexer (part #56947-01) and Sonnax Boost Valve upgrade (part #56947-02K). I also got a new TCC lockup solenoid and 3-4 shift solenoid (about $20-$25 each). Of course a new filter and I bought a tub of reassembly grease. I got all these from DACCO (http://www.daccoatparts.com). I later purchased the Trango Jr kit from Transmission Exchange Company (http://www.txchange.com). I have mixed feelings about this kit, which I will discuss further on. Of course I neglected to get the pan gasket, and after I got it all reassembled I had to make run for transmission fluid, but hey, I needed the break. With all the parts assembled, I covered my table with white paper (I have an end roll of newsprint from the local paper – cheap and useful for thousands of things!). I set up another table located away from my assembly station to do the cleaning so I wouldn’t contaminate the VB. I also kept all rags away from the VB as I worked, as I have been told lint from rags can make a transmission malfunction.
Slide1.JPG

One of my first steps was to open each baggie and polish any aluminum plugs. Most had some scuffing, so I shined them up using WD-40 and fine (2000 grit) sandpaper. I was surprised to find this fine a grade sandpaper in the auto section of WalMart, and I grabbed a couple of packs. After polishing the plugs, I put them back in the baggies, and set them aside. Note – I did not polish any of the valves themselves as they all appeared to be in beautiful condition. I checked them for freedom of movement as I installed them and all moved smoothly and freely.
Slide2.JPG

One of the valve body modifications in both the Superior kit and the Transgo kit involves drilling a 1/16†passage. This was the only physical modification I made to the VB itself:
Slide3.JPG
Slide4.JPG

Now begins the reassembly. I opened each labeled baggie one at a time at my cleaning station, sprayed it down with Brakleen (I actually use ChemTool B-12, which I like better), then blew it dry with air, & put the cleaned parts in a disposable aluminum pie pan. Then I took the clean parts over to my assembly table & lightly greased them & put them into their bores. The numbering on the pix correlates to the valve numbers in the Ford factory manual.
First is the TCC lockup solenoid & valve. In the picture you see a piece of aluminum in approximately the location I found it with respect to the valve. I believe this was the cause of my transmission problems. If your transmission has this piece in it, discard it!
Slide5.JPG

Here’s a picture of the reverse servo. This is the only place I can see that might have been the source of the foreign piece of metal.
Slide6.JPG

Moving on, we install the 3-4 shift valves & solenoid into bores 201 and 202. As recommended in the A4LD Rebuild Diary, I bowed the retainer plate on the 3-4 shift solenoid (easily done by hand – don’t overdo it!) to keep the solenoid butted tightly against the VB.
Slide7.JPG

The new 3-4 solenoid was slightly different than the old one, as shown here:
Slide8.JPG

Next is the 2-3 shift valve in bore 203:
Slide9.JPG

Note the small spring that sits on that first valve way down in the bore. Here’s an easy way to get it in there correctly:
Slide25.JPG

It bugged me that the retainer washer did not look like it was seating completely, so I pulled the valve back out & just set the retainer in its slot. Nope, it won’t go down any further, that’s what it’s supposed to look like.
Slide11.JPG

From here it’s pretty routine. Just go to the cleaning station, clean the next valve, come back to the assembly table, grease it & install it. Do remember to check for freedom of movement.
Slide10.JPG

Slide12.JPG

Next is a picture of the manual valve with the Sonnax indexer. The valve just slides into its bore and the indexer slips over it with the cutout facing the valve body. This simple piece was the cause of my worst error. When putting the VB in the car, I managed to get the shift linkage through the indexer but not the valve, resulting in no shift at all – had to take it back apart & correct this. It’s somewhat difficult to get that link rod through both pieces while lying on your back trying to hold the VB with one hand & get a bolt started. Just check this before you put the pan back up!
Slide13.JPG

Bore 207 (bottom right side of the VB) has what I would call two sets of valves – I actually had them in two baggies. First picture is the kickdown valve going into bore 207:
Slide14.JPG

Then put the reverse engagement control valve into the same bore:
Slide15.JPG

Bore 208, showing the Sonnax boost valve modification:
Slide16.JPG

Back to the routine:
Slide17.JPG

Slide18.JPG

Slide19.JPG

Slide20.JPG

Slide21.JPG

Slide22.JPG

Slide23.JPG

Slide24.JPG


That’s it! Now all you have to do is put the separator plate back on. Remember the two spring loaded valves and the screen near the TCC lockup solenoid. (From the directions in the Transgo kit it sounds as though all VB’s may not have the screen.) And the check valves. I confess I got so excited at this point I put the separator plate back on without all of these innards. At least when I started inventorying the empty baggies I discovered this oversight and didn’t put it back in that way! The instructions with the Transgo kit were very clear on the valve locations, and they differ depending on application, so no picture. (Actually, at this point I was so glad to be done I forgot to take one).

At this point I will discuss the Transgo mod. It consists of a box of colored springs, two drill bits, and instructions. I could not decipher which springs went into which valve bores. As an example, the boost valve was to have a “blue and white†spring. There was no single spring that was blue and white, but the kit had two different size white springs, either of which would have fit. It also referred to an orange spring, but there was not an orange spring that I could see. As a result, I did not use any of the Transgo springs other than the reverse solenoid modification. The A4LD diary has a good write-up with pictures on the reverse mod, so I will refer you there. I did follow the instructions in the kit and drilled holes recommended in the separator plate to firm up the shifts – although I was skeptical and nervous, this turned out to be the most rewarding mod – more in the conclusion. The kit came with two drill bits. BE SURE to measure these bits. One was 1/16†or .062, and the larger was .089. You cannot drill .055 with either of these. There was one other place that called for .072, but I did not have a bit that would do this, so this was the only one I did not drill. My last complaint is that although the kit was very clear on where to put the check balls, it called for an extra (5th) check ball “even if the
VB did not originally have one,†but there weren’t any check balls included in the kit. I debated leaving it out, but ended up getting one at the local transmission shop. Just an annoyance having to take an hour out & drive down there – they gave it to me for free.

I then put the valve body back in the Explorer. I counted out the 5 long bolts & put them where they go. Then put the 19 medium length bolts in their holes. The single short bolt goes under the spring tensioner for the shift comb. The little clip goes over the 3-4 shift solenoid to hold it securely. I was careful to get the Z-link properly installed, but watch out! When I wiggled the VB around to get it seated in position, the Z-link would pop out of position. It took me several tries to get it all back up where it belonged. It was only after it didn’t work that I took it all back apart and found the Z-link through the Sonnax indexer, but not through the valve itself. An easy check – once you get a few bolts in, try to move the manual valve & make sure it’s locked into the linkage. It’s NO fun lying on your back in a pool of ATF with it dripping in your face as you try to fix a stupid mistake!

Conclusions:
1. After cleaning & modifying the VB, this Explorer with 178,000 miles shifts better than the 3-month old factory rebuilt transmission I put in my wife’s Explorer. (Wish I had done this to hers & saved that cost!)
2. The shifts are snappy, but not harsh as I expected. There is NO lag between shifts. If you keep off the go pedal, it shifts 1-2 at 15 and 2-3 at 25. If you stand on it, the shift points are higher, but just as quick. Under hard acceleration it shifts into overdrive at about 60 almost like shifting into another gear – no lag. If I stay out of it, the overdrive point is just under 50, a little higher than before. I would like it to go into overdrive at 45, but all in all no complaints. On the freeway it will run 70 MPH at 2200 RPM. Before the VB work it was 2900 RPM at 70.
3. I paid my dues and became an ELITE Explorer as a result of the help I received from these forums. I received incredible encouragement and help from Glacier991 – I feel like he’s an old friend, and we’ve never met. (Although I did live in Sacramento in a previous geologic age, and fished in Bodega Bay.)
4. I found that soaking your hair in ATF three times per day leaves it soft and supple with attractive red highlights. I anticipate this will become a new fashion rage.
5. I have almost totally eliminated any rust problems with my tools.
6. This experience has given me renewed confidence in my abilities. There is almost nothing I won’t do, but sometimes with disastrous results. In this case, I met with great success. I spent about $200, versus having a shop repair the transmission for $1500. And since I took it apart TWICE, I figure my overall savings at about $2800.
7. For anyone even considering doing this, my advice is: If you are even thinking about it, you can do it. Just take it slow and easy. If at all possible, have a friend or partner. An extra pair of eyes, and a helping hand would have helped avoid the errors I made doing it by myself. If you can take pictures along the way, by all means do so. Take advantage of these forums and the great folks that post to them. And if I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Thanks everyone!

-- Mike
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Mike you are an inspiration. Great job and a great thread! (and yes, good buds don't always have to meet face to face to become such... Brain (Brian) and I are the same way.... and I could not pick him out of a crowd. Now you can help others.... I'm nominating your very first thread as a most useful...Keep up your useful threads ! <g>


ps. By the way I had the same experience with the trans-go springs... way confusing..
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
I agree that this thread should be added to the "useful threads" section and your earlier one involving the disassembly should be combined with this as well to tell the complete story. Additionally I would think this as well as a4ld diarys, instructions and problems solved be combined together under its own heading - "A4LD solutions"

I will be digging into mine in a couple of weeks to try to fix what is essentially NO reverse. I intend to replace the O-rings on the reverse servo, and perform the sonnax upgrades --Indexer (part #56947-01) and Boost Valve upgrade (part #56947-02K) --- as recommended by glacier991 to my post in the 911 category. Thank you for the part numbers.

You say you had mixed results with the transgo jr kit but I was not clear whether you would recommend that or not. I ask, so that if it is worthwhile, I think the best time to do it is while the rest of the work is done.

Thanks for the informative post with the labeled pictures - it will be immensly helpful when I dig into the tranny.

-Ben
 






TN_Explorer

Active Member
Joined
October 27, 2004
Messages
76
Reaction score
0
City, State
Manchester, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
5-1991's; 1-94; 1-2000
Transgo Kit

Sorry I wasn't more clear in the thread - Personally, I would purchase the Transgo kit again, if only for the instructions. Drilling out the VB and the separator plate made a world of difference in mine. All for the better. I could tell zero difference in the reverse mod.
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
sonnax parts

Where is the best place to acquire sonnax parts? Particularly --Indexer (part #56947-01) and Boost Valve upgrade (part #56947-02K)?
and typically how much $ will these set me back?

Thanks,
-Ben
 






TN_Explorer

Active Member
Joined
October 27, 2004
Messages
76
Reaction score
0
City, State
Manchester, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
5-1991's; 1-94; 1-2000
Got mine from DACCO - link at the top of my thread. in the $20 range for each part.
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
Hi TNExplorer.
If you got each of those parts for around $20 from DACCO you need to tell me which DACCO outlet you were able to get those prices from. The local DACCO distributer wants $65 for 56947-02K and $48 for the 56947-01.

These prices seemed very high to me but I have not delt with DACCO before and may be trying to get top $.

If you have insight to where I may get a fair deal I will be very appreciative.

Thanks,
Ben
 






Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Ben if you continue to have trouble locally, let me know and I can get them for you through my outlet.... it's not Daaco. I had a similar experience when I tried to buy Sonnax parts from my local Transstar dealer... I don't shop there as a result.
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
OK - all -- Glacier991 or TNExplorer or Brain or Eneurb.

Where is the best place to get these Sonnax parts. I do not mind mail order or mind waiting for the parts to arrive.

The only thing I mind is parts suppliers charging me big $ just because I am not a regular customer.

Give me a good source or some other creative way that I can get these parts at reasonable $$$.

Thanks,
Ben
 






Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Ben if you'd like to get them, I can. The indexer is about $25.... last one I bought.. I do not recall the Boost valve mod....I'm thinking $35. Say it and they're yours. I have a local contact that treats me like a shop.... not gonna burn that bridge in case his superiors don;t like that. The trans repair business is something of a "closed shop" for DIY'ers.
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
found an OK place

I found the boost valve for $35 and the indexer was about $32 - with shipping all came to $76 from http://www.transmissioncenter.net/PinHole.htm.
That is just slightly more than the local DACCO distributor wanted for the boost valve alone. I ordered them and if lucky will get them friday.

-Ben
 






MrShorty

Explorer Addict
Joined
December 27, 2001
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
19
City, State
Spanish Fork, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT and '87 Bronco II
TN_Explorer. I've been trying to find information for a while about soft TCC lockup. The A4LD jr shift kit literature specifically mentions this condition. Can you check the instructions for your kit and tell me what (if anything) it says? I've considered getting the shift kit just to cure this one problem with my A4LD.
 






Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Mr. Shorty... the separator plate has a hole drilled oversize to firm the TCC lockup. I can forward you a diagram....
 






MrShorty

Explorer Addict
Joined
December 27, 2001
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
19
City, State
Spanish Fork, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT and '87 Bronco II
So, all I need is a properly placed hole of the correct size (assuming no other problems)? If you could send me the diagram and accompanying information, I would appreciate it.
 






Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
E-mail me your address.
 






MrShorty

Explorer Addict
Joined
December 27, 2001
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
19
City, State
Spanish Fork, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT and '87 Bronco II
Done. And, thanks.
 






Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
I have previously nominated this thread for useful thread ststus. Maybe if others agree they can PM the moderators and join in the suggestion.
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
I agree- put this as well as the TNExplorer first disassembly thread together - and make them sticky in the useful thread. Both will be invaluable to me when I dig into mine. Hopefully this coming weekend ( My wife drives it and is hesitant about giving it up.)
The Explorer is a 93 but is on its 3rd tranny so I have no idea of which A4LD version it actually is.
I now have the parts and instructions I think I need. I received the Sonnax boost valve and indexer, purchased the seal & gasket kit, as well as the filter. TNExplorer was kind enough to send me his leftover parts-mostly springs- and and instructions from the Transgo and Superior kits.

I will try to take pictures and if any add additional information will submit them to this thread.

-Ben
 






ol_ben

Active Member
Joined
June 29, 1999
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
No Luck

I just finished rebuilding the valve body. I was able to identify all the springs from the Transgo kit that TN Explorer sent to me and replaced all that were applicable.

I drilled out the hole between 2 channels as specified by the transgo kit and shown by the pictures posted in this thread by TNExplorer. I drilled out the holes in the seperator plate and pucks as directed by Transgo. Some of the holes were already enlarged. There were only 3 for me to do.

I left out the checkball identified by Superior kit (also sent from TNExplorer) and put in the extra (the one I took out) into the area specified by Transgo.

I replaced the boost valve and manual valve index with the Sonnax parts. I replaced the O-rings on the reverse servo.

Curious thing about the reverse servo is that it already had the "double lip" O-ring installed. The seal kit I bought only contained the plain O-ring. Seeing as my motivation was to fix the seriously delayed reverse I was intent to change anything I could involving reverse, so I replaced the old double lip with the new plain O-ring.

This was a previously re-built transmission (Jasper) which probably eplains the double lip O-Ring and the already drilled holes in the seperator plate. This transmission was a warranty replacement for anther Jasper re-built replaced in the first 3 months due to this SAME Reverse delay problem.

I put it all back together with a new filter, gasket, and freshly painted pan. I put in 7 quarts of ATF ( 1 more may be needed) and took it for a test ride.

Initial disappointment is that I still had the reverse problem. Initial startup and there was no reverse at all, same as neutral but a bit noiser. All forward gears would engage immediatly and would perform well. (As this is not my daily driver I cannot attest to any improvement in the forward gears, however they performed well.)

After a brief warmup, 3-4 minutes at varying speeds, reverse would engage after about a 3 second delay.

The whole reason I went about this was to solve the reverse delay problem. So I am quite disappointed that the reverse problem is still present even though my initial impression is that there is some improvement but the problem is still there.

I suppose I should be satisfied that I have assumably eliminated valve body issues as the cause of this reverse problem but am even more clueless as to what the root cause is.
Are there mating passageways above the valve body which could have some obstruction inhibiting fluid transfer for reverse engagement?

Is any one aware of exactly goes on when the manual valve is placed in the reverse position? I would think that fluid transfer would force the Reverse servo to tighten the reverse band.
Does that mean that the fluid travels through the valve body into a mating passage in the transmission and finally into the servo chamber to move servo piston up to tighten the band?
Should my next step be to examine the passages feeding the reverse servo?
I need help!

On an unrelated issue while testing the 4wd engagement, I had the rear wheels jacked up with the Ex in gear and rear wheels turning in the air. I noticed that the transmssion makes an awful lot of noise. Is that normal? (The hubs did not engage in 4wd so the Ex remained on the jack)

I took a lot of pictures but don't know how to post them. I have a few that may fill in a gap or two in TNExplorers write-up.

Thanks,
Ben
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,826
Reaction score
61
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Ben, Do you have access to a pressure gauge ? I'd be curious to know what your line presures run as you do this....

ps. also check your fluid levels... make sure you are up to snuff on the stick before making any definite conclusions. And in the FWIW, I was just living with delayed reverse... doesn't hurt anything. Yet am curious about your situation....you have done it "according to Hoyle".

pm me about pictures.... we'll get you able to post them. I am wondering if your bore in the low reverse servo is worn. It definitely sounds like a pressure build up issue..... curious...
 






Top