Trans getting hot + buzzing noise - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Trans getting hot + buzzing noise

First of all, I apologize for creating another thread. Back in August I created a thread (http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=151129) that discussed the accumulator springs.

In May 2011 I installed a BC Automotive valve body and removed the lower springs from the 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator.

Fast-forward to this past November 2014, I dropped the valve body again, and re-installed the lower springs for the 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator.

Right AFTER I finished, I started noticing a buzzing sound. I wasn't quite sure what it was. I was worried that it might be transmission related since I just started noticing it after re-installing the springs, but the transmission shifts fine and everything. Torque convert lockup locks and unlocks on command, and so does enabling and disabling overdrive.

Anyway, I "assumed" that the buzzing was alternator related. Occasionally, my oil pressure gauge would flicker when this buzz was audible, yet if I gave it throttle, the buzz would disappear, and the oil pressure gauge would stabilize. Of course, my oil pressure gate is just an "idiot gauge" and does not really indicate true oil pressure. It is either ON or OFF.

On December 31st, 2014, I cleaned the oil pressure sending unit plug/connector and I never saw a fluctuating gauge ever again. However, the buzz would still be audible from time to time, after the car has been warm for awhile.

Anyway, I have had a ScanGauge in my car for YEARS and I never saw the transmission temperature rise above 160-170. It was always consistently BELOW engine coolant temperature.

On the test-drive following the re-installation of the lower accumulator springs, I noticed that the transmission was running unusually warm - Above 200 degrees! I thought this was odd, but once again, "assumed" that there might be air in the cooler lines, since I had just pulled the valve body. The transmission oil was full - I put about 9 quarts back in (just slightly under, actually) and the reading on the dip stick was (and still is) in the correct zone.

I usually don't drive my car for very long. Short trips - the transmission temperature never really gets long. However, the other night, I was driving for an unusually lengthy period - about 4 hours in total, through the city, with stop lights at just about every block. As time went on, I noticed that my transmission fluid temperature peaked at 230 degrees! Although everything was shifting properly, the buzzing was audible when I stopped at stop lights and rolled down my window.

Even on the 45 minute mild highway cruise (65ish mph) back home, the transmission fluid temperature took a lengthy amount of time to drop back down. Even so, it was still between 200-215 from what I can remember.

Since I was still suspecting the alternator to be the cause of this buzz, I thought that it might be back-feeding some odd voltage into the system. Although my voltage was steady, I assumed that there were other strange electronic gremlins that could come from a buzzing alternator, including an improper trans temperature readout.

Yesterday, I replaced the alternator and serpentine belt. Checked all of the pulleys for play. Everything checked out.

Today, after driving for about 45 minutes, I once again noticed the buzzing sound, and the transmission was just starting to reach about 180 degrees. So I took a video. You can CLEARLY hear the buzz in this video - you'll know exactly what I am referring to when you listen!

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...FBuzzNoise.mp4

Anyway.....any ideas on what this might be?

I have dropped the pan a total of three times since I have owned this car.

In July 2010, I pulled the transmission down and swapped out the 12" torque converter for a 11.25" rebuilt unit, compliments of the NTC Torque Converter shop in Chicago, IL. At the same time, I also installed a new flex plate, compliments of Ford.

In May 2011, I installed the BCA valve body, removed the lower 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator springs, and installed the longer tailshaft housing and new tailhousing seal.

And then lastly, in November 2014, I re-installed the lower 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator springs.

Each time I re-filled with fresh Mercon V.

I am not running any custom tunes - I am running a bone stock P71 engine computer to supplement my 3.55 rear gears and 11.25" torque converter.

Any thoughts? Tidbits or advice? I tried searching the web, seeking videos of 4R70W transmissions buzzing, but really didn't find anything quite like this at all.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 10:36 PM
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First thing that comes to mind is the pressure regulator valve. And I think this is a strong possibility. Worn spool valve lands, worn valve bore, and weak/broken spring(s) will cause buzzing, especially as heat expanses these components. Use a long ratchet extension to your ear, and touch the trans pan with the other end. If it's what I suspect you'll hear it loud and clear.

Something else too that will sometimes cause a buzzing noise is the power steering pump.

When the noise occurs, quickly take off the serpentine belt, and run the engine for a moment, or two, to isolate the steering pump, and if you still possibly suspect the Alt. Don't run it too long. The water pump...

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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I was told by another transmission expert that it could be that the filter fell out, or the pressure regulator is worn, and that the buzzing is definitely air being purged by the transmission.

However, what would cause the pressure regulator to wear out from one hour to the next, since everything was fine before I re-installed the lower accumulator springs?

And I know that I definitely did not double gasket the filter. I am very anal about everything and took out the old o-ring gasket, because it did get stuck in the valve body.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 11:29 PM
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There is a tipping point in which having the two springs in place changes the regulation of pressure, and the buzzing noise occurs. Accumulators accumulate fluid. Spring/no spring changes where/amount of fluid in the accumulators while the regulator valve seeks it's happy dynamics.

Well, in theory anyway, my thoughts make some sense...

Are those new, or old springs?

See I'm thinking maybe trying a pair of different springs.

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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The springs that I put back in where the originals that I removed in 2011.

I left the upper spring for the 1-2 in the entire time.

When I removed the valve body this second time, I pulled out the entire 1-2 accumulator piston to check for wear. Everything was perfect. I also pulled out the 2-3 accumulator piston and there was no wear in there as well.

The valve body I purchased in 2011 was used, but not very old at all. It was a used BC Automotive (BCA) valve body from Darrin. Everything was absolutely fine until my most recent monkeying in November.

The reason I put the lower accumulator springs back in was to soften up the shifts a bit, which I was very pleased with. The shifts were still quick and firm, but less firm and snappy as with the lower springs removed. I was very happy.

Like I said, it took me two months to get pissed about this issue, because most of my driving trips are relatively short where the transmission will barely break 100 degrees, especially in the colder weather. But on the longer cruises, the temperature will now rise, and then the buzzing will start when the transmission is in the 180+ degree range. When it is at a lower temperature, there is no buzzing.

As for removing the serpentine belt, I will do that in the future - but I will have to wait until the buzzing occurs. If I remove the belt with the engine cold, it will never get a chance to warm up enough to start the buzzing.

It sounds like it is coming from the driver side lower, which is why I placed my camera on the ground. It really didn't sound like it was coming from the transmission, but that is debatable. I will try your "wrench stethoscope" shortly. Too cold today, though.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 06:54 AM
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A length of hose can also be used as a stethoscope. Which comes in handy if you need to snake the hose to get to a particular spot. Actual mechanic's stethoscope are not expensive, and enable pin point placement, and help to reduce ambient noise.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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I have parked the car and will pull the pan again in the coming weeks or months. Too cold to mess with it now.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I'm too anal about these sorts of things. I just can't stand to wait....I'll be dropping the pan shortly.

Currently attempting to heat up the garage a bit before I go out there and lie on the concrete floor.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I just got done pulling the valve body. So far, I see no signs of where an air leak would be occurring. First of all, the filter was seated tightly in the valve body. Secondly, the separator plate gasket did not have any tears in it.

I will be digging further into the valve body soon.

I have driven over 1,000 miles with it in this condition and there wasn't any metallic debris or any other suspicious material found anywhere, even on the magnet, or the little screen that drops out of the trans case. So if the pump was pulling air, apparently nothing wore out? Or perhaps it did. I really have no idea, because the trans was not slipping or acting funny in any way.

I removed the separator plate. Everything looks good. I also removed the lower plate, beneath the valve body. I have found a few small, black, sharp pieces. Very small. Not sure what they are....maybe the experts can chime in on this one.

This is what I found in the underside of the valve body:









Of course, this valve body WAS used from another car. I have never had this lower plate off before, and I have no such chunks in my pan, or on the magnet, for that matter. I suppose these could have been in the valve body for quite some time, but I am not sure either way. Scary stuff to see in your valve body, though.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:45 PM
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Are those pieces metal, or hard plastic?

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Good question - let me go squeeze that one larger piece with some pliers.

It seems like it may be plastic. I squeezed it and it exploded. Didn't require much effort.

They will also not stick to a magnet. Seems more like plastic than aluminum, that's for sure.

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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 08:09 PM
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The solenoid wiring harness, which Ford calls the bulkhead assembly, and related connector(s), are they broken?

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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, I had to release each clip individually. Is there anything else plastic in this transmission, like a bearing race or anything?

When you mentioned plastic, I felt a bit better. I have yet to pull out all of the pistons. Maybe I can get some new gaskets for the upper and lower plates and everything will be fine. I did re-use the gasket after re-installing the accumulator springs, although it was only a few years old at the time.

I'll probably get a stock separator plate. I'd like to return to stock style shifting to be honest, and since I have it all apart............
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered a new 3-gasket set and Superior SuperTuff separator plate. Should be here by the end of next week. Going back to stock shifting patterns......

Maybe the air leak was caused by re-using the separator plate gasket, when I re-installed the lower accumulator springs. I really have no idea what was going on, what was causing the noise, and what was causing the high transmission fluid temperatures. I am at a loss for ideas on what could have been the cause of my issues.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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I also ordered the Sonnax upgrade for the main pressure valve. So this valve body will get 3 new gaskets and the upgraded valve. I hope that solves the problem. I really hope that the old gasket wasn't sealing, but then again, I'm not sure how that could be, because it wasn't damaged at all. I really don't know!
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post #16 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 01:27 PM
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It looks like a piece of a seal; but unless it's from one of the Acc pistons, I can't see a source, looking thru the book.

Hard rubber turns back into goo when it dies, so your description seems to describe a rubber seal.

There's not a piece of friction material that thick anywhere I've seen.

A chunk of seal that big off a clutch would make it inoperative; I doubt it's that.

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post #17 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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It might not be from my transmission then. I have found nothing with any sort of damage on it, on the bottom side of the transmission. Of course i have not checked out the major internals of the transmission.

So basically, my valve body will have a brand new STOCK (but thicker) separator plate, 2 new separator plate gaskets, new bottom cover gasket, and brand new Sonnax upgrade main pressure regulator valve.

Besides that I am not sure where the pump would have been drawing air from.

Have you ever heard of anyone returning to STOCK after having a shift kit in their car? Anyway, that's me!

My valve body is absolutely spotless. I have went through every single nook and cranny. Removed all of the valves/pistons, springs, and end caps, and checked for wear. My main pressure regulator valve wasn't even worn, but for $18, the Sonnax upgrade is worthwhile, since I have it all disassembled.

By the way, my 1-2 and 2-3 shift valves have two different springs - I put the SHORTER spring in first. IS this correct? In all of the diagrams I have seen, the springs are identical in size. I suppose Darrin has changed some of the springs, which would make them differ from the stock orientation. I no longer have my OEM stock valve body to reference.
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post #18 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Perhaps I am not referring to the correct valves. I believe the correct term is "3-4 capacity modulator valve" and "low servo modulator valve." There are two valves and two springs with 2 clips holding each set in the same bore.

All of the online diagrams I have found show that both springs should be the same length, but in my BCA valve body, they are different lengths. I attempted to call Darrin @ BCA but did not have any success this morning.

I just want to make sure that I re-installed them in the correct orientation.
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post #19 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine B. View Post
Perhaps I am not referring to the correct valves. I believe the correct term is "3-4 capacity modulator valve" and "low servo modulator valve." There are two valves and two springs with 2 clips holding each set in the same bore.

All of the online diagrams I have found show that both springs should be the same length, but in my BCA valve body, they are different lengths. I attempted to call Darrin @ BCA but did not have any success this morning.

I just want to make sure that I re-installed them in the correct orientation.
Yes, it would be best to talk to Darrin about this. Such things may vary slightly from one trans to the next. Even for trans of the same year, and type. Or he may have changed the spring configuration for a reason. I for one do not have such specifics committed to memory.

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post #20 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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I am not even sure if he will return the phone call or not. I did leave a voice mail. I am not sure how his business is standing or not. And last I saw him active on this forum in August/September of last year.

Anyway....I'm pretty sure I installed those two springs back in the way they came out, but I'd rather be certain, since I have about a week until my separator plate, gaskets, and Sonnax regulator valve arrive.
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post #21 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 11:22 PM
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For future reference whenever I take a rather complex component apart, like a valve body, I lay all the pieces out in the exact order in which they came. The valve main body in the middle, and all the springs, valves, plugs etc laid out right from the bore they came out of. All lined up in a row.

Like this:



One might even want to take a photo of the dismantled pieces.

I do the same, laying all the pieces out in order thing, when I rebuild the whole trans too.

I take photos too of things like power steering/ Alt. brackets on engines, vacuum lines, and fittings before I take them apart. And have the habit of marking things with a Sharpe, paint pen. Even when I think I wont forget.

Those color assortment small zip ties come in handy too. A red one on that hose matches the red one I put on that fitting. Blue one goes to the blue one, etc...

They do sell special rolls of various color tape, and I've used some with numbers for the same color zip tie reason. But I'll be damned if I can find them today.

But let me digress even more from the topic, and go back to seeking a hard to find noise coming from a vehicle.

At work we have a wireless squeak/rattle detector. You clamp the clips to any part: a differential; a power steering pump; a transfer case; a transmission etc... then road test with the main box in hand pushing buttons for different channels listening to the built in speaker. We have this exact same make/model. If you even tap on one of the clips with a finger you hear it over the speaker.


Not in most do it yourself mechanic's tool box I know. But, I thought of your problem when I notice another tech using it Friday, and thought I'd share the tool with you, and the rest of the forum members.

Keep posting your progress. I'm on this site everyday.

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post #22 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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I recently saw this same device in an email ad from ToolTopia. Neat device.

As for dismantling - I am usually very careful. I only disassembled one valve at a time. Like I said, I am fairly certain I inserted the correct spring in first - but my OCD has me concerned about it because there is no concrete evidence that points to one way or the other, since the springs are not an OEM configuration for one reason or another. I'll give Darrin another call this morning, hopefully he is available for a quick chat.
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post #23 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Darrin reports that the shorter spring goes in first for the "3-4 capacity modulator valve" and "low servo modulator valve." I have yet to find out what advantage that this configuration provides over stock, but I will report back when I find out.

Therefore, I am still awaiting the 3 gasket set, supertuff plate, and Sonnax main valve before I cross my fingers and re-install everything. Returning to stock.....as much as I can!
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post #24 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 06:40 PM
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Right on. Good to hear you got that clarified.

I'm not really sure, but I think he may install them that way to increase mainline pressure. But that's just more, or less, an educated guess.

Look forward to your progress. Thanks for posting.

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post #25 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I really hope that the separator plate gasket was to blame, since I re-used the gasket. But, considering that the gasket was in good shape, I am not sure how it could leak. Anything is possible I suppose. But considering that the leak might have been rather small, since there were no strange abnormalities in the shifting behavior of the transmission, perhaps......I really hope so!

I can't wait to return to the stock shifts. Can do full throttle in wet weather and not be overly concerned about the shift kicking the rear end out and causing a wreck.

I have never visited the track, nor do I race my car or do anything like that. I suppose I could slightly drill the holes VERY conservatively for a slight shift improvement, but I won't even bother.

Shift kits are neat but they aren't practical in every application.

Like I said before, I was really hoping to find the filter coming out of the valve body, or a torn gasket, worn out valve, or something. When you don't find anything wrong, it's difficult to know exactly what to replace.
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post #26 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have the torque specs and torque pattern for the bolts that retain the bottom plate to the valve body? This is the plate that the filter passes through. It is thicker than the top separator plate.
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post #27 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Received my gaskets, plate, and Sonnax valve today. Not sure how much I will accomplish this weekend due to the cold temperatures, and now that I am working in an un-insulated garage.

Either way....
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post #28 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 04:02 PM
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thats converter plastic, the converter blew up.
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post #29 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Great

I'll call you later after work - thanks for returning my email as well.
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post #30 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Talked with Dirty Dog on the phone and he was surprised that I did not find any particles in the pan. Perhaps these particles are, in fact, from the previous owner of the valve body.

I will cut open the filter soon. Unfortunately, I do not have the filter that I replaced 1,000 miles ago. Either way, I wasn't having any issues then, either.
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