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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Shift questions from a GM guy

Hey all-

New here, diehard chevy guy. Always had a thing for 'birds, ever since my neighbor had one when I was a kid.

Picked up a '94 4.6 fairly clean for a midwest car but with lots of documentation. Window sticker and all. Moonroof, SATC, the works.

Here's the situation: the thing shifts... well weird. The 1-2 upshift is neck snapping, the 2-3 upshift is junk cold and worse hot, very "loose" and slow, unless I'm at WOT then it seems OK. The 3-4 upshift is decent, fairly positive, but I do get shudder if I'm too hard on the throttle during the shift. The shudder only seems to happen cold. TC lockup is fine.

On the other hand, the 4-3 downshift is pretty noticeable, not harsh but you don't miss it. Happens around 33 MPH on the dot. All other downshifts are fine, 3-2 and 2-1.

From what I've read, it sounds like possibly one or more broken accumulator springs? I'd guess probably both the 1-2 and 2-3 springs? As I said, I'm a GM guy and I'm much more used to the issues with their trannys not fords.

Sorry for the long winded first post. Thanks for any help you can provide!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 09:43 PM
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I'd say yes to busted springs on that. I'd recommend the J-mod. While some say not to waste the money on a 94 (or 95) trans, I feel it will help you get the most out of the miles the transmission has left in it and is the best thing you can do aside from swapping it out to a newer model unit.

http://www.tccoa.com/articles/tranny/index.html

Read through the first three articles, that should get you up to speed.

Nominally the shifts on these are supposed to be very smooth, barely noticeable. The 3-4 downshift will have a bit of a sag to it. Installing the J-mod will help reduce the sag and reduce clutch wear, and you can also firm up the shifts if you like.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Kind of what I was thinking.

Unfortunately I don't see myself keeping this car very long, it's a great ride but it just needs too much and I don't have the time to fix it. Exhaust, strut rod bushings extinct, and an exploded heater core are the main killers, plus 21 MPG isn't helping.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by alec_b View Post
Kind of what I was thinking.

Unfortunately I don't see myself keeping this car very long, it's a great ride but it just needs too much and I don't have the time to fix it. Exhaust, strut rod bushings extinct, and an exploded heater core are the main killers, plus 21 MPG isn't helping.
The only killer is the exploded heater core.

The BUSHINGS are not extinct, the FERRULES are. If your ferrules are in good shape, you can replace the bushings.

Let's just say it's easier to do those, than the trailing arms on my 2000 Malibu. A lot cheaper, too.

Exhaust is fairly easy with money and time. And my pricing so far on buy-it-and-put-it-on-myself (using Walker parts for both!) put the Cougar at the same price as my 2000 Malibu (!!!!) with the 3.1L V6.

The HEATER CORE, OTOH - seems like Ford managed to suspend the heater and evaporator cores in mid air and build the car around them. 'Course, the heater core on the Malibu is the same way ...

Plus, you can actually CHECK tranny fluid levels on the MN12s. I point again to my 2000 Malibu ... which has a sight plug in the side of the tranny, and needs to be on level ground at operating temp to check.

Just a little devil's advocate here.

Oh, and the ride. The RIDE. The 'Bu rides good, no question about that. It's nowhere near in the same class as the Cougar, though. That long wheel base helps. Enough that I'll pay the 2MPG penalty to drive the Cougar for my DD.

RwP
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
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The only killer is the exploded heater core.
...

The HEATER CORE, OTOH - seems like Ford managed to suspend the heater and evaporator cores in mid air and build the car around them. 'Course, the heater core on the Malibu is the same way ...
....

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Well.... not wrong! Probably the second thing installed on a body going down the line. And the first is just a mat.

How would you do it?

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:12 PM
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Yes, those problems you are having most likely are caused by bad fluid and broken springs. I own a 95 'Bird, and it shifted crappy when I got it. New Merc V and a J-Mod, and this thing shifts great - neck snapping if you want it, and just firm with "normal" driving. Anybody who knows me personally knows I'm not easy on it, either.

Good luck and welcome!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:49 PM
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Well.... not wrong! Probably the second thing installed on a body going down the line. And the first is just a mat.

How would you do it?
Dunno. I just wish that a corrosive element (the heater core) wasn't so dang hard to replace.

Could be worse - new cars seem to require major front end disassembly (bumper and more!) to change the head lights and turn signals (!!!!!)

I really have to ask, "What the FREAK are you guys smoking / drinking /eating????"

RwP
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies guys!

I know none of the things that are wrong with it are that big of a deal, I am a mechanic by trade so there really isn't anything I CAN'T do, I just don't want to on a car I don't see myself keeping for more than a month or two.

And after just finishing a motor swap on an aviator (body removal and all) I don't have much ambition to dink with my own car at the moment.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alec_b View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys!

I know none of the things that are wrong with it are that big of a deal, I am a mechanic by trade so there really isn't anything I CAN'T do, I just don't want to on a car I don't see myself keeping for more than a month or two.

And after just finishing a motor swap on an aviator (body removal and all) I don't have much ambition to dink with my own car at the moment.
Not to be a debbie downer, but if you didn't plan on doing anything about the issues you listed...why would you even ask about them in the first place? Kind of counter-productive if you ask me.



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the only thing I was really concerned with was the trans. The rest of the stuff I could care less, because it doesn't keep the thing from getting me to work. I just wanted to be sure that the trans issue wasn't going to leave me high and dry. If I can keep driving it like this I'll just baby it and not worry about it.
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