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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I haven't been on here for quite a while.

I have a 1988 Ford Taurus GL Wagon with the 3.8 L engine and an automatic 4 speed transmission. The other day I was driving up a slight hill when my transmission felt like it changed itself to neutral, albeit a bit roughly. But there was no grinding or any other unusual noise.

The car now will not shift into gear. I checked my fluid, and noticed it was a bit low - topped it up with no avail. The car stays in park, but switching into any other gear feels like neutral. I can feel the transmission switch like it normally does, but the transmission just fails to engage.

The car is at college where I don't have access to a garage or any advanced tools. I won't have access to the car for the next week, since I am on spring break back home. The car has not had any symptoms that led me to believe the transmission was about to go. Although in very cold weather (10 degrees and below), the car loses significant power until it warms up. Any ideas?
 

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With those kind of symptoms I would guess that the pump in the transmission went out as a minimum. You're in for a full rebuilt/used trans.
 

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Forward clutch apply piston has cracked.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. I was pretty sure my transmission had died.


I won't be able to do these repairs myself. Anyone know roughly how much it would cost to replace it with a rebuilt tranny? A used one? Is a used transmission worth it, or am I asking for problems?

Also, does anyone think I should scrap my car, which blue books for $800?
 

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You don't give your location or mileage, both of which for me would factor into a decision to scrap. If your 88 is a rust-free New Mexico car with 40,000 miles, I myself would look for a used transmission and round up some friends with mechanical savvy.

If it's a northern Ohio or New England car with 250,000 miles on the clock, it's time for a newer ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
95,000 miles, mostly city. It's served most of its life in Missouri. Some rust and oxidation. Interior in great shape, newer tires. Everything seems to work fairly well except for the power steering pump, which leaks. It also gets terrible gas mileage and goes through oxygen sensors once every 6 to 8 months for some reason.

I would give it a go fixing it myself, but unfortunately my car is located in Omaha, where I literally have no tools or any friends with shops.
 

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It's been a while since I've had a shop put a boneyard engine into a car, 10 years or more. Back then, it cost me $850 for engine and installation.

Guessing at your O2 sensor problem, you'd easily have $200 more in diagnosing and fixing the vacuum leak, sensor or injector problems.

Here in the Boston area, there are around 10 1993-98 Taurii on craigslist for under $1,000...
 
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