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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I have a 2001 SE DOHC Zetec and as soon as all the cold weather hit the Midwest, my ATX decided that driver commands were optional.

ATX acts like it is in neutral all the time, shifter has no effect. Ford says there is no fluid pressure in the lines, but won't honor the warranty (various reasons), so I towed it home.

A friend of a friend who is a tranny guy (transmission specialist, that is) said maybe the ATX cooler was frozen. Verified that it's not frozen. Maybe the pump?

Does anyone know, is one of the solenoids capable of stopping all fluid flow to the ATX? I really don't want to buy a new valve body if I don't have to.

Can anyone help me? I'm out of ideas. Thanks, everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, goinloco1. That's what I'm leaning towards. Do you have any idea where to get one and how much, by any chance?
 

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MyCarBreaksAlot
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So it doesn't work in D, 1, or 2? I doubt the shift solenoids all failed at the same time. I recently lost 4th gear due to shift solenoid A, usually it will just not engage and rev really high like what happens to you. Sometimes it will try to engage and violently shake the car. But you never know. If something's wrong with a solenoid, you should get a check engine light that you can scan at Autozone or something. That's how I determined the failure in mine. Sorry I can't help more.
 

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That happened to my car after i hit a huge bolder in the road on a foggy day. my car just revd up like it was in N. I took it to ford and my tranny was done for i had to get a new one. Hopefully its not that tho. thats all the imput i have for you. smell the tranny fluid and see if it smells burnt. Take it to someone that does trannys.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. It doesn't work in any gear at all. It's like the shifter isn't even attached, but it still is. I have also found out that there are no codes present, so it does not appear electrical or computer related.

Tranny fluid is fine, but is not flowing. That's all I know. That's why I'm thinking pump. Like I said before, I hope it's not the valve body - Expensive!
 

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I know very little auto tranmission repair, other than the basics. But the symptoms you describe are identical to when my pump went out.

Now, the only thing to be careful of is the question of why the pump went out, and if anything else has been damaged as well. In my case the pump apparently was providing insufficient flow for a while and the transmission overheated prior to the pump totally failing, causing some other components to be damaged. Or possibly some internal slippage caused overheating which then caused the pump to fail. It's a bit difficult sometimes after the fact to know for sure what was the initial problem.

Since you say the tranny fluid looks fine and isn't dark or have a burnt smell, you have a good chance of it simply being a pump failure.

Perhaps that friend of a friend could fix it up for a reasonable price. An ATX is not a good thing to be messing around with unless you have some experience or training, e.g., you often end up either throwing parts at it and buying unecessary parts, or you only fix part of the problem and it fails again down the road. Getting it fixed right by an experienced tranny guy who has the equipment to check out the pressures and such after the repair is probably worth the extra money.
 

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As far as getting the pump (I don't know squat about ATs, my first car was one in 1978 and I haven't owned another since) PM Mike (B16) for a price, or see if FocusSalvage.com has one. That's assuming you can install... If you can't do the install yourself it may actually be cheaper to buy a used tranny and have a shop do the swap than pay them by the hour to drop the tranny, tear it apart, repair it, reassemble it, and put it back in....
 

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...how long has it been since you changed fluid/filter? if the filter is clogged... it will do the same thing....

I've built a few trannies... and pump failure isnt very likely unless something happend to cause pump failure such as over heating or debris in the fluid

service the tranny before you go any further.... (would suggest having it flushed by a shop)

if that has been done, and the problem still remains... you could have a blockage in the valve body or pump causing a 0 pressure issue...

another very common problem w/ the ATX foci is the torque converter... which if it fails... the motor will free-rev... the transmission wont engage... nor will the pump... but torque converter failure is ushually heard before it happends (occaisonal rattle), or felt w/ occaisonal slip or unlock...

also.... have you checked shifter linkage? linkage could be damaged/frozen

sounds more like a converter issue to me then a pump problem... but check the fluid/filter before you go spending large sums of money

-AcId-
 

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> I've built a few trannies..

Good to see someone with experience. Out of curiosity, exactly how does a torque converter fail? Does a bearing go or something? Do "blades" actually fail/crack/bend? Shaft splining wear down or something? Is there a common/typical reason for torque converters failing?

As you can tell, my knowlege of Automatic transmissions is rather basic.
 

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well... it really depends... torque converter failure in our cars is so common because the factory used a junk converter that could harldly hold 130bhp... which is basically what our car makes in stock form...

now... the stator fins can be damaged... bearings can be damaged... imo... stator failure is the most common... but there are also issues such as balloning (swelling of the torque converter) ushually occurs when nitrous is used...

i've personally broken fins off of the stator before and had them rattling around in the converter for a month before the vehicle would just free rev as if the tranny had failed...

here is a site that gives a basic view of how one works...
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/torque-converter2.htm

now... I am no where near an expert on auto trannies... and a shop would have a much better bet of finding the problem.... but do check the fluid/filter before you do anything else.

-AcId-
 

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Late for Dinner
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talked to a friend who has a tranny shop here.
his thoughts are, without looking at it, that the ears on the trannys front pump that the torque converter engages sheared off. said hes repaired a couple and usually it damages the torque converter also.
but the only way to tell for sure is to remove it and visually inspect things.
best bet tho is to call a tranny shop and ask their opinion and if it would be possible to come out and look at it.
 

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atx

> I've built a few trannies..

Good to see someone with experience. Out of curiosity, exactly how does a torque converter fail? Does a bearing go or something? Do "blades" actually fail/crack/bend? Shaft splining wear down or something? Is there a common/typical reason for torque converters failing?

As you can tell, my knowlege of Automatic transmissions is rather basic.

Ive herd the torque converter can go out if you rev the engine and N and slam it inti drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again for all the ideas, everyone! I just got done with filter/fluid a few days ago, and tried to warm up the radiator area while I was doing that, just in case the fluid did somehow freeze in the cooler. No luck with any of that.

I suppose it's possible that the torque converter could be bad, but it seems to me that if it was the converter, at least the shifter would show SOME signs that it could shift gears. But when I move the shifter, there is no change to RPMs, absolutely nothing. Plus, Ford told me there is no pressure in the lines, which says to me my problem is before the torque converter.

I'm still thinking blockage or pump. Thanks again for all the input. If I ever get this fixed, I'll post what I found. I'm going to give you all Rep points!
 

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if the converter fails... there will be no change when you move the gear shift... the shifter itself will click in... but the tranny will not pull or jump or anything....

sounds like a job for a tranny shop... or you could rebuild it yourself...

but anyways... good luck
-AcId-
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
AcId -

What if I hear a little whine-noise coming from the ATX? Would that indicate something else?

I just looked at the How To on torque converters, very interesting. I'm a little hazy on something, though. Is it the pumping action of the torque converter, or the transmission pump itself (above the valve body) that keeps the fluid flowing through the cooler and the rest of the ATX, etc.? The reason I ask is since Ford said there was no fluid flowing in the lines, I don't see the torque converter making all that happen.
 

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fluid flow through the transmission is created mainly by the front pump...

and the whine could be the pump trying to pump the fluid and not being able to... or a bearing... or the tq converter whining... there are several things it can be to be honest...

i'd take it to a shop and bite the bullet unless you feel up to the task of tearing it down and building it yourself. it isnt all that complicated... just get a decent book and make sure you have the tools in hand that the book suggests (thats how i did my first)..

-AcId-
 
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