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Old 05-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #15
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You should also frequent www.bobistheoilguy.com as this is the premier oil site for all types of oil questions.

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:53 PM   #16
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I just wanted to add that I am a firm believer in regular transmission fluid changes, and that this is the cheapest, best maintenance for your tranny. Simply put, if I was to think of adding an additive, it is better to just replace the fluid.

The only problem with the F150 is that the torque converter doesn't have a drain, so replacing ALL the fluid is a little more complicated.

I have tried to replace it at the transmission cooler to do a full flush, but have not worked out how to disconnect it. I have identified which is the IN and OUT line to the cooler though (the IN line warms first, and the OUT line is cooler when there is airflow through the cooler).

I will look at the additional filtration option mentioned several posts above.

I just want you all to know that I deeply appreciate all your advice/comments.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #17
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Dave, I installed a $10 oil drain plug in my Ford's auto transmission pan. This allows an easy oil drain of about 7 quarts of oil, or about 50% of the total capacity. I change the transmission oil about every 30,000 miles or less, and occasionally change the filter.

I would recommend that you install such a drain, and change the oil again. Fresh oil is a known antidote to converter shutter in Ford transmissions, although, of course, nothing can be guaranteed.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:41 PM   #18
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I had a 96 Ford, it required a special tool to disconnect the trans cooler lines at the radiator. It was less than 10 bucks at the parts store. It was 2 silver bars rivetted together in the middle with split cylinders on the ends. You wiggle it into the groove around the trans lines at the radiator and the line just slips out. Be carefully not to lose the o-ring on the end of the line.
The little tool was in the Help section.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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I have now driven 400 miles, and I can report that yes, the torque converter is locking up better than it used to and that the behavior is about 40-50% better than it was.

I will repeat with another fluid change after the 500 miles, and see where that leaves me.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #20
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I'd try some Auto-RX. Have used it in numerous family vehicles in all systems. It does what it says it will do.

Use according to directions and have fluid changed via machine. It generally takes several quarts more than ATF capacity to finish the job.

A shop using a Clore Automotive T-Tech machine is also recommended as the machine "uses" the vehicle pump, NOT adding any pressure to the system. (I bring my own fluid).

T-Tech

I've oil analysis reports on one vehicle -- bought new and only serviced by me -- where synthetic was used after break-in and ARX showed improved wear numbers when used after 60k.

Fluid changes on this truck was the first thing I did after purchase, and ARX was used in all systems prior to change-out (again, according to directions).

I would also recommend the use of SCHAEFFER'S #204 ATF(if compatible).

(And glad to see you posting again).

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Old 05-25-2011, 03:49 PM   #21
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That Schaeffer fluid does look like good stuff, but at $13.66/qt it's very pricey. As always, you get what you pay for.

Yes, it's good to be back posting
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:34 PM   #22
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FYI-I use the Fumoto oil drain valve on all of my vehicles. That way you never worry about the plug being tight or if it is loose. I also use Blackstone Labs for all of my oil analysis and have for years. Thanks to them I saved my 2002 Ford 7.3 from disaster as a result of using Amsoil synthetic on extended oil changes. I switched to Delo 400 15-40 on my diesel and it made it another 80k before selling it. Here's the Fumoto link-

FUMOTO ENGINEERING

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Old 05-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #23
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Well, that was interesting...

Over the first 400 miles, over time, the lock up issues gradually were improving. Then I had to take a drive into Hill Country.

What a disaster. First, it was our first >100°F day of the year, and second, the hills do make the converter work harder.

It started to really act up, and the check engine light came on, flashing. I promptly pulled over and let things cool off. Rinse and repeat - was fine, then would warm up and start misbehaving.

In the evening, when it cooled off and I was heading home on flatter roads, the truck was behaving itself properly again.

A quick visit to an OBDII connector reports a misfire code and a catalytic converter performance below threshold" code.

I'm at a bit of a loss of how to proceed.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:03 AM   #24
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If you said what year F-150 you have, I must have missed it, but the Auto-RX suggestion is also one that I would use in your shoes. Sounds like to me that you are on the verge of a tranny detonate. Before it does crater, if you plan on keeping the truck, I would definately get the tranny rebuilt and the torque converter replaced. The tranny should be rebuilt with more HD parts and a Transgo Tugger shift kit installed. Also if you do this before the tranny actually craters, it will save you having to worry about crud in the lines after you spend the money for a rebuild. Maybe it's time for a different TV.

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Old 05-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #25
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Replacing the truck isn't an option due to finances.

I can rebuild it but the transmission itself shifts extremely smoothly, and is very very clean/crisp. The problem is definitely before the transmission itself. The fluid is clean and the magnet and filter have no debris.

After talking with others, here's what I'm doing right now:

First, I'm eliminating misfires by replacing the plugs/COPs, and then I'll replace the torque converter and/or the TCC solenoid, after benching and testing them. Even if the TC isn't at fault, it's probably near end of life now anyway, after the bad behavior of the past few weeks. I'll also upgrade the cooler to something with a much bigger cooling area and fans.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:46 PM   #26
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The ARX is cheap (in comparison) and worth the small trouble. Plenty of satisfied users beyond me.

I used MAGNEFINE filters on the ATF and PSF systems where I have added coolers & filters. Once installed there is no longer a reason to drop the ATF pan and change the screen. These were once (and may still be ) required by both FORD and TOYOTA when factory re-man transmissions are installed.

As to coolers I always spec'd B&M ATF Coolers as these were the same type (and probably manufacturer: LONG Manf.) as used by UPS on their trucks.

Installation of both is downstream of the in-rad cooler with the filter last. I used NAPA hydraulic hose and cut all as a "harness" for easy install and removal. (Also, constant torque clamps).

I mount the PSF cooler (DERALE) inside the grille behind a crosspiece. May not need it in winter, but horsing a trailer back and forth can cook the fluid even at 32F.

The ATF cooler I mount with metal strap (never to AC condenser) in the flow path of the mechanical radiator fan.

This is consistent with MOPAR practice over nearly 40-years.

I believe you're on the right track about the solenoids and such.

SCHAEFFER's OIL products are about as good as you can find. I would prefer them over Mobil and some others once any work/flushes are complete. Online pricing -- other retailers -- can be lower than factory price. PM me and I'll link you to others I've bought from.

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Old 05-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #27
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I would not recommend Magnfine filters. I had a problem with one on my 2002 F-350 where the bypass shifted 1/2 open/closed. My tranny expert says he will not use Magnafine filters any more as he has had too many fail on him. I would recommend an after market spin-on tranny filter setup by Summit Racing. $40 including fittings, hoses, base and filter. Can't beat it. If you change out the TC then you need to rebuild the tranny and visa-versa. Asking for trouble if you don't. Good luck with it-

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Old 06-08-2011, 12:47 PM   #28
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Hard day yesterday. I replaced the torque converter. It is bad - wouldn't turn smoothly in my hand. I also have replaced all 8 plugs and coils (no broken plugs, yay!) and the sum total is the truck now behaves properly, and I'm suddenly getting better MPGs too.

So all new fluid, new TC, plugs and coils, and everything is better now.

I am relieved!
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