Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

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john keefe
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Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:52 am

Playing around with this A4LD again... trying to eliminate 2-3 slipping/flare, and weak reverse. Seems there's a TSB covering this, showing where to enlarge 3 holes in the plate (TSB ATRATB044, 03/01/'91)
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I'm guessing those mod's are part of the upgrades with most shift kits, correct?

But, as I'm researching this, in both TSB's for 1988+ (TSB 88-37 Aug.) and ALLData for Scorpio, it shows a change to the valve body in 1988, adding a 3-4 solenoid to the 4-3 Torque Demand Valve (essentially, becoming the new dual-solenoid valve body). Sorry, pics not attaching now, for some reason.

My shop manual is earlier than this TSB date, so I'm going off TSB's and ALLData, though the latter is surprisingly pretty thorough/specific for this car.

Aren't all Scorpio A4LD's single solenoid? This '88 TSB is a little early for the upgraded Explorer versions which were in production from 1990+ (IIRC). Anyone found/heard of this upgrade being applied to Scorpio A4LDs? If so, gotta' be harness change to go along with it, if not a ECM change too. How would you check this without taking the pan off? Single solenoid harness connector with onlyi 2 wires? Dual solenoid with 3 or 4?

brokencase
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by brokencase » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:42 am

I can't say that I suffer from the issues you mentioned. In fact I am amazed how tight the shifts are on my 88' with 85k miles.
Records from PO show the front seal was changed under warranty at around 40K. I changed the fluid to Mobil 1ATF and added a bottle of LubeGuard at around 75k. I picked up a trans cooler but I have not got around to installing it yet.

I don't believe there was ever a dual solenoid Scorpio A4LD.

Why not just install the TransGo kit?
Here is what the kit addresses...(from their website)

Includes: Items to restore proper function to Valve body with much improved drivability and durability.

Addresses: Direct clutch failure, soft 1-2, lockup too soft, cut loose 2-3, delay or bang reverse, late shifts; no 4th, 1-3 up shift at light throttle, delayed lockup release and engine chugs.

Installation recommendation: Experienced technician
Transmission removal necessary: No

As I recall Dimitri installed one of these kits in a Scorpio back in the 90's and reported positive results on the email list.
The one thing he indicated that stands out in my mind is that all the shifts were happening later (at higher rpms) and the shifts were more firm.
I can post his email from the archives regarding this if you do not have them available to you offline.

One other thing I would suggest (and I plan to do myself soon) is to perform the band adjustment procedure.

If my trans ever bites the dust I'm just going to pull it and ship it to these guys and have the Level 3 job done.
https://transmissioncenter.net/product- ... a4ld-ford/

They put all the new stuff in but they also use the 4.0L housing and other innards. They then swap on your provided Scorpio Bell housing and tail housings.

Ed Lijewski
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by Ed Lijewski » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:22 am

Re timing of shift points, that can be asjusted by using a small hex wrench to either loosen (earlier) or tighten (later) the internal diaphragm spring. Turn screw only short arcs (quarter turn) at a time in intended direction.

YMMV
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john keefe
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:43 am

Thanks guys. Ed, you're talking about the vacuum modulator (aftermarket adjustable)? I have one installed, and been playing around with it. Definitely changes the shift points, but going in either direction hasn't improved matters.

One thing I know, if I put it in 3 and it starts to slip in the 2-3 shift, I can let the RPMs drop, pedal the gas a little, and once it catches in 3, it stays solid until I shift to OD. Downshifts fine. Or, I just wind it up in 2, then shift to OD when my MPH is around 40-45, bypassing 3. Fluid is absolutely (amazingly) clear after a few thousand. Added Lubeguard, which hasn't had any effect yet, but no burnt fluid, no smell. Did the bands a long time ago, but will try again once I get my garage back (long story).

Pretty much a valve body conclusion, right? Brokencase, on your previous advice, picked up a very nice valve body from Jeff Herson, and when I can carve out some space in this garage for a really clean work area, I'll get the trans kits written up on Ford Explorer/Ranger Forums and rebuild it. Then, after a bucket-in/bucket-out trans flush, I'll swap it in and see if that's the cure.

brokencase
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by brokencase » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:08 pm

Is it not possible that items deeper in the tranny are worn and that no change in the valve body will improve the situation?

Just something to think about. I'd hate to see you go to the trouble of the shift kit installation and still end up with 2-3 slip.

Things that come to mind are worn bands, worn clutches, leakage past the hydraulic solenoid bores (on the side of the trans).

The shift kit is installation is not "trivial". You have to be very meticulous. Lots of little items to keep track of. You need the ATSG A4LD manual, etc...
Miss one little ball or spring and you will have to pull the valve body and re-check...

john keefe
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:09 pm

Good probability on other worn components being the cause, which is what I originally suspected, but I've changed fluid change twice and had no metal in the fluid, or signs of linings, etc.. I'm hoping that the fact it will stay firmly in gear once it catches is a good sign... One can only cross fingers, though.

Yeah, got a pretty good idea its going to be a tedious fix, but if it's not the solution, then at least I'll have an upgraded VB when I fix the rest of the A4. How's that for optimism?

Not a tranny tech, but an old MBnz/Volvo mechanic, and I'll be nice to myself and say I'm "detail oriented." Tho you can add one or two unflattering words staring with "A" to that description, depending on who you ask. Goes with being a gear head. As long as I have a clean station, and info/manual it should be fun. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by Ed Lijewski » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:09 pm

Is the flaring at 2-3 shift the same when cold/cool and fully warmed?
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john keefe
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:09 am

Ed Lijewski wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:09 pm
Is the flaring at 2-3 shift the same when cold/cool and fully warmed?
Yep, though it sometimes will be better for a few stoplights after a longer drive. Very easy acceleration gets OK results sometimes, but that's difficult to maintain with the traffic around here. Usually have to resort to manual shifting, to avoid texting morons climbing up my rear bumper. What're you thinking?

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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:15 am

brokencase wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:08 pm
... leakage past the hydraulic solenoid bores (on the side of the trans)...
What's the cure for this? Is there an o-ring to swap in, or is a new solenoid required?

Ed Lijewski
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by Ed Lijewski » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:03 am

john keefe wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:09 am
Ed Lijewski wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:09 pm
Is the flaring at 2-3 shift the same when cold/cool and fully warmed?
Yep, though it sometimes will be better for a few stoplights after a longer drive. Very easy acceleration gets OK results sometimes, but that's difficult to maintain with the traffic around here. Usually have to resort to manual shifting, to avoid texting morons climbing up my rear bumper. What're you thinking?
Wondered if fitting the trans fluid cooler might make a difference.
Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
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john keefe
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:51 pm

Ah... Already have a 5.0L trans cooler installed, when I replaced the front seal. By-passed the rad/trans combo cooler.

brokencase
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by brokencase » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:39 pm

john keefe wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:15 am
brokencase wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:08 pm
... leakage past the hydraulic solenoid bores (on the side of the trans)...
What's the cure for this? Is there an o-ring to swap in, or is a new solenoid required?
The issue is the servo bores wearing...
There is a fix for the later 5R55W transmissions (https://www.fordservoboretransmissionfixsolution.com/) but I'm not sure what is available for the A4LD.

john keefe
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Re: Dual solenoid A4LD valve body???

Post by john keefe » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:14 pm

brokencase wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:39 pm
The issue is the servo bores wearing...
There is a fix for the later 5R55W transmissions (https://www.fordservoboretransmissionfixsolution.com/) but I'm not sure what is available for the A4LD.
Smart solution. I contacted them to see if there was any crossover for the A4, or if it was possible to machine a similar fix.

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