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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for any help I can get! I'm desperate; need to get this car on the road asap... Here's the background:
Replaced the AOD in my '93 GT. The one I put in is used, but has only 8k miles on it, is clean, and has a known history. It was rebuilt by a reputable rebuilder and still even has the sticker with ID number from the rebuilder on it. So I have reason to believe it is good. Before installing, I pulled the pan and installed new filter. Also spun the convertor (came with trans) before installing, and everything was smooth and free.
So I installed it, and made sure not to bind up the convertor. After bolting trans to engine, convertor was still nice and free in the flex-plate before tightening flexplate nuts. The engine had turned easily when rotating it by the crank pulley bolt to get at each of the 4 flexplate studs.
Finished the install and started the car, and it cranked nice and quick and fired for a second or two the first time but didn't stay running. So I cranked again, and from that point on, every time I tried to crank it over it cranked very slowly... sounded like a dying battery... But I know the battery is brand new and voltage is right up there. While trying to start it, whenever it tried to fire up it would immediately kill like it was fighting something. Just sounded weird. The battery cables and the starter itself were very hot, like it was REALLY working hard and drawing a lot of current just to turn the engine over a few times. So I put a wrench on the crank pulley bolt just to see if everything still felt free, and now it is so tight it's almost impossible to turn over.

What could cause the trans to get tight like that? Could I have over-filled it? After installing, I put in 4.5 qt, knowing that when I bought it, the trans (and convertor) was full, and then I dropped the pan. So I added roughly what I thought I had taken out by dropping the pan. Even if the level was high, I thought it would just foam the ATF, not bind up like this. But I can't think of what else it could be. The ATF level is about 1" above the full mark on the stick with engine off and cold. (I know this isn't the right way to check it, but as you see, I can't check it warm or with engine running.)
Why is it so bound up? Can overfilling do this? Could it be linkage adjustment problems? I adjusted the TV cable per the manual, and tightened the shifter nut on the side of the trans right where it was when the trans was in P and the shifter in the car was in P.

Any help? What the heck could bind it up like that, AFTER the car was started the first time?
 

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Either your TC was not seated properly or your linkage is wrong and you are not in neutral or park.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll check the linkage. I am 100% sure the TC was seated. I made sure I could wiggle it after torquing the bellhousing bolts, before I put the nuts on to attach the TC to flexplate. I'll play with it tonight and see if that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Linkage is fine and TC IS seated properly. I also checked the starter engagement to make sure it wasn't stuck in engagement with the ring gear.
I tried the following last night. I loosened TC/Flexplate nuts. There is enough slop in the flexplate holes that you can rotate the engine back and forth a little before you start turning the TC with it. I put a torque wrench on the crank pulley bolt, and when turning only the engine, the torque is half what it is when you start turning the TC also. I pulled spark plugs and the serpentine belt to reduce rotational resistance. Even then, when cranking over with the starter it will crank a few times, then hit a wall and not even turn. It just seems like after a few revolutions, it binds up. Can this be fluid pressure building up in the trans or TC while cranking, hydraulically binding something up? Any other ideas??? Help! Thanks guys
 

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does the car rock or try to go forward while cranking? Stick a paper towel into the spark plug hole while cranking see if there is coolant in the cylinders. Also teh TC should seat three times. The last time is only an 1/8 in if it pops back out it will bind and if you arent careful it will crack the pump gear thus resulting in a shot tranny. The only way you will know if its not seated since it takes a qtr turn to seat is to pull it back out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I pulled all 8 plugs to look for coolant, and also to reduce rotational resistance while cranking. I removed the serp belt just to make sure I didn't have a seized accessory or something weird. I charged the battery overnight (only 2 years old, but just to make sure). STILL, when cranking the car over, it will crank a couple revolutions, then suddenly hit a wall and crank so slowly that it barely rotates at all. And I put a current pickup on the battery cable, and the current spikes from about 250 amps during cranking, to way over 400A when it binds up. Still just seems like something binds up hydraulically in the tranny after cranking over with the starter for 2 or 3 engine revolutions. Any more ideas? My next step is to pull a cooler line and crank it over; for two reasons: to remove some fluid in case I overfilled it, and to see if that will eliminate some kind of hydraulic dead-heading that's going on. Any more suggestions are welcomed. I'm about ready to push this thing onto the shoulder of a nearby road, light a match under it, and call the insurance company.
 

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just pull the tranny. You cannot overfill the coolant system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thx Spdjnky for sticking with me...
??? Huh? cooling system??? No, I was saying I'd pull a transmission cooler line and let some fluid pump out in case I had overfilled the transmission.
That's a moot point now: I checked it while running and it wasn't overfilled.
So I put the car on the ground and drove it. It can be started in N and driven in D or OD. Put it in R, P, or 1, and it will instantly lock up and kill the motor. Driving it in D, it starts in THIRD. Very slow to get moving, obviously. Once up to speed, it performs totally normal from about 40-60mph... 3-4 and 4-3 is all perfect. But just can't get it to start in 1st gear, and can't put it in P/R/1 unless you want to stop the engine as if you were side-stepping the clutch at idle in a manual trans.
Governor??
Valve body??
Anyone know how to relate these symptoms to a specific component so I know where to start?
When you say "Just" pull the trans... I have 5 cars, 2 kids, a full time job, an MBA program, and a mistress. (LoL) Not looking to spend any more time under this car than I absolutely have to.
 
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