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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, and thanks in advance for reading and helping.

i have a 1996 mercury sable, DOHC, 190K miles. Runs great until recently. Started noticing a hard slip from 1st to 2nd gear. Took it in to transmission shop and dropped the pan and changed the fluid and filter. they did notice some "shavings" in the bottom of the pan.

When it slipped, i put the car in 2nd and it would shift through all gears and run perfect. (don't know why it would shift out of 2nd).... When in (d)rive, it would sometimes slip when cold, and run fine when hot... I started driving all the time in 2nd.

The issue is.... when i am in 2nd and slowing to a stop, the transmission "hard shifts" around 5 mph to the stop..... not from 2nd to 1st. It DOES NOT do this when in (d)rive. So i can drive the car through all gears in 2nd.... and when slowing to a stop.... at 10 mph, shift to (d)rive, and the car stops normally with no "hard shift".

Cant afford new transmission right now... and was hoping it is a sensor somewhere..
 

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As stated above, i would change out the vss for $18-20 @ az., but, iirc., dbfruth(derby dave) solved a harsh 1-2 shift by replacing tps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i took it as....

az = autozone
vss = vehicle speed sensor
tps = throttle position sensor

anyone have a good step by step installation link.... or should i have a shop do it?
 

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On a cold eng., blindly reach down between evr(egr solenoid) and firewall and feel for a foil rectangular open-ended heat shield and slide it up elec. wire exposing vss. With 1/4 in. dr. ratchet, 2 lg. exts. and 10mm skt., remove retaining bolt. Unplug elec. conn. before or after removing bolt, whichever is easier. Pull vss from tranny. Install is reverse of removal. This procedure is for a gen3(96-99) tec with ax4n tran. Might work on a vulcan with an ax4n tran., dunno. Tip: I recommend taping all the tools (exts. and skt.) together unless you want to retrieve them a few times from under the car. Also, wobble-type exts. come in handy. Remember, this is all done blindly and by feel so patience is the key. Good luck. P.S.: Might want to consider the borg-warner vss @ oreilly or adv. auto for about $5 more. Poss. a little better quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i stopped by a transmission shop... they are quoting me 125.00 to install the vss.... stating they had to remove the exhaust system. does this seem logical? also, anyone in phoenix az that anyone would recommend to do this installation?
 

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Y-pipe (exhaust) only has to be dropped on the 3.8 essex engine. Some have claimed to have gotten at it through the pass. side wheel well or from underneath the car, but after doing 5-6 of them, i cant imagine an easier way than from the top. Good luck!
 

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Not saying for sure thats your problem, but the 6 ive changed out, not 1 threw a code. All had a slipping 1-2 shift and other shift point oddities. Only 1 had speedo issues and a flashing od off light.
 

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Not the egr valve, the egr solenoid. The black plastic thingy on the pass. end of the uim (upper intake manifold) with an elec. conn. and 2 vac. hoses running to it. It has a black circular dome on top. You are working on a 96 tec, right?
 

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Feel for a box-like open-ended foil heat shield and slide it up the elec. wire to access vss inside. Vss sits vertically on the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sheila.... I DID IT! I changed it out. Was a [email protected]! But I did it. Was able to get my big paws on the "heat shield" for the sensor..... I am 6'0 and 250... so my forearm was being rubbed raw.... from contorting to the sensor. Was able to jack up the car and get to the sensor from underneath. Had to use my most expensive tool in the garage...... A lot of guys aren't as lucky as i am to have this tool..... again it is the MOST expensive it have!...... MY WIFE! LOL. Her hands were able to access the sensor from underneath... while i lowered the "taped" together extensions like you said through the maze of hoses.... we were able to remove and replace the sensor! It brought our marriage closer!

The car actually runs at a lower RPM at higher speeds.... and seems to coast better.... but still have a slipping gear while in drive and hard shift at 5 mph.... runs perfect in 2nd.... gears 1 - 4.... just a hard shift at 5 mph....... when slowing down.... doesn't happen if i stop quickly.....

BTW, thanks for the detail instructions.... were great.
 
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