just to put this subject to bed...
truck went to local tranny shop, they pulled and opened it up.
the short distance driven post leak was enough to cause damge.
overhaul kit, pump, torque converter, filter, system flush and fluid... and labour to the tune of $4kCdn.
shop says Ford is full of shit advising fluid flush & change @ 240k opposed to old standard @ 100k.
they said to do it @ 60-80k especially if we continue towing as we do.
lessons learned for next truck purchase;
rust spray the shit out of engine bay area
trans fluid changes @ 100k or less, regardless what manual says
double check fluid leaks, burned up old atf resembles fresh engine oil
don't drive at all if trans leak suspected
ensure warranty covers actual/possible issues, not dealer imaginary ones
probably going to move to a F250 3/4ton truck in 1 - 3.5 years
insert something witty here...