Why did it die? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:50 AM
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Why did it die?

I have a 2000 F250 SD SC short bed. I bought it two years ago, with 129,000 miles on it. It is entirely stock, AFAIK.

I use it almost exclusively for towing my race car in an enclosed trailer; car, trailer, and accompanying tires and tools weigh perhaps 7500 pounds.

I have put about 8000 miles on it in those two years.

There is a very steep hill, perhaps a half mile long, near my house. It's the best way to get home from the two race tracks I race at most often. Until the last time I tried, the truck did it just fine, if slowly.

The last time, the transmission burned out.

Is towing a heavy load up a fairly steep hill unusually hard on transmissions, or was it just time? I can avoid the hill without a lot of difficulty, but it costs me perhaps 10 minutes each time, and the drive using the alternate route is much more unpleasant.

Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:22 PM
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Cliffs Notes version: heat burns up the clutches, the debris clogs the cooler, lube starvation, kaput. The stock transmission temp gauge is negligent engineering, IMHO. It is essentially an idiot light, showing normal regardless of actual temp until it gets extremely hot. Maybe on a short enough hill it will get very hot, but so briefly that it has no time to register on the gauge. So damage is being done invisibly, and the debris flows into the cooler before going back to the stock filter. And it's pretty much cumulative.

The right fix includes a fancy billet torque converter. With that a larger or supplemental cooler plus an inline Magnefine filter. But in my case I saw the brown and glinty oil before it was terminal, so I did not R&R the trans but simply added a cooler and filter (and upgraded valve body) along with a fluid change, and these have kept me on the road since last summer. For towing a set of gauges (pyro, trans, boost) is essential to keep an eye on what you really need to know.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:33 PM
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Well, except there's no clutch; it's an automatic.

I will put in a proper transmission temperature gauge, which should help.

But I'm curious principally as to whether hauling a heavy load (although well within the specs of the truck) up a fairly steep hill (or, indeed, over mountain passes) is particularly hard on the automatic transmission, or if it was just its time.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:47 PM
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Their are clutches inside the auto, make sure you have a aftermarket trans cooler or a 6.0 31 row cooler..best. 129k miles..expected life is up.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:42 PM
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I tow 18000lbs with my stock 02 7.3 automatic and more than not 12000lbs up hills etc and have never had an issue with my trans... knock on wood. Not sure why the trans would die but wouldn't think that towing is the issue. The truck is built for towing.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:52 PM
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Some parts are...
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