I have a 1989 Crown Victoria which has recently began to not catch
or sync with its gears when it shifts. For example when I put the car
into drive, from Park, and step on the gas the car acts as if it is in
neutral for a few seconds and then syncs with the first gear, but as
soon as the car is ready to shift into second gear the same thing
happens. Also, the other day I needed to back the car up, shifted it
into reverse and the car never caught, it only sat there while I
continuned to slowly press the gas. So as of now it will not drive in
reverse and the drive gears are constantly not catching. Also, I
should say that this has been a slowly developing problem. It started
out only slightly stalling before catching a gear and has built up to
where it currently is. Any help or ideas would be very much
Be sure you checked it correctly. It should be warmed up and idling in
Another thing you might check is the linkage from the throttle body down to
the transmission. Ford used a plastic pop-in bushing and now is about the
time it might fail. The linkage usually falls off the throttle lever
causing odd shifting. There are actually two of them, one on each end of
the kickdown linkage. It used to be a dealer part but I heard a rumor that
some parts places carry them now. If you have a broken bushing and fix it
quickly enough, minimal damage usually occurs.
If the linkage is OK, check the fluid again. It should be red and smell
oily. If it smells burnt or is dark as if it is dirty, change it. You add
fluid right down the dipstick tube. I bought a long and skinny funnel for
I hope this is helpful.
There's a strong likelihood that the Throttle Valve cable is loose, broken
or misadjusted. The internal transmission pressure is determined by a
Throttle Valve (TV) cable that connects to the throttle on the intake. The
cable position is sensitive, and technically is supposed to be set by a
technician with a pressure gauge.
I have a 90 grand marquis and had the TV cable problem. I was told
that that cable supplies the hydraulics to the tranny and if not
correct you will burn the tranny out. I caught my problem in time and
saved the tranny.
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