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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I've been putting this off but I'll try to explain what my transmission is doing in my '97 T-bird 3.8. I've searched the forum to no avail trying to find a solution.

From a stop it shifts fine from first to second. If it's cold outside it shifts slowly (like someone slipping a manual clutch into gear) into drive. If I have the overdrive on it doesn't want to shift but will "hang" at about 4k rpm until you let off the accelerator then it'll shift. If I leave the overdrive off sometimes it'll shift just like I think it should from first to second and then into drive.

A transmission mechanic said that that particular transmission is meant to shift from second directly into overdrive and said that a shift kit would fix the problem. I think it's more than that seeing that times it wants to shift, other times it doesn't unless you let of the accelerator. Sometimes it'll shift smooth and the next time it's shifting into drive it'll bang its way in.

When up to speed and then have to slow down for a curve say it'll shift nicely from OD to drive and then back into OD again.

I've come to a stop and started down a hill only to go from first to second and then have the transmission slip like you put it in neutral. Let off the accelerator and then it would shift.

I don't really know how else to explain the problem. It's almost like it doesn't know at times when it's supposed to shift and sometimes it does.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have.
 

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It sounds like to me that the fluid has never been changed, and also there's a spring broken in the 1-2 accumulator.

I'd start saving money for a rebuild.

You don't want a shift kit, especially a transgo, which is what everyone who doesn't know these transmissions wants to do.

Search "JMOD" and 4R70w for this site; put this in the google box: "JMOD 4r70W site:tccoa.com"

You really need to rebuild a later transmission, but let's see if you read any of that first. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had the transmission serviced about three years ago, 10k miles. I don't drive it much I know.

I'll search the info that you posted. Thank you for your suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can add since Rodeo Joe brought this up and I had entirely forgotten about it that It seems someone has been into the shifter before. I can see evidence of someone being in there. With that being said I now know the MLPS is on the transmission itself (after some research) but as a side note I can put the car into any gear or I'll just say remove it from park without stepping on the brake. It's been a long time since I've owned a automatic but aren't you supposed to have to put your foot on the brake before engaging into a gear? I just thought I'd throw this tidbit of info in on this.

I read about the J-mod and how it modifies the shifting speed and wear on the clutches. I'm not sure how this pertains to my situation other than I said something about a shift kit earlier. It doesn't seem like it would help my transmission, I don't know, I know just about nothing on this subject.

I would like to also add the car has been doing this since it's had about 94k on the clock and I don't know how long before that seeing that's when I purchased it. I would have hoped that it wouldn't be worn out at such low mileage but I guess you never know. I hate to think of a rebuild even with the odometer sitting at 104k now and a rust free car. I can't see myself dumping $1k+ into a car that is worth $800.

Thank you all again for the suggestions! Keep them coming, maybe there is something a little less expensive other than a full rebuild that'll get this right.
 

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It's been a long time since I've owned a automatic but aren't you supposed to have to put your foot on the brake before engaging into a gear? I just thought I'd throw this tidbit of info in on this.
There's a cable that's attached to the side of the shifter under the console cover. It's there so you have to put your foot on the brake to shift into gear. That cable may have been removed from the shifter, a previous owner may have removed it. I had a problem getting the key out of the ignition because of that cable sticking, removing the cable will let you get the key out.

Obvious question, but have you checked the fluid level?

When you had the transmission serviced, was it flushed or did they drop the pan? Dropping the pan will tell you a lot by seeing what's in there.

My 2 cents! :D

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The transmission was "serviced" at 94k. It doesn't say on the bill whether it was flushed or just changed. I'd say it was probably just drained and a new filter and fluid put it.

Also, I guess that cable wouldn't make a difference then on how it shifts. To bad, as I said I'm looking for a cheaper solution to repairing it.
 

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First off, no the transmission is not designed to shift directly from 2nd to 4th, and a shift kit does not fix underlying transmission issues. The J-mod basically is a shift kit, but from the Ford engineer who designed the transmission, so doing that before there are any issues can help the longevity of the trans.

The brake switch interlock for the shifter has no effect on the actual shifting of the transmission, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Right now, it sounds to me like some further diagnostics needs to be done. I would drop the pan, inspect the fluid and the magnet, and maybe drop the valve body to look at the accumulators and springs. Doing this should tell you what the problem is, and if it can be fixed in the car. If it can, then great, and do the J-mod at the same time. If it can't, and you don't want to spend the money on a rebuild, look for a good used trans out of a V6 Mustang. I think up to 03 will work, with some re-pinning of the main connector, and that will give you a better trans to start with, plus get the car back on the road for less than the cost of a rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input! Yes, I don't know about these things and that was just what I was told that it skipped going into drive and just went to overdrive and mine actually will do that if I get it up to speed, kind of. I mean kind of because it will very briefly like a split second go into drive and instantly into OD.

I will have someone take a look at it and take the pan and valve body out when funds are available. I don't have the confidence or really the place to do the task.

Thank you for the info on the Mustang transmission as a replacement.

Thanks for the help!
 

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I would go after the shift soliniod or the tcc or both I had it happen to me once replaced those and it fixed it. it will feel like the transmission is going but when I swapped them when I dropped the pan to see if there was a weird wear. swapped those fixed the problem. it didn't show any codes but it was acting like a slipping slamming feel
 
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