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Old 05-03-2021, 07:43 PM   #1
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Transmission Woes, to rebuild or not, '06 E350 Gasser

Well folks, I had the opportunity to pay the local tow company a whopping $400 to tow my old rig home yesterday. On the way back from a day trip it finally left me stranded along with my two boys, bro in-law and my wife. On a state highway about 40 miles from my home the engine and transmission decided they didn't want to be attached any longer. On a long grade going 60 mph the engine lost all connection to the trans and rev'd up really high as my wife (she was driving) tried to figure out what the hell happened. We coasted into a driveway and that's as far as the ole van took us yesterday.

Luckily, our friend, who we had just left after playing on the river, came to pick us up and let us borrow their truck to get home. Yates Towing and Recovery out of Chattanooga picked up the van, they were great. Cheap, no, but got to us quick, took great care of the van and got it back in my driveway in a couple hours. That was key, since it was loaded with our raft, sups and gear from the day.

Here is photo of the ole rig from a trip back this winter:

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...cture44771.jpg

This was over spring break:

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...cture44770.jpg

So now I'm trying to diagnose the issue and decide how to move forward. I'm fairly certain it's the flexplate that is broken. The van won't start, sounds like the starter solenoid is out. Just wizzes when you crank it, engine does not turn. I popped off the rubber stopper in the bell housing and the flywheel turns free - not connected to the crank.

If I would drop the trans right where it sits and replace the flexplate it would likely be fine. However, it's got 225k on the van. It's the 5.4L with 4R75W trans. I've had the van six years, put about 50k on it with minimal issues. My build is pretty much done, except for final lights and interior paneling.

The engine runs fine, no tell tale signs of failure, but it's not a spring chicken. It doesn't smoke or miss or knock, etc. The trans also hasn't given too many signs of issues, but it has slipped/acted funny a time or two.

Overall, I've put too much work in the van to not consider a new trans and engine eventually, but I'd rather do it on my own time, over the winter, etc.

I'm debating having the transmission rebuilt now since it has to come out anyway. However, I really don't want to be without the van for too long.

I do most of my work myself, but this is something I will likely have a shop do as I've got plenty of other things to work on right now. I will at least have the torque converter replaced as well, along with the flexplate, at a min. But may also go with a rebuilt trans or have this one rebuilt.

Thoughts from any of you folks who have faced similar decisions?

Anyone have a trans rebuild shop recommendation for southeast TN/North GA area?

Thanks,
Justin
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:10 PM   #2
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As long as your budget permits it, I'd rebuild the tranny while it's out. You mentioned it acting up from time to time, this is a good time to address that.

If you want a quick turn-around, get a rebuilt and turn your existing tranny back in for the core.
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:07 PM   #3
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I was able to find a shop that can rebuild the transmission and do it fairly quickly, at least that's what we agreed to. I'm supposed to get the van back in two weeks. The initial budget is $3,000 with new torque convert and new flexplate included. The shop, Fleet Transmission, out of Chickamauga, GA, came recommended from a friend of mine who owns a 4x4 shop near Cleveland, TN.

Preston, the shop owner, is going to rebuild it himself and he will also be beefing up the transmission with a heavy duty rebuild.

I'll post back with how all this works out. I got the van towed there yesterday, 5/8/21.

Cheers,
Justin
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:27 PM   #4
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If the old transmission put debris into the oil, it will have traveled to the cooler, so it should probably be changed too or flushed at a minimum if your going to reuse it.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:53 PM   #5
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Ya, I unfortunately know all about this. My clutches fried on my 1 yr old aftermarket trans and contaminated everything! Had to spring for a new radiator, hoses and a new tru-cool trans cooler on top of having the trans rebuilt with a new torque converter (under warrantee). If your fluid smells burned or there’s metal contaminants, you’d be better off replacing your coolers rather than doing a flush, which never gets everything out.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
If the old transmission put debris into the oil, it will have traveled to the cooler, so it should probably be changed too or flushed at a minimum if your going to reuse it.
2nd this post!
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:08 PM   #7
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2nd this post!
My parent's 76 GMC MH would 3rd that reco.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:22 PM   #8
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Thanks folks. I will be discussing the potential cooling line contamination with the shop.

Justin
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:56 PM   #9
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Any rebuild should get a Magnefine inline filter. It goes post-cooler and will take care of the debris problem. Ford even requires for warranty coverage on the 4r100 it if you do a dealer reman.

I recommend them anyways. It’s a lot easier than dropping the pan. Once the magnefine is installed, pan filter changes aren’t really necessary anymore.
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