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Transmission 5R55E slipping, OD blinking

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by field explorer, September 13, 2004.

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    1. field explorer

      field explorer New Member

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      On my 2000 ex sport my OD light is blinking. Tranny is slipping in what I believe to be between gears 2 and 3. Have all the usual symptoms, increase in rpm's before shifting, shifts hard when finally engages in gear, etc. I ran the codes and got "P0733 Gear 3 Incorrect ratio". I pulled the pan to check sol.'s. The TC sol. did not have a cracked tang or bracket and is snug. The EPC sol. cannot be "wiggled or pulled for slack" but, I can rotate the sol. in the bracket about .750" in either direction. Is this normal? On the code tester I cleared the OBDII but the problem continued and the light started blinking again(default mode). If it is the EPC sol., do I have to pull the valve body to replace the sol.? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I should have mentioned, exp. only has 43,000 miles. Fluid was in extremely good shape, nice red color, no unusal odor. Pan had only dust shavings. No other codes were present when tested. Tried taking it out of OD, the slipping did not seem as pronounce, but was still there.
       
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    3. Billy177

      Billy177 Well-Known Member

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      ya that was what mine was like just before it had to be rebuilt
       
    4. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      You could have the loose/blown valve body gasket condition as well. Check the torque of the valve body bolts... Use a GOOD torque wrench and torque to factory specs.

      You could have a bad/plugged solenoiod as well. Expect to pay around $100 for an EPC - and yes, you can change that out without pulling the valve body - but pulling the valve body is no big deal. You can do that with the tranny in the truck. I recommend getting the alignment pins for reinstallation.

      Transgo has a nice shift kit that eliminates that 2-3 flare issue - but the kit won't fix a tranny that has already blown something in hard parts. It is intended to add pressure to the shift so that it doesen't blow hard parts.
       
    5. Billy177

      Billy177 Well-Known Member

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      tell me more about this shift kit for the 5R55E
       
    6. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Sure...

      Here are a couple web sites - they can say it better than I can.

      http://www.txchange.com/transgo.htm

      http://www.drivetrain.com/transgoshiftkits.html

      http://www.transgo.com/

      Interestingly, there was no one that specifically listed a kit for the 5R55E, yet I got one for my own tranny... I think their 4R kit works with the 5R series tranny - they are almost the same internally - just some computer differences (energizes different solenoids to differentiate between a 4 speed and a 5 speed) - but I would check with Transgo to be sure.
       
    7. field explorer

      field explorer New Member

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      Glfredrick, thanks. I am going to pull EPC solenoiod today and replace the bracket. I can't help but feeling that the solenoiod shouldn't be able to rotate while in it's bracket and valve body. I just don't know if this condition would allow/cause a pressure drop. Any thoughts on this rotation? And I really appreciate your help.
       
    8. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      The solenoid just sits in a bore with an oring (actually a couple) and nothing really stops it from spinning that I know of... But if it feels loose to you it may be.
       
    9. field explorer

      field explorer New Member

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      GLfredrick ok, am going to replace solenoiod anyway. Just trying to eliminate other possiblities. I have tried running down other problems that may have ocurred with the PO733 code, but feel like I am in the right area. Any other checks on the PO733 code "Gear 3 Incorrect ratio" that you know of?
       
    10. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      There can be a lot of other things - a failed speed sensor - a bad wire in the harness - or bad parts in that gear (by that I mean the band - sprag - clutches - actuator) inside the tranny - all (except bad wires) needing dissasembly to inspect and correct. What I told you are the things that you can do from "outside" the system that might help.
       
    11. field explorer

      field explorer New Member

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      ok thanks. Am going to pick up parts and will keep you posted. Thanks for your help!
       
    12. field explorer

      field explorer New Member

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      update, changed EPC solenoid and checked torque on valve bolts(used a good t.w. that shows in/lbs) changed fluid and filter. Problem still exsist. I have looked at a thousand threads and cannot find anyone who has had a specific code "PO733 third gear ratio incorrect". Threads seemed to point to ECP solenoid or loose valve body, but that didn't pan out after the replacement solenoid and re-torquing(was not loose) of valve body. Any other suggestions? help would be greatly appreciated by all.
       
    13. Brain

      Brain Active Member

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      The reason that code is being set in the computer is because the gear ratio between the input and the output is out of spec...meaning that there is slipping in a clutch pack or a band. There are sensors that tell the input speed and the output speed, and if their ratio dosen't match the programmed ratio (within some time/speed tolerances to account for sensor errors), an error code is set and the light starts blinking. I'm not sure what is causing your slipping problem, or your sensor problem if that is the case.

      The bracket that holds the soleniods allows for some rotational play, but not very much linear play (in/out). Rotational play shouldn't effect the function of the valve.

      Wish I could help more, but I haven't ripped apart the 5E variety (yet).
       
    14. timmer

      timmer New Member

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      Well I to have the same problem but my computer states that my 2nd gear syncro is out. Im off to the tranmission shop this after noon. I managed to drive the truck for 15,000 km like this. My 1st gear will not shift into third untill i hit 60km/hr and let off the gas. as I let off the gas it shifts to thirs. I have to add slight presure so that it does not kick down to 1st again. I said to my self i would not repair it untill i hit 300,000 KM. im not at 300,286 KM an the 4.0
       
    15. Brain

      Brain Active Member

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      Timmer, field explorer is having a problem with an automatic transmission, and syncros are in manuals...are you sure you're having the same problem???

      OK Field Explorer, here's what I've found. The 5R55E overdrives (0.75 ratio) first gear (2.47 ratio) to get a second gear ratio of 1.86 (0.75 times 2.47), which is the "extra" fifth gear in the 5R55E in comparison to the A4LD or 4R55E, so now I know where to look for issues.

      When second gear is engaged, you have the overdrive band, the reverse/high clutch, and the forward clutch engaged with the overdrive one-way clutch holding.

      When third gear engages, the things that change are the overdrive band disengages, the reverse/high clutch disengages, and the intermediate band applies.

      I've ruled out general pressure problems because the other gears aren't indicating slippage. I'm also ruling out a sensor malfunction because this is the only gear that launches the code. My best diagnosis is that the intermediate band is slipping for some reason. There are a few reasons this could happen in this gear and not others:
      1) the intermediate control solenoid isn't activating enough or is partially plugged
      2) the intermediate servo is leaking (next to the catalytic converter, to the rear of the tranny)
      3) the intermediate band is almost out of friction material

      You can fix 1 and 2 w/o pulling the whole tranny, but #3 requires pulling the it out and digging about halfway down into the guts of the beast. The servo is less than $10 (code AB, 2.100", the same servo used on the OD of the A4LD) and these have been known to go bad because they are rubber parts located next to a VERY hot exhaust component.

      Do you still have your heat shield intact? If not, that's the first place I'd look. I wouldn't operate the tranny with a slipping band....I've seen the damage that can come from it. Every mile you drive with a slipping band is like driving 100 with it working properly when it comes to how long the tranny is going to last without serious failure.
       
    16. timmer

      timmer New Member

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      Brian, You are correct, however, the code reader gave me a code the read out to be a 2nd gear out of syncro. Perhaps this is short for synchronization. I am going to pick up the truck today I put it in the shop 3 days ago. Turns out when they tore the transmission down, the second gear band was worn right out. They rebuilt it and the bill turns out to be 1863.00 CDN$ plus 15% federal and provincial taxes.

      I had the transfer case rebuilt long ago. it had never worked right from the beginning and I have been screwed around my Fraser Ford in Oshawa Ont. I complained that it would not engage in 4x4. The could not find the problem. I brought it back again after a trip. they said the transfer case was fried and needed to be rebuilt again. I had only 10,100KM on it since the first rebuild. Today I have been informed that the same transfer case is in good shape but they cant figure out why it wont hold in 4x4. Hmm
       
    17. jrzgrl

      jrzgrl New Member

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      the diagnosis...

      Just heard from the Ford dealer - it's the valve body gasket. WHEW! I was hoping that's what it was as opposed to a new transmission or rebuild. FYI - I live in northwestern Jersey and it's costing me $550 including labor. The only other price I saw on this board was around $800, so I'm feeling ok!

      I love this board!
       
    18. rich1zoom

      rich1zoom New Member

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      Abs Speed Sensor


      I have a 2001 Sport. The od light flashed, tranny slipped but also the ABS light was on. After paying a few "Expert mechanics" one at a local Transmission shop a few hundred dollars to do things like change the valve body gasket then the valve body itself I read some of these letters. I picked up on someone mentioning the ABS Speed Sensor. The part was $30. Located on the upper rear axle housing I changed it myself. The truck is running and shifting like new. While I was under the truck I also attached wires and heat shields back to their origional mounts. Thanks for your help with these posts. Rich
       
    19. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Just regular diagnosis 101. Always start with the small stuff and work your way up the ladder. Why rebuild a $1300 dollar tranny when it has a bad wire that costs $1.00 to repair.

      Sadly, these days, a lot of techs just throw expensive parts at problems, even those in dealerships.

      We have some of the best here on the board though -- people who actually take care of business and report their findings.

      Thanks...
       
    20. zims666

      zims666 New Member

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      i had the same problem as above as well as no reverse. had my mechanic change the speed sensor and do a tranny service. he said it was real dirty when he dropped the pan. all of this did nothing, so he referred me to his tranny guy.
      after a ton of research on these boards (thanks to users 'Opera House' and 'Glacier991') i found my symptoms matched a valve body gasket problem.
      when i called the tranny guy to ask him to take a look at the valve body gasket, he asked me "what makes you so sure thats your problem" with a real additude. so im glad i had these forums to read up on so this guy didnt try to take me for a ride. i have always found if you take a car to a mechanic and say "duh. my car is broken duh." you'll be taken advantage of. however, if you explain to them what you think is wrong and at least sound like you know what your talking about (i even went so far as to tell this guy id do the job myself but i dont have a lift or a garage) you will be treated fairly.
      it only cost me $218 to have the gasket replaced. which is much better than this:
      ps. the tranny guy told me this was the worst blown gasket hes ever seen. it was split in two different places and it looked like someone tried to scrape it off with a putty knife. thanks ford.

      1999 XLS Stock 66K miles
       
    21. rich1zoom

      rich1zoom New Member

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      O.D. Flashing again.

      Shortly after changing the speed sensor in the rearend the O.D. light started flashing again ,only this time the tranny shifted hard into gears. My next sep is the O.D. sensor located on the upper middle of the left side of my 2001 trannsmission. Around $20. it is worth a shot. I unplugged part of the wiring harness that blocked my view but the problem was I couldn't quite see the bolt holding it in, after several unsuccesful atempts trying to find a socket to fit ( us & metric ) I took a thin digital camera, slid it upwards and took a strait on shot of the bolt. Of course it had an allen head and was kinda crusty. (Tip , use a small screw driver to clean out the hole before inserting your allen socket) I actually had to use vice grips to break it loose. Wiggle the old sensor out , lube the o-ring insert and push while rotating slightly on the new sensor . Installating was about 10 times faster than the removal . Plug in your harness and go . My test drive was positive , I'll be crossing my fingers tomorrow . I have a great picture if someone can tell me how to attach it. Rich
       
    22. exploder1042

      exploder1042 New Member

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      Not what you think.

      The cause of your problem is one thing and one thing only. Your intermediate band is very loose or broken. i have a 99 and is doing exactly the same thing. so the thing that makes these bands break is the piston type things that are in the case that make these bands move, are worn out and have put your band in a pinch long enough to break it, and this usually happens at the clip.
       
    23. kgmj1957

      kgmj1957 New Member

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      I just replaced the upper and lower valve body and servo gaskets it fixed the rough shifting from 2 to 3 . Gaskets cost 12.00 dollars 6 quarts of fluid and filter kit all total cost for parts was 65.00 dollars. It took 3 hrs. To do but it was the first time I had ever done something like that so I took my time. ps it also shut the od light out. I hope this will help some one else out. If you try to do this your self make sure you lay out the bolts from the valve body in the pattern they came out so you put them back in the right holes the three bolts in the lower valve body torque to 70 in lbs valve body to trans case torque to 90 in lbs. when you take the plate off the valve body don't turn the valve body over because you can dump springs and ball valves out.
       
    24. monicaembrey

      monicaembrey New Member

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      my 1996 explorer slips going into OD. Light is not blinking. Shifts fine letting off of the gas between 45 and 50mph.
       
    25. monicaembrey

      monicaembrey New Member

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      Time to get a smog on my 1996 explorer xlt. Last year I had a trouble code pop up of 0130 O2 sensor malfunction. was never repaired. Just the other day put the code reader back on and a different code popped up of 0340, Camshaft position sensor circuit malfunction. is the orginal trouble code code still there just overridden with two problems? BTW, sometimes you can feel a roughness in the idle.
       
    26. jkim_ham

      jkim_ham New Member

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      Okay I lost reverse in my 98 explorer sport. I replaced the shift fork in my transfer case and reverse works but now the transmission is shifting hard, rpm are revving up when you hit 40mph and not shifting at that point. I checked the transmission and every thing looked great. Still no go....anyone got any ideas...?
       

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