F-series--transmission reliability

   #1  

flusher

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Jun 4, 2005
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7,538
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Sacramento
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Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.
I just talked to my neighbor next door.
He has a 2001 F250 extended cab with the 7.3L diesel.
Bought it new and now has about 70,000 miles on it.

Towing his travel trailer home from a jobsite in Willow Creek along Hwy 299 (between Eureka and Redding CA), the transmission crapped out. Total junk. $2800 for a rebuilt unit.

Question: is this a common problem with that vintage F250?
I ask because I'm looking for a 2000-04 F250 or F350 to tow a 10K GVWR GN trailer hauling my 4500lb (max) parade tractors (one at a time). And most of the stuff I've been eyeballing locally, on eBay and on craigslist has well over 100K miles.
 
   #2  

Duffster

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Mar 20, 2009
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4,316
Location
Wisconsin
My '02 PSD has 290k+ on the original tranny mostly towing heavy and plowing snow.
 
   #4  

carpenter383

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Dec 31, 2008
Messages
825
Location
Indiana
Tractor
Kioti DK40SE
An automatic tranny's worst enemy is heat.
Any automatic equipted truck that will be towing or doing heavy hauling needs a good auxillary trans cooler
 
   #7  

Duffster

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Mar 20, 2009
Messages
4,316
Location
Wisconsin
Duffster,

290,000? You've got me beat. My '99 with 7.3PSD/6 speed has 250,000. Sounds a little different when you say a quarter of a million miles!:D

Jay

I am shooting for half million. I just need a few more years. LOL
 
   #9  

Steve C

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Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
637
Location
North Central Michigan
Tractor
Farm Pro 2425
I just talked to my neighbor next door.
He has a 2001 F250 extended cab with the 7.3L diesel.
Bought it new and now has about 70,000 miles on it.

Towing his travel trailer home from a jobsite in Willow Creek along Hwy 299 (between Eureka and Redding CA), the transmission crapped out. Total junk. $2800 for a rebuilt unit.

Question: is this a common problem with that vintage F250?
I ask because I'm looking for a 2000-04 F250 or F350 to tow a 10K GVWR GN trailer hauling my 4500lb (max) parade tractors (one at a time). And most of the stuff I've been eyeballing locally, on eBay and on craigslist has well over 100K miles.

I think the answer is yes maybee...I only know 2 people who have had early 2000 Ford 7.3's. There are probably many who are happy with them, I just don't know them.

I have no bias against Fords. The guys that built my pole barn have Fords with the V-10's in them. They are ratty looking, but the one has 384k on it and has never been worked on. I think the V-10 is a little easier on the trans than the diesel is.

My neighbor had a 02 F-250 7.3 crew cab. He drove a lot of miles but the heaviest thing he pulled was a 10 foot enclosed trailer that his wife used for her ceramic crafts business. They go to craft shows all over the country and sell hand made plates and such. The trailer only has a single 3500# axel.
His first trans rebuild happened at around 70k miles. An internal valve body had failed. Ford covered it but they wouldn't install a new one, they just rebuilt the valve body and his truck was out of service for a while. At about 110k miles it failed again. He had to pay for it, a little more than $2000 for the repairs. Again they only rebuilt it because the cost of a new one was through the roof. It failed for the third and as far as he is concerned the last time out in Texas somewhere at around 140k and he insisted that they install a new one. The wouldn't unless he wanted to pay the entire cost, around $3000. The Ford dealer wouldn't give him anything for it on a trade. He has since switched brands and has been very happy with his new truck. It has 200k on it with no issues.

My best friend Les bought a 7.3 diesel Ford F350 the last year that motor was available and got the automatic transmission. 03? or 04? I don't keep up on those things. His previous truck was a Dodge diesel. with a Standard trans. He pulled a 31 foot 5th wheel that was loaded with weight in its rather large cargo areas, because he was full timing for his job. His transmission started making funny noises and shifting strange at around 70k miles. He does a lot of research on the internet and he told me that Ford and Dodge both had weak automatic transmissions and it was going to cost him around $3000 to get his fixed. The next time I saw him he was driving a Chevy with a Duramax and the 6 speed Allison transmission. Previously he was one of those guys that wouldn't be caught dead in a GM product. He then sold his 5th wheel and bought a 36 foot with 5 slideouts. He seems to be happy with it overall

My neighbor that had his trans rebuilt 3 times is one of those people who takes it in to the dealer right by the book and has it serviced.

My friend Les is one of those guys that does all his own maintenance and changes things like transmission fluid about twice as often as is recomended. He also installs extra coolers and filters wherever possible. One of the first things he did with his Chevy was to install a finer pre filter for the fuel because of something he had researched.
 
   #10  

Diamondpilot

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Jan 18, 2007
Messages
16,326
Location
Daleville, IN
Tractor
Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work
I had a 7.3 and never had a single problem with the auto tranny but I had a larger tranny cooler and changed the fluid every 25K or so. Like others said heat is the enemy. Now that being said the auto tranny behind the 7.3 was the weak point. The Torque Shift which came along in late 2003 with the 6.0 and in the gas engines in 2005 is twice the tranny. Probably the best auto tranny in diesel trucks, period. Yes, many rant and rave about the Allison in the GM trucks but they have know issues like leaks and going into limp mode. I had a 2005 Dmax and can honestly say I did not have any issues with my Allison but did with the rest of the truck so I sold it 9 months after buying it so it was not a real test.

Chris
 
 
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