Digital Transmission Range Sensor on 99 Taurus - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Digital Transmission Range Sensor on 99 Taurus

P205/65R15 92T


Hello everyone I am a lurker and I just registered because no one that I can find seems to have the same symptoms as I do. Bought a 1999 ford Taurus se with the 3.0l Vulcan engine mated to the ax4s auto for $250. Catch is that he claimed it wont go into any forward gears but will function perfect in P, R, and N. However when I jumped it, -20 actual temp here in North Dakota after sitting for several months in the cold it went into OD and shifted just fine between gears for about 1.5 miles then after stopping and backing up a few yards (overshot the turn bc of icy roads) it refused to use any forward gears whatsoever. Towed it the rest of the way home (2 miles) and still nothing I was looking around under the hood and by unplugging the internal harness connector on the transmission I lost reverse but gained 1st gear. I limped it around for a few days like that just to try and troubleshoot the issue, but no luck on finding anything. Then a few days later I had the harness reconnected and it was a very nice day, I believe it was nearly 34 degrees out that day, it was shifting perfectly for over 9 hours in all gears shifting 1 to 2 to 3 to OD and vise versa, reverse working perfectly. Then after acccidentaly stealing the alternator fuse to run the cigarette plug, and getting a jump we went home. After letting the car sit for about 30 mins in -5 weather we started for another run across town, everything was just fine except I noticed the engine temp was starting to climb so pulled into the nearest station and added some water to the coolant, and the engine temp returned to normal. However as we went to pull out we started like the trans was slipping we had nearly no power, at first I thought we were spinning on the ice so I. Floored it just to try and make it to the stop sign however that did nothing and the speeds wasn't climbing as it would normally when your spinning on ice. So I stopped at the corner and tried ti turn and I had no power at all in any forward gears, I had to redline it at over 6000 RPM just to go back at 2mph. I rolled back into the station and waited for a while and let it idle for about 20 mins, and it would go backwards very slowly and forward just barely. I got a friend to tow me home and after we unhooked the trailer we were hauling (empty 5 x 8 utility trailer) I threw it into reverse just for the hell of it and just gave a little throttle, and lo and behold I backed into the driveway triumphantly with no signs of struggle. However no forward gears. Plugged it in and the next morning started it up and no forward no reverse, it didn't even want to turn the starter as if I wasn't in park or neutral. Even if I unplugged the internal transmission harness I still don't get any gears to engage, its as if the torque converter is not engaging whatsoever. So I started looking into the neutral safety switch since that's also the trans range sensor on this car, I searched every page on this forum and nothing I found matched my wire colors or the fact that I do not have a resistor "ladder" only a single resistor reading at 269 Ohms and the neutral safety and backup lamps circuits. However according to the wiring schematics that I found on here I should have a lead going to each letter on my dashboard depending on the gear I have chosen, however they are all always lit regardless of which gear I select. After day and days of online searching it seems that I have a digital transmission range sensor on my 99. I finally found this PDF http://atsg.com/atsg/facebook/02-14.pdf and realized that I have a couple circuits that are not right when I am in different gear selections but my resistor is right in all 3 positions and my wire colors match with this diagram too. Unlike the others bc I don't have a orange wire whatsoever. I am wondering if I might have another issue seeing as I cannot get the torque converter to atleast try to engage could I have done something more serious to the transmission or if simply getting a new dtr sensor will be my most likely solution. If you need any other info to help just ask bc I am very Mechanically and technically inclined. However I will not be able to perform any tests until wed or Thursday and Thursday I will most likely be buying a sensor but I don't want to dump 50 into a sensor if its not going to get me on the road again bc $$$$ are very tight atm. Also the SES light has been on since i purchased it and the ABS was on but it turned itself on and off and to this day remains off. Also it has never done any of the common symptoms of the range sensor failing such as loss of power assist, lack of lighting window controls, radio muting etc. It all has been functioning normally,

I also uploaded pictures of the sensor in question and the wire harness of the same as well as the picture I am referencing for troubleshooting.
Thanks in advance for any input
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 09:01 PM
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It seems like a torque converter issue, not a TR sensor issue. It might help if you got the codes scanned to see what the computer is saying.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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I have to get it down to the local parts place before I can get it scanned lol talk about a catch 22
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 11:11 AM
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If you have a multimeter you can try to measure the contacts/resistors inside (using two paper holders to get inside the contacts). You can rotate the center square by hand to every position.
The picture that you show is for the analog sensor, I think that in 1997 they switched to a digital sensor:
http://atsg.com/atsg/facebook/02-14.pdf

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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re:

I already measured and I get 270 Ohms across 2-3 for reverse neutral and drive as I should but there are a few circuits, which ones I can't remember offhand that were closed when they should be open and one or more that were open when should be closed. However Thursday I am going to check and make sure I havepower coming in from the fuse and double check the connections going to and from the pcm as well.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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here are the circuits that are incorrect according to the pdf. pins 2 and 6 in reverse are closed 9 and 11 are open and 10 and 12 are closed. in neutral 2 and 5 are closed 2 aand 6 are open 9 and 11 are closed and 10 and 12 are open. in 2nd 2 and 5 are open and 2 aand 6 are closed and in 1st 2 and 5 are closed and 2 and 6 are open all the other circuits are correct in their respective positions and this is a $50 craftsman multimeter and I performed all tests 3 times last night hand rotating the switch between positions just to be sure.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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so I went an bought a new dtrs and tested it, it tested out fine, hooked it up and no go, I checked the ground and the hot in run and hot in start leads and they all read perfect, it is below zero out here if that makes any difference. when I turn the selector to a gear the sensor on the air duct by the filter opens and the engine shudders but no engagement, gonna try to find the pcm and make sure everything is making it there, and not sure where to go from there. but even if I unplug the internal transmission harness it used to atleast go into 1st but not anymore. if I send power directly to the torque converter clutch maybe I could alteast see if that much is working, also wondering if the gears are still manually selected since the gear shifter rotates the spindle on the top of the tyranny. and I just need to get the torque converter to engage maybe? correct me if im wrong.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 02:25 PM
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Your problem appears to be more mechanical than a sensor.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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well itried the new sensor with no effect at all. I double checkedthegroud and the hot in run and hot in start they are all perfect. any ideas for me to check next? is there a way I can manuals send power down to a shift solenoid and the torque converter clutch to try and bypass the pm just to see if it will go into 1st or reverse or if maybe the torque converter clutch is the trouble maker??????
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 11:31 AM
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You can try to mess with the connection to the transmission, maybe you can lock up the TC.

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