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Old 08-11-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Transmission Problems

hi everyone, new to the forum so sorry if this is in the wrong place.

I have a 2001 23 foot class C sunseeker on a ford chasis, E450. It has about 54,000 miles.

I am having transmission problems and looking for feedback.

I just bought it this year. Last year, the prior owner had the transmission rebuilt. The repair shop slips says it was having trouble shifting beyond 2 gear and no reverse.

Since I bought it, I have gone on three trips and noticed that every once and a while it seemed to have trouble shifting in various gears, but it was mostly going up hills and I figured it was just struggling to get up the hill. By trouble shifting, I mean shifting later or at a higher rpm.

I checked the transfluid and it looked good, but did have a little debris in it.

This week, we took our first long trip. We drove 1,000 miles over 3 days. Then it sat for 2 days. Then on the way back after about 300 miles that day, the transmission went out again. Same problem as the prior owner. We had driven probaly 250 miles and stopped at a zoo for a couple of hours. Then I drove about 50 miles and I stopped to get gas and after that as I was merging onto the highway, noticed that it would not shift out of 2nd gear. Reverse was also gone.

It is now at a repair shop and they have not looked at it yet. Looking for feedback on possible causes and long term fixes. Is there a known problem with these transmissions, or is it something I did wrong? Was the first rebuild just not done correctly?

Should I have it rebuilt again if they offer to do that? Does it just need to be replaced? Is the transmission not equipped to handle to load it is carrying?

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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I had a 2003 Ford 450 M/H chassis. The transmission lasted me for 32,000 miles without issue. It was a bit anemic climbing long hills, it was a 31.5" C motorhome above. I sold it in 2011 and never needed tranny service. Thats really a truck trans, maybe you can get someone to give you a good idea of whats really needed. My first guess was bad fluid, when you said it contained some debris, now I'm certain of it. Hopefully not too much is plugged or damaged.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curlyqfarm
hi everyone, new to the forum so sorry if this is in the wrong place.

I have a 2001 23 foot class C sunseeker on a ford chasis, E450. It has about 54,000 miles.

I am having transmission problems and looking for feedback.

I just bought it this year. Last year, the prior owner had the transmission rebuilt. The repair shop slips says it was having trouble shifting beyond 2 gear and no reverse.

Since I bought it, I have gone on three trips and noticed that every once and a while it seemed to have trouble shifting in various gears, but it was mostly going up hills and I figured it was just struggling to get up the hill. By trouble shifting, I mean shifting later or at a higher rpm.

I checked the transfluid and it looked good, but did have a little debris in it.

This week, we took our first long trip. We drove 1,000 miles over 3 days. Then it sat for 2 days. Then on the way back after about 300 miles that day, the transmission went out again. Same problem as the prior owner. We had driven probaly 250 miles and stopped at a zoo for a couple of hours. Then I drove about 50 miles and I stopped to get gas and after that as I was merging onto the highway, noticed that it would not shift out of 2nd gear. Reverse was also gone.

It is now at a repair shop and they have not looked at it yet. Looking for feedback on possible causes and long term fixes. Is there a known problem with these transmissions, or is it something I did wrong? Was the first rebuild just not done correctly?

Should I have it rebuilt again if they offer to do that? Does it just need to be replaced? Is the transmission not equipped to handle to load it is carrying?

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks
First of all welcome to the forum.

A few things I would recommend.

Did they replace the torque converter at the time of first overhaul?

If the previous owner was planning on unloading the unit he may have opted to have the trans rebuilt on the cheap.

Is there cans of cooler flush on the ticket?

They may not have flushed the lines or cooler.

I personally would have the shop install a magnetic inline transmission filter.

Flush cooler lines.

Make sure a new converter is installed(a reputable shop will always install a new one) on the cheap shops "flush" them.

I would recommend installing a 16" Hayden thermostatic controlled electric fan.

Ron
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

The prior transmission work says "Rebuilt 4R100 Transmission assembly with updates and Torque converter. REmove and Replace transmission assembly. Fill with new fluid."

So, having read that a few times after getting your post, I am not sure if they replaced it or not. They don't list cooler flush, but also don't really itemize anything on the receipt so I am not sure if it was included or not.

Thanks for the advice. I'll talk to the shop about including all of that.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Heat is the major cause for transmission failures. Not sure what engine you have (gas/diesel) but checkout this site E-Series Vans - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com. While they deal mostly with diesel vans there are quite a few postings about the 4R100 trans rebuilds and cooling. I have replaced my 2001 E-350 stock auxiliary cooler with a larger V10 style cooler (about twice the size of the stock cooler) and an inline filter. I also have a transmission temperature gauge. Ford recommends that the aux cooler be replaced when transmission is replaced (should be done on rebuilds as well) as the aux coolers can not be flushed. The internal cooler mounted in the radiator is little more than a coil that the coolant passes over so flushing that out would be ok and that too is recommended by Ford.

Good luck, Gary
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #6
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why not place a call to b&m transmissions. yeah, its a new transmission, but at least compare prices on rebuilding the old one compared to replacing with a newer one. and since transmissions are what they do, im sure they have figured out the weak spots and addressed accordingly.

good luck to you.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Thanks. Yes, we definitely noticed some heat during the trip and that is part of what I want to try and fix, so thanks for the suggestions. I guess I assumed it would have a warning light that would come on if there was a problem, but you know what they say about making assumptions. I have a gas engine and I believe it is the 450 Triton V10. I would like to have a trans temp gauge and will talk to them about that. thanks
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