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6R80 shudder

96eb96

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I got an 11 F150 w/6.2L Tow Package . The 6R80 is also used in 4th Gen Ex, with a few minor differences for 2011 (mostly the valve body config). I notice a shudder in 6th gear, usually when climbing a grade but only when the trans isn't warmed up. These trucks give you two trans temp readouts(analog and digital), so between 120-150 deg.
When warmed up(normal is 195-200), and driven on the same road, the trans shifts well. Fluid looks on the dark side but definitely not burnt, sampled a bit from the cooler lines.

Truck has 186k but trans fluid was serviced ~60K miles ago. I am planning a fluid change soon, but also considering shudder fix. I will be adding lubegard red too when I swap the fluid. Also noticed a very small leak at the back of the pan. I did order a new gasket (also one of the pans with the drain plug, was like $26).
 



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96eb96

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Well the trans shudder fix stuff took away all the shudder. I started with 1/2 a tube (1 oz). Overall shifting and gear handoff also improved. Passed the Catskill mountain test - a few long stretches of 10% grade up :lol:, holding in 6th gear. Probably the fluid is starting to get tired, if that stuff works it means you need a fluid service soon. I also noticed lower trans temperatures, maxed out at 195, would easily get up to 205-210 , on those roads. I am sure shudder and a 6000 lb vehicle produces ample heat.
 






94Eddie

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The 6R60/80 transmissions are really picky about fluid level and condition. If you tow much or use the truck in severe duty conditions then the fluid should be changed every 30k miles. Either way, it is overdue for a fluid drain and refill. Also, if you are looking at the Dorman transmission pan with a drain plug, it won't fit. I tried one and it is too shallow for the filter pickup. There might be another filter that will work but I just took my OEM pan and had a shop weld in a bung for a drain plug. It works great with no leaks. You can pick up a pan at a junkyard, have a bung welded into it and then swap it in when you change the fluid. If you get a magnet with the junkyard pan then use both magnets in the pan you install for added protection. From there your next fluid changes will be easy until a new filter is needed. Most filters are good for 100k-120k miles. Lastly, if this hasn't been done already, install a new valve body connection sleeve. These have a habit of going bad after 100k miles and leaking which can cause some pretty big issues. The OEM part is inexpensive ($20) and easy to replace while the pan is down. Buy the Ford OEM part as the non OEM stuff isn't very reliable. You probably should get a pan gasket too if you have a leak showing. There is nothing worse than dropping the pan and refilling with expensive transmission fluid and then having to buy new fluid to replace a sleeve, gasket etc. a few weeks later. I have been there and done that with the valve body sleeve.

Edit:
Also, disconnect the battery for 30-60 minutes to clear out the learned data for the transmission. This can clear up many shifting and transmission issues on its own.
 






96eb96

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The 6R60/80 transmissions are really picky about fluid level and condition. If you tow much or use the truck in severe duty conditions then the fluid should be changed every 30k miles. Either way, it is overdue for a fluid drain and refill. Also, if you are looking at the Dorman transmission pan with a drain plug, it won't fit. I tried one and it is too shallow for the filter pickup. There might be another filter that will work but I just took my OEM pan and had a shop weld in a bung for a drain plug. It works great with no leaks. You can pick up a pan at a junkyard, have a bung welded into it and then swap it in when you change the fluid. If you get a magnet with the junkyard pan then use both magnets in the pan you install for added protection. From there your next fluid changes will be easy until a new filter is needed. Most filters are good for 100k-120k miles. Lastly, if this hasn't been done already, install a new valve body connection sleeve. These have a habit of going bad after 100k miles and leaking which can cause some pretty big issues. The OEM part is inexpensive ($20) and easy to replace while the pan is down. Buy the Ford OEM part as the non OEM stuff isn't very reliable. You probably should get a pan gasket too if you have a leak showing. There is nothing worse than dropping the pan and refilling with expensive transmission fluid and then having to buy new fluid to replace a sleeve, gasket etc. a few weeks later. I have been there and done that with the valve body sleeve.

Edit:
Also, disconnect the battery for 30-60 minutes to clear out the learned data for the transmission. This can clear up many shifting and transmission issues on its own.
This truck is rated to pull 11.1K on the 6R80, and judging by the tow hitch, the PO may have taken advantage of it. A base F250 you buy today with the 6.2L (same motor) can pull 12.5K, so that is serious weight for that 6R80.

I already have the pan.

I will compare it when I do the swap. By eye it looks right. I also have an F150, I think it has a bit different filter than the Ex (it is FT-188). I certainly got a pan gasket for $20. At 190k, the original is ready to retire, even if it was dry. If it was 60K, that is another story. You do not want to do this twice!

I don't hear about that connector going bad in the newer 6R80 trans, but it requires a valve body drop. The 11+ have a flimsy "lead frame" connector they actually recalled the trucks for that. When it breaks, the PCM loses VSS, gear position etc. People were dropping into 1st at 70Mph, locking up the wheels, it could grenade the trans too if you are towing. The recall changed the software just to throw a code and read VSS from somewhere else. Ford would also replace the leadframe if you have certain codes, under 150K. I think the part is obsoleted now, and it was used until 2015.

I think the <11 6R80s have a different setup. The trans computer is internal and they don't have the leadframe issue.
 






94Eddie

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This truck is rated to pull 11.1K on the 6R80, and judging by the tow hitch, the PO may have taken advantage of it. A base F250 you buy today with the 6.2L (same motor) can pull 12.5K, so that is serious weight for that 6R80.

I already have the pan.

I will compare it when I do the swap. By eye it looks right. I also have an F150, I think it has a bit different filter than the Ex (it is FT-188). I certainly got a pan gasket for $20. At 190k, the original is ready to retire, even if it was dry. If it was 60K, that is another story. You do not want to do this twice!
It is possible that the filter for the F150 is different than the Explorer/Mountaineer models.
I don't hear about that connector going bad in the newer 6R80 trans, but it requires a valve body drop. The 11+ have a flimsy "lead frame" connector they actually recalled the trucks for that. When it breaks, the PCM loses VSS, gear position etc. People were dropping into 1st at 70Mph, locking up the wheels, it could grenade the trans too if you are towing. The recall changed the software just to throw a code and read VSS from somewhere else. Ford would also replace the leadframe if you have certain codes, under 150K. I think the part is obsoleted now, and it was used until 2015.

I think the <11 6R80s have a different setup. The trans computer is internal and they don't have the leadframe issue.
 






96eb96

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Edit:
Also, disconnect the battery for 30-60 minutes to clear out the learned data for the transmission. This can clear up many shifting and transmission issues on its own.
This won't work. Trans adaptive strategies are stored in NVM. Must be reset with a scan tool.
 






96eb96

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It is possible that the filter for the F150 is different than the Explorer/Mountaineer models.


That is mostly a <11 problem. I checked mine, dry as a bone. My leak is across the back gasket. Common to leak there because it is above the exhaust and probably they don't torque it right. There is another part (2 gasketed square plastic channels) that connects the upper valve body to the case, It was a big fail point on the ZF trans. Probably a good idea to change if you drop the valve body.
 






94Eddie

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IMO, spending $20 and a few minutes to prevent a known failure is a no brainer while the pan is dropped on a nearly 200k mile vehicle.
 






96eb96

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Well this problem turned out to be a misfire. Probably should have looked at mode 6 right away.
It happened only under certain conditions. When I drove in the mountains, it was all warmed up. The gentler hills around me that caused shudder would be felt when it was partially warm.
Eventually the coil died and it became very apparent. Blinking CEL.

I am not saying there isn't a trans problem, or the fluid don't have to be changed, but it seems fixed for now. It is definitely due for a trans service.

The 6.2L is a variation of the modular family. It uses a special coil that fires two plugs. I replaced all the coils because they were sparking. But, one of the Amazon coils were weak. The 6.2L OEM coils rarely fail, but the boot and resistor does. The boot and resistor is serviceable. The price of 8 coils was about the same as a set of boots and resistors (or one OEM coil). I can just throw a boot on the old coil. This engine is still used in the 2023 base F250.

<moral of the story, even for an explorer, always verify misfire status> Very easy to do with almost any scanner (Mode $06 gives precise counts on each cyl.
 






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