Transmission leak and slipping - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-01-2012
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Transmission leak and slipping

Hi all. Glad I found this forum. I live in N Wi and we had 20" of snow yesterday. My 88 Ranger plow truck is slipping and leaking tranny fluid from the front of it. Doesn't look like one of the lines so thinking seal?? Have a Haynes manual but doesn't tell much at all. I can smell that burnt tranny fluid odor at times while trying to plow yesterday. Checked the fluid level and even with the leakage, it seems to be high?? Have been plowing with it about 3 years with no probs until now. Left a puddle the size of a dinner plate when I parked it. Ideas??? Hoping I can change fluid, filter, check for a plugged line inside with the pan off, and adjust the bands if I can figure out how. If neccessary, drop the trans and put in a front seal (I assume there is one there??? A rebuild seems out of the question. Would cost more than the truck is worth. The "smell" has me VERY concerned. Thanks
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Old 03-01-2012
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o/d off light flashing? Throwing any codes?
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Old 03-01-2012
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If you smell burnt transmission fluid STOP those transmissions were never noted for reliability. But the slipping would cause the burning smell. First thing is to drop the pan, that will get you an idea of whats going on.
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Old 03-01-2012
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Thanks guys. No codes flashing. No O/D on this vehicle that I can see. Will drop the pan tomorrow. The leak is not from the pan however. Dripping from the front of the trans up farther somewhere. That's why I think a seal is gone???
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Old 03-01-2012
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Probably the seal where the driveshaft goes in
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Old 03-02-2012
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Problem solved! Yeah!!!!! For those of you who plow snow, you know that the blade rides on skid discs so the blade itself isn't digging into the ground. Unknown to me, my plow was messed up and tilted too far forward and digging in causing WAY to much stress on the trans. Fixed the plow and checked the fluid and it was down about 2/3 of a quart. Funny thing about checking trans fluid. Yesterday after all the leaking, I checked it and it showed way high?? This morning, barely on the dipstick. In any event, it's working just fine now. No slipping or stink, or leak. That stress must have been forcing the fluid through the seal. I'm a happy guy! VERY fortunate I didn't ruin the tranny! Thanks for all the tips. I'll be around again...
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Old 03-02-2012
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When a trans over heats the fluid expands more than normal and will puke out the vent.


You have seriously compromised the life of that transmission by over heating it. I would change the fluid as once it goes over 215 degrees it begins to break down.
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Old 03-02-2012
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Thanks Blhde, I will certainly do that!

Is there a drain plug on the torque converters on these??? Book (Haynes) says just 3 quarts?? Doesn't seem like much to me.

Last edited by doug Rooney; 03-02-2012 at 06:28 PM. Reason: question
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Old 03-02-2012
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No plug, a flush will get the fluid out. Now I don't know your trans history so that maybe be a bad idea.

You can take off a cooler line and let it dump into a bucket and fill it as fast as drains. For this you will need about 12 quarts, 10 to flush with and the last 2 to make sure its topped up.
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Old 03-02-2012
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Thanks for the info. 12 quarts it is. Appreciate it!
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Old 03-03-2012
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Hey Blhde, does it make any fifference which cooling line I detach? Also, should I do it at the radiator?? Thanks
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Old 03-03-2012
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Ideally you should unhook the return line so the cooler is flushed. I would just use the easiest line to get drained.

I think you should add an aux cooler if you plan to plow next year, and a trans temp gauge.
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Old 03-03-2012
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Ok, thanks. Yeah, I added a cooler and guage on my Durango when I put a hitch on it to pull a camper
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Old 03-04-2012
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HMMM? Put it up on the ramps today and climbed under. It DOES have an aux cooler on it unknown to me before this so that's good. Now, if I can figure out which line is the return??? Both are easy to get to. Have all the stuff I need for the fluid change and supposed to be a bit warmer here in N Wi tomorrow. Will do er' then. I put it OUTSIDE the garage cuz this is likely to be messy.
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Old 03-04-2012
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Should be the line from the aux to the trans.
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Old 03-04-2012
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There's 2 I'm pretty sure. Will check in the morning again. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2012
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The bottom line of the AUX cooler will be the outlet. Works like a RAD. Hot fluid in the top, cool stuff out the bottom.
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Old 03-05-2012
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Gotcha! Thanks very much. -3* right now so think I'll wait awhgile...LOL! Sposed to get in the 30's today here
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Old 03-05-2012
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Mission accomplished! Not that bad really but was messy as I thought it would be. You guys are all GREAT! Thanks and I'll be back. Maybe I can help someone else???
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Old 03-06-2012
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yep our weathers going nuts too. Were in the teens right now and wednesday afternoon supposed to Hit 60F.
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  #21  
Old 06-14-2012
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OK gang, am concerned about this trans yet. I just use it for a plowtruck and moved it the other day and noticed it slipping. Am afraid I did serious damage last winter with my dumb plowing stunt. Truck is only worth about $800 so a rebuild is out of the question. Wondering if anyone knows what vehicles and years that Ford used the A4LD's in? Have all summer to change it IF I can find a decent used one. Am very wary of going into winter with this truck. 2.9L, 4WD. Thanks for any info on this.
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Old 06-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug Rooney View Post
OK gang, am concerned about this trans yet. I just use it for a plowtruck and moved it the other day and noticed it slipping. Am afraid I did serious damage last winter with my dumb plowing stunt. Truck is only worth about $800 so a rebuild is out of the question. Wondering if anyone knows what vehicles and years that Ford used the A4LD's in? Have all summer to change it IF I can find a decent used one. Am very wary of going into winter with this truck. 2.9L, 4WD. Thanks for any info on this.
PS: I believe it's an A4LD cuz of the "T" on the driver's door identifying the trans. Searched online how to tell what I have and that's what it said
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