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Very BAD Tranny & Brake News


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So the C4 transmission (I thought it was an FMX) has been slipping gears when I put it into drive. Seems to go back into neutral. I took it to AAMCO and they said I need a complete rebuild for $1,600. Any ideas on buying an "upgraded" C4 tranny that will be able to handle about 300-350HP?

 

Also, got the brakes looked at b/c I was flooring the pedal to stop and they said front and rear rebuild with control arms, drums, hardware, and wheel cylinders(they were leaking all over the place) is about $1500.

 

I need some ideas...cheaper to do a full swap with slotted rotors front and rear?

 

Thank you so much in advance b/c I really dont have the $$$ to spend $3K all at the same time.

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You can google built up c4 transmissions they do come up but you may have issues with the shifter linkage which May need to be swapped out from your c4 which is a headache also.

The price sounds ok $1600 I spent 1000$ on mine but I got screwed by a disreputable shop.

 

Ask around and get more quotes on the c4 rebuild.

 

On the brakes I can tell you depending on what needs to be done that 1500$ will just cover materials. A total brake system replacement just the materials is around 2000$ I did my brakes myself no shop involved.

 

Wheel cylinders are cheap about 20$ each I don't know the condition of your system. The garage could start working on the rears and suddenly the brake line start snapping from age and before you know it you have to replace all the lines. If the basics on your brakes are needed then most of the 1500$ is just labor and you could do it yourself at home.

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Look into Performance Automatic in Maryland for a C-4 that can handle more torque and hp. AAMCO probably will not even rebuild yours - they'll get a remanufactured one and drop it in.

 

Vamach1 - 72 Sprint conv & 72 Mach1

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Go look up the parts on RockAuto.com

Wheel cylinders are about $5, brake shoes (get riveted, not bonded) for about $20

I just about finished replacing Everything on my 73 convertible for about $350 in parts.

That was with new master cylinder, new hoses, new shoes, new pads, new KYB shocks.

I replaced it all with name brand pieces like Wagner, Raybestos and KYB.

 

Spending $1500 is crazy stupid for a stock rebuild. Rebuilding the C4 trans is a whole lot cheaper than aamco also. They love to rape unsuspecting folks into a full rebuild and they only "fix" what's broken at the moment and then paint the whole thing silver. Source a rebuilt trans from one of the big names like Art Carr or even Summit. Check with your local Mustang club or local Mustang parts vendor.

 

I hate it when these chain store outfits try to take advantage of unsuspecting clients.

That's part of what's wrong with our country, not many are just satisfied with making an honest dollar, they want to rip off everyone they run across.

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Spending $1500 is crazy stupid for a stock rebuild.

 

I hate it when these chain store outfits try to take advantage of unsuspecting clients.

That's part of what's wrong with our country, not many are just satisfied with making an honest dollar, they want to rip off everyone they run across.

 

I agree wholeheartedly.

I have a good, bone stock original FMX that I took out of a '69 Galaxie that I can't get $50 out of. There's good used stuff out there, just gotta find it. Ever look inside a tranny shop? I'm in the auto parts supply business. Most local shops I've been in I wouldn't let touch my car...

 

Brake wise, Racer's spot on too. Replace it all youself at once, and it'll be good for probably as long as you own the car.

The job's not hard. Even a caveman (like me) can do it :D

Pete - MotoArts Decals and Signs

'71 Sportsroof 351C-4V/4-speed - FINALLY under construction - no, wait, on hold again...

'90 Mustang 7-Up 5.0 ragtop, rolling beater - SOLD

'66 Sunbeam Tiger Mk.IA, survivor

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Agree with the others, do the brakes yourself. Are you drums all around? You might want to convert to discs up front but if you are short on cash it can wait. Drums are pretty effective, they do tend to fade faster and don't 'self clean' in water.

 

Get yourself a bendix brake tool. It's about a foot long and has two special ends, one is kind of notched, this helps with the spring removal, the other has a fitting one the end that makes putting the springs back on a while lot easier. It can be done with a screwdriver and some pliers but it's better with the proper tool. Also, get a set of pipe wrenchs (the ones that are almost closed but allow you to slip over a pipe. These work best on the brake lines, especially at the wheel cyls. My suggestion is try to loosen them up with this wrench, if it starts to 'slip' then get some vice grips but be cautious with them. You don't want to 'round off' the fitting.

 

You should be able to get away with shoes, spring kits, cyls, pin kits. Put that all together and see how they work. Sounds like you had a leaky wheel cyl so you know what was causing the problem. You may not need a Master Cyl but they are pretty cheap (rebuilt) and easy to replace.

 

Take pictures before you start to take the brakes apart. Also easier if you do one side at a time (so you have the other side for reference).

 

Chlitons manuals have a good write up on how to do it.

 

 

Transmissions are a little more difficult. If you are working in your own garage or driveway pulling a tranny isn't super simple. Lots of laying on your back and you need to either get the car up high enough to roll it out or pull the engine/tranny together. Check around for other places than AAMCO, some AAMCO's are good but mostly they seem to have a bad reputation.

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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For what its worth, I agree with the brakes comments. To redo the brake as stock its not too tough and actually a good learning experience. It builds a healthy dose of respect for the brake system components.

Suggestions so you know where everything goes:

1. Get a good manual that will at least point you in the right direction for disassembly and rebuild.

2. take digital photos along the way.

3. Do one side at time so you can use the other for reference.

4. I bought a coil of coated brake line, bent the lines myself and double flared the fittings. Not sure how much repro pre-made steel or stainless lines are but it might be a time saver.


Oops. Looks like Will beat me to the post!

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Stay away from ANY "chain" transmission service company. I have yet to hear of any long term satisfied customers and the price is high at $1600.00. Find a reputable privately owned repair shop and ask them who they trust to rebuild their transmissions. Consistent word of mouth recommendations are usually the best. Talk to them about the upgrades needed to meet your HP/TQ needs, be realistic about what you really plan to do with the car. The typical upgrades include increasing the number of clutch plates and steels, a better band, a more positive acting servo, and a modest shit kit. If the engine is still mostly stock you may get away with having the lines, factory cooler (really a heater) and the convertor thoroughly flushed. When you increase the power to the 300-350 range you will need to consider an external transmission cooler and a convertor matched to the new torque curve, gear ratio, and tire size.

As someone else suggested Rock Auto is a good source for brake parts IF you are sure about the parts you need. If not try to find a local parts store that can help you figure out exactly what you need. Obviously you can spend at lot less if you can do the work yourself. You must have a few specialty tools to remove/install the springs, initially adjust the brakes, GOOD line wrenches to remove/install the lines, penetrating fluid, several cans of brake cleaner, and probably a propane torch. Have good reference material and only take one corner apart at a time. If you've not done this before and experienced coach would be helpful. Sequence of assembly does matter. Let us know how it works out either way.

 

Good Luck,

Chuck

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CTGStang,

 

If you want to make an upgrade while you are at it, I would suggest looking into a AOD to replace the C-4. There are complete packages out there for your car made to handle crazy horsepower while gaining driveablity and economy. And even that upgrade won't cost what the chain is quoting you.

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CTGStang,

 

If you want to make an upgrade while you are at it, I would suggest looking into a AOD to replace the C-4. There are complete packages out there for your car made to handle crazy horsepower while gaining driveablity and economy. And even that upgrade won't cost what the chain is quoting you.

 

That's a really good call.

 

Find a place that will do the swap, I bet it will cost a little more than the 1600 but justify it by telling yourself that you are saving a bunch by doing the brakes yourself. (This is also a great way to justify buying cool tools)

 

You can also then consider lowering the rear end gears (numerically higher). This will really make the car quicker off the line.

 

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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For the transmission I would look at finding either a C6 or FMX to handle the load of the engine power you're talking about since they are the heavy duty transmissions and the C4 just wasn't built for that kind of duty and the price for one for a rebuilt unit is about where AAMCO is to rebuild yours. The AOD is also a great solution.

 

For the brakes, if you're not all that comfortable with doing them yourself, call on one of the local club members to help you out with them. I know for a fact that if someone near me needed assistance with something I'm comfortable doing I'd be there for them for the cost of a cold drink and nothing more. In the process you get some valuable hands-on experience.

 

Just a thought.

 

Mac

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17 (KJV)

 

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Thanks everyone for all the advice. When I went up to AAMCO to pick up the car yesterday so I could go ahead an tackle the brakes myself for now, he told me he had broken off 2 different lug nut studs while trying to get my rear drums off the car. I felt as though I had no other choice but to have the brakes done there, but I did already file a formal complaint with their corporate office as well as the Better Business Bureau for that bull crap. I learned a hard lesson yesterday and will not be going back to that shop again.

 

I am now going to be calling around trying to find a good rebuilt C4 or possible AOD as that was a great suggestion too!

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Just curious, did you make sure the transmission fluid is topped off. Engine/trans should be hot and checked in park on a level surface. Run the shifter through all the gears first before checking. Also the I believe the C4 has adjustments for the bands that could improve the shifting and give you some more road time before having to replace. AAMCO should have checked these out, but you never know, they may must want to sell you a trans!

 

The brake job is something you should try yourself if your learning how to work on the car, one of the most basic jobs. Just follow the advice above. You can save big bucks doing your own labor maybe someone from your local Mustang club would supervise/help you.

Mike AKA Ole Pony & Rare Pony
Our current Mustang garage/driveway
1973 Mustang Convert - Bought in 1974 - Still have it!
2004 Mach 1 Oxford White Auto, Bought Sept 06

20180127_082009.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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I did check the transmission fluid after a 10 min drive around the neighborhood so the fluid was hot. It was showing completely full. All of the responses did give me some courage to call the shop today (left message b/c they are closed) to not do anything to the car at all. After talking to my dad about what the shop was trying to do, he is coming down to help me with the brake rebuild together. Now, I just have to approach the shop tomorrow and tell them to go jump in a lake.

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Broken studs are not a big issue. It's interesting they broke two. They are pressed in from behind so you might have to remove the axle shaft. No big deal since you will have the brakes apart.

 

You have been very gracious in accepting advice. I have a bit more for anyone working on a car: Patience. Fixing your own car can be both the most rewarding and most frustrating experience. There were many times I just wanted to throw things around as parts didn't seems to fit, or bolts wouldn't start, or I would cross thread or break something. (not to mention the dozens of times I hit my head or dropped a wrench on my face or had dirt fall in my eyes..) Sometimes you just gotta get up and walk away for a bit. It will save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

 

Oh, and when you go to put the rebuilt wheel cyls back in. Start the line fitting before you bolt them in place. Tighten them to finger tight then bolt them in place on the back plate. This is easier than trying to get the line in when the cyl is bolted in place.

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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Oh, and when you go to put the rebuilt wheel cyls back in. Start the line fitting before you bolt them in place. Tighten them to finger tight then bolt them in place on the back plate. This is easier than trying to get the line in when the cyl is bolted in place.

 

Great advice, been there done that! Also works on the master cylinder too.

Mike AKA Ole Pony & Rare Pony
Our current Mustang garage/driveway
1973 Mustang Convert - Bought in 1974 - Still have it!
2004 Mach 1 Oxford White Auto, Bought Sept 06

20180127_082009.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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yes make sure everything is finger tight/finger threaded first so you can't cross thread anything.

 

as for studs they are easy to replace, you can pop out the old ones with a hammer,to install new ones thread the new stud into the back of the hub, you will have to release the backing plate bolts to do that, put the drum back on, the rim back on and finger tighten the lug nut on the new stud, then tighten down the lug nuts in a star pattern it will pull the new stud into place on the hub, tighten until the new stud is fully seated.

 

if you have a shop press you can use that also.

 

while doing the stud repair you can examine the axle to backing plate seal and the axle seals to make sure they are not leaking and in good shape.

 

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yes make sure everything is finger tight/finger threaded first so you can't cross thread anything.

 

as for studs they are easy to replace, you can pop out the old ones with a hammer,to install new ones thread the new stud into the back of the hub, you will have to release the backing plate bolts to do that, put the drum back on, the rim back on and finger tighten the lug nut on the new stud, then tighten down the lug nuts in a star pattern it will pull the new stud into place on the hub, tighten until the new stud is fully seated.

 

if you have a shop press you can use that also.

 

while doing the stud repair you can examine the axle to backing plate seal and the axle seals to make sure they are not leaking and in good shape.

 

 

2 years ago a new Ford 9" rear end was put in the car by a reputable restoration shop so I believe the axle seals should be good to go, but I'll find out for sure once I get in there.

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Update: I picked up the car last night from AAMCO and 100 yrds down the road my wife (following me) started honking/flashing lights so I pulled over. The same wheel assembly that AAMCO broke the lug nut studs was wobbling something fierce. I couldn't hear it thanks to the engine and mufflers. It has a good 3-4 inches of wobble. The rest of the lug nuts were tight. I'm afraid they either didn't put the drum back on flush or they damaged my axel or wheel bearings somehow and didn't tell me. I called this morning and the owner tried to deny everything. I'll get the wheel off tomorrow and give another update. Any thoughts about what would cause that much wobble?


I drove it up there to the shop without any problems at all!

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Could be the other studs bent, the rim wasn't fully seated, maybe they left the lugs finger tight, if you got home ok and can take the wheel of to see what happened take pictures, try jacking up the car and pushing the rim around and see if it pops into place.

 

I would be amazed if they bent the rim or bent the axle hub.

 


I would also rotate the axle with the wheel off and just make sure it's rolling true.


More likely the idiots did not torque the 3 remaining nuts to spec thet loosened and the rim went wobbly

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Ever look inside a tranny shop? I'm in the auto parts supply business. Most local shops I've been in I wouldn't let touch my car...

 

 

 

As I was saying earlier....:s

 

Pete - MotoArts Decals and Signs

'71 Sportsroof 351C-4V/4-speed - FINALLY under construction - no, wait, on hold again...

'90 Mustang 7-Up 5.0 ragtop, rolling beater - SOLD

'66 Sunbeam Tiger Mk.IA, survivor

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Welcome to the chain store world. They pulled it apart, broke studs in the process (sometimes they do that. I recently did a break job on my wife's Durango and twisted one off), then deny any wrongdoing.

 

Even if it's 4 lug, with 2 left, the wheel shouldn't be doing that. Something was left loose, I bet.

 

I called this morning and the owner tried to deny everything. I'll get the wheel off tomorrow and give another update.

 

 

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ya that seems very high!! heck you can get a tci street fighter for 1000 bucks shipped too your home..tci good up too 450hp!! http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/TCI-511200-Ford-C4-StreetFighter-Transmission-JEGS-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem5d2ed2370fQQitemZ400217487119QQptZOtherQ5fVehicleQ5fParts alot of my drag racing buddies use nothing but tci on the strip and road.

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I had the '93's AOD rebuilt by a local, non-chain shop. The bill was $1400 and included a shift kit. That price included them removing and reinstalling the trans.

 

The same shop quoted me $600 for a benchtop rebuild for the FMX...where I take them the trans already removed from the car.

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