First, I have never heard of a transmission burning from inside either, that's nuts!!
I had a beat up ol pontiac with at the time, 270-280k miles on it and it had sludge when i changed only 2 lifters, but it still didn't look as bad as this one!! They had have changed oil but when? How many miles were on the odometer or was that sludged up too???!!! I know of one car that probably looked this way inside. A 76 LTD that a freind of mine never changed oil on it and it died because of it. Another friend then bought the car and changed engines. The oil came out like toothpaste. More surprising was not long after the rearend went. Guess what, it was so dry it was dusty inside!! Never seen one last that long that dry! First owner drove that car constantly and longish distance often also. That WAS a good car til the wrong person owned it. Sad. Oh, did the seller think to tell you the AC also worked when parked? LOL You are a brave man! Awesome work on that trans, looks brand spankin new!
The write up was great, not boring or too indepth but indepth enough if that makes sense. You sometimes wrote as an investigator spinning a story to solve the crime. Nicely done!
Ever so nice to hear from you. That's the worst transmission with oddest circumstance I have taken apart or seen anywhere online. You wouldn't think there would be enough oxidizer (oxygen) present to sustain combustion of ATF, but the only thing I can think of is the melted front pump seal and spun pump bushing allowed air to be sucked in and aerated the fluid, then the temperature hit the autoignition point of ATF and there were flames as long as the engine was running to aerate more ATF.
It's a shame when people do not take care of things, just goes to show character of an individual I guess. The seller of this dare I say, fine vehicle, said the engine was good because he poured gas down the seized carb and it ran. Yup ran with 2 gallons of water in the oil pan. What a total idiot. If this car wasn't an XL, we would have passed on this pile. But the interior, contrary to pictorial evidence, does have good bones to build it back up (not to mention we have parts cars to draw from), plus factory A/C car as my better half and I won't own or drive an old car without air con as it gets bloody hot in summer in the desert.
This poor XL is/was so bad, it's taking parts from 4 cars (so far) to put it back together. Now 3 of those cars were realistically junk, one wasn't but that's the way the cookie crumbles. The nice one was a '66 gal 500 4 door post car I bought with no engine/trans and mostly option deleted (actually came with Ford radio delete plate and I/P) . It was worth far more in parts to fix the '66 LTD and now this '66 gal 500 XL.
Thank you for the kind words about my ramblings here.