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Pound for pound aluminum is more expensive but in production aluminum turns out to be cheaper because a part with the same strength as cast weighs less. Aluminum is NOT always cheaper or easier to machine. it can heat and gall on the tooling causing brakage. Reducing weight adds performance whether you are talking about acceleration, handling or fuel economy.
 

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I don't know about the case warping under load on these transmissions, but my 88 F150 S/C 4X4 w/ 5.0 has 275,000 km (170,000 mi.) and the trans is still shifting good...
I know, I’m REALLY late to the game, but I have a ‘97 F150 5-speed with the M5OD/R2 trans, with 258,000 miles on the original trans, but a newer 4.2L V6, which is the stock engine (210 hp & 235 ft/lbs torque), but this model year had a problem with the intake manifold gasket being too thin, which caused coolant leak into cylinders and then hydro-locked & blew the engines. That happened to mine at 114,000 miles, but has been running like a champ ever since replaced long block..
In the past year, I’ve replaced the clutch & flywheel, with a brand-new Luk set, and the rear end differential carrier (which grenaded inside, but miraculously didn’t breach the housing) – so I cleaned it up and put in a brand-new positraction carrier.
The ONLY problem I have with the transmission is that my 2nd-gear synchro failed about 2 years ago, so it grinds if I don’t let the revs drop before shifting into 2nd. Otherwise it still drives and pulls perfect. And my truck is the Supercab, which seats 6 and also has a Leer fiberglass cap.
GVW is listed at 5,500 lbs in the door panel.
The transmissions are fine, as long as you don’t put one in a race car...
 
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