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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Rumble Strip Ride

Gentlemen, My totally stock 96 cat had been standing for a while. It would not start and my trusty 90 Nissan Maxima just kept chugging along. Finally replaced fouled up CAM AND CRANK position sensors and it fired right up. Now it shows a CEL which I can't have diagnosed till weekend, but here are the symptoms.

Heavy gas consumption.
On start-up I accelerate smoothly to 45mph. The tach will show about 2000rpm, then in high gear it will fall to 500 and not move, as if disconnected. When this happens the car vibrates as though I'm running on those rumble strips they have on the shoulders of the highway. This is intermittent and lasts about 15 to 20 seconds each occurrence.

Any Ideas what's happening here?

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1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 07:45 PM
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The rumble strip effect is usually torque converter shutter. You check the fluid?

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response Joe!

Transmission fluid level is OK on the dip stick. If you meant check fluid in the Torque Converter, I have no Idea how to do that.

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
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1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackexperience View Post
Transmission fluid level is OK on the dip stick.
That's what I meant! How's the fluid look, it's not discolored or burnt is it?

Joe

It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I thought the fluid looked a bit brown and thin, not dark and thick as old oil from the crank case might look. But the tip of the dip stick is coated in a yellow plastic material so I don't know how that affected my perception. However, I am going to have it drained and replaced as that has not been done since I've had the car. I've only put about 5K miles on it in six years.


So I searched the forums and I learned that
1) TC shudder or stutter is a well documented problem with 4R70W
2) That transmission fluid is pink out of the bottle
3) That brown, even light brown transmission fluid on the dipstick is NOT a good sign
4) DIY fluid Change involves dropping the pan, draining the TC and 13.5 quarts of Mercon V.

Q's
Why drop the pan? is there not a drain plug?
Can anyone point to a detailed instructions on #4?
Mercon V seems to be a formulation. Any brand preferences? Cheaper by the 5gal Pail?

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)

Last edited by Blackexperience; 06-28-2011 at 10:56 PM. Reason: So I searched the forum!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 10:30 AM
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1 No drain plug on the pan.
2 There's a rubber cap on the bottom on the trans, pull it off and turn the engine until the TC plug is visible, then take it off and let it drain (about 30 min or more)
3 Mercon V is Mercon V. As far as I'm concerned it's all the same. Get it from advanceauto.com and use a coupon code.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 04:40 PM
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Moved to 4R70W forum, you might see more activity from experts!

Joe

It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

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I buy all my Ford parts from 93 lx.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 04:50 PM
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I will add that not all converters got the drain plug IIRC. Can't remember when they started phasing them out but thought it was sometime in mid 96. Some people seem to have one while others don't.

Also, the Valvoline version of Mercon V has a strange smell to it even when new in the bottle. It already smells burnt to me. I just did a trans. service on a 96 bird using Motorcraft fluid and was about 1/2 quart short so I bought a quart of Valvoline and used that and that's when I noticed it.

These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 05:48 PM
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Converters lost the drain plug in 01, The shudder is most likely the converter. I do however suggest doing some checks in the transmission while you have it out. You are clost to Dan at Silverfox. I suggest you go see him.
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Last edited by dirtyd0g; 06-29-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g View Post
You are clost to Dan at Silverfox. I suggest you go see him.
Alan
Alan, can you clarify Dan's location? I'm fixing to change the fluid in an effort to get rid of the rumble. Unless that creates more problems ,(i've read about slippage after fluid change) more extensive work must wait until my DD is up an running again.

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 11:15 PM
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Dan is in Pleasant Hill,MO
Usually by the time there is a problem changing fluid will only make it worse. The converter clutch is probably gone. There have been a few cases of people who got more life after changing the fluid, most do not. Fluid is about $5 a quart and you'll need an entire case. Expensive to do twice.
Alan

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996Project-bird View Post
1 No drain plug on the pan.
2 There's a rubber cap on the bottom on the trans, pull it off and turn the engine until the TC plug is visible, then take it off and let it drain (about 30 min or more)
3 Mercon V is Mercon V. As far as I'm concerned it's all the same. Get it from advanceauto.com and use a coupon code.
Tire & lube shops here test drive the car, and if there is a hint of transmission trouble they wont change the oil.

APART FROM 14 QUARTS MERCON V WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO COMPLETE THE JOB?
GASKET?
IS THERE A FILTER ?
HOW IS THE REFIL DONE? THRU THE DIPSTICK?
AND HOW DO I OBTAIN THE COUPON CODE FOR THE ADVANCEAUTOPARTS PURCHASE?

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackexperience View Post
Tire & lube shops here test drive the car, and if there is a hint of transmission trouble they wont change the oil.

APART FROM 14 QUARTS MERCON V WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO COMPLETE THE JOB?
GASKET?
IS THERE A FILTER ?
HOW IS THE REFIL DONE? THRU THE DIPSTICK?
AND HOW DO I OBTAIN THE COUPON CODE FOR THE ADVANCEAUTOPARTS PURCHASE?
I think your caps lock button is broken. So is your search function.
Gasket is reusable
Is there ever not a filter?
Yup, dipstick.
Google.com

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

My T-bird is like George Jetson's wife, you try to give her a little money, she takes the whole wallet.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996Project-bird View Post
I think your caps lock button is broken. So is your search function.
Gasket is reusable
Is there ever not a filter?
Yup, dipstick.
Google.com
Thanks for your input 1996project-bird! The button ain't stuck, but when you look up after hunt-and-pecking a few sentences and see that it's all caps you're not about to retype, umm... re-hunt-and-peck it all over again.
As to the search function, that has turned up so many contradictory opinions I just decided to stick with the people talking to me. So when it cools down this evening I'm going out under the shade tree and look at the transmission, kinda try to locate all the stuff I've been told; familiarize myself with the underbelly of the cat. Got one more question for you. I know Google is a search engine. Do I just type in ADVANCEAUTOPARTS COUPON CODE, hit enter and the desired goodie will pop up?

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 02:02 PM
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For Advance, I order online and select the pickup in store option. Along with that I use the P20 coupon code for 20% off. That coupon is online only, which is why I use the pickup in store option.

You need 10-12 quarts of Merc V and a new filter. Might not be a bad idea to put a drain plug into the pan as well while it's down.

-Brandon
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Brandon. I'd just discovered that myself. JU15 is good till tomorrow, July 1st

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 08:13 AM
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Theres a lot of coupon codes better than 20% off. Big35 is 35 off of 85 (more than 20%). Just one example. Google advance auto coupon codes then go to a site called retailmenot. It has a lot of codes it all depends on your total in your cart.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

My T-bird is like George Jetson's wife, you try to give her a little money, she takes the whole wallet.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 08:46 AM
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Hmm, did not know about that one. I usually don't spend enough to qualify for that coupon though, so most of the time the 20% coupon is my best option.

-Brandon
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 09:50 AM
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Yea its good for when you need a bunch of gaskets for an engine swap. And trans fluid... Saved me a pretty penny.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

My T-bird is like George Jetson's wife, you try to give her a little money, she takes the whole wallet.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Red face

So, lets have a few more laughs at my expense.
Laugh #1:
Normally I'd pop down to Advance, two miles from my home and purchase a fuse or bulb or whatever I need, pay by my debit card and leave. This time, lured by the 15% discount and a 25 dollar coupon valid next month, I shop online. That part went well. Check out said that I needed to take the email they were sending me along with my card and ID down to the store in order to pick up the purchase. The Email does not arrive so I wait. Next day I call their 877 #. I'm told to go in with the order number I gave the customer service person. Sure enough, fluid and filter and a few other items are there boxed and waiting for me. Been there since store opened on the morning before. Two days wasted.
Laugh #2:
Totally misunderstanding the instruction regarding removing the line to the radiator and attaching a hose with a flare fitting, instead of attaching the flare fitting and hose to the radiator, I attached the hose to the flare fitting that I Detached from the radiator. Needless to say, after starting the car, I now have transmission fluid splattered over most of the driver side of the engine compartment. Okay! I'll wait for you to finish laughing!!

Now more questions. Where is the HOW TO?

Several times I have seen the suggestion that while the trans pan is down I might as well add a drain plug to it. Of course the benefits thereof are manifest, but despite my search I have not found any instructions on how to accomplish that.


And finally, what transmission is in a civilian Crown Victoria? If 4r70w, is it bolt compatible with the cougar 6 or 8 cylinder. Would you buy an otherwise solid CrownV for 500 if all it appeared to need was transmission work?

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 01:23 AM
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Anything in a CV is for a 4.6. No go for the 3.8.

I love my V8, but I'd love it more if all 8 cylinders worked. (they do now)

My T-bird is like George Jetson's wife, you try to give her a little money, she takes the whole wallet.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission fluid change is complete. Its been triple digits daytime here under the shade tree so I worked at night.

Fluid removed was brown and stank to high heaven. I guess that is what was referred to earlier as 'burnt'. So I feared the worse predictions of Alan and Joe might be realized.

Have run the car about ten miles. The violent shudder is gone, there is a very slight vibration felt through the accelerator pedal. What's new is that on occasion, when I put the car in Drive, foot on brake, the gear engages with a noticeable jolt, not the gentler tug I'm used to.

Other than that I'm quite pleased with the result and myself. Would I do it again? Well If I had to do it again it would not take as long and I'd be better prepared.

But laying on my back with the exhaust pipe inches from my nose, the pan back in place, I look at the crank case drain plug and think I may as well change the oil. NOT! I took it down to WalMart!

Wish someone would edit the tranny fluid change article to say that the Torque Converter drain plug is 11MM.
The pan screws are 10mm as stated.

Thanks Alan, Joe, theterminator93, 1996Project-bird, FordMan77.

There is a vast difference between ten years' experience and one year's experience ten times.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)

Last edited by Blackexperience; 07-06-2011 at 12:55 AM. Reason: To clarify drain plug comment
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 09:00 PM
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Factory there was not transmission pan drain plug.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 10:50 PM
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So the problem could be a bad TC? I JUST got my car back from the transmission shop, they said they adjusted my throttle pressure and swapped out an accumulator spring that was weak with a new one.. BUT now, i like Black, when I kind of "floor" it, i get this shutted, rpms drop and my car goes nowhere and it feels like my car is vibrating to death. engine = fine, trans = poopy. Could it just be the TC?

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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 10:53 PM
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It would be best to check them both out at once.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 11:49 PM
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Alrighty, looks like shes going back in again tomorrow.. i mean i paid $1000 for a rebuild, might as well get use of having a warranty

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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g View Post
Factory there was not transmission pan drain plug.
Alan
Sorry Alan, What I wrote was not clear. It was the factory stock pan with 10mm bolts. The TC drain plug was 11MM. Was not fun crawling out from under car to get different socket. I have edited the post.

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
1996 3.8L Cougar XR7: Crashed, passenger door and quarter panel. (daily driver)
1993 3.3 Oldsmobile cutlass ciera S. (Wife's daily driver)
1990 Nissan Maxima. (Still runs. Rear brake lines leak. Rust issues in rear wheel wells)
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 07:29 PM
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I took it to my buddys garage and we hooked up a scan tool to it and went for a test drive. The scan computer read my transmission at good temp and the shift silenoids and all that doing their job and said my transmission is doing what its suppose to.. What he did noticed was a misfire from take off and asked about my exhaust, i said what exhaust? [i cut mine off] and he told me whats causing my problem and he'd bet money on it, is my cats are clogged and causing exhaust restriction which is causing my engine to perform poorly and said he'd suggest new cats or a cat delete all together. Any thoughts on what he said?

1996 Ford Thunderbird
170k miles 4.6V8 Auto
project started: 12/10 - project ended: never
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