PSA: AX4 story (ie gen 3 also)

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Engine, Exhaust, Drive Line & AC syste' started by batchman, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. batchman

    batchman SHO Member

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    Greetings. Been a while since I've lurked, having retired the Gen2 MTX a while back.

    Since then my dailies have been Continentals, same AX4 (in N flavor), but no temptation to make it into an autocross car. This saves me perfecting setup just as rust takes over LOL. These are cars I can live with, and dispose of.

    Except I fell in love with the rockers and brake lines on a Florida car - so I decided it was worth putting in a reman trans. Here is where my story starts.

    Checked out RockAuto's reman transmissions. Good outfit (ETE) and the 3yr warranty even includes labor so long as you're working with a shop, which I was. Gave it a shot.

    All went as planned, except when I started hearing a 'thrum' after 19mo and ~17k miles.

    Changed fluid, no help - got worse. ETE stepped up and sent a new trans, only wrinkle was labor warranty is limited to $500 or so. I'm in an area where out/in is closer to twice that. OK by me.

    Failure was in the differential. Still shifted fine, but that's not quite enough if you can't put drive down.

    New trans seemed fine, again for about 19 months and 16k miles. You can now guess where this is going, and why I'm posting.

    Sure enough, differential howling (still after fresh fluid) and I am just past the 36mo warranty. Just for good measure I got a chain slip once, too.

    Talked with ETE, who seemed inclined to blame the quality of incoming cores. I think it's more likely cheap crap bearings, as for all the AX4* failures I've known, none have involved the differential. I now have 2.

    Short version - pretty sure any AX4S or AX4N from this company will eat it's final drive, even without much of a beating. I'm pretty kind to my dailies, now that I have fully separated transit from autocross ;).

    Anyway I figured it was enough of an experience to post with hopes of saving another member this particular adventure.

    Cheers,
    - Jeff
     
  2. kevinspann

    kevinspann 87 Octane

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    That's unfortunate. You're probably right about there being a common cause with the way they reman the trans considering that it was the same failure in approximately the same amount of time.

    Are you planning to drive it until failure, or have the trans pulled and repaired? There have been some instances of the differentials failing in the ATX trans, similar to how the MTX diff fails, and exploding the case, but it's not common.
     
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  3. zoomlater

    zoomlater SHO Member Supporting Member

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    My first tranny failure in my 94 ATX blew a hole in the tranny on the freeway (bled all over the side of the on ramp). I am on my second rebuild after the first repair made it 30K in four years.
     
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  4. batchman

    batchman SHO Member

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    Interesting, I've blown a couple ATXs and known a bunch of others but they've all failed in shifting/drive. Good to know it's not just me - or ETE for that matter.

    I'm not putting a third trans in this. Given the noises I'm getting I'm down to the last 1/4 tank of fuel and hope to get to the local yard where I'll pull some stuff and leave it. Disappointing to put a bit into this one and only go 60k but it ain't no SHO - it's disposable ;). I will cringe a bit junking a non-rusty car though.

    Cheers,
    - Jeff
     
  5. zoomlater

    zoomlater SHO Member Supporting Member

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    My last failure had the tranny slamming into first after it warmed up. I won't be fixing it a third time, the tranny shop was telling me he was having trouble finding some of the internal parts for the rebuild. This is a daily driver for me so I can keep the miles off the MTX cars
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  6. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member

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  7. zoomlater

    zoomlater SHO Member Supporting Member

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    No, I had not seen this post before. I might have to look into this
     
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