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Topic: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear (Read 141 times) previous topic - next topic

87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

My 87 tbird will shift from 1st to 2nd in all shifter positions, but wont go to 3rd or 4th gear.
Just stays in 2nd all the way to 55 mph at 3500 rpm or so. Dont want to rev it too much.
Do these aod trannys have shift solenoids? Fluid is at proper level but smells a little burnt.
Im going to pull the pan and change filter and fluid.
Any tips much appreciated.   Colin

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #1
See if the tv valve is hooked up. 99% of the time the tv cable comes off. This can cook the transmission in a few miles.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #2
Dang, just changed filter and new gasket...leaks at pan, long time for it to engage in forward or reverse.
Was going to test drive it, backed out of driveway and put in drive no go, Had to rev it to get it to engage enough to get back in garage :dunno:

Getting pan on and off is a pain. Seems to hit exhaust up front and cross member mount in back.
had to lift trans up some to pry the bitch out with fluid loss :crazy:
After cleaning up the Exxon Valdez I thought i put it back together correctly, maybe I bent the pan lip.

Gotta check it in the morning, hopefully im just low on fluid and loose pan bolt or two :sleep:

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #3
Do not over torque the pan. Ive had to top off a trans several times before it takes enough fluid to move.

You can lightly hammer the edges of the pan around the bolt holes back flat using a block of wood. Do it carefully with a ball peen hammer, the smaller the better.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #4
OK, will do.
Is there a trick to clearing the exhaust up front and the cross member in the back if i end up removing the pan again?

My dipstick was reading at the bottom notch after 4 1/2 quarts refill. Hard to say exactly what came out seeings most didnt hit the drain pan and had to be sopped up with towel.

I did get a full 3 1/2 quarts of old fluid in waste oil jug. so I will try to add pint by pint if I get the leak fixed and see if I get good operation again.

Thanks for the help , I will let you know what happens.

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #5
Done, dropped the cross member out of the way. sucked out most of the fluid with a Harbor Freight pump.

Dropped pan and saw the back part of gasket not on the lip but inside the pan :crazy:

Pulled filter to check square gasket only to find it askew and the reason she weren't shifting right.

Reset all gaskets and with plenty of room for reinstall got him all bolted up and filled and it's not leaking :headbang:

Although it still stays in 2nd and doesn't do the neutral rev to 3rd or 4th like I've read the some experience. It just stays in 2nd.

Shifter in 1 up to 30mph then in D it goes to 2nd gear keep accelerating and back to the 1 position and it stays in 2nd gear then shifter move back to D position whilst still accelerating 55 -60 mph and it stays in 2nd gear even upon final shifter move to OD.

So I dont know what's wrong but it drives good around town.

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #6
Like Haystack said, and you did not respond to, CHECK THAT TV (throttle valve) CABLE.  That nylon bushing deteriorates and drops the cable off the throttle quadrant.  You end up with really low line pressure, which lets the clutches drag and burn up, and without adequate line pressure, you can't engage the direct clutch (3rd gear and OD).  Every minute you're driving with the TV cable potentially off, you're cooking your trans to death.
1988 Thunderbird 5.0
GT40P, TFS-1, KB domes, 30#, MAF conversion, Explorer GT40 Upper/Lower, Smog delete, Wide Ratio AOD Mod, Unlocked Speedo, 3G Charging System Upgrade, Hi-Torque Mini Starter, Full 2003 SN-95 brake conversion with Cobra fronts, BBK 1 5/8 unequal headers, H-Pipe.  Moates Quarterhorse tuning.

88 Thunderbird/Cougar EVTM
  (Thanks to EricCoolCats for hosting)

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #7
lol,, small world.

mine shifts fine, 1st then 2nd,,, then goes to nothing in what feels like no 3rd.,, and is likely because i drove it too far with the TV cable off.

some youtube trans guy was saying that these plastic snap in bushings are not the original design.  early on  there was a brass bushing for the tv lever hole and a clip that fit the plastic detent of the TV cable. 

 

Re: 87 5.0 aod wont shift out of 2nd gear

Reply #8
Sounds like its time to switch to a T-5 and toss those AOD boat anchor, horse power robbing, no gear shifting fun, pile of complicated crap in the scrap yard.

Seriously though, how many miles does the OP have on the AOD?  If the TV cable is in working order then it could be the direct clutch pack or the direct input shaft is broken.  A lot of guys in the past have gone to SilverFox (http://www.silverfoxtrans.com/) for help so I would start there.  If you want to stay automatic then my suggestion would be to move to a 4R70W and a controller like Baumann Controls / US Shift (https://www.usshift.com/usq4.shtml).  Swapping over to a T-5 is not as easy as it used to be as they are just not that plentiful as they used to be.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD