I have finally (I think) discovered my sahking/shuddering problem. It turns out that my torque converter may be causing this. Has anyone ever had any luck "servicing" their TC? Can a fluid/filter change help anytyhing?
Also, if I have to, is this a part I can replace myself? (I'm guessing not, but thought I'd ask). How much might I expect to have a shop replace it?
Torque converter shudder is a very common problem in the E4OD and other transmissions. In most cases a fluid/filter change is the first step to fixing the problem. Several people swear by products like Lucas and others as a "magic" fix. I stay away from those products, but it is up to you.
The first order of business is doing a complete fluid change and installing a new filter. This procedure is written for for the Ford E4OD/4R100 transmission, but it does apply to others. Check your owners manual for the recommended ATF fluid and capacity: Changing ATF Fluid
ok...got everything buttoned back up. However, I wasn't 100% sure what the capacity level for the E40D is. I didn't do the complete pump out technique listed in those instructions. I just drained the TC and the pan itself. I'm guessing there is a quart or two left in the lines/accumulators, etc. Hayne's says the capacity is between 16.6 and 17.2 quarts. Because the fluid is so new and clean, trying to read a dipstick is very hard (the fluid is so runny you can't tell if you are just smearing fluid on the stick from the fill tube. Anyhow, any idea on the actual capacity and if I check the fluid level cold, should it be between the two holes in the dipstick which are just lower than the hot level cross-hatch level?
The two holes indicate the fluid level at 50-95 degrees. You really should check it with the engine/transmission at operating temperature on level ground. The fluid level should be in the cross-hatch level when they are at operating temperature.
well, as I said, I did the full ATF drain and refil (with filter replacement). This didn't help my shutter problem other than mellowing it a bit perhaps. I also added some of that Dr. Tranny's Instant Shudder Fixx, which for snake oil, seems to get a LOT of positive reivews on this site. Well it didn't cure anything for me. So what, if any, are my options? Straight to new converter? I read on some other threads that sometimes a shift kit or chip can be a possible solution.
I assume you're asking tither why I think it's the TC or what are the detailed symptoms...I'll try to answer both.
After researching other posts on symptoms of TC shudder, I've determined that my symptoms match exactly. I get that strong shudder at low rpms in 3rd and 4th gear under light load. I've also done the "diagnostic" test of when the shudder starts, I tap the brakes to disengate the lockout...sure enough shudder stops. Also, if I turn off the O/D, the problem goes away. That's where I am as of now.
You answered my questions, it does look like a classic case of torque converter shudder. If the fluid change does not fix it then it is beyond what I can help you with. I suggest taking it to a very competent transmission shop that know their heads from a hole in the ground.