'97 Taurus OD quit

I just noticed that the OD in my 18 yr old daughter's 97 Taurus AX4N quit working. I asked her how long it was cruising at 3000 rpm @ 60 mph she just
gave me a dumb look. However, I wonder if her latest problem may be related. Her car wouldn't start last night so she copped a ride home at 9:00PM from someone. My son an I went back to town (10 mi) and boosted it. When we turned the lights on it died. We then let it charge for 10 minutes and proceeded home. the lights were cycling very bright to very-very dim, sometimes so dim that the car would chug. Her right side dash light is burned out so I never noticed the tach reading. When I got home the battery was dead. I went out to my Taurus graveyard, found and put in a "new" battery. I then test drove it at 7:00AM and the flickering lights were still there but not as severe so I assumed the regulator was bad, and also that's when I noticed the OD problem. Back out to the graveyard to look for a matching alternator, found one and removed the regulator and put it in the 97. The brushes from the 97 were wore out down to the spring. It is charging fine now but I was wondering if the brain box got confused with all of the severe high/low voltage cycling that it went into a "limp mode" and disabled the OD......? I have access to a code reader but she drove the car to school so I can't read them now.....My question is will "limp mode" disable the OD? Thanks, and I hope my story was entertaining, cause it wasn't much fun here in fukkin' zero degree Minnesota.
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ProudPapa wrote:

Sounds like your taurus grave yard is better stocked than mine. I do have a pair of 130A alternators in mine ;) I never miss a chance to pick apart a fresh kill.
Since the trannnie is all electronic, i doubt that its in limp mode. But i believe on the newer models if it senses a problem with the OD the light will flash. And it will disable the OD and lockup.
I would unhook the battery for an hour and power it back up and drive it for a day or so. Then take it somewhere for a free code scan if you don't have the proper reader. Make sure the spedo and cruise are working so you can rule out the VSS. You did check the fluid level? I would check and retorque all the chassis grounds just for good measure. The radio does not strangely mute does it?
Bob
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From what I know the two problems are not related. Failure to engage in Overdrive is a common transmission problem for the Taurus. I have been looking at this for almost a year and haven't been able to find an answer.
I suspect that the transmission oil is not developing enough pressure to engage the Overdrive. In fact I had this OD switch replaced inside the transmission but no luck.
In my case, as long as the transmission is cold, the OD will engage and this is for 10 or 15 minutes at the most. The rest of the time, the OD never engages. This tells me that the problem is probably temperature/pressure related.
Someone suggested an oil additive to thicken the transmission oil up and bought some from Auto Zone but again no luck.
The guy who replaced the OD switch in the transmission says that the seal rings for the gear switches are leaking through - i.e. the transmission oil never develops enough pressure and that is why the OD never engages. I wished I had known this back when we were replacing the OD switch.
It looks like I might have to go after this job one more time - hopefully with a seal kit for the switches.

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On Thu, 23 Dec 2004, Wolf wrote:

"fails to engage when hot, usually engages when cold, if engages when cold, disengages once hot" problems are almost always traceable to crispy, damaged or missing internal seals.

Ding.
This is not a fix.

Fairly likely other internal seals are leaking, too.
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In posted on Thu, 23 Dec 2004 23:19:23 -0800:

This might be an old post, but I had this problem and here's what the problem was:
Gear shift solenoid went out inside the transmission. In my situation, however, the dealer mechanic said that when that solenoid went out, it cut two nasty grooves in the valve body. Price for repair: $1,131. But it shifts great now.
Keep in mind, however, that not only was my Overdrive out, but it also shifted hard (most of the time) from second to third gear. That might not be because of the solenoid, but because of the damage to the valve body.
Mechanic also said that the valve body is a $777 part, and it's normally not replaced when a transmission is overhauled.
Damaeus
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Ive never heard or seen limp in mode disabling OD. But, low voltage can cause the computer to freak out and do all kinds of strange things. Does the car shift correctly now that the alternator is fixed? If not, you should plan on a trip the the trans shop.
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