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1997 Ford F350 Heavy Hauler Installation - Bulletproof Transmission

Our '97 F-350 Gets A Built E4OD

Mike McGlothlin
May 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
Photo 2/18   |   1997 Ford F350 Heavy Hauler Installation nadp Shop
Long before the Allison 1000, Dodge 68RE, and Ford 5R110 transmissions were available, diesel truck manufacturers used transmissions originally designed for gasoline-engine applications. Remember the Dodge 47RH and 47RE behind the Cummins, the TH700R4 and 4L80E behind 6.5L's, and the Ford E4OD behind the Power Stroke? Just goes to show you how much better the diesel drivetrains are from the factory these days.
Speaking of E4OD transmissions, our '97 Power Stroke was being held back in the performance department by the stock slushbox. That is, until we called up North American Diesel Performance and asked for some help. Most notably known for building bulletproof Ford 5R110's these days, NADP's expertise in building rock-solid transmissions neither begins, nor ends with Fords. The guys at NADP have proven over the years that they can build any brand of transmission with the best of them. Since we're turning our '97 F-350 into a tow rig, we opted for one of its Heavy Hauler units to help us get the job done
When our new transmission arrived, we left the installation process up to another expert in the transmission world, Mike Lovrich of Inglewood Transmission. Known for putting together indestructible Allison 1000's, Lovrich is no stranger to E4OD's. His shop was under contract to maintain a fleet of Ford trucks used to construct the 105 freeway in Los Angeles in the early '90s, which led to Lovrich rebuilding and installing several hundred of them. Knowing this, we never thought twice about which shop to go to for the swap. Here's how our Heavy Hauler E4OD install went, along with some post-install driving impressions. DP
Photo 18/18   |   The final step in installing our Heavy Hauler transmission was taking it for a post-install test drive. We climbed aboard and let Lovrich take the truck for a spin. He was easy on the truck the first few blocks, then leaned on it a little, which proved we had a much more efficient unit behind our Power Stroke. Upon our return to the shop we checked, and re-checked our fluid level, then drove the truck 40 miles home without skipping a beat.
Driving Impressions
Thanks to the newfound efficiency of the Heavy Hauler transmission, our Power Stroke is a lot more fun to drive. And we have definite peace of mind knowing that our transmission will hold up to anything we throw at it in the future. Below are our initial observations, but stay tuned...we'll be putting this Heavy Hauler to work in the coming months.
* Firm, quick shifts are now the norm thanks to the vastly increased line pressure through the valvebody and the triple-disc torque converter. The new transmission now keeps our Power Stroke in its peak powerband on a consistent basis.
* We were very impressed with the firmness of our Heavy Hauler's lockup and Overdrive shifts.
* Once in lockup, the truck will pull as hard as you want it to.
* Transmission temperatures are 30-40 degrees cooler thanks to the Mag-Hytec deep pan.
* After one trip around the block, it felt like we could take the truck to the track, throw 2,000 pounds in the bed, or tow anything we wanted.


Van Nuys, CA 91402
North American Diesel Performance
Inglewood Transmission Service


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