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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just been informed that the torque converter seal has gone on my transmission ('97 3.0 Duratec).

Apparently what with the history of the transmission (slight slippage before fluid change) I should have it rebuilt.

I was quoted $1795 to rebuild the transmission at a transmission shop. This is with a 2 yr/24000 mile warranty.

Am I being ripped off here????

It seems awfully expensive!
 

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severely ripped. you can buy a new tranny for that. a rebuild should be, at the very most, 1,000 and usually they run approx. 300-600 hundred, depending on where you live.

for 1795, call autozone's engine department or ford themselves and buy a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I have a dilemma here.

I don't have $1700 to have the transmission rebuilt, but I love the car!

I could gamble with about $400 and have the torque converter seal replaced.
Apparently it'll cost this much in labor alone!

What do you guys think?

Just before the transmission flush, I had slight slipping occasionally when the transmission was cold.
After the flush, the transmission felt like new for a few days. I drove about 200 miles in those few days, it was great - like a new car!

Then the leak began.

What would you do?
Wait around without a car until I can get $1700 together, or gamble with the $400 and have the Torque Converter seal replaced and cross my fingers?
 

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I would look for another shop with a more reasonable price. I'd also make sure to have a shift kit installed if you have it rebuilt, best time to do it and they cost like 40-60 bucks for the kit IIRC (for a gen3 anyways).
 

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Around here the rebuild is more than twice the cost of a new transmission. But i've noticed that junkyard transmissions tend to have the same problem as the one that you are trying to fix. I had two different junkyard transmissions put in my g3 and still had to get all the seals replaced once i got one that didn't slip. They all leaked so bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by HighTecRedneck@Aug 11 2004, 09:48 PM
I would look for another shop with a more reasonable price.
I've looked around, and the lowest I've come across so far is $1600!
I don't understand it.

I guess I'm going to go ahead with the seal replacement and hope for the best.... wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!

I've got everything crossed here!

Is the car driveable with a leaking torque converter seal? I wouldn't imagine it would be....
 

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I have priced a rebuilt tranny and they are running for about $1300 by the time you pay shipping. HAving spent an entire weekend changing one out on 96 I think the $1700 is a pretty good deal with a 2 year warranty
 

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Originally posted by Gor+Aug 12 2004, 12:10 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Gor @ Aug 12 2004, 12:10 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-HighTecRedneck@Aug 11 2004, 09:48 PM
I would look for another shop with a more reasonable price.
I've looked around, and the lowest I've come across so far is $1600!
I don't understand it.

I guess I'm going to go ahead with the seal replacement and hope for the best.... wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!

I've got everything crossed here!

Is the car driveable with a leaking torque converter seal? I wouldn't imagine it would be.... [/b][/quote]
I didn't even think to ask, is that 1700 USD or canadian? If it's canadian that could explain why the price seems so high to several of us. Good luck with the seal replacement, i got my fingers crossed for you also. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
$1700 is USD, I live in Oklahoma.

I talked with the mechanic - he said that the seal probably failed due to high temperature from the torque converter traveling along the shaft.

When my check engine light came on a while ago, I had the codes pulled. One of them was a Torque Converter Clutch problem - it didn't change the way the car drove, so I basically ignored it.

They're going to change the seals and replace the torque converter for under $500.
 

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If you don't have one already make sure you add an Aux Trans Cooler to help keep it from getting so hot. They are about 30-60 bucks and you can install it yourself of have them do it. They are a must with our cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shoot, I think it might be too late to tell the guys now........

What is this thing? How do you install it? What's it look like? etc...
 

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An Auxiliary (secondary) Transmission cooler

Check this link for some examples www.blukpart.com

I have a tube fin installed in my picture below, other user prefer the stacked plate design.

Tube&fin = less expensive and bigger for amount of cooling it does
StackedPlate = more expensive and smaller for amount of cooling it does

The average size cooler people usually put on their taurus i have seen is around 18-20K GVW (gross vehicle weight). Since the coolers are different physical sizes depending on the type you get it is easier to refer to their size by means of GVW. If you ask the shop about them i'm sure they can tell you more and might have one in stock they can install. But honestly you can install it yourself and save the money.
 

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Before i forget i will add that the stock cooler i have pointed to in my picture is not the stock cooler on all taurus and sables. They seemed to change them around a bit in the gen3. in my 98 sable the finned tube is the ATX cooler while the finless tube is the PS cooler. There were years/makes that had it the other way around and even ones that had both tubed finned. The thing to remember is that the 1/2" ID tube (finned or not) is the PS line and the 3/8" ID tube (finned or not) is the ATX line. Those sizes shouldn't have changed unlike the fins.
 

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On the SHO's they went to a finned cooler for the ATX in '98. The top one is always the ATX cooler and it is always the smaller hose in the OEM locations.

This being the case, an easy mod would be to change the OEM aux ATX cooler with another PS cooler allowing three things. One a bigger cooler with more surface area, two an expansion area to slow the fluid down while going through the cooler, three allow the use of a a 1/2" Magnifine filter. IMHO the 3/8" Magnifine is too small due to the end fittings.

With the use of OEM 3/8" ID hose any use of a normal barbed type fitting will reduce the effective ID size to 5/16". If you use copper tubing as a connector it will stay the full 3/8" ID. Tubing is referenced as the inside diameter as is hose. To up size to 1/2", so that you can use a 1/2" Magnifine filter, use thin wall stainless steel reducers available from www.McMaster.com as part number 5670K43 Type 303 SS Multi-Barbed Tube Fitting Reducing Coupling For 1/2" X 3/8" Tube ID available HERE for the cheap.

Use hydraulic hose for any tranny cooler hose. This type of hose has a steel inner braid. It would be indestructible as the ATX hose for the SHO or SLO as it is will not kink. Seals easily with HD hose clamps too.

Add the the biggest ATX cooler you can find. These will usually have 3/8" hose ends so put them on the output side of the new bigger ATX cooler. Use a good synthetic ATX fluid. This should be changed along with the filter every 30k. If you use regular ATX fluid the every 15k.

The Ford tranny is just too weak to follow MFS intervals. Ford Mercon V or any other mixed fluid should be considered as a dino fluid. If it isn't 100% synthetic then don't bother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by HighTecRedneck@Aug 12 2004, 01:49 PM
An Auxiliary (secondary) Transmission cooler.........

..........But honestly you can install it yourself and save the money.
Sweet!

I have the car back now and it drives great!

$575.83 was my total. They replaced the torque converter, pump seals and axle seals, changed the filter and filled me up with Mercon V.

Now, for the transmission cooler - I've looked at HighTecRedneck's picture - his transmission line is FINNED whereas mine ISN'T !!!!

How much do these aux coolers run at, and how easy are they to install?
I changed my water pump, and it can't be so much of a bitch to do as that was!! lol....

Does the fluid flow go something like this??.....
Trans > Aux Cooler > Old cooler straight-pipe > Trans

??

I dunno, fill me in!
I believe I would want one of these!
 

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Hopefully its on the the seal. I had a similar problem where the seal gave it up warranty. I brought it back in, they thought it was wierd. They replaced the seal and the torque converter. It seemed to run good for 3 months later I started to get codes on the transmission. It appeared to be a faulty torque converter, but after I had to have it yanked and rebuilt, it was the tranmission oil pump components. The codes made it look like the torque converter was slipping but in actuallity it was the pump assembly. Apparently some funky stuff was happening in there. not sure if it was the pump or the pump shaft(not sure what went first) But it was the root of the problem, and slowly it started to grind itself away. It could have been a case of faulty craftsmanship when the seal gave way, but if you start driving along and see your OD light start flashing don't wait too long to get it checked out. I had the transcooler before all ths stuff and it was a fairly new transmission, and this thing took me by surprise. You got a good deal on having the service done. The labor to yank out the tranmisson around here is pretty expensive. Last time I had the tranmission rebuilt it cost me 2000, and it was cheaper than than the first time. And fyi don't bypass the stock transcooler with your new one, the ford service manual advises heavily against it.
Having hind sight about all this stuff, there is a place on the web that sells rebuilt transmissions that give a 3year 75,000 mile warranty. I would have gone this route instead of the typicial 12/12 or 24/24,000. I do a lot of highway driving so I rack up the miles really fast. But you again of course are at the mercy of the your local mechanice that does the install, his labor is not cheap to get the transmissions in and out. Good luck and lets hope its just a seal.
Levi
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, I have my fingers (and other parts of my anatomy) crossed for this to work!

When the mechanic took out the old torque converter, he mentioned that there were marks or "gouges" in it. I don't know why, or how.
He said that there was maybe a "soft-spot" on it, or it had just done a lot of work. My car has 108k on it - I guess that can be classed as a "lot of work" !
 

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Originally posted by Gor+Aug 15 2004, 01:41 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Gor @ Aug 15 2004, 01:41 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-HighTecRedneck@Aug 12 2004, 01:49 PM
An Auxiliary (secondary) Transmission cooler.........

..........But honestly you can install it yourself and save the money.
Sweet!

I have the car back now and it drives great!

$575.83 was my total. They replaced the torque converter, pump seals and axle seals, changed the filter and filled me up with Mercon V.

Now, for the transmission cooler - I've looked at HighTecRedneck's picture - his transmission line is FINNED whereas mine ISN'T !!!!

How much do these aux coolers run at, and how easy are they to install?
I changed my water pump, and it can't be so much of a bitch to do as that was!! lol....

Does the fluid flow go something like this??.....
Trans > Aux Cooler > Old cooler straight-pipe > Trans

??

I dunno, fill me in!
I believe I would want one of these! [/b][/quote]
Hey, sorry for the delay, i was out of town this weekend on Military duty and didn't have computer/internet access.

The flow would go something more like this IIRC:

Trans > Radiator cooler (ATX cooling lines inside radiator) > OEM (stock) cooler straight-pipe > Aux (aftermarket) Cooler > Trans

As i mentioned in the post after the picture the finned one isn't always the ATX cooler some of the ATX coolers were non-finned ones like yours sounds to be so don't worry about that. The key thing is that it is the pipe on the top and is 3/8" ID regardless of whether it is finned or not.

The link i included in my previous post has the prices and some info on installing them. The one suggestion i do have is don't try to follow the instructions they provide with the cooler if you by a hayden cooler. Their instruction were written for applications where there is no oem straight pipe cooler like ours has and therefor instruct your to connect it to the ATX lines coming out of the radiator which you do not want to do (harder to do and not the best location to install the Aux cooler on our cars). If you need any help installing it don't hesitate to pm/email me and i'll help you out the best i can.

Glad to hear that they appear to have fixed your problems for as cheap as they were able to. Beats the hell out of 1600 bucks if you ask me. :D
 

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Originally posted by Gor@Aug 12 2004, 10:49 AM
$1700 is USD, I live in Oklahoma.

I talked with the mechanic - he said that the seal probably failed due to high temperature from the torque converter traveling along the shaft.

When my check engine light came on a while ago, I had the codes pulled. One of them was a Torque Converter Clutch problem - it didn't change the way the car drove, so I basically ignored it.

They're going to change the seals and replace the torque converter for under $500.
My dad's 92 Buick Park Avenue (I know not a taurus) Service Engine Soon light is giving codes indicating something wrong with the Torque Converter Clutch. He asked a mechanic friend of his and he said that could cause the torque converter to overheat. That is probably what caused it.
 
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