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ZF5 is a box of rocks; replace, rebuild, ??
The ZF5 in my 97 Super Duty became a box of rocks in downtown Ft Worth last Friday, only 4th (direct drive) will work. Valair clutch in it has about 20-30k on it and from what I can see through the inspection panel nothing appears awry, but I'll know more when I get it home and drop the trans.
My main question is, assuming this is the original box, it's got 230k on it with no issues, and I've put over 40k on it with no issues, so it can't be that horrible of a design. BUT, would it be worth the 2x expense to put a 6 speed from a 99+ in it, assuming it fits, or should I just pick up a good used ZF5 and put back in? I've found a "5k on rebuild" on CL locally for $700 which seems like a good deal, but would it be worth dropping mine somewhere to see what it would take to rebuild it first, or are these pretty bad about shedding everything in the box when something goes wrong?
Obviously I'm not stoked about spending $1400 on a new box, but if the 6-speeds are better units I'm willing to spend the money since this truck is usually pulling a 53' car hauler with a fair amount of weight on it.
Thanks for the help/tips.