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Old 06-12-2012, 06:09 AM
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Question Transmission Breaking Point

Fellas,

What's the breaking point for an all stock, non-modded, factory 5R110 - for someone that never tows? Meaning, how much RWHP can the stock tranny hold before it grenades?

I realize that this question is like asking, how many miles can I get out of an all stock 6.0 engine, but I'm just looking for an idea - a ballpark estimate. I'm pushing 500rwhp, and I've got a few more things that I want to do, and I plan on the transmission going out on me eventually, but how much of my paycheck should I be delegating to a "Transmission Fund"? All of it? Half of it? None of it? etc...

This truck is my daily driver, and I leave it in Matt's SRL+ (possibly switching that up to Chris's SPD) tune all the time. I treat the truck well, not gunning around town except maybe once a week to blow all the crap out. I'm right at 102,500 miles on my truck, and as far as I know - it's the original transmission. I've got the GoGo Direct Clutch Solenoid, but it isn't installed yet.

I've heard that the transmission can hold up to 550rwhp before you have to start really putting your pennies aside for a built transmission. And if you're making over 600rwhp, then you're on borrowed time. Well, enough of the hearsay. What do ya'll know for a fact to be true?

For the guys that had their transmissions already crap out on you, how much RWHP were you making and/or what mods do/did you have done to your truck? Do you ever tow? and if so, how much do you tow? How often do you tow? What are your driving habits? How many miles were on it? Those kinds of things I think will help benefit everyone. And if this thread already exists somewhere... then it should've been made a sticky. Cause I looked for it.

Thanks guys!

Known Failures
Lilpooh:
Failed at 120k miles
Mods: Hyper-tech adjust on the fly programmer, 4" exhaust with muffler and kitty delete, and K&N CAI
Drive Style/Tow: Moderate, 8k pounds about 6-7 weekends a year
Fix: Suncoast rebuild, still going strong after 77k miles (truck is now approaching 200k)

thomaslord84:
Failed at 196k miles
Mods: ARP's and Ford HG's, New Y-pipe, Sinister coolant filter, Amsoil bypass, EGR delete, BPD oil cooler, WARN manual hubs, Dual Redtop's, SCT SF3 (running Vivian's Looney Wild tune, Matt's tow tune while towing) EDGE Insight w/EGT (soon fuel PSI & turbo timer), MBRP 5" no kitty or muff, Amsoil 5w-40, DieselKleen EVERY tank, CCV mod, 6.4 Banjos, AirDog 2, Warren 155's
Drive Style/Tow: Aggressive, 10k pounds about 5 times a year
Fix: Rebuilt by the "best" local transmission shop

2nd failure at 201k miles
Mods: FICM repair w/ Atlas 80 FICM tune from Bill at PHP, and swicthing the tune to Chris's SPD were the only differences between the 1st and 2nd failure
Fix: Fully built BTS Transmission

jwsland:
Failed at 145k miles
Mods: ARP's/ aux filter/ IDP tuned/ EGR delete/ S & B intake/ Full CFM+ kit/ Silverline stainless 4inch/ 58V FICM/ BPD water pump/ AD2 165/ XDP Sump/ Tons of bolt-ons/ F350 dually rear leafs
Drive Style/Tow: Aggressive, towed every day w/ IDP's X-Race
Fix: Suncoast trans w/ billet internals

Last edited by Super Diesel; 06-13-2012 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:21 AM
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Can't help you with personal experience. From what I have heard, with the driving habits you have described and routine maintenance your trasmission should last a long time at 500rwhp. Once you get up to around 550 I think it would still last if driven sensibly, but it will only be a matter of time.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:52 AM
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I can't comment on how long the stock trans will hold up at 500rwhp, someone else will have to chime in.


I can tell you my experience with my trans. Back in '05 with 80k miles on the truck, I put in a Hyper-tech adjust on the fly programmer, 4" exhaust with muffler and kitty delete, and K&N CAI. Ran this set-up for three year while DD, constant beatings and 6-7 week-ends towing 8k. In 2008 and 120k miles, my trans decided to snap the gearing in the coast clutch assembly.

IMO, it was the Hyper-Tech and my driving habits that lead to the failure of my trans.

I went with a total rebuild with Suncoast parts, I spent $3300 in Suncoast parts, $975 in OEM parts, and $1000 in labor cost. Total= $5275

When i got the truck back, I bought a SCT. I now have 197k miles on the truck, 77k miles on the rebuilt trans with DD, constant beatings, and 6-7 weekend towing 8k.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:20 AM
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another thing to consider... it is a lot cheaper to build a transmission that is not blown to shreds... I would set aside as much as you can now, build it before it breaks. Then you have peace of mind and probably a lower cost.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilpooh View Post
I can't comment on how long the stock trans will hold up at 500rwhp, someone else will have to chime in.


I can tell you my experience with my trans. Back in '05 with 80k miles on the truck, I put in a Hyper-tech adjust on the fly programmer, 4" exhaust with muffler and kitty delete, and K&N CAI. Ran this set-up for three year while DD, constant beatings and 6-7 week-ends towing 8k. In 2008 and 120k miles, my trans decided to snap the gearing in the coast clutch assembly.

IMO, it was the Hyper-Tech and my driving habits that lead to the failure of my trans.

I went with a total rebuild with Suncoast parts, I spent $3300 in Suncoast parts, $975 in OEM parts, and $1000 in labor cost. Total= $5275

When i got the truck back, I bought a SCT. I now have 197k miles on the truck, 77k miles on the rebuilt trans with DD, constant beatings, and 6-7 weekend towing 8k.

I LIKE THIS

This is exactly how I drive and that sounds like something I need to do
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:17 AM
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I have the mods in my sig. I am currently running Chris' SPD tune. I have no idea how much RWHP I am putting down, I would imagine somewhere in the 425 - 450 range.

In Jan. my TC come apart and took out my trans pump then my front planetary ceased up. Got the tranny rebuilt at the "best" local trans shop. 5-22-12 I was cruising down the interstate @ 80 MPH with the cruise set. All of a sudden the truck downshifted to 3rd gear and stayed there. I got it shut down. Come to find out I had no reverse, 2nd, or 5th gear. Limped it up to TSD in San Antonio. They said that trans was pretty much totaled. It will have a brand new BTS tranny in it come this Wed.

The worst part about the whole thing is that I was cruising with the cruise set, had not had my foot in it for a while. I will say that my driving style is pretty aggressive though. When I get ready to pass somebody I don't hesitate and the truck better not either. When I get ready to go I go, I don't by any means drive like grandpa. I bought a POWERstroke for a reason. Hope this helps.

Oh and the first time it was rebuilt it had 196xxx miles on it, when it totaled it had 201xxx on it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilpooh View Post
I can tell you my experience with my trans. Back in '05 with 80k miles on the truck, I put in a Hyper-tech adjust on the fly programmer, 4" exhaust with muffler and kitty delete, and K&N CAI. Ran this set-up for three year while DD, constant beatings and 6-7 week-ends towing 8k. In 2008 and 120k miles, my trans decided to snap the gearing in the coast clutch assembly.

IMO, it was the Hyper-Tech and my driving habits that lead to the failure of my trans.
This is what I'm talking about, and this is what's gonna help others for future preparation. Why do you think it ws the Hypertech? Was it just a generic tune that didn't tune the transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S View Post
Can't help you with personal experience. From what I have heard, with the driving habits you have described and routine maintenance your trasmission should last a long time at 500rwhp. Once you get up to around 550 I think it would still last if driven sensibly, but it will only be a matter of time.
That's what I'm trying to avoid. I don't want hearsay. I want people that have actually had the misfortune of having to replace their transmission and/or people that know for a fact what these things can handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emperorjordan View Post
another thing to consider... it is a lot cheaper to build a transmission that is not blown to shreds... I would set aside as much as you can now, build it before it breaks. Then you have peace of mind and probably a lower cost.
From what I understand, again - it's hearsay, is that they (Suncoast, BTS, Twisted, etc) strip out the guts and replace everything anyway, so it doesn't matter if the tranny is blown or not (to a certain degree of course).
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslord84 View Post
I have the mods in my sig. I am currently running Chris' SPD tune. I have no idea how much RWHP I am putting down, I would imagine somewhere in the 425 - 450 range.

In Jan. my TC come apart and took out my trans pump then my front planetary ceased up. Got the tranny rebuilt at the "best" local trans shop. 5-22-12 I was cruising down the interstate @ 80 MPH with the cruise set. All of a sudden the truck downshifted to 3rd gear and stayed there. I got it shut down. Come to find out I had no reverse, 2nd, or 5th gear. Limped it up to TSD in San Antonio. They said that trans was pretty much totaled. It will have a brand new BTS tranny in it come this Wed.

The worst part about the whole thing is that I was cruising with the cruise set, had not had my foot in it for a while. I will say that my driving style is pretty aggressive though. When I get ready to pass somebody I don't hesitate and the truck better not either. When I get ready to go I go, I don't by any means drive like grandpa. I bought a POWERstroke for a reason. Hope this helps.

Oh and the first time it was rebuilt it had 196xxx miles on it, when it totaled it had 201xxx on it.
Thanks Tom, do you ever tow with your truck? What tune were you running when the transmission initially blew?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:39 AM
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I tow about 10k about 5x a year, only for about 40 miles/trip.

The first time back in Jan. I was running Vivian's Looney Wild, the second time on 5-22-12 I was running Chris' SPD.

Also I forgot to mention that between the 2 times that the trans blew I got my FICM repaired by Ed and tuned with the Atlas 80 from PHP. Before I got that tuned I would run Matt's tow tune, now I will return it back to stock to do it. I figure that between the BTS trans and the Atlas 80 it will basically have a tow tune @ stock programming.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslord84 View Post
I tow about 10k about 5x a year, only for about 40 miles/trip.

The first time back in Jan. I was running Vivian's Looney Wild, the second time on 5-22-12 I was running Chris' SPD.

Also I forgot to mention that between the 2 times that the trans blew I got my FICM repaired by Ed and tuned with the Atlas 80 from PHP. Before I got that tuned I would run Matt's tow tune, now I will return it back to stock to do it. I figure that between the BTS trans and the Atlas 80 it will basically have a tow tune @ stock programming.
Thanks for the info, and sorry to hear about the misfortune of your tranny. Hopefully you won't have to worry about the transmission ever again. You shouldn't anyway.
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