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#1: Hard downshifts when towing

Posted on 2006-07-19 23:33:49 by Joe Smith

Hello:

I've got a 2002 Explorer with the 4.6l V8, auto trans, and 4x4. I
use it to tow a 4000 lb boat through mountain highways.

Since new I've had trouble getting smooth downshifts when towing
up hills. If, anticipating an upcoming hill, I ease on the throttle
and downshift manually from 4th to 3rd the truck will get a massive
shudder as the transmission slams into 3rd. Nothing smooth about it.
If I let the transmission shift itself by flooring the throttle, the
shift is smoother, but not necessarily smooth.

Non-towing or towing on flats is not a problem. This is only when
towing uphill.

The vehicle has done this since new. It's starting to bug me more
though. It can't be good for the drivetrain.

Has anybody else seen this behavior? Any ideas for a fix? I
haven't taken it to the dealer, but I imagine they would tell me it's
"normal."

Larry

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#2: Re: Hard downshifts when towing

Posted on 2006-07-20 12:10:45 by akheel

Larry &lt;<a href="mailto:joe&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">joe&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; wrote in news:dh8tb25mrj6uf4d427hqfkmh929d9cddnj@
4ax.com:

&gt; Hello:
&gt;
&gt; I've got a 2002 Explorer with the 4.6l V8, auto trans, and 4x4. I
&gt; use it to tow a 4000 lb boat through mountain highways.
&gt;
&gt; Since new I've had trouble getting smooth downshifts when towing
&gt; up hills. If, anticipating an upcoming hill, I ease on the throttle
&gt; and downshift manually from 4th to 3rd the truck will get a massive
&gt; shudder as the transmission slams into 3rd. Nothing smooth about it.
&gt; If I let the transmission shift itself by flooring the throttle, the
&gt; shift is smoother, but not necessarily smooth.
&gt;
&gt; Non-towing or towing on flats is not a problem. This is only when
&gt; towing uphill.
&gt;
&gt; The vehicle has done this since new. It's starting to bug me more
&gt; though. It can't be good for the drivetrain.
&gt;
&gt; Has anybody else seen this behavior? Any ideas for a fix? I
&gt; haven't taken it to the dealer, but I imagine they would tell me it's
&gt; &quot;normal.&quot;
&gt;
&gt; Larry
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;

I have a simialr setup, same engine, same year, only its the Mountaineer
with the AWD. I was getting hard down-shifting in general, but never did
anything about it. Around 65,000 miles I decided to have the transfluid
changed just as a maintenance precaution since I do some towing as well.
I also changed the transfer case fluid. I had it done at a transmission
shop. When they do the change, the put in this friction stuff/fluid as
well. I don't remember what it's called exactly, but it's well known,
been talked about here many times and I believe, may have had it's spec
changed a few times by Ford since the car was built. In any event, after
the change and since, hard shifting is gone. So you might try having the
fluid changed. It's relatively easy and cheap and can't hurt.

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#3: Re: Hard downshifts when towing

Posted on 2006-07-21 00:34:32 by madmax

I had the 5L55 transmission in my Sport Trac rebuilt three times under
warranty... each time the service writer tried to duck the warranty by
inquiring as to the fluid change interval. Being as I traded in this
truck at 95,000 and the book spec's 60,000 per tranny change I was good.
Other received advice is to keep the fluid changes on the 5L55, 5L65,
and 6R closer to 30,000 miles.

KAM.

akheel wrote:
&gt; Larry &lt;<a href="mailto:joe&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">joe&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; wrote in news:dh8tb25mrj6uf4d427hqfkmh929d9cddnj@
&gt; 4ax.com:
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;&gt;Hello:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; I've got a 2002 Explorer with the 4.6l V8, auto trans, and 4x4. I
&gt;&gt;use it to tow a 4000 lb boat through mountain highways.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Since new I've had trouble getting smooth downshifts when towing
&gt;&gt;up hills. If, anticipating an upcoming hill, I ease on the throttle
&gt;&gt;and downshift manually from 4th to 3rd the truck will get a massive
&gt;&gt;shudder as the transmission slams into 3rd. Nothing smooth about it.
&gt;&gt;If I let the transmission shift itself by flooring the throttle, the
&gt;&gt;shift is smoother, but not necessarily smooth.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Non-towing or towing on flats is not a problem. This is only when
&gt;&gt;towing uphill.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; The vehicle has done this since new. It's starting to bug me more
&gt;&gt;though. It can't be good for the drivetrain.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Has anybody else seen this behavior? Any ideas for a fix? I
&gt;&gt;haven't taken it to the dealer, but I imagine they would tell me it's
&gt;&gt;&quot;normal.&quot;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Larry
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; I have a simialr setup, same engine, same year, only its the Mountaineer
&gt; with the AWD. I was getting hard down-shifting in general, but never did
&gt; anything about it. Around 65,000 miles I decided to have the transfluid
&gt; changed just as a maintenance precaution since I do some towing as well.
&gt; I also changed the transfer case fluid. I had it done at a transmission
&gt; shop. When they do the change, the put in this friction stuff/fluid as
&gt; well. I don't remember what it's called exactly, but it's well known,
&gt; been talked about here many times and I believe, may have had it's spec
&gt; changed a few times by Ford since the car was built. In any event, after
&gt; the change and since, hard shifting is gone. So you might try having the
&gt; fluid changed. It's relatively easy and cheap and can't hurt.

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