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For you Ford 4R100, E4OD owners

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by UNISCAPER, Nov 26, 2004.


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    We recently lost yet another 4R100 transmission. And, have lost numerous E4OD in a miriad of trucks. Here are some things the shop foreman of our dealership told me that you need to know.

    First, changing oil on regular interval, is critical, as is a large after market cooler on these transmissions. Of the many problems that occur in these trannies, there is one thing that will kill your transmission faster than anything going.

    Because of Ford's lack of forsight, they did not design either of these two transmissions to circulate fluid when in reverse gear. So, the oil sits in the transmission cooking until you shift into drive.

    In many scenarios, in our area, you get off the highway pulling your load, in our case a 257B Caterpillar, or Wells cargo enclosed trailer, or even a load of dirt in the F-450. You get to where you are going, and you have to back up. Much of the time, you are backing up a hill to park the trailer. You tranny oil is already hot from working the truck, and you heat it up further by backing up. This is the exact scenario that occured when our 02 F-450 lost it's tranny, with 29,000 miles. It has been the second time this happened. In an ideal world, he said if we could let the truck sit for a few minutes so the fluid would cool before backing, it would add thousands of miles to the life of our transmission.

    Why in the world Ford chose to design a work truck with a pump that does not circulate in reverse gear is beyond me, but learning the way that causes the least stress on the tranny is what we will need to know in order to keep your truck in service.

    I asked him then why snow plowers can continue as they do all night long. Think about it...you aren't really unde rload when backing up with your plow, and, since the temperature is usually below 30°, the transmission temp would run close to normal.

    At present, this truck will probably be sold and we will replace it with a Mack Granite, 33,000GVW that has an 8 speed and a jake brake. that truck will be equipped with a roll off dump body. I firmly believe that by operating a truck just one size over what you really need, many problems will be eliminated.

    The part I cannot accept, is that an F-450 is obviously a truck used for heavier work than a pick up. Putting a transmission like this in it was clearly a bad choice, and one that we as owners will get stuck with bearing the burden of. This transmission is not fit to run in a Bronco let alone a 10,400 lb truck.
  2. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,220

    And that why i don't have a ford. I have to get to work and back. And i can drive all day then back up a hill and not fry the tranny.Absurd! :alien:

    That is just plain stupid. :dizzy:
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I wouldn't have a automatic transmission in a heavier truck than a 1/2 ton all my trucks are manuals I had one automatic F-350 it was my first ever auto and my last auto. All my trucks I have and had were 4spds and 5spds I bought the 350 with the auto because I liked the truck itself the C-6 crapped out pizzed me off changed the truck to a 4spd.

    Never ever will I buy a automatic again god gave us two legs and two arms so use the left leg to push the clutch and the right arm to move the stick. If your good at shifting you don't need to use the clutch. I float the gears in my F-450 most of the time.
  4. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    Those were also the first generation of electronic transmissions. Growing pains must be felt somewhere....and the E40D/4R100 was the weak link.

    At least they're not like Dodge and their full line of 3 or 4 consecutive bad trannies.

    Ford has finally got us a decent tranny, the Torqshift. It is a much better unit than any of its predecessors.

    The 700R4 and 4L60E were not very impressive in my book, those get fried everytime I turn around on a couple trucks around here. The Allison is better attempt, but it suffers from solenoid issues which seem to be fairly common around here. Passed a dead D-Max/Allison the other day (dead tranny)--offered my assistance, but he was too proud to be pulled in by an old Ford, which happens to be an E40D.
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    True that you should have a manual trans in a work truck, but for those who dont like to drive it all the time whatever.

    I've read the sonnex valve and spring kit helps add life to your e40d also, i'm going to be putting one in my truck since i can't buck for a different truck yet.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426


    Was going to pass this along. A friend of mine in Michigan lost his 02 F-350 automatic. As he went to the dealer to sign the papers authorizing the repair, 2- 05 Torqueshifts came in on the flatbed. Out plowing. I'm very curious to see how/what caused them to go, so when he gets his truck back, maybe he will have some answers. WE have a thread going in www.Groundtradesxchange.com. Always good to get insight from other places.
  7. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    How often did he (and you) change the fluid and filter? Its supposed to be every 30,000 miles on normal schedule, and 20,000 for severe service, if I remember correctly. It must be a regional thing, because I haven't seen any dead TS's around here, if anything operator error--poor PM. Mostly dead Dodges and Allisons here. The local Chev. dealer has a few crates of new Allisons around back, my church is right beside the dealer, they're within plain view. The Dodge dealer my mother got her car from has a whole section of their shop dedicated to replacing transmissions, and there's always a Cummins truck sitting in those bays. The local Ford dealer has a few rearends laying around along with a couple blown engines, but only one or 2 Ranger/Explorer transmissions.
  8. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,220

    1. Maybe, but that is lack of common sense.

    2. Vary true.

    3. Those are 1/2 ton tranies, most commonly over worked and under cared for. Our 4l60E Had 246000 on it before it blew.

    I suggest you further research the Alison, I will to. I have never heard that before. Sure you have a lemon here and there but the Alison is a proven trans that coms in many other trucks aside from chevy. I.E .fire trucks, moving trucks, delivery trucks, even my friends brand new International D440 has a Alision in it. Surely if they were junk they would not come in that many heavy duty trucks.

    Maybe chevy used a cheap version? that still does not mean all Allison's are junk.

    I agree with Gravel Rat. I love my manual trans. :cool2:

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    We change transmission oil every 15,000 miles, which, is recommended in rough service, or pulling the loads through the mountains that we do.

    I just had the tranny serviced, electronic, and pressure checked around 1000 miles before it blew. I know the way my friends runs his shop, and his trucks are on a pretty rigorous maintenance program as well. As I reseach these new transmissions further, 90% of most transmission issues, no matter whose brand you have, starts with the electronics. The computer tells the truck to fart, and instead, it belches. Next thing you know, the tranny is shifting weird and many people can't feel the difference so they keep driving. The result is a tranny that pukes, to the tone of $2,500.00 plus, (excluding warrantee claims) depending on what exact model you have. Pretty unacceptable in my book.

    One thing that there is no way I would do after talking to the Ford and Chevy mechanics, is install a chip. Both manufacturers are rejecting claims because of the added Hp and torque the chip helps produce. At least, in the dealerships I spoke with. If they show that the chip caused the electrical malfunctions, they boot the claims. And, the new computers are logging information that shows if someone ever installed a chip, then removed it so a service tech won't see it.

    The issue with these E4OD's and 4R100's not being able to pump fluid when in reverse seems just plain stupid, especially in ares like we live in where it is hilly. There has to be a way to add a pump in line when you put the truck in reverse. It won't be my problem too much longer. I'm selling the F-450 and replacing it with a Mack.
  10. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,220

    LOL. I love it.

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