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Old 06-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
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Transmission Rebuild

'03 SMB 4X4 with 140,000 mi. Transmission is a 4R100. Ran OK but it had gotten us over some very serious grades, through blow sand and snow, allowed us to do some very aggressive crawling and survived two near meltdowns. We are also towing a 29' Airstream much of the time. Took it to Aberdeen Transmission, Aberdeen, SD - a shop owned by a friend. They found a number of emerging problems in both the torque converter and trans. His opinion is that the 4R100 is one of the better transmissions on the market for one ton vehicles but, because of the weight of the SMB, they should be rebuilt and beefed up after 120,000 mi. One of the key problems is due to Ford's use of aluminum parts in the trans. The material is too soft. They all showed extreme wear - especially the fluid pressure control valve. Cost was $2100 for the rebuild and upgrade with a one year warranty.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Transmission Rebuild

Not a bad price.

But this was preventative, right?

I haven't touched my 4R100 transmission yet, at 311,000 miles. My gross weight is usually over 22,000 pounds combined.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #3
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Re: Transmission Rebuild

Two years ago Ford "flushed" the transmission. The trans developed a very hard up-shift in third and some other odd habits. Since we regularly travel through rural areas, lots of steep terrain and can often be crawling 60+ miles from any paved surface I thought it prudent to get this done now. Unfortunately I did not save the parts or take a photo of them but it was clear that the trans would have failed well before the odometer turned 200K mi.

We had an outer wheel bearing disintegrate on the Dynatrac last year while we were traveling in Death Valley. Big problem towing the rig to Pahrump ($1500 if you are on pavement). We had just gotten back from a trip into Cottonwood and Marble Canyons -a route that no tow truck in the region could have managed. They dropped the van off at an independent garage. We were on foot for a week. Because they knew we had no viable options (another $500+ for towing to Vegas), the limited repairs that I authorized cost me over $2000. I did not want to be in a similar situation or worse with the trans.
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