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Old 06-02-2016, 11:55 AM   #1
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time for a new 4r100

Does anyone here have a (preferably long term, positive) experience with any of the third party rebuilders that attempt to upgrade the 4r100?

I've talked to both ATS and John Wood so far. John Woods seems to have a slightly better reputation, and is slightly cheeper*, but is a much smaller operation (which may push availability out).

Both have warranties where I'll run out of years far before I'll run out of miles. While Ford will just laugh at my non-standard application (which is why a Ford unit is out of the running).

ATS will rebuilt my core (v10 with a mystery extension housing), which adds to the time, but means there's no way I'll get something that won't fit.

Who else should I call? BTS is likely to be brutal on shipping, and Monster's reviews seem very mixed.

And yes, I'm really sure that mine is done. I took one last trip with it over Memorial day weekend, knowing it wasn't in great shape. I barely made it home: Coasted down the West side of the San Mateo bridge in neutral and made if off the ramp. Then I added my last quart of fluid and made it the rest of the way. I'm hoping to do that one more time to get it to the shop, but honestly, I can get a tow there if I need to.

* He's closer, so the difference may largely be in shipping.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:12 PM   #2
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From what I've read and heard, either will mean you'll never have to worry about it again.

I just wished I could have had one when mine went a couple years ago.. I just didn't have the time to wait, and they were both backed up a month or more.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:20 PM   #3
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I would choose either John Wood or BTS, and I'd pick whichever one is closest to you if you should ever need service directly from them. That said, there are quite a few shops that are more or less dealers for these two transmissions, so it may not be much of an issue.

FWIW, my 7.3L has a BTS transmission.


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Old 06-02-2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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I have a John Wood 5r110 and love it. I realize you have a 4r but John dose both. One advantage of taking to John if you can is he did some programming/adjusting to the transmission. (at least when we did mine in 2011). I don't know what that entailed but the transmission has been perfect climbing the Colorado mountains. As far as his warranty, his name is literally welded into the side of the case and I've never heard of any one complaining about him on the internet. Although BTS seems to have an equal following of happy customers but I can only vouch for John.

Just a thought is to change/upgrade your trans cooler at the same time. When my original trans went it pushed debris through the lines and cooler. I sort of copied Erik Badgers setup which has also worked very well. BadgerTrek: Sportsmobile base Ford E350

Hope you get it worked out soon.
-Eric

AMENDMENT 1 - I just saw your post from 2012 and today about your cooler. I should read more before posting. Thanks.

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Old 06-02-2016, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
From what I've read and heard, either will mean you'll never have to worry about it again.

I just wished I could have had one when mine went a couple years ago.. I just didn't have the time to wait, and they were both backed up a month or more.
EDIT: I've researched and talked to BTS not ATS.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:05 PM   #6
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FWIW, I also had my 7.3L trans cooler swapped for the significantly larger 6.0L trans cooler, though I don't know if it will fit on the vans.


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Old 06-03-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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In terms of reputation the choice is obvious, but I'm having a hard time getting ahold of folks with John Wood and that's probably going to be a deal breaker for me. Left them a message this morning. (There's nothing wrong with a small shop not taking on additional work btw, they need to and presumably are prioritizing existing customers).

In terms of cooling I'm running the tru-cool max 40k that's been heavily recommended here with some additional fans, which when it's not plugged does fine. I already ordered a new one to go with the new transmission, showing up tomorrow. Now if only the transmission was that easy (it can be, I suppose).
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:02 PM   #8
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It was my experience that John Wood was usually leave a message. Back in 2011 when he did mine it was only him and his son who was the 5r110 master. I always got a call back the same day but in the late afternoon/evening and he would answer all my questions thoroughly. Just my experience.

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Old 06-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #9
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I called BTS today, and it looks like they might just fit into my window of time before the next van trip. (lots of business air travel first) Cost is just under ATS, so I think that takes ATS off the table.

I'll see if John Wood calls me back tonight, that would be the most obvious, and cheapest option, but if they are slammed, then a couple hundred extra towards shipping won't stop me from getting the van back on the road either.

Thanks for all the help thinking through this!
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScience View Post
I called BTS today, and it looks like they might just fit into my window of time before the next van trip. (lots of business air travel first) Cost is just under ATS, so I think that takes ATS off the table.

I'll see if John Wood calls me back tonight, that would be the most obvious, and cheapest option, but if they are slammed, then a couple hundred extra towards shipping won't stop me from getting the van back on the road either.

Thanks for all the help thinking through this!
If either BTS or JW is close enough for you to drive to (assuming the rig is driveable), I think both will rebuild your transmission on the spot, saving the cost of any shipping, and the hassle of dealing with a core.


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