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Very weird gearbox behaviour 

 

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 Post subject: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:06 am 
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Hey guys,

Been a member here for a little while but didn't have a car to talk about. Iv had a few xseries come and go but never really did it properly. Decided when i did get one i wanted an Eseries and so for a few years i was attempting to save the dollars. Wasn't working. Finally got the chance and picked up a 97 EL Falcon Futura. Was originally going for a 94 ED but that's another story.

Didn't really want my first real post to be in the "Help me, Somethings not right" section but here goes. When i picked this thing up i asked the usual questions to the original owner..Who swears she loves her fords and its been well looked after. Has any work been done to it? Nothing much out of the usual she says.. Some guy works for RACQ and he kept it maintained for her. I'm the third owner, Engine looked pretty clean.. really clean. Paint is also pretty good. No apparent signs of a blown head or anything. Idles a bit rough and needs a tune. And gearbox fluid needs a top up she says. So the deal was done.

It did indeed idle rough when i asked to hear it. Sounds like its missing but even me.. Not being overly mechanically minded i know the basic stuff - Plugs, Leads, Idle Control Valve etc

On the drive home it was all nice and smooth.. Till the final stretch to my place the speed limit goes to 80k .. So i give it a little more and suddenly feels like it jumps into Neutral (Its an auto btw)
Revs its guts out .. Then goes back into gear and keeps going.. Did this about 2-3 times till i got home. But i had to go to work so i parked it up and took the Mrs car.. Which iv been driving till now (5spd Hyundai Excel)

Next day i took it to ultratune to let them put trans fluid in. The mechanic said yeah it needed fluid and filled it for me. Warned me i will need to flush it sooner or later. I intended to anyway. So drove it out of ultratune and again.. no problems.. Then after a while back into neutral revving its head off. I'm doing my best to immediately back right off when it does it but iv noticed there is only 3 things you can do to stop it. 1)Park it and wait till the motor cools right down 2)Back off to nearly 20-40ks or 3)And this is where it gets weird.. Putting it in 2nd or third.. It finds the gear and then shifts in 2nd as if it was in Drive (So i can feel it running through 1st,2nd,third, etc.. ) But its in 2nd.. ? Does that make sense?

After researching.. Iv gone with the cheap fixes for now since I'm broke (from you know.. Buying a car i thought was good to go) Jacked it up and blasted the inhibitor switch and its two connections with WD40, Cleaned out the throttle body with carby cleaner, and the idle control valve with WD40.. Idle remained exact same basically.. But driving it ran good.. I was convinced iv fixed it.. Took it home. Went to bed and woke up the next day only to find it with a flat tyre. Turned out either i ran over some glass or she forgot to tell me their was a puncture.. So a few days later i got a little bit of money and replaced that.. Tested it for a longer drive.. Almost went all day without fault. Till it had been running all day then it did it to me again. And low coolant warning was coming on. But i had no $$ to buy coolant yet so again.. parked it up.. went to work.

This is pretty much where I'm at now for those of you who haven't fallen asleep yet having read all this. For the time being i filled the water up in it for if i NEED to drive it. And the low coolant warning went away but it didn't take very long for it to come back.. So I'm thinking it probably needs actual coolant.. The good stuff at that. And a good flushing. So I'm back in the excel till payday.

As i said.. Not overly mechanically minded but I'm thinking the inhibitor switch is just rooted and i merely brought myself some time with the WD40 fix? I really don't want to buy another box for it and no way will i be able to afford to get the old one ripped out and new one in if i did.

Don't want a manual.. Been driving one for ages now.

Bit worried about how quick the low coolant warning came back.. But it warning light comes on and off.. which could just be because i only filled it and then drove.. Not filled, started and let it run, Then filled more.

What do you guys think?
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:24 am 
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Low coolant light sender float gets cracked and fills up with water and sinks, switching the light on. That's if it is turning on with a full header tank.

Inhibitor switches are a common fault too. Autos are often neglected, so fluid and filter change would be recommended.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:09 am 
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With regards to that.. Do i need to replace the pan gasket if i drop it? Is there a gasket? Id imagine so but not 100%. Iv gone out and brought myself a gregorys and downloaded some other workshop manual i found around this site actually.. The process seems pretty straight forward but iv only briefed over it so far. Will be having a look at that level in a moment but ill be happy if thats all it is.

EDIT: Checked the level in the overflow.. Definitely gone down, I topped it up with what remained of the excels coolant this time. Was just cheap stuff from coles. Took it out for a drive and no coolant warnings, temperature gauge sat in normal range, Missed the gear again coming home but only once.. Then when i got it home i opened the bonnet.. Its definitely boiling but since its mostly got water in it i figure this is fair cop. Seems to be holding its level now though but will see when its cool.
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:56 am 
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An update for future reference: Gearbox issue ended up being the silliest thing.. Battery terminals were loose as a goose. Battery was replaced recently when i brought it but they never bothered to replace terminals.. let alone tighten them up.

Did not expect something so stupid would cause this but drove it all day today, Still a bit rough with the trans fluid needing a complete flush and filter replacement (Will be happening very soon) but going heaps better now. No more jumping out of gears.
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Another Update:

Should have updated this a long time ago, But was hoping to sort it myself. No such luck..

So the last fix with the battery terminal sorta worked for a bit.. But soon enough it just started jumping back out of gear on me randomly while driving. And even started downshifting to low gears.. Bat s**t scary when your traveling along at 80ks or so.. And the car just randomly engine brakes like that.

Went to a wrecker and found a inhibitor switch, After much prying and pulling and kind words to the old one .. It finally came off.. Looked like it was actually rusted on.. But anyway.. New(er) one stopped car from completely going out of gear on me.. Which was nice.

Still the car is driving very poorly.. Changes gears at inappropriate times.. Seems to hold on to first gear for way too long (Does not jump out of gear but revs heaps before it changes to 2nd). Very delayed reactions between foot on accelerator and actual power. Generally feels like I'm driving with a trailer of bricks, The best way i can possibly explain it.. Going uphills.. especially on a particular path i take to get to work.. Speed limit goes from 60-80k. You can put your foot down a bit.. It'll rev high but feels like the car is trying to tell me "No.. I'm going to do this at my own pace"
And that is honestly the best possible way to say it ... It's as if I'm no longer in charge.. As long as i keep foot down it will do it in its own time.

.. Then once it gets to 80.. it takes me giving it just a little bit of squirt to hold up the speed. I only usually run it in ECON mode and when i do turn that off it seems a little more responsive.. But it also holds onto first till almost redline.. And i really don't wanna be doing a head.. ever..

I'm trying to keep this short.. As i realized after my first post i babbled on way to much. Iv also dumped the pan.. Changed gasket/Filter/seal thing.. Only got the 4Litres of trans fluid.. But it was poo-brown/black.. I want to get the rest but its just money money.. That which i don't have much of since recovering from buying this car. And then the repairs.. Man that TQ95 is not cheap..

Idling problem is also still there.. I don't believe its related but iv cleaned throttle body and ICV. I really don't know squat about ELs.. Ah fun times learning..
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:40 am 
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sounds like you may need a new trans.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:20 am 
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Could be right :(

It's actually not been so bad lately.. I took it to a auto trans guy and let him take it for a drive. He seems to think I'm crazy and it is not the box but in fact the Throttle Pos Sensor I should be looking at changing for the issues I'm explaining.

Still waiting to find time to go get one and see if it helps. I have noticed though the problem is worse when its cold.. If its not at working temperature and i jump in, Reverse out, Then put it in drive and throttle.. It really hesitates for a few seconds..Unfortunately when i had this guy look at it.. It had already reached working temperature.

My major concern atm is the idleing and poor fuel consumption. It's just all "Possibly" a lot of things..
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:34 pm 
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"when it does it but iv noticed there is only 3 things you can do to stop it. 1)Park it and wait till the motor cools right down 2)Back off to nearly 20-40ks or 3)And this is where it gets weird.. Putting it in 2nd or third.. It finds the gear and then shifts in 2nd as if it was in Drive (So i can feel it running through 1st,2nd,third, etc.. ) But its in 2nd.. ? Does that make sense?"

My car was doing something very similar to that except it was when it was humid or raining, so i went around a few trans specialists where i live and asked about it.
Most had no clue but one that i went to said it is either solenoids or the Neutral inhibitor switch. It wasn't slamming second gear though so not solenoids turns out it was actually the neutral inhibitor switch chucked in a new one have not had a trans problem since.

As for idle i would look at cleaning the throttle body out to start then fuel filter if its still not fixed it could be dirty injectors if its not that then it could be fuel pressure regulator or maybe fuel pump on its way. I am sure there are much more knowledgeable people on here than myself but that's what i would look at in that general order so your not replacing anything that doesn't need to be.
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Take your car to a transmission specialist and get them to scan the car. Chances are you either have a rooted solenoid (or more) or actual damage. Mine is slipping gears, delaying gear changes, 'going into neutral under heavy acceleration' and doesn't seem to have the guts it once did (I absolutely understand your analogy with the whole 'the car will do everything at its own pace'; mine does the same.) My S1 and S5 solenoids are rooted. I've got a new box ready to be put in, so I'd say get the thing scanned and see what happens. If nothing comes up regarding your box with a scan, then assume mechanical damage and therefore start looking into fitting a new box.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:36 am 
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nullsig wrote:
Most had no clue but one that i went to said it is either solenoids or the Neutral inhibitor switch. It wasn't slamming second gear though so not solenoids turns out it was actually the neutral inhibitor switch chucked in a new one have not had a trans problem since.


Nice to hear i wasn't the only one experiencing this. If you read up the page a bit.
On my second last update i think it was. I did manage to find 1 E series that hadn't
had the inhibitor switch already taken. I don't blame you.. Keeping it short and sweet
does not seem to be in my vocabulary. No joke though.. The car i took it out of the last
owner had obviously already had problems with it.. The plug was ripped off (probably from
trying to get his old one out) and plugged into the newer one with those steel wire connectors
you clamp on. I had to have a laugh.

nullsig wrote:
As for idle i would look at cleaning the throttle body out to start


I should have probably just linked this earlier.. I only recently wrote it up and its just a most recent update on where I'm at with this car right now. Put into the engine side of the forums for 2 reasons
1)Already let a trans guy take it for a drive, He said box is fine and to change TPS.. Checked TPS and its readings are normal.

2)In a vague attempt to avoid confusing people too much.. This thread was getting a bit all over the shop. Can't say iv had a win on that one really. But have a read.. Idle problem ended up being a leak in intake manifold gasket. I still won't say its perfect idle though.. But It's not shaking things loose at the lights.. That's nice.

http://www.fordmods.com/ford-4l-and-6-cylinder-f1/all-torque-no-go-t123054.html

Fuel filter and Injectors seems to be where everyone's placing their bets. Which is why I'm glad I'm asking you guys.. I can't say i would have looked there myself. Having said that i think probably second (after checking filter) thing i will try is your idea xELFalconx.. I had no idea the trans guys could also scan my box.. I asked the local ultratune mechanic to consider checking for any codes but was told their won't be any and it would be wasteful. Based on the fact that their is no check engine lights coming up.

Thanks all for your advice.. You've all played a part in giving me something to check which is much nicer than having no clue and throwing parts at it.
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:59 am 
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brendanssound wrote:
Having said that i think probably second (after checking filter) thing i will try is your idea xELFalconx.. I had no idea the trans guys could also scan my box.. I asked the local ultratune mechanic to consider checking for any codes but was told their won't be any and it would be wasteful. Based on the fact that their is no check engine lights coming up.


I'm not sure why he would have told you that, you can ABSOLUTELY pick up codes from a faulty transmission. When I had mine scanned, it came back as faulty S1 and S5 trans solenoids, broken blend door and broken power steering sensor. Maybe try somewhere else? In my experience though, it might be easier to just jump on Gumtree and track down a new auto box to fit into your car. I managed to secure a decent transmission for $230, with a $220 fitting cost from my mechanic, which includes new oil ($350 all up for a service in addition.) Fixing solenoids can be expensive, especially if you've let the problem go for a while, justifying the decision to just fit a new box.

As for your other problems, I'd check the fuel and intake systems. Wouldn't hurt to search for vacuum leaks either. Good luck!

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:25 am 
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xELFalconx wrote:
brendanssound wrote:
Having said that i think probably second (after checking filter) thing i will try is your idea xELFalconx.. I had no idea the trans guys could also scan my box.. I asked the local ultratune mechanic to consider checking for any codes but was told their won't be any and it would be wasteful. Based on the fact that their is no check engine lights coming up.


I'm not sure why he would have told you that, you can ABSOLUTELY pick up codes from a faulty transmission. When I had mine scanned, it came back as faulty S1 and S5 trans solenoids, broken blend door and broken power steering sensor. Maybe try somewhere else? In my experience though, it might be easier to just jump on Gumtree and track down a new auto box to fit into your car. I managed to secure a decent transmission for $230, with a $220 fitting cost from my mechanic, which includes new oil ($350 all up for a service in addition.) Fixing solenoids can be expensive, especially if you've let the problem go for a while, justifying the decision to just fit a new box.

As for your other problems, I'd check the fuel and intake systems. Wouldn't hurt to search for vacuum leaks either. Good luck!


I've made arrangements to do a diagnostics scan this week. We'll see what codes show up.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:14 am 
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Just don't get ripped off by paying for it. The test takes literally a few minutes, and I've had mechanics ask for upwards of $40 to do a simple scan. Search around and someone will do it for free if you haven't found someone already.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:11 am 
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xELFalconx wrote:
Just don't get ripped off by paying for it. The test takes literally a few minutes, and I've had mechanics ask for upwards of $40 to do a simple scan. Search around and someone will do it for free if you haven't found someone already.


Had it scanned today, Thanks again 67RCE/Brett for your precious time. Was good to have a chat with a fellow E series guy in my area. But the scan reports no codes in ECU or trans.. And when trying to show what it did with test drive.. It didn't do it very much at all. (Being already warm and of course having someone else in the car to see it.. It behaved itself for the most part).

Took it out on a long drive tonight, Faced many hills and found they're becoming more and more of a struggle. Along with the really obvious problem it does from cold that no one ever see's. Really don't like driving it like this.. Constantly having to stab the throttle to get it back up to speed, cruising along and feeling the hesitation in the throttle.. I feel something is going to die soon.. I'm just not sure what.
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 Post subject: Re: Very weird gearbox behaviour
Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I'd definitely look into fitting a new box then. Go onto Gumtree and search around, you can usually find them from $150-$350 depending on their condition. If there are no codes, it's likely you've got physical damage. You could alternatively recondition the transmission, but you'd want pretty deep pockets...

 

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