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Old 12-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #85
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The Flex should be a fine tow vehicle. Anyone can buy a used vehicle and have problems. It's kind of a crap shoot. Just remember every kind of tow vehicle has its problems. Jim

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Old 12-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #86
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That is true. And they are so expensive, even used, that I guess I just have high expectations for something that costs that much money. Though my husband warns me I'm turning into one of those old people who constantly goes 'it costs HOW much?! I remember when...'


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Old 12-23-2014, 07:50 AM   #87
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Have you had a transmission shop check out your problem?

Ford service is good for general maintenance and ford specific problems but I would recommend you take it to a transmission shop, especially if it's out of warranty.
We have a great shop locally that I use and recommend to anyone having transmission problems. They only work on transmissions and know what the problems are. It's like going to the doctor, your family doctor is good for normal problems like a cold or getting a flu shot, but if you have a serious condition you go see a specialist.

I'm a hotrodder and an accountant so I can see both the benefits of improving vehicles and I can understand the cost. Hotrodding is about improving your vehicles, making it accelerate, stop, handle and look "better". I'm not suggesting you build a hotrod Flex (although it would be cool!) but factory built cars are constrained by cost/profit and mass production processes which leave lots weak links and areas for improvements. A perfect example is exhaust. Factory exhaust has to balance between efficiency, production/materials cost, and it has to be installed by a robot. Aftermarket performance exhaust will flow better, may be made of better materials and last longer, and will make your engine run better, but it costs more to build and install. The factory exhaust failed on my Tundra, so I replaced it with a complete Stainless steel exhaust system with a life time warranty. I'll replace the rest of the truck piece by piece before I ever pay for another muffler and the truck runs better and has more power!

Find out what the cost would be to have your transmission rebuilt and improved. A rebuild should totally eliminate any transmission problems for at least the next 100,000 miles. Evaluate this cost against the cost of replacing the vehicle. For my situation, spending money on a transmission makes economic sense against buying a new(er) vehicle but you have to look at your own economics.

Ask around for transmission shop recommendations, and assume it needs a full rebuild to ensure you know all the potential costs.

Good luck, hope it works out for you!
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:15 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by AldeanFan View Post
Have you had a transmission shop check out your problem?.....snip....

This post by AldeanFan makes the most sense of the many.

A person almost always loses their shirt on trading a car not long after buying it. Especially if it's financed and they are buying from a dealer each time. Between dealer markups, sales taxes, etc, etc, the costs add up, and if buying another used car you are now rolling the dice once again potentially buying another problem car.

Sometimes folks just want a new ( or different ) car. Certainly nothing wrong with that. Often this desire for a new car, for whatever reasons are rationalized by saying to themselves "it does not make sense to spend money to repair my existing car". But that is usually false.

It does make sense to keep the car and fix it, unless it is getting so old that it really is near "end of life". My recent experience and observation is that is pretty easy to get 12 to 15 years out of them, and have them still look and drive decent. The key is to use them as intended, maintain them well, and keep them garaged if possible when not in use.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:33 AM   #89
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Newer vehicles do last much longer than the older ones. I agree with getting a quote on a transmission first, providing the rest of the car works. A big advantage here would be that the rebuilt transmission would be more built for towing and most likely stronger.
I had a used '96 Tahoe and the trans went out shortly after I bought it. I had it rebuilt by a local rebuilder with a great reputation and put another 125,000 miles on the Tahoe! The rebuilder put upgraded parts and a "shift kit" to help make it much better. We also added a better Transmission Cooler while we were at it.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:47 AM   #90
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That is probably the best idea. I'll get some recommendations and find a good local transmission shop and see what they say.

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Old 12-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #91
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I'm curious where you found that because I believe the only differences between tow equipped and non tow equipped is a little engine oil cooler. The Flex already has a transmission cooler for all models, and the suspensions are supposed to be the same.
I seems for everything there is a plethora of information available. Here is one source:

Ford Flex Owners, Ford Flex Forum, Ford Flex Ecoboost

the other is:

Ford Flex Information - Articles and Specifications

Naturally each of us make our own decisions, argue points and share our opinions but that is what is beneficial about forums- a place to do just that where we consider our direction based upon others' weighted comments on the subject. I have learned so much from this forum and enjoy the threads and, comment on issues I have experienced. I do not agree with everything I read but I still learn from it.

I hope the best for you in your tow vehicle experience. The flex is a choice for some and not others. I will comment on one point that is universal. The manufacturers engineer their products and test them to particular limits. It is not my place to counter that or really, anyone else's. Tow limits are one such "limit". It may be possible to upstage a tow limit but then something else like cooling or brakes or something else indicates a problem. That is why consumers should follow the guidelines. Vehicles today are built lightweight for gas mileage and what once was common for family sedans to pull heavy objects is no more. One only need look at the manufacturer limits to verify this. My father's '71 Olds Delta 88 was set up with a tow package and towed up to 7000 lbs as a car! Those old cars were powerful and large.

Check out the Flex Forum. They have lots of good info.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #92
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Thanks, is where I did my research to conclude that the engine oil cooler is the only difference between tow package and not, along with documentation from Ford itself. I will look at the other Ford Flex site as well and see if I see any other differences. I don't ask just to challenge your opinion, but because I honestly want to know.

Either way, I do not feel that the Flex is stressed out to be towing the tiny Caravel in the least. We have been very happy with it's performance there. We just need to determine what it will take to trust it to do that job without possibly leaving us stranded somewhere someday.

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Old 12-23-2014, 01:49 PM   #93
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So Steph, I'm glad you are at least going to have a good tech look at your transmission.

Now, stop reading this thread until you do that!
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:14 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
Thank you. Unless I run into a pile of cash and can't think of anything else to with it, I am definitely planning on keeping the E4OD that I have, try to make it last as long as possible, and replace it with a bullet proof E4OD if/when the time comes. Seems like I have heard of a shop somewhere in or near NW Arkansas that puts together a very good E4OD. I need to do some research again to remind myself of where that shop is. Mountain Home, AR, maybe??

the E4OD is almost the same as the 4R100 in the ford f-250 super duty gas and diesel. the place you are thinking about is Brians Trans E4OD | 4R100 | 5R110 Ford Diesel Powerstroke Transmissions in lead hill, Arkansas

he is real popular on the ford powerstroke and other diesel forums
Brians Truck Shop 4R100 Price? - Page 3 - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

read the forums and see he and John Woods Automotive are the leaders in trans rebuild tech.

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