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Hello All! This is my first post. I will get right to the point, i am debating attempting a "line flush" for my 2002 Ford Focus SE with the Zetec engine! The transmission sticker says "1S4P-DA." The transmission jumps out of gear after "pulling" for example, acceleration from a stop will be goos up until about 20 to 30moh, it will jump out of gear as if in neutral. Then, will reengage with a "kick." Does this at all speeds, does this ALL THE TIME, and only acted perfectly on the last half of an hour long highway trip to Bellefontain, Ohio from Columbus, Ohio. Car drives but jumps out of gear constantly. She has 130,020 miles and feels strong. Level is ok, fluid doesnt look particularly bad, but i think it has a lot to do with it as it IS original.

I crawled up under the driver side and did not snap a photo, but the line is there clear as day. I had a fellow owner on a message board with the same exact car say to try the following:

1. Pick up 6 or 8L of Mercon V ATF. If you are feeling spendy, get the Mobil 1 stuff.

2. The tranny cooler is in the front of the rad, just behind the front fascia. Remove the one line from it and place in a drain pan. Have a "helper" start the car and it will begin dumping the black fluid that will look like used oil into the pan. When it starts to "sputter" shut the car off. Add a few L of tranny fluid through the dipstick tube. Re-start car. More black fluid will come out. When it sputters, repeat the earlier procedure. When you start seeing fresh, red fluid, stop, and put the line back on. Get the fluid to the correct level and take the car for a drive, the shifting will likely be perfect, or will quickly become perfect again. Get the fluid hot. Check the level again. Add more if necessary.

Had to do this with ours. Turns out the fluid was original with like 240,000Km on it It was black as tar and the car was doing the same thing (we also bought the car for $500.00 however....). This fixed it completely.


This is my thread about choosing an oil that contained that advice. http://tinyurl.com/3lemajm

The oil looks good and the engine feels strong, please check out the photos. http://tinyurl.com/3zphkhb (scroll down just a little bit, on there I am 45ACP and this is in regards to the blue 2002 Focus SE.)

Thank you, any advice is welcome!

And for the record, i have ulled the transmission line off a car from 1984 and changed the fuid as i described to much benefit. I know how to take the line off and put it back on, it does not seem to hard.

Would you try it? [pray]
 

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NOT an "auto tranny guru" but a fluid change by removing cooler lines and letting the trans. drain itself while you add fluid from the fill tube causes no known issues, and MAY help if the fluid is REALLY "junk" as the poster you quoted mentioned...

"back flush" with power equipment HAS been known to occasionally cause issues as it stirs up junk & flushes it where it doesn't belong....

I'm GUESSING you may have a solenoid issue (NOT uncommon to hear of on this board) - the GOOD thing is that they are accessible by puling the pan - which is ALSO the safest way to change fluid....

Someone else will chime in with more info. soon...

Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks sailor! :) Yes, this would be me with the proper sized wrench (the line is totally within plain view) and a pan.. letting it run until it starts to sputter, putting in two more quarts to get the Torque Converter, until i see clear red fluid.. then letting it sit, adding fluid while it is off at least the first five quarts.. then starting her up, and checking the level after it gets hot! My understanding is that this will clean away what is gunked up, and if it doesnt work, THEN either "new trans" or "drop the pan to check the solenoid!"

If NO PULL repeat NO PULL repeat NO PULL condition after the refill likely WONT happen then im GOING FOR IT! :D

The price of a wrench and jack stands and fluid, and a pan. Thats what i hope to fix the car with. :)

Anyone ever done this before?
 

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More than once, the WORST was cleaning out a neighbor's mini-van after his tranny cooler blew & coolant was mixed with the trans. fluid.

after replacing the radiator, it took a FEW 'flushes" B4 it was clean enough to work properly again....

STILL cheaper than a tranny replacement...

(grin)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmmm. Sailor, i have a question. Should i do something like replace HALF the fluid with the new High Mileage Superech in the red bottle ATF, not all of it? If it is in fact the fluid, maybe the new fluid will clean out what was sticky and will offer improvement.

My understanding is that when it starts to act as it did, THAT is the time to change the fluid again. I have heard bad stories about "flushes," and NO PULL condition (Car is filled back up with fluid and then wouldnt move) after coming off those machines. Im talking about MANUALLY DRAINING!

I also seek to confirm that if the Walmart stuff says Mercon V compatible or compatible with all MERCON its ok, perhaps some wrong fluid was added? Or do i need to buy something that SPECIFICALLY says "MERCON V" on it like the Castrol bottles?

Just checking. Once i find out what size wrench goes on that bolt, and the direction it flows (does it flow from the front of the car towards the back? The line is on the top part of transmission..) :D

Asking so i dont end up doing this [?|] I want it go without a problem.
 

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The "usual" place to disconnect is at the radiator, where the cooler lines connect - you can't go wrong disconnecting both & seeing which one pukes fluid when the engine runs....

Letting the tranny pump out fluid through the cooler this way is what I did, AND that is where "flush" machines get hooked up... they just add fluid through the return line while accepting it from the outlet line (the GOOD ones that don't "back flush").

Ford fluid is the "no-brainer" here... I get my Ford motor oil at Wally World cheaper than the dealer can buy it from Ford, they MIGHT have the ATF as well, haven't checked... I only needed a quart for P.S. top-up so I got it from the dealer...

Ford actually spec'd GOOD fluids for our vehicles, one reason their reliability improved dramatically, so continuing to use them works well & sometimes is even cheaper than the aftermarket solutions that are more hype than reality...

"compatible" fluids MAY be adequate, but if the car is a "keeper" (one you plan on using for a while) I'd go the extra for the "right stuff".. (grin)

Take Care...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:) So, sailor, some questions..

1) Would changing HALF the fluid be a good idea, if the new fluid perhaps wanted to be so agressive as to cause more problems? Would it be an improvement, as i need to demonstrate how it CAN BE THE FLUID to the owner of the car (which is not me but rather a friend that is having this jump-out-of-gear-all-the-time issue?) (BIGGEST fear is NO PULL other than that im fine, she thinks its not the fluid.) [?|]

2) If it works better after, THEN can i change it all out? (Maybe it will unstick that solenoid.) :)

3) Best done when trans is "Hot/Warm," correct (and new fluid added with car off so it gets down there, THEN turned on and topped up, letting it circulate through the trans in this "line flush?"

4) I did this on my Camaro, twice. Man, it shifted smooth! :) Anything to be particularly aware of, unique to this car, when i do this?

Im ready to go, i just need to sell it to the car owner now. If it cant make it any WORSE and just MAY be the issue (even if it indirectly unsticks that solenoid in the pan with brand new fluid cleaning power) then i honestly think its more than worth a shot. (However if it will cause a "no pull" then i dont want to do it, hence the "half fluid" idea as 4 quarts cost less than 8, thats where im at before i could change fluid at will as i did on my Camaro, lol. Again, its not my car, simply asking the question.) :)

[duh]
 

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There are no guarantees with repair work...but I think it's reasonably safe. Just need to watch what you are doing and do it right. Search for the DETAILS.

I'd drop the pan and clean it and put in a new filter...using a rubber gasket (AdvanceAP?). Keep all lint OUT...replace the pan. This can be a sloppy job...since the filter traps some oil above it.

Then you add the 3 qts after pulling the line at the rad...run 3 old qts out...put the line back on add ~ 3 more qts.

I'd use synth ATF...Mobile1 or Redline. Add the appropriate Lubegard additive.

Might cost around $100...but compared to a rebuild???
 

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MerconV is the recommended fluid, and it is fully synthetic no matter who makes it. We have a how-to in the Complete How-To archive on AT flushing and filter change. He goes over how to disconnect the lines from the radiator and use the starter to pump the fluid out of the torque converter.
 
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