C4 freewheels intermittently on startup, won't go into any gear, then will

Discussion in 'Transmissions' started by xpsnake, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    Column shift C4, original linkage behind a 302. Engine and transmission have about 10k miles on them.

    This has happened twice in a month. Once about 700 miles into a 1200 mile road trip to the Roundup, and yesterday at a car show.

    On the road trip we stopped for gas and drinks. Got into the car, started it up and put it into D, hit the gas. Nothing. Revved up like it was in N. Went up and down the gear shift, nothing. Put it back into P, popped the hood and confirmed the lever was moving on the side of the trans. Started it back up and it went into gear. I thought I had a loose shift rod nut, so I tightened that down and we finished the trip without issue.

    Yesterday I went to a car show and parked for about 4 hours. When I hopped into the car to leave, the same thing happened. I put it back into Park and revved the engine up, then dropped back down to Drive and I was in gear ago. Drove home without issue. Kickdown functions as it should as well.

    When the issue is happening, no gear matters from R to 1.
    The fluid is full and I did a fluid and filter change (I had a leaking pan gasket) last year with nothing to report besides some sediment in the pan. I also put a bottle of correct LubeGuard in it.
    I do not believe this transmission has a shift kit, but it was a fresh rebuild in 2015 and was filled with 20W Dexron III/Mercon at that time - I used the same when I did my fluid change.
     
  2. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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    you have a Ghost in your car. my Ghost messes with my car all the time.
    drive it out...:drive::chirp:... works for me.
     
  3. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom Supporting Member

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    First I've heard of any 20W transmission fluid, AFAIK 10, 20, 30 etc applies to motor oil. That said, trans fluids are generally in the range of 10 or 20w motor oil.

    I'd think a C4 would operate OK on Mercon but it's really supposed to use Ford Type F. At any rate, probably has a valve sticking in pump or valve body. Time will tell if problem becomes better or worse.

    BTW, I don't believe in ghosts.:disagree:
     
  4. yellow75

    yellow75 MCCI Oregon State Rep Supporting Member

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  5. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    I have confirmed the detent for each gear is happening as it should, so this has to be internal. The trans was filled with this at rebuild (I have John's receipts), and again at fluid change by me: https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...ion-fluid-dexron-iii-h-mercon-1-quart/oro0/d/

    From what I've read most of the trans rebuild shops use the Dex/Merc on "new" builds, here is one lengthy discussion: https://www.fordmuscleforums.com/threads/fluid-question-f-versus-mercon.468352/ Post #14 there specifically. Here's the fluid usage chart showing the later switch to Mercon V: https://v8sho.com/SHO/TSB01157ATFUsageChart.htm
     
  6. Hippylong

    Hippylong Hippylong Supporting Member

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    It needs rebuilt. Google it. Mine does same thing. Backs fine, pull to street no go in drive. But put in first it goes 2nd goes...then its working and shifts fine.
    It even has a name...but I forget.
     
  7. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    There's only about 8,000 miles on this rebuild. Mine won't move in ANY gear until... it will.
     
  8. Hippylong

    Hippylong Hippylong Supporting Member

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    First off . I feel your pain bro.
    Not my article. But, written very well by our brothers and sisters... http://mmb.maverick.to/threads/c4-diagnostics-and-data.47348/
    If its not working, the rebuilder messed up or more likely somthing cracked or was damaged and was not found...
    Mistakes happen.
    I will be pulling mine and getting rebuilt next week. These are 40 to 50 year old devices.. completely rebuilt is only answer.
     
  9. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    For now I'll keep driving it and see what happens. TBD!
     
  10. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom Supporting Member

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    I'd pull pan & look for debris, could be a hard part failing. Assuming it was reassembled correctly & no wierd noises, probably not likely. Another rebuild isn't likely needed, the C4 is about as simple as a automatic comes.

    If pan is reasonably clean, I'd pull valve body & check operation of the various valves, IE make sure they travel freely in their bores.
     
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  11. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    I originally did the fluid/filter change last year because I felt like it was acting oddly at the top of 2nd gear. Can't explain it, but kind of an ossilation at high rpm. This may be a continuation of the same issue within the valve body. The issue I had then, appears to be gone, but this one has taken its place.
     
  12. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    Still haven't dropped the pan but I took it for a drive yesterday. Drove to and from my destination just fine, but out of curiosity I put it in N while cruising and then dropped back into D, acted like it stayed in N. Back up to N on the column, revved it, back down into D and no problems the rest of the way home.
     
  13. Hippylong

    Hippylong Hippylong Supporting Member

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    Pull it before it gets worse.
    I'm telling you... rebuild it.
    Dude messed up. Its is builders fault period.
     
  14. xpsnake

    xpsnake Bruce Supporting Member

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    I appreciate your concern, but I'm not worried about it. I have a spare C4 sitting on the floor and a limited amount of free time before I put this up for the winter.
     
  15. Hippylong

    Hippylong Hippylong Supporting Member

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    I forget your summer is short.
    I am switching to an aod we will see how it goes.
     
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