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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all I have some questions that I hope one or more of you can answer for me.

2003 Mercury Sable - daughter said she noticed transmission acting up a few weeks ago but didn't report this until one day it finally quit completely. She was driving and said the car would barely move and stopped the car placed it in park then back into drive and it failed to go into gear. I checked the car out and not a single gear would work. I then towed the car home and checked it over. Transmission fluid was way way way over full probably six inches past the full mark.

After reading some articles here mainly the one entitled "How I fixed my AX4N Tranny" http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13884 I have decided to take this project on myself as most places I have called have said that the entire transmission needs to be replaced.

I am hoping that the problem lies somewhere within the pump and/or valve body and have since started disassembling the car. Currently I am following the "how i fixed my ax4n tranny" word document guide which does not match my car to a T but I do believe that I can make things work. I have decided however to get some input from any of you as to if you think I am approaching this correctly or if you think something else may be wrong entirely.

Edit: so far I have pulled all of the pieces I need to in order to get to the side pan of the transmission and have the engine and subframe free moving. I also have dropped the drain pan and have drained all of the old transmission fluid which is still a nice reddish color, on a side note however the magnet in the pan had a lot of fine metal shaving around it probably a good 1/16 of an inch worth.

Thanks!!
 

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You're on the right track. The things you must check are the pump, the pump shaft, the pump shaft support bearing (behind the pump) and the torque converter spline. If the shaft spins in the torque converter splne the whole transmission needs to come out. The fact that the fluid level showed as so high indicates the the fluid in the torque converter has drained into the pan.

Good luck, Popeye
 

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definitely looking to see your results on this. I am having the problem of my ax4n having to much fluid as well...

Thanks,
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (popeye @ Jun 2 2010, 09:17 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=808675
The things you must check are the pump, the pump shaft, the pump shaft support bearing (behind the pump) and the torque converter spline. If the shaft spins in the torque converter splne the whole transmission needs to come out.

Good luck, Popeye[/b]
Okay I have the valve body off and where the shaft goes into the valve body seems to be fine. The shaft itself (you said if it spins in the torque converter) spins but i am not sure if that is because i cant put enough pressure to it for it to grab as i can tell it wants to not spin kind of clicks around.

What am I looking for with the pump and the pump shaft support bearing?

I did take the pump shaft cover off and disassembled it. Both rings are fine and all the geared teeth are fine as well.

Also I read some things before about retaining clips possibly being an issue on an AX4N and checked them over. All of them are not broken but upon removing a couple the valves behind the spring did not want to freely move at first.

Surely all of the solenoids could not be the issue?

EDIT: UGGGGGGGG damn!! after examining the valve body and each valve I decided to take a look with a flashlight into the hole where the pump shaft goes. Guess what the torque converter is shot and I will be ordering one today for 109.00 USD renting an engine stand for 30.00 USD for a week and fixing this bad boy asap. Will follow up with the good news once everything is running again.


Thanks
 

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That's precisely what I meant about the pump, the shaft and/or the torque converter. For some reason the pump or shaft stopped suddenly but the mass of the turning engine and the torque converter caused the spline to be stripped in the conveter. It could have, just as easily, broken the shaft or the hub of the pump. Check for debris in the pump which could have jammed it ( such as broken pieces of one of the two pump vane guide rings ). There is a shaft support bearing directly behind the pump. This bearing is a caged needle style bearing which can fail and jam the pump shaft. Check the shaft for scoring and check to see if the bearing is intact. Spin the shaft in the bearing to check for smooth operation.

The point is to determine what caused the failure in the first place. It makes no sense to install a new torque converter without knowing what destroyed the first one.

Good luck, Popeye
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright it's been awhile since my last post. I have finally finished the task of dropping the transmission and replacing the torque converter with the help of a guide from alldata. With that said I did not see anything that might have caused the failure in the first place.

I checked the caged bearing and it seemed fine, all valves and retaining clips seemed fine, no damage to pump or pump shaft.

After reassembling the car I have noticed that when put into drive the car on occassion tries to move itslef when foot is still on brake, then it will release and then grab again trying to pull the car. I'm sure it's not an idle issue. It also has a slight catch or delay between putting your foot to the gas and it taking off and when it does take off it goes balls to the wall and will not gradually leave a stop. Reverse works fine. Transmission fluid level is good and no leaks present.

Any ideas what could cause this and what I could check for?
 

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might be those valves not moving smoothly as you said before, or, did you take the two halves of the valve body apart? if so i'm pretty sure you have to have an allignment tool to put them back together, slight mis-alignment could cause some problems speaking from experience check for consistency in the problem if its intermittent it might be the valves getting hung up if it is the alignment it should act pretty much the same each time

theoretically of course i'm not an expert
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Popeye pls come guide me master!! Could the valve body screws being to tight cause something like per say a valve to stick? When I tightened them I used a cross pattern and now I found a different approach from alldata that suggests a circular motion.
 

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after re-reading your previous post it sounds exactly like my 97 when i put new valve body in with bad pump shaft it's like it would shift in and out of neutral when idling in gear don't drive it. IMO it looks like you may have to take it apart again at least to the valve body and pump shaft to check for wear if you don't you may cause the support bearing to fail clogging up the valve body or worse destroying the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah well I plan to pull the valve body so I can check the shaft and torque converter spline. Wish I could ohm the solenoids but I have no clue what values they should be.
 
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