Continued - Question about 1-2 shift

LukesCougar

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Dec 27, 2023
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Location
Olney Illinois
Vehicle Details
1996 Cougar 4.6L v8
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Plan so far is to atleast change fluid/filter, and replace 1-2 accumulator piston/remove bottom springs

Trying to make a plan for the valvebody.. by myself its unrealistic without having a car that will sit for an entire week which cant happen. Have a buddy that might beable to help with that though.. or i might end up just buying a 99+ trans and rebuilding it/ drive current 4r70w til it starts acting funky.

I have ordered a 1-2 accumulator piston, and a filter/ gasket kit for the trans.

Another question.. what is the difficulty of installing a bigger transmission cooler and where would it be best to locate it? Im aware the stock cooler runs through the radiator so would the rad need to come out do do it? or can i dissconnect those lines and leave them be.. and route a cooler somewhere else? pulling the radiator isnt a huge deal to me but wasting money on coolant is because i just did a flush/ refill when doing pi intake.. I was thinking a cooler might aid in making this stock trans last that much longer.. my 97 cougars trans temps were about 205 at operating temp and i saw it reach 220 ish once when giving it a good beating in the summer. Id like that number to be more like 160-180 at all times but would that mean rebuilding trans to create less heat or would a bigger cooler solve that? ive heard that the temps i was seeing were fine but i call bs.. thoughts?
 
Also what is the difference between the mercon v compatible and mercon v
xt5qm vs xt5qmc?
 
I'm running one of these:LPD4739 A Tru- cool trans cooler


Don't use a 'compatable' you want mercon V Others are merc 3 with additives. I use castrol brand mercon V.You can get it at advanced.
If your trans is operating ok, but with issues, the first thing to try is fresh fluid. I'd bet your fluid could be original.
I'm happy you found us; they were pissing me off earlier at the other place. :)If you're keeping your car, I'd start looking for an 02. I plan to scan the factory ford rebuild books, so expect those to be up this spring. Talk to the trans shops in your area; you might find someone that will rebuild one cheap. The guys that work on cop cars have experience with this trans. I've rebuilt 3 using the guide on the explorer forum, and put 100's of thousands of miles on them in total. I had one on the workbench when I had a stroke 3 years ago. it's sitting there covered in dust; at least the hard parts are in a tub full of trans fluid. I'll have to go thru, wipe everything down, and start again.
 
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There are smaller/less expensive ones available, but the cooler the better. The stock tune tends to do the 3-4, 4-3 shift a lot, especially in traffic. That behavior bakes it more than anything. Do you do a lot of highway driving?
 
There are smaller/less expensive ones available, but the cooler the better. The stock tune tends to do the 3-4, 4-3 shift a lot, especially in traffic. That behavior bakes it more than anything. Do you do a lot of highway driving?
i used to shift with the od button and only cruise around in third in town, but the button has quit working. I do highway drive but not a lot.. once a week or so maybe or less.
So rarely i even need 4th gear so getting that fixed is a must for me but i have yet to get the stuff for it, and not sure how to do it either but ive pulled the center console before to do other things didnt seem to far off from removing the shifter but i did hear the car needs jacked up?

Current progress:
Pi cams/ timing chains might be a bit far down the road for me
mercon v fluid, filter, and 1-2 piston is on the way
already got a gt airbox maf off a buddy.
Not sure what to do for exaust.. rn its basically just a resonator/ exaust delete with some pipes going out the back. That would probably be another thing to where i save up for nice parts. Also no clue how to weld..
next paycheck will be looking at bigger trans cooler/ new shifter

but i will have trans serviced soon, and then bring car to tuner with the gt maf/airbox in the back seat. plan on getting overdrive control working and a couple other things. Alternator is bad so i ordered one of them too along with stuff for trans. Car is gonna have me in a hole soon enough im putting more money into it than its worth, but i trust the motor in it. I dont trust the trans but the game plan is that one i get some rust spots fixed, heater core leak taken care of, and some wiring for o/d it will be a fully functional car. Once most everything is taken care of ill start sitting aside money for a built 4r70w/ pi cams/ timing components.
 
@LukesCougar
If only the O/D button isn't working, the shift knob doesn't need to come out. The button itself literally just pulls out. Maybe pry with a tiny screwdriver.

I've done this before. A shift knob I had for sale didn't have continuity from the button. Pulled it out and simply very gently sanded the terminals with a dremel and tiny attachment. I don't think I took any photos, but it's pretty much self-explanatory when you see it.
 
@LukesCougar
If only the O/D button isn't working, the shift knob doesn't need to come out. The button itself literally just pulls out. Maybe pry with a tiny screwdriver.

I've done this before. A shift knob I had for sale didn't have continuity from the button. Pulled it out and simply very gently sanded the terminals with a dremel and tiny attachment. I don't think I took any photos, but it's pretty much self-explanatory when you see it.
The shifter is junk anyways with a bunch of gunk and stuff inside it, if its relatively easy to swap them i thought id just get one used thats in better condition
Edit: the fishing plate is mainly what i need to replace, and i thought about getting a new shift knob/ wiring up my own od button
 
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Well, none of that requires to get under the car. Knob or shift indicator or wiring.

The only thing that would require getting under the car is the structural part of the shifter and shift cable.

I think it would be nice to place the O/D button somewhere close to the steering wheel. I'm a frequent user myself.
 
I wired in my own O/D button, mounted it on the bracket of my lokar shifter. Easy to do, just a couple wires. Wired in a light too again very easy
 
Well, none of that requires to get under the car. Knob or shift indicator or wiring.

The only thing that would require getting under the car is the structural part of the shifter and shift cable.

I think it would be nice to place the O/D button somewhere close to the steering wheel. I'm a frequent user myself.
True that is a good idea, i almost thought about wiring up a switch panel for different things along with a usb port maybe for charging. Although i thought it would look goofy on a mostly stock car having a switch panel, but i do like the idea of a dedicated od button seperate from the shifter.. and we can replace our shift knobs correct? The billet knob for the 4r70w mustang gt looks nice but for 70$ that would be something reserved down the road after i get some more important things fixed/upgraded
 
True that is a good idea, i almost thought about wiring up a switch panel for different things along with a usb port maybe for charging. Although i thought it would look goofy on a mostly stock car having a switch panel, but i do like the idea of a dedicated od button seperate from the shifter.. and we can replace our shift knobs correct? The billet knob for the 4r70w mustang gt looks nice but for 70$ that would be something reserved down the road after i get some more important things fixed/upgraded

Picture of that Mustang knob? Sounds interesting.

Yes, with some minor modification, you can use essentially any shift knob which sits on a half inch rod and which pushes the center lock rod down (which would exclude adapting any VW group knob as they pull the lock rod up).

Many knobs, including my Lincoln LS one, require drilling a small hole into the rod to secure the knob with a screw, or two holes/screws if you want it to be "factory". I have a detailed how-to thread about that installation in the Interior section.

If you have a talent for leather stitching, creating a custom, snug-fitting boot would be a nice project. That's still a possibility for me, though I like my current look. A boot could also hide O/D button wires.

I like the exposed metal look below my LS shift knob:
20231220_112949.jpg

My O/D button is currently aft of the cupholder. I put it there because I used the prewiring for traction assist, which my car doesn't have, so the installation was very easy. But it is awkward to use. I'm thinking I'd like for it to be right above the rear defroster switch.
20230827_150502.jpg
 
That shift knob looks nice! It wouldnt match up with the way my interior looks but if i had the other colors and wood panels i would do that
 
That shift knob looks nice! It wouldnt match up with the way my interior looks but if i had the other colors and wood panels i would do that

The same knob also exists in various colors leather as well as gloss black, gloss red, etc., because it was also used in the Retrobird. It doesn't have to be wood.
 
The same knob also exists in various colors leather as well as gloss black, gloss red, etc., because it was also used in the Retrobird. It doesn't have to be wood.
True. I might give it a look! i will need to eventually rip apart the shifter anyways to fix od, and either the cable is tight.. or the shifter assembly below itself is tight. My dumbass spilt soda on it right on it.. ironically right after i swapped in a 97 center console for its cup holders XD
 
This one is similar but much cheaper:
I now have genuine motocraft mercon v, a new 1-2 accumulator, and a filter (havent installed) .. but im contemplating on leaving it alone until i have money to start building another one on the side. Something tells me with the age of the car the clutch packs are probably held together by the material in the fluid. I took my 97 apart and it had plenty of clutch material in it the magnet looked like a metal donut. Changed the fluid and maybe 2 or 3 months later the trans started to slip on the 1-2 shift.
While i save up to build another one on the side.. is there anything i could throw in with the fluid change that would prevent above said? Ive seen people talk about using friction additives, lucas oil. Any of these worth a shot to keep a high mialage trans together for a little longer?

Also im aware of the myth about changing auto fluid with high miles. i know if the car does start slipping the clearances were screwed to begin with and its past due for a rebuild, but i dont have the money for a full rebuild atm.
 
The pic you posted didn't have fluid that was that far gone. It was dirty, and needs to be changed, but it's not all that's making it work. That's what the fluid looked like in Lazarus the first time i changed it, an ~60k miles. I'd change it, and change the filter. Seeing the magnet will tell you immediately what the overall condition is. As long as there no parts stuck to the magnet, I think you will do ok. Change the fluid, evaluare the pan contents, than you'll know how hard you need to work on a jy trans.
 
Since we were talking about shift knobs, and I mentioned the option of a custom boot...I did some thinking about that today. I know a few people have done it, but at the expense of the shift indicator. If you wanted to keep the indicator (I do), the boot would have to be really slim.

I think the challenge is how tall our shifters are. Consider shifting all the way into 1st, the forward part of the boot would have to account for that; meanwhile the aft part of it would likely touch the console.

20231106_151343.jpg

On the subject of transmission fluid, I flushed mine last year, likely the first time it was done, though the car only had in the mid 40k miles at the time. The result was significantly improved shifting with no negative effects whatsoever.
 
Since we were talking about shift knobs, and I mentioned the option of a custom boot...I did some thinking about that today. I know a few people have done it, but at the expense of the shift indicator. If you wanted to keep the indicator (I do), the boot would have to be really slim.

I think the challenge is how tall our shifters are. Consider shifting all the way into 1st, the forward part of the boot would have to account for that; meanwhile the aft part of it would likely touch the console.

View attachment 3502

On the subject of transmission fluid, I flushed mine last year, likely the first time it was done, though the car only had in the mid 40k miles at the time. The result was significantly improved shifting with no negative effects whatsoever.
I do agree that a fluid change "should" go well with no negative affects, but i was worried because the odometer says 115k (broken), and it has enough rust and issues to where i wouldnt be suprised if the mialage is 200k+, but i should be changing it soon im just hoping the factory plug isnt still in there and its atleast been changed before. Also since the car was previously neglected i have no clue if its genuine mercon v. Ive been told it will be fine but even if it is on borrowed time im hoping it will last til i have money for full rebuild/ jmod. Im still curious to see how the 1-2 shift will improve with just the accumulator replaced/ removed springs. Soon ill get around to wiring a new od button and fixing my own indicator.
im going to running new speaker wires to the rear, laying charcoal black carpet, and installing a new heater core, then im replacing broken interior panels, and keeping the good ones, and painting them all grey.. as for the seats i might just get a nice set of covers and call it a day unless i come across some in decent condition at a yard. White face gauges too and red leds. I think at the end of the day it will look good enough for me with the grey/ black accents and red lights. Then its just fixing some rust spots/ repainting car. Financially its not the best thing i could be doing but i like the car and at the end of the day if it drives and looks decent then ill keep it til it rots out from underneath itself vs buying a new car to daily/ toy around with.

To be truthful i wish i had the money to find one of these cars in clean condition but i have spent all my money rebuilding one with high miles! I need a better job/ put some serious work into it if its gonna look/drive nice. I dont make a lot of money but thats an issue on its own the good thing is ive always found our cars are insanely cheap to repair.
 
Also im aware of the myth about changing auto fluid with high miles.

That myth came from Dodge Caravans in the 80s - the clutch frictions were defective and the material suspended in the fluid was the only thing holding it together. This happened on vehicles well under 100k miles. Ford transmissions don't have the same delamination defect, but not changing old dirty ATF isn't helping either.
 
Chevy's also had that issue, and the cheapfix was putting fine sawdust in it, I shit you not. I test drove a beautiful 78 Trans am after hs, and When I manual downshifted it, the trans exploded all over the road. Sawdust everywhere, lol. Didn't buy that one, lol. I have never personally seen one with chunks in it, before it exploded, anyway... Our trans would not run any shifts with that kind of particulates.If your fluid is full of particles and it's working, it's a miracle, and You should buy lottery tickets, cause you are lucky. These are very picky. :)
 
Looking at your pix on the old place, your fluid is dirty enough to need changing, but I've made it look worse in a year, lol. See if the toy is in the pan. I'd bet it's still there.
 
Chevy's also had that issue, and the cheapfix was putting fine sawdust in it, I shit you not. I test drove a beautiful 78 Trans am after hs, and When I manual downshifted it, the trans exploded all over the road. Sawdust everywhere, lol. Didn't buy that one, lol. I have never personally seen one with chunks in it, before it exploded, anyway... Our trans would not run any shifts with that kind of particulates.If your fluid is full of particles and it's working, it's a miracle, and You should buy lottery tickets, cause you are lucky. These are very picky. :)
I believe it. I think what happened on my 97 would be related to damaged 1-2 bore/ broken springs. I liked to slam the gear selector from 1/D to second from time to time.. noticed a shudder/ buck feeling where the car would very violently try to downshift to 1st by itself going like 20-30 mph right where it would still be second but about to go to 3rd.. changed the fluid and for a good 2 or 3 months it shifted really good with the fluid change, then on a pull on the highway locked in second gear i revved to 5.4k ish and lost second gear, didnt know it til i slowed down and needed second gear cause i was in 3rd after the pull but felt 2nd slip at the high rpms.. by the time i slowed down and was in 1st it just skipped to 3rd and trying to lock it in second gear it would slip unless i babied the throttle. Everything i read was telling me 2nd roller clutch/ 1-2 accumulator issues. I didnt think it would have been the first issue because ive only heard of it happening at like 6k rpms not 5k, but who knows. I continued driving the car lacking the courage to rip it apart. Something in the trans gave out when it shifted out of first gear to third. In a split second i had 4 neutrals and a rod being chucked around in the bottom of my oil pan :D it ran until i took it apart. Even revved it to the limiter hoping for some fireworks but the 4.6 didnt wanna die just yet. When i pulled oil pan/ heads with a buddy we found bits of a connection rod in the pan and the piston was split in half for the one that broke. The motor was running just fine and quiet prior to this so id assume the trans took it along with and something locked up. Never did crack very far into the car besides checking what the rotating assembly looked like (loudest engine knock ive ever heard and plenty of blow by rolling out) Really just mind warping to me that the motor didnt lock up when the trans did but i guess these 4.6s dont die without a fight.
 
There's a sonnax part to fix the bore, but a 1st gear slam from od on a transmission before '02 will destroy it, lol. It can literally break the case. :)
 
a 1st gear slam from od on a transmission before '02 will destroy it

Makes me think how many of us love the "analog" feel of these cars compared to more modern vehicles (which would simply disregard a shift input that would be harmful).

My '15 Buick would display the message "Shift Denied" if you attempted anything stupid.

That's another reason why I'd prefer a gated or serpentine type shifter where you have to move the shifter sideways, then back/forward.
The lock button shifter seems more secure, and theoretically it is designed to prevent unwanted shifts: to shift into 1st, you have to push the button in further than to shift into 2nd only. In reality, you just push the button in all the way, so that difference doesn't matter.

Of course all that doesn't matter if you intentionally shift into 1st. I don't think I've ever done that; the engine braking is so obnoxious in 1st. I do use the locked in 2nd pretty regularly in parking lots just to prevent constant back and forth shifting between 1st and 2nd gear.
 
There's a sonnax part to fix the bore, but a 1st gear slam from od on a transmission before '02 will destroy it, lol. It can literally break the case. :)
I never went from od to 1st, but i did go from (D) in first gear, slamming the selector to 2nd because it seemed to shift faster moving it to second rather than letting it do it. In the acceleration videos ive posted im going from drive to 2nd at around 5k then back to drive again around 5k to let it shift to 3rd.
Whats the difference between going 1-2 and D-2?
When i put the selector in 1st and move it to second around 5k it will shift fairly normally with a bit of a delay, if i go from drive to 2nd on the selector right around when it would automatically shift it barks the tires and shifts fast. I was under the impression quicker shift wouldnt hurt if anything help the trans when im doing pulls so its not taking so long shifting 1-2.. but if the trans is electronically controlled why would going from D-2 speed up the shift vs 1-2 or just letting the trans do what it wants in D?
 

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