No second

My 1986 ford ranger, 186K, 4 wd, 3 speed/W OD auto trans does not seems to have 2nd gear. It races (roars) up to 30 plus miles an hour and only then will shift if I pull my foot off the gas. It then goes into drive, missing second, and then bogging down from too low a gear. I can baby it and drive if unloaded or on a flat. I just had a shift valve (module) put in and a couple of years ago got the fluid changed,not the filter. Will changing the filter help or will more extensive repairs be needed?

I use the truck to pull and carry firewood and drive 500 miles a year?

How did you get the fluid changed without changing the filter? This sounds like a quickie lube flush job. These “flushes” are bad. Now you need to take the car to a shop that will remove the trans pan, clean out the gunk, then put in a new filter and refill with the proper fluid. Go to an independent trans shop, or a Ford dealer. Not a quick lube, and not a chain trans shop.

If clean fluid with a new filter doesn’t solve your problem then the trans is damaged and you’ll have to decide how much more money you want to spend on your “wood” mover.

I had my mechanic do a full flush fluid change, apparently he had a new machine that he wanted to use, this procedure does not change the filter. Posts here on car talk have vastly opposing views on the merits of one over the other. Dropping the pan and changing the filter will be $150. After the valve change and no fix my sense is that he is grasping at straws.
My question is, is filter change apt to fix the problem.

You have a transmission that is about 25 yrs old with 186K on it that hasn’t been properly maintained (Unless there’s stuff you haven’t filled people in on). The fact that it goes at all is a small miracle.

If a filter change solved this problem I think it would be another miracle. I would do it just to see, but that’s b/c I would do it myself at a total cost of perhaps $40 or 50.

The smart thing would be to take it to a local, dedicated transmission shop and have them look at it. (And then have them rebuild it - or maybe find a functioning used one to throw in).

My guess is no. But the only other options are to drive it as it is or go for a trans rebuild. Since you don’t seem to want to spend money for a trans pan drop I’m skeptical you want to go for the bucks for a trans rebuild.

Another flush isn’t going to help. The flushes that leave the dirty filter in place are junk and do damage to the trans. You mechanic’s machine isn’t worth ----, and he messed up your trans. He will have more customers facing the same issue as you if they didn’t sell or trade their cars in already. He should go back to trans pan drops, clean, and refills and do his customers a favor by putting his machine in the junk heap.

Turbo and CigR, thanks for the response.
I am not as you guess, going to drop any more money into this thing. If I had not put $600 into it, 8 months ago I would be more pleased with the situation.
A local trans shop I just called said fluid will not fix it and it probably broke a second gear band. The offered $1600 rebuild will not happen. I will drive it up and down the hill like the logging tractor it has become, until I need to have it towed.
I like this truck as one does a great old dog that has reached the end.

Driving only 500 miles a year I would say you have the right idea. Driver her till you have to put it out to pasture. :slight_smile: