!993 T-Bird Tranny Re-build - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:31 PM
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!993 T-Bird Tranny Re-build

Greetings everyone.

I've just joined this site and hope that you can help me. I have a 1993 Ford T-Bird that is having tranny problems. One year ago, not long after a fluid change my tranny would become hesitant when first starting off. It would just do nothing for a couple of seconds then it would run fine. My tranny man back home suggested I use Lucas Tranny additive and it did the trick. Now, one year later it was not shifting into overdrive. Again I did the Lucas treatment and it worked, but only for six weeks this time. The tranny guy near my town wants $2,120 (Can) to put in a rebuilt tranny from a well known Canadian supplier. I cannot afford this. I searched the net and found there are videos and books to help me rebuild my own tranny. I am very mechanically inclined, rebuilt motors etc in the past, but aside from changing the fluid and filter in my trannies, I have no knowledge of rebuilding one. I have seen the rebuild kits on eBay for around $76 US and up to $175. Could any of you make any suggestions as to what I should do and what I should not do. Could any of you tell me what tranny I have in my car? It is a 3.8 litre without supercharger. The vehicle ID# is 1FABP6246PH163681. I welcome any of your thoughts and suggestions. Have a great day.

Mike in Canada

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Old 06-06-2007, 08:01 PM
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moving to tranny forum.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:23 PM
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1993 Thunderbird Tranny rebuild

I do hope someone can help me!
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:34 AM
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A home AOD rebuild is doable. You will need a nice big CLEAN space to work. Someway to really clean all the parts. A manual. I highly recommend an "ATSG" rebuild manual. They are what the pro shops use, you can buy one online for $15-20. Worth every penny. There are also other manuals and even videos you might find helpful. There are a few special tools you need, most you can work around or rig something up. And of course you don't have to buy the special tailshaft bushing removal tool if that bushing is in good shape.You must have a couple of "snap ring pliers" and you absolutely HAVE to have the $90 "piston seal install kit". It might be possible to beg or borrow the kit somewhere, but you have to have it. Shops use a "knee press" to load and remove clutch packs. I was able to borrow one, handy bugger, and likely rather difficult to work without.
The kits you've seen are likely "banner" kits. They don't have absolutely everything you will need, nor do they claim to. The low/reverse servo comes to mind. Famous for the O-ring seal disinegrating. One (and its cover) can be had for about $18, but not-included stuff like that can add up. Even a "master kit" probably still won't include an overdrive band which I bet you will need.
Most shops replace the torque converter as a matter of course. It's a fairly big gamble not to. A rebuilt one runs about $100. Shipping sort of sucks so it's worth asking a local shop.

Here is decent place to order stuff-http://www.autotransparts.com/index.php
But I like these guys better, plus they sell the ATSG manuals-http://www.bulkpart.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=2 There are certainly more out there.
The last consideration is that even pro's aren't perfect. Many a trans shop customer is quite unaware that their transmission was rebuilt, installed, pulled, fixed, reinstalled, etc for whatever it took to get the thing right. Take it from me, it truly sucks to do all that work only to find your "new" tranny won't even move. Then the joy of redoing the work because you installed a thingy backwards or lost it. Even worse is not knowing about the thingy and trying to figure out what in god' s name went wrong.
Points to consider. Trans shops do charge an awful lot. Sometimes they earn it and then some too.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:40 AM
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Thunderbird rebuild

GypsyR.....thank you for a very desciptive reply to my post. I sense that I would be better off buying a rebuild. Some of the tools you suggest and the fact that I may need other parts makes me think I should go with a rebuilt tranny. There is a company in Toronto Canada, just south of me, that rebuilds trannys. The mechanic that I took it to said that he got out of rebuilding trannys and goes strictly to them for their units. Trouble is, this company in Toronto will sell me a tranny for $800 less than the cost of him putting one in and he can purhcase the tranny at wholesale compared to my retail price, so he is making around $1,000 on the transaction. In other words he's getting a grand for removing and replacing a transmission. I love the car, been a loyal ride for eleven years. It's got 260,000 kilometers on it, the motor is tight, body very good and I hate like heck to dump it, just too good to abandon. Perhaps I will go back to the guy and see if he can chip away at the price. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me with some facts and opinions, it is greatly appreciated my friend. Have a grea day.
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:31 AM
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You can apparently save a bucket of money if you pull and install the transmission yourself. Many an "average guy" has done so in his driveway. If you're mechanically inclined enough to be considering rebuilding yourself, I imagine you could do so as well. I've had more than a few transmissions worked on but have yet to ever take the entire vehicle to a transmission shop. An AOD is swapped out much like any other rear wheel drive automatic transmission. Generally your basic parts store type Tbird service manual (IE, Haynes and Clymer) will cover transmission replacement procedures pretty well.
Basically I don't really see $1000 in labor. An experienced trans shop guy should have your car in in the morning and back on the road with a replacement unit well before lunch. Figuring shop rates at around $100 and hour, $400-500 seems more like it. Of course people aren't in business to LOSE money or even just break even so maybe he's not really out of line.
Should you choose to swap it at home I would budget an entire weekend. Rushing the job would likely be a mistake, give yourself plenty of time. Also I can offer a few tips and surely other folks here can too.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:12 AM
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1993 T-Bird Tranny

GypsyR.........yes, I should have no problem doing that. Years ago I pulled a 350 motor and tranny from my Corvette, took them out together and it really was easy. Had my wife holding down the engine hoist as it would tip frontwards if no one was standing on the rear of it. I told my neighbour what I intended to do and he said he's help out. There is a garage in town that may lend us his hoist to do the job, something that would make the job much easier. Now if we could find a transmission stand we would be on our way. I gazed out the window many times yesterday looking at the old Thunderchicken and wondered if it might just be the time to park it for eternity, but damn it still has a great body (unlike mine) and the motor is still tight. Had it for over eleven years and I have to say it's been one of the most reliable and comfortable rides I've owned. Yes, I will R&R the tranny myself. One last question to you. Do I need to totally remove the driveshaft or just disconnect it at the tranny. Had to remove the gastank to take the tranny out in order to replace the universals, damn design. Take care and thank you for your suggestions.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:16 PM
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Oooo, I forgot about the tank thing. (Sorry, internet connection toubles this week)
Did you replace the u-joints in a vise? If so then you can apply the same skill only using a BIG heavy duty C-clamp.
Get the rear transmission mount/crossmember/etc out of your way so the tail of the transmission hangs as low as possible. Then raise it back up a tad, so everything isn't in a bind. Attack the front u-joint with your C-clamp and whatever you normally use to remove/install a U-joint. Leave the pinion in the tail housing to minimize leaks and tie the driveshaft up out of your way.
Still no fun, but it works if you have a big enough C-clamp. I suspect it might be practical to substitute an moderate size vise if you have one not bolted to a workbench. But I haven't actually tried it. All else fails, yeah, you'll have to drop that stupid tank.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:09 PM
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1993 T-Bird Tranny

Thanks GypsyR.....it's been so long since I made the initial posting that I forgot to check on things. There have been some changes since my first posting. My son did a little research on the AOD and went out to look at mine. Turns out the TV cable bushing was shot and caused all of these problems. I ordered a new cable and the modified bushing, put them back in according to an online video and it works well. However, I read that the TV pressure should be checked so as to not burn out the clutch plates. I am taking it to the Ford dealer on Wednesday to have this done. The shift from 1-2nd is toooo smooth, can hardly feel it. The garage is 25 miles away so I think I will adjust the cable for more pressure (more is better than not enought) to get me to the dealer. Once there, they can check it and set it accordingly. I will let you know how I make out. Thank you again.
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