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Thread: Junkyard swap or rebuild?

  1. #1
    Poncho
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    Default Junkyard swap or rebuild?

    Hello everyone. I'm trying to figure out if it makes more sense to swap my transmission out or rebuild what I have (87' Grand Marquis). The OD is toast in my current transmission. A local salvage yard has one from an '87 Crown Victoria with 130K miles on it for $250. The local shop has quoted me at $1800 for the rebuild. Should I go with that one to get back rolling or bite the bullet and pay for a rebuild. Thanks for the feedback.
    @Ryan.Madison68

  2. #2
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    if you can inspect that one in the yard before they pull it (if they do that sort of thing) make sure the TV cable isnt dangling off the TB, and there's a good chance it's fine. i'd try that once before an almost 2k shop bill. get a buddy and some beer you can swap in a weekend no prob.

  3. #3
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    If the yard will guarantee 30 days, then it might be worth it. A rebuild usually comes with 2-3 years warranty, so there's that.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  4. #4
    Poncho
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    Okay. I'll stop by and see if I can get a good look at it. I'm leaning toward the swap route. It does come with a 30 day refund policy. While I do have a buddy in mind that could help me, I'm a novice at swapping transmissions. Should I still take a stab at it? Also will I need the shop manual for torque specifications? Thanks for the advice.
    @Ryan.Madison68

  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    As they said, its a gamble either way. if the used one works properly, and ideally if its still in a working enough vehicle that you can test it before buying you got a winner. Otherwise its pay and hope the shop knows what they are doing so you get one that actually works. The absolute worst shifting AOD I've ever experienced was a recently rebuilt one from someplace that claimed to know what they were doing. I think the guy got less than 10k out of it before it nuked itself. I rode in the car roughly at the middle of it's existence.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  6. #6
    fomoco panthers !
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    Personally I would never buy a major part used like a transmission unless it has a 90 day warranty. I also have a problem buying a used AOD from a wrecking yard. A bad transmission without OD is a major cause of vehicles being junked. If the vehicle was wrecked then maybe, if the trans fluid looks decent. Many wrecking yards will not let the buyer inspect the insides of a transmission.
    If you buy used, just have the mindset going into the job that you may be doing the job twice. Make sure you drain the converter. If you are planning to put allot of miles on your car, I would go the rebuilt route. Finding an excellent transmission shop is the major concern. Replacing a converter then is a must. Many transmission shops offer a extended warranty at extra cost.
    Some shops have "off the shelf" rebuilt transmissions ready, saving you time.

  7. #7
    I post a lot...
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    Better off going to a shop and have the transmission rebuilt that suffer aggravation of a nuked transmission from a junkyard.

  8. #8
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    130K miles is pretty steep. You could always get one out of a Mustang and swap over the Grand Marquis TV cable and exterior components and make it work with the Mustang transmission. I guess its just a matter of how mechanically inclined you are. If you can do the transmission swap just go for the $250 transmission. Anything you can do yourself confidently you should do. Worst case you are right back where you started a month from now. Best case scenario you got yourself a $250 transmission.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Performer 289 Intake, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Performance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear, Eaton LSD Differential - I own quite possibly the fastest CFI powered box to the 1/8th mile: 9.95@68.89mph

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The AOD in my Mark VII has 237k on it and works mostly fine. maintained,130k is not a problem. The key is "maintained". Mine was owned by a guy who was extremely up on the maintenance and swapped the brass bushing in many years before it became a problem. This isn't really the norm. More common to drop the pan and find the bobber still in there, which tells you the fluid has never been changed.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #10
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    Its a gamble, 130k can be a a lot or not. I've smoked a stock aod with 100k, but I've also put a baumann shift kit in a completely untested 160k mile aod and beat on it for a few more years.

  11. #11
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    It's a shame you're not closer to NJ... I have my old AOD that was in perfect working shape I would sell for cheaper than $250.

    That being said, I'd find a shop someone has had their AOD previously rebuilt at, and had good luck there, I know there's someone in Georgia I believe his name is Brian, he rebuilt my current AOD in 2001 and despite many owners, its going strong

    Edit: here's his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Ford-transm...8414635312478/
    Last edited by Brown_Muscle; 09-12-2021 at 09:28 AM.
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb+ RPM Intake, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

    +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

  12. #12
    GMN Regular clutch47's Avatar
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    I'm at the other end of this.
    If the car is worth keeping, bite the bullet and put something good in there.
    If you're OK with the car being out of service for a bit, get the transmission out, get it rebuilt, and put a converter in it while you're doing it.
    Do it once. Do it right. What is your time worth?
    All FORD All The Time

  13. #13
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah, unless that trans came from someone I knew, I wouldn't be putting it in one of my cars. Find a good transmission repair shop and be done with it. Let them take it out and put it back in, a good shop wouldn't do "carry outs".
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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