Another E4OD saga long post

powerstroke rob

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Hi everyone. I've been dealing with what seems like an ailing E4OD for a few months and to familiarize everyone I'll run down the list of things I've done to this point. Hopefully I can get an idea of what is next aside from the new converter I'm going to have to put in.

So first of all its a 97 F super duty with an Altec bucket on it and it crossed the scales the other day at 12,200 lbs. with me in it (I'm only 190lbs or so )
When I got the truck it would do the converter lock /unlock thing on the interstate every 15 to 30 seconds so I installed a converter lock up switch and relieved myself of the steady rpm change. Shortly after getting the truck I towed my Camaro from Charlotte to Roanoke and had 0 problems but when I got home I checked the fluid and it was burnt so I got a temp gauge and changed the fluid and filter finding the transmission was a jasper reman and thought hmmm ok well maybe itll be ok. New fluid and gauge installed (in the test port) I found I was reaching 200 Degrees on the interstate so I got a hayden stacked plate cooler and deleted the radiator cooler and just used the factory one with the hayden. Temps were better but still saw 180 to 190 regularly. I had a second bucket truck at the time and had bought 2 coolers one being for it and one for this one. Well I ended up putting the 2nd cooler on the diesel and have had temps staying around 150-170 and I've been happy with that. About 2 months ago I broke the fitting for the temp gauge off the transmission and had to replace it, and decided to get an autometer electric gauge while I was at it. Breaking the gauge fitting meant losing most of my fluid and inadvertently changing fluid again. (150k when I got it 175k on it now) I recently towed a car from Anderson SC to Lynchburg VA ( 250 mile trip) and everything was fine , no hot gauge , no shuttering, no nothing. Got home unloaded the car and parked it. Fired it up the next day and noticed a slight whining from the pump area and it would go into gear sometimes. Shut it back off and pulled the stick. It showed brown fluid and there was some sediment in it but not horrible. Refired the truck and dropped it into gear and it was fine... Took the truck to Charlotte again and as soon as I got it on the highway I noticed my temp gauge rising to about 220 (unloaded) and slowed down. I had to baby the truck all the way to charlotte to keep temps under 220. Loaded an engine hoist in Charlotte and ate some dinner to give the truck a chance to cool some. Started back to Lynchburg and the temp went right to 240 and I pulled over. I removed the factory cooler from the truck thinking maybe it was stopped up and continued on. The thing was better at 200 deg for a while but eventually rose to 245-250 so I stopped at Walmart and dropped the pan in the parking lot to reveal BLACK fluid that was as thin as water. The filter was clogged and I removed the filter material and reinstalled the filter housing (I know I know but it was 230 am) and refilled the transmission with new fluid. well it resulted in stopping every 20 miles to let the truck idle till the gauge read 160 again and i'd drive till it said 225 and stop again.
Long story long :):) I made it home and found the converter switch would do nothing to the rpm of the truck in gear so im guessing the converter is dead but the question is can I drive the truck for work if I leave the converter unlocked for the next couple weeks while I come up with the money for a good converter? Truck seems to stay at 180 degrees with the switch off.

Any suggestions for increasing the longevity of this E4OD? The thing doesn't slip in any gear (amazing I know) and I was going to flush the system and add new fluid again.

Sorry for the looooong post but I wanted everyone to know what I'd been thru with it hoping there was a clue to better help me with it.
 
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WD40

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Welcome to SDD.com, glad to have you here. Hope someone can help you out. Here's my 2 cents.
The 97 Super Duty is what came out before the F-250 and F-350 that came out in 1999 as Superduty trucks and is about the same as a early F-450, am I right so far?
Does your truck have 4.88 gears and 19 in tires? The 12,000 LBs, shouldn't be a big load for your truck if it's set up like I think it is. With the temps you been seeing I bet
your transmission is toast by now. You need someone to build you a transmission that know's what their doing. The E4OD is the weakest link on your truck. You need
heavy duty springs, clutch packs along with a heavy duty converter in your transmission. I know someone in Arkansas that can fix you up but no one near where you live.
Doug
 

powerstroke rob

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Your right about the F superduty being the older brother of the F450. The truck came factory with 16 inch wheels and I'm not sure about the gear ratio but at 70 im turning somewhere around 2400 RPM. The transmission might very well be toast at this point but like I said the truck doesn't slip in gear at all no matter what I do to try to make it slip. That leads me to think the transmission itelf might last a little while yet. I'm worried that the heat ould be great enough to warp the case. I have been thinking about rebuilding it myself and after tackling a Audi automatic and a 700R4 I'm reasonably confident that I can do it. The problem I have is I don't know the "ins and outs" of the E40D like a builder would. I agree about a converter needing to be HEAVY DUTY for sure. Thanks a lot for the input!
 

powerstroke rob

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So today I did indeed flush the transmission... Took 7 GALLONS before I got clean fluid back from the cooler output. I also swapped the coolers from being one after the other to splitting the load and once I put new filter in it and got the level right took it for a spin. (2 hour round trip) the torque conderter is gone for sure my lock up switch does nothing other than raise the temp... With the converter disengaged though my highest temp was 190 after 75 mph for 6 or 7 miles. Guess Im gone to work in it while I come up with the funds to R&R the trans and converter.
 

trackspeeder

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The converter is shot. If you keep driving the truck the tranny will be shot too.

There is no way to clean all the debris out of the tranny when a converter fails.

Now to the original problem. The locking and unlocking of the converter was most likely a failing transmission range sensor.

When you R&R the tranny. Get a new range sensor. Also flush the line and coolers well. Flush the "radiator cooler" and put back into the circuit. This is your primary cooler. It does most of the cooling specially in low or reverse.
 

JLDickmon

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I got nothing. It sounds like the whole thing is blazed to me.
I sell Jasper products and they're always braggin about how they replace "weak link" stuff with re-engineered parts, so I really wouldn't be afraid of one if I had to..
but on the other hand I have different fingers, and know a couple of trans guys here in town, and I'm sure they're doing the same stuff.
 

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