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Long Distance Towing

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Old 03-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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Default Long Distance Towing

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?
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Good maintenance and as far as a flush on the tranny, at 115k miles I would not suggest a flush. Drop the pan clean and change as a flush could cause a whole laundry list of issues
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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If the tranny's gonna go it's gonna go. No amount of fluid changes will affect that with that many miles.

My only advice is that WHILE you're towing, keep the OD off and don't use the CC......
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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If you haven't had any of this maintenance done, I would do it.

Transmission Flush
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!
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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Plugs have been done. I am going to do coolant this weekend. I'll look into the differential and transfer case oil. I'm getting conflicting info on the tranny flush. Any other input?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra_Nuggets
Plugs have been done. I am going to do coolant this weekend. I'll look into the differential and transfer case oil. I'm getting conflicting info on the tranny flush. Any other input?
Might want to check and or replace serpentine belt, easy 10 min job and fairly inexpensive to do, but can leave you in a mess if it breaks on the road
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdm156 View Post
Good maintenance and as far as a flush on the tranny, at 115k miles I would not suggest a flush. Drop the pan clean and change as a flush could cause a whole laundry list of issues
What issues do you think flushing the tranny would cause? Did you mean to just drop the pan, clean it out, put a new gasket on and top off the fluid instead?
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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flushing a tranny that late in the game is risky as you might clean out all the grime that's actually holding it together!
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcain View Post
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.

I'm not up with the details on the tranny in my F-150, but I know a lot about the 4R100 tranny in my old F-250 diesel. The details of how to flush the 4R100 are at
http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/...ission-198641/

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/

Last edited by smokeywren; 08-25-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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