1993 Ford Probe Drive from STOP hesitates (with noise &

Tiny
MS LISA
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 FORD PROBE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 12,300 MILES
1993 Ford Probe, 2.0, Automatic, with Mazda GF4A-EL transmission which had problem with harsh shift from 1st to 2nd gears at normal operating temperatures (Ford thought it might have been caused by a higher than normal control pressure passing through the main Control Separator plate in the Valve Body). On 7-29-2008, Ford performed Technical Service Bulletin 9774 (in the Valve Body) which replaced the Main Control Separator Plate, the Rear Control Separator Plate Gasket, the Torque Converter Clutch solenoid and the Line Pressure solenoid with revised ones.

Following 7-29-2008, Probe (with the harsh shifts totally gone) ran problem free for the first three weeks – then the Blue dash light began blinking that OverDrive was being turned off with failsafe to protect the system. WHY?

Already Tried:
Since Ford performed the T.S.B, mechanics have reported that they have: replaced Pulse Signal Generator sensor (Ford’s in response to reported original code of 55); replaced EGR; replaced Catalytic Converter (in response to car failing SMOG test and which consequently necessitated VERY hard pressure on the gas pedal to leave the shop); replaced Neutral Safety Switch; replaced wiring from the Pulse Signal Generator sensor to P.C.M; replaced Fuel Filter; replaced the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve; replaced Mass Air Flow sensor; replaced transmission fluid and transmission fluid filter; replaced Intake Air Temperature sensor; replaced 2nd to 3rd Shift Solenoid, replaced Throttle Position sensor; replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor (9-4-2009); and had tracings on the P.C.M. Replaced.

Ford said, at time of the T.S.B, that 2 of the strain screens in the Valve body were missing (Ford should have replaced but only told me after the fact).

Most recent mechanic said to clean the Throttle Body and buy and install a new Idle Speed Control valve (which I did 5-30-2010 and they both were very clean so I imagine when I had the motor replaced, the mechanic must have cleaned them also) … nonetheless, the problem remains unchanged.

UPDATED 6/3/2010
The Break Out Box shows no problems on any of the 64 pins.

The code it is giving is code 60 (1st to 2nd shift solenoid).

Updated 6/4/2010

"I appreciate the suggesting that I replace the 1st to 2nd shift solenoid; let's consider this though: since the OD problem happened 3 weeks after the TSB, I am drawing that the TSB is directely related to my OD problem. The TSB's intent (and accomplishment) is that the pressure of the fluid in the transaxle (and valve body) is now reduced - hence the shift from 1st to 2nd is smooth as silk. When it does have "the problem". The 1st to 2nd shift solenoid is putting out the correct amount of amps so it SHOULD be functioning correctly AND it was not one of the parts that was listed as needing replacement in the TSB.

My sense from this problem's behavior is that the pressure in the transaxle is too low to get the car to move into First gear from a stop - its like the Torque Converter is still in slip mode.

Since the amps are sufficient and the move from Park into First gear is problem free (unless I have to wait at a Stop for too long), my burning question is: if I buy a new 1st to 2nd shift solenoid, will IT be able to work with the now reduced control pressure?

Also, is there any way that you can get into Ford Motor Company and find out if any other Probe owners had this problem after they did the TSBs and if so, what Ford found the cause to be and what the solution is?

If there is any way that you can get this information from Ford Motor Company (or Mazda for that matter since the transmission and engine are theirs), THAT will be the most efficient way to fix my Probe's problem.

I am going to test the pressure in the transaxle on Saturday as I suspect the reduced pressure is the problem. Then will test the 1st to 2nd solenoid. I suspect if the reduced pressure is not the problem, that being as intermittent as it is, is more a pinched wire or a wire that shorts out on occasion. That they pinched the wire when they did the TSB which involved removal and replacement of the Valve Body.

please don't hold anything against me - I have been struggling with this problem for a long time and have been through so many mechanics and so much money - my new Jaspers engine has only 10,000 miles on it and I know the solution is so close - but is still out of my reach."

updated 6-7-2010
"Thank you - I did go back to the same Ford location when the OD began turning off after they did the TSB - they then said they pulled code 55 and replaced the Pulse Signal Generator sensor. When that did not work, there may have been some additional considerations but finally one of their Service Writers told me that they did not know what was wrong with my Probe. He offerred to give me the name of an outside mechanic. And made it clear that it was a waste of their (and my) time for me to keep bringing the car back to them for service. I then contacted Ford Motor Company's Helpline and asked them to search their records for what might be causing the OverDrive to turn off after the TSB - Ford's rep said that that information was Prioritized. And equally inferred that Ford had no intentions of helping me further.

I ordered the 1st - 2nd shift solenoid last night from NAPA and am hoping they will have it in this morning for installation. If not, I will install it next weekend and will let you know".

updated 6-8-2010

thank you. I got a little further in - I was able to see Jack's post that he is surprised that the local Ford rep is taking that tact.
that TACT was like 2 years ago and was by a rep that had not worked with me - I suspect Ford let him show me to the door as it let them move onto easier and more lucrative repairs (or maybe Ford did not even know what he told me). Anyway, I feel safer with a non-dealer mechanic at this point. Ford should have done a search into their records as to post-TSB problems with this transmission and they didn't.

at any rate, maybe the problem was just coincidence.

I found out today that NAPA can't get the 1-2 shift solenoid (and I have not been able to find it yet either) so I am looking at something else: the computer can't diagnose the exact problem - it only sees symptoms and has pre-programmed logic to trigger a code to the area that is involved. Not only might there be a connector, sensor, or harness problem, there may be a clutch problem, a band problem, or the inner surface of the input clutch could be worn, or the piston? The brake may well play a part. I think any of those areas could affect the transmissions ability to get off the Stop easily. Remember, it does not happen all the time - its just some times at the stops and my sense of it is that it is almost like there is a worn spot on some part and some adjoining part that is supposed to "mate" or "seat" rather "drops" (which I can hear and feel) which causes the transmission to lose its grip.

I also have a hands on mechanic who does not think a solenoid "comes" and "goes". He is willing to drive it and give me his opinion as to what he thinks it is.
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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 AT 8:17 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Install a jumper wire between ground and terminal TCM STI on the data link connector (see pic) count the number of flashes, there will be along pause between the different codes.This will at least tell what codes the computer is storing and what it sees wrong


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/1639_DLC_1.jpg

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 AT 12:13 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Have you tried a new solenoid? If it pin checks ok it must be either the solenoid or the controller
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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 AT 1:44 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
First I dont have access to any Ford data bases that would give the info you are requesting.I also get that you are seeing a correlation between theTSB adn the problem, 3 weeks is alot of time to pass to put it on the repair other than a questionable O'ring or gasket, If it was a low line pressure problem it would have shown up right away. The diagnostic are there for a reason, you may want to try the solenoid, at this point it soundsliek almost therest of them have already been done. Did you ever take it back to Ford after the TSB to tell them what it is doing now?
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Friday, June 4th, 2010 AT 12:24 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Let me know how it goes. Im sorry to hear that Ford is doing that, kind of surprising to hear from an area rep.
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Monday, June 7th, 2010 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Anything electric can come and go. Best deal, have a reputable shop/trans tech give you a hands on diagnosis
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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 AT 12:32 PM

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