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ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? #5262445 11/09/19 11:03 AM
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taztheman Offline OP
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Hello everyone I was trying to seek some advice before I take my truck to a transmission shop for a diagnosis. I have a 2000 ford ranger 3.0l with a automatic transmission (4r44e) and just recently I have felt it shifting harder than normal. So I checked the transmission fluid and it was above the hash marks. The car wasn't even fully warmed up so I waited and let the truck cool down to ambient temperature and checked again, still high. So I removed about half a quart of transmission fluid and drove the car around only for the transmission to not even want to shift into first or second gear! So I checked the fluid again and still it is high. I must be doing something wrong. I checked the tranmission on level ground in park (with and without the engine running) with the emergency brake, the car isn't all the way warmed up but it is warm. Any advice?

Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5262475 11/09/19 11:52 AM
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69GTX Offline
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My 1997-2002 Fords/LIncolns always check the level hot while in park, after shifting slowly through each gear selection. Level should be low on the cross hatched area or below it when cold (engine running). Mine only goes up about 1/4 to 1/2" on the dipstick from cold to hot. If you check it engine off, it will be WAY up on the dip stick, about 1" above the full mark. Emerg brake is all mechanical and not part of the transmission system. You might have something mechanical failing in your transmission if such a small amount of fluid change causes shifting issues. It may not be the fluid. It could also be that your fluid is old and spent. What color is it?

For verification I always check both sides of the dip stick. I find it easier to read the back side for fluid line. If the engine is slightly warmed up, you should get a reading in the X-hatched area of your dip stick....assuming you have normal level to begin with.

Last edited by 69GTX; 11/09/19 11:53 AM.

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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 50K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5262516 11/09/19 01:12 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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69GTX is right, you are supposed to check at operating temp. Always check both sides of the dipstick and check multiple times. You should also cycle the shifter through every position and hold the vehicle there, with your foot on the brake, for a few seconds before checking.


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Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: 69GTX] #5262537 11/09/19 01:41 PM
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taztheman Offline OP
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Thank you!! That is exactly what I need to hear, I will go make sure it is at operating temp and make sure to go through all the gears before checking it. That is most likely what I am doing wrong.

Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5262554 11/09/19 02:21 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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You do the shifting through all the gears thing to make sure fluid gets in all the passages in the valve body. Obviously check it in park with the e-brake on and tires chocked just in case.


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1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5262558 11/09/19 02:26 PM
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dave1251 Offline
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When was the last ATF change?


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: dave1251] #5262774 11/09/19 07:58 PM
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taztheman Offline OP
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i have no clue when it was changed last, the quart of fluid I removed was straight black so I am not going to risk a transmission fluid change.

Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5262817 11/09/19 08:55 PM
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Rand Offline
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you need to drive it for 15-20min to heat up the transmission fluid.. it will warm up very! slowly idling in park so even if the coolant is upto temp the transmission takes longer.


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2020 Hyundai Elantra "Value Edition"
Re: ford 4r44e transmission overfilled? [Re: taztheman] #5276349 11/24/19 03:58 PM
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OTallman Offline
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I have a 2001 ranger with the same trans. Sold it to my dad around 70,xxx miles and I don’t think he ever changed the fluid. Now it has around 180,xxx miles and I’ve done a few drain and fills for him but has almost the same issue you described.Takes off ok in first but will randomly kick out and not wanna go if it’s still cold. Sometimes. Others it will work normally. I’ve read about the valve passages or bodies becoming clogged with these trans and a valve body rebuild is in order. Better to check the fluid when the trans is at temp and after you cycle thru the gears.

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