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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I have a 96 T-Bird with the 4.6/4r70w setup. Not long after we bought the car the trans starting acting up and now its believed that the torque converter is bad and possibly the whole trans because it slips when pulling out and it slips between the the shifting of gears especially at full throttle, to top that off the engine is burning about a quart of oil every 500ish miles. My question is what should I do with it because I really love the car but It will definitly need a trans and possibly an engine( cyl#3 always gets a misfire code because its really burning oil(really wet and oil fouled) in that cyl but none of the others are(currently has a non-fouler in it to keep the plug up out of the combustion chamber)...at least a month ago they werent). There is a person with a mark 8 engine and trans for sale for 1500. then there is someone that has a mustang that was wrecked which is the same year as mine(96) and had the engine replaced with only 35k on the engine, but I wasnt sure if that was a direct swap or not, neither I have looked at but the mark engine and trans in my opinion sounds a little high in price and I dont know the mileage on it. What should I do with this thing, We have considered buying a jasper trans but what about the motor, I would really love a plug and play setup, but I really dont know what I should do here or what to look for...is the 4.6 in the mustang a candidate? Is it just a matter of pulling it out of the stang and putting it in the bird? What about the mustang trans?, My thunderbird itself has absolutely no rust becasue it was an arizona car so I dont have to worry about that. Please help!!!!
 

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The 4.6L out of the Mustang is a direct swap. The Mark motor is more involved and you'll be needed to make wiring harness modifications and get the computer tuned. However, if your current engine is just burning oil, it might just be the valve stem seals. If it still runs well and has good power, replacing only the valve stem seals is both feasible and cost effective.

As far as the transmission, have you checked the fluid to make sure it is full? Slipping can be caused by low fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes the fluid is full and fresh as well, the tc was shuddering alot and we knew we were taking a chance when we had it flushed(previous owner didnt do it the entire time he had the car which was about 4 years and 50k+ miles it was totally black) As far as the TC shudder it has pretty much been eliminated except for 3rd gear and when shifting out of 4th/overdrive into another gear to pass someone or to go up a hill)so as long as I step on it a little more so the tc doesnt lock in 3rd but instead locks in when it goes into 4th but recently it has been starting to slip when pulling out from a stop and also in between gears(seems like its shifting slow) but it usually only does it after driving for 5+ miles and the trans gets warm). By the way I thought they had fixed the valve seam problem before the 96 model year...now mine was made in 8/95 does this matter? My car also is leaking a small amount of coolant from the driver side rear freeze plug on the head...is this a big issue that should be fixed right away?
 

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The design issue of the heads that led to failed valve stem seals was corrected with the F5AE castings (96+, which your car does have despite it being manufactured in 95), but valve stem seals do still go bad for many other reasons.

If the freeze plug is leaking massive amounts that could cause you to lose enough coolant to make the system dry, it needs to be addressed now. But if it's a dribble then it's more of an annoyance than anything else. It's not exactly easy to fix, so if it's not a serious leak I'd live with it unless you find yourself pulling the engine or heads for any reason.

Sounds like your transmission is on its way out. It's not dangerous to change the fluid when the TC is shuddering though. It's only bad if there's a lot of friction material in the existing fluid. That is when changing the fluid could be the final blow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Going back to the valve stem seals...The car itself is running very well and it seems that only cyl #3 is the only plug that is oil fouled because the others were fine, and I checked the dip stick again today and I was wrong about the burning of a quart every 500mi, sorry about that I forgot that I replaced the oil filter adapter gasket...it is only down a quarter of a quart in 500mi so it most not be that bad, and by the looks of it I might burn about a quart every oil change if it keeps up, so it must just be that one valve stem seal thats bad....The freeze plug is just dripping a very small amount and is dropping down on the exhaust because it smells like burnt coolant and yet theres nothing on the ground but you can just see a coupe little drops of coolant coming off the back of the head when you look under the car...I was told that they should be able to replace that when the trans is out but as of now they cant reach it...I was also told that with the heads being aluminum that it is hard to get a freeze plug to seal? Im not sure what they mean by that? Oh and I usually top off the coolant tank about every 2-3 weeks and only a small amount so far is needed to fill it up to the cold fill line so it isnt to bad yet. I am probably going to go with a jasper unit for a trans and I will not be attempting the replacement in my garage....what exactly am I looking at price wise to replace this thing? The trans online said its about 2100 but what else am I looking at here? Labor and Other Parts?
 

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I would PM Darrin or Dirty Dog to see what a trans rebuild would cost. Either of these guys do great work. If you are going to swap a different motor in I would look for a PI explorer motor (55 extra HP with a PI intake). Might as well do something with your tc while you're in there as well.
 
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