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Discussion Starter #1
After doing some research online and in the forum, I believe that I may have a problem with my torque converter. I wanted you guys to check out my symptoms and let me know what you thought… (sorry, this is going to be a long post, but I wanted to give as much detail as I could)

Vehicle: 2000 Taurus w/ Duratec (about 64K miles)

Symptom 1
Speeds: about 35-45 MPH
RPM: about 1000-2000
Gear: OD
Throttle: Steady light to partial (less than half)
Terrain: Flat road or slight hill (seems to be worse on a slight hill)
Condition: Vehicle jerks back and forth. This is not a violent or heavy jerking 98% of the time. Once in a while, it starts jerking badly. If I apply more throttle (to half or more), or let off the throttle completely, the condition goes away.

Symptom 2
Speed, RPM, Gear, Throttle, Terrain same as Symptom 1
Condition: While condition for Symptom 1 is occurring, if the throttle is feathered back and forth slightly, the vehicle will seem to lose forward drive power for a moment and then surge ahead. The loss of power does not seem to be coming from the engine and RPMs do not register very much of a drop.

Symptom 3
Vehicle gas mileage has suddenly taken a dive to around 14mpg. I have read that malfunctioning torque converters can cause this sort of sudden symptom.

Symptom 4
Speeds: about 35-40 MPH
RPM: about 1000-1500
Gear: OD
Throttle: Steady partial
Terrain: up slight hill
Condition: Vehicle growls as if it were in too high of a gear (similar to starting off in second on an MTX). If more or less throttle is applied, sometimes Symptom 1 will occur.

Takeoff from a stop at partial or WOT, accelerating past 45MPH usually gives no symptoms.

Cruising over 45MPH on the highway usually gives no symptoms.

When OD is locked out (just in D), the symptoms usually are not felt. Every now and then I will get some jerking going on.

Vehicle Mileage: about 64K
Last Tranny Flush: about 42K
Oil changes: on schedule.

Known problems with vehicle:
-Due for new plugs and probably a fuel filter
-Needs DPFE replaced

My feeling is that none of these would cause the above conditions, though.

Any thoughts?
 

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I would replace the plugs first just in case. I thought I had a torque converter problem once in my '93, similar symptoms as you are describing. Turns out it was just a slight misfire from bad plugs. Alot of smaller misfires will only produce symptoms at lower rpms while in overdrive or while accelerating. It could still be your tc, but plugs are cheap, and if you're due for 'em anyways, it's worth a shot.
 

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Rule Out Electrical First

What codes, if any, are being thrown? It could be with the electrical system; i.e., plugs or coil packs breaking down. Have you installed any "add on" electrical items that are not compatible and are breaking down under load?

First, try replacing plugs with Motorcraft AGSF32W. I have the same year vehicle and engine as you, but I replaced my plugs at 51,000 miles. They really should have been done a few thousand miles sooner. Many people "push" their platinum plugs too far, since Ford says to replace them at 100,000 miles--that's marketing. Additionally, the hassle of replacing the rear plugs on Duratec engines encourages procrastination. Second, check coil packs while you are replacing the plugs. Third, make sure your battery and charging system are working properly. A failing electrical system can manifest itself in unusual ways.
 

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I had similar jerking problems w/my 99 duratec, i changed the trans
fluid, and also i had a short in the airbag system, was fixed. it fixed the problem'but i'm not sure which one fixed it. i agree to check the voltage
output on your alt & battery, and just check for any loose connections
or something grounded out. you changed your tranny fluid about 20k
miles, how does it look & smell? go to AZ and run the codes just to see
if anything else.
 

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If the DPFE sensor has failed, it can cause the poor gas mileage and bucking/jerking/surging. Replace it and see if the problem is gone. When the PCM commands EGR flow, as it does under the driving conditions you noted when the problem occurs, the DPFE sensor measures how much EGR flow is occuring. When the sensor fails, it sends a false reading to the PCM. That can make the PCM add too much EGR flow, which bogs down the engine, makes it run poorly and uses more fuel. It's easy to change, so you should be able to do it yourself and save the labour cost, altho the price of the sensor is a little high - i think over $100 for a new one from the dealer.
 

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NIDAN might have nailed it. I haven't had any specific experience with DPFE sensors, but, if you read online about people who have had similar bucking experience as yours, the problem has been with that sensor. Several just disconnected it and the problem was solved. Try that and, if it isolates the problem, then replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the replies! I appreciate it. The only code being thrown is 1401. We're in the process of moving to our new house, so in a few weeks I'll change that DPFE and the plugs (with a test drive in between) and see if that helps. I'll post back on this thread with the results, just for the sake of archiving problem and solution.

Thanks again!
 
J

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Stop by your local dealership - they might replace your DPFE for free. My car had about 48k miles on it when my car blew the DPFE code, took it to the dealership had them run the VIN and it was covered under the Technical Service Bulletin. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just wanted to follow up on this thread with my results. I replaced my DPFE (what a PITA to reach!), which requires no tools to replace on a Duratec. Jason, I went ahead and ordered the part so I could get it done rather than rangling with the dealer to get it fixed. The result was that all of my symptoms have gone away and my CEL is off. The car runs 110% better now. Its amazing that the EGR system can cause such problems while driving as I was experiencing. I don't know what effect, if any, it will have on mileage. I'll have to wait for a few fill ups and take a look at the numbers. Right now I'm averaging about 14.5 mpg.

I ordered the part from www.fordpartsnetwork.com, and I was very impressed. Their online catalogue is easy to use and the shipping was fast.

I'll have to wait until spring for the rest of my tune-up work, as my new garage will be full of junk until then, and I refuse to get out in the cold to work on a car unless I absolutely have to! :D

Thanks all for your help with this issue!!
 

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FPN is awesome. The president/owner answers the company emails personally and he is always willing to help out with locating hard to find parts. He even sent me some diagrams once when I couldn't figure out what part I needed. :thumb:
 
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