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Old 11-01-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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Improved grounding fixes DCT shudder?

I did a search and didn't find a thread that mentions better ground contact, but if I missed it, I apologize.

I try not to rely on one forum for everything and was poking around the Ford Focus subreddit and came across these threads:

DCT shudder mitigation.
2015 SE shudder disappeared temporarily

The idea seems to be that the grounding design is flawed, providing insufficient contact due to the ground point being painted and so contact is only using the bolt. This could cause signal problems for the TCM, producing the shudder when it has no idea what to do, and potentially damaging it over time (and part of the reason the TCM is being replaced so often). Side note: this grounding issue seems to be the cause to some intermittent A/C issues folks have experienced.

The solution is to sand off the paint at the contact point and use some dielectric grease for good measure. The video below provides a demonstration (I've skipped ahead to the demo). In the comments, someone mentioned not sanding off the paint to reduce corrosion, but to add a serrated lock washer to the grease, thereby increasing contact with minimal damage.

Thoughts? There isn't a whole lot of feedback, but of what feedback there is, it's positive. I will say here what I said on reddit: I'm skeptical for the same reason I'm skeptical of Tom's tune. If it's really this easy, I have a hard time reconciling the fact that Ford engineers have completely missed it.

But hey, this "fix" is dirt cheap and shouldn't hurt anything.


EDIT: fun fact, the YouTube video was done by FordTechMakuloco, who is makuloco2000 on here and the OP of the 2012+ Transmission Shudder Issue Explained thread. The video above was made before he created the thread and as far as I can tell, he never references the video in that thread. Not sure why, but he hasn't been active since April of 2015.



Last edited by rczrider; 11-01-2018 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:07 AM   #2
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Interesting. Would definitely cause some issues, but Iím doubtful itís the core issue. The shrudder is way to consistent to be a sporadic grounding issue.

With that being said, Iíll perform the mod and report back.


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Old 11-01-2018, 11:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 93Cobra#2771 View Post
Interesting. Would definitely cause some issues, but Iím doubtful itís the core issue. The shrudder is way to consistent to be a sporadic grounding issue.

With that being said, Iíll perform the mod and report back.


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I'm looking forward to this update, as I would potentially be interested in what comes of this!:)
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Interesting. Would definitely cause some issues, but I’m doubtful it’s the core issue. The shrudder is way to consistent to be a sporadic grounding issue.
Agreed...but there is a fair amount of feedback (mostly from Fiesta owners, but certainly some Focus owners, too) indicating that it "fixed" their shudder. Perhaps the poor grounding just compounded the overarching issue (poor design in general), but if it extends the life the DCT at all, it's worth doing.

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Originally Posted by 93Cobra#2771 View Post
With that being said, I’ll perform the mod and report back.
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I'm looking forward to this update, as I would potentially be interested in what comes of this!:)
I'll be performing the mod on mine tomorrow, but since Ford just replaced my clutch about 1400 miles ago at 48k and the shudder isn't present (yet), there's no way to know if it did anything. I was also planning on using FORscan to enable Sport mode and start using that as it should minimize shifts, so that would skew the results, anyway.

That said, my sister-in-law has an early 2014 that is extremely bad and I'm going to do this on hers sometime soon. Might be a couple of weeks, but I'll report back on it, as well.

Last edited by rczrider; 11-01-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:09 PM   #5
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I'll give it a try what the heck. I may have missed it, but is there a link to a pic that shows where the ground frame bolt is. I'll report back if it improves things, basically I think this has to go down as one of the worst auto designs of the century so far. It should never have been brought to market but I assume Ford were contractually committed to taking this crap? It's done enough to put me off American cars now and for the remainder of my driving life.
Chevy Camaro 1976 - One Owner - Wonderful vehicle, many years left I hope, still running.
Buick Rainier 2005 - POS, currently dead in the garage awaiting replacement ECM after it died and car came to a stop, only has 67K miles on it. Will be sold as soon as I have it up and running.
Ford Focus 2015 - Did someone mention ...DCT? This vehicle will also be gone within 12 months max. Replacement will only be Japanese and built in Japan, and I'm someone who has always liked Yankee Iron going back as far as the 50's. The quality is just not there at the moment, hopefully it will change.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:10 PM   #6
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I had this fix done shortly after the TSB came out. I think it helped temporarily just due to the fact that it's unhooking the battery and the TCM has to re-learn the shift strategy. My shudder eventually came back. It's probably still a worthwhile fix if the grounding actually is poor.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PratoN View Post
I had this fix done shortly after the TSB came out. I think it helped temporarily just due to the fact that it's unhooking the battery and the TCM has to re-learn the shift strategy. My shudder eventually came back. It's probably still a worthwhile fix if the grounding actually is poor.
When you did it, was the original clutch pack and TCM? Do you still have your Focus and if so, which revision of clutch/seals are you on, and how recently was your TCM replaced?

What you're saying about having the TCM re-learn - and therefore reduces shudder - makes sense, and certainly rings true given my doubt that this could possibly be the fix...but if the theory is correct and if your TCM was already damaged and if the latest clutch pack assembly and seals revision actually fixed an issue, maybe this could work for folks?

That's a lot of ifs and it's not just wishful thinking on my part or anything, I'm just trying to work through the variables.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PratoN View Post
I had this fix done shortly after the TSB came out. I think it helped temporarily just due to the fact that it's unhooking the battery and the TCM has to re-learn the shift strategy. My shudder eventually came back. It's probably still a worthwhile fix if the grounding actually is poor.
Exactly !

Tom
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:36 PM   #9
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Exactly !



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About half way through unbolting the ground, it occurred to me that we were simply clearing out the adaptive memory by doing this lol.

Did it anyway.

The bolt is a fine thread, and itís meant for maximum contact by being so. It has some. Type of coating on it as well.

Prob will make a bit of a difference until adaptive rears itís ugly head again.


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