- Vehicle Applications – Makes & Models
- Overview of 4R44E Transmission
- Common Problems with the 4R44E
- Remanufactured 4R44E Transmission Updates and Upgrades
- How to Prolong Your Transmission’s Lifespan
- Signs of a Faulty Transmission
- What’s Included
Vehicle Applications – Makes & Models
- 1995–2001 Ford Ranger
- 1995–1997 Ford Aerostar
- 1995–1998 Ford Scorpio
- 1995–1996 Ford Explorer
- 1995–2001 Mazda B-Series
Overview of 4R44E Transmission
Model Number Explanation
Every transmission’s model number and name denotes what it can do. In the case of the 4R44E, the “4” means it has four forward gears plus reverse. The “R” means it is a rear-wheel drive transmission. The “44” denotes the torque after a tenfold torque conversion factor. A heavier-duty model, the 55E, can generate 550 foot-pounds of torque. The “E,” meanwhile, denotes it as an electronically controlled transmission.
Upgrade From A4LD
The 4R44E came about as a result of a 1995 upgrade of the A4LD. The main focus was including electronic controls. The 4R44E and the 4R55E both feature the same basic modifications. European drivers or shop owners might recognize the 4R44E and the 4R55E by their original names: the A4LDE.
The original 4ALD model mainly saw use in the Ford Scorpio but has since expanded into other vehicles. The 4R44E and the 4R55E have the same basic design, but different component strengths based on the projected need for their operational duty. Light-duty cars got the 440, while heavy-duty trucks or jeeps got the 550.
The 4R44E was placed in vehicles that were intended for light duty, mostly ones with a 4-cylinder 3-liter engine. The most well-known of these is the Ford Ranger. Meanwhile, the 4R55E could be seen in vehicles with a Cologne V-6 4-liter engine. Later models of the Ranger fit this category, as did the Ford Explorer.
In 1997, the 4R55E began to be phased out of vehicles, being replaced with 5R55E. As the name suggests, the 5R5E has five forward gears. Meanwhile, the 4R44E persisted until the turn of the millennium. After this, it saw less use and was replaced by the 5R44E. This transmission allowed more speed and acceleration.
Common Problems with the 4R44E
Although the 4R44E was a dependable transmission for its time, it was not without issues. Here are a few of the more well-known ones. Knowing them can allow you to repair or replace the faulty component.
When shifting from 2nd-3rd gear, there is a slip or flare: The intermediate servo pin bore has likely been worn out, providing less stability. Alternatively, you may need a weaker spring for the intermediate servo piston.
3rd gear and 4th gear do not function: It’s possible for the shift valve spring between 2 and 3 to go missing. Also, it could be incorrectly installed. If this happens, the vehicle cannot shift higher than second gear.
Neither 2nd nor 4th gear work properly: If this problem occurs, the solenoid regulator valve has likely come out of its proper position. You’ll need to look at a shop manual for your vehicle to determine what this position should be.
The vehicle cannot upshift at all: Similar to 2nd and 4th gear not working, it’s possible that the solenoid regulator valve has moved out of its proper position.
Vehicle delays when switching to reverse from any forward gear: Any time the valve body separator plate is removed and replaced, it has to be realigned properly with its pins, Failure to do this causes an internal leak and a subsequent drop in line pressure, in turn resulting in a delayed shift.
How to Prolong Your Transmission’s Lifespan
To keep your truck’s transmission running smoothly, you can take several precautions. You always should consult the owner’s manual to know what the safe operating parameters of your vehicle, including payload and tow weight.
If you exceed your operating capacity, the transmission has extra effort to make to provide power to the wheels. Know what the difference is between towing capacity and payload. Towing capacity what the truck can pull, and the payload is what it can carry. Anything in the truck, including passengers, contributes to the truck’s payload.
Keep an eye on your service lights and fluid levels. If you notice transmission fluid darkening or getting dirty, it needs to be replaced so it can do its job of cooling and lubricating the moving parts of the transmission.
Regular service according to the instructions in your owner’s manual is mandatory to keep your transmission functional. Usually, it should happen every 60,000 miles. Your mechanic should provide a reminder of when to bring your truck in for servicing.
Accelerating too quickly or slamming on the brakes can also damage your transmission. Use the gas pedal and brake smoothly. Gradual speed change reduces wear on your tires and makes you a safer driver because you aren’t as reliant on reaction time.
Signs of a Faulty Transmission
Your truck’s transmission provides power from your wheels to the engine using a complicated assembly. Even small problems with it can accumulate and compound into something that requires complete replacement of the transmission.
The biggest or most obvious problem is a lack of response. If you shift gears and the vehicle does not move or change speed. Any number of things could cause this problem, but it’s more likely that a minor problem will occur first.
It is also possible to have slipped shifting in both automatic transmission vehicles and manual transmission vehicles, Gears in an automatic transmission operate within set RPM ranges. If the vehicle accelerates, the computer switches to the next gear. If the truck slips in and out of gear, you need to get your transmission checked.
Another sign is a loud clunking or grinding sound when shifting gears or simply driving. There should be practically no sound when driving, aside from that of the engine. Sounds indicate mechanical wear and tear, usually gear teeth. The gear teeth press against one another to transmit force through the transmission and wheel assembly.
You could also be experiencing delayed gear engagement. The interval between when you shift the gearstick to the time the transmission shifts gears should be practically instantaneous. If you experience a delay in the vehicle’s motion, take it to a mechanic.
An automatic transmission that has problems may cause the truck to vibrate more when shifting between gears. The transition should be smooth.
A fluid leak is a telltale sign that something is wrong with your transmission: a valve may not have closed all the way, or a cover may have cracked. Unlike engine oil, transmission fluid is meant to stay where it is and not be burned off. Therefore, you should not see leakage. To check, place a square of cardboard under the front of the truck and watch for spots.
Also, pay attention to the smell coming from your transmission fluid. If you detect a burning odor, it is a sign of an overheated transmission because the fluid is intended to lubricate and cool the internal parts.
You might be able to tell there’s a problem with your transmission just by turning the key. If the transmission or engine light comes on at your dashboard, you can then drive to a local mechanic who will plug a diagnostic computer into the port and use the error code to diagnose your problem and quote an estimate.