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Old 01-01-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
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F53 Transmission 4L100

Today I was making a quick u turn and the transmission acted like it was siting in neutral. When I gave it gas, it rev up but did not move much. After stopping, I was able to shift it in park then into drive and it worked like nothing was wrong. What can be happening? Any ideas?
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:12 AM   #2
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My first thought would be low fluid,. Read the manual, but I suspect it needs to be warmed up,and in neutral when you check it.

I would also post this in the Ford Owners forum, get some ideas from other Ford owners
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:28 AM   #3
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Fluid low for sure.

You don't say what year, or how you use your Ford. I assume there is also a typo and you have an F350. The 4L100 was the transmission in my 1999 F350 and on a busy day in South Florida it decided to spew out the majority of it's fluid while I was pulling a 43ft Toyhauler down a busy street in stop and go traffic. Left me stranded in the middle of all the activity for several hours. I later found out that had I let it cool off, fill it back up I could have finished my trip. I spent a lot of money getting my trailer parked and then rebuilding the transmission adding an additional oil cooler before going the HDT route. No transmission heat issues now. The F350 is still on the road doing lighter duty and if you are in the South Florida area I can recommend a shop to do the rebuild. They got me in and out in one day while I waited.

Rod
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Well, the good news is the transmission is fine. Bad news, the mechanic said our MH will not support pulling a toad, it is to much for the transmission. Our MH is a 2000 Pace Arrow Vision built on the Ford F53 chassie w/275 hp V10. We are pulling a 2005 Prius on a dolly, probably 3,800 lbs. This sure presents us with a problem because we have a lot of travel plans and grandkids to visit especially since we both just retired. One question I forgot to ask him is would it help if we drove with the OD disengaged? Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:55 PM   #5
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poppycock, pure bolderdash.

The real good news is you have more than enough tranny to pull the prius. What I would recommend though is,

1: add the ford tranny cooler that comes on the 2005+ F series diesel truck. Add it inline, not just replace the existing.

2: get a scanguage and use it to watch the tranny fluid temp. If it goes over 210 when towing you need to pull over and high idle until the fluid cools back down. The reason is you do not want the front seal failing and dumping all your fluid out. The oem seal is junk and will get way too flimsy when hot. The tranny pump sits right behind that seal and it takes a pounding.

3: remove the "cooler bypass line", it's purpose is to route fluid straight back into the tranny without going to the cooler in order to warm it up faster. It was a great idea but poorly implemented. The check valve leaks terribly and it contributes to the fluid overheating when towing. A lot.

4: get someone to pull the tranny and have them replace the front seal so you dont experience the same fate as me and lappir, and untold amounts of other people. Like I said that seal is junk. The replacement ($5) will last the life of the rv.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerbw View Post
Well, the good news is the transmission is fine. Bad news, the mechanic said our MH will not support pulling a toad, it is to much for the transmission. Our MH is a 2000 Pace Arrow Vision built on the Ford F53 chassie w/275 hp V10. We are pulling a 2005 Prius on a dolly, probably 3,800 lbs. This sure presents us with a problem because we have a lot of travel plans and grandkids to visit especially since we both just retired. One question I forgot to ask him is would it help if we drove with the OD disengaged? Anyone have any ideas?
That chassis has a GCVR of 26K. At most your coach fully loaded should be less than 20500LBS. There is no reason you cannot tow with that coach. I a Pace Arrow with the same chassis. It has no issues pulling my Ford escape on a dolly. Use OD. The RPMs will be to high in 3rd and that transmission was designed to tow in OD. The factory cooler is very affective. My temps never raise beyond 170F. The only time it was higher was during some heavy hill climbs. This was in 1st and 2nd gear pulls.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerbw View Post
Today I was making a quick u turn and the transmission acted like it was siting in neutral. When I gave it gas, it rev up but did not move much. After stopping, I was able to shift it in park then into drive and it worked like nothing was wrong. What can be happening? Any ideas?
I would check the fluid level first. I would also suspect a possible issue with the manual lever cable adjustment. It may be slightly out on the transmission and it actually slipped into neutral. That is why you were fine after the shift into park. Another theory is you have a fluid filter issue where it is causing aeration. If all checks are good, you may have a transmission issue. The 4R100 transmission is more robust than the previous E4OD's but they can fail. If it was me I would be looking at a Ford reman if you have an internal transmission issue. They come with a 3 year unlimited mile warranty and is honored at any Ford dealer nationwide (and Canada).
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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Folks, thank you for all the reply's. On my next visit to a mechanic, I will show them what spec wrote and get them to fix this issue. Everyone's input was great and much needed information.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:19 AM   #9
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I would check the fluid level first. I would also suspect a possible issue with the manual lever cable adjustment. It may be slightly out on the transmission and it actually slipped into neutral. That is why you were fine after the shift into park. Another theory is you have a fluid filter issue where it is causing aeration. If all checks are good, you may have a transmission issue. The 4R100 transmission is more robust than the previous E4OD's but they can fail. If it was me I would be looking at a Ford reman if you have an internal transmission issue. They come with a 3 year unlimited mile warranty and is honored at any Ford dealer nationwide (and Canada).
As I recall there were 2 filters for the 4R100 transmission. The one for the F53 chassis sits deeper into the pan. I believe it's the same number as the one that fits the 4x4 trucks. If the fluid and filter have been changed it's possible the wrong filter was installed. A hard corner could have washed the fluid to one side of the pan and allowed the aeration.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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1. I would NOT plumb coolers inline unless you do a flow test. Wanna know what low flow does to your trans?

2. I would not remove the bypass line either. Replace it with new so it's working properly. I have 350k miles on my 4R100 and it's bypass is fine. Leave it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Can you offer any empirical evidence that adding the cooler inline to a 4r100 would cause a pressure drop enough to cause damage?
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:45 AM   #12
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Auxiliary coolers

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Can you offer any empirical evidence that adding the cooler inline to a 4r100 would cause a pressure drop enough to cause damage?
I can't add empirical evidence, but actual experience with a Transmission shop that replaced my transmission cooler with an aftermarket cooler, removed the stock cooler despite instructions to leave the stock cooler in place. Mechanic gave up his labor stating doing the job as ordered would result in a bad outcome. He didn't want that. Shop took the labor off the bill and I gave the mechanic a generous tip for being honest.

Don't actually know if it would have caused damage but the shop was quite busy and I saw a lot of Fords there before actually stopping for the estimate. The additional cooler worked well unless exposed to SEVERE stress. Truck is still on the road.

Rod
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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I added the cooler inline, hung it in front of the condenser, on both my f350 and my old 38 foot gasser class A. Both worked well and tranny temps were cooler when doing the same towing.

2 to 1, I win. LOL just kidding. I was just curious if you were aware of any failures doing it inline. I appreciate the mechanics opinion but it is just an opinion and I havent come across and failures from plumbing it inline on any of the ford truck forums. All things in life come with some degree of risk.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #14
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1. Check for Correct oil level
[Additional info for all MotorHomers]
2. Inspect Engine Side of Radiator at night with a good flashlight for dirty fins especially near bottom corners.

Oil-Dirt-Bug Crud-etc. builds up on radiator fins & must be soaked with a water mixture of Dawn Dish Washing Soap. Soak both sides of all fins on transmission cooler, air conditioning condenser, & Radiator. Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to wash everything clean. (Wear a raincoat, goggles, & don't use a high pressure-straight stream) Repeat procedure if necessary.

Establish an inspection program and forget about changing or adding transmission coolers. (Any skeptics out there should do the night-time flashlight test) Your motorhome was built with two oil coolers to include the option of towing. Dwight
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