Transmission Broken (Again!) - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 07-31-2016
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Transmission Broken (Again!)

I have a '94 XLT 4x4 with the 3.0 v-6 & auto trans. The trans was rebuilt by a local shop 10/13/14. I guess they did an OK job. However, following advice found in this forum, I would periodically engage 4WD just to keep things moving in there. I stopped doing so 5-6 months ago because, when I tried it, it made a clunking noise, kept slipping in/out of gear, and gave me some trouble when I attempted to go back to 2WD. Today while pulling away from a stop lite there was a brief (1-2 seconds) noise, or shudder. Seemed like I was spinning my wheels on an oily spot or something. Within a mile or so it was barely moving in any forward speed or reverse. I left it in a parking area while noticing that fluid was streaming out underneath and a bit of smoke was coming from the AT fluid fill tube under the hood. I expect to have it towed tomorrow to the original shop. I am about 9 months past the 12-month part of the 12-month 12,000 mile warranty but I do not know if I am past the 12K mile part. I know it doesn't matter warranty-wise but just want to inform anyone who responds to this that I have not put a lot of miles, nor towed anything since the rebuild.

So what I am interested in knowing is this: Has this happened to you? Is the fix something less-complicated (and less expensive) than a re-rebuild?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2016
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Nothing to do with transfer case(4WD) if you were losing ATF and heat was coming from dipstick hole.

Reads like trans shop did a soft parts rebuild, they usually last about 18months, which is why the 12month warranty.

Read this:
"When having an A4LD rebuilt, there are a couple of things that you need to make sure of. First and foremost, do not let a shop do a soft parts fix only (clutches, servos, and bands). This will almost ensure that you will have another repair needed right after the 1-year warranty is out. Other things you want to have replaced are: forward one-way clutch (always), overdrive drum (stamped tin, replace if out of round or heat damaged), pump (Ford only, rebuilds are prone to failure), and the converter (get the better converter with the improved lock-up clutch and brazed fins)."

This applies to 4R44E/4R55E and 5R44E/5R55E transmissions as well since they are EXACTLY the same as the old A4LD automatic, just got more computer control/solenoids.

More info here on A4LD: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/a4ld.shtml

It is a good transmission just not all shops that do rebuilds do full rebuild, some charge like they would for a full rebuild, lol.
It does cost more for full rebuild, no way around that, but you get a 100k+ mile trans, actually better than new if shop knows what they are doing.
Discount rebuilds get soft parts only.

Last edited by RonD; 07-31-2016 at 04:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2016
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Thanks Trader. Your reply (and my gut-feeling) makes me lean toward trying to sell it to someone who will chop it up for parts. Doesn't seem to make sense to spend a pile of money - for a second time - on a 20+ y/o truck that I paid $1,900 for. Too bad coz this truck was loaded with options, has a matching cap, good tires, only 113K miles, etc. Also think 2WD and 4 cyls would be fine. Guess it's off to CraigsList!
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Old 08-01-2016
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Look at it another way, if it isn't rusted and the engine is in good shape, then it may be worth getting the trans fixed properly.
Vehicles are money pits no matter how you look at it, you could get into something a little newer, spend more money and still have major problems down the road, at least with this one, you know what you've got.


Yeah, the truck is 20 years old, but you have to look at the low mileage figure, there's still lots of life in the secondary systems, eg. wheels bearings, water pump, alternator, rad etc.
How is front lower drivers side door hinge, is it worn ?
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Old 08-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian5792 View Post
Thanks Trader. Your reply (and my gut-feeling) makes me lean toward trying to sell it to someone who will chop it up for parts. Doesn't seem to make sense to spend a pile of money - for a second time - on a 20+ y/o truck that I paid $1,900 for. Too bad coz this truck was loaded with options, has a matching cap, good tires, only 113K miles, etc. Also think 2WD and 4 cyls would be fine. Guess it's off to CraigsList!
Yes, sell it as mechanics special, a transmission guy will pick it up.

You can get "used" A4LD transmissions for about $600 but they could have problems as well, last year of the A4LD was 1994, so they will all be well "used"

Remanufactured runs $1,000-$1,200, also ask for a parts list of what was changed, beware of that soft parts only fix
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Old 08-02-2016
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I described what happened to someone who is more knowledgeable than I am about repair work. He suggested that it MAY be just a failed seal. The seal btwn the engine & tranny fails, fluid pours out and soon after you're not mowing forward or reverse for lack of fluid. I am fairly sure that I discussed the prior trans repair with the forum (before getting it done) and requested the more-complete version over the "soft" one.

As of now I plan to have the shop look at it and weigh my optiions based on what they find. A remanufactured unit sounds affordable if I was a DIY'er. I presume there will be hefty labor charges for the installation.

To Jeff R 1: Strange question about the lower door hinge. It's fine.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2016
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Not really.
I've been around the block a few times with vehicles, a poorly kept vehicle will always have worn door hinges, especially the lower drivers...
People who don't give a **** about their truck never oil their hinges, and Fords seem to wear quicker then most.
Although it may seem trivial, the previous owner(s) bothered to look after their door hinge(s), indicates that the rest of the truck has been looked after through out its life.

My lower drivers door hinge is totally shot, and I know for a fact that the last guy didn't give a rats *** about the ruck.
I am sure I was the first one to scrub the interior for 17 years, it was filthy.

It's 84 bucks for a new hinge incidentally...

MY neighbor has a new Toyota Prius, doesn't mow his lawn and never really does anything around the house and guess what, his drivers door sounds like it's about to fall off.
Doesn't give a crap about his car.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2016
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May not be tranny entirely...

Hi, I had the exact same problem with my relatively new v6 with low miles. Mine was an easy fix but figuring it out wasn't as easy. My key question for you is: Are u driving with four IDENTICAL TIRES? I was driving with 2 different pairs but they were the same size. I thought this was OK. However, the front transaxle noise only started when I chged tires. My tranny guy informed me that the height of the tire is VERY IMPORTANT and Ranger's 4x4 system is not really designed to be used on normal highway conditions (this is where the clunking began). Furthermore, different manufacturer's will produce tires with different circumferences, even if the sizes are the same. I measured my two pairs and sure enuf, one pair was a HALF INCH higher than the other one. Multipy this difference exponentially at higher speeds and the front end will slip and or clunk. I went out and bought 4 new IDENTICAL tires and lo and behold - PROBLEM SOLVED! Good luck, Mike, NS Canada
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2016
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Interesting. But I sold the broken wreck for $300 months ago. He plans to drop a new tranny on it. Mine did have a different set/brand of tires front and rear. Never measured their circumferences but I find your account to be hard to believe. Did you measure while on the vehicle? If so, wouldn't air pressure, load or other factors alter your results? Also, I kept it in 2wd 99% of the time. Doesn't this fact blow your theory out of the water?

I'm no mechanic and I would hope other members who have training will chime in. If there is truth to what you say, I'll tell the buyer to look into it.
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Old 12-07-2016
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Yes, running different diameter tires on the front and rear of a 4x4 can cause transfer case damage but only when 4WD is used on dry pavement and you would notice a problem right away, binding in transfer case.
AWD vehicles have a clutch(viscous coupling) in their transfer cases, but still better to run same diameter tires on all 4 wheels

You can run 1 smaller(or larger) tire i.e. a spare tire, without any problems because the differential absorbs the different axle speeds and the drive line RPMs remain the same

Lower air pressure doesn't effect "diameter" of the tire, it will have the same "rolling distance" for 1 revolution, which is what counts to keep drive shaft RPMs the same for front and back.

But as you said probably not your past issue
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Old 12-09-2016
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Identical Tires necessary for 4WD

Thx for backing me up Ron. Like Brian, I was skeptical of this too in the beginning like I said but it's no theory - this is factual as it certainly fixed my problem. I also agree that air pressure shouldn't matter but all my tires were inflated the same (30 psi) when I measured their heights. As u said, Ranger 4WD is a sensitive system and not designed to drive in 4wd on paved highways., especially with different tires. Brian's problem sounded like it was more serious tho since he had fluid leaking, whatever, which was too bad.
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