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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hello again all, I've been absent for a while, but proud to be back with a new bird. I just picked up a 97 4.6 single owner for 1600 with some minor need of attention. I'm encountering some oddities that I want to bounce off the experts here. I'm having a small series of problems that I think can be interlinked, but maybe not. Initially, it was cranking a lot before starting, hesitating when hitting the gas, and shifting at what feels like preset points, with no regard to throttle position. The hesitation decreases a little once I'm in gear, but I can't punch it and expect to take off. I did replace the TPS, and now it starts much quicker but still hesitates. I also cleaned the MAF sensor, but that didn't help. It actually stops hesitating if I unplug the MAF, so I'm a little puzzled. I sprayed around for vacuum leaks, but found none. So a tune up might be in order, but what other things help dictate the shift points? I do get the TC shudder from time to time, but it still shifts with no regard to throttle level. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Scott

1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L 147,000 mi.
Mods: Stock

1979 Ford Bronco Custom 5.8L Modified 188,000 mi.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 02:45 PM
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If it hesitates with the MAF plugged in but not at all when it's unplugged you have a bad MAF.

John
1996 TBird LX 4.6
2001 Sable Wagon 3.0 Duratec
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:26 PM
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^^ +1. Find a good used or new MAF and that should help.

As for TC shudder... time for a fresh Mercon V fluid change (provided the fluid is still red and not overly burnt/dark).

-Brandon
97 Laser Red Thunderbird LX 162k, Stage 2 4.6L 2v N/A | 300 BHP (255 RWHP, 290 RWTQ) | 13.95 @ 97.58 | Build details | Pics at the Lorain Assembly plant
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds great guys. I was expecting the trans flush, since it's higher mileage. Thanks for the help. I'll post back after the repairs.

1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L 147,000 mi.
Mods: Stock

1979 Ford Bronco Custom 5.8L Modified 188,000 mi.
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2547728
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, good news. Had the trans flushed on Saturday, didn't fix the issues completely, was still shifting a little funny, but no shudder. Then I replaced the MAF, and bam, we're back in business. I can't say that the trans is 100%, but it's much better. I think mileage and age have started taking their toll, but it's running and moving well now. I wouldn't have thought the MAF would have made that big a difference, but I guess it's all interlinked in the end.

Thanks for the help guys!

1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L 147,000 mi.
Mods: Stock

1979 Ford Bronco Custom 5.8L Modified 188,000 mi.
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2547728
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Resurrecting my old thread on this, since my issue has some new info. I think I could be looking at a trans issue, because here's what is happening. I'm sitting at 194,000 miles now, and when the car is relatively cold (ie first start) 3rd gear slips A LOT. First and second are fine, but when it goes to third, the engine revs with no acceleration, and if I let off the throttle, it will slam into fourth. If it downshifts into third, it seems to engage and the car accelerates, but the transition from second to third is still soft. Once it warms up, it's not so bad. Shifts are better, though I still baby it when I get to third. Someone mentioned the valve body could need replaced, and if that's the case, I'd get one that's JMod'd and throw that in.

I've been reading other threads about this but honestly it gets really old when there are a thousand of them that all sound the same.

1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L 147,000 mi.
Mods: Stock

1979 Ford Bronco Custom 5.8L Modified 188,000 mi.
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2547728
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 02:59 PM
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My old Tbird did that .. right about 170k miles, 3rd gear started to "Slip" ... I tried to baby it for a few more months, but I eventually found myself driving home on the freeway in 2nd gear ..

Replacing the valve body wont fix worn out clutches .. better to start saving up for a newer transmission alltogether.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 05:30 PM
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Now you have nothing to lose, put in a bottle of Lucas AT fix.
My last one had slip till I bought it, I put in a bottle of lucasmagic and drove it 160K. Retiring it soon and does good as when I first did it. Doesnt leak a drop either.

I learn more about cars every day!
I do it just because I still want to know HOW and WHY!!! Quit learning=die. Be informed as to WHAT, rather than learn,=brain-dead already.
__________________________________________
1993 Silver LX 3.8L My Bravadiva's 'go store-fetch me parts' girl
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 06:35 PM
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Clutches are shot, time for a rebuild. Might as well upgrade to a 98+ trans in that case.

I wouldn't be surprised if the fluid was so old and burnt that all the friction material in the clutches was suspended in it. Once the fluid was flushed it was only a matter of time.

This is why it's important to change your tranny fluid at the recommended intervals.

-Brandon
97 Laser Red Thunderbird LX 162k, Stage 2 4.6L 2v N/A | 300 BHP (255 RWHP, 290 RWTQ) | 13.95 @ 97.58 | Build details | Pics at the Lorain Assembly plant
98 Black Mark VIII 160k, stock daily driver
07 Redfire Fusion V6 SEL 178k, for the wife
Gone but not forgotten: 96 Mark VIII, 94 Cougar XR7, 93 Mark VIII

TCCoA's resident pilot since 2014
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the world with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return. -Leonardo da Vinci
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