'Normal' E40D Transmission Temperature - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:47 PM
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'Normal' E40D Transmission Temperature

I am looking for a reliable 'normal' empty and towing transmission temperature range (assuming that they are different, they may not be). I have searched on this site and on Google and I have looked through every piece of literature I could get my hands on but I'm not finding consistent information or not finding anything at all. A few posts on this site say something about 80-100 degrees above the ambient air temperature but that 200 degrees plus is bad. A thedieselstop.com post (Transmission temperature in E4OD - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com) said up to 220 is fine but that 250 is getting bad. To make matters more confusing the Banks temperature gauge on my truck has a yellow zone from 140-170 (which I interpret as being a little too cool), a green zone from 170-240 with what looks to be a 'normal' band around 220-230, another yellow zone from 240 to 250 and then a red zone from 250 to 260. Recently I saw temperatures around 200 degrees driving 70 mph in 90-95 degree heat, this looked normal in one post but at the upper limit in another.

What is the basis for some of the other temperature ranges that people have posted. Is there not any published info from Ford on this?

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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on my obs. it loved the 190 mark and up

the sd i have now did the same. but installin a 6.0 trans cooler on it, my max temp is 170 so far.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:00 PM
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The really scary thing about defining a "normal" range is just that....what IS normal?

Most transmission fluids will remain stable up to 225-240 degrees. If you are running hotter than that, then you can do some damage, but only because the friction modifiers in the oil have broken down and no longer protect the friction and wear surfaces.

If you are seeing 200, then you are fine. You could run that hot all day and will not hurt anything. If your truck is consistently running 200, you don't have to worry. If it reaches 220-230, then you should try to stop and allow the fluid to cool down. Really, the only time it should get that hot is if you have an internal problem or a cooler problem...or if you are driving in conditions that do not allow torque converter clutch apply.

Different PCM codes are going to operate the torque converter clutch at different times during upshifts. Even "normal" temperatures between different PCM codes are going to fluctuate a bit.

I wouldn't worry about 200.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the answers. Does the transmission regulate the fluid flow to the cooler to control the cooling rate, or does it always try to cool as much as possible? I have a Banks TransCommand module installed, would that affect the fluid temperature at all (I believe it increases shift pressure when it senses a higher load)?
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:42 PM
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interesting conversation here. here's my 2 cents. My OBS will rise to about 160, aftermarket gauge. My programmer will usually read 5-10 degrees above that. I can sit there at 160ish for a good bit too, then for whatever reason rise on up to 200. While I never feel the slip, I get the dreaded P1728 DTC (slip detected) and a flashing OD light. My programmer will reset the code on the fly so that I can avoid the max line pressures, and hard shifts.

Now I know that my trans is old and tired, and needs rebuilt. But this info here about 200 degrees as 'OKAY' leads me to believe that my truck is not ready to leave me on the side of the road without notice, at least yet. "Knock on wood"

Anywho, nice conversation about this topic, although I have always been told the 160 is the ideal temp range to be running, so 40 above that has made me nervous, and do odd things. Once I sprayed the trans cooler with a garden hose trying to get the temp back down to 160.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:23 PM
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funny you mentioned that.

went to get hay on thurs and trans got up to eh mid range. it started to pour rain and i saw my gauge drop down to 120 within in 10mins... thought that was weird.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:34 AM
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I just did a 1700 mile round trip from AZ to WY and with an empty trailer, my temp never got above 185. With a 2001 Doge 2500 with a CUMMINGS on the trailer on the way back, the temp only got to 215 on time really big hill were I was in second gear pulling 45-50 MPH. But that droppped down real quick on way down the hill. Now the guy I was with said that any temps 225 and below are fine. Start getting around 250 and you should let it cool down and take it easy.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:50 AM
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My OBS has a decent sized aftermarket cooler... my SD was stock. The trans in this truck runs about 20-30 hotter on average than my SD did. I've been doing a lot of driving here lately and its been hotter than a popcorn fart and temps are usually between 160-190 either towing or empty, with ambient temps around 90 give or take a few. Debating installing the 6.0 trans cooler I have...
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:27 AM
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I have what I guess is a 12 x 12 aftermarket cooler installed in front of the intercooler, (I know, WTF?, should have seen in when I bought it), anyway she wants to settle in the 200 range. I want it to stay as close to 160 as possible.

Now right now I just limping around on an old, tired, worn out, 170k mileage overpowered E4OD. But, when I get her fixed, maybe even before hand I going to install another cooler under the cab, horizontal, where air is not necessarily forced through while driving. But I'll put one in with an electric fan so if the temps are pushing the 200 mark, i can flip a switch and get some extra cooling when I want it. I'll tap into the line at the rear of the tranny, and install it close to there.

We shall see....
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:32 AM
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this seems appropriate for the conversation


150 F=
The minimum operating temperature. Note: It is possible in low ambient temperatures to overcool the transmission with auxiliary oil to air coolers. Oil to water coolers in standard factory radiators will normally not overcool a transmission.

175-200 F=
Normal pan oil temperature operating range.

275 F=
Maximum allowable oil pan temperature for short durations during long hill climbs.

300 F=
Damage occurs to internal transmission parts, including warpage of metal parts, degradation of clutches, and melting of seals. Transmission oil oxidizes, (forming varnish-like substances causing further clutch slippage and compounding heat build up) and transmission oil life is extremely short.


Tranny Temps
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