I drive an 04 SCrew with ~115k miles. This summer I will be towing my boat 1200 miles through hills and mountains. The boat is 23 feet and weighs around 5500 lbs.
I will change the oil and brakes before the trip. Are there any other types of preventive maintenance I should do before the trip? I was thinking something like coolant/radiator flushing. Should I flush and replace tranny fluid as well? Any other problem areas?
If you haven't had any of this maintenance done, I would do it.
Transfer Case Oil Change
Cooling System Flush
Front and Rear Differential Oil Change
Spark Plug change would be a good idea too if it hasn't all ready been done.
Sounds like a lot, but if these would have been done when they should have been, you wouldn't be doing it all at once. But if you have a few months before the trips, you can space out these services a little bit if that would help you. Have fun on your trip!
The most valuable tool that I have in both of my trucks for towing is a trans temp gauge. You can do all the preparations in the world but if you dont know what the trans is doing while your towing its all a guess.
flushing a tranny that late in the game is risky as you might clean out all the grime that's actually holding it together!
Baloney! Old wives' tale. The tranny engineers at Ford don't agree with you. Properly draining and flushing an automagic tranny will never cause a problem that wasn't about to happen anyway.
However, properly draining and flushing means using only MERCON V ATF. Never flush with anything except nice clean ATF. Those harsh flushing chemicals are the cause of most tranny problems that come up soon after a flush and thereby contribute to the old wives' tale.
The details of how to flush the tranny in the F-150 will differ by how much ATF is required and the location of the tranny cooler return line, but otherwise they would be very similar to the procedures to change the ATF in the heavier-duty 4R100 tranny. I've used these procedures to change the ATF in an older F-150 that had a 4R70W tranny with no problems. But the 6-speed tranny in the 2011-up maybe be slightly different.
The following link is a how-to on this website, but it applies to a 4R70w tranny too. The video shows a Magnefine in-line tranny filter in the rubber part of the return line near the front axle, but your truck may not have that filter. http://www.f150forum.com/f4/2005-f15...r-video-93131/
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew EcoBoost, 6.5' bed, Platinum White/tan, Leer 100XQ camper shell, Nomad Joey 196S TT, CarMate 7x14' enclosed cargo trailer, three other utility trailers, plus a retired 2000 Keystone Sprinter 25RKS 5er we rarely tow now. ProPride hitch on the TT. Reese Strait-Line hitch on the cargo trailer.
Last edited by smokeywren; 08-25-2012 at 10:17 AM.