E40d in an Ambulance-fried - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:51 PM
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E40d in an Ambulance-fried

I have a '96 E350 Ambulance with a 4.3 Powerstroke. The auto tranney always did shift rough, and lurched when going in 4th. No suprise, seeing as the ambulance mod weighs over 10K, with 160,000 rounds on it.
So, today it went out, leaving me with just 1 st gear.
Question: Is there a tranny specific to an "ambulance prep package", or will any do? And, are tranney's specific to a Power Stroke motor? Or will a bell housing match be sufficient? What is usually the best route? Take mine out and have it rebuilt? Or find one used, and hope for the best, or have IT rebuilt. When an automatic goes out, is there such a thing as a core meltdown, where the damage is so great, you would be better off starting with a different core?
I just dont want my rebuilder jacking me telling me that because its an ambulance, its going to take rare parts, or allot of cash to rescue it. ( Pun intended)
And if there is anything freaky about this tranney, I dont want to let go of my core if they are rare, or application specific.
Anyone know about this? I will be spending my Sunday morning yanking the old one out. Its odd that this happened now, seeing as the snow isnt flying yet here in Wisconsin. Usually my rides meltdown after our 9 months of winter starts.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:09 PM

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Okay....so here goes....

There isn't a specific transmission for the ambulance package that I am aware of. It should be the standard E4OD or possibly a C6. Is it a three or four speed? Is there an OD light and button? Most likely the package included some extras like a larger cooler, etc.

You'll have to replace it with the same trans.

I'm always leery of used transmissions.

If parts didn't decide to leave the trans through he side of the case, your core should be okay. There's really know way of knowing what damage was done until you open it up.

There are a few highly recommended upgrades that you'll want to perform during the rebuild. Assuming you have an E4OD. Your trans guy should know about these:

Alto red clutches and Kolene Steels.

Case hardened Drum

Upgrade the aluminum planetaries to steel units and from 4 to 6 pinion where applicable.

Extra clutch material where applicable

Some will recommend a mild shift kit.

replacement of your cooler to make sure all debris from the failure is out of the system.

A better torque converter.

C6's have been around forever, most trans shops should be able to beef one up in their sleep. However, I believe there is a vacuum valve on the engine that needs to be adjusted properly during install and first start up. So, check into that.

Also, I would replace your rear main seal and check you flex plate while the trans is out.

You'll have to weigh out whether or not buying a built trans or having yours rebuilt is the way to go. I would imagine having a reputable shop that is familiar with these units R&R it would be the most cost effective.

Hope this helps,

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