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Bad Taurus

1804 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Maelstrom_Mephisto
Alright guys, I joined this forum in hopes that MAYBE you guys can help me. I bought a '94 Taurus GL 3.8 roughly two years ago. The car was fine up until I took a trip to Memphis to catch a show (100 mile trip). On the way, the transmission quit pulling and i pulled over to the side of the road. When my friend's and i got out of the car, we noticed fluid running out from under the car at an alarming rate. Low and behold, it was transmission fluid. Some of those highway safety guys stopped and helped me by putting some new fluid in the transmission so that I could drive it somewhere safe and call someone. Well, after that the transmission no longer had overdrive. We took it to have the transmission rebuilt and the guy ended up simply replacing it with another one (we didn't like this, but the work had already been done and we figured, well, he said he rebuilt the tranny he put in it, so it was alright). Not two weeks after having the transmission replaced, the head gaskets blew. I couldn't get it fixed for awhile (had no cash at the time, wonder why haha). After I got the head gaskets replaced, roughly 3-5 months, I began having all sorts of problems with the car. The main problems are the fuel pump shutting off while going down the road and the transmission has erratic shifting (either it revs really high before changing or it will rev up and then catch quickly making my front tires spin). With the fuel pump it got to where it wouldn't come on when i turned the key on. We thought it might either just be a failing pump or a bad ground. We replaced the fuel pump and it continued to have the same problem, so we assumed it must be a bad ground. Checked the grounds and they were all good, so we though well, neutral safety switch?? We do strongly believe this is the problem with the fuel pump not coming on. Now on to the transmission problem. WE HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE TRANSMISSION. If someone could PLEASE help me with any suggestion, please do. The problem with the transmission is that it doesn't have the problem all the time, sometimes it is alright, others it runs like the tranny is on it's last leg. I haven't put 20k miles on the transmission since it was replaced. Any help would be appreciated.
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Welcome to tcca.

Wow, sounds like you have had a lot of work done. I've read quite a bit in the past that the vehicle speed sensor seems to go out after the transmission has been replaced which causes bad shifting. I dont know if that is your case, someone else could probably shine in.

About the rest of the problems, are you sure everything was connected back properly after the headgasket repair? All sensors, wiring harnesses, etc?

If all else fails, I'm holding my support group at 10pm sharp
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Yeah. I feel confident that the grounds were all reconnected properly and the sensors as well.

I have heard the same about the speed sensor. We haven't had the time to get under it so far so we can check it out and such. We will likely do this tomorrow (my father and I). Another thing that troubles me is the amount the engine will rock back when taking out of park and into another gear (forward or reverse, it just slightly shifts depending on what gear you put it in). We figure this is a borken motor mount. Could this cause a problem with the tranny not shifting properly?

But, as for the fuel pump, we do strongly believe that either the wires to the neutral safety switch are bad or the switch itself is bad. We have checked everything else we can think of. Also, the pump will come on if we wiggle the wiring harness going to the switch.

I'll update this after we check out the speed sensor tomorrow. My dad told me to look at it this way, I will likely never have this much trouble with a car again.

I pray that he is right...
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First thing I'd do is get any codes read, that the EEC-IV may have stored.

The trans in your car is probably the AXOD-E, where the -E stands for Electronic. This means that the EEC has control over the car's shifting. Any troubles in your trans (or maybe something outside your trans!!) will very likely be detected, and a code set in the computer's memory.

Even if there are no trouble codes stored, this in itself is information. But you won't know for sure until you've checked.

Good luck, keep us posted.
There is a transmission mount as well as motor mounts that can go bad. It can cause rocking.
Well...my question is, is that how can u tell if u have the AXOD-E, or the AX4N, I got a 94 Gl in metallic green. Just curious
Originally posted by mrclean@Apr 28 2004, 03:37 PM
Well...my question is, is that how can u tell if u have the AXOD-E, or the AX4N, I got a 94 Gl in metallic green. Just curious
Isn't the transmission type printed on the sticker, on the driver's door near the latch? I think my '96 is this way.
You can also look underneath at the tranny pan...it will be stamped on there. Of course this is not 100% as sometimes the pans are switched etc...
IIRC, the 3.8L got the AX4N standard and the 3.0L depended on what color the car is. The rarer the color the most likely it has the AX4N.
Hey guys, we didn't get around to the transmission today. My dad replaced the wheel cylinder on the back passenger side wheel. It was stuck and had wore the shoe down into the metal. As for the type of transmission, I will check the sticker and the pan when we get the car up again. Is there a chance that they could have replaced the transmission with one that would fit, but wasn't the correct one? Anyway, new problems are always surfacing... but as stated earlier, I will update as we get new information.

And as for the codes in the computer, the only code that we had was an open fuel pump circuit. We have since just about got that probelm fixed.

Thanks for all the help, and just so you know, mine is a metallic green as well. Don't know if that will help with anything, but it's worth letting you know.
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Originally posted by Maelstrom_Mephisto@Apr 28 2004, 09:24 PM
Is there a chance that they could have replaced the transmission with one that would fit, but wasn't the correct one?
Oh boy, could they ever have done this.... My first Taurus, an '89 wagon, had the AXOD-E installed in place of the AXOD.

But there was no computer installed that would have shifted the transaxle!! It had to be shifted manually. Else it was stuck in high gear, all the time.

Edit: I don't think you have a problem like this, if the thing will shift automatically, at all.

BTW, you know about the fuel pump's inertia switch in the trunk, on the driver's side, don't you? If you get in an accident, this thing will trip off and kill the fuel pump, so that raw gas isn't being pumped out of the fuel system. It might be a part of the fuel pump problem, the switch contacts could be getting dirty and pitted.
Well, we had the transmission scanned yesterday and they said the only thing they got back was the code for a bad speed sensor, but they want to charge 140 Dollars. Now, being as the part is less than 20 dollars, is there perhaps a diagram or something that you guys could give me a link to in order for me to attempt the replacement myself? They said that you have to pull the rear intake manifold in order to get to it, is this true? Any help would be greatly appreciated. And by the way, sorry for taking two months to respond...
Which speed sensor? There is a VSS, the Vehicle Speed Sensor, and the TSS, or Transmission Speed Sensor, on some of these cars.

(I noticed this last night while looking at the print for reganetal's car; 3.8L also)

IIRC, the VSS can be found by following the speedo cable down from the firewall, towards the tranny. The first thing the cable hooks into is the VSS.

Keep us posted.
I'm gonna assume that it is the Transmission Speed Sensor. He said "the code shows a bad speed sensor on the transmission." Also, when he was scanning it, he backed it up and then pulled the car forward again. Don't know if that will help or not, but that is all my dad remembers about what he said.

However, we followed the speedo cable and it appears that you will have to take the rear intake off to get to the sensor (it is directly underneath the rear intake, at the center of the engine towards the back). If you can give me any more info, it would be greatly appreciated.
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