Take Proper Care Of The E4OD Automatic Transmission In Your E-Series Ford Van

Posted by on Friday, November 29th, 2013

The E4OD is a four speed overdrive automatic transmission built by Ford Motor Company. It is heavily based on the stout C6 three-speed transmission. The E04D is Ford’s first attempt at building an electronic controlled automatic transmission. It was first put into production in 1989 and was eventually phased out of production at the end of the 1998 model year. It was used primarily in heavy Ford trucks, including the Ford Bronco, the Ford Expedition and the F-Series pickup trucks. It was also used extensively throughout the E-Series line of heavy duty full size Ford vans.

Many E-Series Ford vans came equipped with the E4OD automatic transmission

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Most full size Ford vans were purchased as pure work vehicles, whether they were converted to small school buses or used in a plumbing business. Companies rely on these vehicles to be in top running order at all times, or risk losing business. In order to keep your E4OD in your van running properly, and to ensure it has a long lifespan, you must take steps to properly care for it. Let’s look at a few of the things you can do to take care of your E4OD automatic transmission.

Stay ahead of scheduled maintenance. Regardless of what Ford recommends for a mileage interval, I recommend you have the transmission serviced every 25,000 miles. If you plan to carry a heavy payload or tow with your van, I would reduce the mileage interval to 20,000 miles.

This is the E4OD automatic transmission found in many E-Series Ford vans


Procedures included in transmission service will vary from shop to shop.  I recommend the following is done every time you have the transmission serviced:

  • Drain and replace the transmission fluid.
  • Replace the transmission filter.
  • Drain the torque converter.
  • Power-flush the cooler and cooler lines with a suitable cleaning solution.
  • Adjust the bands to compensate for wear.
  • Check the internal line pressure of the transmission.
  • Inspect all external seals.
  • Check the condition of the rubber transmission mounts.
  • Inspect the u-joints holding the transmission yoke to the driveshaft.
  • Clean all internal and external electrical connections.
  • Clean the transmission vent at the top of the transmission case.
  • Run a scan of the vehicles CPU and look for pending error codes.
  • A thorough test drive of the van after it is serviced.

In addition to the service mentioned above, I recommend that you add a couple of accessories to the transmission. First on your list should be an aftermarket transmission cooler to supplement the factory cooler. Second, I recommend that you replace the organic oil based transmission fluid with a synthetic fluid. Both items will help extend the life of your E4OD automatic transmission.

Installing an aftermarket transmission cooler on the 4EOD found in your E-Series Ford van will help extend its lifespan


Sooner or later, due to high mileage or abuse, you will be faced with a decision to replace the E4OD transmission in your Ford E-Series Van. I highly recommend doing so with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission comes with a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. In the rare event that you need to contact the company that re-manufactures transmissions, they are just a quick phone call or email away!

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