You never want to be caught driving with a bad lead frame; if you have one, failing to start your truck will be the least of your worries. Your speeds and tires can go awry at any time, leading to horrific consequences.

So, for everyone’s sake, it’s best to keep a lookout for lead frame issues. And that’s what I’m here to help you with today.

Let’s get started, shall we?

F150 Lead Frame Symptoms To Be Aware Of

These symptoms are most common with the 6R80 lead frame, but you can find them across all of the F150’s transmissions; many of them are prime causes for F150 Transmission problems.

  • The truck might not start.
  • Trouble shifting out of Park.
  • Unexpected or harsh downshifting on the highway.
  • DTCs for speed sensors and range sensors.
  • The speedometer might not work or only work sometimes.

How Can You Replace Lead Frame Of Your F150?

Swapping out the molded leadframe is easy but not a quick task.

I’ll share an overview of the process here, and you can take a look at the video at the end of the section for more details.

You’ll need these tools to replace the leadframe: 3/4 or 19mm socket, Long reach flex head 3/8 drive ratchet, 6-inch extension, wobble 8mm socket, Impact driver, Torx 27 and Torx 30 sockets, Drain pan.

Here’s the leadframe replacement process:

  1. Lift and support the truck securely.
  2. Remove the fill plug on the transmission.
  3. Remove the transmission pan bolts from back to front, allowing fluid to drain.
  4. Support and remove the pan. Pull out the filter if it remains.
  5. Rotate and remove the bulkhead connector.
  6. Align the manual valve with the manual lever.
  7. Remove 11 Torx 30 screws and an additional Torx 27 screws from the valve body.
  8. Support and lower the valve body.
  9. Remove six Torx 27 screws from the lead frame and lift it off.
  10. Install the new lead frame with the foam sleeve and secure it with six Torx 27 screws (62 inch-pounds).
  11. Position the valve body back, aligning it properly. Start a few bolts by hand.
  12. Tighten all bolts in a zigzag pattern to 71 inch-pounds. Reinsert and lock the bulkhead connector.
  13. Clean gasket surfaces, replace the gasket, and reattach the pan, tightening bolts evenly.
  14. Refill with Mercon LV fluid.
  15. Check the fluid level with the engine running in park, ensure there are no codes, test drive, recheck fluid, and verify no leaks.

Video Guide:

This process is primarily meant for 6R80 transmissions, but I’ve also done similar repairs on the new 10R60, 10R80 and 10R140. These steps aren’t exclusive to Ford F-Series trucks, either. You can use them with the Ford Expedition and Ford Mustang as well.

How Much Will It Cost To Replace The Lead Frame On Ford F150?

You should expect to pay between $700 and $950. $500-$700 for lead frame, $200-$250 for labor and transmission fluids.

You can find aftermarket lead frames for the lower end of the prices, but I strongly recommend trying to get a hold of an OEM part, since a functional transmission is incredibly important.

Did Ford Issue A Lead Frame Recall For F150s?

Yes. Ford recalled up to 202,000 vehicles, including the 2011-2012 F-150, Expedition, Mustang, and Lincoln Navigator, due to a glitch with the transmission’s lead frame from a supplier.

This issue could make the transmission suddenly downshift to first gear, causing a quick speed drop and possible tire sliding, which raises accident risks.

Ford knew of three accidents but no injuries.

Dealers checked for trouble codes in the powertrain modules and updated the software to stop these abrupt downshifts.

Ford also offered a free lead frame replacement within 10 years or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date if any issues were found.


What is the purpose of a lead frame in F150?

The lead frame in your F-150 is a key part of the transmission that manages the output speed sensor (OSS) signal, ensuring your vehicle shifts gears smoothly and efficiently.

Is it safe to drive my F150 with a bad lead frame?

Driving your F-150 with a bad lead frame isn’t safe. If it’s faulty, your transmission might suddenly downshift to first gear, causing a quick drop in speed and possibly making the tires slide or lock up. This increases the risk of an accident, so it’s important to get it checked and fixed as soon as you can.

Final Thoughts

That’s all. Unlike fixing a full transmission, you can even change out the lead frame yourself if you have the patience for it.

So, don’t wait around for long if you think your F150’s not working right. Drive safe!

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