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Questions and Answers

Mustang Transmission Woes

Q. I have a 1987 Ford Mustang, 5.0 HO, Fuel Injected, automatic, with 120,000 miles. I also have a two-part question. First part, the car runs very well but after driving it for a few minutes with the gear selector in the "OD" position at speeds above 40 mph, stepping on the gas to overtake another car or merge, the RPM's skyrocket and the car lunges, breaking traction and sometimes going nowhere at all as if the car were in Neutral.

Obviously this is not good and I fear that the dollar signs are growing bigger, thus I have stopped driving the car. This behavior is only present in the "OD" position and not "D" or "1". Hearing about the reputation of the AOD transmission, is this a failing AOD or something a little easier on the bank account?

Second part, the AOD was standard until the AOD-E/4R70W was used, some as early as 1993 in the Lincoln and exclusively after 1996. Is the 1996 4R70W bell housing compatible with the bell housing bolt pattern on my 1987 5.0?? I would much rather replace the AOD with a newer 4R70W if that is the inevitable end to my woes with only a few weeks of convertible weather left!

Thanks in advance!

A. It does sound like the transmission is toast. I would do a transmission fluid and filter change to rule out a dirty transmission filter as the cause. Then I would have the transmission controls checked next. It could be a problem with the Torque Converter Control solenoid.

If all that checks out good, then rebuild or replacement will be necessary. Now I'm pretty sure the AOD-E/4R70W will bolt in, but I would confirm that with a transmission shop or the Ford dealer.

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