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4r100 issues. How far should i go?

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  #1  
Old 07-30-2017, 10:35 AM
brandonrr brandonrr is online now
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4r100 issues. How far should i go?

Edit: the truck is a 12/98 build L99. It has the bigger turbo housing and intake.

My new-to-me 1999 f250 has a few issues with the transmission.

Mod list:
Banks 4" exhaust with muffler
Recently swapped the stock airbox for a 6637 air filter.
PHP hydra that i just installed last month. The PCM had NOT been cleaned before and still had the silicon coating.
Edge insight cs monitor.

the truck has 123k miles and doesn't appear to have been neglected or abused.

Here are the issues:
the torque converter is very loud. It is louder than the engine. When it locks in 3rd or 4th, the converter noise goes away.
Just driving around empty, my trans temp will slowly rise all the way to 230f. If on the freeway, it will settle around 215-220 and rise once i hit the surface streets. It will very slowly drop about 1 degree per minute if i put it in park.
On stock tuning, the shifts are very lazy and slippy. It will flare the shift between 3rd and forth and the torque converter will gradually lock over about a 3 second span. It gets worse with heavier throttle, but acts up at light-moderate acceleration as well.
On the 40hp daily tune from PHP, the transmission behaves a lot better, but not perfect. It will shift odd on hard accel, but does just fine until about 1/2 throttle.
i know the previous owner towed with the truck and did not run a tuner or gauges. The transmission has been overheated. The fluid fairly dark, but not entirely black and definitely smelled burnt. The was a good bit of clutch material on the magnet in the pan and a few tiny metal slivers. I changed the filter and refilled with mercon 3.

At this point, i know the torque converter is bad and the tranny cooler is clogged. My dilemma is how far should i go. Should i just throw a new torque converter and 6.0 cooler in and keep my fingers crossed? Or should i just bite my wallet and go for a full rebuild?

If i go with the rebuild route, who makes a good mildly beefed up 4r100 that doesn't break the bank? I'm trying to stay around $4000 or less, everything said and done. My future plans involve 160/80 single shot injectors, t-500 or similar HPOP and a 38r or KC turbo. I occasionally tow a ~11,000lb 5th wheel.

I'm in southern Idaho (boise area) if anyone knows a good local shop for the 4r100.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:44 AM
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how long are you planning to keep the truck?they are over your budget but john woods and BTS are fan favorites for a reason,and the peace of mind and reliability are second to none,if you have plans to keep get a trans that has the best chance of lasting especially if you are going to start adding power,imo
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:15 PM
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jgilrfr offers great advice above.

Both of us have BTS4R100's. The transmission is about as bulletproof as you can get and Brian and his crew are all close friends and or family.

If the truck is a keeper, save your money on the T-500 or similar HPOP. That will put you within $500 of a BTS. 160/80's don't require a higher performance HPOP. 9.5/10 times low ICP is due to "inferior" tuning and not the HPOP itself. Put another way, tunes can be written, intentionally or not, that lengthen FIPW to the point that 2600-2800+ ICP cannot be maintained no matter what HPOP you put in the valley. Yes, there is a T-500 in my signature. I did not need it. My old "supposedly worn out and inferior" e99 15* HPOP is running around in a 7.3 right now as I type this. It has been in 4 other additional trucks at this point while aftermarket HPOP's were being rebuilt.

Back to the BTS. You can try the TC and 6.0L cooler only route for a bit while you save up for the complete rebuild. BTS can assist with this route as well. I chose BTS because I tow heavy combined with high drag coefficient loads and I only wanted to do this once. The BTS shifts like a 6-8 speed transmission when tuned properly under heavy loads. Brian can rebuild your transmission while you wait at his shop: 5-7 hrs wait, have one that is already rebuilt waiting for you when you arrive: 2-3hr wait, or ship you a rebuilt transmission. It is worth the drive just to see those guys in action...yes, even 1600 miles.

John Wood is closer to you but also several $$K more expensive than BTS last time I checked.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:28 PM
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I had my 4r100 rebuilt last August. Triple disc TQ, HD Tugger shift kit with 3 yr Unlimited mileage warranty for $3800. They offer a full lifetime warranty for $1k.
Did 6.0L cooler for about $250 that included dumping all the steel lines minus 18" for the hose to hook too. I also added a magnefine filter inline to the hot side of the transmission line and put a fluid thermostat in too.

Regarding the engine stuff, I'll let those with that knowledge answer.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:32 AM
brandonrr brandonrr is online now
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I would consider a BTS4r100 if i didn't live so far from his shop. I would have to take a week off work and that's a lot of fuel to burn to get there. I'm not sure I'd trust the transmission to hold together. It would sure suck to get stranded half way there and be at the mercy of the nearest transmission shop.

If i had the transmission shipped, plus had a local shop do the labor, it would end up around the $6000 mark.

I think it would make more sense to have a local shop rebuild it. The problem with that is finding a nearby shop knows the 4r100 well and knows the weak spots to address.

Does anybody know of a decent trans shop within 500 or so miles from southwestern idaho?

The injectors, turbo, etc are mods that will be done further down the road. I'm thinking a year from now at the earliest. I'd like to get my debts paid off before i go spending money on non-longevity upgrades.

Even though I've had a few different diesels over the last 4 years, i think this one is a keeper. My first 7.3 was a mechanical disaster with a rolled back or swapped odometer. My 6.0 was 2wd. My cummins was a high mile 6-speed manual dually that was not so great for driving around town or offroad. It also had a lot of expensive work, such as injectors and an eventual transmission overhaul on the horizon.
This truck is the first one that i didn't compromise on. It's an extended cab short bed that is easy to live with and besides the transmission, is a solid truck that i can see myself keeping 5+ years.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:22 AM
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Had anybody run the HD4r100 long term with added power and good results? I've read some threads here about it and it seems to have a nice upgrade list with a fair price and warranty.

There are 3 fairly large Ford dealers within 30 miles of me, so I would compare prices between the 3 and let them know I'd be going with the best qoute.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:47 AM
Walleye Hunter Walleye Hunter is online now
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Tugly would be one good reference on this. I'd hit the utag button to call him but I don't know where to find it.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:48 PM
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I had a 4R100HD installed in my truck 91,000 miles ago. I did had a DP tune on it for probably 40,000 or so. Currently was at stock power but it has been 91,000 miles of towing a camper, cargo trailer and snow plowing commercially. Bought mine 9 years ago and paid $3,000 installed. I think for a lower budget it is a pretty stout tranny as long as you keep it maintained. I changed my filter and fluid every fall before plow season.
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:15 PM
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Well, out of the 3 dealerships, the best quote i could get was 4800 installed. One dealership quoted over 6000.

At this point, if BTS was closer to me, it'd be a no-brainer.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:44 PM
Bonanza35 Bonanza35 is offline
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The HD4r100 should be a round 3500.oo . Plus labor to R&R. Don't know why Ford would charge that much for install. Can you do it yourself? Maybe find a cheaper shop for install and buy the trans yourself.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonanza35 View Post
The HD4r100 should be a round 3500.oo . Plus labor to R&R. Don't know why Ford would charge that much for install. Can you do it yourself? Maybe find a cheaper shop for install and buy the trans yourself.

only thing to think about bout there is it comes with a 3yr 100,000 miles warranty. Not sure if you have to have ford install or if another shop would work. Don't know all the details but something to look into.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:41 AM
brandonrr brandonrr is online now
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The lowest quote was $35xx for the transmission itself. There would be shipping and tax on top of that. All 3 dealerships wanted $960 for install. I'm pretty sure they'd have to be the ones to install it for the 3 year warranty. Otherwise, i could have it installed for 500-600 by my usual mechanic.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:30 PM
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I don't think so. You can buy other parts, install yourself, and they cover them. My neighbor installed his own engine years back and they cover that. There's no shipping if you pick it up at the dealer. You mitt be able to work with them on install, just tell them what you were quoted. Not all will work with you but some will. And make sure the part number are for the HD, I've read on here where someone ordered the HD but got the wrong one installed.
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Old 09-02-2017, 11:10 AM
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Well, after way too much internal debate and driving myself nearly crazy about this whole transmission issue, i have finally decided which route I'm taking. My biggest fear was having the new transmission fail and not be warrantied, due to tuner, shop weaseling their way out, via the fine print, etc.

After tons of research and a recommendation from that guy i bought the truck from, I've decided Ultimate Transmissions in Boise has won my business. The have very positive reviews online and specialize in diesel pickup transmissions. After talking with the head honcho for over an hour, i knew these guys are the real deal. They really know the 4r100, 5r110, 6r140, 47re, 48re and allison transmissions.

I went with their stage 1 towing transmission with an overkill, low stall torque converter. The converter is good to 650hp, the rest of the trans, 450hp. He showed me a list of the main highlights, including some CNCd parts, center support fix, etc. I'll find the list and add it here later.

I told the guy about future plans to go with 160/80 injectors and a bigger turbo and he said it's no problem for warranty, as that would still keep me under 450hp. The only thing the warranty wouldn't cover is the input shaft or intermediate shaft. He said if i went billet with those shafts, the trans would he good to 500hp+, but another $1000 is just too much for me currently.

They were nice enough to give me a 10% parts and labor discount, since they know the guy i bought it from. With the discount, it's still going to be just under $5,000 out the door. This includes putting in the 6.0 trans cooler.

I'm scheduled to drop the truck off on the 11th.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:21 PM
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Sounds like you found a decent shop to do the job. I know Brian and John are the go-to guys for these transmissions, but tit doesn't there are not other knowledgeable builders out there. Let us know how it goes!
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