Whelp, the transmission in my ‘87 Colony Park wagon is definitely bad. It consistently acts up now.

At steady-state driving it will downshift, sometimes multiple gears, until the engine is racing. Then if i gas it, it will slam back into the correct gear. And when I stop at lights it often won’t downshift back to first. It either stays in a higher gear as I pull away, shudders violently and them slams into first. Or at the light the car will suddenly slam into first so hard the entire car jolts.

Three shops have looked at it back when it was only acting up occasionally, and found nothing. One dropped the pan, told me everything looked like new and there was a normal amount of clutch material in the pan, and did a fluid & filter swap. I haven’t had a chance to bring it back since it started acting up as they are only open the same hours I am at work.

Rebuilding the AOD would be $800-$1200, which is a hard ask on a $500 car. I’ve had no luck finding a used one, and donor cars run about the same amount. Supposedly at C6 will bolt up with the right flexplate, but that seems like a whole other can of worms.


So now I have to figure out what to do. Normally I’d just give in and have it rebuilt as the money is there in the “dumb idea fund”, but I’m staring down the barrel of several thousand dollars of house expenses as soon as the weather warms up (the 60+ year old fresh water line into my house is rotted and dripping and needs to be dug out to the street and replaced). So I’m not sure what to do next...