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When coming out of first gear my trans. shifts hard, kinda feels like a shift kit. Is this bad? What could be the cause of this? Also, What is the life expectancy of a Duratec transmission? Any input is appreciated.
 

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Sounds like a classic vss symptom to me, although, iirc, dbfruth solved a harsh 1-2 shift by replacing tps.
^^^
True, However that was on a Vulcan.
 

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Vehicle speed sensor. On a cold eng., blindly reach down between the evr (egr solenoid) and firewall and feel for a foil box-like open-ended heat shield and slide up along elec. wire. Unplug wire. With a 1/4 in. dr. ratchet, 2 lg. exts. and 10mm skt., remove ret. bolt. Pull vss from tranny. Install is reverse of removal. $18-20 @ az. $25 @ oreilly for a better lifetime warr. borg-warner one. The above procedure works on gen.3 tecs with ax4n tranny. Tip: I tape exts. and socket to avoid retrieving them from under the car numerous times after coming apart lol. Wobble exts. are a plus too.
 

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This output sensor signal drives the speedo and through the pcm (computer) helps determine tranny shift points and sev. diff. eng. and trans. control functions. A defective vss can cause various driveability and transmission problems. Ive never had a bad one throw a code and only 1 or 2 displayed speedo issues and flashing od off light. All displayed problematic 1-2 shifts and other tranny shifting oddities. Ive replaced 5-6.
 
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