Common Customer Problems With The Ford E4OD Transmission

Posted by on Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Ford E4OD is a four speed automatic transmission designed for rear wheel drive light and medium duty pickup trucks. The transmission is based heavily off the Ford C6 transmission which was a heavy duty three speed automatic. The E4OD is Ford’s first electronically controlled transmission. It was first introduced in the full size Bronco’s, and remained in product in the Ford E-series, F-series and Expedition through the 1998 model year. The E4OD was eventually replaced by the 4R100 transmission.

View inside the Ford E4OD Transmission


Here are a few problems your E4OD trans equipped customer may experience:

The transmission will only go into reverse, but nothing in the other gears. I would check the forward clutch assemble first. The clutches might be worn out. You may have also stripped the splines from your forward planetary. Either problem is going to require that the transmission be replaced.

E4OD clutch packs


No Reverse. MLPS (Manual Lever Position Sensor) is possibly the problem. This problem could also be caused by the TRS (Transmission Range Sensor). I would first remove both of them and clean them up with an electronic specific cleaner. If cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, I recommend you just replace them.

Vehicle wants to stall in reverse. IAC (Idle Air Control) sensor could be the culprit in this case. Remove the IAC and clean it. If that doesn’t fix the problem then replace it with a new one.

Fluid is leaking from the front of the transmission. The two things I would look at are the front seal and the hub on the torque converter. If the vehicle sits for long periods of time, it is possible that the seal can dry up and become brittle. When it becomes brittle it loses its elasticity and can no longer hold fluid back. If the transmission has a lot of miles on it, then the hub on the torque converter may have worn where is makes contact with the front seal. In this case the converter will need to be replaced. Both problems will require the removal of the transmission from the vehicle.

The transmission revs high in all the forward gears. The problem is most likely that the torque converter clutch is not engaging.  It could be caused by a fault solenoid, a stuck valve or a worn clutch inside the torque converter.

Transmission shifts hard into second and only after the rpms have gone very high. The problem here is the intermediate clutch pack is starting to fail. The only solution is to pull the transmission and replace the clutches.

The transmission has a hard 1-2 shift. The problem here could be the 1-2 accumulator stuck in its bore or broken. Remove the accumulator and check the bore for wear marks. Clean the bore with a fine grit emery cloth and make sure the rings on the accumulator are not damaged or stuck. Another cause could be a defective line modulator valve, but this would most likely cause a problem in all the other gears, too.

E4OD Accumulator


You need to work with your customer to solve their transmission problems. Teach your staff to give the same great service and you’ll build trust. Think of this as a form of executive coaching. You are the expert, and you are imparting your wisdom to your client. You don’t need to just fix the problem, you need to educate your customers so that they know the warning signs of a faulty transmission. This will save them money and make them a long term customer.

 A re-manufactured transmission will include major alterations and upgrades designed to make them both stronger and more durable. A re-manufactured transmission will also include a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. As a bonus, in the rare event that a re-manufactured transmission fails within the warranty period, they will cover your R&R cost to replace your customer’s transmission. And remember, the companies that re-manufacture transmissions are very easy contact. They are just a quick phone call or email away from helping you out.

13 Responses to “Common Customer Problems With The Ford E4OD Transmission”

  1. David Alexander says:

    i have a 1997 f250 super duty powerstroke 7.3 l 4wd e40d transmission sometine when start up go to drive and egine revs up but wont move go back to park or neutral and then go back to drive it works fine and sometimes same thing after going down rad and come to stop go take off engine revs up wont go let of of throttle and then get back on it and then it goes forward what should i look for have about 125,000 miles on trans

    • Jake Garrels says:

      I had this same problem with my 95 f450. The torque converter is unlocking. If one of your taillights are out or turn signals this can be causing this problem. The taillights n some tranny wires are ran on the same circuit. I didn’t have any taillights hooked up when I bought the truck and it would make the toque converter unlock all the time. Once I ran taillights n turnsignals it made this problem stop. Also Check the wires going to tranny and make sure they are not corroded. Your problem could be pretty simple. Hope this helps ya.

  2. […] the E4OD is a great transmission, it is not bullet proof. There are a number of great accessories on the market for this transmission that will make it both […]

  3. It burns up from excessive heat or is “squeezed out”
    (exceeds its load bearing capacity) due to excessive pressure.
    Prompt engine fluid checkups are highly possible with the use of an efficient oil analyzer, which enables mechanics to easily assess and determine whatever engine problems need fixing.
    Rapid wear of rings and cylinder walls, which can be caused by buildup in the grooves behind piston rings.

  4. Ricky300M says:

    I have said trans and won’t shift out of 2nd into 3rd
    Reverse “kinda” works. Depends how far I need to back up. Tightens up after a bit like the brake is being applied.

    Suddenly happened.

  5. Joe Conner says:

    I have a 1990 ford f-250 with a 7.3 and 4 wheel drive I was leaving a friend of mine house when I took off I heard a loud pop and have no movement from forward or backward I believe I have the E40D transmission and was wandering what may have happened any suggestions would be great thansk

  6. Josh Johnson says:

    I have 94 f-350 shakes and jerks while in reverse at low rpms smooths out when I give it more gas. Does fine in all forward gears

  7. tj says:

    I have a 02 ford 7.3 and the transmission will go forward but really slow and works fine in reverse. Also their is no sounds made by the truck plz help!

  8. chris says:

    i have a 90 f150 with the e40d trans and my problem is when i put it in (d) it act like it wants to start off in high gear i have to manually shift to secont to get it going i have replaced the tranny with a new rebuild one and still the same problem (help me please)

  9. I have a.E350 camper with an e40d that is loosing fluid without any leaks.I don’t see any fluid in the radiator,is there some way it could be getting into the exhaust? Thank you Walter Monroe

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