2002 Taurus

I have a good friend with a 2002 Taurus, 24 valve 6 cyl., about 125k miles.
The auto trans was issuing a 'clunk' when she shifted into D in the morn,
but that went away after a flush/fill.
What commonly fails on such a beast and approximately when (i.e. at what mileage)? Is the motor, trans good for 175k mi. if one nurses it? Etc etc. I've heard that the 12-valve is more reliable. Is true?
Thx, Will
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