The BTR/ION auto trans problem list
I have noticed a few different threads with basically the same problem, “after a trans service it doesn’t change the same way anymore…….”
So here are a few problems with that trans that are mainly oil related problems, caused by extended service intervals.
• The Ford recommended service interval is too long. Even Ford have realised this and have change the interval to 45,000km for Severe Service, which is just about every driving type except; constant driving over 20km at under 100km/h.
• Transmission oil cooling is only just adequate for docile driving with no towing involved. If you plan to drive hard or tow anything, get a decent cooler fitted and use the radiator trans cooler if it is still working.
• The coolers in the radiators of EF & EL Fords are common to disintegrate internally, this causes either a blockage or no restriction at all, and both are bad. If there is a blockage, no lube oil is returned to the trans causing instant wear problems & also for trans fluid to boil & burn. No restriction cause the oil to return to the trans too fast to be able to dissipate the heat it has stored, again burnt fluid. When servicing the trans if the pan is full of brass slivers, that’s the cooler core. If you have a problem with trans oil always becoming burnt for no apparent reason, check the trans cooler.
BA Fords are starting to have a cooler problem now, which includes rupturing & letting coolant into the trans, this is very bad for a trans don’t let a dealer tell you otherwise.
• All of the above causes the trans oil to break down and not lubricate properly, and allows metal parts that are usually separated by a film of oil to touch and wear. This happens to the solenoids that control gear shifting, inside the solenoid is a metal valve that slides in an alloy bore. The wear particles are trapped in the filter, the filter becomes clogged causing more wear. The oil becomes saturated with wear particles & start to wear internal bushes & sealing rings that have been designed to control oil pressure.
• A trans service &/or flush may show up problems that were not evident before because; the original oil was so burnt & degraded it was equivalent to a 40 grade or thicker engine oil, this helped seal any leakage between valve bores, bushes & sealing rings. The new oil has only hastened the inevitable and caused all sorts of shift problems because all the worn parts are leaking pressure. Sometimes a replacement of a few solenoids &/or valve body rebuild is all that is required, other times a new trans.
• The brown oil that looks like engine oil is also highly corrosive; it corrodes the brass inside the radiator cooler, brass/copper material in the transmission & shrinks the plastics restrictor balls inside the valve body.
• The rear bush is a common problem on these transmissions. The six uses a white Babbitt bush, while the V8 uses a Brass bush. The Brass is harder wearing, but the expansion rate is higher so the initial clearance has to be greater and any particles will sit on the bearing surface grinding away. The Babbitt bush can have smaller clearances, are easier on the apposing surface & can tolerate particles in the lube by embedding them into the surface.
Well that’s a few things off the top of my head, if I think of anything else I’ll post them.
To get the maximum from your transmission, service it on a regular basis, use the Ford Severe Service recommendation or do it more often if you can.
Oh just remembered, time is also a fator with oil. Just because you only travel 5000km a year does not mean that you service the trans in years, moisture & dirt enter the through the breather, oil also evaporates over time all this effects the quality of the oil.
I have worked out for my vehicles a trans service every 30,000km or 2 years is perfect.
Last edited by johnydep; 02-16-2005 at 04:21.
Reason: Oh just remembered