'94 Ford Tempo - driveability and transmission question...

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Old 06-28-14, 07:20 PM
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'94 Ford Tempo - driveability and transmission question...

This is kinda a two-part question, so if I should split them up, I can do that. Otherwise, here goes...
Numero uno - 3.0 liter engine, auto transmission in this four-door model. No code as yet, but it stumbles coming off idle. Does great at speed, just sort of finds a dead spot when pulling away from a stop. First thought is throttle position sensor - off base or am I thinking correctly?
Numero due - With only three speeds in the automatic transmission (Wikipedia says it's an ATX/FLC), it's not a very economical highway car. Heck, it only does a little better than my full-size half-ton Ford truck with more than time-and-a-half the engine displacement. So, is there another automatic transaxle that would bolt up to the back of the 3.0, fit in the existing space, use the existing mounting setup AND give me another gearset (maybe even lockup converter)?
As always, thanks in advance - Chris
 
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Old 06-29-14, 08:19 PM
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Regarding your driveability problem:

How is the engine at idle? Is it smooth or is there any vibration - both in Park and in Drive? The Tempos were well known for harmonic balancers that went bad - usually cracks - causing vibration and acceleration problems. Also have the engine mounts checked.

As far as changing and trying to upgrade the transaxle on a 20 year-old Tempo I think you would be wasting your time and money, considering what the car is worth in 2014.
 
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Old 06-30-14, 06:18 PM
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I'd run 2 cans of Seafoam per 2 tankfuls. My money is on dirty EGR valve. And the rest just that - dirty. Buying cheapest gas in the area?
As of the trannie question. Really. Your car is not worth trannie replacement. I understand you like it, but seriously...
Much more fesible to DIY full tuneup - plugs, wires, filters. And Seafoam both ways. And Transtune through trannie, followed by ATF change.

Sorry,m forgot most important thing. Dismount that brick off your right foot. Heavy gas pedal foot is worst ever for mpg. Read on hypermiling techniques.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 09:31 AM
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Thanks grandspan and ukrbyk. I know, a twenty-year-old car with dwindling resale value is about the last candidate in the world for any serious upgrades. But I'm putting this heap back together for my starting-to-drive-age daughter to use, and there's the possibility she will go to college half a continent away in a few years. We are probably the last owners this car will ever have (or need), so I'm not afraid of putting in the sweat to make it safe, reliable and economical. At the same time, I don't want to put more green rectangles into it than is reasonable. That said, IF the transmission were to belly-up on me before the car is ready to retire completely, do we know of a four-speed auto that would slide into place?
As for the idle and transition quality, idle is pretty smooth. Haven't been under the hood long enough to watch the engine for shaking or such, but it seemed to feel pretty smooth on the 275-mile trip to get it home. But as the loud pedal is pressed from idle to, maybe, 1200 rpm, there's just no real response in engine speed. EGR valve should be easy enough to check; maybe sticking open/not closing when it should? Thanks again, guys. Until next time,... Chris
(BTW, what happened to the U.S. flag icon I used to use in my signature? Hopefully the P.C. Police haven't attacked this hallowed forum...)
 
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Old 07-01-14, 09:58 AM
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Safe? Sorry, but no way will that car be as safe as even something like a 2004 Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.

Does it even have airbags? I know it doesn't have antilock brakes. What about even disk brakes?

When the trans goes...that car is done. I wouldn't spend $300 to get it drivable unless it was in pristine condition with very low miles.

Maybe for learning to drive and locally while still in HS where you can work on it, but half way across the country? No way. Sorry, but how much is her life worth? Can you afford to send her $1500 when it breaks down 1000 miles away?

There are excellent older cars for a decent price out there. Neighbor just sold her deceased Moms 2000 Lincoln LS. Absolutely fantastic shape, only 50K miles, perfect exterior, just some minor leather cracking on drivers seat. Seriously just a little old ladies car driven once a week by her daughter for shopping and very occasional trip to Vegas of Phoenix. Garage kept, dealer serviced. Was asking for $5000, sold it for $4500. If I'd had the money I probably would have tried to get it.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 05:16 PM
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Gunguy just gave you great advice, get your daughter a newer, safer, more reliable set of wheels.I would not send your daughter half way across the country in that car.

Coincidently in 2004 I did send my daughter half way across the country in 2004, to your state, to Columbia, MO, where she leased a Honda Civic brand new for well under $189 a month at that time.
 
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