Follow-up: Drivetrain 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis

Regarding my 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis, which earlier I said had the drivetrain fall out when I took off too hard in neutral & pushed it in Drive
immediately.
Found out from the mechanic today that the drivetrain did some damage to the transmission on its way out, and it looks like $420 worth of work necessary. Was also told that most likely that was all that was needed but it was POSSIBLE--not likely, but possible--that more damage was done and there was no way to know for sure until the previous work is performed.
Is this common? Is it worthwhile? Meanwhile, given that we only paid $550 for the car anyway maybe this is the end of the line.
Tips?
LRH
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If just the u-joints broke the drive shaft might have just slipped out of the tranny on it's own. I'd be suspicious naturally. Can you get underneath the car and look at the end of the tranny, does it look cracked or anything chipped, broken? Otherwise, I would just slap some new u-joints or a new drive shaft in there and drive it until it broke down again.
$420 definately is wasted if you only need a couple of $20 u-joints or a $120 drive shaft.
Matt
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And the only thing that I can think of that would be wrong with the transmission (if it still works) is that the output shaft has twisted, which is tough to check without taking the tail housing off and which probably would still work ok anyway if it was; and my guess in that case is that it should cost more than $420 to replace. I'd be suspicious naturally.
-jk

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Seeing is believing, works wonders on suspicion too. Yep, quite a quandry.
For a $500 car I'd throw some $20 parts at it and hope for the best. Otherwise junk it if optimism fails to deliver.
What's a used tranny from a u-pick cost? There's always that route for the adventurous.
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