Will not go in reverse

Tiny
TOM WALSH
  • 1999 FORD RANGER

Six cylinder two wheel drive automatic 125,000 miles.

My truck will not go in reverse. It seems to be running fine in drive. I have never had a problem with the transmission before this happened two days ago. I checked the transmission fluid level cold and after running at normal operating temperature. Fluid levels were within normal levels according to the operator's manual. The fluid is not dirty and is still red. I had the transmission fluid changed about three years ago at about 90,000 miles. It was pretty dirty before it was changed. Please let me know if you can help me.

I took the truck to an auto parts store that does free diagnostic tests, but since there was no "check engine" light or any other warning lights displayed, they could not do a test. The guy at the store said since there were no warning lights, the problem might be something like a cable connection. Any ideas? I am getting tired of looking for hills so I can use gravity to go backwards.

It is a 3.0L V6. Do not know what the transmission model code is. Where would I find it? What letters or numbers would the code start with? All the forward gears work normally.


Thanks.

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010 AT 8:34 PM

50 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 42,068 POSTS

The engine capacity indicates the trans model is 4R44E.

As no diagnostic codes are present, the problem is most likely to be mechanical.

No reverse gears.
Check the following:
1. Fluid level.
2. Shift linkage.
3. Low line control pressure.
4. Filter assembly (plugged).
5. Valve body (sticking valves).
6. Incorrectly tightened valve body bolts (cross-leaks).
7. Low-reverse servo (piston seal leaking).
8. Direct and low-reverse clutch/band assemblies.

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 AT 2:38 PM
Tiny
MICBEN123
  • FORD RANGER

Thanks for taking my question. I have a 1999 Ford Ranger four cylinder/two wheel drive with 86,000 miles on it. I got up one morning to go to work and the truck would not move after placing it in drive. I then placed it in reverse, nothing. I pushed the overdrive button to the off position and it runs through the gears fine, minus the overdrive of course but still have no reverse. I have heard everything from a rebuild to relays. Can you help?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 11,750 POSTS

Hey MICBEN123,

Yes, this is a classic transmission internal seal problem, as soon as the engine and transmission get a little warmer it starts working, but it will stop again once it cools down.

Please let us know happens so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 11,750 POSTS

Hey,

Did you ever get the problem fixed?

Best, Ken

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • 1999 FORD RANGER
  • 15,500 MILES

I just rebuilt a ford 4r44e in a 4x4 truck 3.0l. The transmission had started slipping forward and reverse and fluid was burnt. Upon disassembly I found that the overdrive clutches welded together and overdrive band worn thin, and valve body gaskets blown out. After a thorough disassembly, clean, and rebuild kit with bands, epc, reverse band not changed (looked good). Result, no to little slipping reverse, forward was okay so I installed a Transtar shift improver kit, reverse servo extension, and Sonnax valve body end plug kit. Now slipping forward and reverse. Can you please suggest a next step because I am stumped?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,151 POSTS

Everything was good until you installed the trans star valve body kit plus sonnax upgrade?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

Forward was fine except for a flare between second to third. But, reverse would clunk but not pull. Now reverse will delay clunk then pull some with high revs.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

Forward is acting the same as reverse now. I am re checking the fwd band servos tomorrow morning to make sure no problems. They were not replaced.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,151 POSTS

The first thing I would do is check the line pressures in the transmission to rule out a pressure issue. Also, that is the first thing I check when diagnosing a transmission before taking it apart. Nothing worse then not know you had a pressure problem that caused the problem your taking the transmission apart to fix. Then after the repair you find the pressure problem on the test drive.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

Okay, I will try that. What should the next step be if it has high or low pressure?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
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So you did a transstar valve body upgrade with sonnax upgrades? If so I would suspect that as being a problem some where in the valve body. If the pump is good and there is a too high or low pressure issue then something going on in the valve body that regulates and directs the flow of the pressurized fluid. Let me know what you find.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

The Sonnax kit was just the o-ringed end plugs and new check balls.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DREWHOLT1977
  • 1999 FORD RANGER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES

What is the likely cause of losing reverse only? My reverse might as well be neutral. Engine revs but absolutely nothing.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

Sounds like transmission is slipping badly. Bring it in and have it pressure tested to find out more-could be numerous things within the transmission, such as TC, valve body, clutches/bands etc.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,151 POSTS

What was in the Trans-star shift improver kit? Also, what was the cause for the burnt clutches? Leaking piston? Low fluid pressure?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:55 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

The burnt overdrive clutches were burnt from valve body separator plate gasket blowout. The trans-star kit consisted of improved springs and end cap for the main pressure booster valve, a rivet on separator plate, a new hockey puck, drilled hole in casting of valve body and a insert in direct band in fluid passage of transmission. The 4r44e is prone to the valve body gaskets blowing due to high pressure. I changed the EPC solenoid and filter prior to any other repairs. That is when I found the pan full of friction material.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:56 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
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So the valve body gasket blew out pressure dropped then burnt the clutches from the low pressure allowing the clutches to slip? Also, how are the pressures now? What are the readings?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:56 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STANGMAN01
  • MEMBER

Well, I finally got the pressure readings, 100 psi in park at start-up then dropped to almost 25 psi in all gears. Park has a pulsating 50 psi now. I am dropping the pan now to check the valve body again. Any tips would greatly help.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:56 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
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Yeah, 25psi is not going to engage any clutches very well. You need to go over everything you did in the valve body. I am not familiar with those bodies you fluid pressure bypassing somewhere or the pressure regulator is sticking/leaking.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:56 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 31,151 POSTS

So the transtar or the sonnax kit was to fix the pressure issues blowing the gaskets out?

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 3:56 PM (Merged)

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