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Discussion Starter #1
I was told my code stated that the chain had slipped and I now need a new tranny. What could possibly go wrong if the chain has slipped and what could make the chain slip in the first place. Are there any type of timming issuse with any of the sensors. :confused:
 

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Manufactured by Jatco, partially owned and operated by Toyota, the Ford CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is one of those few emerging technologies that has far outperformed expectations. Like most Ford transmissions, this unit has been wisely outsourced to a specialized manufacturer, one which specializes in just these sort of powertrain solutions. This approach appears to bear fruit in the CVT, as most Ford mechanics report seeing far fewer CVTs in for service than standard geared types.

Transmission Specs

Part of the reason for this CVTs reliability is the fact that it is a chain-driven unit, very similar in design to those used by Porsche. Unlike cheaper belt-drive CVTs (originally designed for lawn tractors and golf carts), the chain-drive CVT cannot slip while transferring power, using a set of expanding and contracting gears to vary ratio. This makes Ford (Jatco) CVTs one of the best and strongest on the market, and is only rarely let down by those few components involved that are manufactured by Ford.

Electrical Sensor Issues



A CVT relies heavily on computers to function, and has very few mechanical redundancies engineered into its design. Failure of any associated sensor will result in transmission malfunction, and the most common of which to fail is the pedal-mounted position sensor. Since the Freestyle uses drive-by-wire technology, it relies on this sensor to tell the vehicle how hard you are applying the throttle. The transmission requires this information to function, and without it will simply refuse to move the vehicle.



Computer Failures



Solid-state computers are among the most reliable machines on the planet, though some do fail from time to time. Even the best designed circuit board uses few tight tolerances, and tiny manufacturer defects can worsen exponentially over time, causing failure. One of the few "common" failures of CVT equipped Fords is in the transmission's control computer, which is covered under the vehicle's 36K mile warranty



Mechanical Failures



There are no real trends in terms of CVT mechanical failure. Since a CVT has fewer moving parts than a standard 6-speed automatic, there really aren't too many things that can go wrong. There are about even numbers of breakages reported for any one of the CVTs components across the board, meaning that these are more than likely manufacturing defects and not due to any inherent weaknesses in the design.



Overpower Failure



If you follow the manual's recommended service schedule, the Jatco CVT should outlive the engine. One of the few things one can do to break a CVT is drastically increasing engine power by installing a turbocharger, supercharger or nitrous. Even so, the CVT is good for about an extra 50 ft. lb. of torque over what the stock engine can produce, but any more than that and you are guaranteed to need a ride home.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the info, how difficult would it be to change to the 6 speed transmission
 

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That sounds good but in the real world the transmission was a dismal failure and only lasted in production a couple years. Failure after failure and fluid costs thru the roof. You can't even touch most of the insides with bare hands or the acid in your skin destroys the finish on the parts. Junk, pure and simple.
 

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thanks for the info, how difficult would it be to change to the 6 speed transmission

Mechanicaly it could be done but electronically you would requre many parts, including the main PCM and wire harness.
 

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Manufactured by Jatco, partially owned and operated by Toyota, the Ford CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) ...
This statement is incorrect.

The Ford CVT transmission was a joint venture between Ford and ZF. ZF was the design leader. For unknown reasons, ZF walked away from the joint venture as it neared production.

The transmission was built at Ford's Sharonville, OH plant.

I don't know about the failure rate, but I do know that the transmission was very expensive to manufacture (a licensing fee was paid to ZF on each unit) and it did not deliver the increase in fuel economy that was promised.

The current Ford FWD 6 speed (6F35, 6F50, 6F55) are a joint venture between Ford and GM, with GM being the design leader. While both are building this basic design, there are very few common parts. Electronic/hydraulic controls are unique to each manufacturer.
 

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My CVT transmission just failed on a 2006 Freestyle, just 78,000 mi. I am told that the pump went bad. It is costing me $6,000 to fix, because Ford pretty much has a monopoly on the rebuilt trannys and parts. A rebuilder told me even if he wanted to rebuild, the parts alone are over $2k, since no one produces aftermarket parts. I did some towing with the vehicle (popup camper), but haven't towed for quite some time, so I don't think the failure was from towing.
 

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Glenn - What did you end up doing with your 2006 500? Repair or sell? Our CVT just started having problems last week, mechanic said $15-2300 to fix depending on whether it needs a new chain. Haven't done anything yet.... we're debating whether to trade in (paid $10,000 6 months ago, only offered $6000 in trade in) or to repair. Wish we had never bought this thing. 2 past Ford products were '97 Mercury Villager - put 285k on it before trading in - and '02 Ford Windstar - has 230k with some tranny repair work. Was hoping the 500 would last at least 200k miles. HAH!
 

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bacs46.

This is an old thread. Unless you get very lucky, glenn will not see your question, and of course not answer it.

If you need answers, you should always start your own thread. Hi-jacking other's threads will often get you ignored.

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This statement is incorrect.

The Ford CVT transmission was a joint venture between Ford and ZF. ZF was the design leader. For unknown reasons, ZF walked away from the joint venture as it neared production.
I concur here. I have a low mileage 06 Freestyle transmission with a broken case that I got out of a wrecked car about 4 years ago, and it says "ZF" all over it and has ZF casting numbers.

Front planet was sold for $150 as a rebuildable core. Chain and related components are probably good and are worth at least $800 in used condition. Based on that, spending $2,000 on parts to fix the transmission may be on the low side.
 
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