Transmission is Toast

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by threebeachboys, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Sooooo - We have a much loved 2001 Ford Expedition. Bought it new 15 years ago, almost to the day. Up until April of this year, it was our 3rd vehicle as we both had other daily drivers. As a result, it only has 135,000 miles on it.

    Well, just found out that the transmission is toast. Cost to replace with a re-manufactured unit is $3,200 +/-. I have three bids and am getting a fourth one tomorrow. What to do? It is a great truck other than that. 5.4 Triton V8, 4WD, plenty of tow capacity. The downside is that we really don't need that big of a vehicle as my days as a soccer mom and Scout mom (2 Eagle Scouts, but who's bragging!) are over, it gets horrible mileage and what other repairs would we be facing with a vehicle that old. . . . . .

    Even with the Ford employee discount, a new Escape, Explorer or F150 is way too expensive. And I don't even like the Escape or the Explorer! A used Expedition, Suburban, Tahoe, Pilot, etc. doesn't make sense - too big and too expensive. And the choice in used vehicles is crazy. $13,000 for a low-mileage, used 10 year old Explorer?

    So, we're thinking of just repairing our current vehicle. Both our regular mechanic and the other two that looked at it say that it is otherwise in great shape and that with a new transmission (with the bad design problem that has since been resolved), we could go a long time on this truck.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. RetAF

    RetAF Member

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    I would replace the transmission and keep on truckin'
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  3. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Yup, times 2
    A couple of other questions:
    Have you been doing the regular maintenance (ie tune ups etc)? My 04 explorer just had it's 100k tune up (at 130k) for just under $1,000. If you haven't had that done yet, add a grand to the repair price.

    How are the tires? Lots or little tread life left? Checking or cracking? Again 800 to 1000 for a (good) set of 4 (remember your tires are the only thing touching the road, buy good tires!)

    Struts/Shocks ok? (my 2WD Explorer has struts all the way quoted at around 900 - 1200 to replace depending on the struts I get)
    Other steering/suspension parts? (tie rods, ball joints, 1/2 shaft axels U-joints etc)

    BUT even if you needed all these repairs and maintenance plus the tranny, it's still cheaper than a new vehicle, and you are correct about used SUV prices. I just saw a '08 Explorer w/45k miles for $12.9k That seems a bit high for a 8, almost 9 year old vehicle.

    And yes, I am going to keep my Explorer as long as I can. It's paid off and does not have any rust. All the parts and service are just regular maintenance, like changing the filter in your house furnace, cleaning the gutters and things like that.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
     
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Since I've been there, done that, with my 2001 Honda Odyssey, I can tell you for a fact what I would do.

    Transmission new or rebuilt - keep the truck.
     
  5. jeeper88

    jeeper88 Let's go Camping and Jeepin

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    yup keep the truck and I don't own a ford. Cheaper to fix than buy a new truck!! [TV]
     
  6. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    You got 135K out of an Exploder!!!!!!

    Sorry could not resist....If you have been keeping it maintained then I would recommend replacing the trans roll on. Those Eagles will come back to roost with youngins.....As our ES is this weekend
     
  7. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    I went through the same debate a couple of years ago when my tranny failed on the way to a camping trip. 2003 Tahoe with over 200K miles.
    After a couple of months of indecision, a friend gave me a new perspective: At approx 3K to replace the blown tranny, that's only 4-7ish months of car payments on a replacement vehicle.....

    If your current vehicle makes it longer than that with a repaired tranny, then you're ahead of the game....Mine has lasted 2 years and counting since I replaced the tranny.

    Good luck with your decision!

    Erik
     
  8. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    I look at this way, what would the cost be to replace the vehicle if it were new, even with the repairs, it is still cheaper to keep it if it is in good shape. That's what I plan to do with my truck. It cost me $52,000 new in 04 and to replace it now would be over $70,000...I have always maintained it and when it is waxed, it almost looks as good as the day I bought it. I always get offers to buy it....it now has 184000 kms on it and it and is and will always be my tow vehicle.
     
  9. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    135k and the tranny is done?
     
  10. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    That's not uncommon on the 75 series transmissons. If I may give a word of advice, try to find a jasper brand replacement transmission. I have no affiliation with them, but I know for a fact they spend a lot of money on R&D trying to find the downfalls of factory parts and fixing the issues in their trannys. They have a great warranty as well. They're not the cheapest, but if it were me I wouldn't think twice.
     
  11. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    I'm going to throw out another POV. I have made my living using trucks others have thought where to "used" to be worth the repairs. I have always thought "Trucks don't wear out, parts do" In discussions with guys I worked with, "We all buy new trucks about every 10 years, you go to the show room, I go to the parts counter" Over the years there has been some long nights to be sure I could work the next day. I know how to take car of my stuff.
    Now, back in '05 the manifold cracked on the old Ford that was to be the TV for the NTM camper. OK, thousands of them made, I can get one cheap. No problem. But, the bolts have been in for 20 years, at least one will break. The only way to get the bolt out, pull head, and drill. That will kill a weekend, Will that 302, with over 200,000 miles on it be worth putting the head back on? Well, I can swing a long block, and that would surely help the truck. But if I spend that much, the only way to get money out will be to use the truck. The transmission works good, but never been touched, will it last long enough to pay for motor, or will the extra power kill it? Check the cost of rebuild. Now, Dad bought the truck new, I know it's history I'm looking at spending way to much money for a 20 year old, banged up, rusted out pickup that has pulled overloaded for about 100,000 miles. Basically, I replaced that truck because of a broken bolt...
     
  12. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I had a 2002 F150 and the trans went at 123K. I had it rebuilt by a good shop in our town. In 2009 it cost me $2700. So $3200 in 2016 is not bad for that trans. I would have the trans rebuilt/replaced and keep the Expedition. The Expedition is not a bad TV. To get a new or used TV it will cost you more than the repairs.
     
  13. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Even if you are going to get a new truck you should still have the tranny replaced. The value difference between an Expedition with a blown transmission and an Expedition with a new transmission will be way more than the cost of the tranny.
     
  14. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    ^ Totally agree...
     
  15. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    Your mileage is so low that it's worth the risk....
     
  16. Ryanm

    Ryanm Member

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    If the original transmission went 135k, a fresh one will probably be good for at least that far...

    Keep the truck.
     
  17. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    About the same story I have with a 300zx, bearing went out in the 5 speed, crawled under it and every nut in the exhaust rusted up, and at 15 years and 300K I didn't want to mess with it...A friend of my sons bought it and by the time he was done he ended up pulling the heads off thanks to broken bolts
     
  18. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    I'd hit up junk yards looking for a F150 or Expy that was smashed that didn't have a hitch, as the trans will likely be in good shape. Even if you pay a shop to do the swap it'd be cheaper than a rebuilt trans. I can swap that myself and save plenty. However I would drop the pan and get a new filter, ensure the orange seal on the filter comes out. I would also add an upgraded trans cooler.

    I put a fully built trans in my 99 Lightning, dropped off to the shop, new stalled torque convertor, F350 trans cooler, and the R/R for $3,500 here in San Diego. I was single and no kids at that time...
     
  19. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Thanks everyone. Looks like we're going to replace the transmission and keep the truck. Hopefully many more happy years of towing!
     
  20. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    Depending on what failed you will want to flush the trans cooler and lines. I still recommend an aux trans cooler.
     

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