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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Regarding my post on transmission change interval here, http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/f24/interval-transmission-oil-change-577322/
I decided I wouldn't do another flush but did want to get some new fluid in the system so changed the Magnefine filter and drained my Maghytec pan and attached a few photos of the 1) magnetic plug with debris, 2) the debris from the plug spread on a paper towel, 3) bottom of the plastic pan I drained the fluid in to, and 4) the five small bits of debris that were on the bottom of the pan.
.....I think all this is fairly normal but since I've never done it before thought I'd ask and see what people think.
A couple notes:
On (1) above, the debris initially looked impressive on the plug but when I spread it out on a paper towel as in (2) it wasn't impressive at all. --Just a small smear of greasy sludge in which I couldn't feel much of anything with my fingertips.
Photo (3) of the pan bottom shows the tiny little dots of "dirt" and photo (4) is the four larger bits that were in the bottom of the pan. --These four bits are non metallic, look black and can be broken easily. Any idea where this material comes from?
So does this look fairly normal?
I've got 28k miles on the Mobil 1/Magnefine/6.0 cooler and usually see transmission temps 100-125, occasionally I see 140-150 on a hill but that is rare. Figure the Mobil 1 has many more miles left in it and if I replace the 12.5 qts I drained from the pan with new Mobil 1 and install anew Magnefine, I should be good.
 

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If that was from my transmission, I would be concerned about the pieces shown with the penny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I didn't exactly like seeing those pieces ...but as it's running ok I guess I'll keep running it and wait to see when/if something happens or I get some kind of significant symptom.
Between the Magnefine and the filter in the pan I'm probably getting a good job of filtering. ....And if I do have some real issue with the tranny, flushing it isn't going to solve it.
And on the other hand, I have zero experience looking at drained transmission fluid so don't know if you're supposed to have no particles/pieces or a few?? If it weren't for draining it into a shallow, clear plastic, rectangular tub I wouldn't have even seen the pieces. And when I fiorst saw the 5 little pieces I thought they were metal but when pciking them up it was obvious it wasn't metal. They could be broken easily in my hand into multi pieces and seemed brittle.
With the prior use this truck saw with the previous owner (truck camper and trailer and stock cooler) for the first 59k miles and now my use with a 5000lb camper I always figured the transmission was on borrowed time given what I'd heard other say about the 4r100 and the not great OEM transmission cooler in the truck.
Anyway looking for others to chime in on what they see when they examine their tranny fluid remnants closely. Do you see bits of stuff? And again if I drained this into a 5 gallon bucket I'd have likely missed a lot of this stuff.
 

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Those are bits of clutch material. When new the clutch material is light brown. These bits have been very hot and are blackened. You have a damaged clutch in there. How long will it be until there is a problem? It's impossible to know. It could be a very long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. You mentioned, "...very hot and blackened" and that's what I first thought when I saw those pieces. They looked very burnt.
I know I'm asking you to speculate here a lot but do you think that may have been caused by the following:

On my last trip with the truck I experienced for the first time ever a obvious glitch with the transmission.
After a days drive through the mountains and parking in a grassy area to camp, I tried to back up and got a clunk and then it would not move backwards. I tried one more time to back up but I didn't move at all. I didn't push it anymore and left it where it was unsure if the transfer case didn't quite get into low range (always shift to 2 wheel low when backing up) and that produced the noise .... just didn't know what was going on. I figured the next morning I'd be calling a tow vehicle but it drove just fine including backing up and has driven fine since then.
So I don't understand why it was OK the next morning, including backing up. Initially thought it worked in the morning because it had cooled off overnight ....but it wasn't that hot on the previous day, maybe 130-140F.
Also, reverse has always seemed "weak" to me so have always shifted to 2 wheel low when backing up.
When you start getting reverse issues like I describe above but it works well in forward gears how far away is a total failure? And when reverse finally fails does it take out the forward gears or can you still get around in the forward direction? --I'm asking all this because about to leave on a trip.
Thanks.
 

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I doubt that caused any damage. Like I said I have no way to predict how long that clutch will last. I can't even guess as to which clutch those pieces are from.

If reverse does go out it usually doesn't affect the forward gears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input!
Think I'll just keep going forward with a glass half full approach and hope for the best until it dies or I get some bigger symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another "Is this normal?" photo

Well got carried away with replacing some transmission fluid and went ahead and did the flush as per our website instructions. Also dropped the pan just cause I got curious.
Here's a photo of the pan bottom with the dregs of oil in it and a little sludgy gunk on the bottom which I assume is clutch "dust". No bits I could feel here just the gunk you see.
Should a pan bottom come out cleaner than this after 30k miles?
Put it all back together with a new internal filter and of course replaced the Magnefine.
Thanks.
 

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You couldn't feel any of that stuff on the bottom of the pan?

You didn't say what kind of trip you have planned but if it it is an extended one with a loaded truck, I think you are setting yourself up to be stranded.
 

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Crud is Not good, and when my trans went, I had no warning whatsoever. I had just backed a short stock trailer into its parking spot and when I went to pull out from under it....no forward gears. I always back in 2 low and watch my temps closely. New trans at 160k and still going strong (knock on wood at 350k). Might be time to start shopping. There are several "bullet proof" transmission options out there as well as more factory rebuilders than you can count. Back when these trucks were newer, Brian's Truck Stop and Suncoast were the main options for a high end trans. I checked on BTS when mine went and there was a 30 day wait to get in. I'm sure there are others now as well, I just haven't looked in over 10 years.

I agree you're on borrowed time with that much crud in the pan.

Good luck,
Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
That stuff in the bottom of the pan is actually pretty thin and no, you couldn't feel it. You'd get some of it between your fingers and smear it together and it was gunky and slippery but not gritty and totally smooth. Like if you'd taken some fine powder and mixed it with oil.
As this is my first look in the pan after 30k miles of driving since I first got the truck and did the flush, is what's there abnormal or not? Don't know how many others drop the pan and take a look but I'm wondering what people usually see. The truck total mileage now is 89k miles.
And as for my next trip, it's always in heavily loaded truck :). The way too heavy Lance camper is always on the truck. Although whenever parked at home in the garage I put the camper jacks down to get the load off the truck.
And yes, I may be setting myself up to be stranded ....but I've probably been doing that for the last 30k miles as this transmission has always been just "OK" and had hints of weakness. The previous owner carried a camper and towed a trailer. Would like to go the BTS route and might if I was closer to Brian. Will probably end up going with the Ford HD transmission, though. Just got to get the $ together for it. --Although installing a Ford HD at home on my own terms would be less expensive and preferable to taking care of a failed tranny on the road. Ay, caramba!
 

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As this is my first look in the pan after 30k miles of driving since I first got the truck and did the flush, is what's there abnormal or not?
Sometimes you see more, sometimes less. That looks normal to maybe a bit much. But imminent failure? I doubt that.
 

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Steer clear of a ford hd Reman. Their is nothing HD about them.

If you would liike some info on them contact Corey at cncfab. He sells trans from several different vendors so I'm not trying to push one product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi blue99stroker,
What don't you like about the Ford HD transmisson?
I searched through the website on the Ford HD transmission and didn't see any big complaints but saw some positive reviews on it. --Don't want to go the Ford HD route if there are issues with it.

Steer clear of a ford hd Reman. Their is nothing HD about them.

If you would liike some info on them contact Corey at cncfab. He sells trans from several different vendors so I'm not trying to push one product.
 
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