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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe this will help someone else, maybe not.

We have a 1985 Thunderbird with 302 throttle body injection and AOD transmission that we've had since Feb. '86. We drive this car easy, always have. In the last few months, we've noticed it "clunking" as it shifts into OD from 3rd at light or no throttle like on a coasting or steady state cruise on level. It was a hard "clunk" and I took it to a friend who is a regular Ford mechanic and he said the trans shifted so well otherwise, and in view of the high mileage, he would just avoid using the OD except in high speed interstates.

Today I was doing some maintenance and I eased the air filter housing up and was inspecting things when I noticed a lot of slop in the TV Rod to Throttle arm joint. It also looked like the plastic retainer was shot. Nothing had slipped off, but the throttle rod has like a 3/8+" hole in it and the throttle arm being approximately a 7/32" or 1/4" pin with groove and the retainer is supposed to be a bushing as well.

As it sat with the throttle on the idle stop, the slop allowed the weight of the TV rod to partially depress the linkage. I removed what was left of the retainer and picked up on the rod to the point where the TV rod appeared to have no spring pressure one way or the other, where it seemed to want to rest, like a cable with no slack or tension would be ... and it was centered dead center for the pin. Surprise huh?

So I thought about what was happening as I drove. At light throttle, the rod's weight was causing the TV to be partially depressed until somewhere near half throtttle where spring pressure was enough to support the weight and then the pin had to push the TV rod only after using up the excess clearence. Then because of slop, the TV rod wasn't pushed as far as originally so shifts were softer. I wondered if maybe this was why passing gear was so hard to hit lately.

I made an aluminum bushing and retainer clip that will serve until I can get a replacement for the plastic original part, and it took all slop out of it while still allowing free movement.

I then test drove it. 138,895 miles on the odometer and it shifts like new once again. Firm full throttle shifts, a passing gear, and an OD that doesn't "clunk" into operation at light throttle cruise. Long post for something so simple, but the change made in eliminating that little bit of slop was astounding. The rod is non adjustable at the top and I never adjusted it on the trans, so it is now exactly like the folks at Mr. Ford's factory set it that day in 1985.

Thought it might help someone else sometime. Tomorrow I go over the newly aquired '92 and the wife details this '85 (she did the '92 today, it's like clean as new) and "the Merc".

Later.
 

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I don't know if it's the same on the '85 or the '92 but Ford came out with a replacement kit with a metal bushing on my 93. You may want to check with a knowledgable Ford parts guy to see if it applies...
 

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fast Ed N said:
...


cheers
Ed N.
And there would be one of them. :D


Thanks Ed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't think it's going to be the same.

The '85 has a TV ROD ... not a cable (my '92 has a cable). The rod is actually a tube about 7/16" diameter with the end flattened and a hole punched in it as I described. This hole is nearly twice the diameter of the pin it sets on on the lever on the throttle body, and factory uses a plastic bushing retainer much like those used in column shift lever linkages and etc, only smaller. The rod is bent "this way and that" as it makes it's way down to an adjuster on the side of the trans at the lever, where it isn't as likely to be adjusted once the factory sets it.

The setup I fabricated will work, removes slack, allows free throttle operation, and isn't coming off by itself, but I'll check at Ford next time I get over there.

Anyway, it surprised me how much improved shifting was by just eliminating the little bit of slop created by the broken pin, much more so than the shifting of an old C-6 would have been affected for sure. I see threads about poor shifting, and I thought it might give someone eomething to check.

Again ......... Thanks.:)
 

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CrystalPistol said:
Don't think it's going to be the same.

The '85 has a TV ROD ... not a cable (my '92 has a cable)

Ford shows the same number all the way from the start of the AODs in 1980, for the nylon bushing, that's why I was thinking the updated brass one would work too. Unfortunately I'm familiar with the CFI system too, I had an 85 Marquis LTS 5.0 HO AOD, and an 85 Capri RS 5.0 HO AOD, both with the awful CFI ... the worst features of fuel injection and carburetors combined into one unit. :tongue:


cheers
Ed N.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
fast Ed N said:
Ford shows the same number all the way from the start of the AODs in 1980, for the nylon bushing, that's why I was thinking the updated brass one would work too. Unfortunately I'm familiar with the CFI system too, I had an 85 Marquis LTS 5.0 HO AOD, and an 85 Capri RS 5.0 HO AOD, both with the awful CFI ... the worst features of fuel injection and carburetors combined into one unit. :tongue:


cheers
Ed N.
Well, I have been awfully busy with getting estimates and all (hit a deer with the new 06 CVPI the other night) but today I did get to look under the hood of the '92 after your post perked my curiosity.

By golly, it's a cable, with the same looking sort of small plastic bushing as was once on the '85 's rod arrangement.

I was a bit surprised. :D
 
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