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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First many thanks for your answers to my last post on transmission fluid.

I suspect that the AX4N in my 97 Sable GS (47,000 original miles) may be starting to show its age more than its mileage.

When I shift to drive I hear a some sort of growling sound when I start accelerating, a sound that goes away almost instantly.

Also at certain speeds but not always the shift from second to third gear seems to slip a little. Under half- or full-throttle this doesn't happen.

On a different note, at full throttle at 4,000 rpm the car hesitates and then continues to accelerate. Could this be a spark plug that's going south?

Sounds like you have a couple of maintenance issues going on.

First the trans, and the growl. That may be nothing more than a bad trans or motor mount. The slipping is pretty common on the 1-2 shift, however I'd flush the trans and replace the filter at this point. Add a cooler to it as well.

For the second problem, the hesitation at 4k, that may be the secondaries not opening up, or sluggish in opening. In the lower intake, there are a set of butterfly plates that open up via a cable and the IMRC (Intake Manifold Runner Control) box. Those buttrefly plates can get dirty with carbon and sludge, and stick closed, or open slowly. You can check the operation of them by following the cable that comes from the box on the front valve cover. It will lead you to the secondary shaft and components that open it. Try to move this around, and see if it's sticky. If it is, you'll need to take it off and clean it. It's not nearly half as hard as it looks though. Also, check the cable for fraying, and the other components to make sure nothing's broken.
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