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Old 10-23-2009, 06:11   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation 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 :/
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:32   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Tbird Transmission rebuild

What engine do you have ? Makes a difference. If you have a 6 it's probably an AOD or
you could have the 4R70W. Look on your vin tag. The transmission option is listed there.
By running it low on fluid you burned it out. You may have a " core " on your hands.
Take it apart first and see if it is rebuildable. Parts alone without the converter,oil,filter,
and gasket are over $600.00 without hard parts. Check the planitary assembly closely.
They go bad. They are not servicable. You replace the assembly. Close to $300.00. You
can rebuild it yourself but you had better not make any mistakes or you will do it again.
You will need a special press for the rear clutch pack. You CANNOT nick any O rings or
mix up ANYTHING. Take pictures. Good Luck.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Tbird Transmission rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipset View Post
What engine do you have ? Makes a difference. If you have a 6 it's probably an AOD or
you could have the 4R70W. Look on your vin tag. The transmission option is listed there.
By running it low on fluid you burned it out. You may have a " core " on your hands.
Take it apart first and see if it is rebuildable. Parts alone without the converter,oil,filter,
and gasket are over $600.00 without hard parts. Check the planitary assembly closely.
They go bad. They are not servicable. You replace the assembly. Close to $300.00. You
can rebuild it yourself but you had better not make any mistakes or you will do it again.
You will need a special press for the rear clutch pack. You CANNOT nick any O rings or
mix up ANYTHING. Take pictures. Good Luck.
Sorry for not putting that in there the first go round, I've got the 3.8L non supercharged V6. I was planning on buying a master rebuild kit from TCI. It comes with all the seals O rings, clutches, etc, all the way down to the drain plug. It costs 106$ for the 4R70W tranny kit.
I have a friend with a covered garage that has the spare space I can use.
Do you think I could take it apart and take the planitary assembly to a transmission center near here and have them tell me if its still viable? When it comes to something like that I have no clue how to tell unless its something glaringly obvious. That same friend also said he thought it could be the input shaft but idk.
How can I check my VIN tag for the transmission type? I know it all means something, but which part means what?
Don't get me wrong about the fluid stuff in my first post, the slippage happened for maybe 2 miles before I checked it and topped it off. I CAN drive it now, but I have a Contour that I really don't care too much about (its a beater) that runs fine, so I decided to park it and do some upgrades before anything went majorly wrong with it. It drives fine right now, I just don't trust the slick 50 stuff, it was like glue coming out and I doubt its much better on the inside :/
If worse comes to worst I can just replace it all entirely. I was just hoping for a quicker and less expensive fix.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Tbird Transmission rebuild

$106.00 for a rebuild kit ? Can't be much of a kit. Does it come with the steels,bushings,
valve body kit,thrust washers,rear sprag kit, oil seals for the shift linkage,bushings and
seals for the half shafts,front pump kit ? Don't forget a NEW CONVERTER. The input shaft in that trans. is a bad player. It also rips out the pump bushing that will have to be replaced. How is the chain ? You look very carefully at the planitary assembly and
look for movement in the sun gears. A side to side play in all 4 of them. any play means
garbage. I've rebuilt lots of these. Didn't have much choice. Your trans is new enough
that it has the new steel change up for the forward piston. If you find an aluminum
piston change it. Need any help just yell. Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2009, 13:19   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Tbird Transmission rebuild






  • 00010159 is part number
1997 FORD THUNDERBIRD 3.8 4R70W $1,177Our transmissions include a torque converter and shipping at no additional cost to you. All units include a 2 year / 24,000 mile warranty and extended warranties are also available for purchase during the checkout process.





Millenium Transmissions | 1-866-818-1175 | 480-907-7310
219 S. William Dillard Rd. Suite 141, Gilbert, AZ 85233
About Us | Contact Us | Site Support | Terms and Conditions | Site Map




This looks kinda promising, the warranty sounds like a winner to me.
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84 four eyed beauty!!! 302, AOD, 7.5 rear. 0-60 in ten minutes LOL (the engine is awaiting a rebuild....someday)
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