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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This has been a bad week for my house of cars, 4 out of 5 have been to the shop for repairs including the Cougar which broke today and is currently parked at my local fix it shop. This is how it all began. I was driving the car in order to burn off a few gallons of gas due to it leaking out because I was parked on a hill, (rear end pointing down hill). I normally check my trans fluid before I drive because I know I have a leak at my linkage connections but this time I did not.

I figured I'd drive 10 to 15 miles on some nearby back roads where I could open it up. After about 20 minutes of hard driving I noticed that my exhaust sounded like I had a leak at the manifold connection. No problem I thought I'll just take it to the shop tomorrow and get it fixed there's time for one last burnout before heading home. I do the burnout and get back on the road; about a mile from home I have one last stretch of open road that I can hit no less than 70 mph on so I punch it. I'm looking at the speedo as it hits 20, 30, 40, and then all of a sudden I hear and feel a BANG right next to my foot. It was so violent that the faceplate on my radio popped off and I suddenly was no longer accelerating but simply coasting.

I pull into a closed down strip mall parking lot and into a parking space, engine still running. I tried all the gears but had none, a quick look under the hood and car showed no visible signs of any damage that I could see. The trans still holds the car still in park. My questions, what did I possibly break, the transmission, shift linkage or something more serious? And lastly, could it have been a result of not having enough fluid in the trans?

Hopefully it's not too serious but if I did break my trans I'll definitely be dropping in a new AOD one, I'm tired of 13 mpg and only having 3 speeds.
 

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Broken Flexplate maybe !
 

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If Park still holds the car, it's not the differential. If you can start the engine it's not the flexplate. remove the cover on the bottom front of the bellhousing to inspect the flexplate. It sounds likr that's the most logical and cheapest to fix.
 

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Still holds in park but no gears usually indicates an internal problem. Burnouts and whatnot tend to break old parts.

Hopefully it's not too serious but if I did break my trans I'll definitely be dropping in a new AOD one, I'm tired of 13 mpg and only having 3 speeds.
Come on, Maxgig. It's a 40 year old car that you drive so infrequently that you have to run it to get extra fuel out of it. Cut it some slack and give it a tune up. It can do better than 13, unless that's your city mpg and it's a 390 car.
Crawl up under it and investigate so you know what you're looking at, damagewise. Or, put it on a lift. Whatever you prefer.
 

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Whats the deal with Cougar owners and burnouts???
 

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Hey Maxgig, Forget the local fix-it shop for a 40-year old classic cat. Unless the mechanics are old-school and/or are classic car hobbyist too. You might not be getting what you're paying for. I agree with the suggested diagnosis above. If the engine starts & runs, holds park & the rear diff isn't broke... It's possible that the torque converter scattered internally. Best of Luck with the FIX. Hope it's nothing too serious.

Gary
 

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Maybe the input shaft on the trans broke? Or possibly the trans pump went, but I don't know of those break violently, like on my th400, the pump broke and I lost all forward gears but still had reverse.

I'm guessing when the bang happened you instinctively took your foot off the gas. Describe more how you limped to the shopping mall- did you just coast with engine off? Does the engine run same as before, just acts like its in neutral? Input shaft might go violently like you describe yet not leave external signs, fluid loss, etc. Parking pawl acts against output shaft, so park would still hold.

Any transmission specialists out there thinking input shaft or pump?

Kevin
 

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My money's on the torque converter. Good luck and let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Still holds in park but no gears usually indicates an internal problem. Burnouts and whatnot tend to break old parts.


Come on, Maxgig. It's a 40 year old car that you drive so infrequently that you have to run it to get extra fuel out of it. Cut it some slack and give it a tune up. It can do better than 13, unless that's your city mpg and it's a 390 car.
Crawl up under it and investigate so you know what you're looking at, damagewise. Or, put it on a lift. Whatever you prefer.
Cougarshaman, trust me I drive the cat no less than 3x's a week. I have what my wife calls a bad habit in that I always end my drives with a trip to the gas station to fill up what I drove out. I had actually drove it the day before and filled up.

I'm having it towed to another shop that I feel more comfortable with, the last shop straight out told me that they weren't real up to date on that type of repair but that he would give it his best shot. Not what I wanted to hear so I made a few phone calls and actually conducted three mechanical interviews (believe it or not) now its going to a shop that I feel much better about. They currently have a 69 Camaro in that the owner is having them put a 6 speed transmission into.

Oh and Art, as for the burnouts; come on, I just learned how to do them properly. Plus its so much fun to leave behind two tire marks instead of one. I love my locking rearend. I'll keep you guys posted on what the problem is and I may need some advice on available options for a 4 speed trans with O/D.
 

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I'm thinking a flexplate since you didn't mention fluid coming out. Hopefully a simple repair regardless.
 

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Sounds like you need to move to a lower crime neighborhood! ;>)

Sorry to say it, I bet you shelled the TC or the input shaft. Either way, Id start freshining up the ol' AOD. Why stick $700+ when your halfway to lower gas mileage anyway? Good luck. You will have to lop off an inch on the driveshaft, and get tran Xmember for the AOD.
 

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Was the engine still running after the bang? Are you able to start the engine after?

I had a 1980 Mustang Cobra that some guy dropped in a 1990 5.0 in it and it drove great untill one day I turned down a friends road, put my foot one the gas and, BANG!

I could rev the engine but no power so I coasted into his driveway. The transmission shifted fine and it went into park and neutral no problem.

It turned out that the idiot didn't change the weight on the flexplate to match the modern 5.0 harmonic balancer and the crank snapped right at the last rod where the input shaft goes into it. So all 8 cylinder still fired making it run normally but when I went to start it it just spun the flexplate by itself very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just came back from the mechanic, he has the transmission off and so far there is no damage to any of the visible parts. The flexplate is good, the input shaft is good, the torque converter checks out fine and the fluid is clean with no metal parts in it. He's going to begin taking it apart this afternoon; I located the paperwork that the previous owner provided when I bought the car.

The transmission is a Street Fighter 2 with a T-Bone Gear Drive, (whatever all that means) and was made by TCI. Ron, the mechanic said TCI stands behind their transmissions and that I may have a full warranty with this one, especially if he can find a build data plate somewhere inside it. My paperwork shows that the trans only has about 35k miles put on it since the engine was rebuilt. Hopefully there's a warranty, nevertheless I'll be upgrading to an AOD. I'll keep you all posted as things unfold.
 

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You know, I just thought of this...on my Ford F-150, one time I had about the same experiance, going about 50 mph when all of a sudden big bang, WTF!! shook the truck and scared the he!! out of us. Couldn't see anything broken, nothing leaking, everything seemed okay and it kept running fine, no more big bangs or anything. Then about 2 weeks later I needed to set the e-brake and there was nothing, went home and put it up on jack stands, pulled the rear tires and rotors and sure enough, the little e-brake shoes inside the rear rotor had fallen apart, so that big bang was caused by a piece of the e-brake getting munched (you could see the witness marks on the e-brake drum/rotor). Could this be it for you??? Just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well it appears that I broke the trans internally, the mechanic said he could have it back on the road for about $1500 parts & labor. I thought it over and called TCI and I'm going with one of their AOD packages. They have one for around $2600, I may need to get my driveshaft shortened but I'll have the longer legs I've been after and hopefully my gas mileage will jump up to the high teens instead of my current 11 -13 mpg range. The only downside is that it will take about 6 weeks to build, which means I'll miss out on some of the nearby events. I plan on taking a road trip to my in-laws in IA as soon as I break in the trans.
 

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Other transmission guys out there other than TCI.
No warranty on the C4?

I'd look at a junkyard unit, having it rebuilt with some type of shift improver kit and a performance lockup converter.
 
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