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Discussion Starter #1
The auto seems to really jerk the car usually after slowing down then re-applying the power. I can drive around it to some extent (slowly applying power) but it catches me every now then. Wife hates it.
The car is a 2L 2003 CL Zetec, with only about 90,000km. Australian delivery. Otherwise very good condition
The kick down is all inside the auto. That is, there is no vacuum or cable control. Fluid level and colour are good. But can't recall ever changing the tranny fluid.
Anyone know the cause of this? Could it be as easy as a fluid change, or a solenoid, without removing or replacing the auto?
Thanks. (newbie)[:D]
 

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Here comes the debate on transmission filters. A quick search of generic "Ford Transmission problems" will yield videos where Ford techs suggest that all automatic filters be replaced every 20-30k miles as recommended in the owner's manuals. I do not disagree with this. A filter change is not a full fluid change, but will replace about half the fluid. Filters in these transmissions simply pop in after removing the pan and fluid in the pan.

I do disagree with AT flushing in nearly all cases. Yours might be a case where I'd agree to it since you have no idea when the last filter change was done. I'm still leery of it- even in the case of an old transmission with unknown service records.

Incorrect fluid can do this. If the transmission was worked on, MerconV is expensive fluid, and some shops might "accidentally" use MerconIII which is more common and cheaper to add to the existing fluid during a budget service.

Outside of the transmission itself, it could be a motor mount problem. The rear motor mount, or transmission mount (it's on top of the transmission) is usually not visible, and doesn't get the attention that the torque strut mount and front mount get. It could be responsible for making a normal shift feel rough. IMO if you replace one mount, you should plan to replace the other 2 in rapid succession if not at the same time. Other symptoms of bad motor mounts would be vibrations at idle, and a loud thunk when accelerating briskly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. So here's what I have learned since the original post.
The harsh jerk is only between 3rd and 4th, and seems to be both ways, I.e. up and down.
It's the actual kick down causing it. The kick down can be automatic, when you slow down, or forced when you open the throttle.
If I switch 4th off on the change lever, making it a 3 speed, it never occurs.
But the revs in 3rd are high (about 700rpm higher than 4th) and don't suit normal driving.
Another thing it does not occur when the engine is cold. Like left overnight.
So I can get around the block fine twice, then third time - the clunk is back.
At a little rise in the road.
Found my old OBD diagnostic tool, and now reading the sensor outputs.
Not sure that the tool and the car provide comprehensive results tho.
I mean no code appears on the dash, the little engine symbol stays off, but the way it works seems to be that only the major faults turn the symbol on, and minor faults can be there but don't show. They have to be read.
Whether this car (ECU) reports them and my OBD/OBDII D900 (2011) can read them I'm not sure about. It was only about a $30 tool.
I know the TPS has a role in the kick down but never heard of any problem like this there.
So it goes on...[bawling][wave]
 

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Wear in the trans driver end cover can do it. A broken 2-4 servo piston rod can too and some do that. If the trans is SLIPPING fractionally to then lockup to do it could be that too but you will see a rpm flare at that time if looking at tach output. That problem can be a simple kickdown bolt change to a longer one to stop the slip. These don't have adjustable bands, the bolt gets changed for a longer one, there are several. Assuming the trans is the 4F27E...........

CHANGE YOUR FLUID.

Have a look at your lower trans mount too, they can make a very similar problem but it should show in lower gears too. if ONLY 3-4 and 4-3 then not that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, there are no DTCs that the tool could find. And that's looking before, during (live read), and after making it clunk.
Definitely needs a little warm up before it occurs. The tool showed the TPS action was quite smooth and with no breaks. Other values fine as, I had recorded them a few years back.
So I think the TPS is fine.
Noticed the changes slipping a bit, perhaps more noticeable as I'm looking at it cold more.
Wondering if it's worth paying for fluid change, as no one I've seen has said that's ever helped.
Thinking this tranny has had it... It's the 4F27E tranny btw.
Plenty of wreckers with used trannys, but they are wary when I mention this sort of problem. Won't guarantee against it.
Also don't trust them as they are all from low km cars - I bet.
Might be better looking for a driveable wreck where I can fully check the tranny, before getting it out. Seen a couple, but none near here. $500 or so.
Life's a .....
 

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You will likely get no DTCs until a hard fault exists meaning walking home. Ford has damped most DTCs to not show up hardly at all if ever, it lowers warranty claims when a DTC does not show with every little hiccup a car can do and there are plenty.

A fluid change will NOT fix that issue, may help but not fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, the fluid has been there since new (2003), so it's 13-14 years old.
The car has done 80,000km and I have been thinking that with the low km it should be fine.
Maybe I'm wrong, and the time when it was left for a few years + without use let the fluid deteriorate somehow. Commonsense might say change it and put in a decent synthetic.
That's only about $50. For 6 litres, but can only drain out half, of course.
In fact, while its open, why not swap out the two identical A and B solenoids that are known to cause change faults in this tranny (XS4Z-7H148AA)?
That would bump the the cost of the kit up a bit but not too much.
These, for example,
Ebay item 192048239753
About $100 AU incl shipping.
This is what I'm thinking - one last attempt.
A guy I know, transmission shop, said he could change all the fluid somehow.
Wasn't paying complete attention at the time and maybe I misheard him, but I think he mentioned a tube. Have you ever heard this?
Anyway this is what I'm thinking about now.
I don't think Ford would use the very best fluid in there. [cheers]
 

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Here the fluid change is at 30K miles. The OEM fluid is synthetic.

No electronic part in the world can fix a hard parts mechanical issue due to excess wear. Why most solenoid changes result in zero results.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Okay, as I thought, more or less.
But how about if the end cover is lifted?
Have read about a few ppl who have found a fault in there. Band etc.
One problem here is finding a shop where they understand the box enough.
Went to one place where they rebuild boxes but they don't like dealing directly with the public. Was $200 to drop pan, test drive and quote.
Maybe switch to a manual tranny.
Thanks for your help.

NB Is there anywhere I can get a breakdown of the auto box?
Does the Mitchell CD set cover the auto inside?
Have one somewhere here.
 

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Mitchell may, for sure their ATX trans manuals do.

Most techs now are far from that, they lose way too much money misdiagnosing since there are multiple faults to make the same issues, we are now in a world of change the entire trans for the slightest little thing now. Most of the workers that do that work now could not tell you the difference in a planetary or a clutch drum.

http://shop.ukrtrans.biz/wp-content/uploads/catalogs/4F27E.pdf

Let it load there's 112 pages or close there. Then save it to keep a copy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Mitchell may, for sure their ATX trans manuals do.

Most techs now are far from that, they lose way too much money misdiagnosing since there are multiple faults to make the same issues, we are now in a world of change the entire trans for the slightest little thing now. Most of the workers that do that work now could not tell you the difference in a planetary or a clutch drum.
Thanks for that.
What worries me is I don't find any DTCs and with it jerking around I'm a bit surprised. Makes me wonder if I'm just not picking them up.

What I want to do is create a DTC somewhere, preferably in the auto, and check with my OBD/OBDII scanner.
That will confirm whether or not I have a hard electrical fault or something only mechanical, and whether my OBD can detect it.

I notice in the manual there are a lot of DTCs, quite detailed really.
Just hope the Oz Focus model had that level of reporting. Would not put it past Ford to put something more basic in the ECU arrangement over here.
Reading around these trannies have a whole range of problems, especially shift.
Away for a few days now, with the car, but thanks for the help so far.
[thumb][wave]
 

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Often something has to be a hard fault now for a good while before logging a code. If you have a better scanner you can maybe pick up a 'pending' code, or one the PCM is aware of but has not decided it is a hard fault yet to log a DTC. It can log those for a while and if the problem disappears then it wipes them without a DTC ever showing up.
 

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Here a wrong TPS can mess up the shifts if it has ever been changed, the '00-'02 one for ATX was dropped altogether to require an '03 ATX one with different connector and a whole new throttle body to go along with it. The problem being the MTX TPS is still available and usually the one the parts guys give you since the part catalogs commonly say it works. It DOESN'T WORK even though it fits perfectly and using it makes the kickdowns harsh among other issues.

But you have '03 and that should not be a problem and you would have to have changed the TPS as well. .....................
 
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