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I have a 2003 Ford Taurus SES (Duratec) with about 97,000 miles on it (the last 30,000 miles have been mostly long highway miles done 8 hours at a time). I was driving a few days ago locally (I live in Jacksonville FL), and I made it about a mile from my house and my transmission died. No matter what position you put the floor shifter in, the car would not move. The engine is ok. I had it towed to the closest Ford Dealer (Mike Shad Ford), talked briefly with the service manager, and left it there, as they had no qualified mechanics around on memorial day weekend. I talked with the service manager today about what they initially say is wrong with the car, and what my options are. They say I have no line pressure at all. They said something to the effect of a seal swelled up and the pump drive was forced into the pump cover causing damage. They say the torque converter, seals, pump drive, and main control must be replaced. I am already in it for $155.79 for the diagnostic. They have quoted me a few different options. I can buy a Ford certified remanufactured transmission and the installed price is $3000.82, and this comes with a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty, which is really like saying it is about a 36,000 mile warranty. They can repair the existing damage to my own transmission for $2511.11, and that comes with a 1 year/12,000 mile warranty, and that does not include replacing the clutch discs. They can also get one from a local junk yard that specializes in Ford parts, and the final installed price on that transmission is $1891.00, and that comes with a 90 day parts warranty, and the labor is not covered. I am not new to the mechanical world, but I have never had to replace a transmission before, much less on a newer vehicle such as this one. Is there a better option? Should I go for the repair, but get them to replace the clutch discs also, or should I just get them to install the remanufactured transmission? I want to make the right move here, as this is alot of money. I told the service manager that I would mull over my options and get back with him. By the way, the junk yard folks are unable to provide the mileage on the transmission that they have, as something called the "cluster" had already been removed, so I guess that option is a big gamble. Please advise.
 

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If you're looking for a transmission from a junkyard, I would seek one from a low mileage car obviously...possibly consider calling up LKQ Corp...a car recycler that strips cars of their parts. The cluster is the whole assembly that has your speedometer, tachometer, etc and has the mileage on it.

You may want to think about checking www.cartalk.com and looking under the mechanic files for a place in your area that can handle a trans job. May even look for a place that does quality transmission or engine rebuilds, like a speciality race shop (I'm sure there are plenty in FL).

I would be leary of going back to Ford for the same crummy not updated parts being installed, only to fail again down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (Bull Geek @ Jun 1 2010, 05:03 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=808440
If you're looking for a transmission from a junkyard, I would seek one from a low mileage car obviously...possibly consider calling up LKQ Corp...a car recycler that strips cars of their parts. The cluster is the whole assembly that has your speedometer, tachometer, etc and has the mileage on it.

You may want to think about checking www.cartalk.com and looking under the mechanic files for a place in your area that can handle a trans job. May even look for a place that does quality transmission or engine rebuilds, like a speciality race shop (I'm sure there are plenty in FL).

I would be leary of going back to Ford for the same crummy not updated parts being installed, only to fail again down the road.[/b]
You sound like you know what you are talking about through experience. My torque converter, seals, drive pump, and control unit must be replaced (according to the dealer). It would probably be a good idea to replace the clutch disks also. Knowing what you know about ford parts and their questionable quality, what parts that I have listed would you stay away from if they were made by ford? and what about their clutch disks? Is there an aftermarket manufacturer of transmission parts that you would recommend? I used to trust the Ford dealer while I was dealing with a certain service manager years ago, as he was always honest and straight with us. He is not working at this dealer anymore, and their service, reliability, and reputation has slipped greatly after that point. I am always very leary and guarded when I go there, as they always seem to screw up, from top to bottom. I very well may have the car towed away from there to another shop, but I would like to hear what you have to say about the parts I asked about.
 

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I certainly wouldn't have parts replaced with Ford ones in the transmission that are failure prone on the Taurus, unless fit/finish quality is an issue when you use aftermarket. I'm not very well versed on the parts, but I know the torque converter splines, pump shaft and the pump are the top three common failure points. If aftermarket parts are made stronger/better with Ford like fit and finish, I would rather have those.

How long do you forsee yourself keeping this car? The longer you anticipate having it, I would consider looking into something from Jasper Engine & Transmissions. Its 8 hours of labor minimum for the job. The cost will be a bit more than the Ford one as well.......
 

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The re-manufactured transmission probably means that they took a failed transmission like yours and rebuilt it. It's a very expensive work, but it might be worth to call around a few transmission repairs shops in the area and ask them for a price quote to rebuild a Taurus transmission. I have heard this can cost anywhere between $2000 and $3000 depending on parts that need to be replaced. The price for installing the junk yard transmission seems a little too much, considering that you have no idea what you're getting. For that much money, you may probably find someone who'd in principle try to rebuild yours.
 

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These transmissions are notorious for failing around 100K. If you get one with 80K it could only last 20K. Get yours rebuilt by a reputable shop, and have the updates installed so you can have some confidence in the unit. Also add an aux cooler while you are at it.
 

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These transmissions are notorious for failing around 100K. If you get one with 80K it could only last 20K. Get yours rebuilt by a reputable shop, and have the updates installed so you can have some confidence in the unit. Also add an aux cooler while you are at it.
That depends how you take care of the transmission. I've changed my tranny fluid every 33K miles (without a cooler), synthetic oil as a replacement like Mobil1 or better. With a cooler I plan to change it about 60K miles. I'm approaching 200K miles on this original transmission. It keeps runnin' and I keep driving it.

Equipped with a B&M super transmission cooler.
 

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That depends how you take care of the transmission. I've changed my tranny fluid every 33K miles (without a cooler), synthetic oil as a replacement like Mobil1 or better. With a cooler I plan to change it about 60K miles. I'm approaching 200K miles on this original transmission. It keeps runnin' and I keep driving it.

Equipped with a B&M super transmission cooler.
Some of them last, even ones not maintained. The failure rate is just higher than average. I know someone who just had one fail at 61K, and it was maintained. If it fails, you might as well upgrade it when the work is done.
 
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