Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: High Desert, Cali.
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A follow-up to my original post...
I've been doing some off-roading here in the desert. The other day I went up a road that had a 'washboard' surface for several miles. Real rough. I fiddle-futzed around a while, finally went back out and hit the paved road, headed for home.
My T/C wouldn't lock-up at all. I didn't put 2 and 2 together for a while. Figured whatever was going on had finally reached its conclusion, the T/C was shot, and might as well do a complete tranny rebuild while I was at it.
Then I started pricing out rebuilds and thought maybe I'd exhaust all possibilities before I did that. I'm poor and don't have 2 grand or better right now to pay someone, and too chicken (and dumb) to venture a rebuild myself. (I'm not too partial to the eBay trannys as they seem like a crapshoot what with having to ship it to me, then ship my core. If everything comes off good the first time, great. But any problems could wind up being a real hassle.)
So I start searching the internet for E4OD, and get some hits in other parts of this forum, and one or two other forums. I come up with search terms "FIPL", "Tach Sensor", "Speed Sensor", and "MLPS". Have no idea precisely what these are, but poke "E4OD FIPL" into the Search tool, and it comes back with a thread where another guy, with a pre-Powerstroke is having a similar problem of the T/C unlocking randomly.
It was a good thread in that several things were offered. The first thing was a guy says: "Did you check the plug on the side of the tranny? Make sure it's clean and all the pins have good contact."
Long story short is that appears to be where my problem is. I had installed a Banks TransCommand a couple of years ago. It spliced into the solenoid plug (passenger, rear of trans). There's a couple plugs in that region, one from the Banks, and the standard plug; some pins were pushed in on both plugs, not making contact. Everything was muddy/dirty. I cleaned everything up, and pushed the pins back into place. I need to replace the main plug which has seen better days, but the deal is, the trans is shifting normally now, including the T/C locking-up normally.
Too soon to say if this was the original problem, but I suspect it was this plug, all along.
During my repair work before I got everything sorted out, I test drove it several times, with various of the pins not making contact. I had every symptom in the book, no shift out of first, starting out in 3rd gear, 'bucking bronco syndrome' (don't know what that was, seemed to be rapidly shifting between a lower and higher gear, simulating an unbroken stallion.)
Moral to my story: If your transmission is acting weird, check the plug on the rear of the tranny, passenger side, behind the heat-shield, and make sure it's all kosher. Could save you a lot of time and anxiety.
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96 F250 7.3L PSD/