1997 Tbird Transmission rebuild
I bought this car my Senior year of High school, 2003. I had put 90k miles on her with almost no problems to mention. Regular maintenance was done either by me or my local tire place 100% of the time on time. Oil changes, plugs and wires, air filters, fuel filter, and brakes I did. Control arm replacement (was squeaking and driving me crazy, went with the Mouge upgrade with press-able bushings) was done by them. I had never changed the tranny fluid or filter though.
About a year ago while driving the old girl, she started bucking under stress.
I was going up a slight incline accelerating normally when the rear tires barked and the engine sort of...."hiccuped". It was stopping hard as if the tranny was thrown in first gear. My initial reaction was to put it in neutral. The engine revved down and ran normally, I looked and tweaked everything I could think of while sitting on the side of the road, trying to listen for a knock or tick, etc...and nothing. I got back in figuring it had to have been the transmission. I put it in reverse: Normal. All the way down to first: Normal. Regular drive D, and Overdrive positions (D): Normal.
I was thinking fluke, I'll have it looked at in the morning.
I started to drive away and when it tried to shift from second to third gear, the same deal happened. I had it towed to the tire place, they ran a gambit of tests on it, computer showed nothing, and when they drove it..it was driving fine... I drove it for another four months after that with zero problems. One morning it started slipping while going up hill at slow speed, I checked the fluid which had normal coloring and smell, but there wasn't much in it. I was convinced to try "slick 50" by a friend because it helped high mileage trans and blah blah blah....it worked...for a while. Its been parked for about 2 months and I'm going to rebuild the transmission asap.
What I need to know is:
What transmission do I have, what parts are interchangable from other Fords, what all will I need for the build (besides a kit, gaskets and fluid), is there a brand that makes one for Tbirds specificaly? Any info you guys can contribute is very appreciated. I'm hoping to get this done asap, my apartment's lease has a "no disabled vehicles left on premisis" clause :/