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Automatic Transmission Dilemma

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Old 04-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Automatic Transmission Dilemma

Hey guys, I've been having the notorious 2-3 auto trans slip recently.

A little background: I bought the car New Year's Eve a few months ago with 84,000 miles. It came with a little 30 day/2000 mile warranty. Around about the beginning of March, I noticed that when I started driving the car in the mornings, the first shift from second to third would have a tiny bit of slippage. Sometimes the second 2-3 shift would too, but after that everything was fine.

Fast forward to today with 88,300 miles and it had the typical small 2-3 slippage on the first shift of morning. The thing that concerned me is that it slipped the 2-3 shift a couple times when it was all up to temperature.

I assume that its a steep slope from here once the trans is slipping already.

Here's what I'm thinking as far as options:

1. Take it to the trans shop now. Miraculously, it only needs that Intermediate Servo and its all good. Anyone know about how much that would cost to just fix the intermediate servo? Anybody have any experience just replacing the Intermediate Servo?

2. Find a used transmission. probably the least expensive option, but this seems like a huge gamble to me though because the next transmission could very well have the same if not more problems.

3. Spend the big bucks and use this negative experience as a reason to upgrade to a built transmission. I'm not planning on drag racing the car, but I would like to do the occasional track day and autocross (I've been too afraid of the fragile oem trans breaking to do so yet). Are built transmissions like the Performance Automatic unit well suited for track days or just straight line stuff? Anyone have any experience with them?

Any advice would be appreciated. I've had to rebuilt the transmissions in both my 2000 Crown Vic and 2003 Crown Vic and that was no fun and very expensive.
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2005 Mustang GT

Auto Trans, 3.31 Limited Slip, Steeda springs+sway bar, D Specs, Cragar SS 18", 255 Nitto 555's, 88,000 Miles
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
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Everyone else's transmissions have been peachy?
2005 Mustang GT

Auto Trans, 3.31 Limited Slip, Steeda springs+sway bar, D Specs, Cragar SS 18", 255 Nitto 555's, 88,000 Miles
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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Have you verified that your full of fluid? This transmission does lose fluid when it gets hot. It gets vented out via the bell housing. I would confirm that before spending any money.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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It's been my experience that any shop (dealer or dedicated trans shop) is gonna want to rebuild it. As you prolly already know, that's expensive. Almost as much as a built unit from a reputable shop, especially if you pull the old one out and install the new one yourself.

Are you getting any codes? O/D light flashing?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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That's what I figured about the shops. No codes or anything. Actually, after it slipped uncharacteristically the other day, it hasn't been slipping at all, even on the first 2-3 shift of the morning.

The thing about the built trans that worries me is, what if it has a problem? Then I can't just take it to any shop. I have to get parts from the manufacturer which means longer waits and more money. Still a tempting option though.

I'll read up on how to check the ATF. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
2005 Mustang GT

Auto Trans, 3.31 Limited Slip, Steeda springs+sway bar, D Specs, Cragar SS 18", 255 Nitto 555's, 88,000 Miles
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:05 AM   #6
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Do you have information on it's last transmission service/flush??

I'd look into that first before pulling your hair out.

If it shifts intermitently, I'd consider the fluid before anything else.. if it slips all the time, then I'd be worried.

Unless you have a high performance torque converter, then by all means.. slip away! lol

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Old 05-06-2012, 10:22 PM   #7
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You may want to have it checked out before a small problem turns into a big one.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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Fluid & filter change before anything else... If you take it to a Transmission shop and request a filter they must pull the pan, then they can inspect the bands, look for metal shavings etc before they put it back together. Best of luck with it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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+1 on a fluid change and pan visual. I might even consider taking a leap of faith and put synthetic (Amsoil would be my preference) in and hope for the best.

BTW, what is an "automatic transmission"? (Just yankin'...)
07 GT Prem: Alloy, MT, 3.55's, Steeda CAI w/Brenspeed tunes, FRPP Stingers, 275/40/18 Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S on SVT Cobras (OE GT500's), 14" shorty, Wheelskin side scoops & qtr window louvers, A-H rear window louvers, SHR honeycomb blackout panel, Sequentials, Hella Optilux Extreme XY fogs, Silverstars
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
SD 197
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I unfortantely had the 2nd-3rd rough shift. Or as the dealer called it, a "shift spur".

If it didn't rough shift, it would slip slightly. It would also have an occasional delay when shifting from drive to park, or reverse or vise versa.

After the dealer inspected it, they found metal in the drain pan. After going thru the numbers (replacement vs repair), my 3rd party extended warranty decided to cover a remanufactured transmission from Ford.

The dealer charged my warranty company $3800 for the tranny replacement. My deduct was $50 (thank God), and it comes with a 3 year unlimited mile warranty directly from Ford. Ford doesn't have new trannys for the 5-speeed slushbox, only remanufactured ones.

That being said, my service adviser didn't think my tranny would have failed, at least not for a long time. But since I was under warranty, it was a good idea to replace it.

Last edited by SD 197; 05-07-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:44 AM   #11
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Mine started the slip or flare in February at 38282 miles. It was a rough grinding shift from 2nd to 3rd. I'm in the process of having it replaced with hopefully a beefed up PA transmission.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:02 AM   #12
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As recommended, you should change fluid/filter. However, you've probably properly diagnosed the issue to a worn intermediate servo. They aren't that hard to replace, but I've only done it with the trans lowered/disconnected from the car.

The servo may be servicable while still in the car; it's a little tight, but it maybe can be done. You can get a billet servo from TCI.
I have the servos I pulled from my trans when I upgraded to TCI servos. Both of them have roughly 25k miles IIRC; would sell those for a reasonable low price, or just one.

Also, and maybe something you'd be looking more for, I'm pulling and selling my beefed-up 5r55s (going with a 4r70 for racing purposes). I bought the trans used, have put 8k miles on, with billet TCI servos and hardenned input shaft, and flexible dipstick tube in the pan. The trans internally has performance/build modifications, but I can't be sure how much power it can really hold. I'm putting 500 to the wheels and have had no issues with it whatsover. I'm adding a 'moderate' amount of power to mine and don't want to take the chance of trashing a perfectly good upgraded trans.
I'll be asking $900 for it when it goes for sale (it's coming out this coming weekend). Shipping these is a bitch though, and can run over $300 just for shipping.

Regardless, get it fixed before it gets worse!!!
Mike - 2005 Stroked/Forged/Cammed V8 (5.0L.); twin-turbo build underway
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:18 PM   #13
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Default 98 gt auto trans with overdrive

can anyone tell me why in overdrive in final gear does my tranny freewheel like its in neural after it slips from overdrive
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:18 PM
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