My car nearly stalls in “drive”

November 1, 2008 | By Richard Prince


I have a 1955 Packard Clipper Constellation with the 352 cid V-8. After a rebuild of the Rochester 4-barrel and installation of a new fuel pump the engine runs fairly well with minor issues that I am working through with the help of great tune-up articles found in Auto Restorer.

My problem is that when I put the transmission in gear it nearly stalls the engine just to get it to go, and there seems to be more power in reverse than in drive. Is my problem more with the torque converter than the transmission?


If the engine stalls or almost stalls when an automatic transmission is put into drive, the problem likely is with the torque converter. The lockup function of the torque converter may be permanently locked up, effectively eliminating the “slip” in the transmission and creating a direct link between the rotating engine and stationary drive wheels.

If the engine is very weak, for example because of low compression and severe blow-by, it will stall or almost stall when subjected to the sudden load imparted when it’s shifted into gear.