Transmission Rebuild or Replacement

I have a 2001 Ford F-150 with mostly 130,000 freeway miles. When in overdrive, my automatic transmission experiences a shifting studder, like it is trying to shift down and then up again(mostly on a slight grade) If I shift out of overdrive, these symptoms reduce. I’m due for a transmission flush and oil change but because these symptoms are harsher than the past I feeling I may be in the need for a transmission rebuild. If this is the case, do I take it to the dealer or is it better to go to a specialty transmission shop? Also, if I need a new transmission, should I buy new, buy a rebuild, or have my current transmission rebuilt and put back in?

Do a complete fluid change, not just a pan drop. You seem to be describing the main symptom of worn out transmission fluid. When was the last time (and mileage) that this was done?

My last fluid change was probably around 30,000+ miles ago(probably more with my bad memory). When I had my first fluid change, the dealer recommended a full fluid change with a back flush. It worked great. It cost more and am still unfamiliar with the differences between a normal fluid change and a complete fluid change. the last time I had it changed, the results weren’t as good, which seems to tell me that I must have got a “pan drop” oil change versus the full job.
Thank you for your info…if you have any more advice, I’d much appreciate it.

Forget the dealer unless you enjoy burning money…Have an independent transmission shop check out your tranny. What you describe sounds normal to me…Many automatics “hunt” constantly when left in overdrive around town. The solution may as simple and cheap as locking out the overdrive until you are at steady highway speed…

When servicing a transmission, the pan should always be dropped and the FILTER changed…Don’t volunteer for a new transmission (have yours rebuilt) until you really need one…

If I understand you correctly, you are describing a studder, not shift hunting. I assume that this is something that it is doing now, that it did not do before. Stay away from any chain places. An independent can do this work, but the dealer may actually be a better best for this. Get the full change. I had the exact same problem with a Grand Marquis (same transmission), and the fluid change solved it completely.
(Also, I never had any issues with it hunting in overdrive.)

It feels like a studder or “bucking action” but I only mention shift hunting because it feels like it is downshifting and then upshifting quickly when experiencing a slight grade or when I accelerate slightly, not on hard acceleration. It sounds like a full fluid change is a good start and it may fix the problem.