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Lincoln Forum: Sudden and total tranny failure?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Sudden and total tranny failure?

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    I have a 94 Lincoln 4.6, and it's an old beater, and I haven't a lot of money to sink in it. Up till yesterday the tranny seemed OK other than some rough shifting and shifting maybe too often between 3rd and 4th and I suspect between 2nd and third on occasion.

    In any case, yesterday I took off and rode up the road OK but lost power after just a mile, and then it just acts like it's in neutral no matter what. There is fluid, if anything it's a little overfilled, and it doesn't seem particularly burnt or anything. I suspect the linkage is fine as well, as it worked just fine when I pulled out of the driveway and nothing has changed about it's feel, though I can't guarantee anything. I currently can't even look at the car because it didn't make it home and I'm stuck, but I have heard some say things like loss of vacuum somewhere can cause such behavior?

    As I said the car is a beater and I have little money. Bad as it is on gas I'm not likely to put much effort into fixing it unless the fix is simple and not hugely costly. If I had access to a cheap tranny, it is something I might undertake, but I really can't see spending over $200 on this boat, I'd likely be better off finding a beater Taurus or Escort or something and saving on gas. Still the engine runs well and I do like the simplicity of RWD, so if anyone knows of anything that could cause this problem, I sure would like to know and have an idea where to start?

  2. #2
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD; 2007 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited (sold)
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ottawa Ontario Canada
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    Welcome to the Forum.

    Sounds like the trans needs replacement or re-building. There are some things in the external trans control to check with a very small likelihood of repair.

    Older vehicles used engine vacuum to help with timing of gear shifting but not the actual operation. Likely your car would have electronic control of the trans operation so dirty electrical connections from your PCM to the trans, at the trans maybe a place to look. There are wear points in the transmission linkage for gear selection, so do you get the same neutral like operation in Reverse, Drive and any lower gears you can select? There is an electronic gear selection sensor (Transmission Range Sensor - TRS) that allows engine starting in Park and Neutral and prevents starting in all other gear positions, is yours working correctly. The TRS tells the PCM which gear you are in (Park, Reverse, Drive, etc) for trans operation and reverse light operation. Do they work correctly. There is an adjustment.

    The trans oil level is measured when the engine and transmission are hot and the engine running in Park. In this situation the trans oil is filling the torque converter and lines and valve body. When the engine is stopped the trans oil level would be high since it is not circulating. Symptoms of low oil level are: need a lot more revs to get the car moving, very slow shifts and not getting high gears easily feels like trans may be slipping. A quart low on trans fluid is enough to cause problems.

    Good luck.

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