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Last Post 11 Oct 2010 01:49 PM by  Steve Hoelscher
Ford 4R70W
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atcovan
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08 Oct 2010 09:39 AM
    2003 Lincoln Town Car, is this a durable transmission and what can I do to prolong it's life, aside from a BAC (big-ass cooler)? Any comments welcome. Mr Hoelscher?
    Dick Rasmussen
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    08 Oct 2010 10:36 AM

    Until Steve responds with the real info: [:D]

    He "loves" it in trucks/vans (he has one . . . see towing topics).

    I have one in a 130K or so Mustang GT. No problems other than torque converter clutch chatter when the fluid gets old. Two fixes for that are the factory cooler (TSB got it on mine in warranty) and fresh Mercon fluid (V I think) or the Valvoline equivalent. The last time I thought I had chatter it turned out to be the 115K or so plugs were misfiring sometimes, not the fluid. I changed the plugs and the problem went away without changing the fluid (Valvoline's version of the Mercon V or whatever Ford/Lincoln specifies)

    You might verify that the Town Car doesn't already have a BAC and whether or not there was a TSB for hot climates by then since Ford may have addressed the issue long before your car was made.

    FYI I think Winns as an additive package specifically for this problem with old fluid but I decided that a full change was a better idea. Don't forget the converter. As I recall there is a converter drain plug.

    With Mustang GT calibration in 1997 the trans has very good around town and highway shift points and "feel". Hopefully the Town Car version is good too given the heavier car and different buyers (normally).

    Dick

    Steve Hoelscher
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    08 Oct 2010 12:36 PM

    atcovan wrote:
    2003 Lincoln Town Car, is this a durable transmission and what can I do to prolong it's life, aside from a BAC (big-ass cooler)? Any comments welcome. Mr Hoelscher?

    Well, Dick has pretty much covered it. The 4R70W is one of the best transmissions on the market. As Dick noted, I have one in my van. It turned 300,000 (mostly towing) miles just before my 3000 mile tow to Lincoln for Nationals this year. The trans was rebuilt at 240K miles because I was selling my shop and figured it was due. Since then, its been perfect. By the way, since moving up here to the eastern tip of West Virginia, every time I tow west from here, I cross the Appalachians. The stretch of I-68 across western Maryland includes about a dozen mountain passes that are 2000 ft+ climbs. The transmission in my van does it without fuss.

    It should be fine in the Town Car. An aux cooler is always a good idea in warmer climates. Regular fluid changes is the best preventive measure. As Dick noted, when the fluid gets old, the converter clutch shudders. The fix is changing the fluid. The weak link inside the 4R70W is the band (used to apply 2nd gear) but is hardly problematic. I put the big band servo in mine and it shifts very firm in the 5400 lbs van when empty. The electronics are very reliable with the possible exception of the MLP (Manual Lever Position sensor). These can go bad with age/miles and cause odd shifting problems. Most common is it falling out of Overdrive at cruise or random downshifting. If you have any odd symptoms, replace the MLP with a Motorcraft unit to see if that solves the problem. These almost never set a DTC by the way. Oh, and by 2003 the converter drain plug was gone. Figure that a well maintained 4R70W should easily go 200K miles in a Town Car.

    Dick Rasmussen
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    08 Oct 2010 03:29 PM

    Hi Steve,

    Since you've answered the orginal question I have another one: [:)]

    How "crazy" would it be to tow my FF on an open trailer (total weight about 2500lbs) with the new Mustang GT 6 speed auto for those events where I don't need the 9 mpg camper van (i.e. my wife stays home)? Would it kill the car version of the 6R80 trans? I assume taking it out of 6th or 5th a lot, even if it doesn't do so on its own to avoid "hunting" and converter overheating, etc. This, of course, assumes I get a 2012 or so 5.0 GT.[:)] I loved towing the same car/trailer with my 88 5.0 5 speed manual Mustang.

    Thanks,

    Dick

    Steve Hoelscher
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    09 Oct 2010 06:28 AM
    You shouldn't have any trouble towing with it. As noted, be sure to keep it out of 6th so as not to hunt or lug the motor. Other than that, it should work fine.
    Dick Rasmussen
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    09 Oct 2010 08:55 AM

    Steve,

    THANKS!

    Dick

    Steve Hoelscher
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    09 Oct 2010 10:18 AM
    Of course my next question, after having driven a new 5.0 Mustang, why not just run the Mustang? ;)
    atcovan
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    09 Oct 2010 12:29 PM
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I always feel good knowing there are smart people ready to help. SCCA members rock!
    Dick Rasmussen
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    09 Oct 2010 04:24 PM

    Steve Hoelscher wrote:
    Of course my next question, after having driven a new 5.0 Mustang, why not just run the Mustang? ;)

    Good question . . . [:D] Lots of reasons including my wife would divorce and/or disown me even though she drives a 97 Mustang GT herself. [;)]

    How about you? [:D]

    Dick

    CM 85

    Steve Hoelscher
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    11 Oct 2010 01:49 PM
    Dick Rasmussen wrote:

    Good question . . . [:D] Lots of reasons including my wife would divorce and/or disown me even though she drives a 97 Mustang GT herself. [;)]

    How about you? [:D]

    I don't own one But that new 5.0 may just convince me to buy one. That's a great car. I got to make a bunch of laps in one giving rides at one of Ford's media days. But then I doubt I would ever go back to a Stock class car. I also got to drive one of the new 427Rs. That was a monster.



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