- Learn about common Ford F-250 & F-350 transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Ford F-250 & F-350 transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Ford F-250 & F-350 transmission
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Ford F-250 / F-350 Transmission Problems & Solutions
For decades, 3/4 ton and 1-ton trucks were just ruggedized versions of the 1/2 ton models. There was no consideration given to comfort or style, because these trucks were simply designed to do a job. That all changed when Ford introduced the Super Duty line in 1999, and it’s been sitting on top of the sales heap ever since. Part of that success has to do with the drivetrains, which are unbelievably capable. The 4-speed 4R100 and 5-speed 5R110W were able to handle the monster torque of the Power Stroke Diesel engine, while providing complete civility and impressive fuel economy. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Ford Super Duty transmission problems, and figure out what you can do about them.
Common Problems with the Ford F-250 / F-350 4R100 Transmission
Faulty Shift Solenoids
Heat and vibration are the natural enemy of car parts, and they’re the main cause of premature solenoid failure on the Ford 4R100 transmission. These little plunger mechanisms route pressurized ATF through the valve body to actuate a shift. Over time, the heat and vibration can short out the wiring on a 4R100 solenoid, leading to delayed shifts, or no shift at all. To eliminate this problem, every remanufactured 4R100 transmission from Street Smart Transmission receives upgraded EPC solenoids and solenoid clips. These are much more resistant to heat and vibrations, which can significantly extend the service life of your Ford F-250 transmission or Ford F-350 transmission.
Failed Forward Clutch Drum
Controlling hydraulic pressure is the key to creating a durable transmission. Unfortunately, an OE design flaw in the accumulator pistons and snap ring can cause the 4R100 forward clutch drum to fail prematurely. Leading to no forward gears, or severe slipping in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gears. To solve this problem, each SST remanufactured 4R100 transmission gets upgraded (see: Stronger) 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons, a more robust spiral-lock snap ring, and a staked retainer for the intermediate clutch.
Common Problems with the Ford F-250 / F-350 5R110W Transmission
Reverse Planetary Assembly
A common 5R110W transmission problem has to do with the low/reverse planetary gear pinions. An OE design flaw allowed the gear set pinion shafts to back themselves out of the carrier, resulting in slipping, and harsh or delayed forward/reverse gear engagement. To address this problem, every SST remanufactured 5R110W transmission features TIG welded pinion pins, which prevents the problem from occurring in the first place.
The Ford F-250 / F-350 5R110W transmission transfers engine power to the wheels through hydraulic pressure. This pressure is created by the transmission pump, which has a tendency to fail prematurely. If this happens, you’ll experience a pronounced delay in forward and reverse gear engagement, or the transmission could just “slam” into gear. To fix the problem, as well as extend the service life of the pump, every remanufactured 5R110W transmission from SST gets a number of upgrades, including a fully remanufactured transmission pump with custom-spec line bore bushings, a heavy duty pump recalibration kit, and a shift kit to reduce slipping.
How to Solve Ford F-250 or F-350 Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
The quickest way to fix your Ford SuperDuty transmission problems is to simply buy a used 4R100 transmission or used 5R110W transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
Another option would be a rebuilt 4R100 transmission or rebuilt 5R110W transmission. A local repair shop will remove your SuperDuty transmission, then install a bunch of new parts. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each mechanic will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford 4R100 / 5R110W Transmission
Many owners depend on their Ford F-250 and Ford F-350 to make a living and get things done. Their gasoline and PowerStroke diesel engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured 4R100 transmission or remanufactured 5R110W transmission. Street Smart Transmission understands how important your time and money are, which is why every Ford Super-Duty transmission that we build exceeds OE specifications. From the torque converter to the bushings, every component is scrutinized, upgrades and updates are installed, then the entire thing is hot & cold tested on a dyno machine to make sure that it functions properly before it leaves the factory. This ensures that you get a transmission that is stronger than the one that left the Ford factory, and it even comes with a nationwide 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty (18-months/100,000 miles for commercial and heavy duty applications). It covers both parts and labor, and the coverage can be transferred if you sell the truck. So if you’re ready to get back on the road, then 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 Super Duty transmission