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Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas? 

 

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 Post subject: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:26 pm 
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I have a 97 NL Fairlane (6cyl) with factory auto. I have owned it for a couple of months and ever since I've had it, it's had a transmission issue. I am not sure where to go with fixing it, and I'm hoping that someone (or two) here could help me.

I only ever drive in 'Economy', and that is the situation below. Switching to 'power' makes no difference. I am about 99.9% sure the problem has nothing to do with the switch, and in economy the light on the cluster comes on.

When the transmission is cold after leaving overnight, it has no issues. It shifts at the right time and smoothly without any other issues. Also, the economy/power switch works correctly at this stage.

However after driving for about three minutes the first to second shift (up and down) gradually gets harder, and also begins also to hold for longer and longer until the engine temp reaches about half running temp (just below the letter 'L' of normal). By the time it reaches that temperature, it is holding the first gear (this is in Economy) until about 2200rpm at light to mid throttle. Also, by this stage the shift up is a horrific slamming kick. :shock:

At this temp and up, I also have issues with kickdown. It kicks down to too low a gear and appears to lock (or spin, not sure) the rear wheels. Coming to a stop, I also get a small kick when it shifts down.

I am not too good with transmissions, however doing my research, I am leaned toward a solenoid. I do not know which one (possibly S5?).

If anyone could help out here with suggestions, I would be very grateful. I am trying to figure out exactly what the issue is with my current transmission, and possible ideas to fix it. Plus, any comments on my below ideas would be nice! :D

I really do not have a lot of money, and while I would just love a full rebuild, I simply cannot afford it. Also, thanks to the first gear holding my fuel consumptionis going through the roof, regardless of how softly I drive it.

I took the car to one of only two auto specialists in Newcastle (that I know of), and this person has driven it twice and said that he is not sure, but "it could be a solenoid". He said I'd be looking at about $600 for a new solenoid fitted.

If you've read through this far, thanks! :D

Let's say it was a solenoid, what would be my best options?

I'm currently thinking:
    second-hand low mileage EBII-EL transmission (risking the unknown)
    pay $600 to 'fix' current one (risking that there is other damage)
    new EL transmission (a bit expensive, I'd assume)
    second-hand BA sports shift transmission & try and fit (possibly a bit much)
    manual conversion (not sure if I want a manual 24/7, though. Plus heard the T5s are a bit dodgey in comparison to the auto)
    Bodgying up a 'sportsshift-like' system for the current box (with or without other repairs, would at least help with my bad fuel consumption (plus add some fun :wink: ))
    NL Fairlane V8 conversion (only real problem being provisional licence. I can get away with a V8 70's merc, but probably not this)
    AU VCT i6 engine & transmission conversion (once again, risking older second-hand parts)
    Plus more... (but they're even more unrealistic for my budget (full Turbo Barra conversion :mrgreen: , etc...)

Thanks for help in advance! :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Arrgg... Surly someone could comment on it....

In fact, quick update.

Two days ago, I switched it to 'Power' and floored it around for the day, redlining and carrying on, and then yesterday I switched it back to economy when I got in it in the morning and it drove right up until about 10am today with no problems. No hard shifts, and no holding gears too long. It was excellent. :D :D

Since 10am today though, it's gone back to the way it was... :cry: :cry:

Seeing what it could do yesterday, I am thinking I might just keep this box if it just needs simple repairs. Ideas anyone :?:
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:20 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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has it been serviced recently?
i dont think the nl had adjustments for the band on the side of the box but a flush, new oil and filter would be a start. someone correct me if they did have band adjustments on the side.
an AU auto will fit, im sure you could find a good low KM second hand one cheap enough. id rather do that than go to an auto shop were he is not sure.

also your cars water temp sits too high for my liking which could be causing the auto temp to get too high, does it have a seperate auto oil cooler?
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:53 pm 
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I only bought it about three months ago, with no history... :? (yeh, scary I know). I haven't done a service on it, as I am short of cash and wouldn't want to get it properly serviced only to replace the box a month down the road (pun :) ).

I am slightly inclined toward the AU transmission, and am I correct in thinking that it is a direct bolton with a bellhousing change-over?

Yes, there is a factory-fitted transmission oil cooler, of which I am interested to know if was fitted as standard to NL Fairlanes... It also has a factory fitted towbar and wiring, so I'm guessing it may have been part of a tow pack perhaps? The towbar also makes me wonder if it has been used for some heavy towing. At least it isn't the heavy-duty bar...

As for the temperature, when I bought the car the thermostat was stuck open and the car never heated up to the normal range. I replaced the stuck (aftermarket) thermostat with a genuine Ford one and since then it has always sat around the letter 'M' of normal at maximum.

Keep in mind that these have 'normal' running downwards with the 'N' at the top (see pic). You can actually see in the pic the low coolant light. I'm not certain, however I believe that it has a small leak from the header tank. Never has over-heating problems, though.

By the way, I put it into 'Power' mode, put my foot right down and redlined it again and then put it back to 'economy' and it's shifting right again. :? Ideas? Because it is confusing me. I am 99.8% certain that there isn't a fault with the switch, however now the biggest issue seem to be it holding first too long. The upshift jolt is gone, however there is a small jump when it shifts back to first when stopping or at kickdown (not a normal jump, yet not the fierce kick I've been used to over the last three-odd months).
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:05 am 
Getting Side Ways
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sorry i forgot the ef el temp guages are the other way around compared to eb ed.
if you do the service your self it wont cost that much at all. have you at least had a look at the color of the oil? wouldnt suprise me if its black, if so do the service asap. and stop redlining it in the mean time.
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:55 am 
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Thanks for replying! :mrgreen:

Yes, I guess I should stop doing that... :) After all it does feel like the box wants to explode out of the car every time it redlines... :roll:

No, I have been a bit lazy there, I haven't checked the oil. I know, I know; "arg, what an idiot, that'd be the first thing..."

It's just a bit difficult with the whole sealed transmission thing, and I am still unsure of exactly when you should remove the filler plug to check the level. Coming to think of it though, I think the owner manual had good directions for it, but maybe I'm wrong...

I have the impression that the whole car has been quite well maintained, so I am assuming it's last auto service wasn't too far off. When I did the engine oil, I didn't really seem to old. That said, autos (esp. sealed autos) are generally quite neglected when it comes to servicing.

I'll check the oil today, if I find the instructions. I really should get a workshop manual, eh?
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:12 am 
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Ride: nl ford fairlane ghia 97

Location: melbourne
VIC, Australia

howsit fella...i know this is a bit late (a bit too late to reply) but did you end up getting your transmission fixed? ...i had problems with my transmission a year after i bought my nl fairlane ghia. if you have got it fixed...good on ya mate
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 Post subject: Re: Transmission problem possibilities for my NL and ideas?
Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:09 am 
Getting Side Ways
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Ride: NL V8 Fairlane

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NSW, Australia

My first port of call would be to top up the tranny oil. If that fails do one "tranny dump" and put fresh oil in. After that, for an I6 it will be cheaper to get a 2nd hand tranny with warranty and replace.

 

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