1993 E4OD torque converter

KenIDI93

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I'm in the process of purchasing a 1993 F-250 7.3 IDI non-turbo, 3:55 gears, extended cab, 112,400 miles on it. Seller's had it for 3 years, only put 1,000 miles on it since then. He bought it for the heavy camper that came with it and prefers his Duramax truck. Previous owner used it for hauling a heavy camper a few times a year. No, I don't know about any tranny temp concerns? Other than the tailgate, body is in very nice condition, as is the interior.

I mentioned this truck to a mechanic friend tonight and he basically said, "Once you get it and clean it up good, sell it." Why? He said the older E4OD torque converters are prone to going bad every 120-130k miles, something along those lines. Of course this has me a bit concerned, as not wanting to have to deal with torque converter problems/tranny problems in the near future.

Yes, I'm sure most of it amounts to how someone drives the truck; maintenance on the tranny n' torque converter and rest of vehicle. I'm all for and do maintenance on my '86 F250 6.9 (no turbo) 4x4, 4-speed with Gear Vender Overdrive and 1996 4x3 F-350 5-speed Powerstroke 7.3, with Tymar additions.

My friends comments about 'better be ready for torque converter and maybe tranny problems' has me a bit disconcerted/unsure now?
Some of my Ford diesel knowledge/abilities is kinda like me and karate: I can yell, but sometimes don't hit very good! In other words, an amateur with the major mechanical goings on. Minor items, not so bad - or at least like to think so!

Question: would the truck having an E4OD be cause enough for you to step away from not buying it? Of course as long as other matters are in good condition. I'm partial to the OBS and with the low miles (112,400) and 3:55 gears - I'll not be heavy towing or anything other than a medium size cargo trailer, twice a year. I'm thinking this could be a nice truck for regular highway driving and perhaps decent mpg. Any comments/opinions regarding the torque converter and/or E4OD tranny would be appreciated, thank you.
 
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Big Bart

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The E40D and it’s younger brothers never did fill the shoes of the very reliable C6. But they are relatively reliable.

The bigger challenge in my opinion is they are old and many tranny shops don’t know how to diagnose them. The rebuilding is not the challenge, it’s the electrical side that stumps many. There is a basic computer, inputs are things like Tach, Speedo, ring and pinion speed, tranny position, OD switch on or off, and such. They do have common issues like corroded tranny connections, shifting issues when the Tach or instrument cluster break. I have heard some discussions about the torque converter but more it is or is not locking up. Not it died. So others with this tranny will share their experience with it.

But they do not break every 120 miles, but yes likely every 120,000 miles you will have had a issue. If the price is right a E4OD would not scare me off. But knowing the tranny is problematic I would not pay top dollar for that set up unless recently rebuilt and currently working right.

Although it is getting harder and more expensive to find a ZF5 manual tranny and all the parts. You could swap out if you find the E40D is not treating you right. I had a F150 gasser with 120,000 miles on it when I bought it. It had a E40D, I put 30,000 miles on that truck, the tranny never failed or had issues.

Many good articles on this site about how to diagnose. A dozen members who are very knowledgeable on how to diagnose. So you will have some good resources if/when you do have an issue.
 

KenIDI93

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Big Bart: thank you for your input, it's all helpful. That should have been 120-130k (thousand) miles. I've been looking online about/for, after market torque converters, ATS shows a stout one. The cost for it is there, but if it's as stout as they claim, should last my lifetime+, I'm 75 years young.
I did purchase the truck. It seems ok torque converter wise, based on my limited knowledge. If/when it may go south on me, ATS would be the avenue or approach I'm thinking. Do it right and be done with it.
thank you all, appreciate your time.
 
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KenIDI93

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Seller n' I talked/discussed and we settled on a deal.
Of course we both think 'we' did the better of the deal!!

Now the games begin: going over n' scouting things out and attending to matters.
That's part of the enjoyment of our diesels . . . isn't it!!!! :)
 
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Danielle

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My idi bronco with the e4od lived its life before me hauling a race car trailer from NJ to FL. The first time I towed with it a short time after buying it, transmission overheated and puked fluid everywhere.

I was able to hold off any big repairs by installing a massive cooler, deeper pan, spin on filter, thicker cooler lines. I never got to installing the cooler with the fan.

This got me about 18 months of daily driving it city and highway before it overheated again and the pump just failed.

This is the first one I ever rebuilt myself and I got a kit with all the upgraded parts. After that I had to rescue my dad on a hill with his old massive boat and the temps did NOT like the load or the never ending hill but it did beautiful.

Right after that is when I found all the massive rot in the tub and my first kid was 12 weeks old so it got parked. I took the transmission out and sold it to a customer and rebuilt his for another customer.

The rebuilding is tedious but absolutely doable. There is so so so much literature, videos, books, and parts kits for this that to me it's worth it to go get a core from a junkyard and have one being rebuilt while you have fun with yours that works fine.

That way if it goes you're ready or if it never goes you can make a few bucks.
 

trackspeeder

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3.55 gears, towing heavy can be tough on the single disk stock converter.

But, if the fluid is not burnt. There is no chattering when the converter locks, or high fluid temps. Don't worry about it.

Best thing to do to keep the tranny alive. Clean fluid. Change it if its dark. Add an auxiliary cooler it it doesn't have one.

Most important,if the OD OFF light flashes get it scanned. This will save you many $$$$.
Don't just clear it and hope it goes away. That will never fix it.
 

Nero

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Can relate, recently bought a truck for the in laws, previous owner had trans rebuilt 2 years prior, had OD light flashing, ignored it, and it blew out the front pump seal due to going full rail pressure.
After overhaul, had to fix a few wiring issues, and now it's code free trouble free.
 

Doc Niver

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Having both e4od and a zf5 for hauling campers for living I would have the e4 hands down.
A cooler is a must and service it every 30k.
Converter problems put a triple disk in but had good luck with a single disk
300k with single disk 150 with a zf5
Do your own work trans work shops rip you off.
 

david85

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The biggest risk with stock E4OD converters is they can explode (internally) without much prior warning. Once that happens, there is a risk of shrapnel getting to the rest of the moving parts. A good quality aftermarket unit with welded or furnace brazed turbine/impeller blades will eliminate that risk, even in higher horsepower applications. If the transmission works fine but you're concerned about the converter, you can always put a HD replacement in.

No matter what you do, understand that most trucks, regardless of make will have their transmission fail and/or rebuilt at some point. A low mileage truck of this vintage is getting harder to find in good shape. I'd go for it either way.

And to Danielle's point, I recently picked up a 4R100 out of a superduty (seller swapped to a stick shift). Purely to have a spare for next time. Even came with an aluminum deep pan and an inline temp sensor. Not sure what goodies are in it, but I'll find out soon enough.
 

DuRolf

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I found a youtube channel called Transmission Bench, and the guy is, like one commenter wrote, the Bob Ross of transmission rebuilding. He makes you believe in yourself that you can do it. He has a thread on E4OD rebuilding.
 
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