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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'97 Taurus Vulcan 123K miles:

Experiencing loss of: power steering assist, all window controls (none are lit up), rear window defrost controls, half of the MFS controls (only Hi, Lo, and turn signals work), and radio only when car is in R, (D), D, and 1. Everything functions fine when put into P or N.

I was told that there might be a TSB on this problem, but I was not able to find anything on it. It was also mentioned to me that it might have something to do with the wiring getting chaffed on something within the steering column. Any help would be appreciated! I need to get LRB back to her old self ASAP. She's my daily driver and the "reliable" one. :noes: :(

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You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor). It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
 

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Originally posted by gohim@Mar 9 2006, 02:37 AM
You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor).  It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
How would I go about "adjusting" it? And I'm not sure why it would be acting up now if I had the transmission replaced 11K miles ago?

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Originally posted by gohim@Mar 8 2006, 11:37 PM
You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor). It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
Why would you suggest that? Her problem doesn't sound anything related to the transmission.

It sounds like a grounding problem or a charging problem. Make sure the black wire from the battery to the frame isn't loose or covered with corrossion (can't spell it). I replaced my negative battery ground and it improved the power. Also take it to have the charging system checked. Also check to make sure the battery connectors are on tight (including the rear wire connectors are tight). One time the red wire came loose and I couldn't tell until it came completely off while I was driving.
 

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Update: I'm on my lunch break now, and when I started my car and left work, everything was working fine until I got down the road about a mile when the radio stopped working (still lights up though), but the PS was working and so were the windows, rear defrost, and MFS. I drove down to the Ford dealer and asked to speak with a tech that had experience with the Taurus. This tech suggested that it sounds exactly like an MLP sensor going bad. He said the MLP is the same thing as the TRS.

Eric over at SHOCago suggested that it might be bad engine grounds. Wtf is going on?! Ah! :ugh:

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I take it that you already checked the battery connections.

Interesting. I'm wondering when they re-installed your transmission that they damaged a clip to the TRS plug and it's coming loose. It doesn't make any sense that it would cause a complete electrical failure or/and or cause surges to other electrical componets? I'd take it back to the transmission shop and have them look at the connection, because it's not someone you can just look at and see for yourself. They can use a flex telescope and view it without pulling down the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by mykej27@Mar 9 2006, 02:09 PM
I take it that you already checked the battery connections.

Interesting. I'm wondering when they re-installed your transmission that they damaged a clip to the TRS plug and it's coming loose. It doesn't make any sense that it would cause a complete electrical failure or/and or cause surges to other electrical componets? I'd take it back to the transmission shop and have them look at the connection, because it's not someone you can just look at and see for yourself. They can use a flex telescope and view it without pulling down the transmission.
When it started happening (which was on the highway on my way to Chicago), I was instantly running a list through my head of what to check for. The battery grounds are good (although the positive cable needs to be cleaned and has for a little while now), they are still functioning like they should. The underhood relays are fine and so are the under dash relays. Which is why I'm not understanding what's going on! At least the transmission is still under warranty and will be for a while. I'll probably go to the shop tomorrow, seeing as I get off of work tonight at 8pm and the shop closes at 6pm. I also might have one of the techs at work help me look.

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I'm a new poster, but I've lurked for awhile since my girlfriend's car is a '97 Taurus with the 3.0 Vulcan and automatic. Column shifter. Variable power assist. 118K miles.

Firespirit, your problem is very likely the transmission range sensor, or also called the neutral safety switch. I just replaced that part on my g/f's Taurus. Here were the symptoms that she had:
- Radio worked in P and O/D, but not R
- Radio randomly just went silent (LED display OK, dead silence from speakers) when in O/D and D
As time passed, the radio outages became more frequent.
- Random loss of power steering (sometime with a flashing seat belt warning light also)
These were rare, but getting more frequent as well. This symptom is what prompted me to start looking for answers, radio is annoying, power steering is dangerous.
- Eventually tranny refused to go into O/D, even on the highway at highway speeds.

I searched here, and googled it. There is a TSB concerning the power steering issue related to the transmission range sensor. A few other 96 and 97 year Taurus owners had similar problems, including the loss of some power accessories.

I picked up an 8 pin (there is also an 11 pin version, but you can tell which your car has by looking at the sensor under the hood) neutral safety switch at Advance Auto for $26 including tax. Replacement took less than 30 minutes. That was over a week ago, and NO symptoms have returned.

Ford calls it the TR sensor, everyone else lists it as neutral safety switch.

I can tell you more about how to replace it if you want to do the work yourself.

Good luck.
 
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Originally posted by Linkman@Mar 9 2006, 03:50 PM
I'm a new poster, but I've lurked for awhile since my girlfriend's car is a '97 Taurus with the 3.0 Vulcan and automatic. Column shifter. Variable power assist. 118K miles.

Firespirit, your problem is very likely the transmission range sensor, or also called the neutral safety switch. I just replaced that part on my g/f's Taurus. Here were the symptoms that she had:
- Radio worked in P and O/D, but not R
- Radio randomly just went silent (LED display OK, dead silence from speakers) when in O/D and D
As time passed, the radio outages became more frequent.
- Random loss of power steering (sometime with a flashing seat belt warning light also)
These were rare, but getting more frequent as well. This symptom is what prompted me to start looking for answers, radio is annoying, power steering is dangerous.
- Eventually tranny refused to go into O/D, even on the highway at highway speeds.

I searched here, and googled it. There is a TSB concerning the power steering issue related to the transmission range sensor. A few other 96 and 97 year Taurus owners had similar problems, including the loss of some power accessories.

I picked up an 8 pin (there is also an 11 pin version, but you can tell which your car has by looking at the sensor under the hood) neutral safety switch at Advance Auto for $26 including tax. Replacement took less than 30 minutes. That was over a week ago, and NO symptoms have returned.

Ford calls it the TR sensor, everyone else lists it as neutral safety switch.

I can tell you more about how to replace it if you want to do the work yourself.

Good luck.
I thought I had remembered reading something here like that. Especially when gohim first mentioned it. It sounded very familar, mainly because it's such a random thing to cause all those problems. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank God for work, huh? I found the TSB through my work's database and it tells me all I need to know. It is, in fact, a symptom of the TR sensor.



Article No. 96-25-5

12/02/96

^ Steering - continuous reduction in power steering assist when shifting into "reverse" or "drive" - vehicles with 3.0l engine

^ Steering - intermittent reduction in power steering assist - vehicles with 3.0l engine built through 5/13/96

FORD:
1996 Taurus

Lincoln-Merucry:
1996 Sable

This TSB article is being republished in it's entirety to revise the Service Procedure.

ISSUE:

There may be intermittent reduction in power steering assist during braking from 80 km/h (50mph) on some vehicles. For this concern, the resolution may be a revision to the Generic Electronic Module (GEM) calibration.

On some other vehicles, there may be a continuous reduction in power steering assist when shifting into "Reverse" or "Drive". The customer may have noticed a loss of radio sound, power window and lock functions. For this 3.0l concern, the cause may be internal shorting of the Transmission Range (TR) sensor.

ACTION:

^ For those vehicles with intermittent reduction in power steering assist, refer to the following Service Procedure, Step 3.

^ For those 3.0l vehicles with continuous reduction in power steering assist when shifting into "Reverse" or "Drive", replace the TR sensor. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

1. Perform normal diagnostics for high steering efforts found in Section 11 of the 1996 Taurus/Sable Service Manual.

2. For a continuous reduction in power steering assist concerin on 3.0l engines when the transmission is shifted into "Reverse" or "Drive", disconnect the harness connection from the TR sensor and retest. If the steering functions correctly, replace the TR sensor (-7F293-).

3. Perform diagnostics for the GEM, refer to the 1996 Taurus/Sable Service Manual, Section 18-04. Observe any codes that have been logged by the GEM. If no codes have been logged, and communication with the GEM functions properly, then replace the GEM with a revised GEM (-14B205-) which has a calibration adjustment. Refer to the 1996 Taurus/Sable Service Manual, Section 13 for replacement details.

PART NUMBER / PART NAME:
F7DZ-14B205-AB / Generic Electronic Module (GEM)
F7DZ-14B205-BB / GEM (Gulf coast country vehicles)
F5DZ-7F293-AA / Transmission Range (TR) Sensor (8-Pin connector)
F6DZ-7F293-A / Transmission Range (TR) Sensor (12-Pin connector)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMOVAL

1. Disconnect battery ground cable.
2. Place manual control lever in NEUTRAL.
3. Remove engine Air Cleaner (ACL) and air cleaner outlet tube.
4. Disconnect electrical connector from Transmission Range (TR) sensor.
5. Remove manual control lever from transaxle.
6. Remove two TR sensor retaining bolts.
7. Remove TR sensor.

INSTALLATION

1. Make sure manual control lever is in the NEUTRAL position.
2. Install TR sensor and loosely install two retaining bolts.
3. Align TR sensor slots using Transmission Range Sensor (MLPS) Alignment Tool T92P-70010-AH.
4. Tighten TR sensor retaining bolts to 9-12 Nm (80-106 inch lbs.) and remove tool.
5. Connect electrical harness to TR sensor.
6. Install transaxle manual control lever. Tighten to 11-16 Nm (98-141 inch lbs.).
7. Install air cleaner outlet tube and engine air cleaner.
8. Connect battery ground cable.
9. Check for proper operation with parking brake control engaged. The engine should start only in PARK or NEUTRAL.
Thank you guys for all your help, as soon as I can get a new TR sensor ($69.95 according to alldata through Ford) I will update you guys on replacing it. :D You guys are great! :)

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To Ford. Unless my math is wrong, you're paying twice as much for the same part, even with 25% off. I just don't get it.
Did I miss something? Is yours the 12 pin version?
 

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Originally posted by Firespirit+Mar 11 2006, 06:08 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Firespirit @ Mar 11 2006, 06:08 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Jeckler@Mar 11 2006, 08:54 AM
Your loyalty scares me. :)
My loyalty?? [/b][/quote]
He means loyalty to your car.


In your repair illustration, why you need to remove the air cleaner tube? Where the heck is the TRS Sensor. I remember in the manual that it discribed the location, but I couldn't ever find it. I wasn't in need of replacing it, so I gave up.

Since I'm going to be doing a transmission rebuild, I need to disconnect it.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by mykej27+Mar 11 2006, 11:46 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (mykej27 @ Mar 11 2006, 11:46 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2006, 06:08 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-Jeckler
@Mar 11 2006, 08:54 AM
Your loyalty scares me. :)

My loyalty??
He means loyalty to your car.


In your repair illustration, why you need to remove the air cleaner tube? Where the heck is the TRS Sensor. I remember in the manual that it discribed the location, but I couldn't ever find it. I wasn't in need of replacing it, so I gave up.

Since I'm going to be doing a transmission rebuild, I need to disconnect it.

Michael [/b][/quote]
Since I'm going to do it right now (it's on top of the trans case, btw), I'm doing a tutorial in case anyone else needs to do it. ;)

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Hey everyone-I was wondering if someone can help me. I just replaced my trs in my 97 gl and I accidently moved it when i installed so it was misaligned I aligned it to the line when i put in on and the reverse lights werent going on when I was in reverse. They i moved the line on the circular dial a little above the line but the reverse lights will only go on if i go from park to reverse or if i go from drive to reverse i have to move the shifter past the reverse mark and then on the reverse mark so they go on. How do I align it correctly if I never marked where the line was when I got it out of the box? Thanks.
 
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