97 Cougar Transmission shifting problem fixed - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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97 Cougar Transmission shifting problem fixed

I had a shifting problem with my 97 Cougar for more than a year. After having the transmission in reverse, when I put the range selector in drive and accelerated it wouldn't shift from first to second without letting off the accelerator pedal a couple of times and then finally it would shift. After that it would shift perfectly as long as I didn't put it in reverse. There were no fault codes showing. I tried everything I could think of -- neutral safety switch, throttle position sensor, etc., but no luck. The transmission shops said I needed a new transmission. The internal seals were worn, they said. Some kind of pressure problem. The Cougar had 100,000 miles on it. I didn't trust the diagnosis. It seemed like an electrical problem to me, maybe a solenoid or something. Finally I took the Cougar to an auto electric shop and paid $80 to run a diagnoistic test. The auto electric people said the car's engine control module (ECM) wasn't communicating with their equipment, indicating that the ECM was bad. They wanted $700 to replace the ECM. I paid the $80 diagnositic fee, said "thanks but no thanks" and headed home. Online I found remanufactured ECMs for the Cougar selling for under $150. I ordered one remanned by "A1Cardone" from an online parts supplier.

The ECM on a '97 Cougar is accessed from inside the car. It's behind the panel on the right (passenger) side in the area beneath the glove compartment just in front of the right door.

The ECM is a plug-and-play unit. It's very simple to pull out the old one and put in a new one.

It's been two years since I replaced the ECM in my 97 Cougar and it hasn't missed a shift since.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 12:53 PM
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Cool, that wouldn't have been my first guess, or 20th guess, I would have been all over the valve body and accumulator pistons and shift solenoids. Maybe watching a data log to see what gear was commanded would have shown it too ::shrug::

--
97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 08:17 PM
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Congrats on fixing it! I would have used the OBD-II scanner we have at the shop and monitored the commanded gear if I had that problem with my car.

Like the OP, I would have suspected electrical...

~Rick

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 01:38 PM
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My 97 is doing some strange shifting sometimes; I'm thinking mlps, but I guess I should datalog and see what's actually happening.

The 97's seem to have eec issues like the 94/95s...

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
My 97 is doing some strange shifting sometimes; I'm thinking mlps, but I guess I should datalog and see what's actually happening.

The 97's seem to have eec issues like the 94/95s...
I think it's just the fact that they are almost 20 years old.....

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a 97 Thunderbird/Cougar factory shop manual on Ebay for $4 plus shipping. The transmission section makes interesting reading. There must be a dozen different sensors that can affect transmission shifting and torque converter operation.

MAF sensor
Throttle position sensor
Output shaft speed sensor
Vehicle speed sensor
Stoplight switch
Transmission fluid temperature sensor
Air intake temperature sensor
Engline coolant temperature sensor
And several more

I was noticing something the other day when we had cooler than usual winter weather here in southern California. After a morning startup when the transmission fluid was cold, it seemed like the torque converter was "slipping" (not locking up) in 3rd and 4th gear at low rpm under a load. I hope the transmission bands aren't slipping! I don't think so. I suspect that the car's computer system has "strategies" that allow the torque converter to "slip" a little under certain load conditions, and perhaps also when the trans fluid is cold, in order to increase rpms without having to downshift. The shop manual seems to suggest that is the case, but the wording is a somewhat vague. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon, and is it normal for the 4R70W?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourpointsix View Post
I bought a 97 Thunderbird/Cougar factory shop manual on Ebay for $4 plus shipping. The transmission section makes interesting reading. There must be a dozen different sensors that can affect transmission shifting and torque converter operation.

MAF sensor
Throttle position sensor
Output shaft speed sensor
Vehicle speed sensor
Stoplight switch
Transmission fluid temperature sensor
Air intake temperature sensor
Engline coolant temperature sensor
And several more

I was noticing something the other day when we had cooler than usual winter weather here in southern California. After a morning startup when the transmission fluid was cold, it seemed like the torque converter was "slipping" (not locking up) in 3rd and 4th gear at low rpm under a load. I hope the transmission bands aren't slipping! I don't think so. I suspect that the car's computer system has "strategies" that allow the torque converter to "slip" a little under certain load conditions, and perhaps also when the trans fluid is cold, in order to increase rpms without having to downshift. The shop manual seems to suggest that is the case, but the wording is a somewhat vague. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon, and is it normal for the 4R70W?
You reminded me of something with this list; when I first bought my Mark VIII, I drove it around for about a month with the CEL on. When I read the code, it was TPS out of range.

So I reached back to unplug the connector and IT WASN'T EVEN CONNECTED THE WHOLE TIME! Once I plugged it in, the car downshifted properly, but it would NOT downshift with the TPS unplugged. The upshifts were unaffected...

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourpointsix View Post
I was noticing something the other day when we had cooler than usual winter weather here in southern California. After a morning startup when the transmission fluid was cold, it seemed like the torque converter was "slipping" (not locking up) in 3rd and 4th gear at low rpm under a load. I hope the transmission bands aren't slipping! I don't think so. I suspect that the car's computer system has "strategies" that allow the torque converter to "slip" a little under certain load conditions, and perhaps also when the trans fluid is cold, in order to increase rpms without having to downshift. The shop manual seems to suggest that is the case, but the wording is a somewhat vague. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon, and is it normal for the 4R70W?
Yes, the lock up schedule is very different when the fluid is cold. I was (still am I think) having an issue with the TFT and I could tell that lockup was spotty. When I would get the code at startup, I didn't seem to get lockup, I also got about 2 mpg less. I was hoping my cheap bluetooth OBD reader and the free Torque app would suffice, but I think I need to buy Torque to get it to work better and allow me to add pids and retain them so I can watch what is happening (instead of using my laptop and USB OBD or after the fact with my XCAL2).

--
97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourpointsix View Post
...After a morning startup when the transmission fluid was cold, it seemed like the torque converter was "slipping" (not locking up) in 3rd and 4th gear at low rpm under a load.
The TC won't lock until the temp of the engine comes up; IDK about the Transmission temperature sensor.

I'm having the same issue, sudden onset of symptoms.

I noticed these issues the week after Seafoaming.

I've done some early datalogging; the o2 sensors are switching, but may be bad. I'll swap them next.

Main problem:

3rd and 4th won't lock the TC, and 3rd seems to slip wildly at times. Could be TC, IDK.

Running thru the gears like a 1/4 mile start works perfectly, and locks the tc.

This tranny is jmodded, and has the brown 1-2 top spring, and no 2-3 spring.

It was almost 1/2 qt low hot, but still on the stick.

It has a Ddog TC.

I swapped the wires and plugs today; it ran much better, but still shifts strange.

I had a rich code on both banks, but I believe that's my tune. I have reloaded the stock tune, and the issue remains.

I'm wondering if this is an eec issue; I've heard of such things.

Is there any reason I can't pull the 96 eec out of my project car, and put it in here to see if it's the problem?

Could my harness repin, or a harness problem cause this?

It grabs 2nd good with my new "stock tune with tranny tune"; the original stock tune almost never locked the tranny anyway, that I could tell.

One last thing: In manual 2nd, it has engine braking, and the TC is locked solid; it will burn rubber in 2nd going from decel to accel. WTF??

I don't think this is the TC, since it works so well in 2nd. Did I smoke a clutch?

Any thoughts are welcome, as well as tips on what all to datalog.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
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