My BT is now over 3 years old and has just gone in today for 80,000klm service.
Mine has always had a shudder in first gear at around 1,800 revs, (auto) and because we tow a 24ft van - as we live in it, I was starting to get a bit edgy.
The Maroochydore Mazda service guy says - "Oh, so you have driven it over rough roads then?" At that point my fist got itchy!!
"I just quietly said "Don't go there mate!" He asked if I had done anything "after market" on the suspension?
This guy even tried to tell me that fitting an upgraded stiffer suspension was the cause of my transmission shudder!!
I told him of a new owner I had recently met - with just 600klms on the clock and his was doing the same thing.
Our Transmission specialist picked it up in the test drive - but couldn't prove anything from the transmission. No faults in the software log, and no vibration from the drive train.I had heard of some overheating issues (particularly when towing) and so got prices on a transmission cooler. Ron Hill Automatics also mentioned that they had come across a lot of Rangers with the same shudder!!
They quoted me $1,700 for a fan forced transmission cooler - which I thought was a bit high!
I found Davies Craig in Melbourne manufacture transmission coolers - as a kit - available at Bursons Spare Parts - for $289 (incl 9" cooling fan)
You can install them yourself, but my mechanic quote $350 labour. $1,000 less that the Auto Transmission guys.
We are on the road for the next 5 years (Tasmania from January for 12 months) - so the last thing I need is a bill for $10,000 to replace the transmission.
Mazda tell you lots of fibs - and will ALWAYS try to blame you for the fault.
Happy Travelling guys