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I also installed a shift kit because I hate lazy-shifting automatic transmissions. Known online as the J-Mod (named after Ford drivetrain engineer Jerry Wroblewski), it’s not a shift kit per se. Rather, it involves replacing the stock valvebody separator plate with one from a Mercury Marauder. You also replace a couple of the accumulator springs. This is a fairly simple job and works for all 4R70W transmissions. A thorough write-up is available on the Thunderbird and Cougar Club of America’s website: tccoa.com. Quicker shifts are the result because of bigger fluid passages and more line pressure. Rebuilding the transmission ultimately fixed my driveline problems. The clutch friction material was almost nonexistent, all the bearings were worn out, and there was a ton of endplay. Read about that in our Jan. ’10 issue.