el jefe

any thoughts on a 1984 944 with an auto transmission? all services have been done. I'm thinking about buying but I don't know much about the auto trans.

this is a very abbreviated answer and a prelude to a more in depth article we're working on, but here are the important bits.  these are 087 Audi (5000/100/200) units (the '84 944 (USA)(CDN)(J) uses transmissions coded RCB) and while robust, they do need regular oil/filter changes. be sure to check the trans oil cooler lines from the trans to the radiator for any leaks or crushed/rusted metal lines. check the fluid cold, then drive the car to operating temperature then check it again and make sure the oil falls between the min/max lines. smell the goddamn oil, it shouldn't have a burnt smell or look brown in color, fluid should be red or as close to red as possible. 

the longevity of these transmissions are compromised when overheated, proper oil/level and free flowing oil cooler lines are a must...remember, if the engine runs HOT, the transmission oil is running hot too since it cools the oil from inside the radiator, so be careful not to overheat the thing. I'm sending you a few shots from my manual covering the 087 trans so that you can see what it looks like...

how it looks in the flesh, where to find the code numbers, and what they mean.
the codes/numbers of the transmissions specific to export versions, etc.
how the transmission is serviced...
and how to properly check the fluid.
the final drive and 087 automatic transmission halves...
shot of how the entire assembly looks when bolted to the car.  pay attention to the routing of the oil cooler lines...look for leaks dripping UNDER the torque tube.
and here are the shots of the radiator specific to the automatic...and the difference is found on the right side, see the brass fittings? that's where the trans oil cooler lines bolt up...
check for slipping in each gear, make sure it kicks down (downshifts) when you mash the throttle in low rpms, and make sure reverse works! infrequent oil changes will leave the valve body vulnerable to dirt plugging things up and causing shifting/slipping issues. flare (slip) in any gear (if oil level is good and there are records of frequent services) usually spells the inevitable death of the trans remedied only by a rebuild. 



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