fordtrucks-small-digest Sunday, April 19 1998 Volume 02 : Number 111

Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Ranger, Explorer & Bronco 2
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In this issue:

Aerostar Tranny Life? ["M. Monninger" ]
Re: Aerostar Tranny Life? [Tom Test ]



Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 20:54:15
From: "M. Monninger"
Subject: Aerostar Tranny Life?

I have a 93 Aerostar with about 36000 mi on it. So far it has been very
reliable...only problem has been a stuck (closed) thermostat a year or so
We just bought a camp trailer that we intend to tow with the Aerostar. We
in Arizona where it gets HOT in the summer and to get anywhere cool we have
drive up into the mountains. With all of us in the van and towing the trailer
with enough provisions for a week, it will probably be within a few
hundred pounds of the gross weight rating. It's the extended van with the
Eddie Bauer package which includes the towing package (not sure what that
except for light hookups). Now my question...any thoughts on how the
transmission will stand up to this? Am I asking for problems? I'm thinking
about installing a transmission oil cooler and intend to not use overdrive
when towing. Anything else I can do to help the transmission?

Any comments will be appreciated...

FWIW...I had a 76 Econoline that I drove 140,000 mi, including a lot of
boats, cars, and camping trailers. It had the 351/C-6 powertrain and I never
had a problem with it. Not bad, considering I never changed the transmission
fluid. Unfortunately, I doubt that the Aerostar will match that.



Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 04:01:43 EDT
From: Tom Test
Subject: Re: Aerostar Tranny Life?

Your Ford dealer may have a towing guide for the
Aerostar, and there will be towing information in the
owner's manual. I am going by what is in my Ranger
book, the Ranger is mechanically similar.

At least you have the towing package, it is a good start,
and it is more than wiring. If did not already have the
highest capacity cooling system as part of a regional
equipment package, the towing package picked it up.
It probably also got you the biggest factory battery, and
it included a turn signal flasher designed to handle
additional lamps.

Check to see whether you have transmission cooling
lines to the radiator, as the towing package might have
also included this (it does on some models, but I don't
know about Aerostar).

You've already caught the overdrive rule. Another thing
to consider, if the transmission starts hunting between
2-3 on a hill, move the selector to 2 while it is in that
gear, and stay there until the crest of the hill. Banging
back and forth between gears under load is hard on
the clutches.

Over the long term, keep an eye on the color of the
transmission fluid. If your towing turns it brown, you
would be wise to do fluid changes on a shorter than
normal schedule. Extending this principle, if the
transmission starts getting sloppy (slips or bangs
on shifts especially) get it serviced before towing
again. The catastrophic failures of auto transmissions
tend to come from stressing them when they've
had enough wear to need maintenance. They can
usually take a lot of abuse when they are in good

Tom Test
92 Ranger


End of fordtrucks-small-digest V2 #111

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