Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'95 Ford E-350, Motor Home Transmission Problems
I have a 95 Class C Motor Home built
on a Ford E350 chassis with 39,700 miles, The problem is that last August
my transmission failed and I had to have it replaced. I realize that it
is 8 years old and out of warranty. I towed a trailer with two motorcycles
in it for 2400 miles before the transmission failed. I towed it in Overdrive
as the Ford Manual and the motor home manufacturer suggests. I was asked
from 4 repair facilities including the Ford Dealer "Did you tow your
trailer in OD?" When I said "YES, because the manual says so",
they all said I should never pull a trailer in "OD" regardless
what the manual says, "IT is wrong" and that is why your transmission
failed. Ford denies this and says they won't help and it is OK to pull
a trailer in OD and the transmission shops are wrong. So who is right?
Ford or the repair shops? Whats your opinion and do you think that
Ford is liable for some sort of restitution? Maybe just for the cost of
the transmission. Any answer is appreciated, I can't get any answers from
Ford;they are sort of blowing me off.
I can see where you are going with this
and unless you have a great amount of time I doubt youll get anywhere
with it. Fact, heat is the biggest enemy of an automatic transmission.
The more a transmission shifts due to load the more heat it will make.
Motor homes just by their body design cause a transmission to work hard.
Having a transmission with a lock-up torque converter and overdrive causes
the transmission to shift a lot. My suggestion? Make sure your motor home
has the biggest transmission oil cooler that will fit. Have a transmission
oil temperature gauge installed and learn to use it and respect the information
it provides. I cannot not say that it is a fact that your transmission
failed because you drove it in overdrive. I will stand with the techs
from the other 4 shops and the Ford Dealer that told you that you should
not use overdrive when towing. You know what? The transmission oil temperature
gauge will prove us right.