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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Problem has been ongoing for almost a year. Feels like the transmission does not shift correctly from a complete stop, 1st to 2nd gear only. No issue what so ever when cruising or coming to a stop. I can get the problem to stop when I give it gas, let go of gas so that transmission has time to shift to second gear under little engine load, almost like driving a manual trans. If I drive normally there is a hesitation and a hard shift into second.
Currently I have a bad power steering rack with leaking oil pan; car is setting on jackstands (just taking my time, no rush). I figure that since I already have the exhaust off I should tackle this problem before it leaves my wife stranded.
The car has 170,000 on it and I hate the idea of putting a $1000 transmission into a car that I only need for about 30,000 miles due to money issues. I don't want to go used because it sounds like the transmission is the weak spot on this car and a 1999 AX4N is only compatible with that year. I have taken out engines and transmission before so this should be no different. Is there a component I can replace first or do I need to rebuild the transmission? Because the problem only happens when it warms up I want to say rebuild. Do you need special transmission tools to complete a rebuilt. It will be nice if a can pop off a cover and replace one part once trans is removed. Engine is Dohc. Fluid level was already checked and changed so that is not the problem.
 

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Change the vss. Other than a malfunctioning speedo, a slipping harsh 1-2 shift when warm is a classic symptom. Almost a maintenance item on a 99 tec. If not the vss, look to the tps (remote possibility).
 

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Mine does the exact same thing. I'm pretty sure it's the VSS and I have a new one for it but I can't reach it to replace it. I've replaced the TPS and TSS before. I really hope the VSS will fix it because I want to sell or trade this car for a minivan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You guys are great!!! Looks to be a cheap part at autozone. The android app is showing 3 different part numbers between $19 to $44. Anyone know the part number for a 99 AX4N VSS? Did they use different VSS's in that model year?

I feel dumb!! The reason is that AX4N was not the only trans put into these cars.
 

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The autozone duralast (wells) vss part# is: su1067 for $19.99 2yr. warr. Oreilly borg-warner vss is: #s8318 for $24.99 lifetime warr. Ive used both with no problems, but i prefer borg-warner brand sensors (and the lifetime warr.). Ax4n has the 19 bolt pan, no speedo cable, only tranny used with the tec engine.
 

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Same issue, newer model.

Hi, i am having the exact same issue with my 2004 Taurus SES, only it seems that the VSS is no longer a part the these transmissions. Does anyone have any idea if there is a newer or similar component to these transmissions that would have the same function as a VSS? Its a AX4N transmission...Thanks!
 

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Ford changed the name of the vss (vehicle speed sensor) to oss (output shaft speed sensor) in 2000. Still the tranny output sensor. Tss (turbine shaft speed sensor) is the tranny input sensor.
 

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I have a 95 Ax4N, its the same transmission literlly, had the symptoms you did, and my turbine shaft speed sensor was disconnected, which relates to the vehicle speed sensor. I just got lucky that one was disconnected. After you replace the sensor get the tranny flushed and change the filter, the hard shifts can dislodge crap into the tranny making your issues remain.
 

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1999 ax4n vss

My '99 Taurus Wagon AX4N is doing the same thing. Have just spent the last 30 min looking for the VSS. Could someone please tell me where it is located?


Should have know others would have asked the same question. Found the answer under its own topic.

Thanks All
 

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I still have not found mine either, but I have yet to get under the car. It is supposed to be in the back of the engine compartment near the middle, but there is the y-pipe that gets in the way there are some posts I have found with where they are, but do not remember where...
 

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Thanks for the link. Was not able to find mine by following the speed'o' cable back as suggested, my VSS did not have one, had a cap instead. May be one of the differences between the AX4N (mine) and the AX4S.

Again, thanks All
 

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96+ have electric speedo.
 

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working on it...

Thanks for the info! I've ordered the part, probably wont have a chance to get to it until next weekend, but will post on how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Can't believe it was over a month when I originally posted this but the problem was indeed the VSS (Vehicle speed sensor). I lived with that problem for almost 2 years thinking my transmission was about to go. But a $20 dollar part from autozone fixed my problem.
Funny part is that my ball joint went during my test ride but luckily I was only going 15 mph and was half a mile from home when it let loose. Replace those ball joints, both of them.
 

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So, how about for an 03? I have an 03 Taurus SES DOHC w/ax4n and am not even sure where to go about it. Advance auto shows the sensor as having a long cable.Just got under car & believe I found a blue cable covered in grease, but the other end must be under the y pipe. If this is it, how would I get it from the top? Do I need to drop the y-pipe?
Thanks for any info, James
 

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Just wanted to follow up with my previous posts. After getting the output shaft speed sensor and then discovering the length of the project per the manual, and knowing my limitations with the equipment i have on hand, i decided rather to try just changing the trans fluid and filter. Well new fluid and filter must have worked a miracle, overall the trans performance was greatly improved with smoother up and downshifts; my original issue with intermittent hard shifts from 1st to 2nd was nearly eradicated. Before the fluid and filter change i was getting hard shifts nearly every time driving the car after it had warmed up. After the change i get the hard shifts once or twice a month, and although it is a hard shift, it is smoother than what is was before. So being satisfied with that and not experiencing any increasingly hard shifts or other side effects, i returned the $80.00 sensor to autozone and have just lived with it. :)
 
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