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Discussion Starter #1
Called Ford - part price $95 !!! are you kidding ?!?!?
Ford part number is F5AZ-7A247-AA (the guy told me "AA" is the updated part, used to be one A)

Advanceautoparts - price $31.82:
http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=GPS&MfrPartNumber=NS95&PartType=401&PTSet=A


Autozone - $22.99:
http://www.autozone.com/Ntt,f430/shopping/allResults.htm


Rockauto - $43.79:
(I get all my stuff from Rock, but as you can see they are not the best price on this one)
http://info.rockauto.com/Airtex/Detail.html?1S5325.jpg
(picture of part, Rock part number 1S5325)


Link to 4R70W rebuild page with picture of part and info:
http://www.mn12performance.com/mn12-techinfo/trans-tech/4r70w_rebuild.html


If anyone has better links and prices and/or more specific info please update this thread.
 

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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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Any updated links? I have a new-to-me 94 V6 with less than 25k miles that seems to behave well with the overdrive off, so I'm thinking this is my issue too. Any chance of getting the 6-pin? We're just starting to accumulate some tools (my 15-yo is my handyman), so no Dremel or grinders ? Everything I've found is 8 pins.
 

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Any updated links? I have a new-to-me 94 V6 with less than 25k miles that seems to behave well with the overdrive off, so I'm thinking this is my issue too. Any chance of getting the 6-pin? We're just starting to accumulate some tools (my 15-yo is my handyman), so no Dremel or grinders ? Everything I've found is 8 pins.
Ok; there is the addressing the instant problem, or the entire issue.

The mlps is unlikely to be the problem in a 20 yo 4r transmission.
The 3-4 shift is likely a problem with the OD band, see a recent post for diagnosis, vis-a vis the 2nd gear downshift thing.

If it is the problem, there will be new problems.


The complete issue is that the early transmissions were crap.
Many things were removed for the gods of cost.

The long term solution to the transmission problem is to go past the early years.

You need to buy a later model transmission, and have it rebuilt to match your needs.
Rewiring is necessary, but it's worth it.

The 2002 or later model year tranny has all the parts they removed for cost, and a better core.
The problem for later ones is that in 2003 they changed stuff, so it may not work for us, due to the lack of a rear shaft VSS gear.
2003 might have it, 2004 will not.
There are many things with the early trannys that need to be dealt with, and it sucks.

So, the short version is that You want to Rebuild a 2002 or later tranny for your car, unless your tranny guy has knowledge of how to improve from there.

We have a member, darin, that builds trannys to spec; I'd talk to him. Start a "conversation" with him.

You have to keep the original wiring and solenoids for your tranny, or there are problems.
Search or talk to darrin.
If someone tells you a 96 or later tranny will drop in and work, you're being lied to.
 

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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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?? With only 23k miles on the car, I'm really REALLY hoping I don't need to replace the transmission. My brother had a Town Car with a similar issues and he said all he had to do was adjust the MLPS. I'm for sure going to try that first. It sounds like a lot of people have had success going that route. (Plus I don't have $1,500+ left after buying this car!)
 

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The MLPS has changed a bit; the new one will have a different connector, and you'll have to pull the pins out of the old one and put into the new housing, on most of them.

Some of them include a connector to splice in; I'd go with the one that you pull apart the old one, because it's easier to do than splice wires that have to stay dry.

I always buy motorcraft parts, that's the oem, but I understand frugality. :)

Before I did anything I'd try a simple test.

Go out on a straight road with no traffic, and while going about 40-50 mph, shift down to 2nd gear.
If you get engine braking, that means the OD band is working, and the MLPS is likely to be the problem.

If it freewheels, there's no engine braking, then you need to look at the fluid carefully, and see if it's full of dark particles from a bad OD band.
I pull the stick after driving, and wipe it on a white rag, and look for black dirt.
If there's no dark particles, It's possible that the OD band is OK, and the OD servo piston is leaking or bad.
That CAN be serviced from under the car, but it's involved.
You have to pull the pan, pull the valvebody, and there may be a circlip that holds it in.

OD servo Piston:




Here's a write-up on how these come apart:

If the band is toast, and the fluid is full of particles, I'd recommend upgrading to a 2002 year Crown Vic or Gran Marquis transmission; since 2002 was almost 18 years ago, I'd have it rebuilt.
The TCC has to be swapped between the transmissions, as does the manual lever on the side.

I'd find a good local transmission guy, and have someone do the upgrade; the guys that work on the local police cars is a great place to start. :)

There's a guy here that builds transmissions, his name is darrin; you can send him a message by clicking on his name in a post, and starting a conversation, iirc.
 

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Wow! Thanks for the information. I'll read it slowly and see if I can figure it out. I'm a little terrified of putting my car into 2nd gear at that speed ??
 

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It will slide the tires if you do it at 70, lol.

30-40 will work, you're just looking for the engine to rev up when you hit second gear.
If it doesn't, that means the OD band isn't working. That's either a burnt band, or a leaking or stuck OD servo piston.

If it does, the overdive band is working, and the MLPS might be the problem with 4th gear.

If you have the old 6 pin style, it's fairly possible, as that's why they were upgraded.
 

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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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Well... Somehow I was nearly out of fluid. That made for A VERY BAD drive to work! Thankfully a coworker had some in his trunk, I was still a quart low, took it to a shop (who said I was a quart low), had the fluid topped off, took it back after flawless performance yesterday to have the level checked. He said I was still good, so I drove it back to work with no trouble UNTIL I left work in the rain and now I had that same issue. The mechanic said he couldn't see any drips, so he was skeptical that there was a leak, but I drove it 90 miles home when I bought it, and it was driving fine, so I'm thinking there was fluid lost between the time I bought it and the time I turned up at work almost empty. Haven't checked in the radiator yet... That was one thing he suggested. Good thing it's not my only car! Have to check the fluid next time and drive on a dry day. Sigh
 

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You want to address that quickly; driving these low on fluid is really hard on them.

Make sure you are adding "Mercon V" fluid; it's special for these cars.

The best way to find leaks is to put a newspaper on your driveway, held down by rocks or similar, then park over it.

Taking it thru a car wash that does the underside first helps, as it will strip all the dirt off that makes it run across surfaces.

The likely spots are the radiator fittings or cooler, the pan, the side lever seal, or the front seal.

If you can put it up on stands and get some pictures of the bottom of the car, We'll help Identify where it's coming from.
Don't put an additive or something like that in, it won't help. :)



This is what it looks like from the bottom; the top part is toward the front of the car.

There's a lever on the side that can leak, and the dipstick is right in front of that which can leak.
Hopefully, it's the dipstick leaking. :) That's just a mess and a rubber oring to fix.
If it's coming from the front, where the rubber plug is, that can be the Torque converter, or the front pump seal.
If it's coming from the back, then it can be the tailshaft has loosened, which can be tightened, or the seal at the driveshaft.
The tailshaft housing is right at the bottom of the pic, those bolts you see there.

A question: Does the car vibrate at a speed somewhere near 70mph on the interstate?
That can be the driveshaft, which causes the tailshaft bushing to go out, and the tailshaft housing to loosen; I've had that problem, and fluid running out was a symptom of that.

Fluid in the radiator will cause it to look like a white milky mess; that means the cooler assembly in the radiator is leaking, and you add an external cooler, and seal off the openings into the radiator and don't use them.
Adding an external cooler and Changing coolant and transmission fluid will usually fix this.

Which part of the country are you in? Different things happen in different areas.
 

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Thanks for all the info. I'm taking it to a mechanic today. We were going to put it up on ramps for my son to look at the underside and the MLPS, but my friend's ramps were FAR too steep for my bumper ? We're in NC, and it seems to be fine on the highway going 70. John (my son) tried to get the radiator cap off, but he thinks it's just a valve. We don't see anything in the overflow... It just looks like coolant. Hopefully it's not really leaking... We've been checking and there's still plenty of fluid. My brother thinks it may be incompatible fluids, especially since they were added at different times. I'm also suspicious that there's moisture getting in somewhere, since I've only noticed problems when there's water on the road. Hopefully my mechanic can shed some light (though he told me he doesn't like working on cars without the full OBDII diagnostic ?)
 

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Just an update- a good one! Apparently I need to only check the transmission fluid when the engine is warm. It is not leaking ? I also just had the mechanic replace the MLPS a few weeks back, and have only had a false alarm (and a bad tie rod end) in the meantime. Lots and lots of rain here in central NC, so if it were going to misbehave, I'm pretty sure it would have happened. Now I just have to replace tires and probably struts (and have my teen check on the sketchy passenger window)... Getting there!
 

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That's good to hear, Lenise!

I wish you and your voidling the best!

RwP
 

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Wait- what's a voidling? My car still has occasional overdrive indecision. I'm not sure whether it's actually a malfunction, because it happened going uphill at about 35mph. It felt really unpleasant, but the mechanic said she's probably fine, with the exception of maybe a solenoid ?

That's good to hear, Lenise!

I wish you and your voidling the best!

RwP
 

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The transmission usually shifts around 35 or so into overdrive so this might be the indecision you're feeling.

Joe
 

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Yeah... Maybe I'm usually going 40 by the time I get there, and that's why it hasn't done that in the past at that spot. Part of my issue is that I've driven a 2005 Freestyle with a CVT for the last two years, and I'm still not comfortable with the automatic transmission.
 

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Wait- what's a voidling? My car still has occasional overdrive indecision. I'm not sure whether it's actually a malfunction, because it happened going uphill at about 35mph. It felt really unpleasant, but the mechanic said she's probably fine, with the exception of maybe a solenoid ?
Heh.

It's a nickname to black cats.

"I stared into the Void - and it stared back!" kind of thing.

RwP
 

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Oh! ? That makes so much sense! Here I thought you were picking on my poor little 3.8 ?
38015
 
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