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!