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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No idea what to do.

Trans has been acting up for a while. Works fine most of the time, but I'll feel something odd now and then. Yesterday it sli8pped pretty good, dropped out of gear, then back in. Drove fine for another 40+ miles.

Called around ... nobody works on them. Trans shops are going out of business, owners retiring. Even if they could the one guy just told me, it would be in the $2K area.

Traffic here is so slow, I'm not sure if there will be any replies, but I'll check back a few times.
 

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I assume you correctly checked the fluid level? (Car on level surface, fluid at operating temperature, engine at idle, run shifter thru all gears, and then check fluid level)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. More than once. Won't hurt to try again I guess.

That one guy I talked to said it probably needed to be 'refreshed' meaning some new internals. Said they start to wear out around 125K and I'm over 130K. Not sure if that's all true or not.

I've asked about a drain and fill, not a flush. I get mixed replies on doing that.
 

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I hear bad things on trans flushes at higher mileage. Just too much stuff that can break free and clog up the tiny passages.

218302


Just to be sure its the transmission, does this seem to happen at around 40-45 MPH going up a hill with low throttle? I had this issue and it feels like the trans is slipping with it chugging, but it was due to misfires. Any more info on your problems?
Speeds? Year and model? Does it always happen at same time or gear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is no 'always'.

Tooling along at 50-ish, It just flat slipped out of gear, as if I'd moved the shifter to neutral. There was a sickening thump of some kind too. Engine raced if I hit the pedal. Thought I might have to coast to a stop somewhere, but as it slowed, it seemed to downshift and re-engage. Ran fine for the rest of the trip.

Thinking a full drain and refill with fresh fluid might be worth the $50 or less, but not really sure. Powerflushing is not in the plan.

Problem is, I can't remember if you can drain without dropping the pan and with my luck, important bits would end up on the ground.
 

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There is no 'always'.

Tooling along at 50-ish, It just flat slipped out of gear, as if I'd moved the shifter to neutral. There was a sickening thump of some kind too. Engine raced if I hit the pedal. Thought I might have to coast to a stop somewhere, but as it slowed, it seemed to downshift and re-engage. Ran fine for the rest of the trip.

Thinking a full drain and refill with fresh fluid might be worth the $50 or less, but not really sure. Powerflushing is not in the plan.

Problem is, I can't remember if you can drain without dropping the pan and with my luck, important bits would end up on the ground.
Dropping the pan may be the answer, if parts fall out, there ya go. If there are no parts (hopefuuly) then fresh fluid may help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I see a few AX4Ns out there on the bay, anywhere from $300 or so used up to $1800 or so rebuit with warranty. But that's parts only, and I have no idea what a shop will charge to install IF I could find one which is part of the problem.

And I don't know how many variations there are to be sure I'd get the right one.
 

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I see a few AX4Ns out there on the bay, anywhere from $300 or so used up to $1800 or so rebuit with warranty. But that's parts only, and I have no idea what a shop will charge to install IF I could find one which is part of the problem.

And I don't know how many variations there are to be sure I'd get the right one.
Plus or minus one year seems to be the standard procedure for procuring a replacement trans, excluding changeover years like 04 and such where you can't go down a year. You could try rebuilding it yourself, the kits are still out there. And Ford's service manuals provide an entire disassembly and assembly guide with pictures. Not too many special tools needed either. Of course you need a lot of time to do that if it's your first rodeo, and that means a lot of downtime of the vehicle. Could grab a junkyard trans and rebuild it/have it rebuilt so its ready to go, but your trans may not last long enough for that either.

Honestly a crappy situation. What does the fluid look like? If it's not low, it's probably the clutch pack being just about worn out. Could also be a broken band given the occasional nature of the problem. Does it happen in all gears, or just the upper ones? Pulling the pan and looking at the magnet would give some more information.
 

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Everyone has different needs and time/will and $$. I bought the one in the pic for $1600. Engine, tran, climate, brakes, tires all good. Needed a coil. Car selling had issues finding which coil caused a misfire as it only misfired when fully warmed and driven 15 or so miles. No cell, so I bought and fixed it. Code was in "pending". #3 cylinder coil. $12 at the JY for used coil. That works for a few who can do this themselves. Of course cost for papers, transit tag, sales tax, inspection, $50 for pair used head lights, $6 for a jack, and $105 for second key.
-chart-
 

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If it went into neutral, to me, it sounds like a fluid pressure issue; pump or valvebody related. Transmission rebuild kits tend to just change the friction materials and some seals, those parts may be ok. If you keep it in drive rather than overdrive, do you have any issues? I think for the ax4n, the O/D band only engages in O/D. I am wondering if a potential simple issue is that the transmission range selector is out of adjustment.

Not clear what year/model you have. Some years are known to strip pump drive splines, though the issue seems a bit different. Does it still have a factory torque converter? Could be something broke and it re-caught somehow.
I recall someone had a similar issue that was due to a broken pump shaft. Basically, the areas in question to me are 1) pump (part of valvebody), 2) pump shaft, 3) pump drive splines in torque converter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
95 GL Wagon. All factory original as far as I know.

VIN: 1FALP5740SA######


" I am wondering if a potential simple issue is that the transmission range selector is out of adjustment."


I know it isn't exactly right. It's slightly out of place on the PRNDL between R and N and I sometimes have trouble getting it into R. Not trouble as in hard, but I miss the detent and get it into N instead.
 

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Search on here and on google for Variable Speed Sensor / Vehicle Speed Sensor / Transmission Speed Sensor .... I'm not sure exactly what it's called for your year. I was experiencing funny shifting problems with my 2000 bull, took it to a shop who said it needed to be rebuilt, other mechanics said the same. After scouring this forum and the web, I decided to just try replacing the sensor. Fairly easy to do and only cost about $40, but again I'm not familiar with yours. I could feel the difference immediately and that was definitely the problem.
 

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I had a similar problem last year -- I live in AZ, and it only hapened after I'd driven it on the highway in hot weather. I tried swapping out the variable speed sensor and that didn't fix it. So I went to Autozone and bought a transmission oil cooler. Did the trick for me. If it only happens when the transmission is hot, you might consider it. I paid around $50 for the part, and then had a local guy install it for me for about $150 more. A lot cheaper than a new transmission. Good luck -
 

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I had a similar problem last year -- I live in AZ, and it only hapened after I'd driven it on the highway in hot weather. I tried swapping out the variable speed sensor and that didn't fix it. So I went to Autozone and bought a transmission oil cooler. Did the trick for me. If it only happens when the transmission is hot, you might consider it. I paid around $50 for the part, and then had a local guy install it for me for about $150 more. A lot cheaper than a new transmission. Good luck -
In your case, I would want a cooler as a routine. I looked up your weather, and it is not to the hot season yet. Here in rural upstate NY, in 41 years we have lived here, saw 100f one time.
-chart-
 

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I bought my 1997 LX with a bit under 92,000 miles. When moving from a stop it would hesitate then SLAM into 1st. Odd thing was it didn't do that when I test drove it. Only started as I was leaving my insurance office. So I went directly home, got a filter and pan gasket for the transmission and a bottle of Lucas transmission additive along with enough quarts of the correct (expensive) fluid.

Right away it was better and over the course of a few drives it quit slamming into 1st and has been good since.
 

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Trans fluid level check and pressure check (ports at top of trans) are a must. Depending on last trans filter change that could be suspect as well. These cars are prone to the torque converter input spline stripping out. It usually results in a no movement situation. The pump may also be suspect. Big job to replace trans or even drop to replace torque converter. I did on my 03 Sable and can understand why the labor rate is so high. Start with the simple checks/fixes first, befor you start throwing money at it. Wondering if the repair cost if done at shop is worth it given the value of the car.
 

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I've put in three Ford remanufactured transmissions in my '99 Taurus wagon (2) and Sable (1) over the years.
The transmission comes with three year unlimited mileage warranty. You can have a shop do the swap. $600 core charge refundable.
Many newer models out there to consider unless your car is important to keep.
 
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