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Old 07-27-2012, 15:21   #1 (permalink)
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1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

I have a 1980 350 4x4 and I can't get it in 4Lo, it goes between 2H 4H and neutral just fine but it just won't go down into 4Lo I've tried everything I can think of to try and get the gears to maybe mesh right but it just doesn't want to. Also something that was weird to me, I have to turn the truck off to shift between transfer case gears because even in neutral or park it grinds if the engine is running so I wondered if that was supposed to happen or not? I'm sorry if this is a really stupid question but I'm 15 and anything I know about trucks I either found on the internet or figured out so I don't know much haha so yeah hopefully somebody has something for me to try, thanks.

Cole
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Old 07-27-2012, 19:42   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

Normally, I'd just say that you probably need a rebuild, but the part that baffles me is the grinding. If your truck is stationary, the output of the transmission should be stationary as well which means that nothing behind the torque converter should be moving.

If the tranny is in Park or Neutral, the output should not move, however, if the clutches aren't fully disengaging, the shaft will start to spin as you pass through Neutral on the shift for the transfer case.

It almost sounds as if your truck was once used as a plow truck, the slamming back and forth really takes its toll on the drive train. Does this have lock in hubs or is it full time?
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Old 07-27-2012, 20:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

So you think it might be something with the torque converter that makes it grind? It was a farm truck and pulled a stock trailer a lot, what's weird is that supposedly the tranny and transfer case only have about 10k miles since a rebuild. And it has lock-in hubs.
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Old 07-27-2012, 20:45   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

The torque converter is really nothing more than a pump. As long as the engine is running, it's pumping. Valves in the transmission port the oil to engage clutches and when a gear isn't selected, it just dumps it back to the sump. It sounds like you may have a valve or two leaking or a clutch pack is gummed and not fully releasing. You can observe this by putting on the E-brake and /or chucking the tires, dropping the drive shaft and running the engine and see what the output shaft is doing while in Park or Neutral. There is a pin on Park that is supposed to lock the shaft, but if it was thrown into park a few times while it was still moving with a wagon behind it, the pin could be history.

This still doesn't explain 4WD Lo, though. I assume it doesn't go in when the engine is off as well?
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:25   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

Ok I did what you said and the output shaft was moving but I got a hold of it and stopped it with my hand easily. So if a clutch pack isn't fully disengaging, does it have to be rebuilt? Or will something like a fluid and filter change help at all?

Even when the engine is off it won't go in, that's why I'm on here asking for help.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

Ok, a fork moves the ring gear to engage the 4WD, as you move it back, it shifts from 4W Hi to through neutral to 4W Lo. You've probably lost the low gear. As far as the transmission, a flush and filter change might help, but it might cause more problems. Best bet is a rebuild of both. The transfer case is probably a Borg-Warner transmission probably a C-6. If you are unfamiliar with how to rebuild an automatic, you can get into a lot of trouble real quick. Another option id to get a transmission and transfer case from a salvage yard. Fords truck drive trains didn't change a whole lot for a long time, so it shouldn't be difficult to find an automatic with a a transfer case, but you might have to grab the drive shaft as well.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:54   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

So you think the low gear is just broken? Also I really want to put a stick in the truck, I'm not a fan of driving automatics, so I should probably just find a 4wd 5 speed at a junkyard and put that tranny/transfer case in it? Also a friend of mine has a highboy with a divorced transfer case, is there any way to put one on my truck?
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

It's possible, I have 73 with a 5 spd out of a 93 and a transfer case out of an 88. Just remember that you'll have to accommodate for the clutch and plug off the vacuum line for the automatic. You might have to move or add support for the transfer case, what I would do is wander the junkyards and find one or two donors and grab any supports/linkage that comes with it. As a heads up, on my truck for an automatic, the switch for the backup lights are in the column, but on a standard, it's on the transmission. Since my tranny is a 93, I'll assume that Ford kept that idea at least until 96.
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Old 07-28-2012, 13:45   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

Ok thanks a lot
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Old 07-28-2012, 17:20   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1980 F-350 won't go in 4Lo

Keep us posted, let us know where you go with this. And good luck, you'll soon find out why some of us with older cars look at junk yards and drool.
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