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Old 08-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
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New here... got some quetions

I have a 1989 Ford clubwagon E150.
Tow package
Duel fuel tank 11/14gal.
Back bench folds to a bed.

I am pretty sure I have a 5.0.

I have towed a fairly heavy Popup camper all summer with it but this last trip to the beach(9hrs each way) on the way home the tranny overheated and dumped fluid. I stopped it as soon as I noticed the tranny wasn't catching. I let it cool, replaced the fluid and all was fine to get home. It actually isn't even leaking. I took it to my mechanic yesterday to have seals checked and replaced as well as filters and to make sure the tranny isn't toast. he is going to replace the old tranny cooler for a newer one as well.

My question is anything else to keep this from happening again? I am new to vans and would like to own a SMB one day but for now my clubwagon is going to have to due for now.

I do plan on doing some upgrades, but all of that is on hold until we get the tranny worked out.

THe trailer is 2300lbs and the van is full of gear and my family.

THanks,

Tommy
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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Posts: 191
Re: New here... got some quetions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCXJWAGONEER
I have a 1989 Ford clubwagon E150.
Tow package
Duel fuel tank 11/14gal.
Back bench folds to a bed.

I am pretty sure I have a 5.0.

I have towed a fairly heavy Popup camper all summer with it but this last trip to the beach(9hrs each way) on the way home the tranny overheated and dumped fluid. I stopped it as soon as I noticed the tranny wasn't catching. I let it cool, replaced the fluid and all was fine to get home. It actually isn't even leaking. I took it to my mechanic yesterday to have seals checked and replaced as well as filters and to make sure the tranny isn't toast. he is going to replace the old tranny cooler for a newer one as well.

My question is anything else to keep this from happening again? I am new to vans and would like to own a SMB one day but for now my clubwagon is going to have to due for now.

I do plan on doing some upgrades, but all of that is on hold until we get the tranny worked out.

THe trailer is 2300lbs and the van is full of gear and my family.

THanks,

Tommy

I see no one has responded to your query - all lurking or at the beach I guess!

Let me offer you this - I think you probably have a case of several things combining to stress your tranny as follows:
1) The high ambient temps this Summer
2) Your fluid could be old, the filter older, and its probably dino oil based. First thing you need to do is get the filter replaced; replace the fluid with synthetic, and:
3) If you do not have a transmission cooler - get one installed. The bigger the better.

Actually every vehicle that tows anything should have a cooler.

Lastly try to avoid using the cruise control on hills. The vehicle is programmed to maintain speed and makes relatively violent demands on the throttle do that. Tis in turn forces a downshift and as soon as the target speed is reached the throttle pressure is as quickly released producing an upshift. Being shaped like bricks the combination of tow weight and drag will slow the vehicle prompting another downshift. This sycle prmotes substantial slippage of the clutches and heat. Also while the tranny is out of O/D its in effect using the fluid to transmit all the drive force to the torque convertor generating heat. On later models it is possible to program this lock up point but its definitely not the case with yours.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: New here... got some quetions

On our old 88 Ford with 5.0 liter we drove it a lot with the OD locked out. I think the owner's manual says to lock out the OD if you are towing. Don't know if that will put more or less stress on the transmission.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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Re: New here... got some quetions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
On our old 88 Ford with 5.0 liter we drove it a lot with the OD locked out. I think the owner's manual says to lock out the OD if you are towing. Don't know if that will put more or less stress on the transmission.
I think that is teh root cause of your over heating. The lock out is really only necessary to prevent the downshift/upshift oscillation that I described earlier. This in turn is much more critical on the diesels because the tranny is torque limited and the effect of letting the rpm drop too low raises the torque being transmitted potentially to levels that can result in CH distortion.

I cannot imagine a situation where a gas van that is not shifting down and up would benefit from having the O/D locked out. On the contrary what you experienced is more likely the result.

With that said I would definitely get that filter changed and switch to synthetic fluid. Its good for a long time. I have 50K miles on mine over the last 5 years and I never see more than 180 deg of tranny temps even at out 100+ ambients towing 10K #s. Admittedly I am using a 7.3 PSD and it has a tranny cooler.
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