• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

My 215K A4LD is going to the doctor...

Ross-N-Chicago

Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.
Joined
November 13, 2001
Messages
611
Reaction score
0
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 2wd
for the first time. I am extremely happy that I made it this far based on the majority of A4LD owners on this site. The guys at SPX Filtran recommended a shop close to them that specializes in A4LDs and for $925 including hard parts (I asked twice) I'll bite the bullet.

Now, of course, I have to ask you all since this is her first rebuild-- What would you make sure is done while the tranny is out? I hope I don't have to do this again in 25-30K. Let's do it right the first time.

Thanks everyone for help on the other posts, especially Opera House, Jason 25, Steve VB and B94. I am truly grateful.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




410Fortune

ICE Season
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
August 3, 2000
Messages
26,612
Reaction score
2,288
City, State
NORTH IDAHO, 7B
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
Callsign
FOURTEN
every single possible upgrade and update bulletin on the tranny needs to be performed.........

Ford made MANY updates over the years to the A4LD, while yours is being rebuilt, make sure they are aware of all of these!!!!!!! Also make sure you get the same tranny back that they take out, because many earlier model A4LD's are weaker internally.

MAke sure they replace EVERYTHING possible, dont let them re-use anything, its just not worth it.

Spend a little now or ALOT later......your choice.

Usually the "cheapest guy in town" ends up being the guy you spend many months talking to your broken tranny about....

RESEARCH is your best friend.

Not a bad idea to flush the tranny cooler and lines, also consider an aftermarket (better) tranny cooler and possibly a filter.

You can have a drain plug installed in your tranny pan to make fluid changes easier....
 




Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,832
Reaction score
33
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT




Rhett

Let Them Eat Cake
Elite Explorer
Joined
May 13, 2000
Messages
4,662
Reaction score
91
City, State
Cape Girardeau, MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 Sport 4x4
Here's some links I have, they might be useful for ya:

http://www.altousa.com/ib41756.htm

http://superior-transmission.com/products/shift_correction/a4ld.htm

http://www.levelten.com/

http://www.protorque.com/index2.htm

With my limited knowledge, I can only say make sure they replace all the internals, the valve bodies, bands, o-rings at least to the 1994 Explorer standard. And I would also get a new torque converter, just to be safe. After you're done I would run synthetic trans fluid like AMSOIL or Mobil-1. I've got 99,000 miles on mine with no problems so far. I can only hope that my A4LD lasts 215,000 miles. What's the secret??? How often did you flush it? How often did you change the filter?
 




Ross-N-Chicago

Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.
Joined
November 13, 2001
Messages
611
Reaction score
0
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 2wd
Chris,

Thanks for the link. I will make a pretty good list for these guys. I'm sure Ill hit the $1500 mark in no time. I was thinking about swapping out the stock cooler but since I also added an aux filter which sits close to the grill and adds about 6' of hose I think Ill just have them blow the old one out. It got me this far and I don't tow.

I plan on changing the pan filter after the rebuild within 1000 miles and swap the remote out at 500 and 1000. Is it OK to start out with synthetic or should I use reg ATF and then jump to synthetic around 1000 or so?
 




Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,832
Reaction score
33
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
piggy backing on Rhett's post... if you are going to 94 standards, the biggest hard part change is the case center support, and the conversion from thrust to torrington bearings at the center support. (Torringtons are a really thin bearing). I'd have to say that change, which occurred in 93-4 was perhaps the biggest change in the trannie from what my research shows.

Good luck.

Chris
 




eclipse5302

Active Member
Joined
April 8, 2003
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
City, State
Waukesha, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XL - 92 XLT
I rebuilt the auto trans in my Turbo Grand Prix. The trans has 7k miles on it, and it works like the day I put it back in. The car makes 250+hp and 300+ft lbs from a turbo V6. So, after rebuilding my trans, here's some of my thoughts. These manily apply to my 4T60 in my TGP, but they may be able to help you as well.

Definately flush or replace the tranny cooler(s) / aux filters. These gather torque convertor shavings and these shavings will destroy your new trans.

Synthetic fluid is a good idea. No need to start out with regular and switch to synthetic like an engine rebuild.

They will replace your torque convertor. Don't want to use the old one.

Try to get better clutch packs/bands. Raybestos makes some good bands, so does Borg-Warner.

Also, see if there is a "shift improver" kit available. This is more commonly called a "shift kit", but it actually fixes problem areas of the original design instead of just making the shifts firmer.

And make sure all updates and TSBs are performed.

A good trans rebuilder will know how to inspect the parts and what "should" be replaced automatically. Replacing every hard part is good insurance, but it can be costly. Hard parts are the majority of the cost for trans rebuilds (other than labor).

Lastly, be nice to it for a while after the rebuild. Just like when doing brakes you should be easy on them to break them in, a transmission uses friction material that needs to be "broken in" before it can be used hard. Some people don't think this is necessary but it helps.
 




Glacier991

EF Tranny Guru
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 8, 2003
Messages
9,832
Reaction score
33
City, State
Sacramento, CA 95827
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
Ross... I have 200K on mine, and it's never seen synthetic. I thin it has more to do with overall temps than the type of fluid. I have the "towing" package with a bigger cooler. I am suspecting that more than anything tremperature is the biggest trannie killer. Are synthetics better ? I have no idea. Short term I doubt it, longer term maybe I would GUESS.
 




eclipse5302

Active Member
Joined
April 8, 2003
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
City, State
Waukesha, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XL - 92 XLT
Yes, keeping it cool definately helps. Get the biggest cooler you can.

The biggest difference between synthetic and regular fluids is the fact that synthetics won't break down under pressure/extreme heat as easily.
 




Opera House

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 19, 2002
Messages
2,106
Reaction score
2
City, State
Cincinnati, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer 3.5L base
I think I'd wait

Till you get that 122 code fixed. Your problems may go away.
 




410Fortune

ICE Season
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
August 3, 2000
Messages
26,612
Reaction score
2,288
City, State
NORTH IDAHO, 7B
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
Callsign
FOURTEN
I just ran some Quaker State ATF for the first 500 miles, then changed it, then ran another 1000 then changed it.

Make sure you use a Dacron filter (most filters are but its a good idea)

Now after the second change I switched to Mobil synth ATF, very expensive but worth it.

With the Aluminum super cooling radiator I have (97 Explorer, A/C and auto) and the HUGE hayden cooler the ATF looks and smells just as it did when I installed the new A4LD. The tempature in the radiator rarely sees 205 degees in my truck, normal is 190 (180 shaw thermostat)

I use my BII for towing a #3500 empty 19' boat in the rockies, the A4LD I started with came out of a 94 explorer with 160K miles on it, I know the previous owner and the thing was taken care of like if it was your child. So I am hoping to get 200K miles out of this sucker with yearly fluid and filter changes. I may add a small electric fan to the cooler and I have an external filter I need to find the time to install...

Good luck with your rebuild. I am one of those people who think the A4LD is a fine transmission, it has just gotten a bad wrap because of all the people who abuse them...

Yes heat is the #1 killer of auto tranny's. ATF breaks down with heat and can no longer lube and clean, so how can a tranny last with bad ATF in it? It cant.....
 




Ross-N-Chicago

Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.
Joined
November 13, 2001
Messages
611
Reaction score
0
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 2wd
OperaHouse,

Will do with that code. I'll try and solve that and see what happens. I would hate to dump over $1K when the fix could be a simple wire or sensor.
 




SteveVB

Elite Explorer
Joined
July 8, 1999
Messages
2,525
Reaction score
2
City, State
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 Rubicon w/stuff
Ross-

Get a NEW pump from Ford. Dont let anyone rebuild yours or put in a rebuilt. I did and it was a mistake.

Replace the crank bushing.

A HD low stall converter from Pro Torque may keep temps down.

Check the boost pressure valve and sleeve- sonnax has hardened repalcements and Superior sells a steel one (seperate or with their shift kit)

May want to look into upgrading the speed govenor -sonnax again.

A larger capacity pan (custom) would be a good idea- Im trying with a 2wd pan dropped to the depth of the 4wd pick up, I want to add baffles also. Drain plug, and temp sender bung too. Just need some time.

Good Luck
 




Ross-N-Chicago

Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.
Joined
November 13, 2001
Messages
611
Reaction score
0
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 2wd
Rhett,

I think it helps that I'm 2wd with 3.07 or 3.08 gears so I really can't giddy-up like some of you. I just made sure that the fluid was at the right level and dropped the pan and filter every 15,000. That was it. There are a lot of highway miles and that puppy which certainly helps. I'm taking it in to check on a code that may be causing some trans problems so I let you know if that 215K number will get any larger.
 




Ross-N-Chicago

Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.
Joined
November 13, 2001
Messages
611
Reaction score
0
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 2wd
Got the 122 code fixed but from all my reading on the A4LD I am pretty sure my torque converter is going out. When I come to a stop I will feel the engine lug somewhat hard, but hard enough that the rpms will jump as if engine braking. The tranny still doesn't "feel" right, like its sick. Still missing in OD on the highway. The shop I am going to take it too has a great reputation and is owned by some heavy-duty gear heads who told me they can rebuild however I would like- longevity, performance, economy. I'm looking forward to it and keeping her for another 50K or so.
 




Top