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Discussion Starter #1
Y’all have been a tremendous help in every issue I’ve had with this beast so far! Lest keep that 1.00 batting average!!

03 Taurus wagon 3.0 Vulcan 93k miles

Pulling trans today to swap torque converter. Got the awful dead pedal when driving home the other day.

Is there anything I need to keep my eyes peeled for that I don’t want to break? I have a pretty detailed video (gotta research every project) that I’m using as a “write up” because I can’t seem to find one elsewhere.

Are there any “sensuous” (sens-u-ous in there) parts to change out in while the trans is on the ground? Rear main seal? Valve seals?
 

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I would look at the freeze plugs in that area to see if they are starting to weep. The main seal is a good idea to change but I would install a Ford main seal only. There was a thread on the forum many years ago where the after market only had one spring in the seal to hold the lip to the crank and the Ford one had two. It is always risky to replace a good functioning part.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would look at the freeze plugs in that area to see if they are starting to weep. The main seal is a good idea to change but I would install a Ford main seal only. There was a thread on the forum many years ago where the after market only had one spring in the seal to hold the lip to the crank and the Ford one had two. It is always risky to replace a good functioning part.
When you say Ford, like Motorcraft? Or is there a specific Ford branded seal? I will check the freeze plugs for any weeping.

So far, my parts list for the evening is sway bar bushings and a rear main seal. Hopefully I can get a Ford one tonight or tomorrow.
 

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I would go to a dealer and buy the seal. I have never had one leak before even at 250 k miles. It's a toss up to replace it or not. Someone used a pvc pipe or coupling as a driver to get it back in
 

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I would go to a dealer and buy the seal. I have never had one leak before even at 250 k miles. It's a toss up to replace it or not. Someone used a pvc pipe or coupling as a driver to get it back in
It looks like the rear main seal is not leaking. At 93k miles, if it ain’t leaking? I ain’t fixin it!! 😂
 

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I did the same job last Winter. I would strongly suggest replacing the pump shaft and split o-rings at the same time. The splines on the old shaft may feel like they lock up good in the new tc but they are probably damaged a little bit and this is not a job you want to do again. I bought an aftermarket tc through rock auto but called the manufacturer to make sure I was getting the correct part. Good thing I called because the one that was listed at rock auto for my car was not the correct one. Good luck!
 

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What exactly were the symptoms of your transmission failing prior to you removing it to replace the converter? Is this the stripped out converter spline issue that I have read about?

Mine has died (2004) . The fluid now has burnt smell. It had been slipping excessively 1-2 shift and now wont move in any gear.
https://www.taurusclub.com/forum/82-maintenance-repair/339449-ax4n-slipping-during-2-3-shift.html#post3387977

Trying to decide what to do with this thing.

Your symptoms don't sound like stripped splines to me. From my experience and what I've read/watched when the splines go it is sudden and you don't have any symptoms leading up to it. Just my .02
 

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Your symptoms don't sound like stripped splines to me. From my experience and what I've read/watched when the splines go it is sudden and you don't have any symptoms leading up to it. Just my .02
Thank you for the reply. I'm trying to get some insight as to what likely went south in the tranny and turn that info into $ so as to make an informed decision on what to do with it. We only paid $1500 for it about 6 years ago and have put 30k on it so we have gotten our money's worth. A remanufactured trans is $1700-$3500 so i am thinking better off selling it for scrap/parts vs sinking major bucks into it. I have rebuilt several engines, changed clutches, etc, but never have fooled with rebuilding an automatic transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My symptoms were sudden. Driving on the highway at 75 mph, then nothing. Like it dropped into neutral.

I thought about replacing the seals while I was there, but again, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I left it. This is more of a time constraint job anyway. I’m working out of town and had to have it back together Sunday evening.
 

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Just now reading through this thread... are there any other threads that discuss this problem of sudden TC failure (searching torque converter returns a lot of hits, so anything specific I should search for)? Does it apply to other years besides 2003? Only 93K miles - is it an age problem or can it happen any time? Any good way to inspect or test? TIA!
 
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