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Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
QUOTE (SHOZ123 @ Aug 2 2009, 12:16 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=743751
Your complaints are all due to factory programming.[/b]
Factory programming could smooth this out for me, including the sloppy shifting? Maybe the newer Gen4s did not have this problem because it had been corrected already? What exactly would they be re-programming, the transmission or the car computer (or ar they all in one on a taurus/sable)?
 

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What you describe sounds exactly like my 2000 DOHC/AX4N with the stock tune loaded.
 

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The PCM controls the shifting. The factory will not reprogram the shifting parameters because that is how they want it. I guess.
 

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QUOTE (umina @ Aug 2 2009, 09:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=743749
Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.[/b]
I have the AX4N with the vulcan and I notice one of these issues. My reverse engagement is so soft you can't feel it...my 1-2 shift if I'm heavy on the gas is a little long...I don't notice the 2-1 shift like I did with my AX4S on my 3.8...and it feels fine to me all the way through the gears (except the notced 1-2 lengthy shift).

Maybe the Duratec required some changes in the PCM?
 

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Thanks for sharing this information.

I'm driving a '04 Sable with SHO and AX4N. Most of the symptoms you described happened to my car.
The AX4N was rebuilt 3 months ago due to a complete failure (no engagement), and it still behaved similarly
even after being rebuilt. So I think these are not caused by internal damage or worn parts. These transmissions
just act in this way.

Yeah, you'll always experienced a big BANG when you put in reverse. You have to just live with it.

The 1-2 shift is always lengthy and you have to press the gas hard in order for it t up-shift.
If the 1-2 shift is bad, the 2-1 down-shift will also be bad. You'll have to press the brake pedal really hard
to stop the car. It feels like the car just don't want to reduce the speed when you brake it.

Another thing I noticed is the inconsistency of its overall performance. Sometimes this Sable runs
REALLY damned smooth. You cannot even feel there are gears in the transmission. You just slightly
press the gas pedal and you can feel a strong push from your back. But other times, you have to
press really hard and still the car moves very reluctantly. I cannot attribute this to weather, temperature, humidity
or driving styles, since it happened just from day to day in the same season.

The overall gas economy is not pleasant. I only have 80~85 miles in 5 gallons #87 refill.
For a mixed driving (60% interstate+40% local), I only get 100 miles. I am really jealous about
your 25 mpg for a mixed driving even with A/C on.

I never had a chance to drive a AX4S so I cannot compare between these two models.

QUOTE (umina @ Aug 2 2009, 10:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=743749
Wow, 3 posts in one day, i'm on a roll!

Just thought I'd post this up here and maybe help out other people who think they are having tranny trouble. I'm driving my second Duratec Sable (both have been 01's) and have noticed some similiarities i think are common for this transmission. Let me clarify that my current rig has 28k miles on it, my last one I drove from 36k-48k before selling it for something different. Here are my oberservations from both vehicles:

1. When placing the car in reverse, there is a bang rather than a soft clunk found in other vehicles I've driven. I've found myself shifting into reverse, waiting a half second and then releasing the parking break so the two sounds coincide.

2. the upshift from 1st to 2nd involves a slight pause between gears, slightly more pronounced after a long stint on the highway or under hard acceleration. I was told once its due to the lack of synchronizers in the transmissions greates larger shift gates between gears

3. when slowing down you can often times feel the car downshift from 2nd to 1st right before stopping.

4. The transmission overall feels sloppy when shifting through the gears, especially the 1-2 and the converter lockup in top gear (again probably due to lack of synchronizers).

I've driven several vulcans with the AX4S and not noticed any of these issues. Even when they have 100k+ miles on their original transmissions. Am I correct in assuming the issues i've noticed above are par for the course with a duratec engine/tranny combo? Before anyone suggests regular maintenance I replaced fluid and filter on both vehicles just after purchase (at 23k on my current one and at 36 on my other one) and I ran the MerconV as specified from Ford. Temperature gauge never fluctuates even on the hottest of days (i know its only engine temp but just wanted to be clear there are no heat related issues with the cooling system). No leaks or funny sounds from under the hood, fluid smells good (well it smells terrible but you know what I mean, not burnt or oddly colored). Gears never slip when engaged, engine pulls strong and I get great MPG (average 24 or 25 in mixed driving with AC on).

I'd be interested to know your thoughts and or experiences.[/b]
 

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AX4Shit is no better:

a) BANG: when u put from Drive to Reverse

B) 1 -> 2 shift is delayed and jerky. If you start from stop as a grandma, RPMs around 1600 - 1700, the
1 to 2 shift jerk is little softer. Anything abobe 2k RPM is jerky.

c). if you pay attention, you can always feel the 2 -> 1 down-shift.
 

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My AX4N does not shift hard into reverse. Also my 1-2 Shift is smooth and does not take alot of rpm to make it shift. Normal Driving on my 98 SHO it shifts to 2nd at around 2700 rpm. I can even get it to shift to 2nd at 1500rpm. Personally i dont care for the way the lockup is configured. Used to having the converter lock up after overdrive whereas my SHO the converter locks up then it switches to overdrive.
 

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Really old post, but one thing to somewhat mitigate the initial shift into reverse, pay attention the the RPM. When my 99 'Tec starts, it idles around 1500+ for a while, quite a while if you don't touch anything. Tap the gas even just a little, and it will slowly coast down to 1000 and level off until its warm. I try not to put the car in gear until its down to 1000 rpm or lower. That softens that bang quite a bit.
 

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^This. Good way to help your motor mounts out as well.
 

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I recall reading somewhere that hard shifts in the AX4N are due to a stuck accumulator/damping piston. This issue is either due to something being broken, or something being stuck with that piston. It is some piston that is supposed to depress a spring as pressure increases, and absorb the pressure spike to allow for a slightly more gradual pressure increase to the band pistons(reverse I think). Since reverse is fully hydraulic, once some valve flips, full pressure goes to the pistons as the accumulator isn't doing the job of relieving the pressure spike. I think I read this is a common issue with these transmissions. Second gear may be similarly affected, but I am not sure. If the issue is due to something sticking rather than being broken, then it is possible that a high quality synthetic transmission fluid or flushing after using transmission "tune" type fluid may help this issue. I do not recall if I ever had a bang when going to reverse(2000 AX4N DOHC), but I added Lucas transmission fix for some seal leaks, and I do not have the bang as of yet, though there is a thud. I think adding something like Amsoil transmission fluid would make it better, but I want to do that properly and wait for when I do a full transmission oil change. I think there is a Seafoam trans tune fluid that you add before a flush, but I do not trust it as I feel it will damage seals. I have heard good things about Amsoil, though. Possibly what I wrote is wrong.
 

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I have a 2004 SE with 72K on it and have these issues, or quirks I guess. It does have a slight thump and delay when shifting into reverse and occasionally the 1-2 shift was runs perfectly otherwise.

I've kept up with fluid changes, every 30K miles.

So these things are normal operation? Reassuring if so.
 

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Hello! Tell me please, if there are any differences between the 96 transmission and 2000 transmission (ax4n)
What should I know to swap it?
 
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