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'01 Taurus SE. 3.0L Vulcan, sporting the AXOD automatic overdrive transmission. Some 155k miles.

Initially the transmission engaged harshly—that is, engaged with no difficultly of the column shifter, but physically slamming, which can be felt and heard—into reverse. Now, after wholly flushing, not just dropping the pan and replacing the six quarts (12.2 qt capacity) that occupy it and the filter, the transaxle slams when shifting out of gear as well—drive to neutral, for example. Curiously, no harsh engagement exists into drive. Merely into reverse and out of gear, whether it be drive or reverse.

What could be the cause? I am aware of complaints of the same make and model slamming into reverse, but the drive-neutral harsh engagement only arose after a flush.

By a strict 30k mile interval, the transmission has been periodically flushed, so I'm not inclined to point fingers at sediments obstructing the valve body and restricting fluid flow.

I'm worried that the harsh engagement may damage the transaxle. I'm optimistic for at least another 65k out of the vehicle, and I know she's good for it with the proper maintenance and care.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Has the filter ever been changed? Even with regular flushes Ford recommends replacement at 10 years or 150k miles.
 

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Maybe undoing the battery for a while. I thought the transmission will relearn the shifts. Not sure but a cheap step. Also I am guessing you used specified Mercon V.
 

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Maybe undoing the battery for a while. I thought the transmission will relearn the shifts. Not sure but a cheap step. Also I am guessing you used specified Mercon V.
That is correct: the specified Mercon V. Motorcraft. Wiping the Adaptive Learning Strategy may assist, but I believe that's only integral to the iteration of the drive gears. Note that engagement into and out of gear?into reverse only and out of any gear?via the shifter is harsh; shifting through the gears while driving is fluid as can be. While flushing, I shifted through the gears via the shifter, intending to clear the solenoids of old fluid, if that's any contribution to a conclusion.
 

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What RPM is the motor idling at in neutral ?
 

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I don't think the flush had anything to do with this, honestly. It may just need a rebuild soon. My guess is either you have an issue with line pressure due to a failure somewhere in the valve body, or the forward clutch return spring has broken causing it to slam back when you take it out of gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I should mention that when I quickly release the brake pedal after changing gear, the harsh engagement is absent. Does this suggest a motor/transaxle mount that conveniently hit a wear benchmark around the time of the flush?
 

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I have replaced the transmount on all my three Taurus, two 2001s and one 2006. They were leaking fluid but not hard shifts. OEM mounts are hydraulic mounts, aftermarket are solid rubber. I couldn't get an OEM one they were backordered for a year and only one in the eastern USA and the dealer wouldn't ship it to the local dealer. Check your dogbone torsion strut on passenger side top and watch engine rotation when you put the trans in gear. It should rotate or lift very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I have replaced the transmount on all my three Taurus, two 2001s and one 2006. They were leaking fluid but not hard shifts. OEM mounts are hydraulic mounts, aftermarket are solid rubber. I couldn't get an OEM one they were backordered for a year and only one in the eastern USA and the dealer wouldn't ship it to the local dealer. Check your dogbone torsion strut on passenger side top and watch engine rotation when you put the trans in gear. It should rotate or lift very much.
After further inspection, it's not at all attributed to bad or failing mounts. I replaced the dogbone torque strut within the past 5,000 miles, and the motor/transaxle have virtually no play. Vicious engagement/disengagement is characteristic of the AX4S (AXOD), attributed to a failing neutral to drive accumulator, cracked forward piston, broken clutch springs, etc

Here's a relevant article that outlines some the many anomalies of the fourth-generation Ford Taurus.
 

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After further inspection, it's not at all attributed to bad or failing mounts. I replaced the dogbone torque strut within the past 5,000 miles, and the motor/transaxle have virtually no play. Vicious engagement/disengagement is characteristic of the AX4S (AXOD), attributed to a failing neutral to drive accumulator, cracked forward piston, broken clutch springs, etc

Here's a relevant article that outlines some the many anomalies of the fourth-generation Ford Taurus.
My 1993 had a cracked forward piston and it had to rev pretty high until it would slam into forward gear. Reverse was normal. That was at 245k miles. My 1990 was at 245k miles when I donated it and my one 2001 hit 175k still shifting great. My 2006 is at 205K miles with no issues and my other 2001 is at 116k miles but leaks a teaspoon or two from the input shaft seal only when it is ten degrees or colder at start up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My 1993 had a cracked forward piston and it had to rev pretty high until it would slam into forward gear. Reverse was normal. That was at 245k miles. My 1990 was at 245k miles when I donated it and my one 2001 hit 175k still shifting great. My 2006 is at 205K miles with no issues and my other 2001 is at 116k miles but leaks a teaspoon or two from the input shaft seal only when it is ten degrees or colder at start up.
That's rough, almost sounds intimidating. Transaxle dipstick wasn't reading full when I acquired the vehicle, but I couldn't discern whether the oil on the pan had merely drizzled during an oil change, or the case was leaking. I presumed it was the pan gasket, but it's reusable composite. Reapplied it, and it's sealing as should with no noticeable leaks. Perhaps come winter again, it may leak when we reach the 20s and 30s in GA. Only time (and weather) will tell...

I dunno what went wrong. The transaxle "slammed" out of park until I got into the habit of applying the parking brake, shifting into neutral, releasing the brake pedal to transfer load from the transaxle to the parking brake, and shifting into park when parking the vehicle, but I don't recall if it was "slamming" into reverse immediately after I developed the habit. It's not the same "slamming" as taking the transaxle out of park after parking it with a load. It's too convenient that the trans began "slamming" out of gear shortly after I replaced the A/T oil / filter.
 
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