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Old 08-20-2021, 06:34 AM   #1
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Torque Converter Shutter or ???

I have a 1998 Holiday Rambler with the F53 Chassis and 460 Ford Engine with 57k miles. For the past 2 years I have been trying to solve a vibration issue that shows up between 45 mph and 65 MPH when the transmission shifts to overdrive. You can take your foot off the gas and it quits when the torque converter disconnects and returns as soon as it locks back in. This is a typical torque converter shutter symptom but I have changed both the transmission and torque converter and it made no difference. I have also had the drive shaft balanced and all U joints replaced with no better results. The engine has been tuned with new plugs, heat resistant wires and is serviced every 5k miles with Mobil 1 synthetic. If you have enough road to get to 68 or 70 mph it goes away. Anybody out there had a similar problem? I bought the coach new in 1998 and my first trip was to Daytona Speedway when Earnhardt won the 500. It has been a great coach but this vibration issue has me very frustrated and I cannot find anyone willing to take the time to solve this issue. ANYBODY OUT THERE GOT ANY IDEAS?
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

I'll assume you can feel this vibration in the floor of the coach and the issue isn't a harmonic drone .
Is the drive shaft a single shaft or multiple sections ?

When the shaft was out and balanced were the U joint angles checked on re-installation ?
The angles have to be inspected with the chassis suspension loaded and sometimes the differential housing has to be wedged at the spring perches to bring the joint angle to optimum.

Or in the case of a two piece shaft , the center steady bearing mount has to be shimmed to get the joint angle correct.
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:35 PM   #3
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I think it's as simple as the PCM is locking up the converter at too low of an rpm. I'll bet if you were able to watch a tachometer you would notice a pattern. It's no different than a manual trans truck being shifted into high gear too soon. It will shudder or buck for a couple seconds until the rpm's are in range and then smooth out. You have definitely changed everything related to drive line shudder already. I think it is happening when the rpm's are too low. I would think the old 460 would lug pretty low though. That's why a tach reading would be very helpful imo.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:07 PM   #4
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There is some stuff sold at Oreiley Auto Parts called "shudder fix" put 2 tubes in my old Ford truck fixed it right up. I put new u joints in the drive shaft first to no avail then the miracle in a tube. Give it a try.
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Old 07-03-2022, 08:50 PM   #5
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Generally "torque converter shudder" feels like when you run on those rumble strips on the edge of the highway. If you're not getting exactly that sensation then it's probably another issue.

My next move would be to hook up a scanner with datastream capability and see what exactly is happening when the vibration occurs. Taking that further would be running with a scope on the ignition so you could watch for misfires. You'd think the PCM would pickup on and report misfires but Ford computers of that era are pretty insensitive. I've driven some with misfires so bad it would barely climb a hill and it never triggered a code. I actually pulled a plug wire loose just to see if would register a misfire. It did then.

One trick to help isolate a TCC issue is to drive so the vibration happens then lightly press the brake pedal. Just enough to turn your brake lights on while holding steady on the throttle. Lockup is supposed to cancel the instant the brake lights come on. So if you do that and the shudder disappears then you can say that you still have a TCC issue despite earlier work. Sonnax and Superior have some valves that can help with that.
But on the other hand, if the shudder just lessens but doesn't go away then the cause of your vibration issue is elsewhere and being in Lockup is just amplifying whatever the actual problem is. Being in lockup is infamous for amplifying the feel of a misfire.
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Old 07-03-2022, 09:48 PM   #6
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The 1999 f53 had a TSB for vibration. Just throwing it out there in case you had your tires on/off around the time this vibration started.

Occurs on smooth roads at highway speeds (45-75 mph) and is normally sensitive in a specific smaller speed range.
* Felt in the steering wheel or seat/floor.
* Falls in a frequency range of 10-24 Hz when measured on an Electronic Vibration Analyzer (EVA).
Read more about it here:
F53 - TSB Funny vibration around 50 mph - Wheel Centering on F53 - 1999 Southwind 35S
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