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Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:07 am
by Mberglo
We have a 2005 AWD Limited with 137xxx miles. Ticking started a few weeks ago, and I used this site to determine it's the CVT. I found reference to a few posts that make me want to attempt a repair.

There is a tech bulletin saying the ticking is caused by a damaged input shaft or roller bearings. Then there are a few posts where folks have had their CVTs out and discovered missing or damaged o-rings on the input shaft. Mike in Poland appears to have fixed his CVT by purchasing a overhaul kit and installing all of the o-rings/seals he can find.

viewtopic.php?t=6147

It seems likely to me that the damaged/missing o-rings would exhibit similar symptoms as a worn input shaft; there would be leakage of tranny fluid inside the transmission. So I'm considering following Mike's footsteps and attempting a repair. Has anyone else performed this repair, and what were your results? I'm a good mechanic but want to make sure I'm not pissing in the wind here.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advise

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:14 am
by Jack Watts
A couple of other folks on here have done this repair. I sold an input shaft I had on-hand to a forum member who fixed his CVT. He's not on the forum much, but I believe the input shaft was the only part he replaced and all was good. He communicated with me during the processes and as I remember it all went pretty easily. If you just caught it, chances are that you won't need to replace anything except the bearing and shaft.

I don't think doing the repair is actually that difficult--the tough part is simply getting the transmission out of the car and back in. It's actually possible to do it without removing it completely but I think this is a dealer-only option since they have the tooling to keep it partially in-place.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advise

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:23 am
by Mberglo
So the input shaft has been damaged, not just broken/missing o-ring?

I have a lift and a friend to help, so hopefully this goes well for me. The tapping was very light until I tried to trade it in. The sales manager must have romped it pretty hard before he came back and offered me $1000 for the car. It was a little louder on the way home. I'm not driving it anymore until it's fixed.

We've had a very good experience with the Freestyle overall, and I'm hoping I regain some confidence and will be able to pass it down to my 15yr old daughter. AWD and airbags galore makes me feel good about giving it to a teenager. The prospect of it sitting on the side of the road doesn't.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advise

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:32 am
by Mberglo
Is there a good overhaul kit for this? I was going to order this one, but perhaps there's a better one?
http://www.automatic-on-line.com/servle ... kit/Detail

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:42 pm
by Mike51Merc
I responded to your email.

The hardest part of this repair is reinstalling the transmission. That thing must weigh close to 200 pounds. I've lifted and carried lots of transmissions, but this one I couldn't even lift off the ground. Unlike a conventional transmission, this one sits with its fluid pan on an angle (not level) so if you lift it with the pan level, you'll have to rotate the beast to line up the bellhousing bolts.

I suggest you measure the angle of the pan before removing the trans, then replicate that angle with your trans lift when reinstalling.

Another problem is lining up the torque converter bolts. The torque converter is completely covered in the bellhousing, and you have two tiny dust covers on the flywheel side to install the converter nuts. You can't spin the converter once the bell is mated to the engine. I had to use an ice pick through the converter bolt holes to turn it enough to get close, then turn the flywheel to line up the converter bolts.

The kit you referenced is of no use on this job. I bought the input shaft, input shaft bearing, both filters and fluid. That's all you really need.

Good luck, and make sure your friend's lift is available for at least half a week to finish the job. I think Ford books the job at 17 hours. I took at least 24.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:48 pm
by MikePoland
Welcome. What is your transmission has symptoms?

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:57 pm
by Africa_FS_07
will these help ?

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:54 pm
by Mberglo
Thank you for the pdfs. I just started removal today. I've got most of the top parts removed. Stopped at the "Transaxle bulkhead electrical connector". Not sure how to remove that. Wishing I had a better writeup than the autozone list. It's helpful, but a service manual would be better. I might have to pause and buy one from ebay.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repair ... 24#hd1-1-2

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:12 am
by Africa_FS_07
all you need to do is "unscrew" it, just like you'd unscrew a Bottle Top/Cover from a bottle.......the "Bulkhead Connector" (which to me is really a Plug) is screwed to the Mechatronics units "Power port or Connector" on its own plastic threading:

Image

Image

if you zoom up this mechatronics picture, the Power Port (Mechatronic's connector) is on the lower left side in this picture......you will see the threading on it. its a hard plastic threading.....that's where the "bulkhead connector" you mentioned in your post ( to me, its a plug) is screwed on to....i.e. the plug in pictures 1 and 2 above is screwed to the connector in picture 3 below:
Image

ALSO, the PDFs posted are from the Workshop Service Manual.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:34 am
by Mberglo
Thanks Africa. I also found your photo journal of your removal. That's helped. Luckily, this is not a daily driver anymore, so I don't have to be in a huge rush. I'll work on it as I can and get back on this post for questions/results.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:30 am
by Mberglo
I finished removal of the transmission last night. Thanks to folks on this forum, a mechanic friend and 8 hours of shop time, the tranny is sitting on the garage floor. I pulled the torque converter off the shaft and found the o-ring was missing. I can see part of it in the torque converter. I'll fish that out, split the case and inspect the input shaft and bearing.

More to come.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:37 am
by Africa_FS_07
great work!

if it won't be a bother, please remember to take step by step pictures of your Tranny's dis-assembly , and then the assembly and post here, thanks.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:38 am
by Mberglo
Last night I pulled the transmission apart. The input shaft has 1/2 inch of area where it looks like it has been beating on the bearing, but the bearing shows no wear. I'm going to source a new input shaft, o-ring, filters and fluid and put this thing back together. The rest of the gears inside the case look great.

I followed the pdf disassembly manual provided in this thread for disassembly. Here are a few pics:

Gently pull the torque converter straight off the input shaft, hoping to catch remnants of the o-ring. When mine came off, there was no o-ring at all, but I can see 40% of one in the torque converter. I'll stick a shop vac attachment in the TC and try to extract that piece.
Image

Remove 4 Torx bolts and remove the gear cluster. The cluster has an o-ring, and has to be GENTLY pried/encouraged from it's place. Make sure you spill fluid all over the garage floor. It's good luck.
Image

Remove the pan. More fluid will pour out. Pull the filter straight out. Look for the rubber seal that probably got left behind in the case. After I used a pick to pull it out of the case, I placed it on the filter in this picture for your reference.
Image

Remove the small torx screw on the mechatronix connector, turn the plastic housing counterclockwise and pull the plastic housing out. I had to use a flatblade screwdriver to start turning the housing. Be careful and don't break it.

Unplug two electrical connectors next to the mechatronix unit. Remove the speed sensor, and don't misplace the spacer.

Find 8 torx bolts that have a larger torx size than the rest and remove those. You can now remove the mechatronix valve body. Find a very clean place for this before you remove it. You don't want this to get dirty at all.

Manual says you'll see 5 feed tubes either in the case or the valve body. Mine were in the case. I decided not to remove them, but took this pic. Tubes are on the left side. There's another not in the picture frame.
Image

Remove 20 something torx head bolts that connect the two case halves. These are aluminum bolts and are supposed to be discarded. I was very careful extracting them and plan to reuse mine. Work your way around the case to encourage the halves to separate. STAY OFF OF THE SEALED SURFACES OF THE HALVES. It's an aluminum case and any nick you put will cause a leak. There are tabs and places you can tap with a plastic hammer or pry, but be very careful. Separate the halves and put the top half somewhere clean. Input shaft is the top gear in this photo. Just lift it straight off.
Image

The area that gets damaged is the polished surface at the base of the shaft, where it meets the gear assembly. Mine shows a half inch of pitting, but the rest of the surface is smooth. Very strange. You can look at the top side of the case and inspect the roller bearings. I can't find any problems with the bearing.
Image

This youtube video claims most damaged bearing surfaces are on the underside of the input shaft, and the bearing underneath the input shaft, so check that area carefully. My shaft bearing surface is clean in that area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wqfIyWi79s

Thanks again to all the help I've gotten on this forum. Special thanks to Mike51Merc.

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:38 am
by Mberglo
So where should I order my filters/fluid?

Re: Going to attempt CVT repair - looking for advice

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:09 pm
by Jack Watts
Awesome photos--thanks for posting!

for fluid, check this out: <obsolete link>

Pretty weird, dude is selling a bunch of perfume...and CVT fluid. But hey, you can pay with paypal and you're protected. For that price, you may as well give it a shot. You'll probably use almost 10 quarts, minus whatever is in the cooler, so buying a case makes sense.

You can find the filters online for $40.00, part number if FT-178 -- http://amzn.to/2k6aKLx