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Old 05-28-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
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Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

I have a 1991 Ford e150, 3 speed. I just bought this van for next to nothing, and other than the fact that there are tranny problems it seems to be in great shape so I went for it, expecting to pay around $1k - $2k to get it running in tip-top shape.

The guy who sold it to me was very honest with the problems, and told me that he thinks he put the wrong tranny fluid in it. Then he went to leave right after changing it, and heard a loud "clunk" when he shifter into reverse. Now there is no reverse. When the van is on and you shift into ANY gear, it goes into Drive (I assume). I have driven it a couple miles just to check the engine and other components before I bought it. Since then, it hasn't moved. Any idea if this means the tranny needs a rebuild? Any easy fix if not?

In either case what should I do first?

Go to the local Jiffy-lube, which is about 2 miles away, and have them drain the tranny fluid and put the correct fluid in.
or...
Drive about 30 miles to AAMCO and have them figure it out, and not waste the money replacing the fluid in case I just need a full rebuild anyway.

other ideas?

Thanks in advance for any advice! I look forward to joining the club and modding my van!
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

Jiffy Lube or AAMCO? Now there's a choice between the lesser of the evils.

No other automobile mechanic in town that you trust?

On one of my first vehicles, AAMCO put in a timing belt backwards.

One one friends vehicles, Jiffy Lube lost the oil pan drain plug, and put a cork in it's place (and didn't tell him about it).

Obviously one AAMCO or Jiffy Lube location will vary from the next, but I've heard plenty of other horror stories about each to make them last on my list of places to trust.


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Old 05-28-2012, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

Linkage maybe? I am far and away from being a mechanic, and waaaay yonder not a transmission dude, but if it goes into drive in all shift positions, I'm thinkin' the tranny ain't gittin' the info it needs from linkage
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

Did you ask why he put new transmission fluid in? Was he trying to fix something with it? Sounds like a GOOD transmission shop should pull the pan and look …..

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

I wish there were some good mechanics in town I knew of. I hear horror stories from every place around here (El Dorado county CA). One of the main shops in town went out of business, tried not to tell their customers and get more money out of them just for them to show up to pick up their working car and to find an empty shop with their cars sitting out front with the keys in them still broken. I wouldn't trust a mechanic with a transmission either, they know more about engines generally than transmissions. Some of them will even sub-contract the job to a transmission specialist and just add their own fee onto the bill. I figured AAMCO would be good because of the warranty, but a warranty won't help me if my tranny falls out in the middle of the desert! so I really wish I knew of a better place.

I'm not sure if the guy I bought it from was replacing the tranny fluid or adding tranny fluid. He did mention that there was a leak. I expected the worst for the price I got it for, so I didn't ask him too many questions about it, just planned on replacing it.

Does anybody in the Sacramento area have any transmission services that they highly recommend before I take this thing to AAMCO?

Thanks for all of the tips/suggestions.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

Maybe call one of these places for tips or upgrades…….. Possibly send in your core and get back a bolt in, newer model, upgraded transmission?

The “real” Art Carr - California Performance Transmission (in Northridge, CA)
http://www.cpttransmission.com/
- Or -
Monster Transmission (Good Stuff Here)
http://monstertrans.com/store/

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Front Axle - 1 Ton Spec Dana 60/King Pin/Open Knuckle/High Steer
Rear Axle - 1 Ton Spec Dana 60/Full Floating
Eaton E-Lockers Front And Rear/4:10 Gears
ARB Differential Covers - Nodular Iron With Dipstick And Drain Plug
Leaf Spring Suspension Front And Rear
46 Gal Transfer-Flow Fuel Tank
ExtremeAire Magnum Air Compressor
Reunel Rear Bumper
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

Call your local CHP office and find out where they have there tranny work done. They always go with the best.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

I have had two good experiences with AAMCO here in Santa Rosa. Had a Ford Explorer towed into them once thinking the tranny was shot. Clogged valve, they got me back on the road. Had them rebuild a tranny in a Ford Taurus. No issues with it after that. Had a private shop in town rebuild another tranny for me. Came close to taking them to court. That said, I probably would not take my SMB to them (AAMCO) as a first choice. I did some checking and found another private shop to go to when the time comes.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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Re: Transmission problem - Reverse is out!

If you are in SoCal. I used Budget transmissions in San Bernardino for a complete rebuild on my RX300 Lexus.They were $1000 Less than the closest competitor with double the warranty and an A rating from the BBB.
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