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Help with Sonnax Servo replacements...

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Red 02, August 20, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Red 02

    Red 02 New Member

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    2002 Explorer has some intermittent transmission issues. This vehicle has 121k, and has been garaged/well cared for since new. All suggested maintenance has been kept up over the years. The problems that I am having have pretty much been occurring since 30k or so miles. Transmission shifts normally when running around town or on long drives with little elevation gain. In the past 2 years when driving in town or city sometimes when you make a quick left turn there seems to be a loss of power to the wheels as if the fluid level is low (only on left turns).

    I had the transmission service done at 105kish, the Ford Tech said the fluid was pretty clean, level was fine and all looked well.

    Now over the years when going up long hills at speeds ranging from 50-70mph the vehicle would occasionally shutter or slip when changing gears either up or down especially when the outside temps were high or when manually shifting from Drive to 3rd, up or down.

    Similar things happen when towing also. I have not towed much with the vehicle over the years however recently I have started to haul a trailer and antique car.

    I had the transmission checked again by another shop that I use and they said the level of the fluid was ok and clean/clear. The said to me that the above problems mean that a tab or ear on one or more of the bands had broken off and requires a transmission rebuild to fix, they would also update the pin/part while doing the rebuild. Also a broken tab would cause there to be problems consistently not intermittently so it may be the servos. I checked into this and found that it is entirely possible that wear on the sevo rods may be the issue. Solution, by the new parts from Sonax and install them myself (I am a mechanic for big trucks) so I have some skill to do this.

    Important note here, no codes or warning lamps have shown up on the dash, (I don't have a scanner so I don't know if there have been codes that I cannot see).

    Based on what I have said here do you think replacing the servos with the updated versions will help?

    Can I replace them without having to machine anything or will they fit as is?

    Do I have the 5r55s/w transmission?

    I have seen videos that show that the replacement can be done without cutting the exhaust or taking the tranny support out, is this true?


    Thank you in advance for any advice or thoughts on this.
     
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  3. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  4. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Sounds like you need to repair both servo bores (3rd and overdrive). Its not a "tab" problem. Because of the worn bores (stainless steel rods rubbing through cast aluminum bore of case), heated (thin) trans fluid that is supposed to stay on once side, exerting pressure on the piston, is leaking through the rod/bore, resulting in insufficient tension to tighten the corresponding band.

    I used the kit/instructions here: Ford Lincoln Mercury Explorer Mountaineer Navigator Servo Bore Fix , to repair my '02 XLS's 5R55W overdrive piston/bore. Did not have to drop or open the trans, and it works great ever since. Good luck!
     
  5. shane10

    shane10 Active Member

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    I used the kit/instructions here: Ford Lincoln Mercury Explorer Mountaineer Navigator Servo Bore Fix , to repair my '02 XLS's 5R55W overdrive piston/bore. Did not have to drop or open the trans, and it works great ever since. Good luck![/QUOTE]

    I am about to order and install this same kit, I've been thinking about it for some time, and last night had what I assume was a half second flare from 2nd-3rd. It's not necessarily cheap ($200), but sure beats pulling the transmission for repair/replacement, I will let you know how it goes.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    I ordered the kit with both replacement pistons, but only installed the overdrive one. Figured if one needs replacing, the other will eventually go. I found the seller very easy to deal with; he even answered a question or two (email).
     
  7. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  8. Red 02

    Red 02 New Member

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    Ordered the kit. Will see if it helps. Maybe do the install on one of my "free" days in October. I will let you guys know how it goes then.
     
  9. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Don't screw around with the circlip for more than 10 minutes before drillng the hole per instructions. Very elegant (and effective) solution.
     

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