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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm almost finished building up my 97 F350 to be a solid mountain truck however I have a few questions that I can't seem to get a straight answer for. I've talked to a few mechanic friends however I'm wondering if someone on this board can help. I'm not a mechanic I'm just a diesel enthusiast.

Here's some context.. I have a 97 F350 crew cab long box that I've done a bit of work to including replacing the transmission with a BD performance version of the E40D. I've also just had a pneumatic BD exhaust brake installed, which has the brake loc electrical component and the DFIV. I have a hydra chip running 1023 tunes with 238/80 Full force injectors.. all the other supporting mods have been done.

Here's what's going on, the reason I say mountain truck is that we have a lot of steep windy roads here in South West British Columbia, upwards of 13% grade with tight switch backs.. often on lose gravel where very slow speeds are required to maintain control, some thing like 10-20 mph max..I'm loaded and towing a 7k trailer with it's own brakes.. so with the exhaust brake and transmission in drive coming down the mountain OD off, the exhaust brake engages for a few minutes before the releasing? I believe this is lockup disengaging? so I tap the throttle and it locks up again which causes the exhaust brake to do it's work.. no big deal.. at some point I move the column selector into 2 and the same behavior happens.. the brake waddles for a while, the tranny releases and I tap the throttle to re-engage.. ok so far as I'm able to not gain speed and I don't need to work the brakes that hard..

Here's where the real problem begins.. at some point I put the column selector into 1 and what I want to happen is I want the truck to hold back and rev to 3k RPM or more but for some reason which I do not understand, either the load or the speed sensor or both is causing the tranny to release and thus I lose any exhaust brake work.. now I'm riding the brakes hard to slow down for the nasty hair pins and ultimately the brakes get so hot they're useless and I'm scared the entire rig is going over the bank...

Does anyone know why the transmission is acting this way? when I put the column selector into 1st gear why would the transmission release? Is there some safety mechanism built into the E40D? Is there anything I can do to fix this?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Paging Mark K......, sorry can’t think of his user name, he is a former Ford tranny engineer.
Have you talked to BD?
I think you are going to end up putting in a manual torque converter lock up switch. I believe it does not lock up in 1st.
 

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There should be engine braking with or without the torque converter being locked. There is about 10% more braking force with the converter locked. Even if the converter releases it won't cause the trans to release.

When the trans is releasing it is the coast clutch releasing. I think you should talk to BD about why that is happening. It shouldn't happen.
 

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mnholt, welcome to PSN,

I have an appreciation for what you are going through sort of. On my 4th 96-97 7.3 (collectively over a million kms logged) have had all cab/box configurations save for standard cab. On all of them I’ve swapped over to ZF-5 trannies except one that came with it. I’ve had, larger T converters, shift kits, larger tranny coolers, even with fans. In all cases they’ve let me down, in Canada there are (I’d say) few if any E4OD providers that will stand the test of time for BC terrain say more than 2-4 years. I live in Kamloops, so have a good idea what type of roads you’re on.

My recommendation is try and get your concern sorted with BD hopefully that works out for you. Then get on the lookout for a ZF-5-S47 tranny as a back up. I can connect you with Kamloops vendor who is top drawer at rebuilding the ZFs too. I’ve never had a ZF fail with stock or performance engine parts either, they are a very robust tranny. Your best bet is to find a wreck and the swap is easy to do basically straight across.

Lastly I always have a spare new Ford Factory Cam Position Sensor in the glove box and a 10mm wrench. If the CPS fails on a hill and engine quits things can get exciting in short order. Typically CPS fails (engine quits) and will fire up once you cycle the ignition. As you can imagine pulling E4OD into neutral, cycling ignition, with no brakes, limited steering, while being pushed by your loaded trailer is an eye opener.... once down that road is enough. If engine ever quits for no reason (it usually gets progressively worse), CPS is going out, replace it.
Good luck let us know how you make out.

j
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the welcome and the reply guys!

I have talked to BD and the support tech there mentioned reducing the speed at which the brake lock module disengages lock up.. he warned about going setting the value too low as this may stall the truck.. so I took his advice as the module has dip switches to control which speed the disengaging happens. Basically the binary setting at which the brake loc was configured when I had it installed was 64, I reduced that to 32 and it really made no noticeable difference. The truck always releases at 30km/hr so there's some other setting in the ECU that's overriding it. Also as far as I've been told there's no lock up happening in 1st gear anyway so I think that value has more to do with coming down a long grade, kicking down into 3rd and coming to a stop from there with out using the shifter to go into 2 or 1.

I will make another call and discuss the coast clutch and see what they say, thanks Mark for that.. what I'm experiencing when going down a big hill empty is that the tranny holds back then sorta releases a bit, I step on the brake pedal to slow the truck down and I can feel the tranny re-engaging or grabbing as the RPM's rev up when it does.. I assume with my limited knowledge that these are the clutches engaging/disengaging.. on the big hill's with tight corners I can't get the speed down slow enough without riding the brakes really hard for 1st to re-engage as mentioned.. it seems like there's some electronics at play which is protecting the transmission from over heating/burning out etc.. not sure.

As for JCart's comment about the ZF5, I had a 95 prior to the 97 and it was a manual, I absolutely loved it.. but I couldn't find another truck at the time in good enough shape with the manual.. I really needed the crew cab for the family. I've considered the tranny swap and may just do that but being I only have about 30k on this new one I wanted to see if I could make it a little better for the time being. There was nothing like putting the truck into 2nd with the manual for slow speed crawling.

As for Garbage Mechanic's comment, as I understand BD does make a manual lock up 3 position switch which would keep the lock up from disengaging as it currently does so after a few minutes.. at the moment I tap the throttle again to re-engage it.. but as you mentioned I don't think this is going to solve the slow speed 1st gear hold back that I'm needing.

Thanks again everyone.. if something conclusive comes of this i'll post back.

Cheers
 

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What is the stall speed of your torque converter, the converter will drop out once the engine rpm falls below the stall speed. My 97 drives me crazy with this coming down logging roads with a load of fire wood on.
 

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Yup one of my trucks the coast clutches went out, so it’d wanna run away on hill or coast on compression on the Hi way.... latest one in Tan truck would hold but let loose after a period of time, so bump the fuel peddle to relock up the converter. Or if you ever just needed to slow for a cross ditch/water bar touch the brakes and boom unlock runaway, hard on the brakes to slow it down, rev it to relock. Soo glad to be rid of the E4OD keerap. Often thought would be cool to have a stand alone E4OD controller and I know some guys on here did it years ago with good results. Nice to not loose boost with an auto, however I don’t miss all the baggage that goes with them. Love my ZFs for the most part.
j
 
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