My E4OD shifting ~HARD~

turfquip Veteran
O.K. I have a 1996 F-250 with the E4OD like the thread title says. All of a sudden it has started shifting real WHAM between first and second then WHAM again between second and third.

I need to get it into a shop tomorrow but am concerned about getting reamed ;-)

I did a search and discovered that many of you have experienced similar problems.

Now that a little more time has passed since the last Ford tranny discussion I was wondering if someone could give me an idea of what modules, sensors, etc., could be causing this to happen. I'm thinking sensor as opposed to hardware because when I take off fast from a stop, the problem is much less noticeable...

Could a sensor be sending faulty information to the tranny, making it act like the truck is under a load..therefore compensating with a forceful shift?

Two more things I've noticed is 1) a 'whining' noise when the tranny is in gear. Possible torque converter? and 2) when in reverse it starts off fine then something seems to 'catch'. Not with a violent thud as in just feels like soething takes an extra second to 'catch' if that makes sense.


turfquip Veteran
Update - WOW

Well, after sniffing around some other Ford related sites I found out that the 'computer' can be reset by disconnecting the truck's battery for 20 to 30 minutes. I did it and gee whiz...the thing shifts silky smooth. It's back to normal :)

I suspected a software problem all along but wasn't sure. Now I know. I wonder how many E4OD's have been 'rebuilt' by dubious tranny shop operators unnecessarily?

Boy those electronic trannies are tricky little rascals. I know how and when this started. Saturday I hooked up to my landscape trailer and had a heavy mower on it. After I returned I happenned to notice one of the front tires on the trailer was flat.

The truck dragged around the heavy tandem trailer with a flat. The computer became confused, adjusting the shifting force to compensate for a load and never recovered.

PlowKing - Its a 5.8 gasser.

plowjockey Sponsor
Dayton, Ohio USA
I'm impressed!!! Look at how much time, money, and trouble you saved by just doing some research.
And they tried to say the computers would never ammount to anything more than a glorified calculator.

Go figure (pun intended)


John DiMartino Veteran
I would service the tranny,this will do 2 things for you,the new fluid,will smooth the shifts slightly,and it sounds like your screen is plugged up,when the front pump whines,it is usually starving for fluid,from a plugged filter,or low/aerated fluid.The torque convertors on Fords give off a lot of dust from the lockup convertor,Fords are very sensitive to this dust,and it makes them act wacky,and shift funny,and this dust plugs the tranny filter.So get it serviced,even if tis shifting fine.


Junior Member
loganville ga
When you service the trans look at the magnet that should be in the pan. If it has slimy grey stuff on it or it look like a LITTLE porcupine thats normal. If it has metal chips and other debris than its hammered.
Don`t drive it untill it quits pulling. If there is something wrong inside the trans the longer you drive it the more chance of the reusable hard parts will need replacing. Thats when the price of a rebuild really gets expensive.
If you have to go to a trans shop, get a good reference. It is real easy for a less than honest ya-hoo to replace everything in sight during a rebuild. Anyway you look at it this trans is not cheap to rebuild compared to other rear wheel drive trannies.
I have seen many invoices for 1500 to 2000 dollars.

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
When the computer detects the tranny is slipping (usually 300rpm above normal parameters) it automatically applies full line pressure so as to clamp the clutches and bands as tight as they will go. Thats the hard shifting. Disconnecting the battery resets the computer. I would have fluid changed, adjust bands if you can (not sure if the e trnnys let you do this). If it keeps happening you probably have worn clutches and/or bands. Then look for failure within the next 10-20k or so :(

turfquip Veteran
Thanks guys for the input. I did have the transmission fluid changed ( I thought) but learned shortly there after that theres 15 or so quarts of fluid in this thing. What I got was a 'pan drop' and new filter. Maybe 5 - 6 quarts at best. I'm gonna take it somewhere else and get a complete system flush...

Anybody know what I could expect to pay for a system flush and refill ?


Senior Member
northeastern WI.
don't forget to drain the torque converter also. take the inspection cover off and rotate the converter till ya find a little square plug...this is the drain for the converter...then make shur you drain the tranny cooler and the lines also, you do not want any old fluid left.

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