transmission won't go into "D" (after moving gear selector)...is it dead? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-26-2007
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transmission won't go into "D" (after moving gear selector)...is it dead?

the truck's transmission used to run fine (granted the fluid level was topped off), but recently if I start the truck and put the gear selector in "D", the truck just sits there like it's still in park or neutral.

Also, after getting it into gear, I took it for a drive and if I braked suddenly, or was taking a sharp turn while on the gas, it would fall out of gear.

And to the weeks leading up to today, the transmission felt like it was very slippery: ie. I'd floor the gas, the rpm's would jump first, then the truck would start moving after.

I topped off the fluid, and it didn't make much of a difference.

This is an auto, A4LD on a '91 ranger with ~100,600 miles. Is it likely, to be dead?
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Old 04-26-2007
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Pretty common problems. You have either very worn clutches and bands, a pressure control problem, or a pump problem (assuming fluid levels are good).

It needs to be worked on.

Do check the linkage under the truck though to make sure something isn't loose.

Last edited by n3elz; 04-26-2007 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 04-26-2007
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sounds like your tranny has been slipping for a while. goodluck on getting it fixed
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Old 04-27-2007
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ok...so after letting the truck sit for a couple days, I started it, had similar troubles (shifting into drive), but after allowing the truck to warm up (operationally) for 20 minutes or so, it would shift into drive just fine

I even let the truck sit for an hour during class, and it still shifted into drive just fine. It still slips when I'm driving it, but at least it shifts into drive.

I talked to a friend, and he said I do have premature signs of transmission failure. But there's a chance it'll last 2 months until I can afford another truck.

However, are the issues mentioned (worn clutch and bands, pressure control, or pump problems), indicative of an expensive service?

I bought the truck for $600, should I sell it as a beater, or pay for an estimate of servicing, and/or pay to get the transmission repaired?
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Old 04-27-2007
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You could try changing the fluid and filter, and adjusting the bands and see if it helps. Go to www.explorerforum.com for information on adjusting the A4LD bands. I had a post here linking their article on the 5R44E/5R55E adjustment, but the A4LD has a slightly different spec so go have a look over there yourself.
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Old 04-27-2007
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I haven't dropped the pan and filter for the transmission, but I have been topping it off. I think it's due for a filter change, and inspection on the quality of the fluid. I'll start there.

Otherwise, I didn't even know there was adjustments to be made on an auto tranny

ok...so a quick google showed that older transmissions were made poorly and little was known about friction lining materials. These linings can wear out or need adjustment, thus the band can be adjusted...

on autozone's website (for cougar's and t-birds with an A4LD), and on the directions for DIY auto trans maintenance at off-road.com, the general directions are:

1. Remove and discard locking nut from adjustment screw.
2. Install a new locking nut but do not tighten.
3. Using a torque wrench, tighten the adjusting screw to 10 ft. lbs. (13.5 Nm).
4. Back off adjusting screw exactly 2 turns.
5. Hold adjusting screw from turning. Tighten locknut to 35-45 ft. lbs. (47-61 Nm).

pics:





sound right?

I'll have to check this out soon and report back...I might save myself a trip to the transmission mechanic.
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Old 04-28-2007
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Yes, that sounds right. Basically the same as the later s.

I did reuse the locknut. I just backed it off some after cleaning around it and then made the adjustment. I made sure the seat was still clean when I tightened it back down and there's no leaks. I'm not recommending this -- just saying I got away with it this time.

A bigger problem with A4LD is the fact that is doesn't have roller bearings, it has solid bushings and thrust washers. The 4R/5RxxE designs have roller bearings and special roller thrust bearings as well. An A4LD can be rebuilt to this spec, but it's very detailed. There's a "journal" of a guy doing that on the ExplorerForum board I linked earlier. It's possible because the basic design of the transmissions is identical in most ways.

I still suggest you go over there if you haven't and have a good look at their transmission forum. I didn't link it for no reason. There's things there you won't find elsewhere.
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Old 04-29-2007
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clearly I don't read the responses I get...sorry

but thanks for your help n3eelz, I'll registered w' the explorer forums and have been poking around their transmission forum...looks like a good resource

Otherwise, I took a quick peek under the truck, and couldn't find what I was looking for. Before I do a more thorough investigation, I'm going to get some jack stands a light.

I also did 3-4 trials of:

-adding fluid
-waiting (for the fluid to drop down the filler tube)
-going for a 10 min drive/checking the level

and found that the transmission fluid was a little bit low, so I topped it off at the correct level and hoped that it might make a difference.

more updates to come...
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Old 04-29-2007
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Ha ha! Very good and no problem. There are just excellent pictures and write ups over there -- though you have to wade through some of them, lol. Too much information is better than not enough though.
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