Hi Bill, maybe we'll get this resolved yet. Removing the torque on speculation is a lot of work and a decision you will have to make. If you do and find the problem there I would be very interested in hearing about it. There is a reason the machine is doing what it's doing.
DGH's thoughts on checking individual clutches may be a good idea. There are plugs at the shaft manifolds for that. I believe 1/8'' pipe.
The transmission and the gear train portion of the converter should be vented. If they are not maybe a vacuum is being developed. Sometimes the vents were joined by a line like the one you mentioned. Could be what it was. Check to see if they are vented or have they been plugged. The one on the transmission was small, I think 1/8'' pipe. The larger plug on the top of the trans was not the vent unless changes were made in later years.
Clutch pressure is only used for clutch engagement, then the converter gets satisfied and the remainder is used for transmission lube.
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