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Thread: 1988 3.8 tranny trouble advice

  1. #1
    Member
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    Feb 2019
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    70

    Default 1988 3.8 tranny trouble advice

    I saw this and the owner says it will go into gear but quits pulling. Ideas on if it could be a cheap fix like a modulator or filter(she says but...)? I am looking for a car for my gf daughter. Bought a nice lhs but it is pushing water out the bottle so have that project. This car looks nice and might could be had for 500 or less. It is a four hour round trip for me to get it on a dolly. What say ye a-body gurus? Whats a rebuild cost on these trannys. I am fond of the 3.8.


    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2226107304420/



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Looks like a nice straight car with a lot of options. It could be something simple like a nearly plugged filter, or something more involved like a bad pump. If you don't have any issues keeping extra cars at your house, I'd get it and at the very least have parts for your Cruiser. I don't know the trans rebuild cost, I'd be more likely to drop in a good used trans if there's something serious wrong with it. But I think it'd be worth changing the fluid and filter and see if that fixes it.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  3. #3
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
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    The Gem State
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    1992 Century Special 1996 Century Custom
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    It would need to have the camshaft timing gear / timing set replaced or verify replacement, even if the transmission was any easy fix.
    Jerry

  4. #4
    Member
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    Feb 2019
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    Yea I got 180 of of my 1986 delta 88. The beauty of the 3.8 is if the chain breaks it?s a tow and a $500 job if it?s outsourced. This car looks like a 120k car to me with the interior. I am thinking it?s a pretty safe option for a 21 yr old girl. I am not sold out on airbags but never been an accident with them deployed.

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