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Thread: Transmission '88 T-Bird

  1. #1
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    Default Transmission '88 T-Bird

    So I am pretty convinced the transmission in my '88 Thunderbird (v8 5.0L Auto) is going out. What would be the cheaper route, or the smartest? And the estimated prices for each?

    A. Rebuild the auto transmission it already has.
    B. Get a new auto transmission installed.
    C. Install a new 5 speed manual.

    P.S. the problem with my transmission is when it is in OD, I can get to about 45-50mph and then the engine just revs up, and in regular drive I believe it is not getting past 2nd gear, I go about 70mph and he reaches about 5k RPMs. Could the transmission fluid be low? Or is the transmission shot?
    Last edited by Chris F.; 10-13-2007 at 10:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Its kind of hard to tell with your hard to understand description. And if you think its low on fluid, why not check it?

  3. #3
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    i say go 5 speed. it's more fun. i'm a bit biased though.
    91 ranger 2.3 turbo - nowhere near stock
    87 thunderbird turbocoupe
    06 pontiac g6 gt

  4. #4
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    I'd bet for the cost of a rebuilt AOD,you could go 5 speed if you look around the Corral,here,and Ebay and gather the needed parts.I continue to think about that for my Sport.I may sart gathering parts after Christams one by one until I have everything and do the 5 speed conversion.I do like my AOD as well.Easy city driving.
    '88 Sport--T-5,HURST shifter,TMoss GT-40 intake,Ed Curtis cam,Trick Flow heads,Scorpion rockers,70mm t-body,3G,mini starter,Taurus fan,BBK headers,O/R H-Pipe, Flowamaster 40's, deep and deeper Cobra R wheels,Mass Air, Mass Air and 24's,8.8 with 3.73's,140 mph speedo,Mach 1 chin spoiler,SN-95 springs,CHE control arms,aluminum drive shaft and a lot more..

  5. #5
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    Check your fluid level and make sure your TV (kick down) cable is adjusted properly before you go off getting a new trans....
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  6. #6
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    put a c4 in it that would be the cheapest route or you can usually find a good used aod in the $500-750 range.
    louie

    My famous last words:
    It seemed like a good idea at the time. 88TC R.I.P. 88 Sport build in progress

  7. #7
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    It most likely is on its way, Mine doesnt shift into 3rd or OD either, it was that way when i bought it. I changed as much fluid as I could and replaced the filter but it was no help. Being the poor boy i am and living in the city its just fine because i never get it above 50mph ( just under 3k w/ 2.73's). Ive done quite a bit of searching and have learned the AOD had a notoriously weak 3rd gear clutch pack, most likely causing your missing gears.

    On the issue of replacing it, ive found you can buy used AOD's all day long for around 500 but theres always the issue of reliablity. Im not sure of your plans, but im hoping to have around 375hp, and the factory setup wouldnt hold up long to my abuse. You can get an remanufactured setup w/ some nice parts for around 1100, and from the best of my research a T-5 swap would come in at around 1500.

    I guess it all depends on your goals.
    Current-
    87 Cougar
    88 Crown Vic LTD
    84 Yamaha Xt600

    previous cars -
    1990 Dodge Daytona -
    1990 Geo Prizm -
    1987 Honda Accord - 140mph wonder? Rally ready..... K.I.A. at WOT due to massive head failure. Still had the best paint-job EVER...
    1998 Suzuki Sidekick 4D -
    1969 Falcon Futura w/ Sports Coupe option (now go try and find that? And if you do tell me where it is!!)


    The Cougar will never be for sale, Only up for trade on a 68,69 Falcon 2D.

  8. #8
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    I'll bet a 5 speed swap could be done a litte cheaper if yopu look around on Ebay and the Corral.Also,check the salvage yards and try to find a Stang with all the parts.
    '88 Sport--T-5,HURST shifter,TMoss GT-40 intake,Ed Curtis cam,Trick Flow heads,Scorpion rockers,70mm t-body,3G,mini starter,Taurus fan,BBK headers,O/R H-Pipe, Flowamaster 40's, deep and deeper Cobra R wheels,Mass Air, Mass Air and 24's,8.8 with 3.73's,140 mph speedo,Mach 1 chin spoiler,SN-95 springs,CHE control arms,aluminum drive shaft and a lot more..

  9. #9
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    If you wanted to be really cheap, you could just pull out the trans and replace the broken input shaft that runs from the front of the torque converter back to the direct (3rd) clutch pack. That is of course the fluid does not smell burnt. Without that shaft, the direct clutch cannot engage, and without direct clutch, you cannot engage O/D.
    Matt

  10. #10
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    Prob the TV cable... Going out and gunning the engine has no doubt mortally wounded it...

    NEVER repeat NEVER allow the engine to rev beyond normal with any automatic transmission... Park it till the problem is determined...






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed << New 49th Birthday Picture

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

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