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Hi everyone! How you guys are having a great day! My 2009 P71 Crown Victoria is having a really weird transmission shifting issue. I noticed it last night when I was driving home from my parents house. The car starts and runs perfectly fine, however, when I put my shift selector in Drive, the car doesn’t move at all the engine revs but that’s it. The funny part is that if I manually select 1 or 2, they engage and hold perfectly fine. I drove the car in 2nd about half way to my apartment and once I stopped at a stop light I put it back in drive suddenly it started working again. This morning when I was driving to work the car shifted perfectly through 1 and 2 but as soon as it needed to shift to 3 it just neutrals out. After driving about half way to work I put the tranny but into Drive and it shifted through 3 and OD perfectly fine. I checked the fluid and it’s in the crosshatches and the car doesn’t make any weird noise at all. The only thing I recently did to it is drop the pan and replace the transmission filter. I have no idea what to even think about this issue any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
 

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Hi everyone! How you guys are having a great day! My 2009 P71 Crown Victoria is having a really weird transmission shifting issue. I noticed it last night when I was driving home from my parents house. The car starts and runs perfectly fine, however, when I put my shift selector in Drive, the car doesn’t move at all the engine revs but that’s it. The funny part is that if I manually select 1 or 2, they engage and hold perfectly fine. I drove the car in 2nd about half way to my apartment and once I stopped at a stop light I put it back in drive suddenly it started working again. This morning when I was driving to work the car shifted perfectly through 1 and 2 but as soon as it needed to shift to 3 it just neutrals out. After driving about half way to work I put the tranny but into Drive and it shifted through 3 and OD perfectly fine. I checked the fluid and it’s in the crosshatches and the car doesn’t make any weird noise at all. The only thing I recently did to it is drop the pan and replace the transmission filter. I have no idea what to even think about this issue any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
No check engine light either so I’m completely stumped :/
 

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Welcome to the FFO!

That issue is caused by the following possibilities
Fluid level is incorrect. (Check when HOT on level ground)
Fluid is incorrect type. Ford is very specific on fluid type
Internal seals have gotten so hot that they are no longer pliable. They will get pliable when the transmission gets hot enough. This usually happens on high mileage vehicles and/or vehicles where all the fluid (20 quarts or so ) and filter was not changed frequently enough

None of these issues will trip a warning light.

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How many miles on it?
How many quarts did you drain out?

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For a P71 that isn't a lot

Did the old fluid have a burned smell?

I would fill to the top of the normal range when the fluid is HOT and transmission is in park.
Getting a complete fill is critical.
As is draining the torque converter.

If the converter was not drained, I would replace all of the existing fluid including the fluid in the torque converter. Enough old fluid was mixed with new fluid if the fluid in the converter was not drained.

The other issue is the vehicle was used hard (kind of the definition for a P71) and the transmission fluid was not changed frequently enough. Causing the internal seals to harden. The fluid change only uncovered that condition.

There are some temporary patches to that condition (seal sweller) and the fix is to drop the transmission if that is the case.

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Discussion Starter #8
For a P71 that isn't a lot

Did the old fluid have a burned smell?

I would fill to the top of the normal range when the fluid is HOT and transmission is in park.
Getting a complete fill is critical.
As is draining the torque converter.

If the converter was not drained, I would replace all of the existing fluid including the fluid in the torque converter. Enough old fluid was mixed with new fluid if the fluid in the converter was not drained.

The other issue is the vehicle was used hard (kind of the definition for a P71) and the transmission fluid was not changed frequently enough. Causing the internal seals to harden. The fluid change only uncovered that condition.

There are some temporary patches to that condition (seal sweller) and the fix is to drop the transmission if that is the case.

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Transmission fluid was used but not burnt. It was still a dark red. When I dropped the pan it didn’t have anything out of the ordinary only the typical gunk on the magnet no large chunks. The fluid also didn’t smell burnt it smelt like brand new ATF.
 

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I am at a loss.

The fluid level is critical
Or the internal seals are no longer pliable.

No warning light means no electronic issues. That means just mechanical issues. (Or non-electronic)
Comes down to fluid, seals or valves. However if it shifts at all, you can almost eliminate valves.

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Discussion Starter #10
I am at a loss.

The fluid level is critical
Or the internal seals are no longer pliable.

No warning light means no electronic issues. That means just mechanical issues. (Or non-electronic)
Comes down to fluid, seals or valves. However if it shifts at all, you can almost eliminate valves.

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That’s exactly what was confusing me as well. It shifts and runs well when it’s working, it doesn’t grind or make any unusual noises or vibrations. Could it maybe be a misadjusted shifter cable or does that have nothing to do with it?
 

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If the shifter cable was in the incorrect position, it would position the manual valve incorrectly.
Which would be NO forward or reverse gear. You have some operation in a lower gear.

The first symptom you stated is, "I put my shift selector in Drive, the car doesn’t move at all the engine revs but that’s it."
Later you stated, "Drive and it shifted through 3 and OD perfectly fine "
Automatic Transmission Valve Body Functions and Failure Symptoms (carfromjapan.com)

Know that the shift to OD is totally electronic with no mechanical shifting. To get that shift (and all shifts) pressure is needed, plus a vacuum or engine load signal. I suspect you are not getting enough pressure. That would be the case for leaking seals. And one other thing I missed is a worn pump. The shifter position is not a factor given your symptoms.

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Did you leave the old O ring up in the housing and now you aren't getting a good seal
It's easy to do
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just drove it back home from work and it shifted perfectly absolutely no issues. I’m not sure what is going on but I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that the 2 times it would neutral out trying to go to third it was cold outside. That’s the only thing I can possibly think of
 

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I just drove it back home from work and it shifted perfectly absolutely no issues. I’m not sure what is going on but I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that the 2 times it would neutral out trying to go to third it was cold outside. That’s the only thing I can possibly think of
I was looking for hints
There is a shift cable on the side os the trans that the clip breaks on it
Let me get you a video
 

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Temperature related issues are typically because the fluid level is not correct!

There is a lot of fluid in the system. That fluid expands with temperature. If the fluid level is not correct, there will be operational issues when cold as the level is not high enough. As the fluid gets hotter it expands and then the transmissino works well.

The level is critical for correct operation.

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Discussion Starter #18
Temperature related issues are typically because the fluid level is not correct!

There is a lot of fluid in the system. That fluid expands with temperature. If the fluid level is not correct, there will be operational issues when cold as the level is not high enough. As the fluid gets hotter it expands and then the transmissino works well.

The level is critical for correct operation.

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I just checked my ATF level after driving it until it warmed up and it’s on the upper crosshatches. Checked the fluid on a level surface in Park with the engine running at idle. Should I add more ATF to the top crosshatches to see if something changes?
 

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sure do not exceed the top of the crosshatch

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Try giving it more throttle when it doesn't move. If it does move it will be a shudder and then maybe it will move. You probably need an overhaul.
 
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