CD4E/LA4A-EL Rebuild
Road test and additional notes

Road test
After the car has been filled with ATF, take it out on a test drive. Start out simply by just going around the block. If the transaxle has been assembled properly, it should shift smoothly. If you detect any slipping on this initial run, get back to the garage as quickly as possible. You do not want to risk damage to new components. If the drive around the block goes successfully, head out on the road for a minimum of 30 miles. Drive at speed below 40 MPH with the overdrive disengaged. If all feels good, take it up to 55MPH and engage the overdrive. Drive it and make sure it is shifting properly. Keep an eye on the O/D indicator lamp. If it starts blinking, head for home.

Additional notes
1. The initial rebuilt on my sonís CD4E failed at about 30 miles. The O/D indicator lamp blinked on after 30 miles. We had a local shop hook up a Snap-On scanner and pulled up a Code 628, Excessive Converter Clutch Slippage. Took the car back home and removed the transaxle. Removed the torque converter, returned it to the supplier, exchanged for another unit, reinstalled in transaxle and reinstalled transaxle in vehicle.

2. The second attempt was successful and has been operating now for 2 weeks with no malfunction indications.

3. I added a transmission cooler to the vehicle. I purchased a small cooler and mounted it to the front of the A/C condenser coil. A lot of internet traffic suggests that heat shortens the life of the CD4E. The cooler kit was $40. Cheap insurance.

4. I added and inline oil filter. Since the oil filter is located deep inside the transaxle case, it cannot be changed without complete teardown of the transaxle. I purchased a small canister oil filter from the transmission parts shop that is installed on the outlet pressure port of the transaxle. Now, my son can change 5 to 6 quarts of fluid and a filter every 10K miles or once a year. This should help prolong the transaxleís life. If you are so inclined, you can cut the old filter open and inspect the filter media for metal particles. This will let you know of any internal problems before they manifest themselves into a major disaster.

5. Notice it took me 5 weeks to get the car back on the road. Luckily our family was able to adjust its vehicles and he was still able to drive to work. If your time has a price, it will amount to about $1200 to $1500. That is the difference between tackling the job and hiring it done.

6. I am by no means a qualified mechanic. Iím an Aerospace Engineer by day and a Shadetree Mechanic when time permits. I made a few mistakes and learned a lot along the way. And yes, I would do another one if the need arises. My wifeís 2002 For Escape has a CD4E transaxle so Iím ready when it decides to give up.

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