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Swapped valve body yesterday--01 XLS

RustyMacintosh

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Ok, input advice.

202k, we swapped in a rebuilt valve body yesterday. The shifts were getting sloppy. The shop I use is a neighborhood place where I know the owner personally, and his kids who work there.

It was finished, sitting idling when I walked up. I was first to drive it. I loved it. Smooth solid shifts. No hesitations. Paid the bill, went home, took a nap (yeah old men do that often), came out found a puddle of oil under the pan.

Drove the 1/2 mile back,--pan gasket was not on right or something like that, they pulled the pan, this time the kids did the gasket right. I noticed my Valvoline Synthetic was still in the back seat. So they used dyno the first time, synthetic the 2nd time.

This time no leak. The shifts are much more pronounced. I noticed when I came up to a stop light, I felt it drop into 2nd gear. Not harsh, but similar to the 94 XLS I also own.

I am thinking, maybe this trans likes the dyno oil? The upshifts are fine. Yeah, I can feel each gear as it upshifts, not in any way harsh, just you can tell it just upshifted. Where before with the old valve body, it was so subtle that you almost missed the shift.

I used that red bottle Valvoline. I assume this trans is compatible. I just noticed that the first time I drove the EX the shifts were noticeably more secure, the 2nd time after the synthetic was put in, the shifts are much more pronounced. Not harsh, not anything that would worry me, just more like a true automatic. Not like a CVT that it acted like before.

Suck out a couple of quarts? Put in Lucas treatment? Leave it alone? Today I will drive it more. It was late last night, I need to make a run to SFO in it next week. (Hopefully God does not drop SFO into the Pacific on the 25-26th-- I am adopting my 24 yr old kid I helped from the streets to Medical School--he says. "I always wanted a dad.." I told him he could do better.}

So what ya think? My 99 XLT has a rebuilt auto trans I scored off Ebay for $700 is in it. The shifts are smooth, it is just this XLS I can now feel it when it upshifts. Like I said, not harsh. Just more like an old school automatic trans...)
 



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drdoom

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Did you use MercV fluid?
 






CDW6212R

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Did you use MercV fluid?

The fluid type is critical, I'd use Mercon in that, the original fluid, which now can be bought as Dexron III(it used to be Mercon/Dexron III).

The more you feel the shifts, the less slippage there is. The smoother the shifts are, the more slipping there is, which is wear(may be very slight, but it is wear of the clutches). With quick solid shifts, the clutches can last decade. The VB(or solenoids), the parts which control shifting, are almost always the first cause of symptoms. Those are all parts the owner can service, and most shops don't do any aftermarket upgrades(which are very helpful).
 






RustyMacintosh

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Did you use MercV fluid?

valve.jpg
 






RustyMacintosh

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The fluid type is critical, I'd use Mercon in that, the original fluid, which now can be bought as Dexron III(it used to be Mercon/Dexron III).

The more you feel the shifts, the less slippage there is. The smoother the shifts are, the more slipping there is, which is wear(may be very slight, but it is wear of the clutches). With quick solid shifts, the clutches can last decade. The VB(or solenoids), the parts which control the shifting, are almost always the first cause of symptoms. Those are all parts the owner can service, and most shops don't do any aftermarket upgrades(which are very helpful).

Ok, so I do feel the shifts, and the downshifts, like the 94 EX XLT with a rebuilt automatic. As the EX comes down to a stop, I can feel it drop into 2nd then I hear it in 1st, as you get that slight gear whine common on first gear noise. So, maybe its ok. I just noticed a really noticeable difference from the few hours after the valve body was swapped, which the shop used DYNO fluid, to when the pan gasket leaked, they had to drain it all, it was replaced with MAX LIFE Valvoline.
 






CDW6212R

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That sounds like the transmission is shifting very well. I'd leave it alone if the fluid is the right one. That pictured above, that is Mercon I, not Mercon V, which is better for the early 90's Fords. The Mercon V is slicker and can create some slippage in models made for the prior Mercon.

ATF isn't like engine oil that has three distinct levels. ATF is fairly even between the top brands, and the cheaper brands are just less trustworthy(not knowing how good the manufacturing process was).
 






imp

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The fluid type is critical, I'd use Mercon in that, the original fluid, which now can be bought as Dexron III(it used to be Mercon/Dexron III).

The more you feel the shifts, the less slippage there is. The smoother the shifts are, the more slipping there is, which is wear(may be very slight, but it is wear of the clutches). With quick solid shifts, the clutches can last decade. The VB(or solenoids), the parts which control shifting, are almost always the first cause of symptoms. Those are all parts the owner can service, and most shops don't do any aftermarket upgrades(which are very helpful).
@CDW6212R
Right you are! OTOH, harsh, solid shifts impact parts in another way, fast clutch action places more impact torque on mating (splined) shafts and carriers, and stresses band mountings more, possibly contributing to broken bands.

I suspect the designers in trying to get 100% no warranty claims on transmissions, looked into all these things, and found it worthwhile to electronically program in the rates of clutch and band application, based on all the input variables they have available. Thus, a "lead-foot" causes faster shifting than minimum throttle shifts; this has always been true, but was never completely controlled with the old vacuum modulators and throttle compensating valves. imp
 






CDW6212R

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Yeah, OEM's lean to putting the most stress on the rebuild parts, the clutches mainly. I like middle of the road firm shifts, not harsh but definitely not smooth, kind of like a passenger feels the shifting of a manual transmission.
 






RustyMacintosh

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My bad it IS this one.....not the first one I posted I did not pay attention to the picture, This one I was told was for my trannie

maxlife1.jpeg
 






radman

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I am curious as to why the valve body was replaced? In most irregular shift problems just changing out the fluid will cure most issues. I agree with the previous posters on the Mercon V fluid. In the Ford manuals " Change fluid every 30K miles". Usually this does not get done until it creates an issue, which may be too late. Every time I take a pan down I put a drain plug in it. Every other drain all I have to do is refill it with the new fluid.
On the 5.0 equipt. EX's there is a drain plug in the torque convertor also. Most shops will not go to the trouble of draining the 2-3 quarts in the convertor. Also if you EX still has the original pan gasket they are reusable. Lastly I do not let any one use a trans. flush machine on any of my cars.
 






fast_dave

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@RustyMacintosh

Nuthin' wrong with Valvoline Max Life ATF fluid, it's Full Synthetic/Top Tier Quality...

Say - can you clarify something from your original post?

Does the automatic transmission you are posting about have 202,000 miles on it,
or did you just get it from an Ebay dealer, rebuilt recently, for $700 or?

Just asking and hope that helps your cause!
 






CDW6212R

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My bad it IS this one.....not the first one I posted I did not pay attention to the picture, This one I was told was for my trannie

View attachment 171324

That looks like the newest Mercon LV ATF, which would be wrong for any 1st or 2nd gen Explorer. Double check that again to be sure. The A4LD's need just Mercon I, not the Mercon V or LV etc. The 99 Explorer does take Mercon V fluid.
 






fast_dave

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DownloadDocumentImage.ashx
 






RustyMacintosh

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@RustyMacintosh

Nuthin' wrong with Valvoline Max Life ATF fluid, it's Full Synthetic/Top Tier Quality...

Say - can you clarify something from your original post?

Does the automatic transmission you are posting about have 202,000 miles on it,
or did you just get it from an Ebay dealer, rebuilt recently, for $700 or?

Just asking and hope that helps your cause!

Vehicle in question (01 XLS) which now 203K on it, I only changed the valve body because of the soft shifts, and delayed reverse sometimes delayed going into 4th.... I did buy a rebuilt one off Ebay about a year ago for my 1999 XLT 4WD, which was installed. That purchase was a risk but the seller was honest, he has a shop, he bought this trans for a customer, who stiffed him. He sold it off Ebay,

In driving the XLS more and more it seems to be ok, just different from what I was used to prior to the valve body swap.
 






RustyMacintosh

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I am curious as to why the valve body was replaced? In most irregular shift problems just changing out the fluid will cure most issues. I agree with the previous posters on the Mercon V fluid. In the Ford manuals " Change fluid every 30K miles". Usually this does not get done until it creates an issue, which may be too late. Every time I take a pan down I put a drain plug in it. Every other drain all I have to do is refill it with the new fluid.
On the 5.0 equipt. EX's there is a drain plug in the torque convertor also. Most shops will not go to the trouble of draining the 2-3 quarts in the convertor. Also if you EX still has the original pan gasket they are reusable. Lastly I do not let any one use a trans. flush machine on any of my cars.

I have a 99 XLT with a rebuilt trans, so I could clearly tell that the 01 XLS was sloppy. Its shifts were almost un-detectable. Which in of itself is fine with me, I felt several times a 500 rpm rise going into 4th...at about 50mph. Only happened once or twice. But my ear picked it up. I have towed a trailer with it, with no problems. The trans is not slipping. But, the reverse and 1st are slow. Like what was happening on the 99 before I scored a deal off Ebay on a rebuild for $700.

Today, I am VERY tempted to put the pump on the trans, drain out all that MaxLife Dex/Merc synthetic. Then replace it with either FOMOCO stuff or dyno fluid. Other than the waste of oil, I "THOUGHT" in the 20-30 minutes of driving the XLS after the install of the valve body, the shifts were smoother prior to seeing the pan leak, which the shop dropped the pan, all the oil they had installed, put the pan on correctly then added the MaxLife Valvoline synthetic stuff I bought at Walmart. Now, for what it is worth, I also have a really clean 1994 XLT. I bought it from the OO who was totally hosed by a shop in North Vegas. This older gal, (I'm and older guy myself--65 on the 12 of July) was sold a 2600 rebuild. She brought the XLT to Cal, where she was told a head was cracked. It was not, it was a head gasket. I bought it from her for $400, put gook replacement new heads on it Dec 2018, and have been driving it.

I changed the trans fluid also to MaxLife which is the same stuff I now have in my 01 and the 99 with the rebuilt trans. What I noticed that is similar on both the 94 and the 01 XLS, is a noticeable, (to me) clunk, as the trans downshifts into 2nd as you come up to a stop. Not bad, but you can hear it if the radio is off or the AC is not on full blast. Now mind you, both have over 200k on the clock, so there obviously is going to be wear in the drivetrain. The 99 with the rebuilt trans does not make that clunk.

And FYI the 94 is up for sale. AND---stand back guys I know you all love the 5.0, my 98 EB is begin bought by the Great State of Confusion per Cap and Trade extorsion money they skim off any corporation stupid enough to be domiciled in this toilet hole, I am getting $9500 for the EB. It failed smog. The engine is great. It hauls ass. The rest of the vehicle is a POS. Between the door handles that don't work, the windows that are slow, the AC and heater flap doors that are broken, the display all screwed up, it really is a nice ride. That 5.0 left a 20-30 foot burn off in my driveway that really impressed my grandkids. Two large long tire burns from the street up the drive to the gate. The smoke cleared, the kids were impressed! Gramps showed them how you do a burn-off old school style...and in the driveway where all the snooty neighbors can call the rest of the snooty neighbors that the mean old conservative ex-lawyer-- ex-con-- ex-school teacher--ex-trucker---published author--crazy assed single guy with more kids than a ghetto mom on welfare lives.....(the only one free and clear without a mortgage btw).

They will all crap their panties when I show up with the replacement for the 94 XLT. Either a Fiat 500e, Spark EV or Focus Electric.

I figure, if the State of Undocumented wants to toss me $9500 for a $1500 Ex 5.0, where do I sign?

20190608_054310.jpg
 






koda2000

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IDK what your issue might be, but I've heard that using Lucas trans fix in electronically controlled transmissions is not a good idea.
 






fast_dave

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