Can anybody out there give me some advice? My Ford Falcon ED 1994 station wagon, automatic (4 speed?) is stuck in reverse. Last night when I started it, it showed to be in park, but when I started it was actually in reverse and is permanently stuck there.
The shifter runs through all gears, except it runs too freely - no normal light clunk at each gear - as if nothing is engaging. The whole time its permanently in reverse.
The first mechanic I saw said I was up for a recond or rebuilt gearbox at a cost of $1500 plus labour. Yeaks! Is it possible it could be something simple? Maybe some linkage come loose or broken?
I'm a woman (and a blonde). mechanics see me coming and I don't want to be conned into something I don't need. So any advice from someone genuine and knowledgeable would be greatly appreciated.
The transmission has been funny for a few months. It wasn't going into park properly. I had to pull back lightly on the shifter or run through the gears to get it to go properly engage in PARK - then all the electrics (radio etc) would come on and allow me to start the car. Had the same problem last night and did my normal thing, but this time it allowed me to start in reverse and STAYED PERMANENTLY IN REVERSE. When the engine is off, the car just rolls unless handbrake on.
It drives perfectly well in reverse, BUT that's the only option is gives me (I could have said "BUT I'm getting a real sore neck driving everywhere in reverse" but that's too blonde even for me!)
If I really do need a new gearbox, would it be worthwhile looking around for a decent secondhand one from a wrecker or a waste of time?
What you've said about the drum freezing up kind of fits, although I should point out the guts of the gearbox hasn't had any problems. Well as in it doesn't have a history of jumping out of gear when driving, no grinding or crunching or anything like that. It seems to be more a problem with the shifter or housing, rather than the guts of the gearbox itself if you know what I mean. This is why drum seems to fit because i guess the drum is the housing.
is all this still consistent with a frozen drum? Do drums suddenly freeze?
Maybe the drum has been starting to freeze up, and got to a point the other night where the shifter linkage broke under stress?
What causes drums to start to freeze up?
Thinking about the towing thing but unsure because always told you can't tow an automatic, let alone one stuck in reverse. Wouldn't towing it do damage to the gearbox?
Thanks again for any more advice you or anyone else can offer.
the drum is actually inside the box. And yes they do go suddenly, without warning.
have heard of a few dozen, and changed the boxes on two that have done it.
As for the towing thing, you only need to go a few feet with the car running and in reverse position. there will be a loud bang and it will work again.
My experience with it says that this MIGHT get the car to a repairer.
The fact that you can start the car says the shifter is working fine. As part of the shift mechanism, at thebox end, is a switch that will permit the car to start ONLY when in the Park or Neutral postions.
Yesterday my boyfriend took a look at the gearbox. He came in and said it was all fixed. I asked what he did. He said he hoisted the car slightly off the ground so the wheels were free, put the auto selector shift into reverse (because that's the gear we know its locked in) and gave a sharp crack to "the gearbox rod."
He pointed out the rod to me. It appeared as a small rectangular shaped object in the middle of the gearbox on the driver's side - possibly the end of a rectangular shaped rod - it is about 2.5cm x 1.5cm, and protrudes about 2.5cm.
Somehow, hitting this caused the transmission to unlock from reverse!
The selector shaft now works properly again, engaging into gears rather than just "free wheeling" through all positions. He also showed me the car wheels turning forward with "drive" selected, although it was still hoisted off the ground at the time.
I haven't driven it yet though, and there's a reason for this. The reason is that at that point I remembered he also gave a "sharp crack" to side of the steering column about a week before to fix some minor problem I was having with the steering (by funny coincidence this caused the speedo to play up).
Jas when you spoke of a switch that stops the car from starting in gear, I wondered if this switch may be faulty. I remembered reading that the "transmission inhibitor switch" on ED Falcons is sometimes located on the side of the transmission and sometimes on the side of steering column.
Can you or anyone tell me where the inhibitor switch is located on 1994 ED auto station wagon (possibly manufactured 1993, registered 1994)?
Could a sharp crack to the steering cause the inhibitor switch to play up (as well as speedo), and could a further sharp crack to the little rectangular object in the middle of the trans on the driver's side fix the problem reliably?
I'm making excuses fast and hard as to why I'd rather wait to drive it for the moment, and why I'd rather he did too.
the inhibitor switch as ford call it is only fitted to the column if it has a column shifter., other wise its on the box and the selector shaft passes through it.
I will have to have a look in the book, but if your selector shaft has come adrift, then it sounds like a problem that will happen again.
The speedo is driven electrically. Get him to check the wires around the box have not come apart...sometimes they do.
Thanks again Jas & also goofyman something for you below...
First some more feedback...
The car drove fine after what my boyfriend did. For the record this was: He put the console selector shaft (or interior gearstick) into "reverse" position, since this was the gear we knew the car was stuck in at the gearbox level. He then went under the car and got access to the driver's side of the gearbox. He gave a "tap" to the end of the gearbox selector shaft which is like a rod lying horizontal through the gearbox, from end to end, and one end is visible in the middle of the trans on drivers side. This pushed the rod in a bit and somehow re-aligned the selections on the rod with the gears in the gearbox (don't ask how he knew it needed to go east instead of west to realign). Anyway, he got back inside the car and the gearstick (interior selector shaft) no longer felt like it wasn't attached to the gearbox. It was able to engage all gears as normal, and the gearbox was no longer stuck in reverse.
I drove the car to an auto trans specialist. He diagnosed that it needed a new 'C' cup (or circlip). The circlip is inside the gearbox (somewhere around middle) and it attaches the interior gearstick to the selector body housing (or valve body) of the gearbox. The valve body is the selector itself and if the gearstick is not attached via the circlip or improperly attached due to wear and tear, then no gear changes can be made. It seems my circlip can't have broken altogether, or I couldn't have made gear changes I did after my boyfriend freed it from reverse. Perhaps it was a faulty enough attachment to allow the shaft to misalign and the housing to freeze.
Anyway, the 'c' cup was replaced, requiring removal and replacement of the valve body to do so. All up with service to gearbox cost $225. Car drives great!
If the primary problem wasn't the circup but the selector body housing (valve body), then I guess I'll know in due course coz the same freezing in one gear will recur.
I cut and paste the following from the other thread I started to this one because its an interesting adjunct story...
Originally Posted by goofyman
Just how lucky of me as tonight after look at your stuck in reverse as l had same problem as you had and after look other ideas from suddeny l relaise that l have very deep hill road so l decide to take my belove ford eb wagon up the hill and stop and turn the car around and drive down the hill and stop the car again on the hill and start the car while rolling down the hill slowly approx 15kpm and start the engine in neutral and put in reverse suddenly everything came back to normal as just remmber l did rebuilt this auto box my self fews months ago
Goofyman, can you tell me more specifically... did you reverse the car up the hill, do a "uie" in reverse, then roll reverse down the hill (starting the engine with the gearstick positioned in neutral, although gearbox still stuck in reverse), then having started in, move the gearstick to reverse position and find it engaged and free the whole gearbox back to normal? Was it that your gearstick felt like it wasn't attached to the gearbox?
Funny you posted Julie,
had a chance to look at the good book today, and noted the C-clip retainer.
Whilst i have never heard of your problem, it is not surprising.
Clips are used in a whole plethora of applications, and it is common for them to fail.
In your case failure of the c-clip allowed the selector shaft to float about, until the teeth on the selectors became disengaged.
As for goofy's problem, its what i said appeared to be wrong with yours....as he essentially towed it to fix the problem.
It would be interesting to know if when he did this to it, if it unfroze with a bang, as they normally do!....the bigger the bang, the tighter it was stuck.
let me explain what happen since i rebuilt but not all of it just replace damage cutch disc or ring that go inside the drum and fews new "o"ring , seals and when l found out the drum and Disc was.nt right so l took to auto tramissiom repairer and found spacer was missing so replace it for me small fee plus bought new disc l brought them fews days back later l exchange the new auto box as old box had broken reverse for 9 months or 30.000km on the road please dont ask me how can reverse the car out of the shopping centre what ever l go Since l replace the new autobox about four months ago or 8000km gave me no problem until two week ago auto got struck on first and reverse gear on reverse mode and start the car in neutral with first gear and reverse stuck together and drive on neutral imdemity move to drive mode .fews hour later it free again for no reason after stoppen on traffic light in parking mode fews days later problem came back for good and l was in very cranking mood because l have four kids and wife in the car . after fews wonding in my head what went wrong plus blowen head casket and losing alot oil thought faulty oil sender did run out of oil while lwas driving for next 50 km up to date no bearing failure yet head gasket oil sender was replace but auto still struck so l look up in ford forums to find some information about and found out how to release the drum by towing the car from 1km to 10km andso l had ideas is to drive up the hill and stop the car and let it roll back few metres and start engine didnt help so turn around and let the car roll down up 30 kpm in reverse ,drive,reverse and slow down to 10kpm and start the engine neutral and move to reverse still struck and repeat fews time suddeny car start to run backward all back to normal (no noise )so drive back home.
Next morning didnt last very long as back again so the best way for me soon l start the car put in neutral as move forward imdemity move gear selector to reverse mode to release stuck gears and then every thing went normal so what is causing what l belive what causing hydraulic malfuction is that l think brought 10 litre of cheap brand auto tranmission oil that lose additives ,viscosity rating and characteristics so l am looking into it in next couple of days . please anyone want to try what i did my ford that is your own risk and can break the reverse gear very easily and can cause some injuy, accident, etc so watch out your own risk .
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