Could be all kinds of symptoms, many of which could also be caused by other things.
Some symptoms you could expect are: brown or black ATF fluid; slippage; foaming of the fluid; harsh and or mushy shifting. One symptom seems to be pretty much isolated to the TC. Torque Shudder is usually caused by the TC. It feels kind of like a subtle rumbling or shuddering of the truck while it is driving down a smooth road, sort of a bit like driving on rain grooves. Usually during very slight loading and acceleration. Hard acceleration or a heavy load may mask the symptom.
Tell us more what you are feeling and why you suspect the TC?
spent plenty on trannies to learn some harsh lessons.
The truck will also shudder while in drive, until after it has been driven a while. It started to do this just out of the blue one day The fluid was dark so I changed it, helped a little. The tranny is also slow at engaging when you first put it in gear. It shifts very well not real crisp like I would like it. I changed the modulator, but don't know how to adjust it to change the shift.
Hmmm sounds like maybe the fluid hasnt been changed in a long time if ever? a 72 truck with 100K on it, could be after all these years the fluid broke down.
Whether it was old fluid or not, being dark is not good. Usually means something overheating. Could be clutches(Also can cause slow engagement) or the TC slipping, also might be cooked seals.
What did the inside of the tranny pan look like when you changed the fluid? Was there dark pepper sized flakes(Clutch) in it? A small amount is normal especially after this many miles. Any metal chunks bigger than a grain of rice? If there are and if there are more than just 3 or 4, something is knocking bits of metal loose in the tranny. What did the magnet(Usually donut or square shape and at the bottom of the pan or sometimes it is on the drain plug) look like? Was there a fuzzy silvery/grey coating? A little is normal. A huge amount or metal chunks is not good.
Like I said, I am not a tranny expert but so far based upon what you have said and the age of the truck, I lean towards a tranny that is starting to give up the ghost. I also lean more towards the clutches giving out, a pan check would tell me more. My guess is that a tranny shop will recommend an overhaul, with clutches and TC as a minimum. Don't know what it costs to rebuild your model but my A4OD cost around $2,500 for a normal rebuild with heavy duty clutches, TC, Pump and valves, plus a shift kit. If the planetary or any other major assemblies are bad, yeowch. If you are handy with tools you might try to rebuild it yourself or buy a crate tranny from some shop and drop it in.
Alternatively you might try one of those tranny flushes that a lot of shops offer. If you are lucky, you just have a bit of junk floating around, occasionally clogging things up.
When I changed the filter there was a little floury grey film in the magnet and pan. I didn't drain the tc, because I didn't know how. This is my first auto tranny, the parts store said you couldn't drain them. I think think my best option right now is to drain the tranny and tc and go from there. After it warms up it doesn't shudder and shifts really good. I have had the truck about two years, when I bought it had been setting for about 5 years.
Some TC can be drained. I am not sure of your model.
You remove the sheet metal cover over the front of the bell housing. Use a flashlight and check to see if you see a drain plug on the TC. Then making SURE the engine CANNOT START, you turn the TC by hand if you are a manly man or use a TC wrench, like the rest of us. TC wrench is kind of like a big C with a couple teeth at the ends and attached to a lever bar. The teeth of the C fit into the teeth on the TC or Flywheel. Turn the TC til the drain plug is pointing down. Drain the TC and the pan, change the filter etc. Wipe out the pan etc.
It is usually a good idea to fill the TC a bit before firing it up. the best way to do this is to turn the tc up until the drain hole is at least half way up and use a pump with hose to fill up the TC with ATF. The pumps are sold at parts stores and are usually pretty cheap.
Then fill the tranny and add a quart or two too much if you can. Fire up the engine and follow the user manual procedure to measure the fluid level, usually put in all gears for a second and then stop in park. Add more fluid as needed. Check it again after a ride. Most trannies will take close to 10 quarts if the TC has been drained, so have plenty.
The alternative is to take it to a tranny shop and have them flush it by pumping clean fluid through it. Costs about $50-$70 but I think it probably does a better job.
Still no guarantee that it will fix things. But let's just hope you had some speck of dirt sticking the valves.
I will check this weekend to see if I can drain the tc. I did a little other work on it last night and it never did the shudder thing at all. One of the things that I did was adjust the modulator (I put a new one on a while ago), because it was shifting really soft. I don't remember if this is when it started, but it was around that time. Could this possibly have something to do with it. I am going to still drain the tc if I can.
Don't know about the modulator, never had to play with one. Like I said not an expert. The modulator can be adjusted to change how hard the tranny shifts, so maybe it can be adjusted to compensate for slipping clutches? Or maybe when you replaced it, it wasn't adjusted right. Don't think the modulator would affect the TC.
noise.....I'm not a expert either but I've wrenched a few.To adjust your shift points with the modulater.....theres a adjustment screw inside the vacum tube itself....have fun.....ford tranies should never fail ....WHY???? because the TC can be drained....GOD BLESS
I was driving along the freeway when all of a sudden when passing a car the truck starter to slow down, I could hear the engine reving but the truck kept getting slower. after some reading of this site I think the torque converter broke or something, the engine runs fine, when I checked the fliud level it showed the fluid way above the marks. the truck will back up beter then it goes forward I think I need a new torque converter
You need to drop the pan and check the fluid and any sludge at the bottom of the pan. Read the other posts for what to expect. Fluid should be red and smell chemically, not burnt and brown, you can do this by wiping the dipstick and sniffing.
Not enough info from what you post to say, but it could be the converter or worn out clutches, or one problem I have had in the past, a clogged fuel filter.
A clogged fuel filter will cause the engine to make less power so the computer downshifts the tranny and the engine revs up, but it still doesn't make enough power to move it along.
the best way to tell if ur torque convertor is slight shuttering during shifting. specifically on ford ranger 4.0, reverse hangs up and causes the engine to stall. also when you stop at a stop light the truck tries to continue to move forward. if you don't shift it to neutral it will stall. I hope this will help you decide what you need to fix.