2001 EX (4R100) Needs new Tranmission - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:05 PM
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2001 EX (4R100) Needs new Tranmission

This weekend I went to SoCal for some motocross fun and on the return trip (in barstow) my transmission let go. We were very blessed to have stopped for fuel and some drinks when it decided to stop working.

I'm pretty sure that without a professional taking a look at it, I won't know what happened, but I'm hoping to get an idea from those of you in the "Know" and finally get some recommendations on who to go to for a new trans-rebuild because I don't want to ever have this happen again if I can help it by getting a good built trans now.

Initially the trans seemed to be slipping in 2nd gear and didn't want to change to 3rd unless I coaxed it along a bit. 3rd and OD seemed to work fine once we were rolling. Anyway, after our pit stop, the trans would shift into first gear and go, but after letting off the gas the motor would just rev with no engagement from the 4R100 transmission.

If I shut the motor off and started it again it would again work for one gassing, but would then not engage after letting off the throttle. The same happened for reverse.

The transmission was just serviced about 2,000 miles ago where it got flushed, new filter, and a new Mercron fluid (not merc V). I do not believe the fluid change had anything to do with this since it was acting goofy prior to the change and actually got a lot better after the change. However it seems that pulling the trailer and the trip to Southern CA from Utah seemed to take its toll on an already weak trans.

The truck did have a new trans put in at 65,000 miles (the guy I bought it from had it done and showed me the paper work to prove it when I bought it). It now has 107,000 miles (42,000 on rebuild).

Anyway idea what might be wrong? I'm thinking maybe the rear pump failed and it's allowing leak back but honestly I don't know enough about an auto-trans to feel confident in my diagnosis at all. Just guessing really.

We managed to haul it on a trailer to Las Vegas where it's sitting on a trailer at a friends house waiting for me to make a decision about what I'm going to do.

Due to not wanting to have this problem again (we do travel with it quite a bit, and I tow a lot, though it's not heavy towing compared to a lot of you) I am considering a built transmission rather than a simple rebuild.

I am considering an ATS (though it's lower on my list), a BD (also lower), BTS and John Wood. Both BTS and John Wood are the ones I'm most interested in, while leaning toward John Wood since I could more than likely take the entire truck to him in CA to get it rebuilt there. He's also a little less money. I plan to call BTS and John Wood to see what they have to say, but haven't yet. I also need to know if any of you know if I do get my truck to John Wood if his price includes installation like BTS does or if it's going to cost some additional money.

Anyway, your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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Well, I talked to John Wood today and he's a really nice guy. His son actually races Dirtbikes too, so that was pretty cool. The towmaster is $4,200 + 6.0 cooler is $350 + Labor to install is $350 + $180 for fluids for a grand total of $5,080. The warranty is 3yr/50,000 miles, but includes lifetime labor if it breaks (you pay for parts).

John actually gave me some tips on what to check to see if I could fix it, which I'm going to try when I get to the truck (who knows when that will be???), though he did say that what I'm experiencing is not abnormal for the 4R100 trans.

I also talked to a local diesel shop and they actually recommended a Ford Reman trans, which would run about $4100 with a 6.0 cooler and a 3yr/100,000 mile warranty from Ford, which could be serviced by any Ford Dealer (that's a plus).

I don't think I'll go with a BTS simply because I've heard that it could take 30 days to get a trans. I did call but they are closed today due to a winter storm.

Anyway, I'm surprised I've had no replies.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:06 PM
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Ford is 3 year unlimited and carries the warranty at any dealership.It covers towing and everything including car rental and doesn't matter who installs it.They also make a heavy duty.Thats the route I will take when my goes and thats even if I don't work for a dealer anymore.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:18 PM
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I've talked to the trans guy at my dealer about what to do when(if) mine goes south. They will let you upgrade the converter to a multi-disk one for a surcharge. Looks like that is the way I will go when mine decides it has had enough. You really can't beat the Ford warranty, especially when you can get it worked on in so many places should you have a problem.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:21 PM
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Really... 3yr/unlimited is pretty tempting, though I would be hard pressed to do 100,000 in 3 years (I did 40,000 in 3 years so far).

That's good to know about the towing and car rental stuff too. I would be interested in the heavy duty one myself.

So do you recommend just calling a local Ford dealer and talking to them about it? Where can I find out about the heavy duty trans (meaning what makes it heavy duty)?
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:24 PM
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Oh and I am guessing these remans are non-diode transmissions?
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:42 PM
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I have come to the conclusion that based on my needs and based on the fact that I run a DP Tuner chip that the Ford Reman wouldn't be a good option for me. I have read that some dealers don't care about chips, but when your truck breaks down you often times don't get to choose which dealer you go to for repairs. I don't want a tranny that won't be warrantied if I have a problem.

I also found out that the HD version really is the same transmission as the normal one with a heavier duty TC and some extra clutch plates, so it's hardly worth the extra $1000 they charge for it when you get the same warranty anyway.

In talking to John Wood about this over the last week I have decided that his Tow Master is the transmission that will be best for me in the long run. If you've never talked to him you should if you are needing a transmission. His knowledge and attention to detail are really what sets him apart IMOP. He knows the 4R100 really well, and has taken measures to fix the problems with the transmissions so they will truly last a long time. I know stuff breaks, and that could happen, but with his transmission, and his knowledge about this transmission, I believe it will last me a long time.

On a plus, he's also worked closely with Jody from DP to help him tune his tunes so they work better with transmissions and specifically his transmission. So I will get the tunes I currently already own, but updated to work with his trans. I thought that was a very nice touch.

I also asked him a lot of questions about add-on parts, e.g., bigger oil pan, 6.0 cooler, and some other odds and ends. I'm just passing on this information since I thought they were honest opinions that are worth something.

He does believe a 6.0 cooler is a good option. The V10 cooler he doesn't think is worth the time since it's only slightly bigger. Apparently their are 2 6.0 coolers and he recommends the smaller of the two.

He has tested bigger oil pans and doesn't feel they offer a good bang for the buck. In his testing, the transmission oil temp took about 5 minutes longer to get up to the same temp it did on the previous day with the same ambient temps. However, it took an hour longer to cool down after shutting the truck off. So he didn't feel the cost was worth it.

Anyway, I have an appointment in 2 weeks to get it done. I'm pretty excited.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:58 PM
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Have not been down this road yet , but i think you made the wise choice. If there is any problem with a factory you know they are gonna look at what else COULD have caused it,,,,whether it did or not tho........... A bit more money but your also getting top notch gear from one of the most reputable builders in the country. with 107k and a built tranny you should have major stuff out of the way for a long long time.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:18 AM
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Thanks, and that's what I'm hoping. Long life from a great transmission from a great builder.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:45 AM
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Also just saw in your sig that there is a new stock turbo......did it just go too ? I think you can upgrade to the GTP38R for about the same money as a stocker and gain about 30% more air flow. Just an FYI in case you are getting a turbo and a tranny.
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