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1994 Ford F-150:
Transmission Problem, Warranty Rebuilt

Alex Steele
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as seen in Truck Trend



I have a 1994 F-150 Extended Cab with 4-wheel drive, a 5.0-liter SFI V8 engine and an automatic transmission.


I'm having a problem with the transmission. It was rebuilt under warranty about 16 months ago at a Ford dealership because of a shifting problem from 1st to 2nd gear. Now the same problem came back.


Have there been any common problems with this transmission, or were there any recalls for this problem?




There aren't any recalls that apply to a '94 F-series transmission, but Technical Service Bulletins are another story. Typically recalls are only issued pertaining to emissions or safety related problems. Technical service bulletins (TSB) are published whenever a failure occurs enough times to warrant a better fix than what's published in the service manual. Very often the repairs involve modified parts which are more durable than the original factory stuff.


An automatic transmission is a complex device with a lot of parts. Therefore, there are usually quite a few service bulletins in that category. I did a service bulletin search on your truck with the Alldata information system, and like I said, there are quite a few in the transmission section. Your F-150 could be using one of two different transmissions: the E40D or the 4R70W (AODE-W) unit which are both four-speed automatics.


Ford TSB # 97-11-11 involves the 4R70W(AODE-W) transmission and pertains to a 1-2 shift problem due to premature wear on the accumulator seals. This wear is caused by an excessive piston side-load which scuffs the piston bore. The modification includes a stamped steel accumulator piston as a replacement to the cast aluminum factory part, along with an updated return spring. Your transmission may have been repaired without these modifications, which could cause a repeat failure in a short period of time.


This is one possible cause to the problem. The best way to go is with a factory rebuilt unit which has all the appropriate modifications completed before given the official stamp of approval. Explain your situation at the service department. They should help you out if it is indeed a repeat failure.

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28 Dec 2014, 10:05
RE: Randy Harrison, A shutter is usually related to the lock up torque converter. It could be many related parts like the torque converter itself, lock up solenoid, sticking valve in valve body. It can also be related to a slipping clutch pack. This could leave the transmission fluid with a burnt smell and may have metal filings in the fluid.

Bringing your truck in for diagnosis would be needed. Taking down the transmission pan can identify a lot if something is wrong.

The mechanic can also use a computer scanner to check the electrical part of the transmission and check for any trouble codes if any are stored in the computer memory.
randy harrison
27 Dec 2014, 15:06
transmission shutters when shifting, what could it be?
24 Nov 2014, 06:55
RE: Glenna, Yes there is a limp home mode, this is programmed to happen so you are able to get home or to a repair shop and avoid catastrophic damage.

The transmission can be rebuilt; you can take it to the dealer or to a certified transmission re-builder. If the damage to the transmission case is beyond repair then the transmission would need to be replaced.

There may be a few service bulletins on this transmission so make sure you tell the establishment who rebuilds the transmission to review the bulletins to make sure the rebuild is done with updated parts to avoid the same problem down the road.
23 Nov 2014, 15:56
I have 1994 F-150 automatic. First the overdrive went out so I drove it with the OD turned off. It was fine for a few days then it stopped shifting. I made it home going 30 miles an hour on the shoulder. Someone told me it had a built in limp something to get ya home when it goes out. My question is can it be rebuilt or does it need a different one? And how do I know which one I need? Thank you!
09 Jul 2014, 13:19
302 cubic inches and 5.0 liters are the same thing. The choices in '94 were 4.9-liter 6cyl, 5.0 or 351 V8.
Katy Gerving
23 Jun 2014, 14:52
Looking to buy a 1994 F-150 XLT 4x4 but it has a bad tranny. Trying to figure out what kind it has in it. It's a 302 V8, 5.0 L
08 Apr 2012, 14:05
Be sure the fluid is full, and inspect the cable to the manual valve.

Bring it to a tranny shop to confirm, but you're gonna need a transmission, or a new truck.
Larry H Williams
05 Apr 2012, 14:06
i have a 1994 f-150 4 wheel drive and 5.0 engine my transmissiuton went out it will not move forward in any gear but will go in reverse i have over 300,000miles.


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