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Strange issue with my '89 Aerostar.

IndyMike

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Year, Model & Trim Level
1989 Ford Aerostar
I have an '89 Aerostar XL with nearly 200,000 miles on it, It did run perfect. The body was rough but she was very dependable, no issues until now. I started the van like normal and let it run for a couple of minutes before I drove. I pulled out of a parking lot onto a busy street and went about a whole block. While driving, it felt as if I bumped the shifter and put it into neutral (while I was driving) so I tried to put it into the lower gears and nothing happened. I coasted into a parking lot, with the van still running and had to park it there. I move the shifter into every gear but the transmission would not engauge. I put the van in "park" and it still worked so the linkage was ok. While sitting there looking over things, the engine just died. I tried to restart it, but it wouldn't. It cranked fine but no fire. There was no noises out of the ordinary, sounds, etc. This has got me really stumped. I'm thinking the "brain" or computer went bad since it happened so quick. Would anyone be able to confirm this or have any other solution.
Thanks
 


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BrooklynBay

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IndyMike

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:mad: No, none of the dummy lights came on or are on and yes, the fuel pump is engauging. The thing that really stumps me is while I was driving, it literally felt like I put the transmission in neutral and I didn't. (I was going about 45 mph when it did this) After I got pulled off the road, I tried to put the van in any gear, regular regular "D" Drive, 2nd, & 1st and reverse but the transmission would not engauge in any gear except park. Then after about 5 minutes or so while I was sitting there trying to figure out why it did what it did, with the van running fine, no noises, smells, etc. it just shut off and it would/will not start again. It's cranking fine, the battery is new and the alternator was working / charging fine which, all of the ignition parts (starter, alternator, battery, ignition module and coil, sylinoid, battery cables, distributor cap, rotor, plugs & wires) are all aprox 6 monts old or newer. The fuel pump assy (pump & sending unit, both fuel filters) are approx 1 year old or less. I have put in alot of work and money in this van. I have even replaced the A/C condensor,yes the A/C still works/worked front and back, water pump, thermostat, radiator hoses, front brakes, rotors, bearings, tie rod end, new tires,shocks, heater core, exhaust system (cat back) and blower motor (was replaced before I bought it). I mean, almost everything you can think of mechanically on this van has been replaced!! This is why I'm thinking that the computer got wet or something and shorted it out.
 




BrooklynBay

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K80

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I think your tranny needs fluid, and you ran out of gas. I know it souns silly, but that is what I think happened.
The slipping out of gear while driving thing is what gets me....then the engine dies? Sounds like two problems....both easy to fix.
What kind of work has the tranny had done to it....and did you perform all the work on this van yourself?
 




robcarz

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I have the exact same problem with my wife's 89 aerostar. So I tore it apart and this is what I found: Nothing! Almost like new inside. No it is not out of gas or low on fluid. I'm thinking torque converter. Does this thread continue somewhere?
 




BrooklynBay

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Welcome to this forum! The way a thread on a forum works is like this. Somebody starts a topic called a thread, then everybody adds their input into a separate box called a post. Your post number in this thread is # 6. My response to your post is the next box which is # 7.
 




robcarz

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Thanks BrooklynBay for the pointers on how a thread works. I am a rookie at this.

I see you are the owner of at least 5 Aerostars. Well my opinion of the Ford Aerostar
has improved over time as I have found it to be dependable (212k}, economical,
versatile and user friendly.

Yer right. Should have checked the pressure before I pulled it. I reassembled it as is and put it back in. Put on a pressure gauge off of an air compressor. Crawled under there and moved the shift lever by hand as I watched the gauge. It shows 65 to 70 in all positions except reverse which is 110. Wheels do not move in any position.
 




robcarz

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Update. I hate it when a thread leads to a dead end.

It was the torque converter. Broken splines in the turbine shaft. Fooled me because it checked out ok according to the manual.

Do a pressure check before you pull it.
 








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