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Old 07-24-2014, 09:01 AM   #1
pmiller613
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Dented Transmission Pan & Shifting Issues

So taking the kids to preschool this morning on a country road I came around a turn to a large white cube in the middle of my lane of the road, that looked like Styrofoam. I had about a second to make a decision facing oncoming traffic, and with the kids in the car decided to hope for Styrofoam as opposed to the ditch. Turns out it a was a block of solid ice. In July. In Kentucky.

Long story short, it put one hell of a dent in my transmission pan. I dropped the kids off and drove it back home (about 5 miles). Check engine light came on after a couple of minutes and shifting was erratic (both going up and slowing down, and didn't really want to shift to 4th when I got up to speed [55mph or so]).

Had to come to work so I haven't pulled the code yet... I guess I'm hoping the dent is causing a problem in ATF circulation or similar, and a new pan will fix it (if I'm lucky).

I've never dropped a tranny pan before but I figure it's time I add that to the skillset, as I need to get in there to access the damage. Just bolts and a gasket right? I suppose the gasket is my biggest concern when I pull the old pan and put the new one on there, I have a torque wrench so I'm not too worried about the bolts.

Tips on doing this the first time and on not damaging the mating surface on the transmission getting the pan off (or any other advice)?

ETA: 2000 Focus ZX3, 170k miles, automatic.


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Old 07-24-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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Pan mates to the engine with a gasket in between so there you're right. As for advice, if you do get a new pan replace the gasket too (not sure if a new pan comes with a new gasket). Also make sure the area is cleaned bbefore you install, debris can cause serious issues with gaskets.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:07 AM   #3
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No gasket on it most likely, only sealer but they make gaskets for them now and way better. Just in not having to wait 4 hours for all the fluid to quit dripping, it messes up your new sealer job.

Depending on the hit on pan, may be able to simply beat it back out and re-use but not working right says it may be pretty bad. Better hope you haven't cracked or broken valve body..........there's a temperature probe lead attached to the filter as well, needed to shift correctly.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
No gasket on it most likely, only sealer but they make gaskets for them now and way better. Just in not having to wait 4 hours for all the fluid to quit dripping, it messes up your new sealer job.

Depending on the hit on pan, may be able to simply beat it back out and re-use but not working right says it may be pretty bad. Better hope you haven't cracked or broken valve body..........there's a temperature probe lead attached to the filter as well, needed to shift correctly.
I went back after work yesterday and took a better look at what I hit... turns out it wasn't ice but a block of salt (used on cattle farms around here). Probably fell off a farmer's truck.

Anyway, yeah the outboard side of the transmission pan is crumpled in from front to back, and a new one was just $25 from Ford so I went that route. I plan on replacing the filter if it's damaged. I'm surprised the pan actually held and didn't break open on the impact.

On replacing the fluid... I plan to attempt to empty the fluid I lose replacing the pan into a bucket or similar so I can get a good approximation of how much I lose, and then put back in the same amount of new fluid. Is this a good way to go? The dipstick doesn't have any low/high markings... it just seems to be a "yes you have fluid or no you don't" indiciator... it just has a yellow tip at the end with a temperature stamped in. Is this right, or am I missing a way to determine the actual fluid level when refilling?
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
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Does anybody have the torque spec for these bolts? I read 80 in-lbs but not a credible source
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #6
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Nevermind previous, I found all that info sorry for being lazy.

OK, here's what I'm looking at: http://postimg.org/image/l00qzw2l9/

I suppose I'm going to need to replace one, if not both, rear solenoids (or whatever they are, first time in here). Curious about the naked and severed wires... will I need to replace the entire harness or can I reconnect the wire so that it will hold up to temps and the ATF? Everything else looks ok as far as I can tell.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:32 PM   #7
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It would be best to replace the wire or in your case the complete harness. Not a tough job as it is a small harness. The solenoids and ATX case not damaged? How about the selector switch on the front external of the ATX?
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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The upper case is intact (the selector switch seems fine). The lower pan was banged up pretty bad so I just went ahead and replaced it. It basically crushed in just enough to break the solenoid connectors on those two and shear the blue wire. (Maybe further damaged the solenoids as well). The middle solenoid's connector housing broke off completely when I barely touched it (the leads are sticking out, and bent badly). The other housing is broken but still connected.

I pulled the codes as well and there are two:
P0760 Shift solenoid C - Circuit malfunction
P0766 Shift solenoid D - Performance or stuck off

Swap out the harness and both solenoids you think?
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:53 PM   #9
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Yup, I personally would even splice the cut wires back together using butt connectors but make sure you get a real good crimp there. If harness going to be pulled then simply solder a splice at the cut area.

I bet I could even find a way to retain/repair the solenoid connectors as well but for you just swap new ones...............easiest.

I find it takes close to a gallon of fluid at refill time, put in 3/4 of it first then start and warm car up good and slowly add rest till you hit the mark on stick, every car is slightly different.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies all... well I've spliced & soldered the broken wire back together (first time soldering above my head, that was interesting lol). Managed to get the middle solenoid connector back on there and put a small zip tie to hold it in place, and also zip tied the back connector for good measure. I haven't put the pan back on yet to give her a try... figured it's worth a shot before I drop the money for new solenoid(s). I'll post back with how it goes.
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