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Unread 06-24-2010   #1 (permalink)
whitey333 is offline Rookie

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Default 1995 Mustang GT Automatic Transmission Questions/Concerns

First, let me introduce myself, I am new here. Names Danny, pleasure to be here/meet yall!



Ok, I have a few questions about my mustang. Im by no means a mechanic, and have very limited knowledge relating to Mustangs (this is my first ford).



I recently purchased a 1995 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 AOD(E?) and have some questions/concerns about the transmission. For the most part, the mustang runs great. My question is about transmission fluid. The reason im asking about fluid is because of my various questions to a few folks here and there about my transmission, the most common reply is "try changing the fluid" or "check the transmission mounts".



What my transmission does is this:



SOMETIMES it hard shifts, just depends on how much gas im giving it. If im just cruising (2-4 grand), when I let off the gas, it shifts hard, no shudder in the shift, just a really hard shift that shakes (again no shudder) the whole car. If i ride along at the 3-5 grand range, it shifts great, you hardly feel a thing. (note: the rpm ranges i stated might not be accurate, just giving you an idea of what im talking about)



Downshifting, im skipping 2nd and 3rd when downshifting, when i slow down quickly. When i just take my foot off the gas and let the car coast, it downshifts through all gears. Also, concerning the "taking my foot off the gas", once I shift from first to second and let off the gas and cruise a little, and then give it some gas (not much) i feel a vibration through the car, the kinda vibration you would feel if you cross the white line on to the warning/wake up grooves on a highway.



Last, after being on the road for a while, I can smell the transmission fluid (transmission fluid is not burnt by the way, and is a nice bright red). But just sitting at the stop light, after ive been driving for half an hour or so, you can smell it. Sometimes you can smell it really strong. Also, ive noticed this while driving for a while... I rest my hand on the shifter a lot, and one day i felt some heat coming from it. I reached down and wrapped my hand around the arm of the shifter and it was hot as hell. Now I do have a convertible and realize this could contribute to some of the heat (on a all black shifter) but it seems like it is way hotter than it should be.



OK, now that you have a run down of what my transmission is doing, here are my thoughts/questions.



I dont have a lot of money and some suggestions I have been given were to: flush the transmission and put in royal purple ATF, check the mounts for the transmission or take to a ford dealership and have them run diagnostics on the transmission. Changing the fluid was suggested as a temporary fix/helper til I could save up some money and have it looked at by a professional, the mounts idea was suggested just to see if maybe the hard shifts were being caused because it was, well, loose.



How many quarts does the transmission hold, is it really a good idea to change the fluid in the first place and while im at it, should i replace the filter too? (i have heard that doing this is a bad idea from some folks, and others say it wont hurt to do it) Or should I just park the car and save up enough loot to take it to the dealership and let them run the diagnostics before I go off trying every quick fix thrown my way?



I realize that I just typed a freakin essay just to ask those questions, but I felt yall needed to know exactly what was going on, and why I am asking about this in the first place.



Thanks for taking the time to read this! Any and all replies are greatly appreciated.
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Unread 06-24-2010   #2 (permalink)
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You have an AODE.

It holds a whopping 14 quarts of fluid.

You need to use Mercon V fluid in it.

There is a drain plug on the torque converter.

First, have you checked the level of the fluid? Could it be low? You didn't say and that is the cheapest place to start.

When was the last time the fluid was changed? I change my fluid once a year. I am a little anal though.

Here is my story on why I would change the fluid:

I bought my car with about 25,000 miles on it. The first time I drove it, it acted almost exactly as you describe. Shudder, inconsistent shifts, hunting for gears. I bought it anyhow because the price was right, thinking I could always get the tranny fixed.

First thing I did was a complete tune-up and all fluids, including tranny fluid and filter. That completely eliminated the issues. It has not shuddered or hesitated shifting since.

You can get a 5 gallon jug of Valvoline Mercon V from NAPA for like $65 or so, or you can get it by the quart for like $5 a quart. It is unlikely you will need all 14 quarts as it is virtually impossible to completely drain it, but you want to make sure you have enough. I would not recommend having it flushed - in my experience, bad things happen when transmissions are flushed.

When you buy the filter, it will come with a crappy gasket. If the rubber gasket around your pan is still good, just reuse it - it is much better quality.

You might also want to check your TPS voltage. This link will show you how to check it. you need to check it across its entire range of operation to see if you have a "dead spot." Note that if its bad, you need to just replace it.

Setting the Mustang TPS Voltage

Finally, there are a few sensors on the transmission itself. If one of those is faulty, you should have a code stored in the computer. Pulling the codes may also be in order to check for that:

DIY KOEO/KOER/Cylinder Balance Self-Test Procedure

You are looking for codes in the 600s for transmission sensors / faults.

Finally, just so you are aware, there a some inherent weaknesses in the stock AODE. Accumulator springs, for example, are prone to break. The stock torque converter is prone to expose itself for the piece of crap that it is. And others. That being said, be optimistic, and start with the cheapest things first. May not be the solution, but it is better than buying a new tranny when all you needed was some new fluid...
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SOLD - 1995 Black Mustang GT, AODE. Loved it, but I had to let it go...

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Unread 06-24-2010   #3 (permalink)
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The fluid level is good, and I dont know when the last time it was changed. I just bought it, and so far all I have done is changed the oil, oil filter (twice, changed it and the filer, then changed it again one week later) and changed the air filter. Like you, I bought it (knowing all of this) because the price was right.

Is there a particular reason why I should use Mercron V as opposed to Royal Purple ATF? Im by no means dead-set on using RP ATF, im just curious. A few folks have told me to use that when I do change the fluid. I will check the TPS voltage ASAP, thanks for the heads up!

Thank you for the reply!
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Unread 06-24-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Well the RP Max ATF is like $13 a quart and $175 for 5 gallons...

Here is why I said Mercon V - suppose you change the fluid and it doesn't do anything. With traditional Mercon V, you are out what, $50 or $60? How much are you out if you use RP? Considerably more.

I have nothing at all against using Royal Purple. I just would not use it as a diagnostic tool in a tranny that may be bad. Too expensive for me. You can always put it in at the next change if you truly have a fluid issue.
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2006 GT - Vortech polished w/ intercooler, Eibach suspension, Hurst short-throw, some other goodies - tuned by Paul's High Performance. It moves...

and it collects dust admirably while parked for repairs in the garage...

SOLD - 1995 Black Mustang GT, AODE. Loved it, but I had to let it go...

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Unread 06-24-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Ahhh, I gotcha. Although I knew the cost of RP, I didnt know how much I was gonna need. You definitely make a good point as far as what kind to use as a 'diagnostic' fluid! Thanks for the heads up lol
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Unread 06-25-2010   #6 (permalink)
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I used Walmarts brand last year and havn't had any problems. It was like $11 a gallon. How many miles on her? I get a small vibration in second or third with light acceleration. The car has done it since I bought it 10 years ago with 38K miles. You confused me on the first comment. You let off the gas and the car upshifts? So, you are driving the car kind of hard and you let off of the gas....then she will shift into the overdrive gear and kind of jerks forward into the shift? Does that sound about the same? Again, another characteristc of the trans. You just caught the trans in a middle of a shift. When you let off it tries to correct for the proper shift to the new throttle positon. Which would be a lower RPM. Just find a mechanic you trust and have them evaluate it. With your limited knowledge of the car and mechanic skills, I wouldn't take the chance to try and fit it yourself. You may end up destroying a trans. If you just want to perform routine maintenance, have at it! That's how we learn.
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Unread 06-26-2010   #7 (permalink)
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I can see how that first comment was confusing. After re-reading it, it confused me as well lol. But the way you explained it, is basically ewhat I was trying to say, it just didnt come out right I guess lol She has 116221 miles by the way.
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Unread 06-26-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Read this TSB from Ford. It seems to address some of your issues

http://www.tccoa.com/articles/mn12-t...tsb-98-8-7.pdf
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Unread 06-26-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks toyman! Gonna read it shortly, have some running to do.
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Unread 06-28-2010   #10 (permalink)
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I had the torque shudder too. The car jerks a little back and forth. You described it like going over rumble strips. That's probably the issue. I have flushed the trans twice, changed 1-2 and 2-3 accumulators, added a cooler and a shift kit. I still get a small vibration, but feels more like the motor lugging because of low torque at low RPM and not the trans.
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