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How strong is the 4R100 in stock form?

2306 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  nsfr1206
greenskeeper -- Recently bought 1997 F350

If you want it to last, keep it stock. Any chip will kill the E4OD transmission unless upgraded (assuming it's an automatic?)

I'm curious if the same Caveat is true for the '02 4R100 in the Excursions?

I bought the PHP Hydra, but have not got it installed.
My only interest is as a Daily Driver, with just a bit more MPG, and some extra oomph uphill while towing my 9,000 lb RV
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I am a bit more in the tooth than you, my days of swinging the rear end of my '65 330hp 4 speed, posi tract around corners are now 60 years behind me :cautious:

I am very comfortable with just pushing it to 2,000 RPM, and waiting for the truck to catch up to 'me'... :cool:

I get my jollies from grinning each time the 4R100 goes to the next gear.... and hits OD about a mile down the road.

So, from your Experience then, I should not have to hit my Savings Account for a Rebuild any time soon. I might make 5,000 miles a year, just 2 or 3 trips a year of about 1800 miles out and back.
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The biggest killer of the E4OD and 4R100 is the way undersized transmission coolers. E4OD is even significantly smaller than the 4R100. The E4OD also only had a single disk converter. It wasn't until the later years of the 4R they went to a multi-disk.

A good tune will add line pressure to help hold the clutches better from slipping, causing heat.

Having a gauge or monitor is best when adding a tuner so you can keep an eye on your transmission temps.

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thank you Corey,
I just now turned in an order to you for that cooler and Referenced your Post.

I was really a bit concerned when I saw how small that little dinky tranny cooler is now.
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got the upgraded cooler ordered,
am I going to have to remove this front Grill bumper / winch to install it?

I have the Edge CTS-3 Monitor, so will be able to keep an eye on Transmission and Engine and EGT temps.

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The bumper has two big openings for Air Flow to the radiator, that concerned me also.

But, the 7.3 fan shroud ducts a LOT of air through all of those fins, I feel like the extra transmission cooler will get a good bit of that air flow, but at speed, there will be the two openings in the 4" bumper tube.

Those things protect the truck from Elk and Horses, but is a big Air Dam at the same time.

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for those worried about the license plate numbers?
not to worry, I bought the truck in Montana, it is now registered in Oklahoma

My son in Dawsonville, Georgia wants me to just stuff everything in the truck, and come down to visit him for an extended stay when it warms up next spring .... he is a Diesel Mechanic from back in the 90s, owns a '06 3/4 ton RAM Cummins since new. He has a 3 car shop for us to work out of, and more tools than most professional mechanics own.

Tnx for the tip on bypassing the Intercooler in the Radiator... will definitely do that.
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-Drain the pan and replace the fluid regularly. Some do it 20k, some do it 30-50k, some do it never
-You'll like the larger trans cooler but that bumper is blocking a ton of air to it. Not sure though. My temps dropped 25+ degrees after empty and towing.
-Shift kit (modified valve body) I personally liked this. You can get them customized (harder nowadays) but John Woods built mine and refined the shifting with quicker/firmer shifts.
*oem wants nice and soft heat building shifts, but little firmer/quicker is less wear n tear, you just "feel" it more.

Do your part for maintenance and enjoy the truck. No one can predict what will happen. Its all an odds game with some random crap for fun.
I most likely do fluid changes at 25k miles on the tranny, like I do with my other vehicles. I have always added coolers, the K1500 Suburban has a Mishimoto with Fan cooler on it. that 5.3L and 4LE60 has pulled the 9,000 lb RV to Florida, NC, SD, IL, several times.... slow it is, but it gets there.

My brother, back in the 70s was into racing, he changed his Chevy 1 ton tranny fluid on every trip, because he pulled a 40' car hauler with his rail dragster and tools and spares, at 80 mph plus.

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