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I would bet that at least the VB has to come off again to hunt for more debris, but also the governor might need to be cleaned out.

The 4th/OD gear should be obvious to be working, or not, in OD. The shifting sounds very messed up, so the OD is meaningless until you can get it to shift better in 1st-3rd. If the OD is gone, you will want to rebuild it. But if it turns out to be okay, you might be fine to install a VB kit and various Sonnax parts, plus accumulators etc. The clutches could be okay if the TV cable wasn't off for long, but the seals are very old and a rebuild could still be wise.

I have a 92 Mark VII with just 53k miles, soon I will get the cooling system and steering fixed, to drive it again. I wouldn't trust a low mileage trans that's 30+ years old. I'm swapping to a 4R70W next year at some time, I like the AOD's but they are weaker and not that good when there are issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
A stock AOD car, if you drive it at a constant 30mph, should be in 3rd gear, and with very little gas it should shift easily into 2nd. It shouldn't take much pedal to make it downshift.

You can adjust the TV cable manually, but never do it by "loosening" the cable(adding slack to it). Shortening the cable with the adjustment raises the TV pressure, which firms the shifting and raises the shift rpm slightly. You can shorten/firm the TV cable(shifts) as you like until it becomes too harsh for you. But that will not damage the trans, going the other way is like having no bushing, that will kill it.

If you take that adjustment block loose(remove the tiny plastic locking pin from it), you better have first marked the plastic cable carefully so you know where it began. It's a decent idea to adjust the cable shorter by a good 1/8" or more to begin. But if it has already been altered, just know it may need more to get it back to the proper psi range.

The proper TV pressure is about 33psi with the proper checking tool installed(it pulls the cable tighter while at idle, for the test). You can replicate that tool with a simple "X" bit, though that is hard to hold in place between the cable end and the housing etc. I measured that about 24 years ago with the proper tool that I used on my first 91 Mark VII. The proper tool just slips over the cable after you pull the end(TB opened). But you need a pressure gauge on the TV port to check that.
When I cruise at 30, it likes to stay in what i believe is 2nd at almost exactly 1k rpm, and when giving it gas it will immediately downshift and take off. It may be third though and I may not be feeling the 2-3 shift.

Also whenever I have manually adjusted the tv cable I have only shortened the cable, and before it had 0 psi at idle (completely centered in the hole for the bushing) and it took about 1/4 inch of shortening it for it to become drivable. I was afraid to adjust it any more, but would you recommend me to try and adjust it more? I dont know much about AOD trannies, th350's are what im used to lol so I dont know much about them/adjusting them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I would bet that at least the VB has to come off again to hunt for more debris, but also the governor might need to be cleaned out.

The 4th/OD gear should be obvious to be working, or not, in OD. The shifting sounds very messed up, so the OD is meaningless until you can get it to shift better in 1st-3rd. If the OD is gone, you will want to rebuild it. But if it turns out to be okay, you might be fine to install a VB kit and various Sonnax parts, plus accumulators etc. The clutches could be okay if the TV cable wasn't off for long, but the seals are very old and a rebuild could still be wise.

I have a 92 Mark VII with just 53k miles, soon I will get the cooling system and steering fixed, to drive it again. I wouldn't trust a low mileage trans that's 30+ years old. I'm swapping to a 4R70W next year at some time, I like the AOD's but they are weaker and not that good when there are issues.
The fluid has become a little nasty again but I believe it is just remnants of the old fluid, but I am probably going to change it again when I resto the car and will clean the vb and the other parts. Also, I am aiming to keep the car 100% original other than some basic stuff like lightbulbs, otherwise I would absolutely put a shift kit and some more stuff in the trans.

The tv cable was on and fell off while I was driving one day because the bushing completely fell apart. After that I believe the cable was only off for a max of 5 miles of driving, so would that be enough to smoke the clutches? I have heard of 4th going in less than that, but also it going at more than 50, so I really dont know what to think of it.
 

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The TV cable is an additive pressure source, it must contribute to the line pressure at anything above idle. The setting process is with the throttle opened slightly, by the thickness of the "X" bit holding the TV cable shorter than stock. So it's checked with the TB at idle, and the tool pulling the TV cable tighter by the proper amount.

Typically a stock AOD with a 302 HO engine will shift around 4500rpm, and slightly lower at each higher shift. The HO models had the highest shifting governor(on the tail shaft), it's a tiny counterweight device that affects the shift points. I had a TransGo HD kit in my first Mark VII, and had it shifting at 5600(302 had Edelbrock heads and intake). The 2nd to 3rd shift was at maybe 5200rpm, rarely a little higher.
 

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The TV cable is critical, but more so at high throttle, so a mild cruising with the bushing gone, for a short while, won't burn up the clutches or bands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The TV cable is an additive pressure source, it must contribute to the line pressure at anything above idle. The setting process is with the throttle opened slightly, by the thickness of the "X" bit holding the TV cable shorter than stock. So it's checked with the TB at idle, and the tool pulling the TV cable tighter by the proper amount.

Typically a stock AOD with a 302 HO engine will shift around 4500rpm, and slightly lower at each higher shift. The HO models had the highest shifting governor(on the tail shaft), it's a tiny counterweight device that affects the shift points. I had a TransGo HD kit in my first Mark VII, and had it shifting at 5600(302 had Edelbrock heads and intake). The 2nd to 3rd shift was at maybe 5200rpm, rarely a little higher.
4500? That sounds really high. I thought the rev limiter on the 5.0 ho was 5,500. For me I once hit the limiter without realizing and it was at about 6,250. If it was cruising at 3-4k and shifting at 4.5k wouldnt it get really hot and overheat? The engine I mean, it overheated yesterday when I cruised at 3-4k for about 10 minutes with some stops, turns, etc. thrown in there.
The TV cable is critical, but more so at high throttle, so a mild cruising with the bushing gone, for a short while, won't burn up the clutches or bands.
Thats good to know, so maybe 4th actually is still there. When the bushing was off I didnt give it a lot of throttle even once.
 

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The TransGo AOD kits are the best VB kits available, both are very helpful for all conditions. The HD kit is more extensive and has far more responsive shifting(to throttle input), the ability to raise the shifts a few hundred higher, plus the possibility of much harder shifts, plus being able to hold in each gear better. Nothing will enable the OD to survive WOT, never push it in OD or past the shift point in 3rd.

The TransGo was wonderful in my first 91 Lincoln, I loved driving that car with it. I had the shifts set at the medium level, which was notably firmer than stock, but not harsh at all. That one took some extra time to install, including the long transfer tube into two drilled holes in the VB housing. I have that trans at home rebuilt, with extra shifting rpm done to it(never tested of course), with the wide band parts installed, blue clutches, Kolene steels etc. I never got to use it, and will be taking it apart soon to get the obsolete(bought new) AODE sun gear shell out of it. I'm going to install that into my 4R to make it close ratio(same as AOD and AODE).
 

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Watch your coolant temps, it's likely the car needs a new thermostat, all the hoses, and maybe a fan clutch and/or fan. Over heating the engine would be worse it if blows a head gasket, don't let it get too hot for very long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Watch your coolant temps, it's likely the car needs a new thermostat, all the hoses, and maybe a fan clutch and/or fan. Over heating the engine would be worse it if blows a head gasket, don't let it get too hot for very long.
When it began to overheat the past few times I put it in drive and within 2-3 minutes the temp dropped about 40-50 degrees. The plastic fan has some cracks in it but seems structurally sound, but I may replace it anyways. All hoses, the thermostat, radiator, and overflow tank seem to be in good condition so I really dont know why it would be overheating and why it only does so in overdrive. It has never overheated in drive, and, it was even at around 280 in overdrive once until i realized... Luckily didnt crack the heads/block and didnt blow a head hasket. Truly a miracle
 

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The fluid has become a little nasty again but I believe it is just remnants of the old fluid, but I am probably going to change it again when I resto the car and will clean the vb and the other parts. Also, I am aiming to keep the car 100% original other than some basic stuff like lightbulbs, otherwise I would absolutely put a shift kit and some more stuff in the trans.

The tv cable was on and fell off while I was driving one day because the bushing completely fell apart. After that I believe the cable was only off for a max of 5 miles of driving, so would that be enough to smoke the clutches? I have heard of 4th going in less than that, but also it going at more than 50, so I really dont know what to think of it.
Drive it lightly until is all goes, and it will go bad. You have clutch debris all throughout the transmission, and also the radiator so it’s dust a s well. You will have to pull the trans and take everything apart to clean. You will never get all the debris out of the radiator as it has already clogged the cooling passages. chances are your converter is all also toast, same issue with debris. AOD’s are not hard to rebuild but do require a few specific tools.
Ford in their infinite wisdom used a plastic ferrule to hold the pressure cable to the throttle body. Overtime the ferrule’s got hot and cracked thus allowing the pressure cable to just sit on the intake manifold. Lots of fried transmissions because of this ferrule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Drive it lightly until is all goes, and it will go bad. You have clutch debris all throughout the transmission, and also the radiator so it’s dust a s well. You will have to pull the trans and take everything apart to clean. You will never get all the debris out of the radiator as it has already clogged the cooling passages. chances are your converter is all also toast, same issue with debris. AOD’s are not hard to rebuild but do require a few specific tools.
Ford in their infinite wisdom used a plastic ferrule to hold the pressure cable to the throttle body. Overtime the ferrule’s got hot and cracked thus allowing the pressure cable to just sit on the intake manifold. Lots of fried transmissions because of this ferrule.
Its not my daily, its a weekend car to have fun in, so what I hear it to have a lot of fun and blow the tranny since it will go anyways 👍

But yeah my trans fluid it turning black-ish again and smells terrible and the radiator has a layer of black material on top of the fluid after driving for a while. Im assuming that both of these are most likely clutch material? My plastic "ferrule" disintegrated while driving and I replaced it with a metal one that I got off of LMR (Link) How long of driving (very careful driving, not giving it gas at all) would it take to guarantee destruction of the tranny?
 

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Its not my daily, its a weekend car to have fun in, so what I hear it to have a lot of fun and blow the tranny since it will go anyways 👍

But yeah my trans fluid it turning black-ish again and smells terrible and the radiator has a layer of black material on top of the fluid after driving for a while. Im assuming that both of these are most likely clutch material? My plastic "ferrule" disintegrated while driving and I replaced it with a metal one that I got off of LMR (Link) How long of driving (very careful driving, not giving it gas at all) would it take to guarantee destruction of the tranny?
I bought my current fox with a bad trans. Guy I bought it from said it had a problem with OD so he only drove 1-3. First thing I did when looking at the car was to open the hood and look at the throttle body and trans cable, sure enough no plastic ferrule. Got the car for $1k less because of that.
I put ~100 miles on the car before 3rd gear started acting up. When I pulled the trans apart it was pretty nasty. The reverse drum was trashed due to excessive heat from the fried OD band. It took awhile to get all the clutch fragments out of everything, especially the valve body. Rebuilt with all upgraded parts and it ran perfect up until I sold it and went with a 4R70W to better suit the engine hp I was making. if you can build a turbo 350, you won’t have any issues rebuilding the AOD.
 

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But yeah my trans fluid it turning black-ish again and smells terrible and the radiator has a layer of black material on top of the fluid after driving for a while. Im assuming that both of these are most likely clutch material? M
What. You dont see any transmission fluid when opening the radiator cap. Yes trany fluid does flow through the internal cooler BUT in no way shows up in your coolant. You have cooling system issues if there is a layer of black when you open the rad cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
What. You dont see any transmission fluid when opening the radiator cap. Yes trany fluid does flow through the internal cooler BUT in no way shows up in your coolant. You have cooling system issues if there is a layer of black when you open the rad cap.
I typed that without even remembering about that lol. I dont know why because I have dealt with the tranny cooler lines so much on chevys and have dealt with radiator problems before. I wonder what that black stuff is then? It looks similar to, basically identical to the stuff polluting the tranny fluid. Wierd. Every time I drive it though there is less and less. But yeah I guess I will just pretend I didnt see it and go on with my day, it is probably just what is causing the car to run hot, no biggie
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I bought my current fox with a bad trans. Guy I bought it from said it had a problem with OD so he only drove 1-3. First thing I did when looking at the car was to open the hood and look at the throttle body and trans cable, sure enough no plastic ferrule. Got the car for $1k less because of that.
I put ~100 miles on the car before 3rd gear started acting up. When I pulled the trans apart it was pretty nasty. The reverse drum was trashed due to excessive heat from the fried OD band. It took awhile to get all the clutch fragments out of everything, especially the valve body. Rebuilt with all upgraded parts and it ran perfect up until I sold it and went with a 4R70W to better suit the engine hp I was making. if you can build a turbo 350, you won’t have any issues rebuilding the AOD.
Did your 1-3 act similar to how mine does when it was about to go bad? And I am going to try and get it up to speed soon on the highway and push it into od, whether it be automatically or me manually trying it. Do you know at about what speed that it shifts into od?
 

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ypc0cnz ... first off nice looking foxbody. I am late to the conversation but will put forward my 2 cents and experience with an AOD.

Another option to the TransGo VB kits is a VB from Lentech. A couple features that I really enjoyed. First they reprogram the shift pattern. Your stock shift is P-R-N-OD-D-1. Lentech's is P-R-N-OD/D-2-1. For those that pull it down to first and powershift to accelerate from time to time it eliminates the need to do the 1-D-1 shuffle to get and hold 2nd gear. Much like I assume the TransGo kit does, they speed up the shifts, making them firmer and quicker (less heat generation). Last feature I liked when pushing my car hard - they have a built in lock out of OD at WOT - it will not shift into OD at WOT.

When I installed my Lentech VB in an otherwise 100% stock AOD with 200k on it I followed their instructions for setting up the TV cable and found my shift points were really high. It shifted very firm and I could not get OD until almost 50mph. Then when coasting down it would hard downshift at about 35mph from OD into 3rd. I wanted a more behaved around town shifting manners so I ended up backing it off (through trial and error) to where the connection to the throttle body was essentially aligned with the TV cable bushing, no pull or preload on the cable. That got me nice manners at part throttle yet still 4500-5000 rpm shifts at full throttle.

Above when you say you set the TV cable to get 0 psi, are you talking fluid pressure at the TV Test Port or pull pressure on the TV cable?

The shifting in your car should not be different from D to OD. The only difference is the shifter has now allowed OD to be engaged. Is there any misalignment or out of adjustment of your shifter cable? Maybe you are only going half way into the OD detent in the trans and this is causing your issues. Not sure, just a thought.

Regarding your overheating - are you only getting readings off the factory gauge or have you check actual with a mechanical gauge or infrared gun on rad tank? The factory gauge is known to be inaccurate (but can be considered accurate if verified by some other method). The debris in rad would not likely be trans fluid as your trans would be empty in short order if you had a leak. Besides, the trans line in the rad is only a single tube that connects the two fittings - nothing more. It really doesn't cool the trans fluid very much and is mainly there to warm the fluid on cold days. Adding an aftermarket cooler would be better at controlling the trans fluid heat.

The black gunk in the rad could be someone's "stop leak" material that didn't fully desolve. I would drain and flush the system, check that your fan clutch is working right and no leaks, check that the thermostat is good. Before you drain the system, open the rad and start the car. Let it idle and observe when the coolant draws down in the rad and starts to flow through the tubes into the tank. See if the flow looks good. If not, have the rad cleaned and flushed at a local rad shop.

The nasty fluid after your fluid and filter change could be old fluid that was in the torque converter that didn't get changed. It has now circulated and contaminated your new fluid.

Good luck with the diagnostic and keep us in the loop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
ypc0cnz ... first off nice looking foxbody. I am late to the conversation but will put forward my 2 cents and experience with an AOD.

Another option to the TransGo VB kits is a VB from Lentech. A couple features that I really enjoyed. First they reprogram the shift pattern. Your stock shift is P-R-N-OD-D-1. Lentech's is P-R-N-OD/D-2-1. For those that pull it down to first and powershift to accelerate from time to time it eliminates the need to do the 1-D-1 shuffle to get and hold 2nd gear. Much like I assume the TransGo kit does, they speed up the shifts, making them firmer and quicker (less heat generation). Last feature I liked when pushing my car hard - they have a built in lock out of OD at WOT - it will not shift into OD at WOT.

When I installed my Lentech VB in an otherwise 100% stock AOD with 200k on it I followed their instructions for setting up the TV cable and found my shift points were really high. It shifted very firm and I could not get OD until almost 50mph. Then when coasting down it would hard downshift at about 35mph from OD into 3rd. I wanted a more behaved around town shifting manners so I ended up backing it off (through trial and error) to where the connection to the throttle body was essentially aligned with the TV cable bushing, no pull or preload on the cable. That got me nice manners at part throttle yet still 4500-5000 rpm shifts at full throttle.

Above when you say you set the TV cable to get 0 psi, are you talking fluid pressure at the TV Test Port or pull pressure on the TV cable?

The shifting in your car should not be different from D to OD. The only difference is the shifter has now allowed OD to be engaged. Is there any misalignment or out of adjustment of your shifter cable? Maybe you are only going half way into the OD detent in the trans and this is causing your issues. Not sure, just a thought.

Regarding your overheating - are you only getting readings off the factory gauge or have you check actual with a mechanical gauge or infrared gun on rad tank? The factory gauge is known to be inaccurate (but can be considered accurate if verified by some other method). The debris in rad would not likely be trans fluid as your trans would be empty in short order if you had a leak. Besides, the trans line in the rad is only a single tube that connects the two fittings - nothing more. It really doesn't cool the trans fluid very much and is mainly there to warm the fluid on cold days. Adding an aftermarket cooler would be better at controlling the trans fluid heat.

The black gunk in the rad could be someone's "stop leak" material that didn't fully desolve. I would drain and flush the system, check that your fan clutch is working right and no leaks, check that the thermostat is good. Before you drain the system, open the rad and start the car. Let it idle and observe when the coolant draws down in the rad and starts to flow through the tubes into the tank. See if the flow looks good. If not, have the rad cleaned and flushed at a local rad shop.

The nasty fluid after your fluid and filter change could be old fluid that was in the torque converter that didn't get changed. It has now circulated and contaminated your new fluid.

Good luck with the diagnostic and keep us in the loop.
You have a sweet foxbody yourself kind sir!

With the 0 psi, I mean whenever the cable has no tension on it and is not loose with no throttle but is perfectly centered in the hole.

The overheating is me reading it on the factory gauge. I have heard that they are inacurate and I believe mine is off a bit aswell, but whenever it is reading at around 250 on the gauge, then I can smell coolant from inside of the car if the top is down. I can verify that the fan clutch and thermostat are working properly and that stop-leak was never added to the radiator, making the black residue issue even more confusing. The mustang has been a family car its whole life, and it has never had any leaks or had overheated prior to these recent events. I pondered adding some stop leak to the rad to see if there is a coolant leak within the system, but that stuff is expensive right now. $50 per 1/2 quart where i am. I am begining to wonder if it is a blown head gasket between the exhaust valve and coolant port that is allowing carbon/soot to enter the system...
 

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I would go through the cooling system to bring it up to new conditions, the fluid, hoses, and thermostat. If there is any air showing under the cap, I'd replace that too. It's hard to say what is raising the temp, given the unknown parts and their age. Don't assume it's all like new and guess at a head gasket, first be sure they are all good. I'd do the fan clutch also if it's not clear that it forces a lot of air through the radiator. Most issues come from one or more of those basic parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I would go through the cooling system to bring it up to new conditions, the fluid, hoses, and thermostat. If there is any air showing under the cap, I'd replace that too. It's hard to say what is raising the temp, given the unknown parts and their age. Don't assume it's all like new and guess at a head gasket, first be sure they are all good. I'd do the fan clutch also if it's not clear that it forces a lot of air through the radiator. Most issues come from one or more of those basic parts.
Now that I think about it, the plasic fan is very cracked. Not to the point of where it is like falling apart, but it may be flexing and twisting really bad while running.

Whenever I begin restoring the car in the next couple weeks, I am probably going to replace the head gaskets because of the heat. I already need to take the heads off actually so make that a will replace. I need to replace the lower intake because when I installed a new temp sensor (old one didnt work) I tightened it down to where it was firm. It leaked terribly so I tightened it a little more. This happened a few more times until I heard "Pop", and when I started it this time, the fluid gushed out. I took my dremel to the crack and dug into it throughout the entirety of where it stretched and put some high temp jb weld on it. Heres a picture of it. And yes I know that I covered the sensor but I am going to replace the manifold anyways.
Automotive tire Water Fish Auto part Metal
 

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Why do you need to take the heads off? That intake could probably be welded if you have a good machinist closeby. Fans are available and so are clutches so you might as well swap them out.

As far as temp goes, don’t assume how hot it’s running. Verify temps with a laser thermometer.
 
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