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Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, & Differentials Transmissions, Transfer Cases. A4LD, 4R70W, 4R44E, 4R55E, 5R44E, 5R55E, M5OD, BW 1354, Control Trac, GEM, AWD. Ford 8.8", Dana 35

5R55E - No Reverse

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Old 01-30-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
bennymcd
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5R55E - No Reverse

I have a 97 Explorer 4x4 with a 5R55E trans. Reverse went out over 6 months ago. Backup lights come on, OD light flashes, and it acts like its in neutral. All other gears work fine except a little slipping every now and then when its cold. I dropped the pan and all was clean (no metal shavings or pieces of bands). It shows the following trouble codes: P1701 (Reverse Engagement Error), P1124 (Throttle Position Sensor out of range), P1506 (Idle Air Control Overspeed Error), and P0325 (Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Fault). I have gotten alot of different advice : neutral safety switch, shift solenoid, epc solenoid, tp sensor? I don't know what to try.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
BrooklynBay
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Check the pressure of the transmission while it's in reverse. It might be low. Remove the pan, and the cover with 4 bolts to check the low/reverse servo & band.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:13 PM   #3
bennymcd
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How do i do that? All ive ever done to a transmission is change fluid and filter, but i really need to fix it if it is an external repair that i can handle.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:15 PM   #4
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Check # 10 in my list of useful threads for information on checking the pressure. As for the servo, you will see the cover when you remove the pan. Check the pressure first.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
CutterJon
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99 Ranger XLT 4.0L, 160k miles, No Reverse

Great Forum!
I've been reading all the threads on the No Reverse problem.
I had a "bang!" in reverse, then no reverse at all-acts like N, all the forward gears work. Not sure if engine braking is out in 1st, but it might be.
No gears slip.
My shift indicator has been off for 6 months or so, not sure if it could cause this.

Trying to schedule weekend days to tackle this.
From all the posts here, it sounds like it could be:

1. Reverse servo O rings,
2. Broken Band
3. Valve Body gasket-or other VB probs..
4. EPC solenoid
5. Boost valve?

Has anyone solved this same problem? The threads kind of fade without answering the question. Anything to add to the list?

I'm going to check the pressures, take off the pan, check the R Servo, change the filter, etc. this weekend. But if people here tell me it's the band, for sure, then I'll start looking for a real mechanic instead...

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
BrooklynBay
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Welcome to this forum! The first thing to do is check to see if you have manual 1st gear. Did you check the fluid level to see if it's a little low? Do you have any issues with the transfer case?
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
CutterJon
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BrooklynBay,
Thanks for the reply. I definitely have 1st. Fluid level was a little low, but I've since added about 1 pint-no change. 2wd-No transfer case.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:47 PM   #8
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You have several things to check at this point:

1. The reverse modulation valve in the valve body.
2. The valve body gaskets & bolts.
3. The low/reverse servo seals & tip for damage.
4. The low/reverse band. It could shift out of position.
5. The pressure in all of the gear ranges with a 0 - 300 PSI test gauge. Check both ports (main & EPC).
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
CutterJon
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Still no reverse after VB replacement

So-
99 Ranger, 2wd, 5R55E. Installed a rebuilt VB and still no reverse.

Replaced the reverse servo o-rings, but not the cover gasket-it looks OK. Sort of difficult to move in the bore. Servo tip looks OK, band is springy. No burned smell or fragments of any kind in pan.

I have manual 1st gear, but there's a slight shudder when it starts to move. It's also there in D.

Not sure what the pressures are since the VB replace. What would a low pressure in R reading tell me?

Could this be caused by the TRS? No codes show up on OBD II.
Any other electrical components that could cause no Reverse?

This forum's great! There have been a few threads with this problem-still No reverse after VB replacement- but I haven't seen the problem solved. Has anyone fixed this one yet?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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Did you use a torque wrench on the valve body bolts? Were the correct gaskets used with the correct separator plates or did you use bonded gaskets/plates?
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:09 PM   #11
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I used a 1/4" torque wrench with inch pounds. I installed a rebuilt VB from Natpro-they used the Sonnex kit-the gasket was bonded.

I am sort of suspicious that my torque wrench is wrong-125 inch pounds on the pan bolts barely compressed the gasket. My 3/8" torque wrench starts at 125 inch lbs. and applied much more pressure-the gasket bulged slightly.

I stuck a screwdriver into the servo hole and can feel that the band is springy-does that rule out any band problems?

I have manual first gear, but maybe not engine braking in first-I'll test it.

Right now I'm suspecting the reverse servo cover gasket, or maybe I damaged the D ring inserting the piston. I couldn't get the piston back in the bore, so I used the cover to push it in by slowly tightening the bolts. Was that a bad idea?
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:38 PM   #12
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Did you use regular O rings or the TransTec D ring kit? Did you lubricate the rings prior to installation? Put the servo in the freezer for a while, then install it. You shouldn't have any resistance. Take a pressure reading in reverse, and in manual 1st gear.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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I used the transtec D ring kit-I lubricated them, but I did have trouble getting them on-stretching them over the sharp edges, twisting, etc.
Has anyone had better luck with regular O rings?

I'll get new rings and a gasket, freeze it and try it again.

Thanks!
(I should have installed a drain plug the first time I removed the pan-Damn!)
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #14
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# 75 in my list of useful threads has information on installing drain plugs: http://explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=206353
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:25 PM   #15
111mph
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I have a 98 Explorer, 2WD XLT,135,000 miles that just did the same thing. No warning. A loud bang like I backed into a tree. I was told it is most likely the reverse band. I found a used transmission with 42,000 for $350.00. I rebuild can run $800 plus R&R labor. ($1000 +)
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 111mph View Post
I have a 98 Explorer, 2WD XLT,135,000 miles that just did the same thing. No warning. A loud bang like I backed into a tree. I was told it is most likely the reverse band. I found a used transmission with 42,000 for $350.00. I rebuild can run $800 plus R&R labor. ($1000 +)
Ummmmmmm.... looks like this is a common fault on this trucks !! The same thing happened to me on a 99 2WD XLT 125,000 aprox miles... Now the question is if it's worth repair. Buying a used trans seems too much of a gamble considering the labor costs of take off the original one and put the used one... maybe the used transmission could be worst. And a rebuild 1,500 easyly. For how much would one of this trucks could be sell today ?? This have to be considered before do anything.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:23 PM   #17
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No reverse update

A month ago I had a bang, then no reverse.
I replaced the filter, then the VB with a rebuilt using the sonnax kit, then replaced the Reverse Servo Piston and D rings (the old one was slightly chipped, slightly off-center and stuck, black marks in the bore, as if the o ring had burned...?)

Now it can engage in every gear, but sometimes still does not engage in Reverse.
If I drive down the block in D, then immediately try to go into R, it won't go-it just revs high. If I wait 5 minutes, it will go into R or any gear.
At speed, it shifts kind of rough-slight bumps between gears, but not bad. I don't think it's "the flair"
It never slips out of gear.

I hooked up a pressure gauge to my mirror-I have occasional quick dips in pressure-down to 50 lbs-while driving in D at a steady speed. It looks like when it doesn't go into R, it's because the pressure doesn't drop low enough.-like if it stays above 80 lbs, it skips right past where it would engage and just revs.
I actually took movies of the gauge if anyone is interested-I haven't edited it for the good parts yet though.

Sometimes when it does make it to R, it's a harsh clunk.
I know if I park it and go into a store, I can get reverse the first try with no problem, but if I drive down the street and then try to do a 3 point turn, I can't get reverse. 1st seems to engage with no problem, but sometimes it feels like "engine braking" isn't working-it kind of shudders at low speed.

My current theory is either stuck valves in the new VB, or my Harbor Freight torque wrench is a POS-I think it's too low. I poured in a bottle of flush, but nothing has gotten better yet. I ordered a new torque wrench and plan on re-torquing the VB. Possibly adding an inline filter and more flush.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Could any of the solenoids cause this? TRS?

Thanks!
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:59 PM   #18
rsmith
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US No Reverse - 5r55E

About that question "has anybody solved the no reverse problem"?;
Not I, but I've put in a lot of effort on mine, and will wrestle it to the ground eventually. Here's what I have, and have done so far;
99 4wd w/ 5r55e w/ 250 K mi.
Initial problem presented as slow to engage in reverse. As miles piled up, problem got worse. Began to experience problems w/ forward shifts.
Pulled trans to do a rebuild, found brass bushing pieces. Found the source to be the Fwd. clutch cyl. assy, which would not separate due to the direct clutch drum assy friction pads having turned in the housing, which caused the bearings & bushing to become destroyed too. Replaced those hard parts, rebuilt trans, including a new torque converter, rebuilt VB from Central VB (that had all new solenoids, a new EPC, and the pressure check form to prove it was tested), new bands (2 fwd and 1 rev / low), friction and steels throughout, "D" type O rings on the reverse servo, the reverse servo sleeve kit for the smaller bore, new intermediate and front band servos, and as you might have guessed, I also installed a drain bolt to make the ol' "open er up again" routine a little easier. I probably forgot to mention some of the steps, but you get the gist of it. There is no EPC pressure tap (to my knowledge), only a Line Pressure tap that's directly behind the TRS (or DTR, whichever you prefer to call it). My line pressures at an idle of 650 rpm +/-, w/ an ECT of 187 deg. F +/- are; P=74 to 105, R=100, N=75, D=60, 2=60, 1=60. W/ a slight increase in idle, pressures are all in range of ATSG recommendations (pg 24 chart 401). WOT pressures also appear to be within range, although since reverse is weak (breaks loose easily), I let off as soon as it starts slipping.
My next step; the reverse servo extendo pin. Why? Because I'm thinking my reverse servo bore (the outer bore) is perhaps a little worn, bell shaped even, which is either causing the piston to stick, or allowing leakage. So, by putting the pin in, I'll be placing the outer O ring on a straighter, less worn spot on the bore. An alternate to that is to shorten the pin, to accomplish the same "fresh, un-worn bore" goal, but that will allow delayed rev. engagement I think.
Based on what I've read here so far, the more knowledgeable and experienced people have given a lot of good advice. I also think (but don't know for certain) the casing outer reverse servo bore may be what ails some of these "no reverse" issues. I'll keep you posted on what gets my reverse back on-line.

Last edited by rsmith; 08-31-2010 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Update / Outcome
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:31 PM   #19
CutterJon
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Good post.
Here's my thinking on why I replaced the reverse servo piston:
On the new one, the pin is loose and moves up and down freely a little, maybe 1/16".

The old pin was frozen and slightly off-center. the tip was mushroomed a little and starting to crack, but no chips. There was a light colored area on the side of the pin that looked like it had been burnished against the bore on one side. In the large part of the bore, there were some black marks, as if the o ring had left a mark, but I'm not sure if that's what it is. No tactile residue-looks like a burn-2 horizontal stripes.
Looking inside the bore, I could see that there was a rough looking "pit" on the band where the pin engages. Looks exactly like the worn tip on the pin.
One guess is that the pin slipped off the notch on the band (causing the "bang" when I first lost R) and slightly bent the pin and possibly warped the whole piston. Maybe freezing the pin-it looks like the keeper ring at the back end of the pin is jammed into the hole in the back of the piston-as if the pin got jerked upward when it slipped off the band. I haven't been able to hammer the pin free, but haven't tried too hard.
Maybe the piston and pin became so warped it couldn't operate any longer.

Or, it's just normal wear and the VB was the problem and couldn't provide pressure.

At this point, I have R when I need it, but shifting is still a little rough. Next Saturday, I plan to retorque with a good wrench and add a remote filter. Should be PERFECT by then. I hope my kids remember who I am.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:58 PM   #20
rsmith
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US 5r55e "no reverse" could also be the center support hub;

In a previous post, I mentioned having a difficult to solve "no reverse" issue, and what I had done to-date. Well, I figured it out, here's what I found;
The Center support hub bearing sleeve had a crack (visible from the end of the snout), that was allowing pressure loss, hence insufficient pressure for correct clutch / servo actuation. Also, upon close inspection I discovered that this was probably caused by the bore it rode in (intermediate brake & direct clutch drum assy). The bore end was somewhat "rolled over", allowing direct contact w/ the end of the center support hub - bearing sleeve snout.
So, the fix; a new center support hub, and machining back the rolled-over bore end, so that it was no longer in direct metal-to-metal contact. And, I gotta tell you, the test drive was one happy, relieved ride!
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