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Any Automatic Transmission Experts On Board? 1996 Lincoln Town Car Problem by Sage
Started on: 09-25-2017 10:15 PM
Replies: 5 (146 views)
Last post by: Jake_Dragon on 08-13-2018 04:55 PM
Sage
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Report this Post09-25-2017 10:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Anybody here know automatic transmission repair?

I have a 1996 Lincoln Town Car that recently developed a "problem".

Car is in excellent condition, body wise, great interior, rebuilt engine..overall..a very nice older Lincoln, paint even looks new.

I've had it about 10 years and put roughly 1,000 miles a year on it. Mostly use for trips, or if I get tired of driving my truck everyday.

Have always kept fluids monitored and never had to add trans fluid until a recent trip.

Was on the road headed home but still over 100 miles from there. I had stopped at a rest area for a pit stop, and when I took off to get back on the interstate, I noticed a kind of "shaking" or "shimmying" as I brought it up to highway speed. The tremors went away after I got it up to 70, but I thought I noticed it "slip" slightly when it shifted from second to the high gear. The trans has an overdrive position on the shifter, but it is the exact same spot as the drive spot. So I'm guessing it (overdrive) kicks itself on after a certain speed or RPM is reached. Anyway, things went back to being "normal" as far as I could tell, but next service station I came to, I stopped for gas and to check the trans fluid, which did appear to be a little low, but still showing on the stick. I had checked it before starting the trip (about 400 miles total) and it was as near to the full mark as it could be without being exactly on the line. I checked under the car for leaks, but didn't find any signs. Bought a qt. of trans fluid at the station and put less than half of it in, which brought the level back up to full. Drove on home and didn't give it much more thought till the next day.

Decided to take the car out to see if I could detect anything "unusual" during daylight hours. The trip home the night before was all after dark. Seemed to be a slight hesitation between second and high gear, and couldn't really tell if it was slipping or not. Did notice the slight shutter again going into the high gear. Looked it up (on the net....) and found more than one reference to the "shutters" situation. Turns out, there is an additive that is actually made to address just that problem. So I went to the parts store, found it and bought some. Put it in, and it seemed to help for a couple days. Then without any other symptoms or warnings, it just stopped shifting into high gear one day. If you put it in drive from a dead stop, (starting from park), it behaves normally till it gets past second gear, then it has the classic "slipping" not engaging, tranny just sh*t itself, car ain't gonna move stuff......checked the fluid again...still full. No high gear, but everything else works fine. Drove it home in first and second (about 5 miles), and reverse still works fine as well. No noises, or any other symptoms that I'm aware of.

Haven't taken it out of the garage since, and have been pricing transmissions, shipping and shops in the area that will take the job of swapping trans out. Found quite a number of used trannys, and more than a few shops that will do the swap, but I'd like to know that there's not a valve stuck in the valve body or a broken spring or something that could cause the problem I'm experiencing. I never got into auto's and have no plans of doing so now. If it was 20 years ago, and/or I had access to a hoist, I might think about changing it out myself, but in the garage on jackstands or something similar, crawling around on my back on the floor......nope...not gonna go there today.

So if there's anybody here that's familiar with the 96' ( a "by itself" year as it turns out at least regarding the trans..) auto trans in the Lincoln TC, I'd appreciate your weighing in with any info you might have.

Logic tells me, it's time to replace the trans, but I'm just trying to eliminate the simpler way out before I commit to a major job like this. The car is too nice to scrap, and I don't mind putting as much as a grand or so into it, but I don't want to throw allot of cash into it. Really can't afford and don't want car payments, and I'd never be able to find anything even close to being as nice as this car for an amount close to what it might cost to repair this one.

Just thought it might be worth a shot putting it out there in here. Having been around since the "early" days, there haven't been too many subjects that have come up that somebody here didn't know about.

So there's the situation, I'm open to all input.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope everybody Has A Good One!

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post09-25-2017 10:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I don't know the answer, but you might reach out to Roger Garrison. I think he's said that he had a number of Town Cars during his limo days.

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CoolBlue87GT
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Report this Post11-18-2017 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CoolBlue87GTClick Here to Email CoolBlue87GTSend a Private Message to CoolBlue87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You might take the car to Oil change shop, they do transmission flushes and if there is a filter to change.

I had a Ford w/ auto that acted up once, had the trans flushed and refiled. The car ran like new for the rest of the time I owned it.

Good luck.

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Formula Owner
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Report this Post08-08-2018 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Before I dropped a ton of cash on it, I would do a fluid and filter change... myself. I would use a top quality fluid & filter, and I'd do research first to determine what the problems could be. About a year ago, I bought a Ranger with a shifting problem. It shifted from 1st to 4th, skipping 2nd & 3rd. First thing I did was a fluid & filter change. No difference. Then I did some research, and found that this transmission was bad to blow out a gasket on the separater plate (goes between the valve body and transmission body), due to the valve body bolts loosening over time. I found that there was a newer separater plate with bonded gaskets, and it was part of a TSB. I installed the TSB kit, torqued the valve body bolts, adjusted the 2 bands, and it shifts great now. I may have gotten lucky. The conventional wisdom is, changing fluid on a unit with over 100K miles causes more problems than it solves. I'm sure that if I'd taken it to a shop, they would have wanted to do a rebuild. You're going to have to do the research yourself, though. No shop is going to give you any low cost options. Sorry, I don't have any specific experience with GM automatic transmissions.

How many miles is on the transmission? What color is the fluid?

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thesameguy
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Report this Post08-08-2018 05:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am not even remotely an expert on automatics, but I had a similar problem on a Isuzu Rodeo, which uses a GM 4L30E transmission. The problem was a leaking valve body that (IIRC) had some sort of deleterious effect on the accumulator springs. I had a local shop pull the valve body, replace the springs, and the damaged seal (which, I think, was the seal for the accumulator part of the valve body). That and new transmission fluid was a night and day difference.

I know from some involvement with Mustangs that the 4R70W is subject to some odd behaviors, especially on the earlier versions as I presume you have. You might look at this:

https://www.americanmuscle....what-is-a-j-mod.html

and see if that, in combo with new fluid, gets you back to right.

In my very limited experience, a goofy valve body can cause all sorts of issues - shift flare, shuddering (as on the Rodeo), delayed/harsh engagement of gears, etc. If the transmission generally behaves, it's worth a look.

Also, on a '96 you should be able to run some good diagnostics - both electronic (OBDII) and mechanical (pressures). A reputable transmission shop should be of some help. On that Rodeo all it cost was a $60 diagnostic to tell me what the issue was, then a $200 labor bill to fix it. I couldn't have done that in my driveway no matter what, and I *really* hate taking cars in for work.

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Jake_Dragon
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Report this Post08-13-2018 04:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

I am not even remotely an expert on automatics, but I had a similar problem on a Isuzu Rodeo, which uses a GM 4L30E transmission. The problem was a leaking valve body that (IIRC) had some sort of deleterious effect on the accumulator springs. I had a local shop pull the valve body, replace the springs, and the damaged seal (which, I think, was the seal for the accumulator part of the valve body). That and new transmission fluid was a night and day difference.

I know from some involvement with Mustangs that the 4R70W is subject to some odd behaviors, especially on the earlier versions as I presume you have. You might look at this:

https://www.americanmuscle....what-is-a-j-mod.html

and see if that, in combo with new fluid, gets you back to right.

In my very limited experience, a goofy valve body can cause all sorts of issues - shift flare, shuddering (as on the Rodeo), delayed/harsh engagement of gears, etc. If the transmission generally behaves, it's worth a look.

Also, on a '96 you should be able to run some good diagnostics - both electronic (OBDII) and mechanical (pressures). A reputable transmission shop should be of some help. On that Rodeo all it cost was a $60 diagnostic to tell me what the issue was, then a $200 labor bill to fix it. I couldn't have done that in my driveway no matter what, and I *really* hate taking cars in for work.


I also had valve body issues. Would throw a code after it got warm.
Sold the car and The parts to fix it.

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