Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Beeville, TX
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The ZF6 is a 6 speed. The high (od) gear and the low (L) gear are the same as the ZF5, but the middle gear ratios are spaced different with the addition of 1 gear. So no major difference really.
About the ebay 4R100, just look at the person's feedback and ratings. If it is close to 99% good, that is usually good enough for me. After all, you are not going to make every one happy all the time. Even if it is not your fault.
Most likely, it isn't truely "rebuilt" it is probably *repaired*. That is, what ever problem it had, some mechanic repaired the problem, not necessarily rebuilt the entire trannie. Now, you just got this truck, and you are trying to get it running on a reasonable budget. If you go for the ebay trannie and it lasts a year or two, by that time you might be in a position to put in a Built 4r100 that will handle WAAAY more than a ZF5. Stock ZF5 to stock 4r100, is a toss up to me. If you had a ZF6, then I would probably go with that. If you ever start to go with some serious horse power though, the auto is the way to go in my opinion. It just needs a few little things. Performance valve body, big cooler (the kind that came on the 6.0l), and some good tuning (Tony Wildman or DP).
Nowadays, the auto is the "standard" transmission, and you have to special order a manual. More than that, the auto trannies are the only trucks that come with 350 HP from the factory. The manual ones come with 325. Another thing is that the manual trucks have a lower Gross Vehicle Weight Rating than the autos. Ford, at least, thinks the new autos (5 speeds) are tougher than the ZF6. Now the 5 speed auto is a different animal, but it shows that an auto is capable of just as much, if not more than a manual.
Eli Benson - EMT, Ambulance Mechanic
'08 F350 Dually KR - Spartan'd
'07 F250 CC SB 4x4 XLT - SCT /w Innovative Tunes
4 '09 & '10 E350 6.0l ambulances
1 '08 Duramax 6.6 (LMM) van ambulance