So my wife was driving home from work with her 1984 Sunbird when it lost all power. We had a problem like this once before and it was the pivot screw on the shift linkage on top of the transmission that fell off. This time it's not the screw, I can shift the car in any gear and see the linkage move freely with each shift but the car does not move or seem to idle down like normal.
Anybody see something like this before?
Not sure what your symptom is. Is the transmission not engaging or is the engine not delivering power?
Based on your brief details(as I will ask more) To me it sounds like a bad TPS sensor.I guess my only question is when you push the accelerator does the engine rev up?If not the tps is not responding and therefore NO fuel increase to the tbi yeah no movement! I will find my tech page to link here and it walks thru some simple steps to check the TPS as these do go bad.This failing TPS does not necessarily kick a CEL as you did not comment on this showing(which is normal) for this IF this is the issue.I am sticking with my intuition on my thought for this being the problem.Let me get my info together to link and point you in the right direction.
Go to http://www.wellsve.com
then in the upper left click on the wells tech and then go to the middle choices and click on the counterpoint newsletter.Once on this go to the 1997-2000 version and it will prompt the edtions.Go to the right side Top volume 2 1998 TPS is knowledge.This will walk you thru the simple steps to check the TPS with a multimeter and easy! I tried to link this but,the properties side would NOT let me link the page so,you have to do it manually.Being your car will not move and or idle down lead's me to believe your tps is BAD and is non responsive.I do not want a trophy or a cookie if my intuition is correct just the glory of being correct in my diagnostic thinking!Plus if this fixes your car you owe me big like a shops cost to diagnose and fix it total(just kidding) my help is Free and just getting the issue fixed on what I read is my WOW factor.Try this check and see If the Ron is right or wrong.
The transmission is not engaging there is plenty of power to the engine.
Ok so it throttle's up and down smoothly?If so it might be time to put the front end up on jacks and remove the wheels and check your shafts as if one broke in the teeth it want turn one side or the other.I might suggest while on jacks leave the wheels on and have a helper put in drive and see if both wheels turn or just one.I might dig into my factory manual to see if it suggest something different.
The short check your ATF level.And check to make sure the vacuum line to the tps is not unhooked or cracked.I have done literally 30 minutes of reading in my shop manual and not one idea on a non moving car.I will say the tcc switch can go bad,but not create your issue,2nd your TV cable could be out of adjustment and on a long stretch your torque convertor bit the dust,or idk at this point.For humoring questions when in park or neutral can you floor it and have good (no coughing from the exhaust).There are a lot of variable's here.
Either your convertor is cooked or the trans is..................................
Doug in P.R.
92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 143 K miles.Slowly getting back to a halfway decent car............in Salinas, Puerto Rico!