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#4064592 - 05/25/20 03:23 AM 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast?
Q_C Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/23/20
Posts: 5
Loc: AZ
I've been reading this forum for a few years now, but just now stumbled on something specific that I can't seem to find in search, so just looking for some help.

2008 P71, 170xxx miles.

The car has been beautiful for me over the last few years. Bought it with 150k or so, and did all the fluids at that time. I've redone the entire suspension, replaced engine mounts, and the #4 coil specifically more than a few times.

However, I think my transmission may be toasted. A few weeks ago it started slipping out of first gear. As in, I'd put it into "D," hit the gas, and it would go forward in first for a few feet before PING whrrrrrrr it's in neutral, until it would suddenly grab first gear again and lurch forward. The first day this happened, I checked the fluid (still perfectly cherry red, only 10k miles old or so, and at the proper level) and all transmission sensor connections.

It did it a few more times, not better or worse when warm or cold, so I did a full fluid swap using the cooler line, and I swapped in a uhaul pan with a drain and a fumoto valve. New filter. The magnet had a fair bit of fluff on it, about as much as it did three years ago when I last changed the fluid.

Then, it started doing lazy 2-3 shifts, or doing this thing on the freeway where I'd slow down from 70 to 60 or so and it would jump back and forth between 3rd and overdrive in a rhythmic motion. Clunk clunk clunk clunk as it searched between the two.

This entire time, it hasn't thrown any transmission codes. Turning off OD does not help the issue at speed, or in first gear.

At this point, I think I'm toast. I live in a studio apartment, and don't have the time, space, money, or skill to do a transmission swap or even a drop and rebuild. Junkyard transmissions are around $600 in my area already pulled (Arizona), or 350 for a DIY pull that I don't have the time or tools for. And shops all want $1000+ to even pop a new one in.

The only info I have otherwise that, if I put the shifter into first or second-gear only, it is fine? Putting it into "1" puts it SQUARELY into first gear with zero issues. Can still chirp tires and be stupid. And putting it into "2" (aka "the road is covered in ice" gear) still lets me take off in second, and it doesn't hunt or shift or seem to slip at all.

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#4064624 - 05/25/20 01:10 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Lance01 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 306
Loc: Pa
I'm not the transmission expert but love learning about them.

From what you said, you can throw a Hail Mary by dropping the valve body and rebuild it and hope it solves your issues. You don't have to replace everything in your valve body but just the common wear items like the main pressure regulator valve.

Also, specifically replace your 1-2 accumulator piston, 2-3 accumulator and swap out your factory separator plate for a Superior Tuff plate and just hope it solves your issues.

You can do this with minimal tools and it can be done in a day. You do need a small torque wrench to get the proper torque for all the little valve body bolts.

Again I'm not the transmission expert but transmissions have all kinds of ways they can fail even if you change your transmission fluid on time. You can have a internal seal fail or a hard parts falure or the valves inside valve body itself can get worn or damaged in a way to cause shifting problems and/or pressure leaks that will cause your clutches to burn up. Also over time accumulator pistons get hard and brittle and need to be replaced because they lose a positive seal.

At this point you shouldn't drive your car until you dig into the valve body and freshen things up. If this doesn't work then it's something more internal going on like a damaged forward clutch which is a known weak point on this transmission.


Edited by Lance01 (05/25/20 01:12 PM)

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#4064766 - 05/26/20 07:31 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Q_C Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/23/20
Posts: 5
Loc: AZ
Do you know if, other than the superior tuff plate, there is any kit of sorts for this?

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#4064810 - 05/27/20 12:51 AM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Lance01 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 306
Loc: Pa
I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction. Check with Darrien at BCA transmission or 88grandmarq on this website in regards to your issue before you start buying stuff.

http://www.bcatransmissions.com/

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#4064924 - 05/28/20 02:40 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Q_C Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/23/20
Posts: 5
Loc: AZ
Hmm, no responses from anybody cry

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#4064926 - 05/28/20 02:59 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Lance01 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 306
Loc: Pa
Personally, from what I have learned about the 4r70w/4r75E, any Panther I buy from here on out I would Jmod it with a new Superior Tuff plate and replace the overdrive servo and overdrive pin and accumulators immediately. Use the Sonnax main pressure regulator valve and the Sonnax overdrive pin kit.

This is about all you can do without dropping the transmission to ensure it doesn't fail prematurely aside from changing the fluids.

You said you got the car at 150k so there is no telling how the previous owner took care of her.

I failed to mention if there is a pressure leak in the overdrive piston that can cause a weak 1-2 shift because the forward clutch can't fully apply.


https://www.sonnax.com/parts/2379-overdrive-servo-pin-kit


I recommend a bare bones jmod and replace the overdrive piston and pin along with the accumulators.

Get the tool to do the overdrive servo to make it easy for you:

https://www.freedomracing.com/307-251-servo-piston-remover-installer-t92p-70023-a.html


Edited by Lance01 (05/28/20 03:02 PM)

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#4064930 - 05/28/20 03:44 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Q_C Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/23/20
Posts: 5
Loc: AZ
I got it from police auction and, despite everything being really clean (it's an AZ car after all) I also have no idea what was done to it. The only work I *know* it has had done to it is the Dorman intake replacement. No idea about the transmission.

I'm totally 100% willing to throw $200 at the car, but would be nice to know if I was barking up the wrong tree regarding the popping out of first.

I'd be inclined to think forward clutches are toast, but when I put it in "1" it shifts firmly to first gear and does *not* pop out of it. Same thing with "2." But if I put it in regular ol' "Drive," it goes weakly into first and then almost any application of gas/torque requirement pops it out of first gear, then as the revs or torque requirement drops it'll pop firmly back into it (sometimes enough to chirp the tires, if it's timed badly with gas pedal application).

My (maybe harebrained) thought about it would be a pressure leak in whatever passageway(s) is involved with regular automatic shifting. Or a solenoid failure? I don't know, these things are still kind of black magic to me.

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#4064936 - 05/28/20 04:47 PM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
professorP7B Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/20
Posts: 111
Loc: Massachusetts
Using the shift application chart, your problem for popping out of first and then sometimes slamming back in sounds like a failing planetary/low one-way clutch. This clutch operates mechanically and does not require any hydraulic fluid control. The mechanical nature of it may also explain the harsh/partial engagement. The fact that manual 1st works normally rules out the forward clutch and basically confirms the failing planetary/low one-way because the low/reverse band is applied in manual first, preventing the planetary/low one-way from freewheeling to give engine braking. The fact that manual low works tells you the low/reverse band is doing the job for the failing one-way. A failing forward clutch would also effect all gears except reverse and 4th.

The lazy 2-3 shift and 3-4 hunting may be caused by a failing direct clutch. This clutch is activated when shifting from 2-3 and remains active in 3-4. It might actually be going into 2nd, not 3rd. The direct clutch IS hydraulically operated, so a valve body, fluid control or solenoid issue could be the cause.

It's also possible that you have an overdrive band issue causing the 3-4 hunting. To test the operation of the overdrive band, shift into manual 2nd. You should have engine braking (i.e. the vehicle wants to slow down when you let off the gas, basically like a manual transmission if you let off the gas but don't step on the clutch.) If you don't have engine braking in manual 2nd, a faulty or slipping OD band may be the cause.

As far as solenoids go, the first tests with those is to make sure the wiring to the trans. is intact and has good continuity. After that is confirmed, I would check for proper power/ground application in each range (I'll explain this below.) If power/ground is good, you should check the continuity of the in-pan harness. If all that checks out the solenoid operation is as follows:

SSA Solenoid:
ON in all ranges EXCEPT manual 2nd, Drive 2nd and Drive 3rd

SSB Solenoid:
OFF in all ranges EXCEPT Drive 3rd and Drive 4th

TCC: (This controls the torque converter clutch and isn't likely to be a cause of any of your issues but the operation is as follows)
Hydraulically-disabled (OFF, basically) in all ranges EXCEPT manual 2nd, Drive 2, Drive 3rd and Drive 4th w/ OD engaged (OD On.)

So, as far as solenoids go the only one that could be faulty in your case based on what you have described is the SSB solenoid, and it would ONLY explain the lazy 2-3 and possibly the 3-4 hunting.

TLDR; All of this is nice to know, but can basically be taken with a grain of salt without a proper diagnosis and tear down. Other thing to consider is the clutches and bands don't like slippage. Even if the problem is something valve body, solenoid or electrically related the clutches/bands won't hold up too long with slippage and just replacing the solenoid or valve body or repairing the electrical issue might not fix the problem now. Also, I didn't even get into an ECM issue, but it's probably not likely. A solenoid or electrical issue probably isn't all too likely either, since the computer should be able to see electrical issues and set codes for it. What it can't see is mechanical problems. It usually won't set any codes in that case, unless slippage is an issue and it can detect it via input/output speed sensors, but even that isn't a guarantee it'll pop a DTC.


Edited by professorP7B (05/28/20 04:50 PM)
_________________________
Former Toyota tech. First-time Ford owner. ASE-certified Advanced Level Specialist.
Current vehicles:
2011 Crown Vic P7B (SAP, former campus police vehicle)
Purchased 3/27/20 w/51K, 819 idle hrs.
Jmod, Sonnax 76833E OD Pin, PML deep trans. pan, DANA-Spicer diff. cover, RKE, ext. trans. filter
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Purchased 2/23/17 w/57K
5.3L LC9 V8 4X4 Ext. Cab
My sig would be obnoxiously long if I listed the mods on this one...
2007 Mitsubishi Galant ES AKA "Oreo"
Purchased 6/5/17, sold 10/12/17, given back to me 5/26/20
Factory rot speedholes. She's a sleeper, one turn of the key will have you saying "Wow, it runs."

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#4065120 - 05/29/20 10:00 AM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: professorP7B]
professorP7B Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/20
Posts: 111
Loc: Massachusetts
In regards to your 1st gear issue, I should also add that sometimes to assist a one-way clutch, a hydraulically controlled clutch/brake is applied during take-off. In this case, that would be the low/reverse band. If the planetary/low one-way has completely failed, movement in Drive 1st might still be possible because of the momentary application of the low/reverse band. However, once a certain speed is reached the band lets go and the one-way takes over. In your case, if the one-way has failed, you will get a sudden increase in engine RPM with no movement. The "slam" might be a drop into second at high RPM or the low/reverse band re-engaging due to the drop in vehicle speed.
_________________________
Former Toyota tech. First-time Ford owner. ASE-certified Advanced Level Specialist.
Current vehicles:
2011 Crown Vic P7B (SAP, former campus police vehicle)
Purchased 3/27/20 w/51K, 819 idle hrs.
Jmod, Sonnax 76833E OD Pin, PML deep trans. pan, DANA-Spicer diff. cover, RKE, ext. trans. filter
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Purchased 2/23/17 w/57K
5.3L LC9 V8 4X4 Ext. Cab
My sig would be obnoxiously long if I listed the mods on this one...
2007 Mitsubishi Galant ES AKA "Oreo"
Purchased 6/5/17, sold 10/12/17, given back to me 5/26/20
Factory rot speedholes. She's a sleeper, one turn of the key will have you saying "Wow, it runs."

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#4067490 - 06/15/20 11:31 AM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Lance01 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 306
Loc: Pa
Any updates?

I was thinking you could also try www.car-part.com and find the same exact transmission for your year out of a Lincoln Town car. I seen used low mileage transmissions already pulled for 200$ in other states.

Another few hundred bucks and there has to be a shop that will swap it out for you.

This is probably the cheapest way to get going again if indeed your tranny is toast. You're just taking the chance on a used transmission sight and unseen.

Be sure to get the same exact transmission by serial number as some years they change but the Town car and police interceptor share the same tranny.

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#4069066 - 06/29/20 10:17 AM Re: 2008 P71 - Is my transmission toast? [Re: Q_C]
Q_C Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/23/20
Posts: 5
Loc: AZ
Wait, does the town car also have the long nose?

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