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P1744 - Is it still drivable?

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  • P1744 - Is it still drivable?

    Please help!
    So I recently had the check engine light come on, and I took the car in to the garage. The code came up as:

    P1744 TCC System Performance
    Excessive slip detected during full TCC engagement
    Torque converter disengaged
    EDC pressure at a minimum
    Call's for 8 hrs.

    So the transmission shop says that it will be more than it's worth to fix the car.
    This comes at a very bad time for us, I'm leaving the country tomorrow for a couple weeks, and my wife needs a car to work. This is our only car, and we seem to be stuck at the moment.

    My understanding of a torque converter clutch is that it only engages once you reach highway speed. So is it ok for my wife to drive the car for city driving only? The mechanic at the transmission shop told me that this is a bad idea.

    The car is a '98 Contour, V6 2.5L, with 160,000 km.

    We really just need this car to last another month or two until we can afford a new one. What is your advice?
    Any comments would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Drive it, yes, but understand that you will fry the transmission after a short while. Not really a big deal at this point, since you need a new one anyway. This is a common problem with these cars. There's a defect in the valve body that causes the Torque Converter Clutch to slip, making it unable to lock and generating heat. If the torque converter and valve body are not replaced immediately, the heat fries the rest of the transmission.

    Go ahead and drive it-- the damage is done and there's nothing to do but find a rebuilt transmission. As long as your wife stays below 45 mph (below lock-up speed) all the time, it should last a while. Eventually it will start slipping, and then it's gone.

    Here's the thing- a mechanic may tell you that by replacing the torque converter, it will be fixed. WRONG. The defect is in the valve body, and a new torque converter will suffer similarly. Don't bother with repairs, drive it now and put a new tranny in. Rebuilt units are around $800.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      A new valve body AND a new torque converter will likely fix it. Parts cost around $400. No rebuild needed (yet).

      BTDT, car still on the road 1 year and 18K miles later.

      This isn't going to wreck the tranny itself, but the TC has already (most likely) been toasted. If you get lucky and the frictions in the TC don't disintegrate, the tranny will continue to work without TCC lockup. I wouldn't place any odds on that, though.

      Steve
      Retired 98 Contour SE Sport 2.5 Duratec ATX - Dead transmission @ 235K miles
      2001 F250 Super Duty 6.8L 4x4 - The NEW Workhorse 152K.
      2007 Mariner 3.0L AWD - Wifey's new ride
      2000 Contour V6 ATX Acquired 11/1/2013

      Comment


      • #4
        CD4Es are notorious for overheating even when functioning as designed. The problem is that when the torque converter is slipping at high speeds (failing to lock), enormous amounts of heat are released into the transmission fluid. This will burn clutches, toast solenoids, and fry seals in a hurry. This damage has likely already been done.

        More importantly, the labor required to replace the valve body more than likely will make it more expensive than just finding a rebuilt or junkyard trans and throwing it in. Many even offer warranties on their rebuilt units.

        You're not alone in this, nearly every CD4E trans dies this way. It's an extremely common failure.

        Comment


        • #5
          How much should it reasonably cost for a repair job? There's no way I have the time/resources to tackle this myself. The shop that we brought it to said $1700-$2800, depending on any extra damages found inside the tranny.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just finished replacing the transmission on the car that I bought. It had an almost non existnat first and second gear but the reast (once you got it up to 3rd) worked fine and even the TC loked as it should. This was fine cause I only paid $275 for hte entire car and it is in a really good shape with new breaks, tires and alternator. Came with all the bills since day one and only has 80K miles.

            When sorting through the ton of dealer bills that the previous owner spend in the past year, came across one that related to the trans. Sure enough it was related to over heating and they have eithe rreplaced, rebuilt or fixed the original trans. When the engine and trans came out I'v enoticed thta the TC had a rebuild stamp on it. So the dealer went it at least that far into the trans. BUT I have mysuspicions that they probalby only replaced the TC and maybe the valve body and nthing else. After a couple years the trans over heated again and the first and second gears started to slip. The trans shop told them that the trans is shot and it will cost more to fix it that what the car is worth. So they listed it for $300 and I ended up buying it for $275.

            The replacement trans (used) was $550 (It was a rare code unit, -CA). BUT the work that it took me to get the trans/engine out then it is a lot. I knew this so it was part of the plan when I bough the car.

            So in retrospect, you might want to consider selling the car right now, while it's still runkking OK or else it will have to be sold for next to nothing.

            Also, what it you keep the OD turned off. Will that also keep the TC from trying ot lock up and destroying the rest of the trans? Maybe your wife can drive it either with the OD off or just keeing it in 3rd gear. Can this keep this trans together a little longer?
            '98 Mystique 2.5L, Auto, 100% stock

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sjthuss View Post
              How much should it reasonably cost for a repair job? There's no way I have the time/resources to tackle this myself. The shop that we brought it to said $1700-$2800, depending on any extra damages found inside the tranny.
              As I said, don't bother with trying to rebuild this tranny. The shop will charge you to take it out and put it back in after just replacing the torque converter and maybe the valve body.

              Instead, find a rebuilt/reman tranny (approx $800) drop it into your car. This will prevent the problem in the future and your car will only be off the road for a day or two, rather than possibly weeks if rebuilding your current trans.

              Trust me on this one. Just go for a rebuilt unit and swap it in. It will cost you about $800 for the unit and maybe another $400 for the swap.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank You

                Thanks for all your help everyone.
                I think this car is finished. Even if it would only cost $800, plus $400 for labour, it's still not worth it. This car has eaten up a lot of money in repairs over the last couple years. Good luck to you all, this site has been quite useful for me, and I appreciate all the advise I have received.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mcgarvey View Post
                  As I said, don't bother with trying to rebuild this tranny. The shop will charge you to take it out and put it back in after just replacing the torque converter and maybe the valve body.

                  Instead, find a rebuilt/reman tranny (approx $800) drop it into your car. This will prevent the problem in the future and your car will only be off the road for a day or two, rather than possibly weeks if rebuilding your current trans.

                  Trust me on this one. Just go for a rebuilt unit and swap it in. It will cost you about $800 for the unit and maybe another $400 for the swap.
                  $400 for labour? Are you sure it will cover ALL the labour? Also the $800 rebuild are mostly cheap refurbishes and are not a full rebuild. They can't be when parts alone are over a grand.
                  '98 Mystique 2.5L, Auto, 100% stock

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sjthuss View Post
                    Thanks for all your help everyone.
                    I think this car is finished. Even if it would only cost $800, plus $400 for labour, it's still not worth it. This car has eaten up a lot of money in repairs over the last couple years. Good luck to you all, this site has been quite useful for me, and I appreciate all the advise I have received.

                    Where are you located and how much are you looking to get for it?
                    '98 Mystique 2.5L, Auto, 100% stock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Imo000 View Post
                      $400 for labour? Are you sure it will cover ALL the labour? Also the $800 rebuild are mostly cheap refurbishes and are not a full rebuild. They can't be when parts alone are over a grand.
                      To install an assembled trans? Not a big deal. $400 is about right. I could probably do it myself in three hours or so. You could do it at home for free if you want.

                      To rebuild a transmission and install it? Certainly much more than $400 in labor.

                      Anyway, I wouldn't sell the car if I were you. You're basically $1200 or so away from a good running car.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fix or sell?

                        I pretty much had the exact same problem as SJThuss.

                        CEL came on, Code P1744.

                        I had just previously serviced the trans with a drain and refill, as it would really kick into the gears when hot (as complained by girlfriend as she had it after she crashed her car). I filled it with a bottle of Trick Shift and Lucas transmission stuff and the rest was ATF.

                        I had to get home and i had to drive it & it was slipping.

                        SO... from what was previously said, I'm pretty sure the trans is now shot.

                        What do you guys think? Get another trans or ... get rid of it?

                        I will sell to anyone who is interested in it. Im in Rancho Cucamonga CA. (Inland Empire, outside of LA) I have a truck and flatbed trailer to deliver.

                        I have put over $2000 into this car, but it obviously aint worth much broken.

                        '98 Ford Contour SE Sport 2.5L V6, automatic trans, 108K miles, dark Green, tinted windows, minor fender bender damage on rear (purchased that way)

                        Thanks in advance!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Short of major body/frame damage, it is ALWAYS more economical to repair a car than sell it and buy another. There is nothing mechanical in a car that is overly complicated, and no single part that costs more than several hundred dollars. If your trans is shot, put a new one in!

                          Buy a new car and its nearly guaranteed to need brakes/rotors all around, all fluids changed, belts, tires, etc. You already know the service history of your car-- why take the chance with another one? Swap the trans out- do it yourself if you want to save some money. It's really not a big deal. It makes me laugh when I hear people say "My car is costing me a lot in maintenance- I'll just buy a new one" and then they pay $400 a month on a new car. Here, you're talking about a one time expense for a straightforward repair.

                          This problem is well known and documented, not something caused by one of those mechanical ghosts where you can't seem to find the cause. R&R the tranny and be done with it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mcgarvey View Post
                            To install an assembled trans? Not a big deal. $400 is about right. I could probably do it myself in three hours or so. You could do it at home for free if you want.

                            To rebuild a transmission and install it? Certainly much more than $400 in labor.

                            Anyway, I wouldn't sell the car if I were you. You're basically $1200 or so away from a good running car.
                            You can do what???? Replace an ATX in 3 hours? How?

                            I just finished changing the ATX on my Mystique last Tuesday. The engine and the trans had to be pulled as a unit, then the trans was swapped and then all went back it. There were some enexpected delays (rusted Y-pipe nuts, trans cooler lines stuck, etc.). So by the time I was done with everything it was well over 20 hrs. I could have rushed and saved a few hours if I had to but there is no way in hell I could come even come close to 3 hrs.
                            '98 Mystique 2.5L, Auto, 100% stock

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the advance heads up.

                              I wouldn't buy a new car, ever. I'd just buy another used car that needs a little fixing,fix it, then drive the wheels off.

                              Ok, so a trans swap is not gonna take 3-4 hours, but less than 20.... can I get a better number than that?

                              Also, where do you get your trannys? Anywhere you prefer in the LA or greater LA area?

                              I will probably drop the trans and do a straight swap or turn in for a rebuild.

                              Comment

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