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Bob Rosadini

2004 Ranger, 4.0, FX4, Level II, No Shift

Question

Guys,

My Ranger just turned 94,000.  Has  been in the family since new, well cared for,  very little use towing .  Every now and then, the trans won't up  shift.  Will run up to about 3000 rpm, start bucking, but won't upshift.  I pull over. Shut it off, start up and it then shifts fine.

Any clue?

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99.5% of "won't upshift" issues are lack of power issues. 

Are we talking after a cold soak or during warmup, or hot?  

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47 minutes ago, YT90SC said:

99.5% of "won't upshift" issues are lack of power issues. 

Are we talking after a cold soak or during warmup, or hot?  

I would say it happens typically at start up.  I also have to say, while I change oil/ F, about every 4/5 thousand, It has original plugs and trans fluid.  At 64,000 I took it to dealer as I had a severe vibration at speed-rear  drum out of round by 1/4"-and while it was there I had them check this issue out as it was doing it back then.   from that report;

"Com..Customer states check intermittent erratic shift and od off light on but not blinking, delayed upshift.

Cor...test drive ok, check codes none, fluid condition good, check for delayed engagement into gear, none found, roadtrest again, still ok, stop in for test drive  when it is occurring"

I drive with a light foot and let it upshift.  When this issue occurs, Like I said, t will end up at 3000 rpm in probably second and start breaking up.

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On 6/30/2019 at 8:19 AM, twintornados said:

I would start with a transmission flush and then go from there...

You would be wasting money. An upshift issue as he is describing is more than likely an engine power issue, and most likely has nothing to do with the trans as it is not setting shift error codes. 

Bob I would be more apt to think (since it is an 04 especially) that the upper intake gaskets are shot. They are actually o rings and can get hard with age and allow air in around them, especially cold/during warmup. This unmetered air bypasses the MAF and the PCM has zero idea what actual engine load is resulting in the shift delay and potentially the bucking you are describing. Couple things to try: get a can of MAF cleaner, follow the instructions and clean the MAF (make sure the sensor is room temperature). Then get a can of carb cleaner with a straw.  Engine running ,when cold, spray between the plastic upper and the aluminum mid intake and see if the idle is affected. A leak will show up as a change in idle (smoother, rougher, higher, lower). OR, if you have access to a simple code reader, you will see the O2s run rich when you zap the leak with the cleaner. There are other items that can skew cold load, but those are the two most common, especially on an 04 intake. 

 

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3 hours ago, YT90SC said:

You would be wasting money. An upshift issue as he is describing is more than likely an engine power issue, and most likely has nothing to do with the trans as it is not setting shift error codes.

15 years old, almost 100K on the clock....money well spent in the process of repairing the issue.

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22 hours ago, twintornados said:

15 years old, almost 100K on the clock....money well spent in the process of repairing the issue.

I gave him information on what he needs to do to diagnose his issue, or at least eliminate what I think it is, from his description of the problem. I don't like throwing services or parts at something on a hunch unless I have exhausted all options. 10 minutes of time and $10 in chemicals and you would know if it indeed has an intake leak, as these are prone to. Throwing any part at it is not actually diagnosing it, it is changing parts in hopes that it will fix it. See a lot of customers who fall into this trap. I have seen that era of Ranger as a fine example of this. Customer goes and has parts store read code. P0401. Parts store sells an EGR valve without testing. EGR valve doesn't fix it. Guy goes back to the parts store with the same code and buys an EGR control solenoid. Nope. Vacuum lines? Nope. EGR tube? PCM? 5 minutes with a scan tool or DVOM with a few simple tests and the right knowledge shows that the DPFE is bad. Have had customers mad at *ME* because they hung hundreds in parts to fix it rather than diagnose.  

I am *VERY* apprehensive about flushing with that mileage and time in service. Pan drop and refill, maybe.

Anyway, maybe Fordtech will weigh in, since I am clearly talking out of my ass. 

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9 hours ago, YT90SC said:

I gave him information on what he needs to do to diagnose his issue, or at least eliminate what I think it is, from his description of the problem. I don't like throwing services or parts at something on a hunch unless I have exhausted all options. 10 minutes of time and $10 in chemicals and you would know if it indeed has an intake leak, as these are prone to. Throwing any part at it is not actually diagnosing it, it is changing parts in hopes that it will fix it. See a lot of customers who fall into this trap. I have seen that era of Ranger as a fine example of this. Customer goes and has parts store read code. P0401. Parts store sells an EGR valve without testing. EGR valve doesn't fix it. Guy goes back to the parts store with the same code and buys an EGR control solenoid. Nope. Vacuum lines? Nope. EGR tube? PCM? 5 minutes with a scan tool or DVOM with a few simple tests and the right knowledge shows that the DPFE is bad. Have had customers mad at *ME* because they hung hundreds in parts to fix it rather than diagnose.  

I am *VERY* apprehensive about flushing with that mileage and time in service. Pan drop and refill, maybe.

Anyway, maybe Fordtech will weigh in, since I am clearly talking out of my ass. 

...and I gave him information that as part of any repair, a transmission flush should be considered especially one that has that that many miles and years of service. I too have seen people "shotgun" a repair in hopes of hitting the problem, but in this case, any repairs should include the aforementioned trans fluid service. I have had great results from a simple fluid change. 

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Guys,  thanks very much for responses-on the road this  week so hopefully I'll give it a shot next week.  Just one question, if the condition goes away when I  shut down and restart (reboot??), that is not indicative of an electrical issue?

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3 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Guys,  thanks very much for responses-on the road this  week so hopefully I'll give it a shot next week.  Just one question, if the condition goes away when I  shut down and restart (reboot??), that is not indicative of an electrical issue?

Could be. If you can demonstrate it for a competent tech, he can fix it. That is gonna be the trick. It is not setting DTC's so they may have nothing to go off of, especially because different driving style could potentially cover the issue. I sincerely do not think you have a trans issue. However, do you have engine braking in manual 1 and manual 2? 

6 hours ago, twintornados said:

...and I gave him information that as part of any repair, a transmission flush should be considered especially one that has that that many miles and years of service. I too have seen people "shotgun" a repair in hopes of hitting the problem, but in this case, any repairs should include the aforementioned trans fluid service. I have had great results from a simple fluid change. 

Shoot me some specifics, I would love to hear them. I've just never seen a fluid change make much difference in electronically controlled trans operation except in the AOD-E family for converter shudder. I guess if he would like to flush his wallet, lots of shops would oblige. Call me crazy but I like to get people safely and confidently back on the road as cheaply as possible. "Will run up to about 3000 rpm, start bucking, but won't upshift." doesn't sound like a trans issue, at all.

I get so sick of service writers selling trans services as a "fix". More often than not, it changes absolutely nothing then I have to hand them an estimate for the real fix. The writer has pissed off the customer because he dropped >$200 on nothing, and now the whole shop looks incompetent.  

All said and done though, I would love to be proven wrong, because I like to learn. 

Edited by YT90SC

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45 minutes ago, YT90SC said:

Could be. If you can demonstrate it for a competent tech, he can fix it. That is gonna be the trick. It is not setting DTC's so they may have nothing to go off of, especially because different driving style could potentially cover the issue. I sincerely do not think you have a trans issue. However, do you have engine braking in manual 1 and manual 2? 

Shoot me some specifics, I would love to hear them. I've just never seen a fluid change make much difference in electronically controlled trans operation except in the AOD-E family for converter shudder. I guess if he would like to flush his wallet, lots of shops would oblige. Call me crazy but I like to get people safely and confidently back on the road as cheaply as possible. "Will run up to about 3000 rpm, start bucking, but won't upshift." doesn't sound like a trans issue, at all.

I get so sick of service writers selling trans services as a "fix". More often than not, it changes absolutely nothing then I have to hand them an estimate for the real fix. The writer has pissed off the customer because he dropped >$200 on nothing, and now the whole shop looks incompetent.  

All said and done though, I would love to be proven wrong, because I like to learn. 

The last trans service for hard shifting and shudder that I did was my 2000 Focus with a 2.0L Zetec and automatic trans axle. Was at about 120K miles on the odo. First I put some Trans X conditioner in and ran it for a few days, then dropped the pan, changed the filter and refilled...transmission worked like new and never had another problem with it...since that time, I don't really keep my vehicles that long any more. Again, I am not disputing what you are saying about electronically controlled units these days, but with 15 years and almost 100K on the clock, any repairs should include a fluid service, but then again, that's my opinion and I am sticking to it. You do not agree and I am "good" with that. But all in all, it isn't a waste of money for good maintenance.  

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Glad your hail mary worked for you on your Focus. 

There is still a huge difference between "maintenance" and "repair". 

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YT, TT

Well guys I'm back home and I used the MAF cleaner and also shot the carb cleaner as suggested.  No change in RPM so I guess  my o-rings are doing the job.  Biggest discovery?- a lot of acorn shells in the bottom of the air cleaner!  The K & N filter looked pretty good.

As for the ATF, still looking bright and red.  So stay tuned.  Hopefully cleaning the MAF will make a difference.

Thx again for responses

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2 minutes ago, Bob Rosadini said:

YT, TT

Well guys I'm back home and I used the MAF cleaner and also shot the carb cleaner as suggested.  No change in RPM so I guess  my o-rings are doing the job.  Biggest discovery?- a lot of acorn shells in the bottom of the air cleaner!  The K & N filter looked pretty good.

As for the ATF, still looking bright and red.  So stay tuned.  Hopefully cleaning the MAF will make a difference.

Thx again for responses

How many acorn shells? Like 5-10 or a bunch? I had a 2.3 ranger that was so under powered, more than normal, and the airbox was stuffed with acorns. Cleaned out the box and it was back to normal. 

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9 hours ago, fordtech1 said:

How many acorn shells? Like 5-10 or a bunch? I had a 2.3 ranger that was so under powered, more than normal, and the airbox was stuffed with acorns. Cleaned out the box and it was back to normal. 

Now you have me going to check the airbox in my 1995 F150....

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11 hours ago, fordtech1 said:

How many acorn shells? Like 5-10 or a bunch? I had a 2.3 ranger that was so under powered, more than normal, and the airbox was stuffed with acorns. Cleaned out the box and it was back to normal. 

Bottom of box was covered.  I keep it in concrete floor barn-not like its a drafty 100 yr old structure.   

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