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  #1  
Old 03-20-2011, 05:22 PM
jcw819 jcw819 is offline
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a4ld transmission

I have a 94 ford ranger with a 4.0 v-6 and a a4ld auto transmission. I have been having a problem with getting it to go into drive. Usually it will take 1 or 2 minutes before going into gear but the last time I drove it I waited 25 minutes for it to go into gear. It will go right into reverse and it usually shifts fine after it finally goes into gear but it takes so long that I can't drive it until I fix. Please help if you can.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:48 AM
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Most of the time this means your fluid is desperately low, check the fluid level. If that still doesn't work, then your clutches are excessively worn and need to be replaced. Some will try to argue that they can be readjusted, but that simply isn't true. The original adjustment in needed to get the clutches on and allow them to engage properly, by the time they wear down enough to slip, the lining is paper thin, and if you tighten them more, they will properly break, and if the lining wears through well, lets just say that what happens to brake pads that are gone and the metal hits the rotors directly, thats what will happen inside your trans.

Check the fluid level, if it is fine and the fluid looks great (not fine or ok, you want it to look new), then the problem is internal wear. If the fluid is low, add some and see if that doesn't resolve your issue.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:43 AM
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Your transmission has 'morning sickness', as in it doesn't want to go to work in the morning. I would suspect that the clutches are worn out. The clutch packs in reverse get a lot more apply pressure, so they are the last to go. If you put the transmission into any of the forward gears, and it does not move, I think you will be repairing or replacing your transmission in the near future.
Have you checked the condition of the transmission fluid? If it smells sour, or burnt, then you likely need go no further. The fluid was originally purple in color. If it is now brown or very dark, it is likely degraded. As the clutch material wears, the bits of clutch material that have been worn off can get circulated around, and get trapped in the filter, and cause even more slippage by blocking intake to the pump that provides 'apply' pressure.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:31 AM
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Tomw, While your explanation is pretty reasonable, I have to disagree with several points. I have had problems with multiple Aerostar, all of which had the A4LD, and low fluid will cause they very problem you describe and if ignored will rapidly cause additional problems. The fluids original color is red, not pink or brown, and not purple. As the friction material wears off the bands and clutches, much of it is too small to be trapped by the filter, it does not plug the filter and restrict flow, but it does basically sand blast the internals of the transmission. Because it is too small to be trapped by the filter, the only way to remove it is replace the fluid that is carrying it. The general idea you put across is correct though, just would rather see the details cleaned up a bit.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:01 PM
jcw819 jcw819 is offline
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Thanks for the info. The fluid had been flushed last year, so it was clean. I don't understand why the transmission shifts fine when it finally drops into gear. Usually worn clutches will slip but mine hasn't slipped yet. Also I only have 115,000 miles on the truck, so I didn't think the clutch material would be worn out yet.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:09 AM
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KhanTyranitar:

The clutches are not adjustable at all, except during assembly. They can be adjusted if the transmission is disassembled using thicker or thinner 'cover plates', or steels. The bands are adjustable, but they generally last the life of the transmission without further adjustment.

If you pour ATF, of any brand, into a container, it looks purple to me. It does not look like the red on the Stars and Stripes to me, at all. Always dark and purplish. But, that is a matter of opinion. My wife would call it mauve or magenta or cyan or something like that. You call it red, I call it tomato, or is it potato?

The microscopic particles you think are sandblasting the internals of the transmission are just too small, and are entrained in the hydraulic fluid. They have a marginal propensity to wear against the internals of the transmission, and if on a load bearing surface, the fluid should, emphasize should, form a fluidic wave that separates the two piece from touching one another. The particles have no particular reason to bear on the bearing surfaces, and are not being ground against the bearing surface at all.
Ford used to micro-polish intake manifolds using a process that had a very thick slurry, like sand embedded in grease or very heavy oil, that was flowed inside the intake manifolds. Given the plastic manifolds currently in vogue, I don't think they use the process any more. It was a matter of forcing a semi-liquid through a limited diameter. There were so many solids entrained that they were forced against the inner of the manifold, and scoured it enough to polish the surface. Transmission fluid does not have enough particulate to do that polishing, and is so limited in comparison to the amount of fluid flowing that it likely does nothing to wear the transmission.
Torqflite transmissions would chunk so much stuff that you could perforate the filter, put the pan back on, and they would work. On the other hand, I found no chunking in my AXOD after 75k miles, just a limited coating of fine particulate on all horizontal surfaces. So fine that it would leave very little when passed through filter paper or a paper towel in my case. The same thing was true on the last fluid and filter change at 180k. There is not enough there to damage bearings. IMO. Yours may differ.
" The general idea you put across is correct though, just would rather see the details cleaned up a bit. " Me too.
JCW819:
I worked on an A4LD that had worn clutches. It took almost 190k to wear them out, and a horse trailer was being pulled a lot of the time. It, too, took a while to get going in the morning, and then finally one day it would not move at all except in reverse.
When I took it apart, the clutches looked like steels. And they were blued from getting hot. I cannot tell you how it had shifted once it got warmed up because it would not move. If you have checked the fluid level, and it is normal, I repeat my original suggestion that you likely have hardened seals in the clutch packs that leak so much fluid they cannot apply enough pressure to lock the clutches and move the vehicle. It is possible that you have had a thrust bearing or washer deteriorate and allow the gizzards to move longitudinally, and exceeded the end play allowance. That *could* block or uncover an internal passage in the center support that provides apply pressure to the clutch packs. [I don't remember how many, but think just one]
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw View Post
KhanTyranitar:

The clutches are not adjustable at all, except during assembly. They can be adjusted if the transmission is disassembled using thicker or thinner 'cover plates', or steels. The bands are adjustable, but they generally last the life of the transmission without further adjustment.
If you reread my post, thats exactly what I said, why direct your response at me when you are just agreeing.

Quote:
The microscopic particles you think are sandblasting the internals of the transmission are just too small, and are entrained in the hydraulic fluid. They have a marginal propensity to wear against the internals of the transmission, and if on a load bearing surface, the fluid should, emphasize should, form a fluidic wave that separates the two piece from touching one another. The particles have no particular reason to bear on the bearing surfaces, and are not being ground against the bearing surface at all.
Wrong, the fluid will only carry the microscopic particles to a point, and once the fluid reaches saturation (approximately 30,000 miles of normal to heavy use) these particles begin to loose suspension and get deposited in various parts of the transmission. The bearings have little to worry bout since they are constantly being lubricated, forming a fluid film barrier. The valve body parts, the solenoids and valves in particular, do not receive a constant flow and the particles embed themselves where the metal valve contacts the bore. Due to the effects of gravity, they will almost always wear along the bottom of the bore.

I see you are basing most of your information of your own personal experiences, which would be fine if you were a transmission technician that actually rebuilt a lot of transmissions. I have seen a lot of failed transmissions and the internal parts that failed. Its not the bearings that go, most the problem begin in the valve body, where fluid begins leaking past a seal, often because the bore is no longer centered and has worn along one side. This causes a loss of pressure, which causes slipping, which causes heat, and sheds more friction material. The only way to prevent the problem is changing the fluid at the scheduled intervals, though upgraded internals helps. The shift kit is the best solution, not only does it reduce the slipping int he first place, but other the bores are replaced with brass ones, which are far more resistant to wear.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:59 AM
 
 
 
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