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tranny issues :(

tservice

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My sister in laws 95 Explorer A4LD transmission is having intermittent problems.
Sometimes in reverse or drive. I can't seem to be able to tell is its not in gear or if it is slipping. And the problem is very intermittent. When it is operating properly the tranny shifts perfectly. There are no codes. Tranny fluid is good. Any ideas????
 
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Yankee516

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Are you sure it is an A4LD? I believe the '95 has the 4R55E... Either way, I'd first make sure that the fluid level is correct (not too low and not too high). Then do a shift cable adjustment. I just posted the process on a thread this morning for someone else, but it may be slightly different if you don't have the A4LD:

I believe the process is to block the tires, disconnect the shift cable at the transmission, have someone hold the gear shift dead center in "D" on the column. Then move the shift bracket on the transmission forward until it is in park, then back exactly 3 detents (R, N, D) which is "D" in the transmission world. Adjust the cable until there is no slack in either direction so that the column and transmission are in perfect sync.

Intermittent problems can be tough to diagnose and it can be anything from sticking valves and low hydraulic pressure to clogged filters and failing clutches. Try the basics first (fluid level and linkage adjustment), then take it from there if the problem persists.
 
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tservice

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The tranny code is T. I think I am right about it being a A4LD. Please correct me if I am wrong. I will try the linkage adjustment, I hope that is all it is. I replaced this tranny last year for her. It was from a junk yard, but has been working perfectly until now.
 
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tservice

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I can't seem to find where you posted the linkage adjustment. Can you post a link please? thanks for all your help.
 
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Yankee516

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I can't seem to find where you posted the linkage adjustment. Can you post a link please? thanks for all your help.

It was in the second paragraph of the message I posted above. Good luck!
 
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Yankee516

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BTW, code "T" is for A4LD, 4R44E and 4R55E.
 
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Yankee516

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I believe the procedure is the same...but there should be an identification tag on the transmission that says which model it is. If it is a '95 4.0L I think you can safely assume that it is the 4R55E. If you can get a copy of the ATSG manual for the 4R55E the "official" procedure is in there.
 
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Yankee516

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Well, it is a place to start. Did you ever identify the transmission? Is it the 4R55E? You mention slipping in your original post, and this could also indicate a problem with the torque converter, but you mentioned that it runs great when warm so maybe we can bypass that for now. Not sure if you have access to an oil pressure gauge but you can tell a lot from the pressures (e.g. front pump, leaking valves, etc.). I didn't, but knew from the condition of the fluid (brown, burned) that my clutches were shot. You can also tighten the bands to spec from the outside without having to open it up and see if that makes any difference.

If that doesn't help, it might be time to drop the pan and check the condition of the filter and pan. Maybe it is gunked up yet flows easier when it is warmed up explaining the "runs great" and intermittent issues. Check the condition of the valve body gasket and see if there are any apparent leaks. Also check the torque on each of the bolts according to spec.

Not sure how many miles are on the transmission, but it may be time for a valve body rebuild since you are in there. It isn't difficult to do, and I think it is quite fun to work on the brains. Pressure leaks or sticking valves can cause problems like this. Based on which transmission you have, there are threads of rebuilds to help. Might be as simple as just removing, inspecting (replacing if damaged or scored) and lubing up each valve upon reassembly. Gasket/filter kits are available at places like Napa.

Upon reassembly, use fresh fluid. Depending on which transmission/torque converter model you have, you might even be able to drain the torque converter to replace more old fluid. You can also disconnect the transmission cooler lines at the radiator (if installed) and blow out the fluid cooler with a compressor to degunk it even more. Make sure your new filter comes with an o-ring for reassembly, or use the old one if it is still good for a proper seal. Put it all back together and torque everything to spec and hopefully that will solve your problem. I think from start to finish (with all the parts and tools lined up) you can do a good valve body rebuild in just a couple of hours.

We had a slow spiral of death in ours (delayed shifts, slipping, then BAM.. no forward gears, yet reverse good and strong). Ended up being the clutch packs burned out and piston seals shot. Had to rebuild the entire transmission, but now she runs great at less than 20% of the cost for a retail rebuilt. No warranty, but at least I know I did more careful and methodical work than someone who doesn't care.

I'll help you as much as I can, and I'm sure there are many other members on here who will share some experience along the way. Cheers!
 
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tservice

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It is a junk yard tranny, no idea how many miles. The unit will do this warm or cold. I have another tranny for it, but I hate to have to replace it again. Its a pain in the butt to swap out :( When it is not slipping the unit shifts perfectly. only issue is when in first or reverse it will not go. I have been told that on the interstate she has had it slip. However I have not been able to reproduce that problem..
 
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Yankee516

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Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT, 99 5.0L AWD
Funny, I thought the tear down was the worst part. Maybe just start with the valve body rebuild and see if that works. If not, at least you have a rebuilt valve body to put in the other transmission before you swap. Hope the VB rebuild takes care of it.. otherwise let's talk again :)
 
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