The Ford Windstar was sold by Ford between 1994 and 2003. Basically it was for the most part a stylish and comfortable minivan, with plenty of interior room. It was discontinued in favor of the Ford Flex Crossover, ultimately. I am a retired transmission mechanic, and the Ford Windstar had lots of transmission problems until after the 2000 year models came out.
First off, the Windstar is a front wheel drive vehicle. And the transmissions Ford uses are for front wheel drive vehicles only. The transmission or transaxle, to be more accurate was not as much structurally weak, as it was poorly programmed and ultimately had premature failures from poor shifts, slippage in the torque converter lockup and caused lots of issues for people.
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It is important to note is that the transmissions I am going to list are used in all of Fords front wheel drive cars, while these particular transmissions were made. Ford and Chevy [believe it or not] have gone to a jointly designed automatic overdrive transmission now. Which seems to be mote reliable.
The units used were:
1. AXOD from 1994 to 1998. The AXOD was Ford First entry into the 4 speed automatic overdrive transmission/transaxle market. To be honest, as a transmission shop owner, we rebuilt more AXOD transmissions than I can remember.
2. Form 1998 to 2003 Ford used a stronger, electronic version of the AXOD.
For the sake of not over complicating the matter, the AX4N and AX4S were fully electronic versions of the AXOD, with some structural improvements to the weakest internal components. A vast improvement over an AXOD, but not quite the transmission it can be after the right company rebuilds it.
My heartfelt advise from dealing with so many of these transmissions is that to bring them to the type of standards that breed confidence in our customers, and ourselves to be honest, is to make sure that the Windstar transmission you buy has been updated with the newest factory parts and most important, an upgrade kit.
The upgrade kit reprograms the transmissions brain to shift better, lubricate better, and relieve the torque converter chatter and failure problems. You end up with a better transmission than the factory unit at a reasonable price. In fact, it is down right inexpensive when you look at the long term value.
If you are like me, you want to speak to a living intelligent human being, call 877-630-3873 right now and get the answers to the questions no one else will answer fully. Our transmissions come with a peace of mind warranty and ASAP delivery. Call right now, 877-630-3873.