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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Drove my 2005 Ford Focus ZXW on a road trip of about 300 miles about a month ago. Trans worked normally during the trip. Next day noticed i started getting delayed take off engagement (setting at a stoplight and then giving it gas to take off and engine revs up a bit and then the trans catches). Then started noticing delayed shifting (engine revving between shifts). Next day while driving the trans seemed to have completely lost third gear (revs to the moon and no engagement).

So, this is not my first rodeo with a 4F27E so i looked at the forums again to get a game plan together. I dropped the trans pan and took the valve body out. I then installed all six new solenoids and also installed the Trans-Go shift improver kit in the valve body. Went to the trouble of removing the manual shift bar and checking the reverse servo---it looked normal (tight-not cracked-rubber seal ok).

The separator plate gaskets looked ok (not blown out anywhere) but i ordered new valve body separator plate gaskets anyway. Very troublesome to remove the bonded gasket side of the separator plate. Used permatex gasket remover which removed the non-bonded side easily and eventually released the bonded side after about five applications. Then on to the the solenoid separator plate---what a bastard!! Both sides are bonded and gasket remover had no effect. Ended up using about ten applications of aircraft remover and a gasket scraper to get it ready for the new solenoid gaskets. I'm still peeved that no one offers a OEM replacement part for these two separator plates with bonded gaskets.

Anyhoo, put it all back together yesterday and it is worse now than before. All gears (including reverse) delay before engagement, which this gets worse as the trans warms up, until there is almost no engagement at all. (seems like it is trying to build pressure to engage). Third gear is still gone completely. At normal operating temperature the car will hardly move at all, I cant even get back up on the car ramps.

Fairly irritated and depressed at this point. Luckily i have another vehicle i can drive while i sort this out.

I did a lot of work on the valve body and was pretty careful doing it. Still i guess i may have f'ed something up. Or possibly the problem might not be in the valve body.

Anyone with any knowledge of these tranny's help would be appreciated..
 

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So, where on the forums did you trip across rebuilding the VB as a cure? It usually really does nothing and the solenoids often don't either but everybody 'in the know' sure thinks they do.

The parts in any ATX that commonly fault are the ones that spin at 9 zillion rpm all day long. On a 4F27E that most commonly would be under the driver end cover plate, the stub off back cover wears heavily at seal rings, grooves, and bushings to lose oil pressure to reverse and direct clutches (hint:3rd uses the direct to work). Then pressure drops pretty much everywhere and nothing works. The cylinder walls for the 2-4 band servo (NOT the reverse, there is NO reverse servo in these) as well as the two smaller accumulators must be in good shape or problems as well.

If you have spent too much time trying to make car move you will have burned the clutches up, what they do when you slip them enough with no pressure. They only take a small amount of that before frying the frictions to not work right again. You may well be describing it as the gotten worse thing.

That end cover can be pulled with trans still in car and hooked to engine FYI.
 

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Is it possible you switched up a couple of the springs when you installed the transgo kit? Because, the symptoms you described originally sound like a weak power solenoid or a sticky valve, but the symptoms you are currently having sound like a worn out trans with bad clutches/band, and weak solenoids, too boot. Also, there is a lot of pressure in the VB, that's one reason why the gaskets are bonded (IMO, ease of assembly is the main reason)... you should re-torque every bolt on the VB and between the SB and VB, it's possible that some, or many, passageways are leaking fluid. Make sure you pushed all the sensor pigtails back in, and check for broken pigtail wires. [Or it could be a lot worse and a combination of gaskets and wear, like amc says.]

It might be best to pick up a cheap junkyard trans and rebuild it while the car sits. That way you can put in upgraded Alto Red Eagle clutches/steels, and start from a good place. The next time just reuse the bonded gaskets as is, I did and they worked fine, correct torque, no leaks. BTW, any engine mods?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks amc49 and G-forces for responding. I was very careful to follow instructions during the Trans-Go install, but i know mistakes still happen, so i will recheck that when i get the tranny out. I double checked the pigtail installation and the wiring seemed good. I'm thinking of going with G-forces suggestion about rebuilding a tranny. Any special tools that are required? I am leery of taking the tranny completely apart because of the high-torque nut and setting clearance with the crush shim. Some posts seem to indicate that the tranny doesn't usually have to be taken apart that far if the assembly still spins smoothly? I'm thinking about maybe checking the end cover and other parts and replacing the clutches and steels like G-force suggested.

Also fyi---there are no engine mods...it is just a daily driver

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

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Yes, special tools are required. I have a complete set of the rebuild tools that I'll sell you. If you want, PM me we can discuss price.

When I rebuilt mine I made the choice of taking the half-case to a shop and had them use their depth gauge to set torque on the bearing, rather than buy that gauge.
 

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You lost me on the depth gauge to set torque thing, no way should that be possible as every one sets a slightly different depth depending on how the crush washer settles under stress. You can set up a simple inch pound torque wrench to measure the friction to turn the gear, or the important thing. Most rebuilders avoid tearing that gear setup down anyway if they can avoid it. Why the procedure is in the back of the ATSG manual 'in case you are forced to do it'. You can tell by how much wobble is there whether it needs fixing. As well, simply replacing bearing can make gear noise since all 3 gears are a matched set once run against each other that long, change the absolute position of the one by changing bearing and then the high edge from the end of the wear pattern no longer matches mating gear and then side loads the gear to make noise, only needs like 2-3 thousandths high to do that. BTDT on other trans with similar setups. 4F27Es will make enough gear noise as it is when the different final drive gears get worn at bearings to move out of plane.
 

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I'm sure is misspoke on that, it's been over 6 years since I built mine. I'll consult my manual after work (haven't found anybody to sell it to cheap yet), and see if I can remember what operation caused me to take the half-case to a shop to use their depth gauge.

There is one bearing for sure that you must remove (replace is best at that point) to do a complete rebuild. It's under the staked nut, and it causes no alignment problems or gear issues. But, yes, unless you want to go through a lot of extra work, leave the rest of the bearings alone (unless there is a compelling reason to change one or more).
 

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Not trying to start a fight FYI.

The only staked nut I could think of would probably be that one for the position we are talking about, the one that has to torque up to like 350 ft.lbs. or so. Because it has a crush sleeve that gets torqued down to get closer and closer till it just touches to spin with a few inch pounds of tension on it. Why they don't change it, too sensitive to do in a hurry like rebuilders like. Go slightly too far and it must be torn back down and change the crush washer and start over again.

You're right, it does not impact gear aligning issues, I meant the 3 gear train that comes off it, they do as they all shim for preload at the cases. Changing any bearing there can make troubles on high wear trains.

There are end play clearances to set if any major parts get changed, the whole rotating mass has to be a set length on both ends to match the cases so proper end play lets trans live a long time. THOSE would use depth tools, I used them on CD4Es in like 4 places on those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick update. Not much time to pursue working on the Focus during the holidays. I did order the ASTG 4F27E workshop manual. Hopefully I can drop the transmission and begin disassembly sometime in January and find out what went wrong. I have been tempted to just get a salvage yard tranny and put it in but from what i read finding a good one seems unlikely. I am concerned that even upon disassembly of the transmission that I will not be able to spot what is wrong. Also concerned about being able to get the tranny put back together correctly even if i do find what is wrong and am able to fix it. I have been mechanic-ing on my own vehicles for a long time but I may be in over my head here. So it goes. Happy holidays everyone!!
 

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Perhaps finding a working trans in a donor car would work best? That way you know if works and if you can buy something rusted or cracked up in the rear, the cost should be minimal. Plus any spare parts you may need, then just sell it to a salvage yard. I did this with my 2000 Ford contour doing automatic to mtx swap, all In all it cost me $250, $400 for the car and $150 back from salvage.
 

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Yeah buddy, those VBs have to be cleaner than your insides during heart surgery, and BTDT too. Assuming of course that both the o-rings were back between the VB and trans case as needed.
 

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Hi All! I know this is an older thread, but some of you guys really know the 4F27E, which is fast becoming my least favorite transmission. I have had 3 or 4 Fords with the 4F27E, and all have had various issues. I replaced one with a yard trans myself, but have yet to rebuild a 4F27E, so I pretty much know the very basics of transmissions. My current Ford is a 2006 Focus ZXW, which otherwise is a pretty nice car, my run-around car. 80K miles and runs pretty well. BUT, it has a very distinctive rap or rattle (it varies) on only the 2-3 shift. The shift itself is fine mechanically, it just makes this annoying noise as if something is loose. Predictably I guess, my local shop says it needs to be rebuilt, but after having read a fair amount about this transmission, I am not sure my problem isnt in the VB, or band. I really dont want to tear it down completely, if I can do something without pulling it out of the car, like band, VB, endcover, etc. By the way, it doesnt make the noise when cold, only after the trans is warmed up, then it's pretty noticeable. More noise if you shift with very light throttle when you give it time to shift. If you shift 2-3 under heavy throttle, it shifts so fast you almost cant hear it.

I know I could just replace it with a yard trans, or rebuild, but I am hoping I can find the source of this without going this far. Any ideas from you obviously very smart 4F27E gurus?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.....!!!!
 
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