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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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F350 Transmission Problems

Hi Folks,
2001 F350 (50k miles). I was heading out last night pulling my 5th wheel, I switched off my overdrive (which I always do when pulling below 50mph) and about 10 miles in to the trip the transmission starts to cycle between gears. When I switch the overdrive on, everything seems fine (no cycling), switch it off and it starts cycling again. No engine light on or anything flashing, everything appears normal except this rapid cycling of gears when the overdrive is off.
Any ideas what might be causing it?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Mark
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No idea. If I were diagnosing it I would connect a high end scan tool and look at live data to see what the sensors are telling the PCM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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An 11 year old truck w/ only 50k miles? Wow!
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I know! It only gets used for towing my toys around and that's it, so it doesn't get a lot of "day to day" miles. I'm thinking if I have to get the tranny rebuilt I'm going to go with some towing upgrades, totally worth it on a truck with this many miles.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Although this may be no help to your particular situation, I'm just went over 100k and in the process of swapping out my 9-row tranny cooler for a 6.0L 31-row (highly recommended) due to an issue I had while towing a 5ver a little while back...

I was towing my 5ver from NC to PA, and on the highway about half-way there, a car behind me flashed his lights at me a couple times... I checked my mirrors, I checked my guages. No problems observed or felt. I pulled over at the next opportunity and took a walk around the truck and 5ver not seeing any issues. Once I arrived at the RV park and was shifting from reverse to drive to get the 5ver in it's spot, is when I noticed my issue... It would take up to 10 seconds for the tranny (or torque converter) to lock up... Once I had the RV in place, I checked the tranny fluid to find I was 4-5 quarts low! After doing a lot of reading, I found that there's a gasket somewhere that mis-shapes when too hot, and it pukes out tranny fluid. Once the gasket has returned to normal temps, it seals back up. Take note that at no time did my tranny temp guage move one little bit! As I understand it, the tranny temp sensor is located somewhere on the output side of the cooler. (A lot of good that does to show actual tranny temps.) As I said, I'll be installing the 31-row cooler here in the next couple of days. I hope my story helps in some small way...

P.S. Have your checked your tranny fluid level?
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi,

Fluid level is fine, nothing leaking.

Living in Arizona it might be a good idea for me to install the 6.0L cooler too when I get my tranny fixed, where did you get yours from?
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I got mine from CaryT (a member on here with a shop), but I also here that Tousley, a ford dealership and forum member, also has great prices. (Don't quote me, but I think 10% over his price.)

Where you at in AZ? Right now I'm home in NC, but will be going back to my 5ver for work at Fort Huachuca in a couple weeks.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The seal that gets hot and leaks is the torque converter hub seal. There is a better seal available in the aftermarket. The trans has to come out to fix it
The temperature sensor is not in the cooler return. That would be useless. It is on the solenoid body, deep inside the transmission.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This may be reaching, but... Being as your truck only has 50k, I'd assume it's safe to say you haven't had it in for service in quite a while... Maybe, just maybe, there's been a tech bulletin service programming update you haven't had done. (Might want to try the ford website to see what TB's are there for your truck.) I figure it couldn't hurt...
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Last edited by suthrn; 06-09-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kovalsky View Post
The seal that gets hot and leaks is the torque converter hub seal. There is a better seal available in the aftermarket. The trans has to come out to fix it
The temperature sensor is not in the cooler return. That would be useless. It is on the solenoid body, deep inside the transmission.
I'm by far no expert on the subject, but that's what I've read...
Given the sensor is deep inside the transmission, shouldn't I have seen some needle movement in my situation? And thanks for the seal info
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AIS, PowerSlot Cryo's, Hawk LTS pads, Harpoon Mod,
RiffRaff FRx, 6.0L 31-row cooler
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suthrn View Post
I got mine from CaryT (a member on here with a shop), but I also here that Tousley, a ford dealership and forum member, also has great prices. (Don't quote me, but I think 10% over his price.)

Where you at in AZ? Right now I'm home in NC, but will be going back to my 5ver for work at Fort Huachuca in a couple weeks.
I'll check those out, thanks.

I'm in North Phoenix/Cave Creek (Dynamite and Tatum).
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Given the sensor is deep inside the transmission, shouldn't I have seen some needle movement in my situation?
No, you won't.

The temperature gauge is calibrated to be in the middle of the range when the trans is warmer than 50F and cooler than 230F. The torque converter can get a lot hotter than that without heating the trans very much. That's when the seal gets hot and leaks.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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No, you won't.

The temperature gauge is calibrated to be in the middle of the range when the trans is warmer than 50F and cooler than 230F. The torque converter can get a lot hotter than that without heating the trans very much. That's when the seal gets hot and leaks.
Gotcha!
Man am I glad I found this website! There's a whole lot more larnin' going on!

Lotus-Eater, I'm going to back out now and letcha' concentrate on the replies from folks that know what they're talking about... (the tranny cooler is highly recommended for folks with the 7.3L that tow/haul heavy loads though... lots of threads in here on the subject.)
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AIS, PowerSlot Cryo's, Hawk LTS pads, Harpoon Mod,
RiffRaff FRx, 6.0L 31-row cooler

Last edited by suthrn; 06-10-2012 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ok, so it's confirmed, the tranny needs rebuilding, there are parts of "something" floating around in there.

So, the guy who has my truck says he'll charge me $1,300 in labor for the rebuild plus parts. Couple of questions;

- Is that a reasonable labor charge?

- What parts should I get put in there if I decide to go with this guy?

Thanks for your help folks!
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Unless you want to be rebuilding this trans every 50k, buy a much improved trans rebuild from a shop that specializes in towing transmissions. I run Brian's Truck Shop transmissions out of Lead Hill, AR. It will be your last transmission you buy for this truck. Considerably more than $1,300, but worth every penny.

John Wood out of California builds a similar unit and also has a quality reputation, but I'll stay with Brian as long as he is building transmissions.
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