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this sounds as if you may have a bad crank sensor..these will do this when they first start going bad
this problem can be caused by the pick-up coil inside the distributer..it may be easier and just as cheap to replace the complete distributer,sense the distributer will need to be removed and took apart to do this
Typical Distributor Components
yes,this would be the tcc solenoid plug..this tells me the solenoid is bad or the converter itself is bad,,with this disconnected the lock-up wont work,but you will still have 4 gears
i have seen people do this..it is ok to drive like this,,though it may use a little more fuel