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A4LD torque converter or engine issue ?


IIBRONCOS

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I have a 1988 Bronco II with the A4LD automatic transmission and 47,000 orig miles and sat for 12 years.
The transmission shifts great from 1-2-3-4 but acts erratic at torque converter lock-up. Sometimes the TC will lock-up and stay locked up as long as it needs. Other times it will rapidly kick in and out of Lock-up even on a level or slightly downhill road. I talked to a transmission shop today and they said it did not sound like a transmission issue but and engine issue, like a sensor, brake light switch or an RF signal picked up by the computer. The engine runs great and I don't get any CEL. The transmission has no leaks and the fluid is full and very clean. Can someone help clarify ?
Thanks.
 
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wildbill23c

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Have you changed the transmission fluid after bringing the vehicle back into service? That's where I would start. If the fluid has broken down over time it can cause weird issues. The TC on my 88 B2 is a bit strange as well at times, maybe its just the way they are IDK.
 

IIBRONCOS

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Have you changed the transmission fluid after bringing the vehicle back into service? That's where I would start. If the fluid has broken down over time it can cause weird issues. The TC on my 88 B2 is a bit strange as well at times, maybe its just the way they are IDK.
A local transmission shop said to put in a half bottle of the blue bottle of Transx for 500 miles and then do a fluid/filter change.
I am getting close to the 500 miles and would like to know whether to do a fluid change only, or replace the 2 trans solenoids while the pan is off. The B2 has 47,000 original miles with no off road use or towing. The trans fluid looks like new.
 

wildbill23c

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A local transmission shop said to put in a half bottle of the blue bottle of Transx for 500 miles and then do a fluid/filter change.
I am getting close to the 500 miles and would like to know whether to do a fluid change only, or replace the 2 trans solenoids while the pan is off. The B2 has 47,000 original miles with no off road use or towing. The trans fluid looks like new.
Transmission flush might be a better idea. Just dropping the pan and changing the fluid doesn't get the fluid out of the torque converter. May as well do the solenoids too but depending on where you take it they probably can't do that type of work.

Take it to a shop and have the tranny flushed and see if that helps. Otherwise you may need a new torque converter. Not sure why the engine would have anything to do with the torque converter locking/unlocking randomly Unless the kickdown linkage is out of adjustment, which I am not sure how to adjust that so hopefully some tranny guru steps in soon with some more definite trouble shooting ideas.

All I know is the A4LD automatic transmissions have to be about the worst design ever :(. Ford just took a C3 automatic and stuffed 4th gear into it and called it a day.
 

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You might try replacing the VSS, it's cheap and easy. ~$25 for the Motorcraft part through amazon. Takes 15-20 minutes to swap, most of that was cleaning the dirt around it.

I replaced mine today troubleshooting a different problem (ABS light) and it's like having a different trans in the truck. Shift points are consistent now and there is a lot less converter slip. I made a test run on the highway with the cruise set at 65 and it stayed at a steady rpm where before it would rev up and down quite a bit on the same section of highway.

One tip if you replace it, the clip holding in the speedo cable, leave it in the sensor and just push the speedo cable through it. The clip wont go in with the cable in place.

EDIT: The kickdown cable adjustment: From the engine compartment find where the cable goes into the firewall. Push the big button on the cable and hold as you pull the cable toward the front of the BII. When the cable is back as far as it can go, release the button. Now go inside and push the throttle pedal to the floor and you will hear a click as the cable adjusts.
 
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XTC90BII

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Was that Motorcraft VSS model DY587 that you used? Rockauto has it for $25.79

Thanks

Dennis
 

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That's it. DY-587
 

mplummer08

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I don't want to steal the thread, but did the VSS fix your ABS light Jerry?

Sent from my SPH-L720T using Tapatalk
 

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So far so good, about 90 miles over a few trips, but it has been intermittent before and worked for a couple of weeks at a time. Lately the light had been on solid for weeks.
I'm hoping for the best :)
 

wildbill23c

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Aren't there speed sensors on the wheels for the abs? Where is the VSS located? The ABS light has been on since I've had my B2, I just ignore it.
 

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Aren't there speed sensors on the wheels for the abs? Where is the VSS located? The ABS light has been on since I've had my B2, I just ignore it.
There's an ABS sensor on the rear end housing up above the pinion that monitors the tone ring next to the ring gear. I've read that sometimes small metal bits collect on the sensor and it triggers a fault. If you have that, it's bad news for your diff/gears/bearings.


The VSS is near the yoke on the transfer case for the rear driveshaft. It's got the speedo cable and a wiring harness plug going into it.
 

XTC90BII

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'Thanks Jerry

Dennis
 

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I don't want to steal the thread, but did the VSS fix your ABS light Jerry?

Sent from my SPH-L720T using Tapatalk
Well, the ABS light popped on while coming to slow stop this morning...

Trans is still working good though.
 

wildbill23c

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There's an ABS sensor on the rear end housing up above the pinion that monitors the tone ring next to the ring gear. I've read that sometimes small metal bits collect on the sensor and it triggers a fault. If you have that, it's bad news for your diff/gears/bearings.


The VSS is near the yoke on the transfer case for the rear driveshaft. It's got the speedo cable and a wiring harness plug going into it.

Thanks JerryC, I'll have to check those out here soon. This reminds me, I have yet to change the oils in the diffs since I've had it, oops, really meant to do that a long time ago :(. Although I don't hear any noises coming from the diffs, I still like to change them as I have no clue what's ever been done.

I noticed yesterday my Transmission fluid is kind of a light tan color, doesn't smell burned, but its no longer the pinkish-red color. May need to do a drain and fill on that as well. But I've only put about 7,000 miles on it since I had the tranny rebuilt.
 

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Thanks JerryC, I'll have to check those out here soon. This reminds me, I have yet to change the oils in the diffs since I've had it, oops, really meant to do that a long time ago :(. Although I don't hear any noises coming from the diffs, I still like to change them as I have no clue what's ever been done.

I noticed yesterday my Transmission fluid is kind of a light tan color, doesn't smell burned, but its no longer the pinkish-red color. May need to do a drain and fill on that as well. But I've only put about 7,000 miles on it since I had the tranny rebuilt.
Light tan, I can't imagine how that could be good if it started out pinkish-red. Clutch pack lining? I'd call the place that rebuilt the trans. Put some between your fingers and see if you feel any grit.
 

wildbill23c

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Light tan, I can't imagine how that could be good if it started out pinkish-red. Clutch pack lining? I'd call the place that rebuilt the trans. Put some between your fingers and see if you feel any grit.
Thanks JerryC, I'll check it out tomorrow after work. In the light it still has a light pink tint to it but on the dipstick it looks light tan, IDK maybe its just the dipstick, but still should show more pink even on the dipstick I would think. What a pain in the ass this is.

I'm looking at a 2009 Ford Expedition and possibly picking it up this week for $7,000. It was a prior secret service vehicle here in the Boise Idaho area when the president and other VIPs were in town, pretty well taken care of, has the vinyl floor rather than carpet...a huge + here in Idaho where the winter time it gets quite sloppy, easy to hose out the floor :).
 

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Try wiping the dipstick on a clean paper towel and see how it looks. It always looks different on the dipstick.

Couple of side notes, ABS light stayed off on my 25 mile trip today. I noticed that I had 126 miles on the trip meter and the needle was pointing at 3/4. thinking that it couldn't be right I stopped at a gas station and it took 5.7 gallons! 126/5.7=22.1
I think the new VSS is doing something good here. This was probably just about best case for mpg, lots of long drives with few stop lights/signs. Half of it without AC turned on. Even so, I was impressed.
 

wildbill23c

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Thanks JerryC. In the dim light tonight I pulled the dipstick out and took it into the shop so I could see better. Cleaned off the dipstick and on a clean white paper towel its in fact pink...dipstick is extremely misleading, before when I checked it I was using a shop towel, so it didn't show the right color and the dipstick makes the fluid look weird. No rough feeling in the fluid so all is well on that part.

I'm thinking I should find a VSS for mine as well, seems like it does shift in and out of overdrive and TC lockup quite a bit in places it really shouldn't.

My fuel gauge is off quite a bit, at about 1/8 to 1/4 of a tank I can squeeze in about 15-16 gallons. I believe these are supposed to have 23 gallon tanks so I guess I have about a 7 gallon fuel level remaining at that point when I reach the 1/4 mark. Oh well, better the gauge is off on that side than being empty and showing fuel left HAHA!!!. I recall the fuel gauge in my 84 Ranger was never very accurate either, and over the years became less and less accurate on both tanks.
 

XTC90BII

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Ordered a new Motorcraft DY587 VSS today from Rockauto. Will give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

Dennis
 

JerryC

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Jerry

Ordered a new Motorcraft DY587 VSS today from Rockauto. Will give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

Dennis
If it works, the thanks should go to wend3lrt, that's who suggested it for the ABS fix and got me to try it.

if it doesn't work, you can blame me :)
 

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