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Old 12-28-2009, 04:47   #1 (permalink)
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Engine / tranny / Both problem?

1999 Expy EB 169,000 miles. Seems to be in basicly good condition. Only have had it for a month.
Unknown history.
When cold the tranny seems to take forever to shift and slow. Not a real solid shift but not horrible either.
When warm, taking off in snow, up steep hill it seems to slip until about 1500+ rpm before moving.
Tranny just doesn't feel "solid" or right. Somewhere I read something about disconnecting the battery so the tranny can re-program? What's that all about.

Engine seems to run smoothly, but have to admit, wish this had a big block!
Anyways, around 35-40 mph it feels like someone pulled the choke on the engine. No oomph unless I hit the skinny hard enough to downshift.

Don't know if tranny fluid / filter was ever changed (assume so,,, but).

Starts good, seems to run fine otherwise, fuel I think to be in the 13-15 mpg range but honestly only have put about 500 miles on it so,,,

Are these things that much of a dog or is something dreadfully wrong?
If something is wrong,,, where to start???

Other than being a slug,, I like it a lot. But wished it had enough "go" to get out of it's own way at times. I'm not talking hot rodding here either.

What to do......... (first)

I'm thinking something vacuum? Electric controller? Tranny just plain tired? Engine tired?
Used to work on vehicles long ago, but frankly, these new ones have me over a barrel with all the computer controled things.

Easiest is just bring to a dealer and say, "Do". but money isn't all that plentiful.

I'm planning on towing a 3500# boat & trailer this summer and really need to let this go, or get it fixed (without breaking the bank).

Where would you start on it?

Any and all ideas are appreciated (I'm lost!).
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Engine / tranny / Both problem?

169K is a lot of miles. Buying used also throws it's mix of problems into your hands.

First, as you are unsure of the history of the vehicle be sure to change the transmission fluid, axle fluid, transfer case fluid, engine oil and filter. Don't get the transmission 'flushed' if a shop asks you to get it done. With 169K, a flush can do more harm than good. If there are any dirt particles in the transmission a flush can dislodge them and then they'll get stuck in the valve body causing a raft of shifting problems, and ultimately worse case scenario; a new trans.

While you're at it, a tune-up should be in order, including replace spark plugs, air filter, check fuel pressure, and getting engine compression checked couldn't hurt either, just to make sure everything is A-OK.

That should more than likely liven up performance. Slipping in snow covered roads is a given, as the computer doesn't know what's going on, as it has no eyes to see the road conditions. A transmission fluid change (as I stated above for regular maintenance) can greatly help torque converter, and overall transmission performance. Stick with Mercon V fluid - Ford's brand.

Something else to consider in a few months time: Once you put on more miles, and the engine doesn't burn any oil in say, 3K, you might want to consider changing over to synthetic oil. It has better lubricity and can free up HP that would otherwise be lost with conventional (heavier) oils. You probably won't see any effect, but it can increase mileage slightly as well depending on how you drive.
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