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10R80 Owners - ULTIMATE M6G 10R80 Facts + Resolutions to harsh or no shift conditions

Cobra Jet

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This will be the “official” 10R80 thread. It contains Facts and links to other important 10R80 posts on this site.

It will also serve as a repository for those who have had issues with their 10R80, were able to get resolution and so those owners can post what they or their Service Center did for resolution. Hopefully it will also help others possibly get resolution who may have inexperienced Service Centers.

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EDIT May 2020:
Attached PDFs; users will find the information pertaining to the 10R80 dipstick variations and trans fluid documents.
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The known S550 10R80 issues (does NOT affect all S550’s equipped with 10R80’s):

1) Harsh, clunky or jerky downshifts - usually most present during the 4-3, 3-2 or 2-1 downshift in Normal trans mode and can be more harsh when in Sport trans mode.

2) Harsh, clunky or jerky upshifts - usually most present during the 3-4, 5-6 upshift in Normal trans mode and can be more harsh when in Sport trans mode.

3) Stuttering of shift points when coming to a stop or accelerating. It feels like the trans is unable to determine which gear to go into as the RPMs are increasing.

4) Lack of initial engagement into from Park into Reverse if exterior temps are below 50*.

5) Lack of engagement from Park into Reverse when car is totally in normal temp range (190*-210*), regardless of exterior temps.

6) Extremely harsh engagement from Park into Reverse OR from Reverse to Drive (1st gear). Exterior temps do not matter. The engagement can be so harsh that it feels as if the car has been hit by another vehicle or like the driveline will rip the rear from the car.

7) Erratic shifts - seems like the trans is hunting or prematurely auto shifts gears when it should not be doing so.

8) Trans seems to remain in a higher gear when slowing down as vehicle MPH is decreasing when trans should actually be going into an obvious lower gear.

FACT 1:
Per Ford:
Use only Motorcraft MERCON® ULV Automatic Transmission Fluid XT-12-QULV (WSS-M2C949-A) or equivalent when servicing a 10R80 automatic transmission.

FACT 2:
The early 2018 S550’s w/10R80’s did have some operational issues with software and hardware. These issues (some minor and some major) were addressed by Ford through TSB’s or SSM’s. The link below contains ALL such info and docs as of today’s date. That thread gets updated when there is any new release of such info.
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...ost-recent-tsb’s-in-here.102918/#post-2336328

FACT 3:
The 10R80 is an adaptive learning transmission. The below thread contains the information about how to reset the adaptive learning of the 10R80 based on M6G Members and Ford’s recommendations (Post # 15 has the Ford Shop Manual info - thanks goes to @DickR):
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/question-on-10-speed.105430/#post-2702026

Adaptive learning can also be reset via Forscan for those who use the tool (thanks goes to @Blown86GT):
Hopefully you are familiar with the software and have the correct adapter. If not, let me know and I can send you the Forscan software link and the laptop adapter I used to hook up to my car.

Click on the wrench button within FORscan. You will see several modules listed under the service procedures tab. Click on clear adaptive strategy for the PCM module. Then push the play button at the bottom of the FORscan GUI. Once complete, you should be set...
FACT 4:
M6G Members with 10R80’s have found that their 10R80 was low on fluid from the factory. If you suspect your shifting issues may be due to low fluid level, have your Ford Service Center check the fluid (or you can DIY at home with car safely jacked up or on a lift). Here’s 2 low trans fluid threads:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/2018-10r80-low-on-transmission-fluid.132066/#post-2733064

https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/a10-owners-check-your-oil-level.116410/

2 threads on checking 10R80 fluid levels:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/10r80-fluid-check.137537/#post-2827033

This thread discusses the (2) very different 10R80 dipsticks - thanks to @leonrudi and @speedup for their findings!):
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/a10-fill-plug-impossible-to-remove-help-plz.141548/

FACT 5: The Ford Powertrain/Drivetrain Warranty is 5/60. The Transmission is covered under this warranty even if the new car 3/36 is expired.

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My 2018 was just at the Ford Service Center for 10R80 shifting issues. Up until 2 weeks ago and since the car was purchased new, I didn’t have any shift issues up until 35k. The issues were resolved and here’s the complete Tech diagnosis and resolution. The trans no longer has any harshness, clunkiness or shift issues in any Trans Mode, Drive Mode or when shifting from Park to Reverse or from Reverse to Drive (1st gear). Even when slowing down and coming to a stop, the 10R80 shifts are flawless and it’s almost hard to tell the trans is even downshifting.

BE2B3988-5C15-405C-9B78-EFD454633F52.jpeg
5F9DD1A2-C843-4979-9707-435D3884CD27.jpeg



IMPORTANT NOTES:
1) Disconnecting the battery and/or resetting vehicle KAM will not update the trans software. It will not fix any issues IF the abnormal shifting is due to internal mechanical malfunctions (ie: valve body, torque converter, clutches, etc.)

2) If the 10R80 is “reflashed” with the most current software strategies by a Ford Service Center using IDS AND the abnormal shifting conditions remain AFTER a genuine trans reflash - the issue is NOT software related, it’s mechanical. Even with the trans being an adaptive learning trans, after an IDS software update and if the Tech has already performed the “relearn strategy”, when the Customer receives the car back - the trans should NOT have any harsh or abnormal shift conditions at all. If your 10R80 still has shift issues after a software reflash, it’s definitely a mechanical issue; print the above Tech notes and tell your Service Center they must do a similar diagnosis BEYOND just a test drive or software reflash.

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For those NOT getting resolution from their Service Centers for ANY Warranty repair efforts, this thread contains all of the Ford 800# info to getting a Regional CSR to assist with your concerns:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/the-ford-800-info-for-those-needing-it.111571/
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For 10R80 Newbies:
The design and workings of a 10R80:
https://www.motor.com/magazine-summary/need-10-speeds/

SAE International Automotive Engineering article; go to page 10 about the 10R80:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/attachments/sae_16autd07-pdf.349718/

10R80 Internal Tech:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/10r80-internal-technical-info.141611/

10R80 Trans Modes vs Drive Modes + Paddle Shift facts:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/drive-modes-the-a10.141350/#post-2896682

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EDIT May 2020:
For those seeking to improve 10R80 cooling, see this excellent tech thread:
https://trackmustangsonline.com/threads/10r80-automatic-trans-cooling-questions.14765/

See M6G Member @Flyhalf tech and upgrades for improving 10R80 cooling:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/10r80-hesitation-at-230f.120806/

Looking for a 10R80 Deep pan? There’s currently one in the works as of Feb. 21, 2020:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...ep-pan-in-development-pml-your-covers.141605/

Tracking your 10R80? This thread has great info provided by @sdiver68 and @Flyhalf:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/10r80-on-the-curvy-road-race-track.109576/


—————

10R80 Owners: feel free to contribute anything that will help others.
 

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Cobra Jet

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You have 35000 miles on your A10?
Yes. I took delivery of my 2018 new in Feb 2018, as of last night it’s just ticked over 35.5k.
 

Zinc03svt

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Yes. I took delivery of my 2018 new in Feb 2018, as of last night it’s just ticked over 35.5k.
What was your build date? Mine was May 18.

I do not have most of those issues you listed. Car will down shift like a rev match occasionally in Drive, but I always blamed the tune for that. Stock tune drives out fine.
 

Cobra Jet

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What was your build date? Mine was May 18.

I do not have most of those issues you listed. Car will down shift like a rev match occasionally in Drive, but I always blamed the tune for that. Stock tune drives out fine.
The VCL on the driver B-pillar shows a 01/18 date. I have my Special Order window sticker which probably has the complete actual build date info on it.
 

Thegipper

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My 2020 GT has the same clunky downshifts. I’m going to take it in this week regarding this and a rattle in the passenger C-pillar.
 

Flyhalf

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I'll input my experience in the next days.
10r80 mainly for roadcourse.
Alex
 

Bikeman315

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This will be the “official” 10R80 thread. It contains Facts and links to other important 10R80 posts on this site.
10R80 Owners: feel free to contribute anything that will help others.
Thank you CJ for this awesome post. Every 10R80 owner should bookmark it.
 

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hlfbkd420

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So that delayed/slow shift from 3rd to 4th at anything over 30% throttle isn't normal? My car shifts okay when just accelerating at a leisurely pace or WOT.. But anything over 30% and below WOT it is herky jerky.
 

Thegipper

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My biggest issue is the intermittent “clunk” when the transmission is slowing down and downshifting on its own mainly from 3-1 and sometimes from 4-3.

It happens on average every other day and statistically, it won’t happen if taken to the dealer. I don’t know if should take it in for this. I keep hearing that some of these left the factory short 1-2 quarts of transmission fluid or they have bad valve bodies. Mine is a 2020 so you’d think issues would get fixed, but this is Ford. Lol.
 

Dawgvet06

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Long time lurker, recent member, first time poster here - interested in documenting my recent experience as well as looking for some advice/thoughts from the group.

I have a 2018 GT with the 10R80. I bought it new in April 2018 (build date 11/17). The car is very well taken care of, lightly driven around town (1-2 times a month on the interstates around Atlanta and has been from Atlanta to Charleston, SC and back one time), and has never been on a track or drag strip. No tuning or performance upgrades - essentially stock. No accidents or major issues other than a tire puncture (left rear tire replaced by local tire shop under extended warranty - no damage to the car, but the tire sidewall was damaged due to driving with low tire pressure - I have my doubts that it really needed replacing right away, but I paid for the extended warranty, it was no cost to me, and why risk tire failure, but I digress...). Other than the tire issue, it's only been serviced at the Ford dealership. Occasional sport mode driving (transmission and exhaust) for fun. It ticked over to 7,750 miles in early January of this year.

The car had a transmission issue in April 2019 - pulling away from a red light leaving work on a Friday night - hard but not excessive acceleration, it seemed to miss at least one or two low end gears, went into limp mode, and the service engine/wrench light came on. I pulled over, turned the car off, and let it sit for a few minutes. Started it back up and it drove normally, but the check engine light stayed on. Drove it home, made a service appointment for the next Monday and let it sit all weekend before taking it in. The dealership service department checked it over and performed a software update/reset which seemed to resolve the issue. Since then, I've been very diligent about paying attention to how the car shifts gears. It hasn't been overly rough or jerky, but it would occasionally hesitate in the low end gears - almost like it was having trouble making up its mind about which gear it wanted to be in - but no other major issues (no hard shifts, check engine/wrench lights, etc).

Until Thursday, Jan 9 - I was leaving work under normal circumstances (5 o'clock traffic) and was simply pulling out and accelerating into traffic - a little firm on the gas but not flooring it - and the car was in normal drive mode. I thought at first I was having a complete deja vu of the same issue I had last April - the car missed a shift in the low end of the gearbox, went into limp mode, it was even in nearly the exact same spot on the same road as before, except this time, after I pulled over, turned it off and let it sit for a few minutes, and restarted it, it continued to have problems - hard/delayed upshifts and downshifts around gears 1-3, hesitating, check engine light/wrench on. Got the car home, made a service appointment the following Monday (car was parked all weekend again but was still shifting roughly on the way to the dealership). I could get the car to move more smoothly if I put the transmission in sport mode and used the paddles to get up above 3rd -4th gear (actually drove pretty normally above 4th gear). I did some research on these forums and other resources online and suspected that my car was having issues that closely matched those described in the Ford service bulletin SSM 47361 (posted in this thread - https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/2018-10r80-a10-most-recent-tsb’s-in-here.102918/#post-2336328).

Long story short - the car has been at the dealership since Jan 13 (after the initial evaluation, they could only tell me transmission failure, needs to be torn apart, damaged parts replaced, etc) - I've been patient but have been on them for updates in the last couple of weeks as well as been in contact with Ford corporate regional customer service rep as the car has been out of commission since Jan 9 and at the dealership for 30 days as of today. This morning I got word that the parts we were waiting on (torque converter and seal kit) finally came in, and the car should be fixed in the next day or two. Also got the final word from the service advisor that the one way clutch failed confirming my suspicion that my car was most likely affected by the same problem listed in SSM 47361. It's an early 2018 model, and the reports I've seen from others seem mostly to be reflected in those cars with relatively low miles - fits my car's pattern pretty closely.

My two questions for the group are basically this - with one way clutch failure confirmed and missed/jerky low end shifts in the 10R80 being a previously reported issue for my car and a small number of other 2018 models with 10R80s in general:
1) Do you think I just got bit by this problem because of the relatively low miles on my car causing it to take a longer time to get to its "failure" point?
2) Could the previous issue I had with my car (April of last year with the missed shift, software update, and occasional "funny" shifts since then) have been an early warning of imminent failure (can't remember how many miles were on it then - probably around 4000-5000 miles)?

Other than reporting what I've experienced to the group (happy to answer any specific questions or clarify any info I can if it might be helpful to anyone here) - I'll be happy to upload any reports from the service dept once repairs are completed and I have the car back.

Thank you for being a great resource for fellow Mustang owners and for any thoughts.

Jimmy
 
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Vlad Soare

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The dealership service department checked it over and performed a software update/reset
I'm always puzzled when I hear about dealerships doing that. And I seem to hear it more and more often these days.
If I have learned something after working in IT for more than two decades, it's that software doesn't go bad. It either works, or it doesn't. There's no way a piece of software can work for one year and then suddenly stop working. Software doesn't break.
If the transmission misbehaved from day one, then you might suspect a software glitch and might hope to fix it with an update. But if it works fine for one year and only then starts misbehaving, then there's absolutely no doubt that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the software, and that any technician suggesting that is either incompetent, or taking you for a sucker, or both.

2) Could the previous issue I had with my car (April of last year with the missed shift, software update, and occasional "funny" shifts since then) have been an early warning of imminent failure (can't remember how many miles were on it then - probably around 4000-5000 miles)?
Yes, I'm pretty sure it was.
 

Rash

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I'm always puzzled when I hear about dealerships doing that. And I seem to hear it more and more often these days.
If I have learned something after working in IT for more than two decades, it's that software doesn't go bad. It either works, or it doesn't. There's no way a piece of software can work for one year and then suddenly stop working. Software doesn't break.
If the transmission misbehaved from day one, then you might suspect a software glitch and might hope to fix it with an update. But if it works fine for one year and only then starts misbehaving, then there's absolutely no doubt that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the software, and that any technician suggesting that is either incompetent, or taking you for a sucker, or both.


Yes, I'm pretty sure it was.
A reflash will update to the most current software version. If Ford updated the PCM software, it could improve things. It did for me (fingers crossed, knock on wood).
 

Vlad Soare

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Sure, a software update can (and usually does) improve things. What it cannot do is fix problems that have appeared out of the blue.
If something works perfectly well for a long time and then it suddenly doesn't, that's definitely not a software issue.
 

Cobra Jet

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Sure, a software update can (and usually does) improve things. What it cannot do is fix problems that have appeared out of the blue.
If something works perfectly well for a long time and then it suddenly doesn't, that's definitely not a software issue.
^^^^ Exactly.

That’s why I’m saying if after a “software” update via Ford IDS a 10R80 is still shifting or functioning abnormally - it’s a mechanical problem.
 

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