- Learn about common Ford 4R100 & Ford 5R110W transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Ford F450 & Ford F550 transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Ford F450 & Ford F550 transmission
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Ford F-450 / F-550 Transmission Problems & Solutions
Utilizing the new Ford Super Duty body style and trim levels, the 1999-2007 Ford F-450 and 1999-2007 Ford F-550 were Class 5 commercial chassis-cab trucks that could be spec’d with either the 6.8L V10 gas motor, or 7.3L PowerStroke diesel, and backed by the optional heavy duty Ford 4R100 transmission. The 2003-2007 Ford F-450 & 2003-2007 Ford F-550 received an optional new powertrain that included a more stout 6.0L PowerStroke diesel, and a new 5-speed 5R110W transmission. The second generation 2008-2010 Ford F-450 & 2008-2010 Ford F-550 got an updated look, a slew of advanced features, and an even more powerful 6.4L PowerStroke diesel. The biggest news however, was the introduction of the 2008 Ford F-450 Pickup, which was capable of towing a staggering 24,500 lbs. Managing weight is the main job of a commercial truck. But it can also cause you to have some rather expensive Ford F-450 transmission problems or Ford F-550 transmission problems. So let’s see if we can’t find a cost effective solution.
Common Problems with the 1999-2002 Ford F-450 / 1999-2002 Ford F-550 4R100 Transmission
Delayed Shifts or Failure to Shift – Faulty Shift Solenoids
These big Ford commercial trucks are designed to handle and extreme amount of weight and abuse. And all of those hard miles can increase heat and vibration inside of the Ford 4R100 transmission, which can lead to premature failure of the shift solenoids. In order to shift gears, these spring-loaded 4R100 solenoids direct pressurized ATF to the appropriate channels inside of the valve body. When they go bad, your Ford F-450 or Ford F-550 can experience delayed gear changes, or a complete failure to change gears. To increase the durability of each remanufactured Ford F-450 transmission & remanufactured Ford F-550 transmission, Street Smart Transmission replaces the OE 4R100 solenoids with heat/vibration resistant EPC solenoids and solenoid clips.
Severe Slipping or Loss of Forward Gears – Failed Forward Clutch Drum
In order to move the heavy metal clutches and gears inside your transmission, the ATF has to be very highly pressurized. However, that fluid pressure must be precisely controlled. Otherwise those metal parts can bang into each other, causing significant damage and drivability issues over time. To keep this from happening, the excess fluid pressure that builds after a shift is dampened by small shock absorber-like devices called accumulators. Except the Ford 4R100 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons are made from plastic. And once they break, that uncontrolled pressure can fracture the 4R100 forward clutch drum, resulting in severe slipping between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears, or the loss of forward gears all together. To fix this design flaw, every remanufactured Ford F-450 transmission / remanufactured Ford F-550 transmission gets aluminum accumulator pistons, a stronger spiral-lock snap ring, and a staked retainer for the intermediate clutch.
Common Problems with the 2003-2010 Ford F-450 / 2003-2010 Ford F-550 5R110W Transmission
Delayed Forward/Reverse Engagement – Reverse Planetary Assembly
Drivers of the 2003-2010 Ford F-450 / 2003-2010 Ford F-550 may experience slipping, and/or harsh/delayed engagement of forward or reverse gears. This is due to a design flaw in the Ford 5R110W transmission, where the gear set pinion shafts will actually back themselves out of the carrier. Since customers of our remanufactured 5R110W transmission put lots of hard miles on them, we TIG weld each one of the pinion pins. This keeps them in place, and significantly extends the service life over the OE specification.
Delayed Forward/Reverse Engagement and/or Rough Shifts – Transmission Pump
Although the symptoms are the same as the Ford F-450 transmission problems / Ford F-550 transmission problems listed above, the cause is different. The OE 5R110W transmission pump is known to fail prematurely, so our engineers devised a solution. Each remanufactured 5R110W transmission receives a remanufactured pump that’s been upgraded with more durable custom-spec line bore bushings, and a heavy duty pump recalibration kit. We also install a shift kit to reduce the chance of slipping, and extend the service life of the internal components.
How to Solve Ford F-450 or Ford F-550 Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
If you drive a Ford commercial truck, then you understand the value of hard work and the importance of saving money. So you might think that the most economical way to solve your Ford F-450 transmission problems / Ford F-550 transmission problems, would be to purchase a used 4R100 transmission or used 5R110W transmission from the local salvage yard. But you might actually spend more money in the long run, because that used Ford F-450 /F-550 transmission it’s probably in the factory specification. Which means the above problems are very likely to occur again. Plus, that 30–90 Day warranty will only get you a replacement transmission, if the first one they sell you doesn’t work right. Should this happen, you’ll have to pay the labor charges to install it.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
A more practical solution would be to get a rebuilt 4R100 transmission or rebuilt 5R110W transmission. In this scenario, a mechanic would remove your existing Ford F-450 transmission / Ford F-550 transmission, and rebuild it using an OE spec Ford transmission rebuild kit. But again, these transmissions are known to have problems due to several factory design flaws. So paying someone to return it to factory spec, is basically asking to have the same problems again in the future. In addition, that rebuilt transmission warranty may only be honored by a small number of shops, which means you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you have transmission problems and you’re not near one of those shops.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
Downtime can cost you time and money. But there’s a way to fix your current transmission problems and save money down the road. Unlike a rebuilt transmission, a remanufactured Ford F-450 transmission / remanufactured Ford F-550 transmission from Street Smart Transmission is built in a state of the art factory, where trained technicians evaluate every single component of the donor transmission prior to the build. Using specialized tools, they’re able to test all of the hard metal parts (like gears, shafts, carrier assemblies and valve bodies) for hairline cracks, tensile strength, warping, and thickness. Anything that doesn’t measure up, is immediately discarded and replaced. Throughout the build, each transmission must pass four separate quality inspections that ensure all of the correct procedures have been followed, and the necessary upgrades have been installed. The completed transmission is then hot & cold dyno tested using a specially developed program called C.A.R.S. (Computer Aided Road Simulation). This not only verifies functionality, but it breaks in all of the new parts. That way you won’t have to return to the transmission shop for adjustments during the break in period. You also get a Nationwide 18-month/100,000 mile Warranty, which will pay parts and labor for repairs that are performed at any licensed repair shop in the country. The warranty is also transferable. So if you sell your truck, this coverage goes with it.
In a nutshell, our remanufactured 4R100 transmission & remanufactured 5R110W transmission have been engineered to outperform and outlast the gearbox that was originally installed by Ford. So if you’re ready to upgrade to a Street Smart Transmission, then give us a call at 1-866-812-7560.