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Discussion Starter #1
Daughter dearest reported slow forward motion with high rpm's on the way home, and after Dad added to what looked like low fluid - no change. Can I assume that the tranny is toast without a complete rebuild or replace, or is there another fix to attempt before a trip to the boneyard? How hard to tackle a tranny swap in the driveway (3 feet of snow allowed for)?
 

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Not looking good there, did you try adding fluid? I wouldn't do it on my back, I have before. Going to at least have to wait for fair weather.
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah, sux. She lives as far as possible on campus from where her classes are, and gets out way after the busses quit. Not a happy camper.
 

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Just to be sure did they change through the gears while adding fluid? Maybe it just needs the fluid to make it through the tranny and it'll work again. I had a tranny come loose and barely made it home. I filled the tranny and there had been no ill effects except for maybe TC shudder. Hopefully your girl's tranny wasn't damaged too badly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did the filling and there was a marked contrast between the color I was putting in and the less bright and cheery stuff that was in there. She sprung a leak from both the radiator tranny cooler and the cooling lines at the same time about two months ago, and we got it back up again with fixed lines, a new rad and fluid. But maybe we didn't get enough in the first time and she's been driving it low. We also had some -10 degree weather when all this started. I did run it through all the gears, checking the level with the engine warm and shift in Neutral. Felt the same when i was done filling as before - couldn't get it much past 15mph, engine spiking rpms if I goosed it. Reverse is great and strong - I could go anywhere backing up - but the three forward gears are barely there.
 

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Well I can feel your pain about the driveway. I'm changing my AOD in the yard but at least its been in the 20 and above.
 

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sounds like its slipping bad, wonder if the pump got toasted from being low and driven.
yes, it is possible to swap the trans in the driveway. but you have to get the car up off the ground pretty hi for the bell-housing to clear the pinch-rails; and it isn't fun without a tranny-jack. we used our floor-jack, and had to have my dad and i lying underneath trying to lift it up on the jack, under the car. then one of us was holding the tail up, and keeping it from rolling while someone else jacked it up. so it wouldn't fall off, while a magical lawn gnome put the bolts in. not a one man job unless you want to get crushed under a heavy trans. :D

then you got to remember the fuel tank has to come down to get the drive-shaft out. that's fun in itself(hopefully the tanks almost empty).. and the exhaust from the headers back.
 

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I don't remove the fuel tank, I drop the differenential down and slide the driveshaft above it and out of the transmission.
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I drove the car today - the fluid level looks like it might be too high actually, and definitely got some dark in it, but doesn't smell burnt. Although the engine would rev without a lot of forward if I just stepped on it, I think I was getting the car to upshift by releasing then tapping the pedal. I wonder if I could do that to get the car home, or at least to a shop that can drain the fluid and get some fresh in there - clearly the fluid has broken down a lot.

I put the car on craigslist locally for $999 and got some response, but nobody has followed through yet. I'm still looking around to see if a used tranny appears somewhere for sale, but then I have to get the car off the campus and home. Sitting in it today made me realize again what a nice car it is, and how much I'd hate to see it go.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Found a boneyard tranny with 55k on it for under $400, clean fluid. How tough for a first-timer to swap one in? What do I need minimum in the way of tools space and help?
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Wrenches, metric sockets, lots of extensions, breaker bar, ect. You'll also need a good floor jack to both get the car as high up as possible and have a large enough cup to hold the trans up stable. Same goes for stands, get stable ones because smaller ones get pretty maxed out at the height you'll need...

 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I could just get rid of all this f**** snow - I have two park benches in the backyard and the snow is up to the top of the backs.
 

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man I wish I had a pic of when we did the transmission in my 96 cougar... we put it up on blocks actually. Patio bricks if I'm not mistaken. WE had it it atleast 3 feet in the air haha. use LONG ass extensions and a couple universal joints. Was awesome... fun times indeed
 

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The two top bolts on the bellhousing are easiest to get with a wrench from the top; no extensions needed. (for that...)

The starter third bolt is the biggest pain, IMHO.

Search my thread; I updated it after I was done with a bunch of observations.
 
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