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Old 07-13-2007, 06:26 AM   #1
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Auto techs/Grease monkeys.. I need help!

Not Jeep related, but I would still appreciate your help. Buddy at my work, real good guy, was going to get a new birth certificate with his daugher last night, so that they can leave the country for vacation.

Long story short, on the highway the trans started slipping. Vehcile is a 1990ish Ford Escort Wagon, with the 1.9L 4 banger and an auto. When he got to a red light, it accelerated normal, but started slipping pretty good in 1-2. Not enough to pull over or loose momentum, but enough to notice its slipping.

Now, come time for the 2-3 shift, the car "shifted" normal, but when it tried to grab third if found nuetral. Think of it like if you were driving a stick, and your banging gears, and you go 3-4 like you do everyday without paying much attention, and when you drop the clutch 4th is neutral, no gear. His is an automatic, but thats what it did. Car shifted normal but no third. The car then shifted to 4th on its own, and continued down the road in 4th.

The escort drove the same way for the next .. ~50-60 miles. Slipping 1-2, no 3rd, slipping 3-4 with 4th coming at too low a vehicle speed to compensate for no 3rd.

I have NEVER in my life, heard of any transmission loosing Direct Drive before anything else, let alone that be the only gear that goes. Fluid level looks good. I didnt have a chance to look at it yet, but he described the fluid as a dark red (although NOT rust colored) with a grey tint to it. I assume the trans is shot, but I have never heard of direct drive going before anything else, so I thought id ask.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-13-2007, 06:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JCS05Rubi View Post
Not Jeep related, but I would still appreciate your help. Buddy at my work, real good guy, was going to get a new birth certificate with his daugher last night, so that they can leave the country for vacation.

Long story short, on the highway the trans started slipping. Vehcile is a 1990ish Ford Escort Wagon, with the 1.9L 4 banger and an auto. When he got to a red light, it accelerated normal, but started slipping pretty good in 1-2. Not enough to pull over or loose momentum, but enough to notice its slipping.

Now, come time for the 2-3 shift, the car "shifted" normal, but when it tried to grab third if found nuetral. Think of it like if you were driving a stick, and your banging gears, and you go 3-4 like you do everyday without paying much attention, and when you drop the clutch 4th is neutral, no gear. His is an automatic, but thats what it did. Car shifted normal but no third. The car then shifted to 4th on its own, and continued down the road in 4th.

The escort drove the same way for the next .. ~50-60 miles. Slipping 1-2, no 3rd, slipping 3-4 with 4th coming at too low a vehicle speed to compensate for no 3rd.

I have NEVER in my life, heard of any transmission loosing Direct Drive before anything else, let alone that be the only gear that goes. Fluid level looks good. I didnt have a chance to look at it yet, but he described the fluid as a dark red (although NOT rust colored) with a grey tint to it. I assume the trans is shot, but I have never heard of direct drive going before anything else, so I thought id ask.

Thanks in advance.
Unless its very low on trans fluid Id venture to guess its shot. The cost of having the trans rebuilt prolly outweighs the worth of a early 90's escort. Best bet, find junkyard tranny and swap.

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Old 07-13-2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Unless its very low on trans fluid Id venture to guess its shot. The cost of having the trans rebuilt prolly outweighs the worth of a early 90's escort. Best bet, find junkyard tranny and swap.

x2, unless you know someone that can rebuild it for beer money and parts.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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Thats what I figured. Shame. Such a nice guy too, just bought his daughter a car and cant afford another. He said it slipping into reverse real bad now too . Ill take a look at it later, but sounds like shot clutch packs or a valve body. I dont have an engine hoist/cradle and its one of the FWD cars that needs to be supported . Ah well, guess well have to figure something out.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:33 AM   #5
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valve body wouldn't slip what youve got is clutch packs shot and if its slipping in reverse then I don't sugest going to far in it. but what I may have is a trans for that somewhere around. I will look around.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:23 PM   #6
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Nah dude, I must not have explaimed it right. He said its slow to engage reverse, like slipping to engage it, than once it "finds" reverse it drives normal. Thats why I was thinkng low line pressure or a clog or something in the valve body...either that or clutch packs. Its randys little red escort. The guy that writes songs for dream theater and wanted kim to sing w/ them.

Ill look a it later when he wakes up. I just finished a cookies and cream Ritas, im not going out in the heat for awhile.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:19 PM   #7
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Grey tint? Perhaps some water in the transmission?

Try changing the fluids for fresh and see if that makes a difference. With it being an older transmission, I'd go with a VERY good fluid, like Redline MTL90 or something synthetic.

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