Rebuilt A4LD, Huge Headaches | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rebuilt A4LD, Huge Headaches


Smokey the clutch is; Missed shift you did
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
October 5, 2008
Reaction score
Humid, Damp, and Hot
City, State
Houston, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 EB, '93 Limited
I just rebuilt a 4x4 A4LD. When I first installed it I had a leaking shifter linkage, a snapped nut on the kick down lever, and a leak from the crappy drain plug in the pan. It slipped, kicked, missed gears and downright stalled. I had readjusted the bands TWICE. It did very little good, so I dropped the pan and found gray fluid in the bottom of the pan and the magnet full of tiny metal shavings. The fluid smelt burnt and was a very nasty color.

I decided to fix the leaking broken linkage and replaced the drain plug with a temp sensor. I also replaced the valve body from my previous transmission that I KNEW worked. After all this work I refilled with fresh fluid and drove it for about 20 miles total over a couple of days.

It had no leaks, the shifts were nice and firm, and the temp stayed at about 180-210 but the 3-4 shift only dropped my RPMs at 60 to about 2500. I figured I needed to readjust the kickdown cable. No dice. I then got a CEL tonight and now the transmission started going back to its old ways, hard shifts, slow shifts, and being downright cantankerous. It also started running very hot, at about 250*. I got it home and checked the fluid. It had turned purple and smelled a little burnt.

What is going on with my tranny?? :( I am all but ready to throw a stick of dynamite at it.:help:

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I'm sure you already know this, but any automatic temperature should never exceed 180F under normal driving circumstances.


A LOT of heat is being generated in there (assuming your gauge is accurate, you don't have the wire running up on the side of the exhaust do you?). I'm thinking the only parts that could generate that much heat could be the clutches and bands. I'm thinking that either a band, or clutch is not fully disengaging when it suppose to be to create that much heat.

If you have re-adjusted your bands twice now, I'm thinking you must have a clutch pack somewhere in there that is dragging on itself when disengaged.

When you are locked in one gear and cruising on the highway for a while (so that the transmission is just holding one gear and not shifting so as to not generate any heat from shifting) and temperature still stays above normal than I would guess it has to be a clutch that won't disengage fully.

Hopefully glacier or or someone else can chime in here.:scratch:

Don't resort to the dynamite... You'll find a better solution in time to keep red on the road.

Actually I do have the wire a little close to the exhaust.

As far as I can tell. I may need to re adjust the O/D band again. I am gonna keep trying. My last resort is throwing in a manual, but I can't get one around here for less that $500.

Hmm, manual would be sweet if you can swing it. Cost wise it would be cheaper to convert then rebuilding the automatic I think. The fact you have burnt your fluids twice, and found shavings in newer fluids is concerning. I don't know that I would spend anymore time or $$ on it, if it were me.