Transmission overheating...your thoughts - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission overheating...your thoughts

So this is the second time out off-roading that my transmission has gotten extremely hot. So hot it boiled the fluid out of the inspection cover and drain tube. It got way hotter this last time though. We believe these 2 times it occurred was due to the transfer case being in 4 hi. 4 low wouldn't stay engaged but that seems to be fixed now. I also bought another transfer case yesterday morning because it was so cheap. So is it reasonable to think running in 4 hi and using more throttle because of that led to my overheating issues? Surprisingly the transmission actually seems fine again despite the burnt fluid but I need to test it in similar conditions. I have 1/2 inch braided stainless lines, an external filter, and a huge cooler with its own fan for the trans. When the transmission boiled fluid 2 days ago the cooler was only warm. I guess it's getting rid of the heat or is my extensive cooling system too much fluid volume for the transmission to handle? I didn't have this cooling setup last time it boiled however. Just some thoughts, I need to test it and see what happens.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:55 PM
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My first thought is that you are not getting adequate fluid movement. Are you sure the filter is letting fluid move past it?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 06:52 PM
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x2 on the fluid, Erick with those big tires and low gears when that thing is in 4wd it's going to produce a lot of heat. At least try re-routing from the filter and see what that does..with that big cooler and fan you shouldn't be having those problems.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I think the fluid should be moving but how can I really tell? I had this filter setup with the stock transmission lines and cooler before. And the filters and fluid were new shortly before this last trip. I can try bypassing parts of the system but the only 2 times it boiled was after hours of low speed crawling in 4 high so it will be hard to test. Didn't seem to happen the one time in 4 low so that's where my theory began.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:21 PM
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get a tranny temp gauge. im lucky enough that i have a OBD-II reader that displays tranny temps and i watch it like a hawk. i got it up to 240* this weekend so i let it idle for a few minutes till i cooled. at Hardrock it would get really hot since little airflow, think like 280*

did you have an AOD or C6? was it rebuilt at any point? there may be something internally wrong. maybe even stuck valves or clogged passages. if its stock doesn't have a shift kit, you may consider it. the Transgo reprogramming kits are pretty good and do some other mods to help with cooling and durability. almost every time i done a shiftkit in a vehicle, i have found at least 1 broken spring for a valve
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I've been meaning to add a temp gauge. Need to see where I can add one, I have the aod by the way. I've owned the bronco since 2006 on the same transmission. Previous owners provided me with all past service receipts and it was rebuilt somewhere around 5 years before I bought it. Never had issues with it ever slipping and ever since I added the external filter I swear it has shifted firmer. I was actually pricing out transmission work at a local good shop this morning just incase. If I have to I'll have them rebuild it and throw in my manual t case at the same time. I just don't want to spend that coin if not necessary yet. If all goes well I'm trying to do the 460 swap this next winter. I've already started watching the market on 90's 460 4wd fords.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:13 AM
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theres a line pressure test port you can add a gauge sensor to
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks I'll look into that. The unknown inside my transmission concerns me. I want to enjoy wheeling the rest of the year with no issues and I plan to save this drivetrain for another build. May wait a week or 2 to test it but I feel like I should tow it to that transmission shop and have them take a close look at everything.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:43 PM
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Just remember this rule of thumb: For each time ATF exceeds 170* F., it cuts the fluid life in half. A filter will not change that. I also think you have something going on in the cooler circuit that's restricting ATF flow, and possibly also not enough air flow when driving at low speed (engine fan clutch) or cooling system hangup (plugged rad, bad t-stat).
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:59 AM
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Very informative thread .

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 02:11 AM
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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I changed the fluid right after it boiled both times. Guess it doesn't matter if it keeps doing it though. The cooler definitely gets enough air flow but probably not enough fluid flow. Engine has an electric fan that keeps it very cool. It is set on a temp switch but also has manual overrides. There also is an individual fan for both the transmission cooler and power steering cooler. Those are just on a switch and I only use them when wheeling. Cooler never gets hot. With the recent snow I drove around in 4 low flooring it through snow banks. Wasn't as much of an opportunity to heat up as usual but it still got warm and lost a little fluid. As soon as this snow melts I'll pressure wash the mud off and get it ready to tow down to the transmission shop.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 06:21 PM
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are you draining the TC as well or just dropping the pan to change the fluid?

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:55 PM
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He has a good point--the TC does have a drain plug, and has a specific method to refill the full measure of fluid. But the fact is, there's a reason the fluid's burning and not heating up the fluid. Since it's going down to the trans shop, I won't idly speculate anymore. But I would like to know what the problem is, and I also recommend you have the shop check the cooling circuit from the trans cooler connections at the trans case.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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I drained and refilled the torque converter last time it boiled. Haven't done it this recent time yet because I originally was just going to bring it straight to the shop.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:22 PM
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Did you bypass the radiator for cooling the tranny as some tell you to do? Always advised against that. I run a tranny temp gauge and specific puller fan for my E4OD cooler upfront, but still run it through the radiator first.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post
Did you bypass the radiator for cooling the tranny as some tell you to do? Always advised against that. I run a tranny temp gauge and specific puller fan for my E4OD cooler upfront, but still run it through the radiator first.
My radiator has been bypassed for probably at least 3 years now. That should be insignificant cooling wise I think. With the cooler I have, big lines, and external filter I have way more fluid than before. The cooler I have now is at least 3 times the size of my stock one.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:18 PM
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How soon will you be hearing from the trans shop?

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Been busy with a couple other things but I'm hoping to get it down there Wednesday morning.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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So I just spoke with the transmission shop for probably the 5th time. Dropped it off last Wednesday morning. First they test drove it and said they didn't notice anything wrong which I told them. I explained all the issues so we agreed to drop it. They have an older guy that is apparently their expert on this transmission. Said the torque converter was trashed and sent metal throughout the transmission. When I talked to them now they said it's almost back together but their waiting on one part that should be in today. It's some type of roller bearing. Apparently from the metal it also ended up trashed. It should be ready by the weekend. The guys said my cooling system for the transmission is the most extensive one they've ever see and should have no problem keeping it cool. I'm just anxious to get it back. Need to do a bunch of work on it myself and I'm ready to really test out that warranty.
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