If there's one thing that I've always been able to smoke on any truck, it has to be the automatic transmission. In fact, I don't own a single vehicle that isn't already on its second, third, or seventh transmission. I believe that just makes every truck that I drive the ultimate test mule for true tranny testing. That being said, I was sort of amazed that the 5R110 transmission had not yet gone out on our F-350 Super Duty project, the Super Turd Diesel. Ours is a first-year 6.0L PowerStroke that has seen three times its fair share of trouble. The lemon of a truck, combined with the fact that it runs 40-inch tires with 4.56 gears, made me wonder when the transmission's luck was going to be up.
During a recent excursion to some dunes with a Polaris RZR in the bed, I noticed a considerable amount of slip on the highway as I stuck the throttle while the truck's speed held steady. The time was near.
Once certain that impending transmission doom was unavoidable, I decided to be proactive and made a call to ATS in Arvada, Colorado. Not only does it honor a five-year, 500,000-mile transmission warranty, ATS has been building heavy-duty truck transmissions in-house since the '90s, and the company's own transmission dynamometer guarantees that every transmission ATS ships out performs exactly as ordered.
While having a transmission shipped to my doorstep certainly would make life easy, I wanted a firsthand look at how our Super Duty's transmission was going together. And driving all the way out to ATS in Colorado (from California) with a transmission that was on its way out sounded risky enough to be exciting.
1. Riding on the wings of hope and prayer, I pulled into the facilities to rebuild the F-3
2. The wear grooves on the pump gear and pump are not supposed to be there. Those are tell
3. See the leopard spotting on the steel plates of the clutches? That is not supposed to b