87 ford tempo transmission problem

i recently received a 87 tempo. it has an automatic transmission and 2.3 engine. ok, heres what happened. car drove fine and shifted fine. stoped at a red light
and when was taking off when light changed the car made a slight noise and then wouldnt go anywhere. you can put car in all gears and nothing. checked both drive axles and there fine. checked fluid and it said it was 2 quarts low. i put in 2 quarts, still nothing. so i towed it home. after a few days i went tried to see what the problem was. so i checked fluid again. now it says its 2 quarts over full, crazy. i checked fluid both times with engine idling. ok well then i decided to pull transmission pan to see if filter was clogged, no it wasnt. this car only has 80,000 well taken care of miles on it. is there something that is know for going bad with these transmissions? is there anything i could fix to make it go again without having to pull the transmission? usually i have had a transmission to start slipping or lose a gear or two before going out. this really stumps me.
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The splines in the torque converter probably broke, not exactly uncommon in the ATX. This will require a full tear down to find out exactly what happened.

engine. ok, heres what happened. car drove fine and shifted fine. stoped at a red light and when was taking off when light changed the car made a slight noise and then wouldnt go anywhere. you can put car in all gears and nothing. checked both drive axles and there fine. checked fluid and it said it was 2 quarts low. i put in 2 quarts, still nothing. so i towed it home. after a few days i went tried to see what the problem was. so i checked fluid again. now it says its 2 quarts over full, crazy. i checked fluid both times with engine idling. ok well then i decided to pull transmission pan to see if filter was clogged, no it wasnt. this car only has 80,000 well taken care of miles on it. is there something that is know for going bad with these transmissions? is there anything i could fix to make it go again without having to pull the transmission? usually i have had a transmission to start slipping or lose a gear or two before going out. this really stumps me.

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ok, well should they break so easy. could it be torque converter bolts to flywheel that maybe came off? or fluid pressure related, a pump out. or does the tempo transmissions have a main control solenoid?
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The ATX is not an electronically controlled transmission, so it is not a solenoid problem. In thirty years I have never seen converter bolts break off any converter, doubt very much that is the problem. As a related note, I've never seen this on a ATX equipped vehicle but I suppose it can happen is the flex plate breaks off at the crank shaft hub. Not real likely, but more in the realm of possibilities than the converter bolts breaking off. Fluid pressure, perhaps put a gauge on one of the pressure taps and see a pump shaft failure is possible. So unless you have a broken CV joint, it's pretty much a for gone conclusion the problem is inside the transmission.

flywheel that maybe came off? or fluid pressure related, a pump out. or does the tempo transmissions have a main control solenoid?

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not that the converter bolts broke off but maybe have worked loose. i have had that happen to me once before on a 69 chevelle. thought tranny was out and towed home. pulled dust cover to start pulling the tranny when i noticed the converter wasn bolted to flywheel anymore. so it can happen. too bad tempos dont have an easy dust cover to remove, ha ha. i do thank you for your suggestions. oh and i have checked axles, raised both front tires and turned one and saw other rotating the opposite way. also tried to shake and pull axles to check for any play and both were solid. my aunt had the car before me and she is a older woman who had maintance preformed on all things. if it made a sound it went to ford to be fixed. and like i stated the car has only 80,000 miles on it. wasnt ever driven hard. and never drove more than 50 miles out of town. i guess i dont understand how anything could be wrong with a well taken care of car like this. if it had been owned or driven by a teenager i could see things breaking. thanks again for your help
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Ford converters have studs welded to the converter housing, not bolts. The nuts are locktighted so.........not the problem. How can something go wrong on a well maintained car? Is it man made? Is it mechanical? It's been on the road for 80k miles and how old is it, 87 that's 17 years. Things happen.

that happen to me once before on a 69 chevelle. thought tranny was out and towed home. pulled dust cover to start pulling the tranny when i noticed the converter wasn bolted to flywheel anymore. so it can happen. too bad tempos dont have an easy dust cover to remove, ha ha. i do thank you for your suggestions. oh and i have checked axles, raised both front tires and turned one and saw other rotating the opposite way. also tried to shake and pull axles to check for any play and both were solid. my aunt had the car before me and she is a older woman who had maintance preformed on all things. if it made a sound it went to ford to be fixed. and like i stated the car has only 80,000 miles on it. wasnt ever driven hard. and never drove more than 50 miles out of town. i guess i dont understand how anything could be wrong with a well taken care of car like this. if it had been owned or driven by a teenager i could see things breaking. thanks again for your help

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well nuts, bolts whichever. there still threaded and connect the two parts. as far as locktight, well it wont hold forever, i know. and yes i know its 17 years old and its mechanical, duh. i have mechanical skills as i do know motors but never messed with front wheel drive trannys. just old school things. i hate new crap in these cars. so yes i know things break down.
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well nuts, bolts whichever. there still threaded and connect the two parts. as far as locktight, well it wont hold forever, i know. and yes i know its 17 years old and its mechanical, duh. i have mechanical skills as i do know motors but never messed with front wheel drive trannys. just old school things. i hate new crap in these cars. so yes i know things break down.
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Well, if you have these mechanical skills take off the starter motor and check to see if your hope for backed off converter fasteners is true or not. Want an easer way? Look in the timing access hole, you can see both the flywheel and torque converter. Turn the engine over, I'll bet you see the converter turn with the flywheel. Lets also go down the path of the nuts backing off. Because the studs are welded to the converter, the converter will turn with the flywheel, and make a hell of a racket. Why? Because of the studs slapping the holes in the flywheel.There is not enough room for the converter to move away from the flywheel. I've given you the most likely reason the transmission does not work. I also advised you to put a pressure gauge on one of the taps because you also questioned if it could be a pressure related problem. In other words get out your mechanical skills and put them to work. BTW, this car IS old school, at least as far as the transmission is concerned. It works the same way as a rear drive transmission. So if you know anything about "old school" automatic transmissions, this should be cake walk.

far as locktight, well it wont hold forever, i know. and yes i know its 17 years old and its mechanical, duh. i have mechanical skills as i do know motors but never messed with front wheel drive trannys. just old school things. i hate new crap in these cars. so yes i know things break down.

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was it the sound of something metal snapping.... interesting that the fluid level would fluctuate so much... you checked it hot at one time did u check cold at another .. on a hill and maybe not the next time..?
Anyway... get your fluid level right.. howevfer if u heard a snap rather then a slip I fear you are in for a rebuild... in most cases a rebuild will run up to about 1000 dollars... it may or may not be worth it for you... i did a rebuild to my dodge spirit at 90k and it ran till 130000
good luck Ken

engine. ok, heres what happened. car drove fine and shifted fine. stoped at a red light and when was taking off when light changed the car made a slight noise and then wouldnt go anywhere. you can put car in all gears and nothing. checked both drive axles and there fine. checked fluid and it said it was 2 quarts low. i put in 2 quarts, still nothing. so i towed it home. after a few days i went tried to see what the problem was. so i checked fluid again. now it says its 2 quarts over full, crazy. i checked fluid both times with engine idling. ok well then i decided to pull transmission pan to see if filter was clogged, no it wasnt. this car only has 80,000 well taken care of miles on it. is there something that is know for going bad with these transmissions? is there anything i could fix to make it go again without having to pull the transmission? usually i have had a transmission to start slipping or lose a gear or two before going out. this really stumps me.

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well mercuy i really couldnt say what the sound was for sure, its been awhile. been waiting for spring to fix car, let snow melt. both times of checking fluid it was on level ground and running, as its suppose to be. first time car was cold and second time it was cold. just started it both times, let it run for maybe a minute and checked
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I had a 93 Tempo same 2.3L engine and probably same trans. I changed trans fluid in a lot of cars but this one is a #*(%#*#$. I could never get an accurate fluid reading in it. It also had the same problem with slipping. Added some more fluid, still slipping. added another quart, was good enough to trade-in. I say dump another quart in it and see if it will run, otherwise you need a new tranny and you should junk it.

engine. ok, heres what happened. car drove fine and shifted fine. stoped at a red light and when was taking off when light changed the car made a slight noise and then wouldnt go anywhere. you can put car in all gears and nothing. checked both drive axles and there fine. checked fluid and it said it was 2 quarts low. i put in 2 quarts, still nothing. so i towed it home. after a few days i went tried to see what the problem was. so i checked fluid again. now it says its 2 quarts over full, crazy. i checked fluid both times with engine idling. ok well then i decided to pull transmission pan to see if filter was clogged, no it wasnt. this car only has 80,000 well taken care of miles on it. is there something that is know for going bad with these transmissions? is there anything i could fix to make it go again without having to pull the transmission? usually i have had a transmission to start slipping or lose a gear or two before going out. this really stumps me.

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well even if i do need a different tranny i wont junk it, might think about it though while i'm changing the tranny. i got a friend who owns and operates his own shop that will change my tranny for $150 and might even give me a used tranny as he also owns a small junk yard. so wouldnt ost alot to get fixed. i guess i was just in here to see if there was anything simple to fix on these tempos that might save work being done. i dont know much about trannys. if it had been the engine having problems, it would have been easier to figure out. 2.3 hardly go bad though. one of fords best engines. have always had good luck with them. even pulled one out of mustang at yard and put it in my ranger, replacing the 2.0. that motor had over 100,000 on it and had sat for over 5 years. changed oil, timing belt and started it up and its still going with no oil useage. great motors.
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