Thanks to Mark Kovalsky who gave me some pointers on what to check. I measured the resistance of SSA and SSB (the shift solenoids, in range), I dropped the pan, looked for chunks or big pieces parts (none). Removed the accumulator valve body and closely inspected it, took it apart and cleaned it, drained the TC, blew out the coolers with air, after disconnecting them from the transmission. I took a 12V supply and powered up SSA and SSB, they went clunk, clunk and visually inspected them. I used the AutoEnginuity to check out the DTR, it showed up where the shift lever was pointing. I wired up two volt meters and used the AutoEnginuity to make sure that SSA and SSB were being turned on and off at the right times depending on what gear was being used. Actually I figured out how to use the AutoEnginuity after I had connected up the volt meters, but since they were connected where the wires go into the transmission, it proved the wiring harness was OK. Volt meters matched AutoEnginuity.... proper on off being sent to SSA and SSB depending on what gear was selected or asked for on my test drive.
Put it back together new ATF, back to square one.
First to second OK, second to third, like I put on the brakes.
I did purchase the ATSG 4R100 transmission manual at a local transmission parts warehouse, the guy selling me the book said he thought it might be just a snap ring, went in the back and pulled the part and showed it to me. Said the old one was like a C and the new one was a spiral. Then he got busy and never did tell me which one it was, he is local, I can go by or call him. He did say, that with only 91K on the transmission that he would just replace the snap ring, transmission would last forever......after pulling the pan he said that I can inspect the overdrive clutches and if they are not burnt, then just replace the snap ring.
I did read about a zillion postings here and one of the guys mentioned that when his mechanical diode went out, he could not shift into third, even though the TSB said if it went out, it would be a bad first to second shift.
I did reconfirm nearest Ford $tealership new HD trans $3606.07 + tax and 3yr 100,000 mi warranty installed. Thats $2868.10 for the trans and the rest labor and a extra $35 for misc. I mentioned that it would probably be a good idea to replace the rear main seal on the engine. The Service Writer then mentioned that even though I determined I need a new transmission, that they wanted to check also. That is reasonable, I don't work on Fords for a living and I could have missed something.
He did not mention, new cooler and external filter, is he throwing them in or do I have to pay $$$ extra.... Or is he not going to install them???
I understand this to be a quote on a NEW 4R100 HD transmission, I wonder if they have a rebuilt???
I don't have a chip, I did add a coolant filter and CCV mod. I don't think they would void my warranty because of that or would they?
So, yes if money and time were not object I would go with a BTS. I need to get the truck back on the road in a timely manner.
I do like the idea of a nation wide warranty, that narrows it down to Ford if I want that. I just wonder if the local $ealership is going to run up the bill (by run up, I mean way more than fair) when they check out my transmission and if they are going to forget the cooler and filter or if they are going to have me pay the big bucks for them.
I keep my ford vans 13 or 14 years, I don' run them hard, but I do keep about 500 to 1000 lbs of stuff on the truck most all of the time and sometimes really pack it full.
I've looked on EBay, they have rebuilt transmissions, one re-builder is about 120 miles away "transparts1" in Tampa, FL. Anybody done business with them?
I can pull my transmission, but not being proficient at transmission repair, I don't want to practice on mine.
If it is cost effective, I can order or go get a rebuilt and replace it.
If I go with a Ford transmission, they will warranty the transmission and I might as well have them install it and have the warranty on the installation also. Then again, this is my first transmission failure on anything and I've had ford vans since the 1960's, so possibly I am over concerned about a "on the road" failure.
I did read Smokey Wren's post:
summary of the post...
time to replace transmission.
1) gamble with local rebuilder
2) go with Ford
3)BTS really good or check out suncoast in FL or John Wood.
All I want to do is make sure I have done every possible test that can be done without pulling the transmission......
If anybody has any suggestions I'm listening,