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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the *cough* Mr. Brown *cough* built trans finally bit the dust today. I knew it was coming not long after I put it in but wasn't sure when - and in biding my time and tempting fate - the time has come. It was "rebuilt" and put in April of 2012 at 131,000. Car has a touch over 157,000 now.

No idea what croaked in it, but needless to say it sounds pretty nasty.

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wk__1fi9dFM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

For the last couple years it's taken 2-3 seconds to engage reverse. With this new development, as I was backing it in the garage, it was vibrating and didn't want to move shy of 1500-1800 RPM in gear. Noise occurs independent of gear (does in N too) the trans is in, wondering if it's the pump (originally thought it was the PS pump)?

So the car is parked until I can save up to replace the converter (before it blows up) and get the trans properly gone through. :( :( :( :(
 

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That sounds like a roller clutch slipping; Is it supposed to be a mechanical diode, or was it stock?

You should disassemble it and take pix; they're easy to take apart if you aren't rebuilding it. :)

I'd look for an 02 to rebuild, there's a ton of changes.

I paid about $300 for the last one I bought; it's lasted ~3 years. :)

Save the 7 tooth output shaft for the rebuild; it gives you more room for wheels/tires.
 

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Time for a 5-speed swap!
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #4
It was supposedly a pull from an '04 GT with 71k on it. So it's already got all the good changes. I'd almost pay to know what the heck he did to that thing to cause it to go out so fast. Even before its first fluid change!

I'll probably call a few places to see what I'm likely in for to get it looked at. Hopefully what was done to it by the guy I got it from (I hate to even say his name lol) and what's happening to it now aren't things that "can't" be fixed properly.

Anyone want the converter for cheap to try and blow up? :D

5 speed... well, maybe if I knew how to drive stick... :zwall:
 

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You can fly a plane, but you can't drive stick? What the hell man?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #7
I know, I know... priorities, what can I say. :zdunno:

My sister tried teaching me like 10 years ago and all I did was manage to stall it out so many times, it refused to start for 30 minutes. :facepalm:

A buddy of mine will probably convince me to let him teach me on his ride...

Needless to say I'm taking the Mark VIII to the eclipse next month! It's more refined and better on gas on the highway anyway.
 

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I know, I know... priorities, what can I say. :zdunno:

My sister tried teaching me like 10 years ago and all I did was manage to stall it out so many times, it refused to start for 30 minutes. :facepalm:

A buddy of mine will probably convince me to let him teach me on his ride...

Needless to say I'm taking the Mark VIII to the eclipse next month! It's more refined and better on gas on the highway anyway.
I don't know what your sister drove but I found it much easier to learn with a V8 than a 4 cylinder, since there's enough low end grunt to get you creeping along with minimal throttle input, which gives you the ability learn to modulate the clutch independently of throttle, and once you get the hang of that everything else is easy. Conversely the first manual car I ever drove was a Civic SI at school and I couldn't get it ten feet from the parking space without stalling it ten times, that car was much less forgiving. I don't think I ever once stalled my Cougar leaving from a stop, not even the first time. Bucking was the bigger (and more embarrassing) issue, but some blame for that may lie in the cheapie clutch and the bad tune settings.
 

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I learned how to use a clutch on dirt bikes, and never had a problem.

I had a bike license at 14, something they no longer allow. :)

I personally would go buy a JY tranny out of a Granny Car that no one fucked with, because there's no way to know what's in the controls, or anywhere else.

Additional holes are hard to find...

Take it to someone who has never heard "ford" and "transgo" in the same sentence and have them:
.
  • Add all the sonnax VB upgrades (there's a superior kit with most of these)
  • Add new accumulator pistons
  • Add the thick plate VB upgrade (does the jmod without drilling)
  • Add the sonnax reinforcement upgrade (keeps the VB from getting stamped)
  • Add one piece teflon seals on the direct shaft and input shaft
  • Install new torringtons and bushings
  • Have it rebuilt with the current new stock plates (some of which are expensive)

That's about as good as it gets. :)

You can get billet drums for ~$200 each, but I think that's overkill for stock. :)

EDIT: I meant to put in links for searchers that land here:

Parts and transmissions:
https://transmissioncenter.net/product-category/ford/aode/

http://transmissiontechnologies.com/AODE-4R70W-4R75W-4R70E-4R75E.aspx

https://transpartsonline.com/TRANS_PARTS_FILE/tpcat.php?TransPartsOnline=AOD&TransPartsType=4R70
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah it was a 4 banger Escape, not much in the way of torque lol.

Reached out to Circle D about a converter. Also reached out to a local trans shop with a good reputation... and moved the car around a bit. For the moment, when it's cold it seems to act normal. Hmmm...
 

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... For the moment, when it's cold it seems to act normal. Hmmm...
Lol.

It will do this.

The roller clutch is a GDMFPOS device, that when, And Only When, all the ground flat spots line up, slips like yours did. (I think ClintD pointed this up in a recent thread...)

I've heard the noise before, but only at WOT. :)

It was supposedly a pull from an '04 GT with 71k on it. So it's already got all the good changes. I'd almost pay to know what the heck he did to that thing to cause it to go out so fast. Even before its first fluid change!

The Tranny you supposedly have (04, w/Mech Diode) will not do that, so you really should take it apart and post pix. >:)
 

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I learned how to use a clutch on dirt bikes, and never had a problem.

I had a bike license at 14, something they no longer allow. :)

I personally would go buy a JY tranny out of a Granny Car that no one fucked with, because there's no way to know what's in the controls, or anywhere else.

Additional holes are hard to find...

Take it to someone who has never heard "ford" and "transgo" in the same sentence and have them:
.
  • Add all the sonnax VB upgrades (there's a superior kit with most of these)
  • Add new accumulator pistons
  • Add the thick plate VB upgrade (does the jmod without drilling)
  • Add the sonnax reinforcement upgrade (keeps the VB from getting stamped)
  • Add one piece teflon seals on the direct shaft and input shaft
  • Install new torringtons and bushings
  • Have it rebuilt with the current new stock plates (some of which are expensive)

That's about as good as it gets. :)

You can get billet drums for ~$200 each, but I think that's overkill for stock. :)

EDIT: I meant to put in links for searchers that land here:

Parts and transmissions:
https://transmissioncenter.net/product-category/ford/aode/

AODE,4R70W,4R75W,4R70E,4R75E: TAT | Auto & Transmission Repair | Online Parts Store

https://transpartsonline.com/TRANS_PARTS_FILE/tpcat.php?TransPartsOnline=AOD&TransPartsType=4R70
Not totally relevant to the topic:

Are those PATC transmissions really just 2800 bucks? I don't know that just seems reasonable to me. I was looking at Lentech 4R70Ws and they're around the same price. I don't know exactly how much a performance rebuild runs but I know it's not a few hundred bucks lol.
 

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Not totally relevant to the topic:

Are those PATC transmissions really just 2800 bucks? I don't know that just seems reasonable to me. I was looking at Lentech 4R70Ws and they're around the same price. I don't know exactly how much a performance rebuild runs but I know it's not a few hundred bucks lol.
I haven't bought their tranny's so I can't say.

I'd search. The web roots out BS fast enough. :)

I've bought a whole shitload of their parts; great service. :)

I'd buy one of their TC's before I'd buy many others, sight unseen.

A performance rebuild consists of a rebuild with good parts; the list of 'good parts' is where people differ. :)

One-piece teflon seals instead of scarf cut; Raybestos Blue frictions; Kolene steels; sonnax parts out the wazoo; a 2002 with a thick VB plate and the reinforcement addon; New accumulator pistons; new Torringtons; new clutch seals; forged intermediate shaft; teflon-coated pump gears; ... there are a few options. :)
 

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Eeessshhhhh, that sounds horrible!

As for the MT thing, I learned on my dad's 4cyl Nissan hardbody pick-up truck back in the late 90's. It was a bit touch and go for a while not stalling out, but the way he taught me was to feather the clutch out slowly without putting any gas into it in order to get the truck rolling forward on its own power at idle. Once I learned that and was comfortable with that, then I started learning how to apply gas while taking the clutch out. Once I learned that.....I learned the "art" of dropping the clutch at WOT :D.

Really though, it's not hard. I'd say just learn how to feather out the clutch first without stalling before learning how to apply gas and letting off the clutch.
 

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Darrin has made a few (hundred, thousand?) extremely good transmissions. :)

Good to see you around.

:smile2:

There's some new vendor arrangements here, I saw somewhere; You might be interested, IDK.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #17
Ive not heard good things about the transmissions referenced above. But, then, I know a guy. ;)

D
I'd LOVE to have you build this thing D. In fact I was originally planning on having you do it back then but I think that's right around when you were having some shop difficulties... :(

Logistics is the thing. You're about 4, maybe 5? hours away from here so I don't mind driving it down, but I would love to hear your thoughts on that vs. how much it'd cost to strap to a pallet and ship freight (and also what the heck you think he might've done to that thing since I'm guessing you've seen his "work" explode in the past ;)). I can call or feel free to PM for details. Or... if I'm better off having you grab a new core and going through it. :leftright

Wife and I and a large group are going to Japan in a couple months so we'd be looking at a winter project, most likely.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #18
Well, step one is out of the way.

Just paid the invoice for a new Circle D converter. A 9.5" 3400-3600 stall single plate unit. Once that shows up I'll start to get the car disassembled so I can get the old hunk of junk out of it. The Japan trip is less than 6 weeks out so this is going to be on the back burner until we get back, but at least I've "officially" started the accumulation of parts! Who knows, maybe I'll have mustered the motivation to get the car in the air before we leave! :rofl:

After that I'll have Darrin build up a core of his liking to pick up, and take the old heap to him as well so he can rip it apart to see what the heck the other dude did (or didn't do) to it.

On a side note, I took the car for a spin around the block a week or so ago. I was listening closely and despite it acting "normal" while all the fluids were cold, I did notice the whiney "pumping" sound for about a second as the converter locked after the 1-2... Hmmm...
 

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If you took it apart, you would find that the clutch seals are all worn down and hard, and the teflon ones on the shafts are leaking like crazy. :)

The plates will probably look good, unless something burnt while it was freaking out. Hard to know unless you look. :)

The one piece seals are much better than the old scarf cut seals, so the new one should last for a lot of years.

3400? I thought this was a street car... :)
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #20
Making some progress on the replacement.

Slowly making progress getting the underside of the car ripped apart over the last 6 weeks, and last night my buddy brought his friend's trans jack over and we yanked the thing. Came out easily, which was nice. No shavings or particles in the pan or fluid that I could see either...

I'm serious - if anyone wants the old converter, it's theirs to experiment with for whatever it costs to ship.

Not surprisingly (to me - OR to Darrin), the trans that came out of the car is a 97 trans, NOT the 2004 trans I paid Alan for back in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if all he did was take it out to put the TC in and clean it then paint it gray (all the tags were painted over) before reinstalling it... Which would explain why it failed after 157,000 miles - 130,000 miles of normal use then 27,000 miles of relative abuse. We'll know for sure after I take it to Darrin and let him tear it apart to see what the story behind it really was.

Darrin will be working on my new trans next week. If I have it my way, I'll have this thing back together before the end of the month. :D

 
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