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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys! So I replaced the engine in this car myself about 100,000 miles ago and I pretty much know this thing front to back. I've searched for hours and I cannot find the location of the forward clutch piston within the transmission. I know I may have to pull the trans but I need to know if anybody knows where this part is located. Please don't just tell me to take the car to a mechanic... I'm very skilled at these things and have replaced probably 20 engines in the past couple of years. I just can't find any info as to the location of this forward clutch piston.

1997 Ford Taurus G AX4S

Trans engages in reverse normally, but in drive it slips very bad and barely accellerates at all. The condition happened suddenly. From a stop, after pressing on the gas I heard a loud thud and bang from the engine bay, similar to a neutral drop, and the car started slipping very badly from then on in drive ONLY, not reverse. It goes in reverse normally. I suspect the forward clutch piston. Or possible valve body stuck somewhere?! Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!!
 

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I rebuilt mine and took lots of pics. You have to remove the valve body, chain cover, chain, driven support, and pull out the clutch assembly. The piston is behind the clutch. There are pictures of doing one of the clutches in the links below:

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/87-engine-drivetrain/156628-transmission-fluid-leak.html

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/82-maintenance-repair/156770-if-has-come-out.html

I would get a retaining ring pliers with flat tips if I had to do it again. Sears has them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey man thanks a lot, those pics helped me! I don't know why I can't find any information on how to replace that forward clutch piston... seems like its going to eventually affect every taurus out there lol.

So I was at the dealer today and talked to the head transmission expert they had and he agreed 99% it was the forward clutch piston. Now I was looking at my car today and it seems like it would be possible to remove the cover and valve body and everything and access the trans to replace that forward clutch piston without pulling the engine/transmission and just leaving it in the car, maybe lowering it or raising it with an engine hoist. Whats your input on that? Do you think its possible to replace it while leaving the trans in the vehicle?! It would save probably 10-12 hard hours if I didn't have to pull the engine to do this. Thanks again for the input... and I'll let everybody know what happens if you're following this.
 

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I would recommend doing exactly what I did. I followed Ford's factory manual, but improvised the tools. The trans needs to be vertically oriented to put everything up to the valve body back on. I would recommend getting a set of Ford manuals ( A and B ). They are fairly cheap on e-bay used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know... you did a killer job on yours. My biggest problem is time. I'm also not sure I'll have this car for more than another year or two anyway, but if its not too tough to do the whole rebuild I'll just do that. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to have the engine/transmission out of the car. How long realistically do you think it would take me to replace just the forward clutch piston, and how long realistically do you think it would take to do the whole rebuild in your opinion?! (Not counting time to pull and install the engine/trans) It seems as though you worked on your rebuild for 2-3 months but I'm not sure how determined you were to get it done asap. Thanks a lot for your input!!! I really appreciate it.
 

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Since time is not on your side, you could consider having a shop do the internal work. You still save a good deal of money doing the removal and install yourself. I believe I could now do the job in a 'normal' amount of time, but the first time I was very cautious so I did not break anything and I did the job right(there are many little pieces in there). I really did it the way I did out of curiosity. I also had no definite schedule. All of that said, I'm glad I did it, and it works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm going to be up at sunrise pulling that engine out and then I'm going to tear into that beast of a transmission and see what happens. Seems like after you remove the chain and sprocket the clutch pack just lifts out?! It looks to me that the piston would be easy to replace at that point, but maybe I'm sadly mistaken. Lol do you think it would be hard to replace the piston once the clutch pack is out of the trans!? And at what point do you need those snap ring pliers!? Thanks again man.
 
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