Help choosing fluid for an E4OD Powerstroke?

Messages
6
Location
Tucson
Hello, I have a 1996 Powerstroke with the E4OD auto that is due for a fluid change and I'm trying to determine which fluid I should use. The previous owner of the truck had a performance rebuild done on the trans. I'm not sure on all the details of the rebuild but I talked to the tech that did it and was told it has stronger bands, steel planets, and a Sonnax valve body. It has an axiom two disk torque converter and large Tru-Cool 4590 transmission cooler. I have added an external spin on type filter as well. The power output from the truck is only slightly more than stock, for now, and I never tow with it. With the external filter, larger cooler, and the larger pan from a 4R100 trans I'm up to needing at least 18 quarts of fluid. Add two more quarts for the transfer case and I'm at an even 5 gallons of Mercon V required. The tech that did the rebuild recommended I use Red Line fluid. However, 5 gallons of that comes to $200. So, do I really need to spend that much or can I get by with something cheaper? What about the Valvoline Mercon V? It looks like a good fluid at half the price of Red Line, Schaeffer, or Mobile 1. Oh yeah, I also live in southern Arizona. Don't drive too many hills, but it's still hotter than the face of the sun here. Thanks for the feedback, Shawn
 
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13,132
Location
By Detroit
Well I guess there are different sized pans for E4OD trannies. My old motorhome was on an E350 chassis with a 460 V8 and the tranny was the bigger truck version (1990 though) and held about 16 quarts. Definitely Redline would be great stuff. Don't know of a lower priced alternative, maybe Amsoil.
 
Messages
1,335
Location
Arizona
I would say spend the extra cash and get some Redline D4. It straight outperforms regualar ATFs, especially here in AZ. I tow alot and my truck is used on my days off from the F.D. for a side business. I have had exceptional results using Redline ATF. The side benefit is that it can be kept in service for longer periods so this helps to offset the initial cost. I plan on running my current fill of RL D6 to about 60K with a bypass setup and pulling a few UOA's inbetween to see how things are progressing. The best deal I have found on Redline is on amazon by the case. I believe the vendor is Hoerr racing?
 

AZStang

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Messages
6
Location
Tucson
 Originally Posted By: TallPaul
Well I guess there are different sized pans for E4OD trannies. My old motorhome was on an E350 chassis with a 460 V8 and the tranny was the bigger truck version (1990 though) and held about 16 quarts. Definitely Redline would be great stuff. Don't know of a lower priced alternative, maybe Amsoil.
Mine stock was just over 16 qts. The pan off of a newer 4R100 trans adds a drain plug and reusable gasket and adds one more quart. Then the spin on external filter, added lines, and bigger cooler add at least another quart. Need to do the transfer case at the same - add 2 more quarts. Then I'll lose some doing the drain and pump out as well.
 Originally Posted By: AzFireGuy79
I plan on running my current fill of RL D6 to about 60K with a bypass setup and pulling a few UOA's inbetween to see how things are progressing. The best deal I have found on Redline is on amazon by the case. I believe the vendor is Hoerr racing?
Thanks for the feedback. I never thought about an extended drain interval with the better fluid. What would be the recommendation for duration without running a bypass filter? I do have an external spin on filter on the return line from the cooler. It actually is a bypass of sorts I guess in that it will bypass the filter if the pressure goes over 25psi. The tech that did the rebuild on the trans said to use Red Line and change it every 15,000 miles. Sounds like you are going way beyond that. That is a pretty good price on Red Line as well. Thanks, Shawn
 
Messages
3,669
Location
Phoenix, AZ
15K on Redline is just wasteful. I'm not sure exactly but I'd imagine you could use it at least 50K, especially w/ an 18qt capacity and the extra filter, maybe more. I would use Redline, Amsoil, or Schaeffer's. I'm currently using Schaeffer's on my 4R70W, and it's shifting great. I get it for 90.00/case. You can find it for a decent price. 20 qts would put you at 150.00 and you're in AZ as well(I'm in PHX). Let me know if you're interested in this fluid. BTW, I've heard the Valvoline Mercon V isn't that great of a fluid, and may have had a formulation change recently? The cheapest I've found regular Mercon V for is 4.29/qt and that's at a local dealer for a special price.
 
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2,689
Location
South Carolina
I have 135k miles on the Amsoil ATF in my Caprice and it looks and smells like the day it was put in.. Yes, I have additional filtration and cooling. Car is used for towing heavy loads about 5% of the time. Trans is original with over 267k original miles and shifts fine still. Changing Redline ATF every 15k or even 30k miles is just rediculous and wasteful, IMO. Schaeffers 204SAT is probably the best ATF for the money for your truck, and can be purchased in a 5 gallon bucket for under 6 dollars/qt from the right source. Redline or Amsoil will usually set you back 8-10/qt or more.
 
Messages
1,335
Location
Arizona
As others here have stated, 15K is WAY to early. [censored] I dont even change regular ATF that much! It depends on intended use and how the fluid is holding up, but I would say 50-60K and maybe even longer although i would definately pull a sample at around 50K to see if extending the run is harming anything. Until I have established a baseline, I dont like to run any fluid for an extreme OCI. The Bypass I am using is an amsoil unit that takes a small amount of ATF from the cooler lines and removes particles from the fluid in the 2 Micron or so range. A bypass is very dense and thus cannot be used as a full flow filter which is what you have. The bypass in your filter is utilized as a safety device if the filter were to plug up. There are many great Syn ATF's out there. Look around for a deal locally or on Ebay. I got 4 gallons of Redline D6 for $55! If it was my truck my top pick would be RL. Second pick would be a toss up between amsoil and Schaeffers. I am biased in that I have used Redline for about 15 years and it has always been phenominal. Between these three you will be more than happy no matter which one you choose. They are all very close in quality and performance. Keep us posted on what you go with.
 

AZStang

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
Tucson
 Originally Posted By: panthermike
I would use Redline, Amsoil, or Schaeffer's. I'm currently using Schaeffer's on my 4R70W, and it's shifting great. I get it for 90.00/case. You can find it for a decent price. 20 qts would put you at 150.00 and you're in AZ as well(I'm in PHX). Let me know if you're interested in this fluid.
OK. It looks like the Redline, Amsoil, Schaeffer actually seems to be the cheaper way to go what with the extended drain intervals. I guess I'll do some price shopping on those three. Where in AZ do you find Schaeffer's? Their dealer locater only shows two dealers in the Phoenix area and it doesn't look like they carry the trans fluid. Or, are you buying online? Thanks, Shawn
 
Messages
3,669
Location
Phoenix, AZ
 Originally Posted By: AZStang
 Originally Posted By: panthermike
I would use Redline, Amsoil, or Schaeffer's. I'm currently using Schaeffer's on my 4R70W, and it's shifting great. I get it for 90.00/case. You can find it for a decent price. 20 qts would put you at 150.00 and you're in AZ as well(I'm in PHX). Let me know if you're interested in this fluid.
OK. It looks like the Redline, Amsoil, Schaeffer actually seems to be the cheaper way to go what with the extended drain intervals. I guess I'll do some price shopping on those three. Where in AZ do you find Schaeffer's? Their dealer locater only shows two dealers in the Phoenix area and it doesn't look like they carry the trans fluid. Or, are you buying online? Thanks, Shawn
Contact Lee, he can get any Schaeffer's product.
 
Messages
2,689
Location
South Carolina
Or go to the sponsors forum here on bitog and get in touch with the Schaeffer rep whose handle here is salesrep. Mark is a great guy to deal with and a real professional. Shipped strait to your door or a local shipping depot in a few days.
 

AZStang

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
Tucson
 Originally Posted By: bmwtechguy
Or go to the sponsors forum here on bitog and get in touch with the Schaeffer rep whose handle here is salesrep. Mark is a great guy to deal with and a real professional. Shipped strait to your door or a local shipping depot in a few days.
I did not know about the site sponsors. I will send him an email. Thank you, Shawn
 
Messages
785
Location
Western Washington
If you plan on using high dollar ATF and running it a long time in that E4OD (or a 4R100 for that matter) I would install a spin-on filter. The in pan filters are a joke, they are just to keep big chunks of stuff out of the pump. No matter what the air temp is, a properly built E4OD or 4R100 should not see more than 180-200*F sump temps even pulling. I would recommend a later model pan with a drain plug so you can change the fluid frequently. Change what is in the pan about every 3rd oil change or once a year. With Sonnax parts in the transmission and it sounds like it has the the typical Kolene/Alto treatment that trans should run very cool. If it doesn't I'd suggest a programmer of chip to help change the electronic shifting strategy which was very poor in OBS PowerStrokes. This insures that some contaminates are removed, and that with the addition of new oil the add-pac stays within acceptable limits. By the time you see "dirty" ATF it's FAR too late.
 

AZStang

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
Tucson
 Originally Posted By: 1040 WreckerMan
If you plan on using high dollar ATF and running it a long time in that E4OD (or a 4R100 for that matter) I would install a spin-on filter. The in pan filters are a joke, they are just to keep big chunks of stuff out of the pump. No matter what the air temp is, a properly built E4OD or 4R100 should not see more than 180-200*F sump temps even pulling. I would recommend a later model pan with a drain plug so you can change the fluid frequently. Change what is in the pan about every 3rd oil change or once a year. With Sonnax parts in the transmission and it sounds like it has the the typical Kolene/Alto treatment that trans should run very cool. If it doesn't I'd suggest a programmer of chip to help change the electronic shifting strategy which was very poor in OBS PowerStrokes. This insures that some contaminates are removed, and that with the addition of new oil the add-pac stays within acceptable limits. By the time you see "dirty" ATF it's FAR too late.
Thanks for the tips. I do have an in-line spin on filter and the larger pan off a newer 4R100 with the drain plug. I have also had the PCM flashed to the latest and best update which helped immensely with shifting and torque convert lock up. A trans temp gauge is on the list. I figure I should be fine for now though since I don't tow anything. Shawn
 
Messages
14
Location
Portland, TX
I just had a 5 gallon pail of Shaffers ATF delivered Friday, its going to be going into my F150 (4R70W) this week replacing the Royal Purple (with a few quarts of M1 in there too). I did not have a Shaeffer's rep in Corpus Christi, TX (went out of business) so Shaeffers allowed me to purchase at jobber price and ship directly to me (they sent it via freight) rather than UPS/Fedex though. I also got a deep pan that I will be installing for added cooling/volume and will be putting a bung in the side for a trans temp gauge.
 

AZStang

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
Tucson
Thank you for all the input fellas. I decided on the Schaeffer's All Trans. My local rep. ended up being the easiest place to get if from - and the cheapest. Shawn
 
Messages
1,336
Location
Charlotte, NC
I know this post is old, but I just wanted to tell you guys thank you so much about bringing to light a factory pan with a drain plug that will fit the E4OD transmission. I found I can get one brand new for $35 off eBay.
 
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