Transmission Low Speed Clunk

thevol

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Hello, new member here just got my truck yesterday and been loving it for the most part. Had a strange issue today where in a low speed turn coasting off power into a parking lot the trans was sort of confused then popped/clunked into a lower gear. The first time it happened just thought it was one of those weird things that happen on occasion then it did it again the next time in a similar scenario. This is a 7.3 with 175 miles on it. Is it just weird break in stuff or is this how this trans is going to shift at low speeds? Anyone else had any low speed clunking/bucking issues when it downshifts?
 

JC_Tremor

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Mike's been having odd transmission guessing as well, not terrible but noticeable. It's like the truck is still learning my driving habits. I'm not sure if there's anything wrong or just how it is for now.
 

SManZ

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Mine had some rough downshifts while coming to a stop during the test drive. I mentioned it to the salesman and he said the transmission would learn and adjust to my driving. I thought it was the typical response, but the issue didn't pop up after I had put a few hundred miles on.
 

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Normal, transmission is learning, make sure you operate it in all kinds of conditions (make it downshift by more throttle imput) The more you drive it the better it will get. I am approaching 1,000 miles and is starting to smooth out finally.
 

JC_Tremor

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Normal, transmission is learning, make sure you operate it in all kinds of conditions (make it downshift by more throttle imput) The more you drive it the better it will get. I am approaching 1,000 miles and is starting to smooth out finally.
I'm still having rough shifts but I've really been babying the thing. I'm around 1800 miles. I need to really get on it more in normal mode. Most my driving has been around town in eco.
 
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thevol

thevol

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Thanks for the reply's. Sounds like it could be a normal learning/break in thing, will give it a thousand miles of varied driving and see what happens. My wife had driven for the first half of this trip and I drove the second half...we have very different driving styles so maybe it got confused. :D
 
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thevol

thevol

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I took it out again just to try to duplicate the issue and watch the gears closely, there is definitely something funny happening with 2nd gear. It rarely seems to use 2nd and when it does it acts strange like it gets stuck momentarily or something. The only way I could get it to use 2nd was to slow to just above a crawl (other than using manual). Hope it will break in and start working better, we shall see. I dont fully understand the shift patterns yet but obviously with 10 speeds it could be pretty complicated. I think the buck/clunk I was feeling was the trans trying to go from 3rd to 1st, missing 2nd for whatever reason..
 

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Mine rarely goes into second gear, you really have to give it a lot of throttle. Most of the time is goes from first to third. Hopefully yours will smooth out. I was really not a fan at first, but it is has been improving. In my wife's Aviator the 10 speed transmission has been awesome right off the dealership lot (best automatic I've driven, responsive and smooth), so I guess I had better expectations with my truck.
 

JC_Tremor

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Mine rarely goes into second gear, you really have to give it a lot of throttle. Most of the time is goes from first to third. Hopefully yours will smooth out. I was really not a fan at first, but it is has been improving. In my wife's Aviator the 10 speed transmission has been awesome right off the dealership lot (best automatic I've driven, responsive and smooth), so I guess I had better expectations with my truck.
Well...truck isn't an ultra comfy plush Aviator...different tranny right? The heavy duty version.
 

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Yes correct, but still. You would think it would be a little smoother.
 

davidb1841

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Mine does the wierd stay in second thing an extra second, right after I pull out of the drive way. Other than that it skips gears all the time on upshifts. I have 7000 on mine now and its very smooth and quiet overall. Have not experienced a hard downshift, but sometimes when its idling at 20 mph with almost no RPM...it does kinda get almost in neutral like...and searches around a bit....other than that no problems
 

Tremortrix

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I have 2500 miles on mine. About 500 towing 4500 lbs, about 1750 miles highway and around 500 city.

Don’t baby it too hard. I wouldn’t blast it non stop, but floor it at highway speeds and pass some cars occasionally. Sometimes get on it hard when merging onto highways. I would always wait until transmission temps are up all the way until getting on it at all.

To me, I think you need to just drive it and let it learn how you want to drive. Give it some time. If it’s not a good transmission the. You’ll find out sooner rather than later.
 

elkhunter

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I had a similar thing happen last week. I was starting from stopped and I thought someone rear-ended me. I looked in my rear-view mirror and didn't see anyone. All I can think of is that the transmission was confused. It happened somewhere between second and third gears. When I checked, it was in third. I wasn't doing anything abnormal or aggressive. I'll let you know if it happens again. I hope that its a 'learning' issue. It was not pleasant on a new truck with 1k miles.
 

zeke2020

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I had a similar thing happen last week. I was starting from stopped and I thought someone rear-ended me. I looked in my rear-view mirror and didn't see anyone. All I can think of is that the transmission was confused. It happened somewhere between second and third gears. When I checked, it was in third. I wasn't doing anything abnormal or aggressive. I'll let you know if it happens again. I hope that its a 'learning' issue. It was not pleasant on a new truck with 1k miles.
Mine has about 4500 on it. Here in upstate NY, the summer morning temperatures have been consistent. I drive the the same route, same time of the day and I get different shifting experiences. Early august i documented the temperature for three straight days. It was 68 degrees everyday at 6:05 am. When backing out of driveway and engaging it into “drive” i noticed three different shift patterns. Ford dealership says thats “normal”. IMO, i dont care if its normal, for 70K, in 2020, i expect better! Rant over
 

davidb1841

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There is a recall on the Tranny for trucks built in Jan and Feb.....there is a thread on this (Transmission Recall) go to the NHTSA web site and enter your VIN......and you will instantly know if your affected. The fix is a new Tranny
 

KC_Tremor

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New reply to this thread. I’ve got a 21 F250 6.7 with just over 5k miles on it and also have been noticing this clunky shift. Any word on if it gets better?
 

TremStar

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I swore my transmission was a lemon when I bought my truck a year ago going from a 6.2 6 speed to the 7.3 10 speed. I have 11,000 miles now and it definetely smooths out after the first couple thousand miles and the "clunks" will calm down. But overall the the transmission is noisy and a bit quirky. It takes some getting used to but I like it overall. Its been speculated that the 7.3, 10 speed, 4:30 combo is somewhat akward. But my truck is still running strong towing 4000lbs city every day.
 

Mach'er

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While the truck comes pre-programmed with transmission adaptive values initialized to something that is supposed to be ballpark to the actual trans in your truck, it still needs to learn and adapt - and then continues doing so for the life of the truck.

I've got about 14,000 miles on my 7.3L, and still have some occasional transmission events that make me take notice. But, it's night and day different (in a good way) compared to when I drove it off the lot.
 

Steelie

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On August 8th of this year, I got off work, started my truck and threw her into drive. Big hard clunk! It started going into drive hard a couple of weeks prior. Not every time, but it was doing it enough that I noticed it. The last "clunk" was noticeably different. Went to pull out onto the main road and the trans went from 1st to 3rd and the rpm's went to 6 grand. Nothing! I pulled to the shoulder and thought WTF was that? I put her in drive again and the dash lit up like a christmas tree and went into limp mode. I had gears 6th through 10th. Obviously I immediately limped to my local dealer. This was a saturday and after hours so no techs on site. Long story short is the transmission was smoked. They tried to rebuild it and failed. Finally gave up and ordered me a new trannny. They had my truck for over a month and a half and I just got it back last Wednesday. It's a 2020 7.3 with 15k on the meter. I hope your "clunk" isn't the start of the same issue that I had.
 

soop

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There is probably too much being attributed to the adaptive transmission features here.

My understanding is that the “learning” a transmission does is very basic and procedural. It's not an artificial intelligence. It doesn't really care about your driving habits. It's just making minor adjustments to transmission pressure based on values in a table that are updated constantly based on very recent behavior of the transmission (and by consequence how you happen to be driving during certain shifting conditions.) The primary goal of an adaptive transmission is to maintain the manufacturer-designed “feel” of the transmission as it wears — and to reduce that wear by avoiding unnecessary pressure in the transmission when it is newer and can function with less pressure.

Under normal driving conditions, the adaptive shifting table values should be populated in any typical single drive cycle over a handful of miles. It does not take hundreds or thousands of miles for the table values to be updated. Or for the transmission to go through most shifting scenarios a handful of times to get to some relatively stable shifting strategy.

If you really believe the adaptive transmission is a culprit, it's easy to reset. In FORScan you can reset (“clear”) the adaptive transmission table to initial factory values, and then just follow Ford's recommended drive cycle to update all of the values (below.) Then just be conscious of placebo effect.

  1. Drive the vehicle until the engine and transmission reach normal operating temperature.
  2. Accelerate from a stop with light throttle (15%) ensuring that upshifts 1st through 8th occur at engine speeds between 1300-1600 rpm.
  3. Continue to accelerate (may apply slightly more throttle after 7-8 upshift at 32-38 mph (51-61 km/h) until you achieve 55 mph (88 km/h) and the 8-9 and 9-10 shifts complete.
  4. Brake very gently to a complete stop and hold foot on brake for five (5) seconds.
  5. Shift the transmission to Neutral. Wait 1 second.
  6. Shift the transmission to Reverse. Wait 2 seconds.
  7. Shift the transmission to Neutral. Wait 1 second.
  8. Shift the transmission to Drive. Wait 2 seconds.
  9. Repeat Steps 3 through 9 six additional times.
 
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