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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:16 PM
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Your complaints are all due to factory programming.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:25 PM
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sounds exactly like my AX4N in my SHO. Especially the downshift from 2nd to 1st.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:45 PM
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Well it should shift into first from second when coming to a stop if slow enough.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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QUOTE (SHOZ123 @ Aug 2 2009, 12:16 PM)
Quote:
Your complaints are all due to factory programming.[/b]
Factory programming could smooth this out for me, including the sloppy shifting? Maybe the newer Gen4s did not have this problem because it had been corrected already? What exactly would they be re-programming, the transmission or the car computer (or ar they all in one on a taurus/sable)?

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 01:01 PM
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What you describe sounds exactly like my 2000 DOHC/AX4N with the stock tune loaded.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 01:24 PM
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The PCM controls the shifting. The factory will not reprogram the shifting parameters because that is how they want it. I guess.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 03:43 PM
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Here's a pdf i found that has some differences listed between the two trannys.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AX4S_AX4N_Differences.pdf (951.0 KB, 1588 views)

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 11:55 PM
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QUOTE (umina @ Aug 2 2009, 09:41 AM)
Quote:
Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.[/b]
I have the AX4N with the vulcan and I notice one of these issues. My reverse engagement is so soft you can't feel it...my 1-2 shift if I'm heavy on the gas is a little long...I don't notice the 2-1 shift like I did with my AX4S on my 3.8...and it feels fine to me all the way through the gears (except the notced 1-2 lengthy shift).

Maybe the Duratec required some changes in the PCM?

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for sharing this information.

I'm driving a '04 Sable with SHO and AX4N. Most of the symptoms you described happened to my car.
The AX4N was rebuilt 3 months ago due to a complete failure (no engagement), and it still behaved similarly
even after being rebuilt. So I think these are not caused by internal damage or worn parts. These transmissions
just act in this way.

Yeah, you'll always experienced a big BANG when you put in reverse. You have to just live with it.

The 1-2 shift is always lengthy and you have to press the gas hard in order for it t up-shift.
If the 1-2 shift is bad, the 2-1 down-shift will also be bad. You'll have to press the brake pedal really hard
to stop the car. It feels like the car just don't want to reduce the speed when you brake it.

Another thing I noticed is the inconsistency of its overall performance. Sometimes this Sable runs
REALLY damned smooth. You cannot even feel there are gears in the transmission. You just slightly
press the gas pedal and you can feel a strong push from your back. But other times, you have to
press really hard and still the car moves very reluctantly. I cannot attribute this to weather, temperature, humidity
or driving styles, since it happened just from day to day in the same season.

The overall gas economy is not pleasant. I only have 80~85 miles in 5 gallons #87 refill.
For a mixed driving (60% interstate+40% local), I only get 100 miles. I am really jealous about
your 25 mpg for a mixed driving even with A/C on.

I never had a chance to drive a AX4S so I cannot compare between these two models.

QUOTE (umina @ Aug 2 2009, 10:41 AM)
Quote:
Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.[/b]
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