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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1999 mercury cougar 2.5 V6, the other night I was stuck in a snow bank and was rocking the car to get it out by shifting from reverse to drive.

All of a sudden when I shifted the car in to neutral the front right tire and only the front right tire would begin spin forward with no gas.

So I finally got the car unstuck, today I got in everything was a normal. Went for a drive, but when I shifted into reverse to back in to a spot nothing happened. When in reverse the car just revs, when in neutral the car rolls forward, with some gas it drives, but not with as much power as normal drive.

My thoughts were that maybe loosened the transmission mounts when rocking the car and not the transmission in out of sync though im not sure.

Any ideas on what I have done to my car, any opinion on whether I am going to need a complete rebuild? I like to be armed with some knowledge before visiting the transmission shop so I dont get pillaged.
 

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Only one wheel spins when you're stuck in snow; that's the crappy factory "open differential" at work. Totally normal.

Check your transmission fluid. When the car is WARM, in PARK, and on a LEVEL SURFACE. Make sure it is full and the fluid is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just got back from checking the fluid, it does look a little blackish. But it is full. could dirty fluid cause it to completely fail in reverse??? Thanks for responding.
 

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Yeah, try changing the fluid (don't flush it!) as a last resort but you're probably looking at a rebuild. You might try one of the transmission repair fluids but they're very hit or miss and are only a temporary fix.

P.S. Look into getting AAA from your insurance company, most places offer it now for like $2-$5 a month, well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any one have an idea of how many labor hours I should be expecting to rebuild this transmission. Or would I be better off just buying one from the scrap yard? Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that this is an automatic transmission.

And thanks all for the replies, it is better that I face the reality that this is not going to be a cheap fix.
 

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well i just looked the labor times up on shop key...

remove, overhaul, install...17.5 hours

remove, install new complete unit bout 10 hours.

i would buy one that is of unknown condition and have it overhauled, also make sure you get a rebuild kit which includes, steel backing plates, friction discs, filter, shiz like that. also, i would recommend purchasing a forward clutch drum as well, even if its good it still will hate you in the future.....lol
 

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in this case fluid will not achieve any results, it will get worse now that the clutch packs are burned/warped/possible clutch drum failure...
Yeah, I figured as much but it might restore reverse just slightly allowing you to move it (if it's stuck somewhere). You're probably right though, a bunch of work for little or no reason.
 

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in case your wondering, there is fluid between the steels and the friction discs, the fluid typically has a friction modifier to allow them to grip fast and easy, with the burnt black fluid, there is more metal than normal fluid and this in damaged transmissions allows it to grip a little bit better than if it was still damaged but had clean fluid with nothing but burnt clutchs to do the grabbing work. see what i mean.

P.S. wish me luck, i took my last 6 state cert tests yesterday for bein a mechanic, Auto Trans being one of them :)
 

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in case your wondering, there is fluid between the steels and the friction discs, the fluid typically has a friction modifier to allow them to grip fast and easy, with the burnt black fluid, there is more metal than normal fluid and this in damaged transmissions allows it to grip a little bit better than if it was still damaged but had clean fluid with nothing but burnt clutchs to do the grabbing work. see what i mean.

P.S. wish me luck, i took my last 6 state cert tests yesterday for bein a mechanic, Auto Trans being one of them
Good luck!

Oh, really? See I've always wanted to know more about transmissions but never really took the time to get more than a basic knowledge of how they work and what goes wrong with them.

I knew the a bad tranny will sometimes only be held together by bits of metal but I didn't know that this is what causes the fluid to turn black. So, I take it the 'black' is the bits of metal floating in the fluid? I always thought it was the fluid being burnt and oxidized and that changing out a bit of the fluid (but not flushing so as to keep the metal bits) was the way to go if you get burnt fluid.
 

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I always thought it was the fluid being burnt and oxidized and that changing out a bit of the fluid (but not flushing so as to keep the metal bits) was the way to go if you get burnt fluid.
That's my understanding as well - brown/black fluid = transmission overheated.

There's a magnet in the pan that is supposed to be catching the metal particles, so if you have a lot in the fluid, then that magnet is full and things are Not Good.
 

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That's my understanding as well - brown/black fluid = transmission overheated.

There's a magnet in the pan that is supposed to be catching the metal particles, so if you have a lot in the fluid, then that magnet is full and things are Not Good.
Oh, so I'm not as noobish as I thought. Okay, so maybe changing the fluid would be useful?
 

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sorry i ment to say friction disc material. as it wears off the friction discs its not metal, so it continues to circulate trapped in the fluid aiding in engagement. the best way to ensure long transmission life is fast hard shifts. the faster the shift the less movement and less wear of the friction disc. but their isn't really much that can be done with the CD4E. i thought i'v heard of level 10 making a kit or something?
 

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but their isn't really much that can be done with the CD4E. i thought i'v heard of level 10 making a kit or something?
Transmission intercooler? That's probably the best thing.
 

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Transmission intercooler? That's probably the best thing.
Yeah, a lot of people do that with the ATX. But basically the CD4E just isn't a great transmission. It can be rebuilt to be better, stronger, faster, though.

(I still thank my lucky stars that I went with the MTX. I really wanted an automatic when I bought mine, but I couldn't buy a sporty car and get an automatic - it's just wrong. It'd be like buying a Corvette and dropping in a 4-banger or something.)
 

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I just finished my transmission rebuild. Had to go back and fix a sticking valve in the valve body but other than that went pretty smooth. Depending on what tools you have available to you would determine how difficult it would be to do it yourself. I have a copy of the Ford shop manual if you need it. If you decide to do it yourself and need some help along the way let me know.
 
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