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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 96 cougar and noticed about a month ago that at cold run 3rd gear doesn't want to engage, but only once. Once the car warms up it shifts alright.

Also I'm not sure if this is trany related, but I get a noticeable humming noise and some decent vibration while driving in any gear and any speed. I checked the engine, and aside from valve cover gaskets needing replacement, the engine looks sounds wonderful. No codes, so I've been dismissing it so long as it gets me where i need to go.

Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

-zigzag
 

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Are you sure it's 3rd not engaging? Could it be the torque converter isn't locking up instead?

How about trying this. When you think you should be in 3rd but aren't, manually downshift to 2nd and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did what you suggested. I took it out of over drive and and took it down the road. It shifted into third, selected 2nd gear and it dumped into 2nd gear.
 

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I would leave OD on to test it. Drive it like normal and then when it's acting up, without changing anything else even so much as the throttle position, manually downshift to see if it downshifts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tried what you asked.. 3rd gear does engage, and dumps into 2nd when I manually shift. The elongated 2nd gear only happens when I first run the car in the morning, or after its been sitting for a long period of time. Everything shifts alright after it happens the first time.

I'm wondering if the cold weather has anything to do with this.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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When the transmission temperatures are less than 50 degrees (IIRC) when the engine is started, the torque converter will not lock. When the transmission temperature reaches 95 degrees, the converter will lock.

What you "normally" feel is 1-2, 2-3, converter lock, 3-4, converter lock.
What you feel in cold weather is 1-2, 2-3, 3-4.

You will also notice the engine revs easily with the converter unlocked in all the gears. What you are experiencing is normal; there is nothing wrong with your transmission.
 
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