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Escort91 automatic tranmission problem


Denisthemenace
05-19-2010, 01:05 AM
In the morning when I started the car and put it on D,transmission went straight to third or forth gear(not sure)
I barely made it to go after few stalls,and then it started downshift ok no problem.I thought that I got away this time and it was just a glitch, but then after few hours of driving it started slipping and not going in to reverse fast enough ,then all the sudden it went ok again. Also left headlight bulb went burned out not sure when.
I checked all wire connectors looks ok ,throttle cable to transmission ok,ATF level ok.Speedometer works good.
Does anybody know what it could be?
thanks.

Denisthemenace
05-19-2010, 02:16 AM
I like the sound of this :evillol:

How many miles are on this car, and were they highway miles, or in-town miles?
The 2nd generation (91-96) Escorts used a 4EAT automatic transmission (http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=50472#). I had a friend whose 93 Escort would stick in 1st gear until the tranny got warmed up - about 5 to 10 minutes of driving along at slow speed but with the engine howling at high rpm. He finally pulled the transmission and got it rebuilt. In our 92 Escort (with 190,000 highway miles on it) the tranny quit working one day when it wouldnt move forward after coming to a stop sign. Nor would it back up. Even after I poured in 2 quarts of ATF it would only turn the wheels if they were jacked up off the ground. So I removed and rebuilt the tranny. The only new parts that looked different from the old ones were the little pressure relief piston for the oil pump, and the spring for that pressure relief piston. The paperwork with the rebuild kit mentioned that low oil pump (http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=50472#) pressure at low rpm had been a problem with the 4EAT - hence a stronger spring and different relief valve piston were provided.
Most people would say your transmission needs rebuilt. But if I were in your situation and had a place where I could work on it, it might be worth putting in those two new parts, the spring and the piston, to see if the tranny would still work. They can both be installed in the tranny from underneath, without too much trouble, and without removing the pan again. While it may be a long shot - its much cheaper/faster than changing out the transmision.
The oil pump is at the end of the tranny furthest from the motor, and is made of cast iron, whereas the rest of the tranny case is aluminum. The oil pump spring and piston will drop out if you remove the hex head plug that is at the bottom of the oil pump. You might need to remove a plastic splash shield to reach this. If you can find a business that sells automatic transmission parts they can sell you a bubble-pack with just the 'improved' spring and relief valve piston for the 4EAT. I think they cost about $20. You would have to drain much of the ATF out of the transmission, or let it dribble out of the hole when you unscrew the plug below the spring. One business that advertises their transmission 'hard parts' on ebay is: ctpowertrain. You can also do a search on ebay for 4EAT and find used transmissions for sale - but I would make sure that any used tranny that goes into the car has had the new type of oil pump relief valve spring and piston installed before it goes into the car.
You may have to put a rod up into the bottom of the relief valve piston to get it to slide down. You will see how this is possible when you have the new little piston in hand.

denisond3
05-19-2010, 09:23 AM
I dont know what it could be, but the usual first thing to try is changing the tranny fluid and the filter. There are usually two round magnets in the bottom of the transmission pan, and they should be cleaned of the gray slimy much that will be sticking to them.
Unfortunately dropping the transmission pan also involves; 1. supporting the bottom of the motor with a jack (using a wood block so you dont crack the alloy oil pan), 2. then unbolting the crossmember that runs front to rear under the transmission (and getting the bolts/nuts out may involve a lot of grunting), 3. then taking out all the little bolts and dropping the pan. Along with the pan coming down, the ATF runs out all over the place of course.
When re-assembling the oil pan, you should not overtighten the little bolts. I used a torque wrench that reads inch-pounds, & I even tighten the bolts in a pattern, going around in a circle, a little at a time.
If that doesnt make it work properly, my guess would be that you either have a problem with the transmission control module (mounted above where the clutch pedal would be if it were a 5 speed), or that there is some problem in the valve body of the transmission.

Denisthemenace
05-19-2010, 02:36 PM
I dont know what it could be, but the usual first thing to try is changing the tranny fluid and the filter. There are usually two round magnets in the bottom of the transmission pan, and they should be cleaned of the gray slimy much that will be sticking to them.
Unfortunately dropping the transmission pan also involves; 1. supporting the bottom of the motor with a jack (using a wood block so you dont crack the alloy oil pan), 2. then unbolting the crossmember that runs front to rear under the transmission (and getting the bolts/nuts out may involve a lot of grunting), 3. then taking out all the little bolts and dropping the pan. Along with the pan coming down, the ATF runs out all over the place of course.
When re-assembling the oil pan, you should not overtighten the little bolts. I used a torque wrench that reads inch-pounds, & I even tighten the bolts in a pattern, going around in a circle, a little at a time.
If that doesnt make it work properly, my guess would be that you either have a problem with the transmission control module (mounted above where the clutch pedal would be if it were a 5 speed), or that there is some problem in the valve body of the transmission.
I already changed ATF and the filter not long time ago.
Any way,I ordered that piston and the spring and while waiting I took the old one out,stretched the spring by hand abit and put everything back.Now everything seems ok so far(no more slipping and slow engaging) except rough shifting between 1 and 2,so I let the pedal of abit when it shifts.
I bet that spring should be the right length for the right pressure,so I will put the new one,will see what happens :)

denisond3
05-19-2010, 05:13 PM
Great to hear you had some results. The new spring is not only slightly longer than the original, the metal part itself is different too - allowing more oil to flow into the tranny, instead of being diverted.

The ones I rebuilt both had a sort of 'abrupt' shift from 1-2, unless I either took my foot off to let it shift, or had the pedal down much further, so it would be really speeding up - more than I normally would in traffic. On the first one I did a little adjusting of the kickdown cable; it only took about one turn of the 'nut', and the hard shift seems to have smoothed out. One the other car I plan to do the same thing when I think of it.

They sell a 'shift kit' whose purpose is to smooth out that 1-2 shift, but I didnt bother to buy it. If I rebuild another F4EAT i might try the 'shift kit' just to see how it works.
I am going to be looking for another 2nd gen. Escort LX this summer, to fix up for a niece in college; and of course getting one cheap because its tranny is already slipping is part of my plan. The only way I would really trust the Escort transmission is if its rebuilt or I rebuild it myself. Then I can expect it to run okay for several years.

Denisthemenace
05-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Did cable adjusting.Shifts fine now. I don't know if I really need that spring and piston I ordered :smokin:

denisond3
05-25-2010, 10:23 PM
It does need the new spring and piston. The transmission will last longer with the updated part in it. Your stretching the original spring amounts to a slight modification - but the new piston is also different from the original.

Denisthemenace
05-25-2010, 11:49 PM
Thanks for all advice.That was kind of nice.
I already changed the spring and piston. Definitely shifts better,but slips sometimes when shifts on cold,so does not going to last long.
I played with kickdown cable,didn't help.

zzyzzx2
06-21-2010, 12:49 PM
I'm not necessarily convinced that you adjusted the transmission oil pressure enough.
Did you check the electrical contacts on the top of the transmission?

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