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Ford Windstar Transmission



  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    It sounds like you might have the same problem I had, the torque converter stripped out. You could pull the trans cooler lines off of the tranny and start it up and see if it shoots fluid out or take off the side tranny pan and take the valve body/pump off. there is a shaft that runs from the converter to the pump, If you can turn it with little effort the converter is probably stripped out. supposed to be a common problem. If that is the case all you need is a converter.
  • conquestconquest Posts: 4
    had to replace mine,pump was gone and a bearing, 2200.00 later
  • louisg47louisg47 Posts: 1
    I replaced a trans in a 99 w/3.8 with a running unit from a wreck-I found out later that there are two different trans. for that year-the one i took out was working,but slipping --the new one will not go forward unless the overdrive plug is disconnected-its probably the other trans-is there anything i can do with the wiring or plug etc. to make this trans work==thanks
  • This one is a bit weird. This is a 2000 Windstar with an xaod metric. Same transmission my 98 has (17 bolt pan) but with the 3.8 instead of the 3.0 liter engine. Starts and runs like normal for about 1/2 mile, gets hot, starts flashing the od light and slipping. Stop and it pukes brown fluid all over the ground which does not smell burned. The fluid in the trans itself is still bright red. Let it cool down, add fluid and repeat every 1/2 mile (more going down hill ;-). This is acting like one of the cooling lines is pinched but I can't see anything wrong. Fluid seems to be coming from top of the transaxle. Anyone got an idea? This is the "s" trans not the "n" one with 19 bolt pan. It will probably need to be rebuilt regardless after overheating but I'd still like to understand the cause.
  • kringeringkringering Posts: 2
    I have a 99 windstar with a 3.8 engine with a bad trans I have a friend with a 97 with a 3.0 will the transmission match up
  • kringeringkringering Posts: 2
    I have a 99 windstar with a 3.8 engine with a bad trans I have a friend with a 97 with a 3.0 will the transmission match up
  • troundatrounda Posts: 5
    just wondering do i have to remove the cowl to take the tranny out it looks like ihave to remove the sub frame thanks
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    Yes you do have to remove the subframe. I believe I did remove the cowl . Not sure if it is a must though.
  • At a range of around 40 - 45 mph, the trans will "chatter", meaning it feels like you are driving over a rumble strip. It seems like the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels is interrupted (torque converter). Further, there is an alternate symptom where the chatter is lazier, more as if you have hit one or two small potholes where there is no pothole. This latter symptom can also occur at higher speeds, such as 60+ and also occurs on hills. Had fluids replaced - no difference. Also, electrical problems are occuring as well, especially the battery light coming on and going off. Have seen the headlights dim and brighten as well. Also, the ABS & emergency brake lights will come on for no apparent reason. Mechanic claims trans is shot. Not so sure that electrical issues are not related - they seem to have happened at the same time. Any feedback on similar experiences appreciated.
  • I have a 95 windstar that I have owened for about 5 yrs. now and I started having shifting problems about 4 yrs. ago. Took my van to 2 diff. trans shops to have them tell me I needed a new trans and that it is slipping. Well it is 4 yrs later now and IA finally burned that trans out cause no one could diagnose my problem correctly. My rebuilt trans is about 9 months old now and my van is not shifting right again. i was told there is a sensor that goes bad and causes this problem but I don't know what sensor it is. I replaced my speed control sensor yesterday. It is still not shifting properly. I was told there is a trans range sensor(neutral safety switch} which could be the problem. I am not sure where this sensor is located, or which one I need, there are 2 diff. ones for my engine. Has anyone had this problem with your car not shifting properly and actually found out what the fix for it is? I am affraid I am going to burn this trans out too.
  • apocpgapocpg Posts: 4
    I had the same problem since i bought the van 2 years ago and the previous owner had the problem for as long has he had it. anyways i replaced the range sensor(located top of trans.. under air cleaner) that didnt fix the problem so i took it to a local trans shop for a diagnostics and the only error that came up was speed sensor. i replaced the easier on first located driver side on the trans.... take off tire and you can see it. that one didnt solve the problem so the last one is on the back of the transmission which is difficult to get at as you have to remove your exhaust and heat shield.
    for that sensor you have the options of with speedo cable or without. mine was with speedo cable and his early 95 model.
    it took me about 6 hours to replace all sensor. if you have a 10 mm speed wrench the back sensor will be a breeze

    hope this helps

  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    if the speed sensors are gapped right and the teeth that go by the sensor to tell it how fast the wheel is turning are clean since brake dust collects on them and sometimes build up on the and set in like concrete. check with a volt meter to see if you have continuity and good olms from all sensors. also make sure that none of the wires are broke looseing rubber insulation and/or shorting out. also there is a road test on a machine that lets you act like it driveing but on rollers and tests if the trans and driv system is working right. sometimes all they will have to do is tinker with the shift timeing and the force that it will shift at. and sometimes its just that the trans filter is clogged and fluid cant get to the torque cunverter or internal systems. let me know what you find out
  • kpphpkpphp Posts: 1
    Just had my 2003 Windstar in for the same problems (chatter and ABS & emergency lights coming on). Here's what my paperwork states: Found fault codes fro ABS ECU. Need to replace the ABS ECU. Found the Torque Converter to be malfunctioning. Torque converter will be replaced. I'm lucky I'm still covered with a 6 year extended warranty with a $50 deductible! Good luck to you.
  • jimmytojimmyto Posts: 5

    My girlfriend has a Windstar 2003 with 176k KM on it. The Auto transmission has broken 3 times and now the 4th transmission is slipping again. She got charged by Ford last time $600 to get a replacement one under a special program they have. She's been paying $600 a month on this purchase for the past 5 years and she has a balance of $7500 on it. Ford suggested they buy out the vehicle and we get into a newer one....

    Is this acceptable? Can we sue Ford for a bad product? Your advice is much appreciated.
  • My 98 Windstar transmission will sometimes not shift past second gear or downshift to 2nd gear, even at highway speeds. No rhyme or reason. The fluid is clean and not burned. Does this car have electronic control? Any suggestions?
  • I had never noticed my transmission slipping or leaking. I drove to St. Louis (about 150 miles) without any issues. On my way home, I was about 25 miles from my exit when I noticed white smoke coming from my van. I stopped immediately. The smoke cleared quickly, but I saw transmission fluid all over the back of my van and down the side of the interstate!!! The van still went into drive and reverse fine. I have about 142,000 miles on the van, and it's always been routinely serviced. Any thoughts?
  • jetawayjetaway Posts: 14
    You are wasting time and money by changing sensors that you don't know need to be changed.You need to have the computer scanned and that should lead you directly to the culprit if the problem is a bad sensor at all.As for the other guy the sensor on the back {drivers side}of the trans behind the wheel is the turbine {input} shaft sensor.The one behind the exhaust is the VSS {vehicle speed sensor}.When the mechanic checked his car the code will tell you specifically which sensor to change.You cannot guess with electronics .As far as the MLPS {manual lever position indicator}which also acts as a neutral safety switch there is a part number stamped right on the part.It is located on the back of the trans near the fire wall.You have to remove the 15mm nut that holds the shift cable to the linkage shaft.Then unplug the sensors wires and remove the 2 10mm bolts that hold down the sensor,Then you can slide the sensor off the linkage shaft.On a 95 you may have to pry the sensor off due to corrosion on the shaft.They often break while removing them but your replacing it anyway.Get the codes and post them here .Your car is not OBD2 so you will need the older style scanner connection.
  • I have just experienced similar major breakdown of the transmission in my 2003 Windstar. It died unexpectly on a major highway while en-route to a funeral. A replacement transmission has been installed but the O/D indicator light goes on immediately. At low speeds a clunking sound and jerking motion occurs. The autoservice shop blames it on having been supplied a faulty replacement transmission, while the transmission supplier says it is an electrical problem. I have paid $3300 for the work and still do not have an operational vehicle. The autoservice company has returned the Windstar on a flatbed to our driveway. What can you tell me about the special transmission program operated by Ford? Any other suggestions would also be welcome.

  • It is a bad tranny. Same thing happened to my 1999 Windstar. After 3 tranny,s later seems to be running fine. As for Ford, good luck. Your machanic should replace it without charging again.
  • Today my wife and daughter and friends were going to see American Idol when the van started to hesitate and then nothing!! Now the van won't go into D,1,2,or R. Although N works well when I pushed it off the highway completely. It is still sitting there until I decide what to do with it. It had no symptoms accept the odd tug like an Ironman was connected to the back trying to pull the van from behind. The tranny only has 25000 miles on it!!(second). Is the whole tranny shot, or is it another problem? I hate to drop more money into this heap but cannot afford a new car. Oh by the way the codes are 00/00 so that's what's perplexing me?


  • jimmytojimmyto Posts: 5

    They call it the Good will program, only applicable once to clients. This whole thing is a rip off trying to convince my girlfriend to switch to another vehicle. 4 transmissions is simply not acceptable.
  • jeaks4jeaks4 Posts: 1
    I have a 95 windstar with a 3.8 V6. The transmission was recently changed with a salvage transmission that operated properly when taken to the salvage yard and was guaranteed. Was installed and will run fine in low gear, but while in drive when it is supposed to shift to second, it shifts into neutral until you slow down enough, then it will shift back into low. Reverse works fine and it does not slip or shift hard, it just wont shift past low. All sensors on the transmission itself have been changed with the old transmission. Any ideas?
  • Sorry to hear about your Tranny problems.

    The problems with these tranny's are common and unless you are getting a rebuild expect to replace it every couple of years. Rebuilds are the way to go as they correct the problems that have been plaguing these tranny's for the last 15 years. Therefore, the salvaged one while cheaper will not do you much good, unless you put one in and sell it. However, that would not be very nice.

    Good luck. The Tranny will have to be pulled. I have a PDF of the 95 tranny's that tells you how to problem solve this problem if you want it. Let me know your e-mail.

  • todd463todd463 Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    I'm selling a transmission that was pulled out of a 95 Windstar. It was rebuilt by Ford and only has about 5000 miles on it. A guy e-mailed me and asked if it would fit into his 1998 Windstar, which also has the 3.8L.
    I'm a diesel mechanic, not an auto mechanic, so I don't want to steer him wrong.
    Thanks in advance!
  • inkitupinkitup Posts: 1
    This happened 1 1/2 years earlier and had it fixed at AAMCO for $2400. I was in stop and go traffic when all of a sudden my RPM shot way up and and I had no drive. I pulled over only to find out I only had park and permanent neutral. They said I needed an new torque converter, new pressure control sensor, new assy. Kit, filter - 2nd design, and new overdrive band.

    Well, at 1:30pm today I was returning home and was turning a corner, at 5mph, when all of a sudden my RPM shot way up and I had no drive. There was no noise associated with this at all. I coasted off to the side only to find out I had no R,D,1,2 and only park and permanent neutral again.

    If the work was done, could any of this actually have fixed the issue I'm having?

    Now, I'm wondering if this all was even necessary or if they even did the work? I have been reading about this problem all over the net and it seems to be a big problem with this model. I have read it could be the TRS, a mis-programmed PCM or even the VSS.

    Does anyone have a possible solution? Or, has anyone had this same problem and have it fixed properly? And if so, what was done to solve it?

  • seal it, sell it and buy a honda.
  • I have a 1996 windstar with the 3.8 v6. About a year ago the trans went i did not have R D 2 1. About 6 month ago we found a van same year with rebult trans. put that in and a week after it started hanging in second gear. the van sit untill 3 weeks ago when we put in a new computer. Van ran great untill about 3 days ago then after running awhile its starts to hang in second again. it was doing this when it had the other trans in it before it went. i just replaced the speed sensor on the back of the trans yesterday and now it will shift but very hard. i am lost at this point. dose anyone have any sugestions? all info will help Thanks

  • apocpgapocpg Posts: 4
    there is another speed sensor on the driver side. you have to remove the wheel to access it. also have you replaced the range sensor on top of the transmission?
  • I was at a red light and my transmision just went dead no revers or foward i had to tow it home. Any one had this problem with there Winstar. Please let me know thank you is there away for me to fix this problem.Thank you :confuse:
  • While my wife was driving our ford, the van stopped running. The engine turns on but the van will not move when put into any gear. A fly by night machanic looked at it for about 2 minutes while in the dark. He told me the transmission needs replaced. Any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you-
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