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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'95 Ford E-350, Motor Home Transmission Problems

Q: 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? What’s 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.

- Stanley H.

A: I can see where you are going with this and unless you have a great amount of time I doubt you’ll 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.

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