Here's the deal

2003 Ford Expedition with 4.6L engine, 4WD, 170K miles on gauge. Several months ago it started making a whining sound that varied with engine speed. I thought it was a belt pully going bad. So after a while I replaced all pulleys, belt tensioner and belt. Noise still there. Did some research on the Internet. Seemed to be the torque converter based on what I found. Well it finally went terminal on Wednesday. As wife was driving, the truck made a shuddering sound like she drove over rumble strips. Luckily On the way home, it started losing drive power, and just as she puled into the driveway, she lost all power through the drivetrain. All gears other than Park act like neutral.

So, called around to a couple of places. Dealer (for worst case scenario) and Aamco. Dealer told me the torque converter in "inside" the transmission, and based on mileage, the transmission cannot be rebuilt, has to be replaced, to the tune of $3800. Aamco says it can't be the torque converter causing the problem I describe, tranny is shot, needs to be replaced for a mere $2300.

I'm not convinced it's not the Torque Converter based on what I read on the Internet. However, I figured I'd ask here.

Any thought's anyone?

Thanks in advance,

-Jorden