F-250 Enthusiasts: Further Reports on Ford Auto Transmission Problems....

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 22:03
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The Lone Ranger here, and the Horse Industry reports 9 Transmission failures in the new Effies.... They are getting a bad rap, without due cause... LET IT BE KNOWN: According to my research both here and on the U.S. Ford Forums, the 4R100 transmission in the newer Effie will not take towing big trailers, caravans, or horsefloats, when the engine is chipped up to higher torque horspower performance, OR big towing jobs offroad or in the heat, without either Synthetic Fluid or additional transmission cooler.... They just get too hot.

These transmissions are not dying, the Owners are KILLING THEM. Chipping up the motors, or big towing, creats more heat than the transmissions are designed for with the Mercon trans fluid. Doing a big job towing? Chipped up motor? ( They go all the way to 550 HP with this engine on the Dragstrip Trucks with bolt on toys) Going it really hard in the Bush with a big van? Better do it, or get the extended 6 year, 160,000 km warranty like I have for about $1800.

Regards from the Ranger,
Taking care of the horses

Semper Fidelis
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Reply By: Turist - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 02:36

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 02:36
Six speed Alison looking better every day :-)

Bob
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 16:51

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 16:51
Well it is OK to get up on your box and rooster crow Bob,

But on investigation, it has been reported by the "Chevy Teckies" the Chev bought the "Light Truck Allison Name License", but it is a Chev built transmission, and according to them the same quality as all other Chev transmissions.... So you had better take care of it, as it is not bullet proof. The same extra transmission cooling, maybe a trans temp guage, and possibly synthetic higher grade oil, would be a good idea if you are going to work it hard in soft sand or other really hard Yakka out west. Don't get to over confident, just because they pinned the Allison name on it.

The Chevy Techies also call it the "weakest link"... Regards from the Ranger, on duty.
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Follow Up By: Turist - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:45

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:45
Now I would not want to say that your info here is pretty well all wrong Steve so I'll let lthis site say it for me.

Gee whiz Steve, next you will believe in the tooth fairy because it was on the net.

Ha!

Bob
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 19:14

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 19:14
Bob> I don't claim to know who builds the Chev Allison, only reporting what the Chev Techies have said. I would not put it past them to have the advertising on that site be GM / Chev, as they have bought that "right" from Allison. BTW, it does not matter, the advice still holds, that transmission has it share of problems reported as well, and I as have said is called the "weakest link" . No automatic in the extreme of conditions is bulletproof if the oil gets too hot.... I don't know who or really care who actually builds it, physically or under license, that is not the point if you re-read my comments regards oil temperature. LR
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Reply By: Jimarie - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 06:04

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 06:04
Hi Steve,
The "new Effies" you speek of .... are you referring to the brand new "Flash as Micheal Jackson" edition or the last of the work horse (2001 - 2006). Mine is fitted with 2 large oil coolers. Is that enough to tow a 20fter?
Regards
Jim
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 16:58

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 16:58
Hello Jim & Marie,
I am talking about the 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel, F-250 and F-350 here, 2001-06. So yes if that is what you mean. The key transmission oil cooling when you are working it really hard. All I am saying is that it could use three things for insurance: Run a transmission oil temperature guage, or additional cooler, or synthetic oil, or all three if you are really going to work it hard.

It is just insurance if you were going to drag it up to the Cape or fringes of the Simpson, or other really hard Yakka where the tranmission oil is going to be put to the limit of the temperature range. Normal towing? Probably not so much of an issue, but I would take as much of the three precautions above as your pocket book will allow, especially if you are out of warranty. And particularly if you are going to play with chipping up that engine, as it is already too powerful for the transmission when going to severe off road conditions... OK?

Regards, Lone Ranger
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Reply By: Black Cobra - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 13:45

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 13:45
Steve,

When you talk about the 4R100 transmission in the newer F250's are you refering to the transmission on the smaller engines that are in the American F250's that came into production in 2003 after the 7.3 was discontinued or are talking about the transmission that is used on our Aussie F250's up until now.

I thought the model of transmission that we had was a E4OD but I stand corrected if you can advise.

I was thinking of going the way of putting Castrol Transmax Z in the transmission to protect the box a bit more but at $285 for 20 litres would this extend the service intervals from manufacturers recommendations and if so it would probably void warranty if changes were not completed when recommended.

Alternative is Dextron II at about $65 for 20 litres but again the above would come into it. So if you put these high quality synthetic oils in you would not want to be dropping the fluid all the time as cost would prohibit.

I suppose if the vehicle is out of warranty then you can change it when you like and maybe double or triple the intervals for change depending on work load on the transmission.

What are your recommendations on:-
Standard transmission cooler with mineral oils and factory changes
Standard transmission cooler with synthetic oils and prolonged changes
Extra transmission cooler fitted with mineral oils and factory changes
Extra transmission cooler with synthetic oils and prolonged changes

Obviously the last one would be the best but it all comes back to the most cost efficient and to work load. It would depend on how often you tow the B/T and under what conditions also.

Iv'e read on previous posts that the standard transmission cooler was adequate is that still the most common view.

Cheers

Stewart - Black Cobra
Just like the cobra I will twist and wind all over the great Oz land
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:28

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:28
Hello Black Snake, mind you they are a protected species, just not protected from me, Ha! Any bunny hugging Leftists out that that want to lambaste me can cuddle the Taipans all you want...

Your questions: The American Transmission coupled to the 6.0 litre that came out in 2003 in the U.S. is a different transmission, and is built on a Allison pattern by Ford, a "TorqueFlite" (spelling from memory)... The cumulative reports on this transmission from three different Ford Forums with Ford Techies on there is that it is a more robust transmission than the one we have. But the opinion of the 6.0 engine is not so good. Most would like our 7.3 and deal with the 4R100 transmission to get the more robust engine.... "Gee I wish we could get a new 2006 with the 7.3!! You Guys are lucky" sort of cumulative response from all Forums.... The 6.0 chipped up is very fast, but a bit fragile compared to the PSD. Our Fords did not come with the latest 6.0 and trans, and from the reports overall we are the lucky ones. The 6.0 has been discontinued, and no one really knows what will be released with the 6.4 Twin Turbo Euro style engine with low emissions coming in 2007 in the U.S. Although I have been sent covert pictures of it and the test trucks on the road now.

As to your comment on the E4OD... NO. This is my second late model Ford, I had one of the first Fords towing a Bushtracker in Australia, my full Import Texas 1993 F-350, and it had the E4OD. I learned much of what I am preaching, by killing that transmission towing a 29' six horse float, down in remote canyons of some of the roughest country in Australia. I had it rebuilt with a stronger towing package, better torque converter, and larger trans oil cooler, and ran full synthetic oil, and it was better than new. Would have been hard to kill it then. I would rate the E4OD and the current one we have, the 4R100, about the same. Even the OD button on the shifter, style, was the same. Different tranmission though. Maybe the one we have now is a little better, the 4R100, but they are being killed by chipped up engines, and big loads off-road.

Your questions since you are being scientific about this I will answer each one:
What are your recommendations on:- MY JUDGEMENT FROM TWO MONTHS OF STUDY AND CUMULATIVE ADVICE FROM TECHIES....
Standard transmission cooler with mineral oils and factory changes ADEQUATE FOR NORMAL USE TOWING ON ROAD.
Standard transmission cooler with synthetic oils and prolonged changes BETTER FOR OFF ROAD, GUAGE THE RISK AGAINST THE EXPENSE BUT FORD TECHIES THINK STANDARD 30,000 CHANGES ARE BEST... MAYBE A LITTLE LONGER TO OFFSET THE COST, YOUR CHOICE.
Extra transmission cooler fitted with mineral oils and factory changes IF YOU FITTED A TRANSMISSION TEMP GAUGE, AND RAN TO TEMP, OK
Extra transmission cooler with synthetic oils and prolonged changes FOR SEVERE DUTY AND BIG POCKET BOOK THIS IS OBVIOUSLY THE BEST. A TEMPERATURE GAUGE WOULD STILL BE IN THE CARDS AS WELL.

Obviously the last one would be the best but it all comes back to the most cost efficient and to work load. It would depend on how often you tow the B/T and under what conditions also. THIS IS INVARIABLY TRUE. ACTUALLY FOR REALLY SEVERE DUTY OR IF A TRANMISSION HAS DIED, YOU CAN GET KITS FROM THE U.S. THAT WILL DOUBLE THE STRENGTH OF THE TRANSMISSION, STARTING WITH A TORQUE CONVERTER THAT IS MANY TIMES AS STRONG. Look, the truth is that many of the transmission failures, including my E4OD started with the Torque Converter having problems. Also the kits come with heavier hydralic disc clutch plate systems and valving, and hardened shafts and such can even be bought. They have a lot more experience with them in the U.S. where they are even running them on the Drag Strip, burning all four tyres, doubled horsepower, 3 ton trucks running 10.5-11 sec quarter mile times and huge towing jobs with 'Tractor Pull" of an increasing weight sled on dirt track that goes to something like 20 tonne...

Iv'e read on previous posts that the standard transmission cooler was adequate is that still the most common view. THEY WOULD NOT KNOW HERE... WITH RESPECT, PEOPLE HERE ARE JUST GUESSING. YOU NEED TO REALIZE THERE ARE PROBABLY MORE FORDS RUNNING IN THE U.S. THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE DRIVING 4X4s ALTOGETHER IN OZ... I AM RELYING ON THE LARGER STATISTICAL BASE FOR MY RESEARCH. ALSO BECAUSE OF THE WARRANTY ISSUE HERE, MANY THAT HAVE KILLED THE TRANSMISSIONS HERE ARE NOT ADMITTING TO HAVING CHIPPED UP THE ENGINES... Like they have..

MY RESEARCH?

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:36

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:36
Ran out of time: anyway here you go the rest

MY RESEARCH?
Look, I tear things apart.... With my last Ford after discovery, I built a Super Duty Transmission, then another one for a spare. I employed two different Tranmission
Shops. I had them put on a test stand and run up hard. I don't just play with things on the internet or gossip around the fire. I pull them apart, I tear them up, I get kits in from America.... When I sold my F-350, I had a pallet of spare parts, a transmission, a spare transfer case, a whole pallet of parts that I sold for $5000 later.....

You will hear all kinds of rubbish and rumours on things, usually "authorities that do not even own one"....... I do the real digging to separate truth from fiction. I will stand by my analysis against anyone, this is not just an opinion, I do the hard yards of research. Look, it is 7:30 in the morning, but I think I gave you the whole enchilada...

Regards Black Snake, from the Lone Ranger,
Semper Fidelis
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:45

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 17:45
By the by the way.... Per request: There have been plenty of automatic transmission failures in Toyotas, and much of the advice would be same for Toyotas doing the hard jobs as well. Automatics are nice to own, great to drive, but when you are asking really big work of them, they are just like horses and need a little extra care if you are running them hard and long... Regards LR...
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Follow Up By: Maximus - Tuesday, Jul 04, 2006 at 22:21

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2006 at 22:21
Stewart

I spoke to the Castrol hotline regarding the correct oil for the Transmission ( Auto and manual ) and they strongly recommend Transmax Z for F250 's that are doing a lot of towing. It will run a lot cooler. Also my Ford dealer says to change every 30000 K's. Transmax is also ok for the Transfer case. Cost of Transmax Z is $257.00 for 20 Litres. 3 times the price of Dextron but over 30000 k's it is worth the extra expense. Castrol also said that when changing the Diff oil ( Syntrax 75W/90 ) you must add an additive that is only available from Ford. It is a friction modifier.

Cheers

Barrie & Daph
' Maximus '

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Reply By: AussieDMAX - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 21:12

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 21:12
Just for everyones information: GM doesn't have to pay any "fee" for the use of the Allison name. The last time GM paid anything related to Allison was in 1929 when they bougth the company.............Allison is 100% owned by GM.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:08

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:08
Well thank you for that. What the Lone Ranger knows about Chev/ Allisons build ownership can be put into a thimble. But that explains why the Chev Techies claim it is Chev built... GM owns everything...

What do they say? Something like "so goes GM, so goes the world economy".... And General Electric, something like "so goes GE so goes the World.." Ha!

Anyways, thank you for that. It explains why Ford and Dodge supposedly are building an Allison pattern but cannot use the name...

My automatic advice is really not brand related as it might seem. It really applies to all. I have three automatics now. Two Tojo's and the Ford. My last F-350 was a an auto as well, and the Euro Mack is now trialing an auto for the Mack 4x4 in Victorian RFD's. Would be nice to drive one of those... (Allison are reported by Mack).

Cheers

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Reply By: Fosssil - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:25

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:25
AussieDMAX is correct.
Allison is probably the most respected and admired transmission in the market today and they are owned by GM.

Most GMC and Silverado users in The Diesel place forum change to full synthetics for their Allison at their 1st oil change or earlier...

You can blow any transmission up with too much power/torque, but under normal use and towing the Allison has few problems and has been designed to accommodate anything the standard GM product can throw at it....

To see the history of the Allison name and its association with GM...GO here

Site Link

fosss
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 00:22

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 00:22
Good luck with your health Fosss, I hope you can make your dream reality... Best Wishes from the Last Ranger...
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Follow Up By: Fosssil - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 19:06

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 19:06
Thanks for those thoughts Steve...I will get there.
fosss
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Reply By: AussieDMAX - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:43

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 at 23:43
Agree Steve your advice is sound and applies to all trannies. I just changed my Dexron III for Transynd (synthetic made by Castrol in cooperation with Allison); this stuff is expensive; hope it's worth the money..........I haven't towed the van yet with the synthetic in the Allison; although my ATF temps never exceeded 95 C when towing, it will be interesting to see whether the synthetic keeps it even lower. We will be heading up North next week (might drop in at the factory; time for me to check out Tracy's Dodge!).
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 00:13

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 00:13
Hello Assie DMAX, I am guessing DuraMax,
Whomever you are it sounds like you have a Chev or GMC..

I have been running Synthetic since my 1993 F-350, and am not sure the Synthetics will run lower temps, but it is possible as Castrol told me the about higher qualities of surface tension and such... But the REAL DEAL is that the Synthetics will stand much higher temperatures before breaking down and foaming... And yes, Fosssil is right and they are going to synthetic on the Allisons in hard work for all the right reasons. Incidently my old Sahara at 370,000 km, has a preventative trans rebuild and is running Castrol Transmax Z... I practice what I preach...

Stop by, definitely.. It is worth the stop and look at the Dodge alright... While Chev/GMC are more creature comfort oriented than the Ford, and argueably a better truck.... There is little doubt that Dodge takes the cake with that Cummins over them both. It has been that way since the 60's. They are also near the Number One Contender in the Tractor Pulls in America with incredible unbelievable torque possible in the older Cummins ones. I don't know about the new ones, there are reports they will not be in the 20 ton tractor pulls due to fuel delivery problems... But who cares, I would love to have one. Just don't know about the $100,000 plus, and a year wait to get it... Ha! I have offered Tracy $30,000 and my Ford for his... Don't think so... But if the Rumour about Dodge coming is true (doubt it as they can hardly fill the current demand) I'll have one. (Fat chance of that)

Until then, for the rest of you hopefuls...... I still say there is value in thousands of Fords here, parts all over, Service and Dealer backup, and now them showing up in wreckers and such for cheap parts. May just have to stay with the old Workhorse of the American Fleet: Ford. The others might argueably be better, but I can get shoes easy, saddles that fit, and plenty of feed for the common old workhorse... Ford is easy to keep going, with plenty of backup... Sound advice for larger vans like the 24' Bushtracker enquiry today.

Too bad we don't get the best of them all, as Ford makes an F- 450, F-550, and F-650 and somewhere up there in the SuperDuty they have the top Duo: CATERPILLAR and ALLISON... I have actually seen one 4x2 Dual Cab here, CAT/Allison/ AWESOME... wow, dreaming of horsepower heaven again... Sexy just to listen to it run... Ha!

Regards from the Ranger

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Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 02:20

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 02:20
Hi Steve
Here is a pic of the little "F" truck I nearly bought before I found the big Chevy.


"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 16:44

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 16:44
Nawww, that looks like a Gold Coast Special...

Here is THE TRUCK:

www.f650pickups.com/page0009.html

Dead Sexy...

Regards, Ranger
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 16:46

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 16:46
Scroll down to the bottom one,
It comes with the "Babe" Accessory....... Ha!
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Follow Up By: Croozer - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:03

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:03
Mmmmmmm! They certainly are big ones! But are their transmissions up to it? Ha!

Cheers, Croozer.
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:31

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:31
Oh! Wow! - Phwat would dear Harold say? - :-)
Cheers - Ian & Sally
Tracks to Take & Terrain to Terrorise - er make that (in current thinking) Regions to Ramble!

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:39

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 18:39
The Babe would no doubt be an illegal accessory... And Waaaay to expensive. Ha!
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Follow Up By: Turist - Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 21:59

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006 at 21:59
The girls name is Allison.
It's the only way Frod can get that name on the side of thier trucks.

Ha!

Bob
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Silver and Tinks - Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 02:49

Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 02:49
Hey Ranger
If I get one them there F650's can you fit them there wheels and tyres
to my BT to keep the towing leval right

scott
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 18:03

Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 18:03
Hey Scott,
If you can get me one of the F-650's I will build you a new Bushtracker... But probably not with Super Singles.. Ha! We did have a custom Hino tow vehicle years ago with Super Singles, looked really great. But you would almost need a crane to change tyres... Cat X Allison, what a car crusher! Oh well, back to my witto farm twuck F-250
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Reply By: Bushtrek - Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 09:49

Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 09:49
The durability of automatic transmissions operating under heavy loads or in duty cycles at the limit of their design capability has always been a challenge for drivers to accept there are some things that must be done to provide a trouble free life.
The problem is that there is not much in the way of published guidelines on what to look for and how to respond to the warning signs.
For those who may be interested I may be able to provide some guidance here that you could find useful.
First up a view of the Ford electronic overdrive transmissions, of which the E4OD and the newer 4R100 variants are topical. These are strong well designed transmissions with many thousands in service throughout the world including severe service in heavy duty towing and auto racing applications albeit in many of those severe duties there has been some design modifications carried out to enable the performance durability.
These transmissions have relatively lower control and apply pressure at idle or low speeds and can also at times be prone to “shift flair” where the clutch lockup is delayed generating very high temperatures in the clutch pack which both transfers to the transmission fluid and also more rapidly degrades the fluid. In the American market there are devices such as Torque Lockers [for the E4OD] that keep the torque converter locked down to a preset speed after which it unlocks to prevent stalling, Shift point change modules, “sport” style valving to boost control pressure rise and eliminate shift flair[4R100] etc etc, suffice to say the American market is awash with ideas to “fix” what already is a good unit.
But without going to these extremes there are some things you can do with a little bit of knowledge about the operating limits matched with your driving conditions, that will give you comfort/peace of mind that the transmission is going to keep you moving.
Looking at operating temperatures, there are a couple of things here.
A stable bulk oil running temperature is a must. If the temperature rises on uphill or generally hilly running or in headwinds then the transmission oil cooling system needs to be boosted.
Bulk oil temperatures less than 110 to 120 celsius should be targeted.
Above this range there is a real impact on oil oxidation [degradation due to heat] and above 140 celsius there is a doubling of the rate of oxidation for every 10 degree rise in temperature. So the message here is get the oil temperature stable and keep it below 120 degrees.
Now looking at mineral oil based transmission fluids versus synthetics. We’ll use the Castrol products as an example. The mineral oil GM Dexron brand is TQ Dexron 3, and the synthetic product suitable for the Dexron specification is Transmax Z. Some of you have chosen to use Castrol Transynd, similar comments as for Transmax Z apply.
We’ve already talked about bulk oil temperatures, however looking inside the transmission at some of the working areas there are some much higher temperatures generated.
In the clutch pack, the friction plates that make up the clutch are designed to operate within a defined temperature range, usually between 300 and 400 degrees. These clutches are oil flooded and the transmission fluid is used to dissipate the heat generated and therefore control the temperature of the clutch operation, so the transmission fluid has to withstand temperatures much higher than you see in the transmission sump. Elsewhere in the transmission the oil is undergoing much higher temperatures for example in the planetary gear set as gear teeth contact one another [momentary 600 celsius] , and in the torque converter.
It is in these conditions that the mineral oil versus synthetic fluids performance must be compared.
Firstly the effect of heat on the base fluid. The temperature at which mineral oil begins to oxidise is about 140 C, while synthetic fluids of the type used to formulate Transmax Z don’t begin to oxidise until well into the 200’s. So the synthetic is more stable until much higher temperatures are reached.
Next, the rate of the oxidation or degradation is much slower in synthetics, but antioxidants can be added to both mineral oils and synthetics to slow the rate down and thereby prolong the fluids life. Suffice to say the synthetic has a head start here.

Looking at the effect of heat on the viscosity of these transmission fluids shows very little difference between them, they both have similar Viscosity Indexes. They therefore both perform very efficiently as hydraulic fluids.
However the effect of pressure on the fluids shows a different picture. Under the extreme pressures encountered during gear tooth contact the synthetic has a higher viscosity than the mineral oil. The synthetic has a higher pressure-viscosity coefficient. What this means is the synthetics viscosity rises much faster under the high pressure of approaching metal contact this providing a thicker cushion of lubricating oil. It is this property that gives rise to the claim that the synthetics run cooler than mineral oil. They are simply able to keep the metal parts separated for longer thus reducing the time for friction induced heat build-up. With the appropriately calibrated temperature gauge you can see up to 10 degrees difference in transmission bulk oil temperatures. This is the result of the gear set being some 50 degrees cooler in operation on the synthetic.

So considering these differences, there is a real incentive to use synthetic transmission fluids as they are significantly more durable than mineral oils and in turn impart better durability to the transmission.
So to the question of oil drain interval.
My view is this….If the manufacturers recommendation is 40,000 km under normal service and you load up the vehicle for long distances by towing a load nearing its GCM, then you must halve the drain interval to ensure transmission durability.
If you use products like Transmax Z, and maintain the cooling regime as described you will see a return to the normal oil drain service interval and still retain transmission durability.
If you want to extend the drain interval, I recommend you have the transmission fluid tested every 20,000 km using an oil analysis system. These can be purchased from Castrol in kits that have the sample sent to an Analytical Laboratory with the results returned within the week advising on the condition of the oil and its suitability for further service.
If you don’t want to have the oil analysis done think about the cost of synthetics and drain interval in this way.
Let us assume the synthetic oil and transmission service costs $800. You travel 30,000 km each year and have the service carried out each year. It would take 10 years of servicing before you reached the cost of properly rebuilding a failed transmission.
After 10 years [and 300,000km] you could take the transmission out and replace it with a new one, of course you might also just get a new truck too!!!
Of course if you have a Toyota or Chev, or Hummer or anything else with an auto transmission these comments are equally applicable, for there are many stories of transmission failures to be told with these units when they are loaded to their limit and driven beyond it.
AnswerID: 568770

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 18:11

Friday, Jun 30, 2006 at 18:11
Lone Ranger here, Bushtrek. GREAT REPORT.. I am probably staying with the Ford for the benefits of a bulk of them in the country. You sound like a "Transmission Techie".. Auto trans doctor...

For my own benefit and any others that might have a 4R100 transmission fail, have you used any of the "Kits" that upgrade the internals on the transmission like the "Enforcer" here at www.transmissioncenter.net/E4OD.htm ? A scroll down to the bottom shows the kit to upgrade the trans. I have found this one, and been told about a few others, for about the $2500 mark that seem to build a Super Duty transmission for unlimited towing or horsepower. The PowerStroke Forum would be happy to recommend a few, anyway: Would you advise this added expense is the way to go for heavy duty towing? Or just stick with a stock unit if you have to rebuild? By the way I think your 300,000 km service life with towing is right on with modest care, and incidently that is about right for Toyota Autos as well.

And do you know of a source for a Trans Oil Temp Gauge here in Oz that will fit the bill? The 4R100 would be easy to fit one in the drain plug hole...! Driving to a temp would be good insurance, even if I had to add an additional cooler from Ebay, as my van is 22'....

Regards, LR
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Follow Up By: Bernie and Donna - Friday, Jul 14, 2006 at 05:45

Friday, Jul 14, 2006 at 05:45
This is excellant information however do you know what the expected transmition temp is on the F250 whilse towing (2800kg). I have just purchased a F250 and installed a Pyrometer, Trans Temp and Boost gauges. 2 weeks ago at Coongie lakes the trans temp got to 180 deg F (the gauge is is F not C) in the sand. Would you call this hot ?.
Regards
Bernie
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jul 14, 2006 at 18:16

Friday, Jul 14, 2006 at 18:16
Bernie, 180 F is getting a bit up there by all reports.......

You would not want to get up to 200 F...... Look, I would take the advice and do one of the heavy towing upgrades. Bigger transmission cooler or synthetic oils, or both. It is not the cost of loosing a transmission to abuse, it is the problem of WHERE it might do it in extreme circumstances... With synthetics and bigger coolers, doing big towing jobs, people have reported temperatures more in the range of 145-165 F... Maybe 180 is just on the OK side, but I would.... Per above...

Regards, Ranger...
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FollowupID: 845999

Reply By: Bushtrek - Saturday, Jul 01, 2006 at 03:03

Saturday, Jul 01, 2006 at 03:03
G’day LR

I am retired now but spent more than 40 years in Product Design and Development and Technical Services within the industry, and have had the opportunity to instrument and test new design transmissions and transmission fluids here and in Europe and the USA both on transmission dynamometers and in field durability………but it never does leave you and am happy to help where I can.

The components [BD brand] in the kits you are referring to with the “Enforcer” certainly have a reputation for fixing problems with auto racing and snow plough operations in US. Don’t know of anyone in Australia using them though.
What you have with these kits is not so much a rebuild as a re-design of the transmission and as such it’s important to ensure the components, which are remaining, have sufficient performance capability.
You really do need to replace the input & output shafts plus a complete new bearing set.

By going this route you are really upgrading the transmission so it adds an increased level of performance protection, so if the money were available it would be the preferred route.

I am sure you’re aware of this but please bear in mind that by increasing the clutch pack plates count you do increase the heat generation in the system, and therefore the thermal degradation load on the clutch plates, the friction modifier and the anti-wear chemistry in the transmission fluid. So it follows that the oil cooler system has to be upgraded and the use of synthetic transmission fluid is now mandated.

For gauges, coolers and associated requirements I would contact
Rocket Industries
40 Huntingwood Drive
Huntingwood N.S.W
Australia 2148

Tel: (02) 8825-1900
Fax: (02) 8825-1911

Rocket sells the Autometer-Autogauge range [good gauge scale discrimination] also the stacked plate oil coolers, plus a range of other components.

An alternate international gauge supplier is Greengauges :
Greengauges.com Ltd
Customer Service Department
Caerbont
Abercrave
Swansea

SA9 1SH
United Kingdom
Tel +44 1639 732208
Fax +44 1639 732201
AnswerID: 568771

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jul 03, 2006 at 18:16

Monday, Jul 03, 2006 at 18:16
Thank you for that great follow-up... I will make the call to Rocket..

I am kind of leading anyone that does have "Severe Duty" transmission failures to explore the option of upgrading the rebuild kit. While synthetic oil and added cooling might do the job with a stock transmission, for anyone that has aspirations for the worst travel out west or Cape or severe duty gold fossicking in the Pilbara, that sort of extreme duty; I want them to consider the kit upgrade if they are forced into rebuilding. "Big Guns" sort of heavy duty transmission kits just seems to me to be cheap insurance if you are going "Way Out Back".... The recovery costs are too high in remote locations. In all fairness stock transmissions are just not designed for the extremes of duty in the Outback, or snow plows in mountain passes and such... Ha!

When I drug my 29' Gooseneck up out of an extreme canyon with my last 1993 F-350 that I mistakenly had gone down with a poor mud map, and left a puddle of transmission fluid when I stopped.... It left a lasting impression... Ha! Never mind there are many 4x4s that would not even gotten out of that abandoned logging track staight up for kilometres, let alone dragging up a 29' gooseneck!!!! I limped home, but that vision has prompted me to start this extreme Thread on the subject for all to benefit from, as I would extimate about 90 + Fords are out there towing Bushtrackers in extreme conditions. Good Luck to all. LR
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FollowupID: 846000

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