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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2005 with a 3.0L Vulcan and about 82k on it. I immediately had the dealer change the fluid with the coolant line flush. The car has nearly all highway miles on it.

My impression is that the AX4N is a ticking time bomb just waiting to fail at any intersection. Is that true? I have a friend with a 2005 and his failed at about 80k miles. I have seen others on here as well.

How long do they last? Are the rebuilds any better? Debating if I should get rid of this car while it is still running well. It's a great car other than the potential trans issue.
 

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My wifes 97 GL with Vulcan and a AX4N has 190,000 miles. Trany seems to be fine. I change the trans fluid...(pan and filter) about every other year. No cooler installed...all factory... think alot is in the driver...and maintenance..... That AXOD/E(AX4S) are a different story...not as reliable to design
 

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Checking MSN Autos and CR (....... Reports) does not show any significant Trans issues. I think it is all in the upkeep and use.

You have to remember how many Taurus' have been sold. If it was a big problem it would have surfaced.

Some transmissions fail early and some go on forever.
 

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There's really no way to tell. There are original transmissions that have gone over 200K, a couple that have gone over 300K. As you know, some others aren't so lucky.

I thought they'd worked most of the issues out by the Gen IV but it looks like there've been enough early failures with these too.

Having all highway miles is definitely in your favor, plus you have the Vulcan which has much less capacity to hurt the trans.

A trans cooler definitely helps a great deal with keeping the thing in good shape though.
 

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The AX4N is a pretty good transmission, my old 95 Vulcan had almost 130K when i traded it in, only due to the undercarriage had severe rust damage, the drivetrain was perfect. Having a trans cooler will help prolong it, as well as being a stickler on getting the fluid changed regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Is there a post on how to add a trans cooler? I would like to look at this option.
 

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A trans cooler is a must. Plus run the Mercon V synthetic fluid. The 'N' transmissions are tougher than the 'S' transmissions. You seen to have the better of the two.
 

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My old '94 GL Vulcan AX4S was solid even after 13 years/90k And I had it flushed once since I took over it. So far the AX4N in my '02 Tec hasn't failed me yet and had it flushed with new filter 1.5 years ago.
 

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Knock, knock, knock (on wood) but I have a 2001 southern fleet Taurus with a 'S' transmission and I'm pulling up on 130,000 miles.

One thing that I noticed is that if I'm driving along and want to back into a place and go from D to R right away it hesitates a bit. To compensate for this, I always shift from D to N to R or when I'm backing up from R to N to D to allow everything a little down time.

I strongly believe using the N and braking to prevent the transmission from slamming into gear.

It may sounds nuts but I have yet to have any real problems.
 

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Most of Ford's tranmissions are just slow to engage gears, esp reverse. It usually takes a second or two, somtimes less if you use synthetic ATF, which flows faster. Just a Ford thing, even the older cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Excellent. Thank you guys. I will keep the car and install a trans cooler. Although I may wait until spring given that it is 7 degrees here in Detroit at the moment, so I'm not sure a cooler would have much of an impact.

I have also done more research and confirmed the AX4N does seem to be better, but have seen about 6 people with failed AX4N's. Just need to make sure I keep the maintenance up. I will be traveling alot from Tennessee to Michigan in the coming months, so I want to make sure I am not stranded.

Thank you for the thoughts!
 

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The V8 SHO's have that tranny, and they have their share of troubles with them too. Seems that they like to puke around 75,000 miles if they are the puking type. If they are well maintained and live past the 120,000 mark they seem to last as well or better than anything else on the cars.

Also, the torque converters are real losers.
 

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I bought a 2005 with a 3.0L Vulcan and about 82k on it. I immediately had the dealer change the fluid with the coolant line flush. The car has nearly all highway miles on it.

My impression is that the AX4N is a ticking time bomb just waiting to fail at any intersection. Is that true? I have a friend with a 2005 and his failed at about 80k miles. I have seen others on here as well.

How long do they last? Are the rebuilds any better? Debating if I should get rid of this car while it is still running well. It's a great car other than the potential trans issue.
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I heard a lot of Taurus tranny horror stories before I bought my '92 with a 3.8. Like you, I almost backed out of the deal. The car now has over 200k on the original tranny. My understanding is that the newer units are even more reliable. Change the fluid and don't beat the crap out of the tranny and you'll be ok. Any tranny will fail under constant abuse. Be good to it, and it will be good to you. :)
 

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If ANY car or truck is abused, of course the transmission will go sooner, as well as other parts. My '93 Taurus still had it's original transmission at 206k when I sold it to a co-worker. They finally replaced it at 246k. I changed the fluid and filters every 30k, no flushes, and they were almost all highway miles on that car-I lived way out in the country when I owned it (40 mile commute each way to civilization)
 
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