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Lucas Transmission Fix. Opinions?

Discussion in 'LH: Large Cars, 1993-2004' started by Opus62, May 22, 2012.

  1. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    A little background might help. I am looking at maybe buying a 1994 Concorde with a 3.5 engine. The car only has 158,482 kilometers and is a country car so it got my attention. It is a private sale and the vendor stated that the transmission "slipped a bit" [his words] but claimed that the Lucas goop made it all work just fine.
    Now I have little to no faith in any type of "liquid repair" but I was wondering if the fact that this stuff seemed to help could serve as an indicator of what the actual problem is/was. Any information would be appreciated and useful. Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    If you do get the car, start with a pan drop fluid and filter change. See what nasties may be in the bottom of the pan at this time. Use ATF+4 only. This is a synthetic and is loaded with factory-specified additives.
    Lucas has helped some folks here, but I have never tried it. Chrysler doesn't recommend any trans additives as fresh ATF+4 should have all the vitamins you need. If the guy has to keep adding it, it isn't working.
    There was a big change in software in '95 that vastly improved transaxle life and shift quality. Make sure that the TCM software is up to date.
    See this link: http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html
    Hopefully won't need an overhaul, but if it did would the car still be worth it? Check for leaking cooler lines where the rubber hoses are crimped to the steel line (common).
     
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  3. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Lucas does work for certain issues. But all it is doing is postponing a rebuild. Lucas works when the issue is with hardened seals. It softens them up so they work as they should.
    I had a 1994 LeBaron that was slow to engage in drive when cold and would slip under hard acceleration. Lucas fixed both those issues, and I got a few more years service out of the car as a nice weather cruiser.
    But if I had to depend on the car every day I'm not sure I'd want a car with that issue - the transmissions will fail and need work, just a question of how soon.
     
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  4. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    The car is quite cheap, $500 or best offer. No rust or body damage. On the allpar pages there seems to be a LOT of info regarding relatively simple fixes. It seems that the wrong fluid is a real killer for these transmissions. I have done a 3.5 L engine swap in a 95 Concorde a few years ago and it really wasn't too bad, as engine swaps go, and much easier than pretty much any other FWD car out there. R&R on the transmission doesn't look too daunting so maybe taking the trans to a shop out of the car could be a good way to do things, if worse comes to worse.
     
  5. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    If you can get the car high enough to drop the exhaust system down and out of the way in one-piece, then you are half-way there.
    Dipstick tube, shift lever and cooler line fittings come of the left side.
    Remove the crank sensor from the right side bell-housing so it doesn't get damaged in the R&R.
    2 top bellhousing bolts support a bracket that has to be pried out of the way.
    Flush the cooler lines and cooler(s).
    If the shop doesn't have the equipment to flush the torque converter, they may suggest a reman. In order to do it right, I would go with it.
    Look for an authorized software update sticker under the hood, on the TCM itself or retreive the TCM part # with a capable scan tool. The latest and greatest is now part #4797708.
    The PCM (engine) also had an update for difficult cold starts.
     
  6. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys. This car is in EXCELLENT condition, with NO rust [country car, all highway] and only 158,482 kilometers [98,476.15 miles], very low for an 18 year old car. The car is quite drivable as it is. In my opinion, the car should be worth the effort to replace the transaxle. I just wish the scan tools were more affordable. The fact that the seller revealed information that I would not have discovered on my own tells me that he is likely being strait with me.
     
  7. fjb37

    fjb37 Member

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    Steering rack hold down parts and the inner tie rod bushings were an issue with these cars. If the steering is sloppy, that's the first place to look. Learned that with my 95 LHS.

    I had the TCM and PCM software updated on that car. It had a cold weather start issue. You must use the proper Champion spark plug gapped to .035", 5W-30 synthetic oil along with the PCM update if you want to have the 3.5L engine start in cold weather. Always made me wonder if Chrysler engineers ever heard of a cold chamber. The TSB even suggested the addition of an engine block heater.

    More than likely the tranny seals are "going south". Mine did around 55K miles. Good thing I bought a 2 year warranty from CarMax. Paid for itself in no time. Just my $0.02.

    FredB
     
  8. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    I have decided to buy the car for $400. After 3 years in a farm yard [it shows, believe me it shows...shampoo and vac time] it started up IMMEDIATELY with a boost [dead battery]. The way it started was like it was just shut off yesterday. After a quick drive the transmission seemed to work perfect. The exhaust smells like all emission controls are working as they should. It seemed to overheat while sitting there idling. Stuck thermostat perhaps. The battery did take a wee bit of a charge but after sitting dead for 3 years I expect to replace it. The oil looks very clean, like it has only a couple hundred kilometers since its last change, if that.
    The deal maker for me was 2 things: It has so few kilometers for its age and it has NO rust. When I say NO rust, I mean ABSOLUTELY NO RUST AT ALL!!! No surface rust. No specs of rust starting. Nothing underneath. Nothing on the edges anywhere.
    The vendor thought the tires were flat. They actually sank so far into the turf that they did look flat! [they weren't, the front passenger tire was low.]
    The A/C was empty. He said that it worked ok when he parked it and I have no reason at all to doubt him. Compressor seals perhaps? The climate controls were completely dead but I have a spare control that I re-soldered.
    The stereo, unfortunately, is NOT an Infinity but I have a Sony Xplod that my darling wife bought me for last xmas. Also no overhead console. Perhaps I can score one from the local boneyard. All in all, I feel good about this.
     
  9. fjb37

    fjb37 Member

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    Your AC leak is more than likely the evaporator coil. Chrysler had an extended warranty on them. Got a new one in my 95 LHS under that warranty. Real PITA to change. Just my $0.02.

    FredB
     
  10. chuzz

    chuzz Allpar Legacy

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    Sounds to me like you got an excellent deal on that car. Even if you have to rebuild or replace the transmission and do some work on the a/c system, you'll still come out way ahead of buying a new one and making payments!
     
  11. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    Pictures will be posted. Stay tuned!
     
  12. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    Car is now home with me. Tires appear to have suffered greatly from improper storage, substantial vibration on the highway. Code 32 appeared after 10 minutes on the highway. Probably EGR stuck shut, car ran fine. Unmistakable sound and effect of a strut that was not tightened properly, alignment changes as I turn the wheel. HVAC controls dead and system went into defrost/full heat mode, as expected. Replaced control with one I had lying around. Better, but not quite right. All controls now work BUT fan will not turn on at all at any speed. I can hear all of the modes changing but no blow. Any thoughts?
    Drives well in town. Great power, as expected.
     
  13. Opus62

    Opus62 New Member

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    Further investigation has revealed that the struts on these cars have no camber adjustment. Therefore some sort of fix is in order. If I am stopped and turn the wheel completely to the left, I'll hear a clunk that appears to come from the front passenger side. If driven strait at this point, the car will pull slightly to the left. If I turn the wheel all the way to the right when stopped, I will hear a similar clunk. If driven strait at THIS point, the car will pull quite strongly to the right. Wheel bearing perhaps?
     
  14. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    The inner tie rod bushings may have come apart, as mentioned. These are rubber donut bushings that attach the bars to the rack behind the engine. With the front wheels off the ground, grasp the front and rear of the tire and try moving it forcefully. I've seen a few cm of play here. The struts may be OK.
     
  15. fjb37

    fjb37 Member

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    You might want to join the "Trep" site. www.dodgeintrepid.net
    There isn't anything that these guys won't try to do to their LH cars. Just my $0.02.

    FredB
     
  16. Bens90W150

    Bens90W150 New Member

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    I think you got a good deal too. My 2000 Intrepid RT did the exact same thing when the steering wheel was turned all the way left. A Monroe Sensatrac Quick Strut has so far fixed the problem.
    Since the car is a 3.5 at 98K miles, it is due for a timing belt water pump change. I waited until 105K on a 93 Intrepid and the timing belt broke. The break wiped out the left cam gear and the cam sensor. Best of luck, Ben
     

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