My dad's 89 A4LD is grinding really bad through 1st gear and then goes away when it shifts. Reverse seems okay. It only has 100k. What are the typical weak links in these trannys?Ive heard the planetary housings break and split. Thanks.
The A4LD is a weak transmission all over, but some things can be done to prevent failure. In you case, you may need to take it to a transmisson shop for work. I would suggest having them add a "shift correction" or "shift improver" kit while they are at it. A good stacked-plate transmission cooler will also help.
It grinds in first gear? I've killed several A4lds, and never had that happen before. You'll definately want to look at it, or have someone else look at it. Chances are though, the transmission is shot.
The problem with automatic transmissions... when you first notice a problem, it is too late because the transmission is already ripping itself appart by slipping and burning up the fluid.
More frequently on the A4ld, it simply won't go into gear, won't go into overdrive, or it just starts slipping.