Hey guys, looking for a little bit of knowledge on my TH350. Maybe some of you have experienced what it going on and can share with me what you think the problem may be.
Car has a Pontiac 400 with a TH350 from a 70 firebird. To my understanding it was rebuilt before it was put back into the car roughly 2-2.5 years ago, where after that it just sat. Before I brought it home, all we really did was make sure it shifted well, and that it moved forward and backwards since it needed wheels, tires, and a legitimate drive shaft before it could really be tested on the road (putting power through the drivetrain)
I had a point while it was in storage where it lost quite a bit of tans fluid, but I chalked it up that maybe I added just a bit too much and it bled out through the air tube on the upper left side, cause it stopped and I basically topped it to where it needed to be and then no problems and since I was able to move the car around, basically idling going through R-N-D, it moved without issue other then it seemed to really have to think to find R. I finally decided to try and drive it now that it was registered as I needed lug studs replaced. In my was to the shop (merchants tire), the car was running really rough, had a difficult time making it up a hill out of the storage area, I thought maybe it was a timing issue. I got gas, gas tank then fell out and it was towed the rest of the way to the shop.(merchants) It sat there for a few days, had the studs replaced and gas tank rehung, no signs of trains fluid at all.
Now I'm at the point where I will try again, to get it to the shop for exhaust. Roughly 5 miles away. Pulled out of merchants and it died in the middle of the road
Got it fired up and started moving, it ran sluggishly at this point but nonetheless it went. It definitely did not feel or move like it had a 400 under the hood, but I was able to get it to the exhaust place and was moving along around 35-45 mph. I got a mile from the shop and suddenly it seemed like it lost the little power it had. Pull into the parking lot, and after speaking with the owner of the shop, I notice trains fluid leaking out. Long story short, it lost a just about half of the trans fluid, was towed back to the storage since it was DIW.
I worked out a plan with a good friend of mine to drop the trans and replace all the seals and to check the timing on the motor. It sat in storage for about a month. Towed to his place dropped the trans, here's where it turns to the suck. The trans pan, had about an inch of caked sludge/clay, just nasty gunk (they could've used it as the prop clay in Ghost for making pottery) I would've taken a picture of it if I could've. So finished the seals and slap it back in the car, refill trans, and let it sit over night to see if it leaks, it did not.
Now it's time for another test drive, cycle through the the gears, flawlessly. Goes forward and reverse easily no more issues finding the gears, through idle that is. I back it out of the drive way, and start to give it gas and it just won't move, there is no power past idle. Rev higher and higher and the motor just dies. Repeat a few times and nothing, just no power to get it to move at all, the end of his driveway is on a hill. Throw it in drive and I managed to idle it back into the driveway.
So after that long story. The car moves forward and backwards fine, but there is just no power to be had at all once I put my foot on the throttle. Fluid is staying the car now. After discussing the possibilities, my friend and I have come up with a few conclusions. I will also say that, it is a good possibility that the motor and trans was caught in that flood that happened in TN awhile back before it was in the car. I'm not certain.
Torque converter is bad
Torque converter is filled with that gunk/clay sludge
Transmission is filled with that gunk/clay
Transmission was never rebuilt and everything is worn out for being nearly 50
I would love to hear from you guys in your experiences or knowledge. Recommendations, please.
Sorry for the long read.