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I will be watching this thread with interest- the '97 F250HD I picked up recently does just this same thing. Judging from the fact that it does, in fact, bang into gear, and then kick back out, makes me think that the clutches are good, but there's a valve or check ball problem that isn't keeping the pressure on the apply piston for the reverse clutch pack.
I'll do some research into the valve bodies as regards reverse, and if I come up with anything, I'll let you know. Don't hold your breath, I'm a total noob when it comes to slushboxes and I have a lot on my plate, but I want my reverse back! We'll see.
1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.
1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.