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4r55e converter relief valve & spring missing, keepers missing


Shran

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I believe I am dealing with someone's hack work here but I need to verify. I have my wife's '95 apart right now to replace the valve body seals - it had a delayed shift into forward gear from park and I suspected that the gasket was blown out (was not.) This truck has 89k on it and the trans was "rebuilt" or replaced or something years ago and has maybe a few thousand miles on it. It was her grandpas and he doesn't remember why it failed to begin with, just that it was was replaced.

While I had the valve body out I decided to do the Superior shift kit. I found a bunch of issues, including two missing keepers on the coast clutch valve and the boost valve was stuck in its passage (wouldn't move.) I got that freed up and made new keepers to replace the missing ones... the most concerning thing I saw was that the converter relief valve & spring is just not there (the EPC relief valve & spring were present, though.)

So with that, two questions:
1) are the missing keepers a problem? Were they not present on early transmissions? Or did the shop just leave them out?
2) Is the missing TCC relief valve & spring a problem? There is no hole in the separator plate for it (there is a hole for the EPC relief.) I found some diagrams online that showed my situation as normal, and other diagrams that showed both valves present. So which is correct?

Hole where TCC relief valve "could" go:
KIMG1942.JPG


This is one of the keepers that was missing and where the EPC relief was at.
KIMG1943.JPG


This is the EPC relief valve I have, it has a plastic tip
KIMG1941.JPG
 


lil_Blue_Ford

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Good questions, an I don’t really have any answers other than to say when I tore the valve body apart on my 92, it was missing a keeper or two according to the information I was going by. It was an A4LD, I had the Transgo shift kit and I was also referring to information on the Explorer forums for the A4LD along with I think in the tech archives on here there was a service manual for the A4LD. I followed the instructions as close as possible (replacing the missing keepers) and was pretty happy with the results. Also tried adjusting the bands (rust was a problem for me with this).

You might have a 4R44 or something though, you didn’t specify and I’m not sure when the transmissions changed offhand, so I’m not sure how much what I researched will help. I also put the Transgo instructions somewhere safe that I now can’t seem to locate, lol.
 

Shran

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You might have a 4R44 or something though, you didn’t specify and I’m not sure when the transmissions changed offhand, so I’m not sure how much what I researched will help. I also put the Transgo instructions somewhere safe that I now can’t seem to locate, lol.
Sorry, should have mentioned, it is a '95 4.0 truck so I am assuming it's a 4r55e.

Well I found the damn keepers - the two missing ones were in the pan of oil that I drained out. I KNOW they were in the pan, because I drained the fluid and removed the drain pan before I removed the pan from the transmission, so they came out with the oil... did not fall out when I removed the valve body. There was no way for that to happen anyway since they're between the separator plate and the valve body. How they migrated out and into the pan is a total mystery, but they're back where they belong now.
 

Shran

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To recap - still not sure how the keepers made their way out and into the pan but the trans seems functional without the converter relief valve & spring - if they were even in there to begin with.

The Superior shift kit seems to have improved shifts from park or neutral into drive or reverse, it feels like a more positive, quick engagement. Otherwise I'm not convinced that it did much. It still doesn't downshift like I think it should and occasionally I get a nice loud clunk when it does downshift while slowing down plus the usual mushy shifts into 2-3-4.

More frustrating is that it is still not engaging drive from park or neutral............. at least not all the time and almost never at operating temp. I'm leaning towards something leaking in the valve body or gummed up, might just have to have a shop look at it, kinda past my comfort level with it at this point.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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To recap - still not sure how the keepers made their way out and into the pan but the trans seems functional without the converter relief valve & spring - if they were even in there to begin with.

The Superior shift kit seems to have improved shifts from park or neutral into drive or reverse, it feels like a more positive, quick engagement. Otherwise I'm not convinced that it did much. It still doesn't downshift like I think it should and occasionally I get a nice loud clunk when it does downshift while slowing down plus the usual mushy shifts into 2-3-4.

More frustrating is that it is still not engaging drive from park or neutral............. at least not all the time and almost never at operating temp. I'm leaning towards something leaking in the valve body or gummed up, might just have to have a shop look at it, kinda past my comfort level with it at this point.
That’s disappointing. I went pretty much whole hog when I did my Transgo kit in my 92. I had every valve out of the valve body and cleaned, did the shift kit, did the O-ring end seals, the sleeve thing for the shifter/selector , and everything else related to the valve body that I read about over on the Explorer forums. When it was all back together I did the bleed procedure and it still took a week or so of driving it to get pretty much all the air out of things (there was some weird performance for a while). After that, the difference was incredible. I suddenly could smoke the back tires just by hitting the gas too hard and if I was really on it, sometimes it would chirp a shift. I was really happy with it up until someone clobbered me.
 

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I think Dirtman had a similar experience.
He said he it shifted much better at first, but after a few miles the computer must have been able to compensate to bring back the soft shifts.
 

Shran

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Let me just vent here a bit, boy do I sure hate these things. We took this truck out camping last weekend (first out of town trip since I put the shift kit in) and my wife drove it. She said it was fine for about 25 miles and then it started slam shifting into every gear, up or down and the overdrive light was flashing. I rode around with her later that day and it was just godawful. No overdrive light but just about every shift is really rough. There is a horrible clunk when slowing down to a stop when it downshifts. On the way home yesterday she said it was way better?

Fluid level is spot on... I hate automatics.
 

Shran

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I dropped this truck off at a transmission shop three weeks ago and they've been fiddling with it... their diagnosis is "low pressure in all forward gears."

During my initial conversation with them, they said they wanted to add a quart of fluid, test pressure and pull the valve body & make some adjustments. Yesterday they told me that they added fluid, cleared codes and did some pressure testing but did not pull the valve body and are not sure what's wrong. Their suggestion is to open it up and rebuild it for $4000.

I kinda feel like they're just frustrated and are giving up on it. I'm tempted to take it somewhere else and see if I have better results, but I hate to spend another $200 for a second opinion & they say the same thing.

Looks like a reman valve body from Sonnax is about $350, reman transmission from AutoZone is a hair under 2k... what does the group suggest I do?
 

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