Transmission Woes

SilverSlugger

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If ford was replacing 90% of their transmissions they'd be out of business. The numbers simply don't support that.

I did recently get a TSB performed when I felt it wasn't shifting as smoothly as it had been, and it's settled in pretty well. I asked them to take a look at it because when it's at its best it's really nice to drive, and it seemed a bit off. If the TSB fixes things for good, then great. If it doesn't, I'll deal with it when it's an issue. But again, could most of the 10R80s be getting TSB service? No way, ford would be out of business. How many is it? We'll never know.

In general I hate all automatics, but I've been pretty happy with this one. Are there times when it might make a weird decision? Sure...but that's true of all automatics. So "it doesn't always do exactly what I think it should" isn't really a thing I worry about. It has its own characteristics, and when you learn them you can make it do what you want. A lot of the complaints seem to be along the lines of "it shifts more than the 3 speed hydramatic I'm used to so it must be broken", or "it doesn't use every one of the gears", both of which seem silly--it's got 10 gears and it's going to use them as it needs to. They seem to have (for the most part) achieved good efficiency when cruising light while maintaining the ability to work hard in the low range when that's what you need.

What is a valid concern (vs subjective disagreements about how it works) is whether the transmission will last. In modern times I've had a honda transmission start crapping out around 100k, and had problems years ago with a subaru transmission. Mostly I've driven manuals and haven't had such problems. :) Dramatic rhetoric aside, I don't think there's any evidence that the transmission that's been in one of the best selling vehicles on the road for more than 5 years has massive failure rates. Will some of them fail? For sure. Is it something that people need to be worrying about? Doesn't seem like it. So yeah, it's a valid concern, but one that people should consider once, note that things seem ok, and then just not lose sleep over it.
Thank you for adding in some thoughtful insight rather than TorquerRules dramatization of this transmission topic.
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TheRealStreetcommander

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I suspect 10r80 complete failures are very rare, maybe less than 1%. Erratic or occasional hard shifting has to be common, maybe as common as 100%. Most people are automatons, and don’t even comprehend it —not an issue for them.

Objectively, the 10r80 is trash compared to the ZF8 based units. Maybe not for absolute durability or power handling, but definitely for smoothness, crispness, and perception of refinement. It’s a disappointment. If the Germans can do it, and then teach Dodge how to do it… Ford could do it too, if it was important to them.
 

VAMike

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Objectively, the 10r80 is trash compared to the ZF8 based units. Maybe not for absolute durability or power handling, but definitely for smoothness, crispness, and perception of refinement. It’s a disappointment. If the Germans can do it, and then teach Dodge how to do it… Ford could do it too, if it was important to them.
Well, I want "absolute durability or power handling" a hell of a lot more than I want "smoothness, crispness, and perception of refinement". Luckily there are different vehicles for different buyers.

Also I suspect you are confusing "objectively" with "subjectively".
 

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If ford was replacing 90% of their transmissions they'd be out of business. The numbers simply don't support that.

I did recently get a TSB performed when I felt it wasn't shifting as smoothly as it had been, and it's settled in pretty well. I asked them to take a look at it because when it's at its best it's really nice to drive, and it seemed a bit off. If the TSB fixes things for good, then great. If it doesn't, I'll deal with it when it's an issue. But again, could most of the 10R80s be getting TSB service? No way, ford would be out of business. How many is it? We'll never know.

In general I hate all automatics, but I've been pretty happy with this one. Are there times when it might make a weird decision? Sure...but that's true of all automatics. So "it doesn't always do exactly what I think it should" isn't really a thing I worry about. It has its own characteristics, and when you learn them you can make it do what you want. A lot of the complaints seem to be along the lines of "it shifts more than the 3 speed hydramatic I'm used to so it must be broken", or "it doesn't use every one of the gears", both of which seem silly--it's got 10 gears and it's going to use them as it needs to. They seem to have (for the most part) achieved good efficiency when cruising light while maintaining the ability to work hard in the low range when that's what you need.

What is a valid concern (vs subjective disagreements about how it works) is whether the transmission will last. In modern times I've had a honda transmission start crapping out around 100k, and had problems years ago with a subaru transmission. Mostly I've driven manuals and haven't had such problems. :) Dramatic rhetoric aside, I don't think there's any evidence that the transmission that's been in one of the best selling vehicles on the road for more than 5 years has massive failure rates. Will some of them fail? For sure. Is it something that people need to be worrying about? Doesn't seem like it. So yeah, it's a valid concern, but one that people should consider once, note that things seem ok, and then just not lose sleep over it.
Ford replaced mine but on my dime since I was outside of warranty...unless every owner opt for extended warranty, 36,000miles is not much coverage...
 

AzScorpion

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Ford replaced mine but on my dime since I was outside of warranty...unless every owner opt for extended warranty, 36,000miles is not much coverage...
The powertrain is for 60K isn't it?
 


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VAMike

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Ford replaced mine but on my dime since I was outside of warranty...unless every owner opt for extended warranty, 36,000miles is not much coverage...
so what are you arguing? that 90% fail, but only after 36k miles, and basically all of the F150s driving around that are more than a couple of years old have had their transmissions replaced on the owner's dime?

if there were significant failure rates beyond the standard warranty periods 1) there'd be no replacements available and 2) it would be obvious. e.g., the problems with the powershift were visible way beyond anything we've seen with the 10r80.

also, out of curiosity, why wouldn't it be covered under the 60k powertrain warranty rather than the 36k basic warranty?
 

AzScorpion

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21Blackout

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Ford replaced mine but on my dime since I was outside of warranty...unless every owner opt for extended warranty, 36,000miles is not much coverage...
As a Warranty Administrator for Ford I can tell you that a transmission is covered by powertrain which is 5 yrs or 60,000 miles whichever occurs first
 

TheRealStreetcommander

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“Also I suspect you are confusing "objectively" with "subjectively".”

No, I did intend to use the word “objectively”. Like other things that are objectively true, the 10r80 is trash compared to the ZF8. If Ranger buyers had a choice between a 10r80 or ZF8, all but the strychnine zealots would elect for the ZF8.

Easy now. I bought a Ranger too. It’s the best mid size truck for sale in the USA. I was simply pointing out that Ford put a half effort into 10r80 refinement. I like it.
 

Msfitoy

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As a Warranty Administrator for Ford I can tell you that a transmission is covered by powertrain which is 5 yrs or 60,000 miles whichever occurs first
Bummer it wasn't 100,000 miles coverage...I blew past 60K a long time ago...made it to 95K before I started hating my 10R80...
 

21Blackout

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That is unfortunate I wish that Ford would offer that as the mileage limit
 

VAMike

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“Also I suspect you are confusing "objectively" with "subjectively".”

No, I did intend to use the word “objectively”. Like other things that are objectively true, the 10r80 is trash compared to the ZF8.
sure, whatever. <plonk>
 

9zero1790

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As a Warranty Administrator for Ford I can tell you that a transmission is covered by powertrain which is 5 yrs or 60,000 miles whichever occurs first
warranty administrator? go on please... what does one do ?
 

21Blackout

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warranty administrator? go on please... what does one do ?

The short of it is making sure that the dealership is following the warranty and policy guidelines set forth by Ford then submit the claims directly to FMC for payment of warranty work preformed
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