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Can You Drop The Tranny By Doing This?


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#1 Jesse

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:41 AM

Sorry to post another topic so quickly but I had a question and I honestly don't know anyone who knows about cars and I don't know too much about cars personally either (which I hope to change by working on my Sable). Maybe this can be my specific topic where I can post questions instead of posting multiple new topics? I know how annoying that can be. Would that be okay? To my question, okay so say I'm in drive, and I'm parking my car so I'm going super slow, would it be okay to put the car in reverse without braking completely, but with the car still moving at a VERY slow pace? I don't wanna 'drop the tranny' or anything, and I don't know how sensitive transmissions are to, well, anything to be honest. lol. When I do that, the car makes the same jerk it does when changing gears in general so I assume it would be fine, but I wanted some opinions from people who actually know these types of engines.Typing that made me think of another question... is it normal for my car to make a slight jerk when changing gears? Sometimes (very rarely) the gears will be kind of hard to change and I actually have to put a bit of muscle into it to change the gear, and when that happens there is a loud sort of gear changing sound, way louder than a normal (I assume) gear changing noise. Normally when I change gears it makes a small gear shifting noise, but when they get stuck it's pretty loud. Sorry if it sounds like I'm rambling I just don't know the proper terms to these things and I'm kind of tired. Plus I'm a newbie at this stuff and I don't want to sound like an idiot. Posted Image

#2 tehrookie

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:23 AM

you have a manual transmission in your sable?
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#3 Jesse

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:34 AM

No, automatic. I've seen it done on manuals before so thats why I thought it might be okay... so idk... Posted Image

#4 tehrookie

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:01 AM

is it normal for my car to make a slight jerk when changing gears? Sometimes (very rarely) the gears will be kind of hard to change and I actually have to put a bit of muscle into it to change the gear, and when that happens there is a loud sort of gear changing sound, way louder than a normal (I assume) gear changing noise. Normally when I change gears it makes a small gear shifting noise, but when they get stuck it's pretty loud.


i took this as you are shifting gears in a standard lol. sorry about that. im guessing you mean going from reverse to drive.

shifting should not be difficult. unless you are on a hill and there stress being put on the transmission when shifting. if that is the case.. when parking on a hill. hold the brake, put the car in neutral, press the parking brake, let off foot brake, then put the car in Park. and dont forget to turn the wheels toward the curb :blush:

i am by no means an expert in this area. this is just my $.02
im sure someone will chime in soon enough with a response.

welcome to :tsoc: by the way!
be sure to set up your garage and share some pics of your sable.

Edited by tehrookie, 22 January 2011 - 05:04 AM.

Posted Image

#5 goodguitar5150

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:34 AM

No, automatic. I've seen it done on manuals before so thats why I thought it might be okay... so idk... Posted Image


I shift straight from Reverse to O/D all the time, and never have a problem. Plus my AXOD-E has 196000 miles on it and it is 19 years old. I wouldn't suggest going from O/D to Park or N (with power) to O/D though, those will do some damage.
Ryan/goodguitar5150
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Posted Image

1992 Ford Taurus L "SLO"
200,000 Miles

Vulcan Lag, Noun -Vulcan Lag, Noun - Unseen force of physics that happens while attempting to reach a higher RPM with a Vulcan, yet that power seems to never reach the wheels.
ex. Dude, goodguitar5150's Taurus seems to take forever to get moving. He has a serious case of VULCAN LAG! No wonder he calls it the "SLO"

The vulcan makes you actually try, if you want to make legitimate power.


G2 > all other Taurus gens


#6 qwertz9586

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

Sorry to post another topic so quickly but I had a question and I honestly don't know anyone who knows about cars and I don't know too much about cars personally either (which I hope to change by working on my Sable). Maybe this can be my specific topic where I can post questions instead of posting multiple new topics? I know how annoying that can be. Would that be okay? To my question, okay so say I'm in drive, and I'm parking my car so I'm going super slow, would it be okay to put the car in reverse without braking completely, but with the car still moving at a VERY slow pace? I don't wanna 'drop the tranny' or anything, and I don't know how sensitive transmissions are to, well, anything to be honest. lol. When I do that, the car makes the same jerk it does when changing gears in general so I assume it would be fine, but I wanted some opinions from people who actually know these types of engines.Typing that made me think of another question... is it normal for my car to make a slight jerk when changing gears? Sometimes (very rarely) the gears will be kind of hard to change and I actually have to put a bit of muscle into it to change the gear, and when that happens there is a loud sort of gear changing sound, way louder than a normal (I assume) gear changing noise. Normally when I change gears it makes a small gear shifting noise, but when they get stuck it's pretty loud. Sorry if it sounds like I'm rambling I just don't know the proper terms to these things and I'm kind of tired. Plus I'm a newbie at this stuff and I don't want to sound like an idiot. Posted Image



It's ok to post a new topic for a different question, but please use separate paragraphs.

Yeah, it's OK to change gears if the car is moving slowly and your trans isn't going to drop out. The only thing here is not to put it into Park while you're still moving.

Yeah, it's normal for it to jerk during gear changes among Park, Reverse, and Drive. This gear changing sound, is it a grinding sound? Automatics do not normally make a grinding sound. Are you manually shifting it by moving the shifter around while you're moving forward? Do you have a floor shifter or column shifter?

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#7 Guest_Sabaka_*

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:06 PM

If you do not want to have transmission problems, come to a complete stop before shifting into reverse, drive or park.

These transmissions aren't made for playing boy racer. If you manually up shift and down shift all the time, you will prematurely burn out the transmission.

#8 Millermagic

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:46 PM

It is NOT good for the transmission to put it in drive while going backwards or reverse while going forwards. It absolutely kills me when people do that. You're hurting the internals of the transmission, the cv shafts, tires, etc. NOT GOOD.

The AX4S/N are known to have bad drive/neutral accumulators. They'll cause a bang when going from neutral to drive or reverse (or switching direction).

#9 Jesse

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:00 PM

i took this as you are shifting gears in a standard lol. sorry about that. im guessing you mean going from reverse to drive.

shifting should not be difficult. unless you are on a hill and there stress being put on the transmission when shifting. if that is the case.. when parking on a hill. hold the brake, put the car in neutral, press the parking brake, let off foot brake, then put the car in Park. and dont forget to turn the wheels toward the curb :blush:

i am by no means an expert in this area. this is just my $.02
im sure someone will chime in soon enough with a response.

welcome to :tsoc: by the way!
be sure to set up your garage and share some pics of your sable.



Thank you for the welcome! Also, thank you for that information :) It's not difficult, it's only once in a great while that I'll have to put a bit of muscle into it. I'm assuming some basic transmission treatment would help, such as seafoam or something.

I shift straight from Reverse to O/D all the time, and never have a problem. Plus my AXOD-E has 196000 miles on it and it is 19 years old. I wouldn't suggest going from O/D to Park or N (with power) to O/D though, those will do some damage.

Yeah I know what you mean. I definitely won't go from drive to park, that's a big no-no. lol

It's ok to post a new topic for a different question, but please use separate paragraphs.

Yeah, it's OK to change gears if the car is moving slowly and your trans isn't going to drop out. The only thing here is not to put it into Park while you're still moving.

Yeah, it's normal for it to jerk during gear changes among Park, Reverse, and Drive. This gear changing sound, is it a grinding sound? Automatics do not normally make a grinding sound. Are you manually shifting it by moving the shifter around while you're moving forward? Do you have a floor shifter or column shifter?

Okay cool thanks! & yes, putting it in park while I'm moving is definitely something not to do.
& is it? It's not like a huge jerk, but when I have to pull down harder when the gears get stuck I guess, the jerk will be bigger along with the sound being louder. The gear changing sound isn't a grinding sound, just more of a clack sound. like.. clack. lol. You know what I mean. Yes I'm manually shifting it when I'm moving forward, but just barely moving, slowly enough for parking purposes.. I have a column shifter I think, that's the one on the steering wheel right? Column shifter... gotta remember that one. Thanks. lol

If you do not want to have transmission problems, come to a complete stop before shifting into reverse, drive or park.

These transmissions aren't made for playing boy racer. If you manually up shift and down shift all the time, you will prematurely burn out the transmission.

Okay, I won't. Thanks for that info. I appreciate it Posted Image

It is NOT good for the transmission to put it in drive while going backwards or reverse while going forwards. It absolutely kills me when people do that. You're hurting the internals of the transmission, the cv shafts, tires, etc. NOT GOOD.

The AX4S/N are known to have bad drive/neutral accumulators. They'll cause a bang when going from neutral to drive or reverse (or switching direction).

Yeah from what everyone says it sounds like it is bad for the transmission if I do that, so I won't be doing it anymore. The bang, is it mandatory on my kind of engine? You're talking about the sound I hear when changing gears, right? I've always wondered what the sound was and it always worried me but if it's normal for the kind of engine I have then I have nothing to worry about...



#10 Millermagic

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:23 PM

Bad accumulators would show up in a parking lot or something. Say you're in park and go to back out of a spot. When you put it in R it will bang into reverse. Or you have just backed up, come to a complete stop and put it in drive it will bang into drive. Neither engine is more prone to it ... just something that these transmissions do.

#11 qwertz9586

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:42 PM

Okay cool thanks! & yes, putting it in park while I'm moving is definitely something not to do.
& is it? It's not like a huge jerk, but when I have to pull down harder when the gears get stuck I guess, the jerk will be bigger along with the sound being louder. The gear changing sound isn't a grinding sound, just more of a clack sound. like.. clack. lol. You know what I mean. Yes I'm manually shifting it when I'm moving forward, but just barely moving, slowly enough for parking purposes.. I have a column shifter I think, that's the one on the steering wheel right? Column shifter... gotta remember that one. Thanks. lol



Yes, the column shifter is where the shifter on the steering column and you have P R N (D) D 1 under the speedometer:
http://www.ford-taur...wners/Page6.jpg

You are pulling the shifter towards you, holding it there while pulling down instead of just pulling down through the gears, right? It's suppose to make a light thud sound behind the steering wheel as you go through the positions to let you know what position you are in. A light clack is normal with age. If it is a heavy clack or thud sound, make sure your parking brake is set properly:
http://www.ford-taur...ures/Pbrake.php

More information about proper transmission usage:
http://www.ford-taur...atures/AX4S.php

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#12 Jesse

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:15 AM

Yes, the column shifter is where the shifter on the steering column and you have P R N (D) D 1 under the speedometer:
http://www.ford-taur...wners/Page6.jpg

You are pulling the shifter towards you, holding it there while pulling down instead of just pulling down through the gears, right? It's suppose to make a light thud sound behind the steering wheel as you go through the positions to let you know what position you are in. A light clack is normal with age. If it is a heavy clack or thud sound, make sure your parking brake is set properly:
http://www.ford-taur...ures/Pbrake.php

More information about proper transmission usage:
http://www.ford-taur...atures/AX4S.php


Sorry for the late reply, but I was on the forums last night on my iPod at like 2 in the morning and I was reading all of that material you gave me and it made me understand what I was inquiring about a lot better.. thanks a bunch. I never knew about the OD vs. D thing either, I always drove in Drive, but yeah. I learned something new... I appreciate it. Thanks again! Did you write it? If you did, you're very very good teacher.

#13 qwertz9586

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:36 AM

Yes, I wrote it a long time ago. Thank you for the complement. :)

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#14 Jesse

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:44 AM

You are very welcome. I started using overdrive instead of drive which I usually used today. When you have time, can you read what I just posted on my other topic? I hope it's not a trans problem. http://www.taurusown...am/page__st__20

#15 JohnSawyer

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:58 AM

Jesse, my 1994 Taurus with a 3.8L engine, and an AX4S automatic transmission with column shifter, has had similar symptoms to yours, off and on for about three years. Maybe my experience can help you decide what to do--though our cars are about eight years apart, your 2002 should be similar enough to mine.

When I shift from Neutral to Overdrive, there's a thunk that's anywhere from slight to severe, unless I let the car sit for about 20-30 seconds after I shift to Neutral, until the audible pitch of something spinning in the transmission (maybe its torque converter?) lowers in pitch. Usually, when I do that, the thunk is much less, or even normal. And, when I pull away from a stop, often there's another thunk. For about a year, from Nov 2009 until Dec 2010, I managed to make the thunking go away by replacing the transmission fluid and pouring some Lubegard red into it too, but the thunking has returned lately, and the transmission fluid is starting to become discolored again, so since transmission rebuilding isn't cheap (the best price I got locally was about $900, and that's a deal), I think it's time for me to do another transmission fluid replacement. This time, I'll do a full flush, including using something like Seafoam to clean out deposits, and I'll also take off the transmission pan and replace its gasket, and the transmission fluid filter too.

So, if you haven't already, check your transmission fluid level and color (it should be a nice translucent red), and flush/replace it if it looks bad (don't put in an additive like Lubegard immediately--wait until you see whether the new transmission fluid reduces symptoms to a decent level). Consider the full transmission pan drop/filter replacement too. To properly measure the transmission fluid level, the car must be running in idle, on a flat surface, long enough to get the engine warm (15 minutes should be OK, but watch the temp gauge on the dash to be sure). If you measure the transmission fluid while the car isn't running, most of it will flow out of the torque converter (a big donut-shaped part inside the transmission), and into the transmission pan, giving you an inaccurately high reading of how much fluid is in the transmission.

I know the real fix on my car is to do some work on the transmission, but due to cost from a shop, I'm gradually learning what I can do myself, including taking some auto repair classes at a local community college (with some excellent instructors). If such classes are available near you, I'd recommend them. It may not require a complete transmission rebuild--one possibility is a broken or weakened neutral/drive accumulator.

Another problem you may be seeing, based on your description of difficulty wrestling with the column shift lever, may be bad bushings around the column shift tube, and/or loose screws that hold down this tube and other parts on the shift tube. I just replaced the bushings (there are two of them, made of plastic) on my Taurus's shift tube due to difficulty moving the shifter--the bushings were worn, with the one closest to the steering wheel having worked its way out from under its clamp, leaving a gap that allowed the shift tube to move around improperly, and make shifting hard to do. When I was done replacing the bushings, I also adjusted the red shift indicator using the small black plastic dial on the right side of the steering column, so that the red line now sits firmly at each letter on the shift indicator. Replacing the bushings requires lowering the steering column, which isn't too difficult, but if you've never done work like that before, you can read up on it and take it slowly and carefully. I followed instructions I found on www.taurusclub.com, and I'd give you the specific links, but I don't know yet how others here feel about linking to that site, since many people here left it in the past year or two due to issues I'm not clear on since I joined taurusclub.com only at the end of 2010.

Until I find out whether links to taurusclub.com are cool here, this link has a picture of the shift tube and its bushings (same part number as for my 1994):

2002 Ford Taurus Steering Column Shift Tube

And this link has a lot of diagrams and photographs of what you'd be dealing with (the page references the 1994 Ford Crown Victoria, which uses a steering column and shift tube that should be very similar to your Taurus):

1994 Ford Crown Victoria Steering Column

You probably wouldn't need the whole shift tube/plunger/bushings kit, which will cost you anywhere from $25 on up--just the bushings alone will probably be all you'll need, but you won't know for sure until you remove the plastic shrouds from around the steering column and take a look. That should get you a look at the bushing closest to the steering wheel (this is the bushing with the most likely chance of failure), but I don't think you'll be able to see the bushing that's further down on the shift tube unless you also drop down the steering column.

The Ford part number for just the bushings is F3TZ 7L278-A. I bought two of these from a local Ford parts dealer for $6.81 each--I know a few online sources have them for a couple dollars less, but buying them online would have cost more with shipping cost. If you see these bushings sold online for around $50, you're looking at a listing for a box of 50, which is a quantity useful only to repair shops.

Edited by JohnSawyer, 06 February 2011 - 06:38 AM.


#16 Guest_Sabaka_*

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:11 PM

I would not run any type of cleanser through the transmission. You will regret it. No power flush, either. The best course of action is to drop the pan, change the filter, and replace the fluid, adding some Lucas transmission additive. If the car jerks as the transmission is changing gears, there is wear and tear that nothing short of a rebuild or replacement is going to fix.

#17 JohnSawyer

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:57 AM

I would not run any type of cleanser through the transmission. You will regret it. No power flush, either. The best course of action is to drop the pan, change the filter, and replace the fluid, adding some Lucas transmission additive. If the car jerks as the transmission is changing gears, there is wear and tear that nothing short of a rebuild or replacement is going to fix.


Thanks for pointing out that many transmissions don't do well after a cleaning/flush. As I understand it, this can happen in older transmissions, since a full pumpout or flush will remove friction material that has worn off the clutch plates, but is still in circulation in the fluid and doing some good within the transmission (the proper fix for which, is to replace the parts that have their friction material worn off). On the other hand, from what I've read of some people's experiences, some transmissions (newer ones?) do benefit from a full fluid pumpout/replacement, using only the car's own ATF pump (instead of a "power flush" that uses external hardware--either another pump, or a filter that just cleans the old fluid as it goesback in). I presume the transmissions that are less likely to have problems from a full pumpout/replacement, are the ones whose transmission fluid isn't turning dark due to friction material coming off the plates, but which just have worn-out ATF, gunk building up in the transmission, etc.

With my transmission, I didn't do a flush--I just replaced the fluid that had leaked out (about four quarts) due to a failure of the transmission pan gasket, and the transmission's side cover gasket. It was my first time replacing transmission fluid, so I wanted to try an experiment with Lubegard red to see if it would "refurb" the leaking seals, as they claimed it could. It did--my transmission hasn't leaked since then. The Lubegard also eliminated, for almost a year, the thunking/jerking the transmission was doing, so though repair/replacement is the more reliable option, it's also the more expensive option--I figure if Lubegard did the trick for me, I'd try it again (though I'm tempted to experiment with Lucas transmission additive next time, to compare its effectiveness to Lubegard for my particular transmission).

Edited by JohnSawyer, 12 May 2011 - 04:23 AM.


#18 Jesse

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 08:52 PM

*****This post is a follow up to my original post.


I recently got the transmission fluid changed, along with an oil change (after the seafoam) and my Sable is running GREAT. The sound and the jerk I was describing in my original post are no longer. I was speechless when I got the fluid changed. It made such a difference and it ran way smoother. The mechanic told me to add a bottle of Lucas Transmission treatment after about a week, so I did that yesterday and wow my car runs great. It feels brand new. When I change gears they change faster, I don't feel a jerk, I hear virtually no noise at all, and when I'm driving and the gears change it feels smooth just like it should. I just thought I'd let you all know this just in case anyone was experiencing the same things I was.




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