Ford introduced the 5R110W TorqShift_ 5-speed automatic with the 2005 models. This transmission features a "Tow/Haul" setting that brings the convenience of tow-haul mode to all Super Duty models that are equipped with automatic transmissions. This feature adjusts transmission response to improve performance on both acceleration and deceleration.
On downhill stretches, the transmission and engine work together to help keep the vehicle from gaining speed. This enhances the driver's feeling of control, especially when the vehicle is heavily loaded or towing a large trailer. It also helps to reduce brake wear.
Uphill, the transmission will hold a gear longer when in tow-haul mode, to reduce the "hunting" effect that can occur when cresting one rise, only to encounter another. The engine remains in its power band. Both gasoline engines - the new 5.4- liter, 3-valve Triton V-8 and the 6.8-liter, 3-valve Triton V-10 - are now rated to higher RPM, to take advantage of this feature of tow-haul mode.
Another significant advantage of bringing the five-speed TorqShift automatic transmission to the gasoline engine family is the wider overall ratio spread of its gearing. A higher first gear improves launch performance from a dead stop.
Shift the trans into tow/haul and it takes over. Up hill it stays in the right gear to the top. Down hill all you do is touch the brakes at the speed you want to go downhill and the trans will keep you at that speed all the way to the bottom. You do not need to downshift the transmission manually. You will never need to touch the brakes unless you want to slow down more.
There's nothing new about selecting a lower gear to help control your vehicle's speed when descending a steep hill. The tow/haul" mode just does it for you automatically.
The difference between the previously-used Ford 4R100 4-Speed transmission and the new 5-speed is a lower 1st Gear and a new gear between the old 1st and the old 2nd gear. The new 3rd is the same as the old 2nd. The new 4th is the same as the old 3rd. The new 5th is the same as the old 4th. The guts of the new transmission are supposed to be much beefier than the old 4-speed. Actually the new transmission has 6 forward speeds as it is really a 3 speed with an over drive, It has two different shift patterns that each skip a different gear (near direct drive) depending upon the temperature being above or below 0 degrees. Obviously the new transmission is an improvement, but the new gear is at the low end.
After having the transmission fluid flushed I double checked the fluid level in the trans (cold) and it was a little above the "Full" mark. I didn't realize at the time that this was not good. I learned that several days later when smoke started coming from under the coach. After stopping and looking under the coach, I found trans fluid dripping from the trans housing. An excellent transmission mechanic went to work diagnosing the problem. He felt that because we stopped as soon as there was a leak that we prevented total destruction of the unit. He said that any possible internal compromise would have been to the torque converter and pump. He replaced both items and also found no debris in the pan or filter. The mechanic explained that when filling the trans with fluid (COLD) the oil level should come to the BOTTOM of the 'fill/full' hash mark on the stick, or even better, up to only the 'hole' in the dip stick tip. When the oil warms it will rise to the top of the hash mark, but should NEVER go over. Also this transmission can ONLY take "MERCON LV" (XT-10QLV) synthetic fluid (19.2-qts in a totally empty system. This particular fluid is good for 60,000-miles and it will turn very dark after about 5K to 10K miles. THIS IS NORMAL! At the 60K-mile mark, the fluid should be flushed (including the cooler) and the internal snap out filter replaced. This should be repeated every subsequent 60K-miles.
Tow/Haul should be used in any hilly or mountain terrain if pulling any "Toad." This is optional necessary on flat roads.
Contributors: bumper, oryoki, Terry Tanner, Scott Squires, WxToad, Mike Coachman
Revised: 29 Oct 11
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