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5R55E trans. OD lite & stalling engine

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Ozonkiller, March 24, 2004.

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  1. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Here's the scoop. My '97 XLT 4.0's OD light comes on after 100 to 150 miles of highway driving. In the past a fluid and filter change has done the trick. Knowing this, I typically try to change the ATF about avery 10 to 15 thousand miles. Usually the fluid is a little funky but not too bad. As a result the light has not come on for a couple of years (40 thou miles or so). Unfortunately it didn't work this time. The light is back on after a return trip from Flagstaff AZ to Phoenix, 140 miles.
    In addition a new problem has reared it's ugly head. When I start the engine and put it into gear, it kills the engine right now. It's almost as if the converter is in the lock up mode. This happens in both D and R. This rigs got about 110K miles on it right now.
    Some of you guys seem pretty sharp out there. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    Good call. An Engine stalling on transmision engagement usually means a Torque Convertor Clutch is engaged. There are two ways this can happen on this transmission. The TCC solenoid can be improperly energized (electrical problem) or the torque convertor shuttle valve is operating inproperly (stuck, broken spring, etc - hydraulic problem). I'd eliminate electical first. FORD can run a simple electrical test using their transmission tester and tell you if it is electical. If it isn't, you can drop the pan, remove the valve body and fix it yourself. Others may have other sugestions, those are mine.
     
  4. bender

    bender Active Member

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    this is bizzare but i had the same thing happen just today (i think). I Started up, put it in reverse and the car jumped and shuttered (od light flashed)but before it stalled i threw it in nuetral, and turned the car off...restarted and the problem was gone no light nothing....does this sound like the same thing?
     
  5. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Thanks, Glacier, for your reply. I suspect the valving/hydraulic problem more than the electrical, based on the way it acts. I have checked for trouble codes, found none although the Auto X-ray is about usless. I've cleared the computer (disconnected the battery). The OD light may or not be on and it still does it. If nothing else, it's a gut feeling thing.
    Bender, it sounds like the same thing, except for the OD light. Mine did do this just once quite some time ago but until now I thought it was just one of those little quirky type things.
    Unfortunately the fluid smells pretty toasty. I've got a transmission manual on the way as recommended by somebody else on another string in here, somewhere. Should be here tomorrow and hopefully I can tear into it this weekend. Stay tuned!
    Mean while if anybody else has any input, I'd appreciate it. You guys are great.
    Thanks!
     
  6. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Yahoo, sort of. Dropped the pan and found that the small tab that holds the TCC solenoid had broken off and the solenoid had backed out of the valve body. Fabricated a replacement (nice having a well equiped shop) and put the solenoid back in. Retorqued all of the valve body bolts as recommended in another thread, some were very loose. There were no ugly bits in the pan. Buttoned everything up with new filter and fluid and voila, runs like a dream. But. With in 10 miles, the OD light starts blinking again. At least I feel like the transmission is mechanically sound. I'll continue to slay this beast and keep you guys posted.
     
  7. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    Way to go! Keep us posted on your efforts and findings...
     
  8. glfredrick

    glfredrick Well-Known Member

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    It is possible that you are getting a light becasuse the speed sensor internally in the tranny is not getting the correct signal. This happens when one of the forward bands does not engage correctly. The 5R55E is the same old tranny as the AOD, but with electronically controlled shift points to make it a 5 speed instead of a 4 speed. It actually "splits shifts" by engaging and disengauging bands and planetary clusters to fool the transmission into thinking it has 5 forward gears. If something is starting to fry in there, it will still drive - for a while - but eventually you will discover that you have likely cooked the forward planetary set and forward sprag.

    Been there and done that... to the tune of $2000.
     
  9. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    OK, further update on the transmission saga. Dropped the control valve assembly on Saturday and found the gasket between the seperator plate and the transmission body was blown. Completely disassembled the control valve assy. Cleaned and reassembled. Nothing remarkable was found, wasn't even very dirty. Put assembly back in with new gaskets, filter & fluid. Started her up and the OD light went off on its own. Off, I went, on a test drive. This critter has never run better. Nice smooth crisp shifts. Life is good... Then the OD light came back on!!!!! Everything seems to be working great, better than ever, even with the light on. AAAArgggg. So the saga continues.
    By the way, thanks GLFredrick for your reply. For some reason I just can't convince myself that there is a mechanical failure goin' on here as I find practically no debris in the pan, magnet or filter. I sure hope you're wrong. Anyway, stay tuned.
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick Well-Known Member

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    Get someone to run the codes... It could be a solenoid issue...

    BTW, I have an APC solenoid that is brand new (installed and removed before the truck ever hit the pavement. Also a new band, a good used band, a new separator plate, the new forward sprag, sung gear and the part that the speed sensor reads - all removed from a rebuild that I did that didn't take.

    First $75 plus shipping gets it all - over $300 worth
     
  11. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    No trouble codes found. At least that what my Auto X ray says. I've got a couple of things in mind. I'm not sure when I'll be getting to them as it's already getting warm here in Phoenix (did I mention that I do refrigeration) and I'm booked for about 2 weeks out including Sat. and Sun. Oh well, stay tuned and Thanks again.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    Your AutoXray isn't going to read your codes from your transmission, nor your ABS nor RAPS either. It will only read OBD II specific codes. The transmission codes do not have to follow the OBD II convention so Ford doesn't put them in the data stream. You won't be able to read them without a specialized scanner. I have spent several days at AutoXray's shop in Tempe using my '97 Explorer as a test vehicle.
     
  13. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Thanks Robert. I was pretty sure that the X ray didn't read those codes as it doesn't do much of anything else on a Ford. I know a guy who works at a Ford dealer across town whose mind I'm gonna pick.
    By the way, the wife ran a quick errand with the explorer and the light went out. She also notice how much better the transmission performed?!
     
  14. glfredrick

    glfredrick Well-Known Member

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    It do make a difference to get that valve body torqued correctly. Now stick and auxilary filter in the cooler lines, change the fluid regularly and it may yet live.
     
  15. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Yep, I torqued the valve body per specs and in sequence. I've had this thing apart so many times that I've managed to flush the system in a rather round about way. The fluid is nice and clean now. One of the smartest things that I did was braze a drain plug on to the pan years ago when I first got it.
     
  16. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    The AutoXray is much more usefull with the Ford Enhanced OBD-II suppport if you don't already have it. It quadruples the parameters that you have available as well as allows the O2 and fuel trim tests to work.
     
  17. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    Great. I'm so glad that I spent that kind of money only to have to upgrade it. I'll give them a call. Thanks for the info.
     
  18. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    When the AutoXray first came out, it was only capable of reading generic OBD-II codes. Automotive manufacturers however have an entire assortment of MFG specific OBD-II codes that are specific to only that manufacturer. It costs extra money to obtain the data and to add the programming to the scanner. By charging for each upgrade, it lets the consumer only choose (and pay for) the upgrades that apply to them. For instance, I wouldn't want to pay extra for a scanner that can recorde GM and Chrysler OBD-II codes since the only vehicles in my Garage are Fords (keeps the costs to the end user down). Now if I ran a garage or had other manufacturers in my garage then I would have gotten the enhance OBD-II support for them as well.

    You might want to mention that you are trying to troubleshoot an O2 issue on your '97 Explorer and that the O2 tests do not work in the Generic mode. Ask them if they will give you a discount to upgrade to the enhanced Ford support so that you can troubleshoot your O2 issues. Depending on who you speak to (or how high up you go) they might be willing to give you a discount. When I first brought the O2 issues to their attention several years ago, they placed the blame on Ford saying that Ford doesn't put the O2 information out correctly on the '96-'98 Explorers. On the '99 and ups, the AutoXray generic mode will work for O2 tests. Even then, having all of the extra parameters that are Ford specific are worth the added $.
     
  19. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    OK, sorry it took so long to get back to this. Had the codes ran today at a local Aamco shop at no charge. Came up with 0741 which confirms my torque converter suspicions. He also told me that I have a 4r55e? I called my local Ford dealer and read all of the info on the data plate inside the drivers door and he agreed with me that it should be a 5r55e. He also said that '97 and up 4.0 explorers were all 5r55e's. Is this correct? I do feel 4 shifts indicating a 5 speed when I drive it, but now I'm spooked as I put new valve body gaskets for a 5r55e in it. Can anybody tell me any additional clues how to ID this thing for sure? Feelin' kinda stoopid right now.

    Thanks
     
  20. Ozonkiller

    Ozonkiller New Member

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    It works!!! :bounce: Installed new torque converter today and everything works like a champ. The folks at PRT (Phoenix Remanufactured Transmissions) are really good to deal with. They informed me that I did indeed have a 5R55E trans and verified my opinion that just replacing the torque converter should do the job. The whole job took about 9 hours and cost about $225. Life is good.
    Thanks to all you guys who answered my call for help. Great Web site! :bounce:
     
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  21. RickOTR

    RickOTR Active Member

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    I wouldn't trust AAMCO if my life depended on it. I have heard a lot of good things about Phoenix Transmissions though, and will by one for the X when it dies.
     

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