The Ford F350 4-speed 4R100 and 5-speed 5R110W and 6-speed 6R140 were able to handle the monster torque of the 6.0L and 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel engine, while providing impressive fuel economy. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Ford F350 Super Duty transmission problems, and figure out what you can do about them.
Ford F350 Transmission Models
F350 Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate
These are the most current prices for a remanufactured replacement Ford F350 transmission.
Replacement F350 Transmission:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission||Autozone||Advance Auto Parts|
|4R100 / E4OD||1880||1800||1799|
What are the DTC codes related to Ford F-350 transmission problems?
P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This 5R110W transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the 5R110W intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.
Tow/Haul Light Flashing – A flashing Tow Haul light on the Ford F-350 Super Duty acts as sort of a warning light to let you know that something is wrong with your 5R110W transmission. It can be as simple as a failed temperature sensor, or the valve body could be cracked in half. But you won’t know unless there was a DTC stored in the computer.
Ford Transmission TSB’s / Recalls:
05-25-4: 2005-2006 Ford Super Duty 6.0L – Some models equipped with the 5R110W transmission may experience erratic shifting in Tow/Haul Mode, a late 5-6 shift in Tow/Haul Mode, a harsh 3-2 engine braking downshift, and potentially a harsh 5-2 downshift.
Solution: The powertrain control module (PCM) needs to be reprogrammed (WDS release B39.15 and higher or B40.2 and higher).
Common Problems with the F350 4R100 Transmission (1999-2004)
1) Faulty Shift Solenoids
Heat and vibration are the natural enemy of car parts, and they’re the main cause of premature solenoid failure on the Ford 4R100 transmission. These little plunger mechanisms route pressurized ATF through the valve body to actuate a shift. Over time, the heat and vibration can short out the wiring on a 4R100 solenoid, leading to delayed shifts, or no shift at all.
2) Failed Forward Clutch Drum
Controlling hydraulic pressure is the key to creating a durable transmission. Unfortunately, an OE design flaw in the accumulator pistons and snap ring can cause the 4R100 forward clutch drum to fail prematurely. Leading to no forward gears, or severe slipping in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gears. To solve this problem, each SST remanufactured 4R100 transmission gets upgraded (see: Stronger) 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons, a more robust spiral-lock snap ring, and a staked retainer for the intermediate clutch.
Common Problems with the F350 5R110W Transmission (2003-2010)
The Ford 5R110W TorqShift transmission is a five-speed automatic transmission that replaced the aging 4-speed 4R100 transmission. Although it was considered to be a 5-speed automatic, it actually had a 6th overdrive ratio that allowed for an alternate shift pattern in cold weather. At temperatures below 5°F, 5th gear would be skipped in order to increase engine RPM and bring the transmission up to operating temperature. The Ford 5R110W transmission also had full electronic controls, which allowed the computer to lockup the torque converter when the 5R110W Tow/Haul Mode or PTO was in use. Some of the highlights included an integrated trailer brake control system, and the optional Torqshift 5R110W transmission which was fitted with a groundbreaking Tow/Haul Mode that minimized upshifts to keep the engine in the power band, and automatically downshifted to provide engine braking when descending a hill. The Ford 5R110W transmission could also be outfitted with a PTO to power accessories like a snowplow or external hydraulics.
1) Reverse Planetary Assembly
A common 5R110W transmission problem has to do with the low/reverse planetary gear pinions. An OE design flaw allowed the gear set pinion shafts to back themselves out of the carrier, resulting in slipping, and harsh or delayed forward/reverse gear engagement.
2) Transmission Pump
The Ford F-350 5R110W transmission transfers engine power to the wheels through hydraulic pressure. This pressure is created by the transmission pump, which has a tendency to fail prematurely. If this happens, you’ll experience a pronounced delay in forward and reverse gear engagement, or the transmission could just “slam” into gear.
Can I drive with a transmission problem?
Okay, if your truck can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.
How often does a F350 transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a Ford F-350 transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the OE Ford F-350 5R110W transmission last for between 130,000-220,000 miles. A high quality replacement Ford 5R110W transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.
How are Ford F350 SD transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Ford F350 transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your Ford Super Duty to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.
How is a Ford F350 transmission replaced?
In order to replace your Ford F-350 transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new 5R110W transmission can be installed. Once it is in place, the ECU will have to be reprogrammed to accept the new gearbox.
Recommendations for F350 transmission issues?
How to Solve Ford F350 Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Ford F350 Transmission
The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used 4R100 transmission or used 5R110W transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford F350 Transmission
Another option would be a rebuilt 4R100 transmission or rebuilt 5R110W transmission. A local repair shop will remove your F350 transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford F350 Transmission
Many owners depend on their Ford F-350 to make a living and get things done. Their gasoline and PowerStroke diesel engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured 4R100 transmission or remanufactured 5R110W transmission.