Yet another E4OD reverse problem... with a twist. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:28 AM
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Exclamation Yet another E4OD reverse problem... with a twist.

A couple months ago I picked up a '97 F250, 2wd with the E4OD trans, as an engine donor for my blown '95 (see thread, "I think she's dead, Jim", I think she's dead, Jim...).

I bought it with the understanding that the trans works fine in all four forward gears, but reverse simply 'isn't there,' according to the PO (who bought it like that from his PO, who bought it like that from HIS PO, etc.) I don't know if it's a valve body issue or a clutch issue, I just don't use it, as my PO suggested. I always go somewhere with the understanding that, wherever I park, I need to pull straight through.

Until today.

I pulled the truck out of the drive to turn it around in the yard (no 3-point turns with no reverse!), miscalculated my turn radius, and bumped smack into the mailbox post. CRAP! I'm in the middle of the road, no reverse, and no going forward without demolishing the mailbox post. So, on a whim, I put it in reverse, prayed, and gave it some throttle.

And it backed up! It was like doing a neutral drop, because reverse didn't kick in until about 2k RPM, but it DID go!

Given that, can anyone tell me what this might implicate? I think it exonerates the clutches, because I don't think a burned-out clutch pack would have enough torque to do a one-wheel peel, but why does it 'wait' until a higher RPM to go into gear? The fluid is clean, smells sweet, and is at the right level (if not just a tad high). Check valve, check ball, some clogged passageway?

I'm a total noob to slushboxes, every vehicle before now has been manual, but I AM willing to learn! If you've got some suggestions, lay em on me!
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2012, 10:10 AM
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Ugh, can be a lot of things. When you installed this tranny did it come with the Gear Range Selector or did you reuse yours (drivers side little black plastic thing)? Shouldn't be line pressure as the forward gears work fine. Could easily be a part of the valve body (seals, bolt snugness, popped gasket, blocked passage, missing check ball, stuck piston, bad spring) but those are hundreds of dollars. 3rd gear works good?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:46 PM
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I think you misunderstand. This truck is BONE FACTORY STOCK. 1997 F250, P'stroke, 2wd E4OD, shifter on the column with the OD button in the end. I did not change a single thing on this truck, nor has anyone else to the best of my knowledge.

All forward gears work fine, including 3rd. The only forward issue is that, after about a half-hour on the road, it will occasionally pop out of OD very briefly- I only note it as a slight change in tone and vibration, marked with a momentary increase in RPM, and then it's back to normal.

Something I noted today is that, after about an hour on the road, I attempted to use reverse again. This time, no amount of engine revving would get it to go in reverse. I didn't over-try it, in case the clutches were dry, so I don't burn them up. I just switched into reverse, blipped the throttle up to 2k a couple times, then drove forward (fortunately still could!). It was like having two neutrals. So, it seems that whatever this problem is, is exacerbated by heat.

I may drop the pan for a look-see just to have done it. I've read here of the filters falling off and causing a reverse problem, but that usually stalls the engine. I have no idea what I'll find if I dig into the valve bodies, but I have a feeling that's where the problem will lie. Any suggestions for a basic valve-body rebuild kit? Not looking for performance or changing shift patterns, just want to refresh it in case there's a little goober in there plugging up the works.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n9viw View Post
I bought it with the understanding that the trans works fine in all four forward gears, but reverse simply 'isn't there,' according to the PO (who bought it like that from his PO, who bought it like that from HIS PO, etc.) I don't know if it's a valve body issue or a clutch issue, I just don't use it, as my PO suggested. I always go somewhere with the understanding that, wherever I park, I need to pull straight through.
Re-reading your first post yes I misunderstood and was thinking that 3 owners ago had swapped the trans out but I don't recall asking if it had any aftermarket parts on it. The gear range selector is a stock part. Its the black plastic thing on the drivers side of the trans. PN SW-5063. This is the electronic part of these transmissions and they do go out of adjustment. Disconnect the gear shift cable from the "arm". Lightly loosen the bolts holding the range selector. Move the "arm" that the cable was attached to back one "tick" from the parked position. With the key in run, engine off, adjust the range selector back and forth till the reverse lights come on reliably every time the "arm" is moved from park to reverse. If it just won't align properly then it's time to test the range selector for wear.

Valve bodies are generally not sold in pieces. Companies reman. them and send them out. Aftermarket VB are usually cheaper then stock rebuilds because that is what they are, a stock rebuild with updated parts. Usually about $240 and I believe that BD Diesel has the most complete one out there. Other re-builders only sell the VB where BD sells the VB, gaskets, new filter, springs, and plates. A VB out of a newer 4R100 will slip in place also if you want to hit you local junkyard for the part.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:00 PM
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Okay, now I get you. The 'gear range selector', in my experience with Jeeps, is called a Neutral Safety Switch. It will only allow the engine to start in either park or neutral, turns on the reverse lights when in reverse, and tells the TCM which forward gear the trans is in.

I don't think this is the issue, because as I've read here on PSO, reverse is simply a valve issue, there are no electronic controls or sensors at all related to reverse, apart from the gear selector switching on the reverse lights. This is why I didn't bother asking about any electrical issues.

While $240 may be a good deal for a valve body, considering I'm ultimately going to swap this engine into my 'keeper' truck (below), I think I'll just deal with not having reverse.

Auto trannies are goofy! Give me a gearbox any day.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:19 AM
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Well, as I posted in another thread (here: Reverse issue?), Brian of BTS pronounced my low/reverse clutches "toast". I'm not sure how, if the same clutches are used for low as for reverse, that I can have low but NOT reverse, but there you have it. I can't afford a rebuild, nor can I afford the time to do it myself, so it's life without reverse until I can swap the engine out of the '97 and into the '95.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the update. BTS is an extremely reliable trans source. If that is what he said then it sounds like gospel to me. I was really pulling for you to find that it was a sticking solenoid or bad VB. Sorry
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:26 PM
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Thanks. Hey, you win some, you lose some. At least it still works in forward!
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