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1988 F150 Transmission

Hi, I have a 1988 F150 which is in beautiful shape. My father in law had it since 1989 and had “babied that truck” according to him. So it’s running great, has a mere 92,000 miles, is an automatic with 4X4 with manual shifter to put it into 4X4 or Low 4X4. Here’s the questions: When driving in rear-wheel drive mode (I never drive it on the street in 4X4 - we don’t get snow here in SC) it has developed a hard shift from first to second. It feels like it bumps when shifting. When empty it shifts at about 3200 RPM at average acceleration, which I think is a little high. Does RPM even matter when the shift occurs? Can the tranny be adjusted to shift at a lower RPM? Is my tranny about to go kerplunk? The transmission fluid was a tad low so I topped it off but that didn’t seem to help. Any ideas and/or experiences would be GREATLY appreciated! After all, if I don’t take care of “his” truck I may be in for a real tough Thanksgiving. Thanks. David.

An 88 Ford automatic? Has the tranny fluid/filter ever been replaced?


Like Tester, I too wonder about whether or not the transmission has ever been serviced since new.
The term “babied” is sometimes used erroneously too. :slight_smile:

I think there were several different transmissions available at the time and gut feeling says this one may be an AOD.
If so, the transmission does use a throttle cable that affects the shift points and care should be used if adjusting that cable.