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Ford Windstar Transmission

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  • Ive read on here and other sites countless complaints of Windstars all of a sudden just quit moving. I didnt think i would be one of them but i went out to go to the store yesterday and put the van in reverse and it wouldnt move. I tried every gear and nothing.Its not going anywhere again.I cant afford a new transmission and even if i could it would have to be guaranteed for at least 100,000 miles which nobody can do. My tranny gave no indication that anything was wrong. Ive also read that when this happens to people they get their Tranny's rebuilt or replaced for thousands of dollars. Ive read on one these complaints where a guy found the pump in the bottom of the transmission pan and that was why it wasnt moving. I talked to a local transmission shop here and he says more than likely its the pump which can be fixed for 400.00 because all they have to do is drop the pan. I absolutely refuse to believe that my transmission is cooked unless i see metal shavings or chunks in the bottom of the pan.I havent fixed my van yet but when i take it in and if it is the pump then that means all these people with the same problem, that has had their transmission replaced, got screwed. Im going to do another post after i take it down to the mechanic and find out whats REALLY GOING ON HERE.Also, for all you guys that are having electrical problems. There is a computer under the cowl in the engine bay. Water drips down in there and corode :sick: s the connection and causes all kinds of problems. Why ford would put a computer outside and not on the inside of the vehicle is anybodys guess. You have to take your cowl covers off to even get to it. Maybe Ford wants you to come back for things like that so they can charge you thousands of dollars.I love the van and it hasnt given me any trouble except for a alternator. Its a poorly designed vehicle though.
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    I don't know about the pump being bad, but I believe it is somewhat common for the splines in the torque converter to strip out, that is what happened to mine.
  • Thanks for the info Boss. That at least gives me a place to look. I would think that if the splines stripped out then when my mechanic drops the pan we should see some metal shavings or chunks. Im going to have him run a magnet through the oil before we do ANYTHING at all. I just have one question for you though. Did it turn out that it was a poor design on the torque converter and did you get one from somebody else other than ford when they rebuilt your tranny? The thing with the pumps is, ive heard they were built of some kind of crap metal and are prone to cracking. Also the pump seal seems to be problematic too.I'm taking my van down next week to see WTH. After that i'll probably post again just to let people know whats up with this tranny hoping i can help some people avoid this problem.
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    I saw no metal shavings in mine, the shaft was fine. I believe it is a fairly common problem. From what I understand, the splined piece in the converter is only about as thick as a washer. Yes, I purchased a converter from a local tranny shop and replaced it myself. Had 93k miles on it then, has about 150k on it now. All I replaced was the converter, front seal and fluid and filter, pan gaskets are reusable.
  • Have a 2003 Windstar. Have had the transmission 'fixed' twice. The thing is slipping again and probably will need a third overhaul in three years. This a problem that FORD knew about and ignored. This van was driven lightly and I mean lightly.Has 88,320.00 miles on it. We bought it with 23,000 on it in 2005. That's 8100 miles a year. It should never have failed so many times. There should be a recall on this vehicle. FORD owes it to it's loyal customers. I won't buy another FORD product. It has already cost me about $4,000.00!!!!!! What a piece of garbage they made. Shame on you FORD.
  • What did you find out I have a 98 ford windstar doing that to me
  • I have a 98 ford windstart with the 3.0 in it about 2 year ago I was driveing down the road and it down shif on me and did not want to go like over 30 40 so I was think the tranny was out of it so I park it well 2 day later I got in it and it was fine so I took it in and hade it look at I was told that it was fine so I hade the tranny flush out but now it did it again to me got all most home from work and it like drop speed and would not go over like 30 or 40 then I got it home and when I got up about 5 hr later to pick up my kids from school it was fine so I took it to work and it was fine but when I was on my way home it start messing up so i park it now a day later it is working again any idea what it could be there is no check engine light on and the od is not flashing
  • Ok, I have the same issue and I just dropped it at the ford service center. It only happens when the engine is hot and I also noticed that the speedometer drops and doesn't react until it up shifts again into second ( if it upshifts). I'm not losing fluid and I don't smell burnt fluid. It seemed to me that it was a reaction problem, and related to the speedometer and tranny. After a bit of research I found a recall issued by Ford in 2007 : Recall ID # 80548 - VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/1998/ford/windstar/recalls/#ixzz2OaTeZwWU

    This may be the issue. I will know for sure tomorrow.
    If you have the overdrive button ( I don't ) on the gearshift then I suggest a youtube, there are several videos showing how to bypass the overdrive sensor.
  • I had similar problems with my 98 FW and after some research I found a recall from 2009 and it covers our vans : Recall ID # 80548 - VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL Hide Details

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/1998/ford/windstar/recalls/#ixzz2PDVpZl4L

    I took mine in and after diagnostics they confirmed it was the problem. Once the engine gets hot the speedometer doesn't react and it won't upshift into 1st.
    Hope this helps.
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    I understand they fixed your problem. The switch the recall is referencing is for disengaging the cruise control. When mine failed after the recall was done on my F150 the only symptom was the cruise control quit working. The switch is just an on/off pressure switch that goes on the master cylinder. I believe it is a redundant switch, because with it bypassed the cruise still turns off with the brakes applied. I am fairly confident the switch has no bearing on the transmission or speedometer. It may have leaked brake fluid on another component and caused a problem.
  • tock off the lines to see if it pums out fluied and it does that mean the torque converter is bad
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    If it is pumping fluid out the lines when you start the van, then the spline problem I spoke of earlier is not your problem.
  • germanrgermanr Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    I am wondering if you can tell me were to find a forward clutch cylinder (drum) for my 95 windstar, 3.8, I am at my 3rd used transmission with this van. Unemployed, DAV, so I just cant go out and buy even a used car.
    Sending this out as an S.O.S.
    Thanks for the great info.
  • 1998 WINDSTAR 3.0 WITH AXOD TRANS RUNNING FINE, NO CLUNKS,PINGS,GRINDING OR ANY INDICATION OF IMPENDING DOOM. SLOWING FOR RED LIGHT,LIGHT TURNS GREEN,FOOT OFF BRAKE,ON GAS. STARTS TO DOWNSHIFT,BUT INSTEAD GOES INTO NEUTRAL AND STAYS IN NEUTRAL. COASTED TO A STOP,TRIED ALL THE GEARS,NOTHING.CHECKED FLUID.FULL,NOT BURNT,NO LEAKS. HAD MY OBD2 WITH ME. PLUGGED IT IN. SAID "READ" THEN WENT TO "ERR" COULDN'T GET A CODE OR ANY READING FOR ANY PART OF THE CAR.TRIED OBD2 ON OTHER CARS,WORKS FINE.HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED THE TRANNY AND THE OBD2 SYSTEM BLOWING OUT AT THE SAME TIME AND HELP ME OUT WITH THE CONNECTION,IF THERE IS ONE.MY GLIMMER OF HOPE IS THE COMP.CAUSED THE TRANNY TO FAIL AND THEN JOINED IT.IF THE TRANNY FAILURE BLEW OUT THE COMP.,PLEASE LOOK FOR ME HITCHHIKING,OR PROSPECTING FOR A WHILE!
  • sobmazsobmaz Posts: 2
    I am a Windstar victim. I bought a 1999 Windstar, the Tranny went out in 2002 at 63K miles, only 3K past the warranty. The miles I had put on were mostly easy highway miles between san diego and Portland. Anyway, I did a little research and found the Windstar had an exceptionally high number of Transmission failures.

    Being that I was only 3k out of warranty, I wrote a nice letter to Ford asking that they split the cost of the transmission with me. I explained I was a loyal customer and would remain if the "made things right".

    My request was denied and, being a man of my word, have never purchased another Ford.
  • sobmazsobmaz Posts: 2
    FYI, I may be off on the time line but I remember I was within the 3 years but over on the mileage.
  • I've read about so MANY people having the no more forward motion problem on here. No noise, smoke or any indication. I've also read about so many people replacing the transmission for thousands of dollars, sometimes 2 or 3 times. My 2003 did this same thing. I backed out of the driveway and put it in drive and nothing. Never to move again. Heres what i found out. Some of these vans have the most crappy torque converters that should never have been used to begin with. The hardened shaft shears all the teeth off the insides of the torque converter. Hard to believe it but its true.I saw this with my own two eyes. No extra metal in the bottom of the pan either. My local small shop put in a used converter for me for 800.00.If what im thinking is true, then a bunch of people have been screwed by these tranny guys just to make a couple thousand off of you. Before any of you plunk down the high dollars for a transmission that might not even be bad, make these guys show you the inside of your torque converter to see if the teeth haven't been sheared off. Dont fall for their junk transmission speech if its only a torque converter that you need. The transmissions weren't bad, the torque converters were.
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    Here is my post from 2007
    I agree, I am sure a lot of trannys get sold for this reason

    #54 of 220 Re: transmisson problems [buzfreely] by boss302j
    Dec 13, 2007 (10:28 pm)
    Replying to: buzfreely (Dec 12, 2007 6:20 pm)
    Same exact thing happened to me, the splined piece that turns the pump shaft stripped out in the torque converter. I replaced my converter and all is well now. I did it myself and it cost me about $250.00. 150.00 for a rebuilt converter, $50.00 for fluid and the rest was new front seal, filter etc. I would say if you aren't a mechanic I would not even think of doing this yourself. Expect to pay a decent amount for labor.
  • Hey guys. So desperate mom of three here with one vehicle for my family. Two years ago we bought a 2001 ford Windstar. No major problems until a couple months ago. The van was idling rough so took it to a "friend" who's a mechanic. He popped the hood and said the engine was "swelling" a sign our cadalyc converter was clogged. He cut one off emptied it out in front of us and welded a pipe back on until we had the required $900 to get it properly fixed. My van was fine until two weeks later. My husband comes home from his first job long enough to change clothes and off to the second job. Well 10 mins after leaving he is home telling me the van has no "power" suddenly. Battery turns the car on but as soon as you hit the gas it shuts off. I do a bunch of research and we replace the #15 and #19 fuses. Van starts acting normal again. One week later the o/d light starts blinking and same problem comes back. Fuses are fine. If the van is in park the engine revs fine and everything sounds good. As soon as you put it in gear there's a loss of power. You can somewhat stomp the peddle and get the van to stay on. It will drive and the tranny seems to be shifting fine once you get it up to speed but you have to repeatedly stomp the gas to get it moving and even then you can tell there's no real power. O/d light still flashing. Here's some extra info too. Transmission fluid is good. Abs system is completely gone although they said my van is not covered by recall. The little bolt looking switch that was said to leak had been replaced as well as wires right there before I bought it. Battery is sometimes drained due to break lights coming on whenever they want so new battery in van. Replaced the egr valve and the throttle position sensor. Fuel button is down. Can anybody please please PLEASE help????? My hubby's email is kbrooks703@yahoo.com. We have called ford many times but as most of you know they give NO [non-permissible content removed] about us consumers. Thanks y'all!!!!
  • It is the Neutral Safety Switch
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