- Learn about common Ford F-150 transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Ford F-150 transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Ford F-150 transmission
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Ford F-150 Transmission Problems & Solutions
The Ford F-150 has been America’s single best-selling vehicle since anyone can remember. Rumor has it that George Washington used a Ford F-Series on his farm, and Jesse James used a (stolen) F-150 to haul all of his loot. Needless to say, Ford’s had a long time to perfect the recipe. One of the many improvements came in 1993, when they introduced the 4R70W transmission. It was based on the sturdy AODE 4-speed automatic, except it featured a lower ratio for 1st and 2nd gears, along with stronger gear sets for added durability. The later 4R75W and 4R75E included components that were better suited for heavy duty applications, including a 24-lug ring gear, a redesigned torque converter and pump, and upgraded speed sensors. Although these Ford transmissions served F-150 customers until 2003, they were prone to a few problems…
Common Ford 4R75E / 4R75W / 4R70W Transmission Problems
Failed Shift Solenoids
The Ford 4R7 Series transmissions are “electronically controlled”, which means they use little spring loaded plungers (called ‘solenoids’) to activate gear changes. The computer can control each solenoid by sending an electric charge through a coil of wire that wraps around it. Excessive vibrations, heat and age can cause those wires to fray and short out. If this happens, your truck might experience delayed shifts, or a complete failure to shift. All Street Smart Transmission remanufactured 4R70W, 4R75W, and 4R75E transmissions are fitted with upgrade EPC solenoids and solenoid clips, which are considerably more resistant to heat and vibrations.
Contrary to popular belief, the primary function of transmission fluid is to cool the moving parts, not lubricate them. Towing heavy loads, and constantly shifting can cause the ATF to overheat, which is one of the most common Ford F-150 transmission problems. When this occurs, lots of bad things can happen to the internal components, like premature wear and failure of the clutches, bands, valve body, seals and torque converter. The Ford 4R70W, Ford 4R75W and Ford 4R75E are all prone to this condition, so installing an auxiliary transmission cooler is recommended.
Failed Forward Clutch Drum
Another 4R75W/4R70W transmission problem is slipping in-and-out of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gears. It might also be completely unable to engage forward gears at all, due to a cracked forward clutch drum. This happens because a design flaw in the snap ring and piston causes it to break when fluid pressure is applied to engage the clutch. To address this problem, all Street Smart Transmission remanufactured 4R70W, 4R75W, and 4R75E transmissions feature upgraded 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons, which can significantly extend the service life of the 4R70W / 4R75W forward clutch drum. A stronger spiral-lock snap ring and staked retainer are also used for the intermediate clutch.
How to Solve Ford F-150 Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Ford F-150 4R70W/4R75W/4R75E transmission
Obviously, the cheapest and fastest solution would be to buy a used 4R70W transmission/used 4R75W transmission/used 4R75E transmission from a salvage yard. However, these used transmissions are pulled from wrecked and/or non-working vehicles, and most junk yards don’t have the equipment to properly test the functionality of each transmission. They often come with a 30-90 day warranty, but that doesn’t cover the installation cost, towing, or other charges that you’ll incur from a bad used Ford F-150 transmission.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford F-150 4R70W/4R75W/4R75E transmission
To get around the ‘gamble’ of buying a used transmission, you could choose to get a rebuilt Ford F-150 4R70W/4R75W/4R75E transmission. Typically, these are rebuilt with new parts, and come with a 1-2 year warranty. But the quality, functionality and longevity of a rebuilt Ford F-150 transmission largely depends on the skill of the mechanic rebuilding it. There may also be issues that arise during the break-in period, and that warranty may only honored by a small number of shops.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford F-150 4R70W/4R75W/4R75E transmission
If your truck works as hard as you do, then you’re going to need a permanent solution to your F-150 transmission problems. To achieve this, each Street Smart Transmission remanufactured 4R70W, 4R75W, and 4R75E transmission receives numerous upgrades that aren’t covered during the typical rebuild process. Each gearbox is then hot/cold dyno tested to ensure that it performs properly before it leaves the factory. You’re also given nationwide 3-Year/Unlimited Mile Warranty that is linked to your truck’s VIN number, which allows you to transfer the coverage to a new owner, should you decide to sell it. The warranty covers parts and labor at any licensed repair facility in the country. Giving you the freedom to go anywhere and still be protected from future transmission repair bills. To get a permanent solution to your transmission problems, give us a call at 1-866-812-7560. Or you can click here to check on the price and availability of a remanufactured Ford F-150 transmission.