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My 1997 Ford Thunderbird has about 156,000 miles on it now. It had 143,000 on it when I bought it in April of 2009. About 5 months ago, it started to develop what I believe is the well-known torque coverter shudder problem. It seems a bit worse now than it was when it first started. I do not know if this transmission has ever had a fluid/filter change; I don't even know if this is the original trans in this car! However, I have a few questions regarding this problem:

1. Will having the filter replaced and the trans/torque converter drained of as much fluid as possible and refilled with Mercon V cure this shudder problem? It's VERY annoying at times as it feels as if I'm driving on a washboard!

2. Will having this procedure performed on a trans that may have 156,000 miles on it and possibly NEVER having had any service done to it increase the likelyhood it will fail (my know-it-all brother-in-law swears it will!)?

Any advice on this issue will be greatly appreciated! I am thinking of taking it to a local Ford dealer to have this done (I'd do it myself, but my job as a tractor-trailer driver makes it VERY hard to find any time to work on my car)!

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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If shudder is the only issue, and it shifts well otherwise, a fluid change shouldn't kill it.

See if the fluid is dark; if so, I'd save the cash toward the swap, myself.

It's around $50 for the fluid, and if you will be doing it again soon, I'd wait, lol.

A 2002 gran marquis tranny is ~450, a jmod kit is cheap, and it will need the same fluid...
 

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Tsb

If a Merc V fluid/filter change/upgrade doesn't correct your problem, you can try this shudder fix:

 
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