Recommended Upgrades for a Ford E4ODby Sameca Pandova
While Ford's 7.3 liter Powerstroke engine has reached legendary status for its durability and power potential, the E4OD transmission that typically came equipped on mid-90s Ford Powerstroke equipped vehicles was serviceable at best. The transmission worked well in light duty applications, but was not well-designed to handle the towing needs of Powerstroke-equipped trucks. Several aftermarket companies offer everything from upgrade parts to complete heavy duty replacement transmission to improve upon the factory E4OD.
Basic Upgrades and Maintenance
If your E4OD is still functional, then installing a transmission cooler along with fresh transmission fluid and transmission filter change are the best ways to improve the life of the transmission. Heat is what kills a transmission, and it can be compounded by strain from towing or plowing. These simple upgrades can be done without removal of the transmission. For a vehicle that frequently tows, follow the severe duty maintenance schedule in your owner's manual to prolong the life of your transmission, along with adding an external transmission filter to work in conjunction with the internal filter.
Output and Input Shaft Upgrades
If you are willing to remove your E4OD for upgrading purposes, then a pre-1988 E4OD will benefit from a installation of the seven-tooth rear lube style rear output shaft, particularly if the truck runs a numerically high rear axle ratio. This helps to prevent planetary gear failures due to poor lubrication. Input shaft replacements with an aftermarket unit will improve strength and shift quality.
Since the E4OD is an electronically controlled transmission, reprogramming the transmission can provide improved operation and reduce gear hunting by adjusting the line pressure, torque converter lock-up point. Aftermarket companies offer standalone user-adjustable programming modules for the E4OD.
Replacement Aftermaket Transmissions and Torque Converters
If your E4OD needs a rebuild, consider an aftermarket unit from a reputable company. A well-designed aftermarket E4OD will be eliminate the weaknesses of the factory design and include design elements such as high quality gears, heavy duty valves, superior clutch packs and ball bearing construction. You can also opt for aluminum transmission pans to further improve cooling capacity. Many aftermarket units are priced very close to the cost of a simple rebuild of a E4OD, so be sure to price out replacement heavy-duty units before committing to a rebuild.
Based near Chicago, Sameca Pandova has been writing since 1995 and now contributes to various websites. He is an attorney with experience in health care, family and criminal prosecution issues. Pandova holds a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Case Western.