95 4R70W Is this normal for these trannys? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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95 4R70W Is this normal for these trannys?

I have owned Mustangs with 5 speed trannys for 15 years now and have liked working on them whether fixing or upgrading.
I just bought this 95 LX Tbird with only 60K miles and plan to use it as a commuter car....am resisting the urge to start major upgrading projects because of limited time and also just want a fun stock car for commuting.
Anyway, I have driven a variety of cars and trucks with auto trannys but have not been around a 4R70W. I have already noticed wierd stuff and have since found solutions to most everything thanks to this awesome website. Not knowing the history of the car I know I will flush and replace with Mercon V (not sure if TSBs were ever done), will do 96+ sump (yes, it sometimes slips when cold), but I am debating how much of the J-mod to do, which brings me to the question of whether this thing is acting normal or not.
The 1-2 shift is VERY firm compared to aanything else I've driven. Anything more than 1/4 throttle gives everyone in the car a good neck jolt. 3/4 to WOT 1-2 shift is a huge and hard lunge but what worries me is I also get a bang/crunch noise that I have never heard in any other tranny under hard acceleration. No tire chirping, it is almost like the crunching sound that worn struts make when going over speed bumps in cold waether. Dont know how else to describe it.
What also puzzles me is that when i get on the gas and back out of it to avoid the crunch it hangs for like a half second (seems like forever) before shifting. Any other car I have driven upshifts quickly if you cut back on throttle.

So I am wondering if this is normal. People talk about firmer, harder, quicker, shifts after doing the 1-2 accumulator, different variations of springs, and J-mod, but I am not sure I want anything harder than what it is doing now. The 2-3 shift seems normal and 3-4 is more sluggish but seems ok so I don't know if I should drop the valve body and do more if I just want stock performance for daily driving.

Is this what they all do? Suggestions?

Thx,
Dzee

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:34 PM
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Dzee,

Welcome to TCCoA!

Your shifting problem more than likely is a broken spring for the 1-2 accumulator piston. The 94-95 only had a lower spring and it has a history of breaking. Perfect opportunity to do a J-Mod and update to the newer style pistons.

You mentioned updating the tranny pan and filter so you may as well get it done!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:34 PM
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I did not get chirps until I put in a an upgraded trans from a shop in TX. I had the same bang sound until I up graded my IRS bushings. The old ones fell apart as I pulled them out.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:38 PM
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I missed that...In any other tranny part.

I agree, I did have that occur right after I bought the 95, had to have a tranny shop do it. I think it was 250..

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Last edited by funderbird; 12-28-2014 at 05:39 PM. Reason: misqoute
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.
I had planned on the 1-2 accumulator but didn't want it shifting any harder. I have read alot about springs, no springs, different colors, etc. I have watched videos and see different approaches....but if I basically want a stock setup what springs do I use for the 1-2 and also the 2-3?

Funderbird, so the noise was bushings? If so which ones? That is kind of what the noise could be...

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:07 PM
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1-2 Top Spring F75Z-7F284-AA Light Blue
1-2 Bottom Spring F7AZ-7F284-BA Violet

No spring for the 2-3 piston.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:16 PM
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I do have a 1997 Valve body for sale (Upgrade from your 95). It has the middle Jmod in it, with a few sonnax upgrade pieces. PM me if you're interested. Heck, i'll sell you the deep sump pan too.

-Daniel

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:35 PM
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1-2 harsh shifting is indicative of a broken 1-2 shift accumulator spring. It's the floating gears that is a bad sign, could be as simple as a worn tps sensor, mlps (range sensor), or low fluid. On the more serious side it could need rebuilding. If your looking for firm non harsh shifts I would perform the jmod retaining both springs for the 1-2, change the fluid to mercon V, switch to the 96/97 pan and filter and test or replace the tps and range sensor.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Good point about the sensors, I didn't think about the inputs the computer needs to decide when to shift.
Fluid level is good, smells fine, but I have no idea what it is or how old it is.

Daniel,
I will PM you on your valve body and pan.


Thanks all for the info this far!

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-29-2014, 12:50 PM
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If you get on the gas hard, then let off, the computer has already commanded a WOT shift, so that is what the delay is. That is normal for the stock program.

The opposite happens if you take it easy in a gear then suddenly punch it, it will shift too early.

The only way to avoid it is to stick with the original plan in each gear, no extreme changes in throttle %.

Al

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-29-2014, 01:33 PM
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This is what mine USED to do. If I let off the throttle in second before it shifted to third then it would freewheel.

I replaced the 2-3 accumulator, removed the spring (also removed both from the 1-2 accumulator and replaced it) and replaced a number of the valves in the valve body with Sonnax parts, including the boost valve, main pressure regulator valve.

this is after doing that work:


Part throttle wasn't very good either before, but after it was where it should be.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the vids.
Mine seems similar to the second one, except the 1-2 is much much more abrupt... more like a lunge...but no chirping....
When I get this fixed I'll try to do some footage.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bangster View Post
This is what mine USED to do. If I let off the throttle in second before it shifted to third then it would freewheel.
What is freewheeling? The First video is spot on what my car does.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funderbird View Post
What is freewheeling? The First video is spot on what my car does.
Free wheeling is when a clutch/band disengages without another reengaing immediately. The engine will flare, or free rev, until the next clutch/band grabs.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 08:12 AM
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Yes, I guess it is a flare, but to me a flare is brief. With mine the engine was allowed to rev freely for quite awhile before third then OD was engaged. Once the transmission shifted to third you can see the RPMs go from 5000 to 2500.

As far as harshness of shifts, I was after a hard WOT 1-2 and 2-3 shift. It is basically mild mannered at part throttle and only when very slick do I have to watch it, but at WOT hold on, the car had better be pointed straight ahead. If I leave traction control on, every 1-2 shift it engages.

I rarely shift not at WOT. No one else drives the car (my wife has driven it a total of 100 miles), so it is driven very aggressively most of the time.

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Here is my report out. I think I am almost there.
As Chris and Rodeo Joe said my harsh 1-2 shift was caused by a broken 1-2 spring. Actually it was broken in two places and was jammed together.
So after finding that problem I decided to not drop the valve body, yet. I did put a drain plug in the pan so it will be much easier to pull off in the future.
I ended up doing the 96 deep sump pan/filter, mercon V including draining the TC and radiator passages (12 qts total) and 1-2 springs.

The shudder is gone, it no longer slips when cold and turning corners, and the whole tranny seems to be performing better overall. So I am pretty happy.
What still needs tweeking is the 1-2 shift. I figured the harsh 1-2 was all due to the broken spring so I thought i would put springs in to give me a firmer shift than stock. Pre-96 T-bird trannys don't have a top spring in stock setup so I tried to average out all the multiple suggestions on what to do for a firmer 1-2 shift. I ended up going with a white top and purple bottom spring. Now it seems it went all the way from way too hard with the broken spring to a slow and soft shift now. It is pretty normal under light throttle but anything more than 1/2 throttle and it kind of "slides" into second. Nowhere near to a firm shift...not even a solid drop.....it seems like it just kind of drifts down into the next gear. Does not feel like it is slipping, just too slow.

So I am wondering if there is a reason why for 1995 the only cars that got the white/purple springs were the Crown Vics and Lincolns. The 1995 Stangs and T-birds use no top spring. I almost think that if I used only a purple bottom spring (which is what Ford specs) the 1-2 would get firmer.
Any thoughts?

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 07:26 AM
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You could try the light blue top spring and leave it at that. If you want to pick up the shifts I think you'll have to drill the plate out.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Top or bottom for the lite blue spring? I have that color and also a dark blue. Now that i think about it i didn't pay attention to the top and bottom springs to see if they are interchangeable.

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 01:06 PM
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Top.

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 08:58 AM
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As an FYI, the purple bottom spring that is available now will make these things shift dead soft. It is not the violet spring that Jerry called for in his article. Ford discontinued those a while back. The purple spring is much stiffer and not what anyone wanting former shifts is after.

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 04:38 PM
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What do you think about a brown upper?

What would you add as a lower to soften it a bit? Or would you just use a different spring?

The stock combo on the 02 an up trannys isn't too bad, but is kinda soft.

For the uninitiated, The brown upper and no lower is a bit much for a DD; it will bark the 1-2 at barely off idle, lol.

In a school zone, at 8mph, no less.

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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
What do you think about a brown upper?

What would you add as a lower to soften it a bit? Or would you just use a different spring?

The stock combo on the 02 an up trannys isn't too bad, but is kinda soft.

For the uninitiated, The brown upper and no lower is a bit much for a DD; it will bark the 1-2 at barely off idle, lol.

In a school zone, at 8mph, no less.
That brown spring has been discontinued as well. I'm working on getting my hands on those but haven't gotten it done yet.

I do have a whole bunch of the lowers that Jerry called for in his article, so that's an unfair question for me because I would use one of those.

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Missing filter?

I decided to try different 1-2 springs and also do the JMOD and replace a few other parts like EPC, 2-3 accumulator, and put in Sonnax valve.
I am alsmost done but hit a possible problem because I do not see the filter that Rizzo shows in his Jmod video. It is the one that he says falls out when you drop the valve body, and he shows sticking it back in with dialectric grease. Have looked everywhere in case I dropped it somewhere....checked both drain pans i used, checked the many layers of red colored newspaper on the floor, and looked everywhere else. I have a 95 valve body which I was the first one to drop the pan....the plastic stopper was in the pan. I cant see any wear markings where he says it should go. Is it possible that my model year did not use this filter....and what he was showing was in more recent years? I hope so, I really want to finish and see what my results are.

Do I have to go find one of these filters or am I good to go without?

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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZEE View Post
I decided to try different 1-2 springs and also do the JMOD and replace a few other parts like EPC, 2-3 accumulator, and put in Sonnax valve.
I am alsmost done but hit a possible problem because I do not see the filter that Rizzo shows in his Jmod video. It is the one that he says falls out when you drop the valve body, and he shows sticking it back in with dialectric grease. Have looked everywhere in case I dropped it somewhere....checked both drain pans i used, checked the many layers of red colored newspaper on the floor, and looked everywhere else. I have a 95 valve body which I was the first one to drop the pan....the plastic stopper was in the pan. I cant see any wear markings where he says it should go. Is it possible that my model year did not use this filter....and what he was showing was in more recent years? I hope so, I really want to finish and see what my results are.

Do I have to go find one of these filters or am I good to go without?
95 does not have that filter or a place to put one.

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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Chris,
Feeling way better that I didn't stupidly lose something.
Now I can get this thing buttoned back up.
Will post results.

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Here is my final solution for those who wonder how it played out.

While not in my posts above I did try to go with the stock setup and use the purple bottom spring only with no upper. Result was disapointing....1-2 shift was even softer and caused me to bite the bullet and do something different with springs while also finally doing the Jmod.

I found the spring specs for all the springs and decided to stick with the purple bottom (which is close to the pink) and the brown upper which is the stiffest upper spring. I proved this on my bench by seeing how far the springs would move under the same force. My understanding is that the top spring pushes (preloads) the bottom spring so that the piston moves down less when the pressure of the shift is absorbed. This firms the shift, My outcome proved this and I now have a nice solid 1-2 shift. Just what I wanted. No crunch/band noise any more, not hard enough to chirp tires, but puts a smile on my face with an aggressive feel. So, for the 1-2 spring debate for 94-95 this worked well for me. If you follow this path be ready to search the internet for these springs. I found that many of the various colored springs are discontinued by Ford but you can find them in other places.

For the 2-3 I replaced the stock piston and left the spring out. This has produced a nice solid 2-3 shift. Love it.

Did a new EPC solonoid since popular vote seems to say replace it.
While I had the valve body down I replaced the Pressure regulator valve with Sonnax. Why not, since it is not expensive and easy to do.

3-4 shift is also firm. It wasn't that way before. It must be because of all those hole I drilled for the Jmod.

So for you guys on the fence, the Jmod is much more involved, but worth it even for a daily driver.

Dan

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 08:19 AM
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Glad you took the time to understand each part of the JMod and what it does, and the springs. I didn't think I would happy with the generic (300hp or 450hp) specs, since there is a lot of documentation on what each hole does, what each spring does for accumulator, I picked and chose what I wanted and it came out exactly like I wanted.

I also used the JMod and replacing other wear items in the valve body to solve a problem, one that many would consider the end of the transmission. I have only put 20k on it since doing it, but I am very hard on the car, and it is perfect and no issues have returned.

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Also, my experience with the pan drain plug was mixed. I used the B&M universal plug. They give you a big oversized plastic washer with no instructions on where to put it. I installed it on the inside but it distorted when I tightened it down. It did not leak initially, probably because of the rtv I used, but when I drained the fluid the fitting turned a bit so when I refilled it leaked a little because the rtv was broke loose. The third time I dropped the pan I went to my local bolt store and got some thin 1/2" plastic washers and used one inside and outside. Used just a little rtv on the inside so it would not break off pieces and mix with the fluid, and used more rtv under the outer washer. This worked great.....no red spots on my garage floor.
Somewhat humbling to have to have something this simple trip me up, but I won!

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 04:59 PM
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I enjoyed reading this thread a lot. It really gave me some info on what I will do with my transmission this summer since I'll have time to give the drive train and engine some much needed attention. I certainly need to fix my "freewheeling" between a 2/3 or more throttle 1-2 and my 3-4 shift at any throttle level. Likely due to a broken 1-2 spring and my bad TPS/TPS wires/Connector. I hate that damn sensor...haven't fixed it yet and honestly want to just go new TPS/new connector/new wires.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: utah
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Glad the info helped.
From what I have read, and definitely what I found in my tranny, a broken 1-2 spring causes a very hard 1-2 shift. This makes sense because with a broken spring there is no cushion for the accumulator when the pressure spike of the shift is typically absorbed by pushing downward on it.
My freewheeling, if it is like yours, was only when I backed out of throttle to avoid the harsh 1-2 shift caused by the broken spring. I was getting bad banging/crunching noises during that WOT 1-2 shift and I would back out of it to avoid maybe breaking something. My "freewheeling" was when it would take a long time to shift after I let off on the gas to avoid the bang. Come to think about it I'm not sure if it still does the freewheeling thing because it shifts so nicely now I never have to let off on the gas. Will experiment and let you know if it is still there.
The TPS is a good idea, and easy to do. However in my case all my shifts firmed up with the right springs and the Jmod. Not saying the TPS might not be the culprit, just sayin what happened with my car.

95 4.6 LX Jmod, sans Silencer
98 Mustang GT , Magnapak exhaust, Cobra Wheels
05 V-10 King Ranch Super Duty
13 Explorer
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