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E4OD swap?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Erickson, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Erickson

    Erickson Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I have an '89 F350 diesel with the E4OD. It has leaked fluid occasionally when pushed. With a Blizzard 810 I had it really pushing out some fluid (several Quarts on a 300 yd. driveway).
    I have no burnt smell, no blinking OD light.
    I am guessing I need a torque converter seal, maybe a new trans. I can and do refill it and limp home. - opinions here are welcome ---
    My other thought is of getting a newer E4OD from a local auto scrap yard. Will the new E4OD bolt on to the Older 7.3 Diesel? The newer trans should have upgrades that the '89 doesn't have. I would like to find a low mileage wreck. Good or bad idea?
    I am installing an external trans cooler and will drop the pan in the next few days to see how dirty that is. Never, in 10 years, have any upgrades been done.

  2. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    My 90 f250 with the E4od leaks fluid when pushing heavy snow.I took it to a tranny place and they said the tranny is fine its more of an overheat issue.I let it sit about 20 mins top the fluid back off and can plow again.I have been trying some methods like not using 4 wheel drive as much and might get a better tranny cooler and see if that helps.If you are having a similar problem i wouldnt go out and get a new tranny it may do the same thing.
  3. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    The two engines have the same bell housing bolt pattern. But the trans module will need to be changed too. And since your engine is not computer controlled, this might be a problem with the 94+ trans modules and wiring. What trans temps are you seeing?
  4. Erickson

    Erickson Junior Member
    Messages: 9


    I don't have a temp gage for my trans. I did drop the pan on it yesterday to see what it looked like. It looked like new. very little in the way of dirt, the pan easily wiped clean of a light, light gray haze. the magnet had less than a teaspoon of grime on it. the grime looked like dark gray, ultra fine lapping compound (I guess you could have even used it for that.) Pan gasket was in good shape, not brittle. NO smell of any burning, burnt fluid. I am hoping my forward seal (behind the torque converter) is all that is bad.
    Thanks for the input, any and all is appreciated,

    :nod: Chris
  5. Erickson

    Erickson Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Guys -

    I have replaced the seal between the torque converter and the trans. Also replaced the pan gasket, trans fluid, trans filter. Installed a trans cooler.
    Put it all back together. It works, but I haven't plowed any snow with it yet.
    I have also checked trans pressures according to the factory manual. They are within range.
    So far so good. Maybe the upgrades can wait until later.

    Thanks for all the input,

    Chris;) :D :D
  6. snowfarmer

    snowfarmer Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Put a transmission temp. gauge on it for your protection. My 99 psd gets hotter pushing snow then in the summer pulling a trailer with a skid loader on it. With the gauge I know when its getting hot and I can back off or put the tranfer case in low side or just take it for a ride down the street to cool it off.
  7. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    To answer some of your earlier questions. The 96-97 had the most factory upgrades, but like I said they were mated to ECM engines. There is a company that makes aftermarket trans modules for engine swapping. If you get a trans from a salvage yard you are taking quite a gamble on the history of the trans. Since we are talking about truck trannies that are 7-8 years old at best, I would not hold my breath on finding a low mileage wreck at the salvage yard. The description you gave of the pan and fluid condition seemed fine to me considering the age and likely miles. It does sound like a overheating problem with the fluid. I think 4X4 would work the trans less then 2X4 due to traction issues. What is the rated GVWR of the trans cooler you installed? Where does the fluid come out when it gets hot? I would put a trans temp gage at the top of your "to do" list. There are quite a few other upgrades that can be done during a rebuild that Ford never did and will strengthen it considerably. FYI, There are only about 3-4 companies in N. America that can build a truly bullet proof E4OD. I am not saying go out and rebuild it now, but plan on spending between $2500-3500 including a t/c for a top grade rebuild, and stay away from the big national chain trans shops. Synthetic fluid will tolerate high fluid temps much better then regular trans fluid.
  8. Erickson

    Erickson Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Ggg6 -

    The trans cooler is a "trucool" rated at 28,000 gvw. It is a large one, but one step down from their largest. My truck is rated at 11,000 gvw.
    A trans temp gage is probably next on my list. I guess that a standard oil temp gage will work for this application?
    I believe you are right about finding a good trans at a scrapyard. They are few and far between. Nobody has an E4OD. My preference is vehicles with Manual transmissions. I may watch for such a truck ('89-'92) and hopefully pick it up for a few hundred, so I can later change to a manual trans. I am one of those types that don't like to trust equipment I can't fix or don't completely understand.
    Synthetic fluid is a good idea, I'll keep it in mind when I know I'm not leaking it all over the road.
    The leak was from the TC cover, between the trans and the engine.