I was driving the above vehicle tonight when I noticed an odd whirring sound in the transmission during windup to shift. The 2-3 shift wasn't crisp anymore either. Then the "O/D OFF" light began to blink on the dash even though I hadn't disengaged the overdrive. Apparently, and from the owner's manual, this is essentially a trouble light for the transmission. After about 10 more miles the transmission began slipping, and soon all I had was first gear, and then only after periodically turning the engine off for a minute and then starting up and re-engaging the transmission. AT fluid was in the normal level before and after the problem and was changed several thousand miles ago.
I'm guessing I'm doomed and need a rebuilt transmission, but I thought it was worth at least asking everyone out there if there were any easier solutions.
Last edited by FE385; 05-11-2013 at 21:42.
Reason: Forgot details
There is no serviceable filter that I am aware of on these transmissions, although your point about pressure makes sense. After looking on the internet these transmissions and this year in particular seem to be problematic, mostly having to do with the torque converter. There were descriptions of problems just like mine, and unfortunately all ended up having to put in a different transmission, or at least a new torque converter.
No need to worry about further damage, as the car won't drive anyway.
Last edited by FE385; 05-12-2013 at 14:05.
Reason: forgot detail
I've begun the process of replacing the transmission, and am at the point of installing the rebuilt transmission.
My question is, does anyone know how to set the Transmission Range sensor on the new transmission? This is commented on in ALLDATA, and there is a special tool noted that looks like a fixed sheet metal template for positioning the sensor. I don't understand what needs to be adjusted, or maybe mine is already set up properly. It looks like a straight removal from the old transmission, and reinstallment on the new, given that the 2 attachment screws orient the sensor on the post. The sensor slipped over the drive post fine on the rebuilt transmission, and I reinstalled the 2 sensor to transmission attachment bolts, which also fit well in their respective holes.
I did matchmark the sensor to itself before I took it off the old transmission. Apparently what happens if the range sensor is not aligned properly is the generation of error codes and the check engine or similar light appearing. The company that I bought the rebuilt transmission from had the most expensive cost, but they blueprint the transmission and address and fix the design flaws inherent in this transmission. Then they dyno it. I'll identify them and sing their praises if everything works out. I'm guessing (hoping) that my sensor was a seemingly simple replacement without adjustment because everything is where it's supposed to be on the rebuilt transmission. The downside to doing this after everything is hooked up and driving is that the range sensor is under a coolant elbow, and the plumbing has to be taken apart to get at it. Much simpler to do it now if possible and needed.
I wanted to let everyone know that I was able to install the rebuilt transmission in my Escape. I've been driving it a couple of weeks now and everything seems to work well. I guess the point here is that anyone with the time and reasonable mechanical skills can do this. It took me 2 mos. to complete, working on most weekends and many weekday nights. Though the transmission broke in May, I waited till fall to start in order to escape (no pun intended) the heat, humdity, and mosquitos of a MN summer. I fixed the car as much for the challenge as for the utility that a working car provides. The cost of the rebuilt transmission was $2800 with tax from Jasper, a lot of money for an older car (comes with 3 yr warranty). This was $1,100 to $1,200 more than the rebuilds available on RockAuto. The thing that sold me on Jasper was that they blueprinted the CD4E transmission and addressed the design flaws inherent in the unit. This you can see on their website, which was also echoed by others working with this transmission. I had tried contacting the other rebuilders, but they never responded about what they did in the rebuild. There were postings on the internet of angry people who had replaced their torque converter or entire assembly, only to have it go bad not too long thereafter because the root design problems were never fixed. It's interesing when I think about it, you never see the '01 to '07 Escapes that had the CD4E transmission like you used to. There were thousands on the road, and I wonder if they've vanished because of the $4-5,000 it takes to have someone replace that transmission that seemed to fail so reliably by 100,00 miles or so.
You have to take a lot of stuff off to get at the transmission, but if you're diligent and patient you'll progress. The only time I needed help was to lift the new transmission on the jack (200 lbs.). There were several anxious moments dealing with corroded fasteners, and oddly enough, the hardest piece to get off was the alternator. There are 2 plastic manifolds attached to the alternator that function as heat shields and air directors. You have to get the rear manifold off with the alternator still in the engine cavity before you can remove the alternator and heat shield independently.
Thanks to everyone who answered my posts.
Glad it's back on the road. The cd4e was used in many more cars than just the escape. The probe,contour and mystique alon with many Mazda units. It had its troubles like many other units. Overhaul a solid unit. Hopefully a long lasting one is now in your escape!!
Removed many over the years and the 4x4 escape is the hardest.
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