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The Truth About Front Pump Leaks..

The story I am going to tell you is a really common story heard by every competent tranmsission shop. This story is about a customer with a Ford F-350 Super Duty dual rear wheel pickup. It applies to all Ford trucks: F-150, F-250, F450 and any truck with an EDOD series transmission or AODE/4R70w transmission.

Here we go: The man is going up Route 95 pulling a load, not an overload, at 70 mph ish. It is a hot day since I/we live in Florida. All of a sudden the truck starts to slow down and stops moving as you get to the side of the road. Looking under the truck he sees ATF (automatic transmission fluid) pouring out between the engine and transmission. This a front pump leak. Angrily he calls a tow truck or calls our shop and we send a tow truck.

Once the truck gets to our shop we go through our usual diagnostic procedure. The first thing we do in this case is to check the fluid amount and quality. Most of the time the fluid stinks, the tranmsission may be damaged from the slippage due to the fluid loss. So we go ahead and start the truck and fill it up with the proper transmission fluid so we can locate the leak. Well low and behold it is not leaking now. What the heck is going on here?

Here is what happened. The transmission got so hot that it softened the front pump seal and caused it to literally purge the transmission of fluid. Sort of like a syphon effect, once it starts it won’t stop until it is out of fluid or you turn the engine off. By the time we get the vehicle towed in and looked at, it has cooled off. If the seal is not ruined entirely than it may return to it’s basic original condition and not leak. So, should we just change the bad fluid and let the customer go?

Realistcally speaking, no. We should discuss with our consumer and advise them that the seal may not be leaking at this moment, but you can guarantee it will leak again. When: we don’t know, but most likely it will leak soon after it gets good and hot again. Simply put, it will leak again. The recommended procedure for this would be to remove the transmission.

After removal we suggest an entire transmission inspection to make sure no internal damage is found. If no other problems are obvious than a good old fashioned reseal is in order. This procedure is basically a rebuild of the front pump. The front pump bushing, gasket and o-ring seal should be replaced along with a genuine Ford front pump seal. An excellent modification that can be done with the transmission out is to enlarge the drainback hole in the front section of the pump.

Once the cooling system is flushed out and the transmission is reinstalled and filled with Ford blended synthetic transmission fluid it is time to hook up the scanner tool and go for a ride. We hope to see no codes, but in most case you may find a ‘ficticious’ code since the trans was slipping at one point. We clear the codes and go on a test drive. When we return, we should have no codes. If that is the case we have been successful. The last thing is to give it a good leak check and clean of any finger prints. Blog is a wealth of helpful consumer information. is the most qualified transmission supplier in the country. If the transmission is damaged to a point of replacement you may want to try a good used transmission. If so call at 866-320-1182.

What is a Planetary Gear Assembly in an Automatic Transmission?



The planetary gear train or system is a complicated way of producing different gear ratios inside an automatic transmission. The one pictured is a simple planetary system, which we will try to make sense of:.. there is a wide variety of complicated systems in use today, but they all produce the same effect.

Essentially, each gear range in your automatic transmission has a planetary gear system. Some are called compound planetary systems. The more gears or speeds your trans. has:.. the more planetary gears are in the transmission, which are then termed compound planetary gear sets. Sounds like an astronomy term, you will be surprised at how closely related they are in theory.

The sun gear in an automatic transmission is the central drive gear, the planetary gears rotate around the sun gear inside of the ring gear, therefore producing a gear reduction or an overdrive range. In respect to the solar system, you have the sun in the middle with a number of planets surrounding the sun. The Earth could be one of the planets, for instance. The ring gear in a transmission is then the universe.

All automatic transmissions have planetary gears in them, with modern transmissions having up to four or five sets for each automatic shift that occurs during a normal acceleration cycle through the gears. The output or power is transferred to the driveshaft by the planet assembly. Gear ranges depend on the ratio of teeth on the sungear to the amount of teeth on the planetary (pinion) gears in the planetary housing and the tooth count inside the ring gear. Each speed or gear range has it’s own amount of teeth, therefore producing the gear you may be in at the moment. Such as 1st gear, second gear, third gear and 4th gear or overdrive (as it is commonly called), all have different tooth counts. Sometimes several planetary gears work together at one time to make a gear.

We simplify this complex description by calling them gear ratios. Each combination of planetary gears produce a different gear ratio.

Automatic transmissions and some standard transmissions use these highly precise components, including four (4) wheel drive transfer cases. The usage of planetary gears is not limited to car of truck transmissions. Many types of equipment in different industries use these complicated devises.

Don’t forget that your automatic transmission is loaded with the same precision made parts as airplanes and space shuttles:..and maintenance is your best friend. Blog contains more answers to questions no one else cares to answer and provides tips and suggestions to make your experience with buying a transmission for sale a good one..

Caravan Transmissions for sale: P0740 TCC Code..

This is a continuation article from the last post, on TF 604 TCC code p740 on 02/21/09.

The Chrysler TorqueFlite (TF) 604 is one of the most revolutionary automatic transmissions ever built. I’ll speak more on that has no bands or sprags (one way metal clutches), it works of the clearance of clutch packs only and shift timing.

It is very scanner friendly. If the first thing the mechanic does, is not hook a scan tool to your TF 604, even if it only a service and it works great, run really fast to a qualified shop. Smart technicians want to know what is going on inside the tranny.

Simply put when you have a TCC p740 code, the clutch plate in the torque converter is slipping and causing a chatter type of feeling. Rarely is the problem a solenoid pack, which houses at least 6 solenoids in one housing. In fact, as I mentioned in my last post on a TTC p740 code it usually is an automatic transmission fluid problem.

Driving the vehicle with this problem and not attending to it asap may cause further damage. When you feel a problem and or see the engine light on, use your head wisely and have a reputable tranmission shop go through a complete diagnostic procedure. This is the only realistic way to determine the problem. It should be obvious by now no one can diagnose your transmission problem on the phone. Same thing with a doctor, does the doctor diagnose you over the phone? That is silly, other than a malpractice lawsuit, no way can a car or human be diagnosed if the mechanic or doctor can’t see the patient.

I will discuss the actual torque converter and function in an upcming article. Until then use our Blog to further your automotive transmission knowledge, or call at 1-777-268-0664 for free expert advise on what replacement transmission is in your best interest.

TF 604 Automatic Transmission Code: p740 on a Caravan

Having owned my own transmission shop from 1981 to 2006 (I sold it) I am more than qualified to discuss a code p740. One of the most common codes too.

We recieved this question below and I though it would be a great time to speak on this.

Here is the question: “i got a 2001 grand caravan sport 3.3 v6 41te a604 w/ a check eng code p740. after getting shafted by some shops w/trial and error cures ex; replaced the trans soleniod ,changed the fluid and filter no cure. now there is a slight slip upon takeoff when driving . my question is should i now replace the torque converter and the pump seal. will this fix my p740 code problem????”

Code P0740/p740: Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction. This is a fairly complicated issue. It will take more than one article to address the issue. Realistically speaking without good reliable diagnostic techniques by a competent mechanic many folks will get the same result as the individual who asked this question. I’m not going to get super detailed in this post, I want to answer the question. I do think that a detailed post on the symptom itself and the many issues that can cause it should be discussed. I also would like to explain exactly what a TCC (torque converter clutch) is.

Briefly, a TCC is a clutch inside the torque converter (another subject all together) that when applied acts in essence like an other overdrive gear. It is a fuel economy feature that has been used for over 20 years now. The TCC systems have evolved with the continuing evolution of the automatic tranmsission.

As you can see in this question, many shops just try the hit and miss method, like replacing parts, which is expensive and irresponsible. However I think the bulk of shops know how to handle this properly. Basically the symptom feels something like #1. running over a washboard at 30 to 50 MPH (miles per hour) or #2. in some cases it actually stalls the engine violently as you roll to a stop. The problem is the torque converter, but that does not mean it needs repalcement.

Automatic transmissions are like the human body, a symptom is not always the component’s fault. For instance, if you have conggestive heart failure, usually you get water buildup in your legs and lungs. Your legs and lungs are not bad in reality, it is all caused by the actual heart failure. So a TCC code may be caused by another problem in reality.

The first thing to do is to check the quality of the transmission fluid and see if it is nice and pink or if it is dark and has a bad odor. Use a white cloth or paper towel to do this. Meaning pulling out the transmission fluid dipstick to see what the fluid looks like on the distick. The next step is to lower the transmission pan and inspect it for contaminants such as clutch material in particular and perhaps brass shavings. Assuming the pan is relativly clean, only the mechanic looking at it can tell you this, perform a transmission maintenance with the correct transmission fluid for your car. This is critical, no cheating:… Every manufacturer has a fluid designed for their particular transmission. One that has the proper additives in it, to prevent a situation from occuring. The additives are called friction modifiers. A lot of shops cheat here, they buy conventional fluids and use additives they purchase that are supposed to enhance the ATF to meet the specs. That is B.S…

Note: Chrsler products have a very specialized fluid that is specifically designed to prevent these problems from happening. What I’m saying is use genuine Chrysler/Mopar ATF in a Chrysler/Mopar vehicle. We used to use Penziol synthectic Mopar ATF because Penzoil developed it in conjunction with Chrysler, therefore they are THE factory supplier of ATF to Chrysler. You can buy it in most parts stores. It is a very good fluid BTW.

After the ATF and automatic transmission filter is changed and the rest of the bad or incorrect fluid is flushed out, hook up the scan tool and go through the computer reset mode. Then go drive it for about 15 miles. It should not act up anymore if that was the problem. I want to make sure you understand that if the transmission fluid caused your problem then you are not maintaining your automatic transmission enough or someone put the wrong fluid in it.

If the problem still persists than you probably have a bad torque converter. And yes a new front seal, front pump bushing, pump gasket and pump o-ring should be put in the transmission if you replace the torque converter. More important now is that the transmsiion has to be removed to do this procedure and you have to be prepared for the worst case senario because if there is more damage to your transmission. Many reputable transmission shops will not just put a torque converter in your transmission without fixing the other problems. If that is the case than a good used transmission may be in your best interest. has the most qualified selection of low mileage used transmissions than anyone else. Most of them come out of low mileage wrecked cars. All of the ones they sell are certified pre-tested and well guaranteed.

That being said, there are several more tests we should discuss before the transmssion is even removed. One of them I consider to be the most important is a CVI (clutch volume index) test which tells the mechanic a whole lot more about your Chrysler TorqueFlite 604 transmission (trade name). See the next post for more on CVI and the theory and function of a TF 604 auotomatic transmission.

Check back with the Blog every other day or get a free subscription delivered to you every morning by email and learn more about your automatic tranmsission.

A True Automatic Transmission Diagnosis Story..

A little background on me. I owned an automotive and light duty truck repair and rebuilt transmission specialty shop from 1981 to 2006. I sold the shop right before the economic crash. I decided to get into helping people learn about how to choose the right transmission shop, since transmission shops are not fungible.

Here is a story for you on why a free or inexpensive diagnosis is in your best interest.

I get a phone call one day from a man who has a 1995 Ford F-250 truck that has an overdrive transmission which is called an E4OD-E. He wanted a price. I suggested he bring it in for a free diagnosis so we could determine exactly what was wrong. I explained that it was a computerized transmission and maybe it did not need to be rebuilt. No, no, he did not have time, he knew it needed a rebuilt transmission so he just wanted a price. He said he was going with the cheapest price. I told him I did not quote prices on the phone, I need to see the truck to do a free diagnostic before I could realistically say what was wrong and how much it would cost to fix.

He did not have time so apparently he called around until he found a ridiculously low price and took it to the unnamed shop. FYI, it had a ridiculous warranty of 90 days. We gave 3 years or 50,000 mile nationwide warranties to build confidence in our customers.

It was a little more than three weeks later I got a call from him. He asked me if he could get that free diagnosis. He went ahead and explained he took it to shop X and they rebuilt it for an extremely low price. It also took 3 weeks, which is not acceptable in 99 percent of the cases. The worse part was that he got a block from shop X and it started to act up the exact same way it did before he took it to them.

Needless to say he was somewhat frustrated. I gave him a cup of coffee and he came out to watch me do my diagnosis routine. It usually takes about 10 minutes to 20 minutes from the start. I checked his ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and looked for leaks and obvious things first. Then I hooked up my Snap-On Modus Scanner and suggested that we go for a ride together while I went through the driving portion of the diagnosis. While we were driving the scan tool was collecting information, so we just chatted while I put the truck through it’s paces. Seemed like a nice fellow really, just misinformed. At one point we stopped talking because I like to listen and ‘feel’ how the transmission functions.

We got back about 15 minutes later and it was time to see what type of data the scanner stored. There was one code in the scanner. A code indicates a problem, so in essence this was a good thing. I don’t remember the code number, but I remember it was a code for the TECA relay (transmission electrical control assembly).

I asked him if he ever saw anyone at Shop X hook up a scan tool. He said not to his knowledge. With his permission I took a new TECA relay off the shelf and bolted it on in about 15 minutes. We cleared the code from the computer and went for a ride. Guess what, it worked perfect, never missed a beat. Obviously the man had a mixture of emotions, he was happy we could fix this problem for less than 100 bucks. He was also angry about spending $1600.00 for a rebuild. Truthfully, it may have needed a rebuild, but chances are it did not, no way to tell now.

After we re-drove the truck for about 30 miles we came back and checked the codes, ahaa, no codes and perfect performance.

I think you know what the moral of the story is.

If one day you experience a transmission problem, now you know what to do. If you ever need a rebuilt transmission of any sort call the experts at, 866-320-1182. Feel free to examine our Blog and have access to all of our articles for free every day.

Automatic Transmissions Have A Heart: The Pump..

An automatic transmission has a heart of sorts. It is called a pump. There are several styles of pumps that we will get into in a few minutes. The pump in an Automatic transmission pumps the oil through out the transmission in order to make pressure, which we call hydraulic pressure. The fluid flows through a maze of passage ways, tubes, clutch packs, planetary gears, etc., (I could go on and on).., in a similar manner to the way blood flows through your brain, veins and arteries and internal organs. It is really cool.

The two most common pumps that are used almost exclusively are a gear drive pump, and a vane and rotor pump. Both pumps have the same duties which is to make a lot of pressure and send it to the correct places allowing the tranmsisson to perform all of it’s functions. The duties include pushing clutch pistons together, applying bands, lubrication and much more. FYI, A substancial loss of transmission fluid will ruin or “kill” a tranmsission, much like massive loss of blood will kill a human.

It is easy to see the differences in styles. Although one type of automatic transmission pump is no better than the other type, the point is that they make as much as 300 PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure, which is why I want to mention the pump assembly produces uncontrolled pressure, so a PR (pressure regulator valve) is the first control the fluid passes through so the fluid pressure is being controlled properly for each function. Simple, eh?

We hope to cover every component in your transmission and make it all sensible to you. If you don’t understand please let me know in the comment area so I can do a better job of putting it in terms you will understand. In the 25 years I owned my transmission shop (I sold it three years ago) the more my customers were educated about an automatic transmission the better decision was made too. An educated consumer is more likely to develop the right strategy and get the proper product.

Make sure you read how to maintain your transmiission so you don’t have a premature tranmsission failure, your transmissions pump is a precisely built piece of equipment that needs to be lubricated, and fresh fluid works better than old fluid. I can’t stress enough using my personal guidelines for a long transmission life.

Generally speaking when a transmission pump fails, you probably will need a new, rebuilt or used transmission. When a transmission has no pressure, none of the internal components can be activated since they operate off of fluid pressure. The same thing with massive fluid loss, when there is nothing to make pressure with, you have a no go situation. GotTransmissions .com is one of the most respected transmission supply companies in the world. Give them a call at 866-320-1182.

Remember, I will cover more of the parts and functions in future articles here at Blog with the hope you will have a general idea of how an automatic transmission works. Please feel free to ask a question through our comment area or simply make a comment.

Used Transmissions Are a Cost Effective And Reliable Solution.

In the last few years a used automatic transmission has proven to be a cost effective and reliable way to solve the probem. I like the fact that it was brand new at one point and has never been worked on before. If the factory did the job right and the car had no transmission history than in most cases that is my choice. Transmissions parts are made on Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines that produce a perfect part everytime.

Don’t confuse used with remanufactured, rebuilt or reconditioned transmissions, they are an entirely different product.

Automatic transmissions are a mystery of modern technology. It was that way in the late ’40’s when they were introduced and has continued as they have evolved with time. A puzzle for most people. The most qualified peple I know of are the experts at You can talk to a person who can help educate you and help you decide if a good used low mileage transmission is in your best interest. Brian, the gentleman who owns has done the footwork and has qualified the finest used transmissions on the market. Obviously making one call instead of ten phone calls to find the best used automatic transmission saves time and money.

Before you even drive the vehicle with a used transmission installed, it must be maintained. After you have installed the transmission is when you should perform the “service“. This will give you a starting point to know when you should maintain it next time. “How often should you maintain your transmission?” is a recent post on that subject.

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How Often Should You Maintain Your Automatic Transmission?

Maintenance is the key to long automotive automatic transmissions life. The maintenance is extraordinarily important for an automatic transmission because they make use of many gaskets, seals and components we term hard-parts and soft-parts. These parts are very sensitive to heat, mileage and the time between maintenance’s.

Whether you have new car or you just put a used transmission in your car, don’t discount the importance of maintenance. In fact if you install a good used transmission it is wise to do a “service” immediately, therefore establishing a starting point for your used transmissions maintenance schedule.

Aused transmission is a great replacement for a broken transmission. Not knowing the last time it was serviced makes it a good idea to service it right away, that way you have started a maintenance schedule to go by for your tranny. 

Maintenance schedules vary from brand to brand and from the age of the vehicle. We also need to consider the type of usage your vehicle will experience, meaning is it a work vehicle, a grocery getter or general transportation with an occasional trip to the hardware store where you may buy something heavy. Transmissions produce lots of heat, so making sure they cool properly is a key ingredient to long life.

Most cars built from the early ’90’s use a synthetic based transmission fluid. Synthetic oils or automatic transmission fluids (ATF) withstand more than twice the heat of a conventional ATF. Cars built from the early ’90’s have overdrive transmissions that are constantly shifting up and down the gear ranges causing lots of activity and heat which warrants good maintenance.

To make it simple, request synthetic ATF, it costs more, however, it lasts longer and your transmission will last longer. therefore negating the higher cost. A quality ATF has all the additives it needs, usually about 27 additives are mixed in to a light 15 weight oil.

As a general rule if you drive 12,000 to 20,000 miles per year than I would suggest changing your ATF and transmission filter once a year. If you drive over 20,000 miles a year but it is mostly highway driving, 30,000 miles is a good interval, if it is a work vehicle than it depends on how hard the vehicle works. In most work vehicle cases an ATF and filter change about every 12000 miles is a safe amount of mileage. On the other end of the spectrum, if you drive less than 12,000 miles per year just change the ATF every year. The importance of yearly maintenance in low mileage vehicles is that condensation can build up in the ATF. Simply put, you should drive enough to get your transmission hot enough to burn the condensation out of the ATF. You can always go for a 50 or 60 mile ride to get your tranny hot. Yes, it takes that long for the trans. to heat up all the way. has one more piece of advise, if your car overheats, since the ATF cools through the radiator, it is mandatory to change the fluid, because more than likely the fluid is damaged from the engine being overheated. The engine and transmission are bolted together. The radiator and everything in the cooling system needs to be checked and fixed too.

Become a subscriber to our Blog and receive your blog everyday in your email for free. Brian, the owner of encourages our readers to ask questions and comment in our comment box. Our job is to help you make a decision that is in your best interest and the experts at are the people who have the answers and can explain them in terms you understand. Enjoy. Call us at 866-320-1182 and talk to a professional.

What Is The Main Cause of Automatic Transmission Failure?

Lack of maintenance. Three small words have such an expensive outcome. There is no other part on a car or truck that needs proper maintenance more than an automatic transmission. I don’t mean to stay less focused on your other regular maintenance. Such as changing your engine oil and filter, having the fluids checked, a grease job, wheel bearing maintenance and emission controls, to name a few.

Transmissions are a big ticket item when it comes to looking for transmissions for sale, so it only makes sense to have such a delicate and precise component taken care of effectively. That being said, we are going to learn how to take care of your automatic transmission “my way“. I have my set of rules and after 25 years of owning and operating my transmission shop (I sold it three years ago), I’m well qualified to modify the rules of maintenance.

FYI, if you think I’m joking, you might as well call now at 866-320-1182 and find out what a new, reconditioned or used transmission costs for your vehicle now. Because your going to need them someday. If that does not scare you into following my rules, I would be surprised.

This is a primer and introduction to how to maintain an automatic transmission. We can discuss the water pump, fan clutch and cooling system too, but the first thing that must be practiced is using the proper and best automatic transmission fluid for your car. Simply speaking there is synthetic transmission fluid, semi-synthetic transmission fluid and conventional transmission fluid. Literally speaking, the right transmission fluid is life or death for a transmission.

No matter what, it is not a real service if the transmission oil pan is not lowered so you can change the transmission filter, because it is imperative to see if there is any unusual wear from the clutches, bearings, torque converter and other internal components. Some wear is normal, realistically speaking it takes a professional to know what is serious and what is not. A “flush” is not good enough if the transmission oil pan is not lowered or inspected and the filter is not changed after you flush it out. If you read the brochure on “transmission flushes”, no where does it state they change the trans. filter in it. You would not change your engine oil and leave the old filter on, would you?

We always inspected the whole transmission for leaks or anything unusual sush as a bad transmission mount or bad u-joints. If surrounding equipment to the transmission is not checked during a maintenance procedeure, than the job is not complete. to take it one step further, we always used a checklist so we had a written record for the shop and for our customer.

The last piece of info I am listing is how often to change the fluid in terms of time and mileage. The time values vary and I don’t wan to be vague about it in any way so my next post will have some specific details on time limits and finalize the subject of proper automatic tranmission maitenance. the Blog will become more and more populated as we continue to give you good quality information. Get in on the action first and subscribe to our free blog and have it delivered to your email box daily. Enjoy

The Mysterious World of Automotive Transmissions…

Without a doubt, the automotive automatic transmission is the most mystifying and least understood part of your car. It has been that way for decades. Transmissions have been around since the late 1800’s when the first car transmissions were developed. At that time they were relatively caveman in construction and there was no automatic transmission back then. Standard or manual shift transmissions were it, no put it in drive (D) and go.

The first automatic transmissions were introduced in the late 40’s. Most drivers over the age of 60 may have heard of; The Dynaflo, Hydramatic, Slim Jim, CastIron Powerglide, Ford-Omatic, Jetway, Ford’s Cruisomatic, Borg Warner small, medium and large case transmissions and many more. Strange names for strange power train components. FYI, the names are getting more complicated and silly sounding as they run out of names. We called the two speed Ford automatic a Mickey Mouse, use your imagination and figure that out! With great love, we would call a Ford Explorer, an Exploder!

The automatic transmission is a marvel of modern technology. It was that way in the 40’s, and as technology has evolved, so has the automatic transmission. Now tranny’s are fully computerized with dozens of input and output sensors and electrical solenoids, rheostats, potentiometers, and items we will talk about in the future. I can’t say ‘simply put’, because they are a maze of hydraulic circuits and valves (not the type of valves in a car engine) return springs, clutch plates, sprags, one way metal clutches, bearings, bushings, modulators, pumps, and more. Complicated, to say the least.

I want to dispel quickly the notion that a standard transmission is easier and cheaper to fix than an automatic tranny. The only people that say and think that have never worked on one. Standard or manual transmissions are very heavy, can be hard to disassemble and reassemble and are real finger smashers. The parts cost a fortune too. Not good for a guy like me who’s passion is playing the hi energy blues on my guitar. The standard transmissions made for the last 10-15 years are very hi-tech, not at all like the gear clashing hard to shift early models. I still prefer an automatic, unless it is my vintage ’70 Porsche! BTW Porsche uses Mercedes transmissions.

The education starts here on all automotive/car and light to medium duty trucks. After owning and operating a successful transmission shop in Florida for 25 years (I sold it 3 years ago) and rebuilding transmissions for 35 years total, I am more than qualified and glad to share my knowledge, answer your questions and provide a reliable and real world accurate source of information to you through the

We will cover every aspect of transmissions from purchacing one to choosing a shop and how to determine what is in your best interest. Stay tuned in. Thanks and Enjoy.