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Rocco De Luca

98 contour 2.5 CD4E Transmission Shifting Problems

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I could have sworn I saw a thread on this site, in which someone had the same problem but now I can't find it. 

Anyhow, I have a 1998 Ford Contour 2.5L and over the winter, I started experiencing problems with the transmission.  

1. When cold, the transmission shifts fine
2. When warm, there is a bit of a on acceleration from a dead stop.
3. When warm, 1st gear winds out and will not shift unless you hold the accelerator pedal steady.
4. When warm, will sometimes wind out in 1st and skip right over 2nd and into 3rd, depending on speed. 
5. When warm, if it does hit 2nd gear, engine will rev up between 2nd to 3rd gear. 
6. When warm, will downshift hard when letting off the gas at speeds under 45 mph.
7. When warm, O/D light will start flashing. 

Problem used to be intermittent and is now consistent. 
Fluid does not appear or smell burned.
Found code for TSS (transaxle shaft speed sensor), replaced sensor and no change.

I suspect the range sensor is no good but before I throw any more money at this beast, I want to know if anyone has had this happen and if any solutions were found. The first time this happened, I google searched for quite a bit of info and found a few posts that described my problem exactly. But those posts had no solution to offer. If I fix this problem, I want to be able to contribute my findings.  I apologize if this post is not in the right spot. 

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CD4E can be a real pain to repair etc. A good trans shop with a lot of experience on CD4E is what you need.They should be able to carry out factory operation and pressure tests. Just don't go throwing parts at it until you know the faults etc..

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CD4E can be a real pain to repair etc. A good trans shop with a lot of experience on CD4E is what you need.They should be able to carry out factory operation and pressure tests. Just don't go throwing parts at it until you know the faults etc..

I suppose I should have mentioned that I'm ASE cert. engines, S&S, HVAC, Exhaust and Charging Elec. not that good at Chassis Elec or Transmission, which is why I posted it.  Everyone and anyone can just take it into a shop. If we all did this, I'm not so sure forums like this would exist.  I suppose what I'm saying is, while I don't know much about electrical, my 15 + yrs experience as a tech provides me with enough common sense in areas I do not fully understand, to try and test certain variables that could be causing the affliction, without causing damage. Or to put it mildly... I know what I'm doing.  I know how to NOT break things, however, your concern is duly noted. 

 

Does anyone have a different, experienced or otherwise more useful suggestion than this?  I could have just typed "google.com" in my browser, instead of "fordcontour.org", had I been looking for a tow truck. :wallbash:

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I forgot to add useful additions.  After replacing both the TSS sensor AND the range sensor a.k.a. neutral safety switch, Still, no change.  I'm beginning to suspect valve body or solenoid control module (solenoid pac?) but before spending that much money, I've devised a little test.  I purchased that snake oil "Lucas Trans Fix" before anyone says a word, I'm going to stop you now and say, I AM NOT USING THIS AS A PERMANENT SOLUTION, I am trying to diagnose.  However, my brother owned an 01 Saturn SL1 and it had lost 1st all together. A bottle of this stuff brought it back and lasted long enough for the new valve body it needed. (easy job actually.)  So, I am merely trying to see if there are any differences in behavior with the Lucas in place.  If it's a bad valve body, I suspect it should improve within the week. However, a Master tech friend of mine, told me to inspect the TPS.  Again, this is Chassis Electrical, my weak spot.  I was to understand that this sensor measures resistance that is read by the PCM, in order to govern injector pulse width.  So I have been trying to think about how a TPS could so adversely affect a drivetrain component, considering it deals with fuel, or so I thought. Since I do at least know how to read and measure this sensor, I will test it before condemning it.  Keep in mind, the VSS was replaced about 4 months ago. I totally understand how failure in that sensor can jack up your trans. It became very obvious that the PCM used the speedo signal to govern the trans.  :stretcher: 

Never-the-less, I will be back with an update. NOWHERE ON THE WEB, is there a solution for my problem, but the question has been asked a few times. I hope any remaining contour or Mystique owners will benefit from both my error and hopefully, success. 

Edited by Rocco De Luca

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...if you can get your hands on the Ford dealer shop manual that has the full check process and you can follow it then that would be the way to go. These tests include the electrical and pressure and function test...would need to hook up test kit with gages etc to the points on the trans. The CD4e can suffer with runaway line pressure, broken welds on bands, bad valve body ,bad converters..just so many things that can cause the O/D light to flash..I'd be nuts to say 'just try this'...because after we had gone thru 5 or 6 lots of 'try this' you would still not be at the problem...The full Ford test procedure is the only way to go...

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So I tested my TPS and even though there was no break in the range when I performed the sweep test, I replaced the sensor anyway as it was $15.  I wish I could report that this corrected the problem but alas, it has not.  

The lucas trans fix additive has also not created any changes so I suspect that there is a problem with the valve body, even less.  But I still want to condemn the Solenoid Control Valve.

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...if you can get your hands on the Ford dealer shop manual that has the full check process and you can follow it then that would be the way to go. These tests include the electrical and pressure and function test...would need to hook up test kit with gages etc to the points on the trans. The CD4e can suffer with runaway line pressure, broken welds on bands, bad valve body ,bad converters..just so many things that can cause the O/D light to flash..I'd be nuts to say 'just try this'...because after we had gone thru 5 or 6 lots of 'try this' you would still not be at the problem...The full Ford test procedure is the only way to go...

I appreciate your honesty. I will update this thread once I have done more research. I realize that driving the car can cause more damages which is why I try to keep it as cool as possible, since it shifts perfectly fine when it is stone cold and I can get about 10 miles before my symptoms start.  I haven't tried to pass anyone or go WOT since this problem went from intermittent status to full time problem.  I hope my light driving helps preserve the hard parts, as I have no choice but to drive this car to work since my wife drives our other car (work shifts overlap). Been driving with the heat on just to try and drop the temp of the radiator which, doesn't seem to do much.  I will plug on with this issue, ready to condemn the solenoid pac.  I believe I can get the pan off without dropping the trans if I remove the radiator.

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Update: 2 years later. I finally found some time to replace the solenoid pack. The transmission does absolutely nothing now. I will note that the ATF level is high on the dipstick as if there is no circulation. Maybe I put the gasket on wrong which, I doubt because I did pay extra close attention. I think I may have disturbed a failing valve body, because it is necessary to remove the valve body in order to remove the connector. When I get time, I will replace the valve body and hopefully all goes well. I'm sorry but t has taken so long but I bought a house last year and lost my solenoid pack in a box. Lol. I found it, installed it and now the car doesn't move....awesome.

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I reopened my transmission and found that the rod that runs from the selector lever to the manual valve of the valve body, was not connected.  It must have fallen out when I removed the valve body to replace the solenoid pac (to access and remove the electrical connector).  I once again unbolted the valve body and reconnected this rod to the manual valve. At this point I have succeeded in repairing the transmission back into its state of malfunction instead of total failure.  If I had to guess, valve body would be the next culprit. . . the wife wants me to sell it since I just bought another project.  I want to try a new valve body.  Yes, I'm an idiot who has thrown good money after bad but, this has become personal.  There is no cloudiness in the oil, there are no metal shavings.  That suggests that nothing has started banging and the frictions are not letting loose.  I feel I MUST try a valve body.  If I gain nothing else from this experience, it is knowledge.  Now, I'm hoping that if someone ever comes across this page, they will at least see what the problem ISN'T and will not waste their money as I have thus far.

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I reopened my transmission and found that the rod that runs from the selector lever to the manual valve of the valve body, was not connected.  It must have fallen out when I removed the valve body to replace the solenoid pac (to access and remove the electrical connector).  I once again unbolted the valve body and reconnected this rod to the manual valve. At this point I have succeeded in repairing the transmission back into its state of malfunction instead of total failure.  If I had to guess, valve body would be the next culprit. . . the wife wants me to sell it since I just bought another project.  I want to try a new valve body.  Yes, I'm an idiot who has thrown good money after bad but, this has become personal.  There is no cloudiness in the oil, there are no metal shavings.  That suggests that nothing has started banging and the frictions are not letting loose.  I feel I MUST try a valve body.  If I gain nothing else from this experience, it is knowledge.  Now, I'm hoping that if someone ever comes across this page, they will at least see what the problem ISN'T and will not waste their money as I have thus far.

Hope you finally found your gremlin. You have more experience than most at this point. 

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this is going to sound odd, but try changing the fluid over to synthetic, I can personally say I saved my ATX by having t flushed and filled with Sythetic fluid..

 

My car wouldn't shift/high rev then bang into gear.. 15k later.. its still running strong and I beat the piss out of it..and yes the fluid was black as night coming out.

 

In hind-sight I would also say to change the input-speed and output-speed sensor. but seriously Me switching to Synthetic fluid I fully believe and have the miles to prove that it SAVED my Cd4E.

 

They are know for blowing out valve-body's

Do u remove valve body with the trans in the car?

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The valve body can be removed from inside the engine bay. It's a tight squeeze that requires some fasteners be removed from underneath but, it is possible.

 

However, it seems that the 2-4 band could be my culprit. Seems another gentleman had the same problems as I and successfully corrected it by replacing this component. It can be replaced without removing the trans but, the procedure is risky.

 

When the weather warms up, I will attempt to replace it and update this post, yet again.

Edited by Rocco De Luca

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