car project

Auto work

[Today’s run: 5 miles (Limerock plus a bit)]

I have read some online about the issues with this Aerostar.

One issue is that there is a bunch more oil in it than there should be. There is a vacuum actuated thing on the automatic transmission which helps it decide when to shift. That is called a transmission modulator. If that modulator goes bad then the vacuum of the engine starts slurping up the transmission fluid through the vacuum line, like Mountain Dew through a straw. And the symptoms are that you have a bunch of missing transmission fluid, a bunch of extra “oil” and if you unhook the vacuum line from the modulator you discover it has transmission fluid in it (which looks like oil but it wouldn’t be oil because oil is on the sucking end of the straw.)

Earlier this week I bought an oil filter and a 4-quart jug of motor oil. And I bought the replacement modulator.

Today I changed the oil and got roughly 6 quarts out of the oil pan. I found the modulator and changed that out, it wasn’t hard. I also changed the engine oil filter. I put in just under 4 quarts, maybe 3.5.

Later I drove the van around a bit. You have to measure the transmission fluid level with the system “hot” and in park. So I drove it. It makes a terrible racket because it has no muffler. I could only get it to move in R, 1, and 2. D and D-with-a-circle around it were like being in neutral.

I got back to the house and measured the transmission fluid level, or attempted to. Nothing was showing up on the dip stick.

So now I have secured a 4-quart jug of transmission fluid. According to the auto parts place this transmission can hold as much as 9 liters, which would be 9.5 quarts. I’m going to work on putting some in tomorrow a bit at a time and see if it starts showing up on the dip stick again. I’m hoping that the extra I got out of the engine oil pan accounts for all of the missing transmission fluid.

If I can get it to shift again, then the next two things are the air intake and the hacked out catalytic converter. I called and talked to a muffler place and he said he could fix me up on the exhaust end. Finding an original replacement for the intake pipe doesn’t seem likely but I thought I would try pvc pipe at Lowes and see where that gets me.