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1997 5R55E Reoccurring P0761 Fault

JK080

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Servos covers can be tough to get out on other transmissions too, one thing you can try is to use a sharp flat screw driver and hammer on the cover and work it back and forth. Now this is easy on covers that have a area that you can get a groove or flat surface to hit on, but on this particular cover it is smooth and does not have a spot to hit against.
With a file you may be able to create a groove on the smooth machined area around the cover on two sides enough to get the screw driver to hang on. You may be able to work it out like that.
I have never done this with this transmission because at this point the transmission is usually on my table and I can drive them out from the inside once it apart.
Try this first before ripping back into the pan maybe you will get lucky.
 



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97Sandbox

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I like your thinking! I'll certainly give it a go, nothing to lose at this point.

When I was tapping (hammering the backside of a steel rod) on the cover, I came at it from behind the right UCA. I think if I take the whole inner fender out, I may be able to get even better access.
20201017_190609.jpg


I'll keep after it and see how crafty I can get tomorrow morning!
 






97Sandbox

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With a file you may be able to create a groove on the smooth machined area around the cover on two sides enough to get the screw driver to hang on. You may be able to work it out like that.

It wasn't easy, but I followed your advice and got the cover out. Filed a groove into the cover then spun it 90 degrees with a punch and hammer and filed another groove. Repeated until I had 4 slots wide enough for my pin spanner. I then spun the cover around and around and it gradually crept outward. Eventually it hung out enough for me to work a pick into the o-ring groove an pry the cover out.
20201018_153207Cropped.jpg

20201018_153223.jpg


When I got the cover off, the servo was left sticking out, so I pulled it out too. Hope the strut did't fall out of place...

To my surprise, I didn't see any damage present on the servo.
20201018_153234.jpg
20201018_153242.jpg


Looking in the bore was equally uneventful.
20201018_152827cropped.jpg

20201018_153048cropped.jpg

20201018_152848.jpg


See anything obvious that I'm overlooking? After the VB upgrades, new solenoids, and a seemingly okay OD band adjustment, I was expecting the servo would be my smoking gun for no 2nd and 5th. Now I'm really wondering...
 






97Sandbox

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With the absence of obvious servo damage, I'm leaning towards putting everything back together as it was.

EDIT: Don't do this. Heavier spring will just make it harder to engage the OD servo -- not what you want if you're already unable to engage OD.
One thing I am wondering; is there any reason to replace the original OD servo return spring with one of the springs from the Superior kit? The instructions say the springs are for the intermediate servo (pink for 4r55 and blue for 5r55), but is it possible one of the springs could help the OD piston too? It looks to me like the pink is practically the same size as the stock OD servo return spring.
20201019_183339.jpg


Any suggestions are appreciated!
 






JK080

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Bummer the servo isn't blown out, does the servo have any resistance in the cover or does it just fall right in, I have seen these servos damn near turn to plastic and lose its ability to seal and not be able to apply the band.

Put the servo in the cap and pinch the two holes with your fingers and try to pull the servo out of the cap, if it has a good seal it shouldn't come out or at least be tough.

I would leave the spring alone it wouldn't be helping the situation with a heavier spring.
 






97Sandbox

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Bummer the servo isn't blown out

I know! It isn't often that I hope to find something broken, but at this point, I was looking forward to uncovering a definitive point of failure.

does the servo have any resistance in the cover or does it just fall right in, I have seen these servos damn near turn to plastic and lose its ability to seal and not be able to apply the band.

Put the servo in the cap and pinch the two holes with your fingers and try to pull the servo out of the cap, if it has a good seal it shouldn't come out or at least be tough.

I'd say the servo has moderate resistance. It doesn't fall right into the cover, but pushes in fairly easily. With the servo in the cap and the holes pinched, it's somewhat tough to pull straight out, but as soon as the shaft becomes even slightly misaligned, the seal is breached and the servo pulls right out. That seems normal to me, but I also don't have any point of reference.

The sealing material does not seem overly hard, but again, I don't have anything to compare it to. The lip on the inner edge is pliable and does not crack when I push on it if that's any indicator.

Since these servos aren't terribly expensive, I'm more than willing to try a replacement. Do you have a recommended brand? I usually try to buy OEM, but I'm also wondering if there's an aftermarket solution with improved sealing.

I would leave the spring alone it wouldn't be helping the situation with a heavier spring.

I will not mess with the spring.
 






97Sandbox

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I've been looking around at servo replacements the past couple days and haven't seen anything spectacular as far as aftermarket options so I'm planning to buy OEM.

Interestingly, I'm having my usual OEM Ford parts site tell me that the right OD servo for my VIN is F75Z-7H188-AA, but that part looks nothing like what I pulled out of my trans. Is that part an upgraded design or just a mistake on the site (I'm reading in some places that the particular part number is for the 4R70, not the 5R55E)?

The servo I pulled out has "97GT-7E221-ZA" molded into it, but it appears that part number was discontinued. I'm finding some suggestion that the replacement is F77Z-7D021-ZA, which looks virtually the same as mine. Can anyone confirm the right OD servo part number? Thanks in advance!
 






JK080

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Both of those part numbers ending in ZA appear to be for the correct servo, you can also search for the servo using the code ZC thats on the servo cover.
 






97Sandbox

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Thanks for clarifying James. I just ordered my F77Z-7D021-ZA, hopefully the part I receive matches the part description more than it does the picture...
Capture.PNG

...wouldn't be the first time I ordered the wrong part!

I'll be looking forward to installing it and seeing if I can finally get gears 2 and 5 back (I'm eager to get the full experience of my valve body upgrades).

In the meantime, I'll be taking on the challenge of modifying my servo cover to make it easier to remove if I ever have to do it again. I have some ideas in mind, but won't have a chance to get back into the garage before this weekend. Pics to come!
 






97Sandbox

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My servo arrived yesterday! Hoping to get it put in tomorrow night or this weekend. Fingers crossed I get gears 2 and 5 back finally, but we'll just have to see.🤞

20201029_171423.jpg
20201029_171440.jpg


While I was waiting for the servo to arrive, I drilled four shallow holes in my servo cover to make it easier to twist out with my pin spanner in the future. I think it should work well and I won't have to struggle with the mangled up grooves.

20201029_171516.jpg

20201029_171510.jpg


I'll let y'all know if I get everything fixed, otherwise I'll be coming back for more suggestions.
 






97Sandbox

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I got the new servo put in today. Overmold on the new one was noticeably softer than the old and it sealed way better in the cap. Install went smoothly and the OD band adjustment went without issue.

Unfortunately, I still can't get into gears 2 or 5 and P0761 came back. Any other ideas for me to try?

To recap:
- Merging onto highway, truck appeared to "double downshift" (felt like a 3-1 or maybe 4-2). Trans would not go into 5th afterwards.
- CEL came on several miles later, P0761: "Shift solenoid C performance or stuck off."

- Dropped pan and saw no unusual debris
- Droped VB and saw no damage
- Installed Ford blow off valve (and updated separator plate), Superior shift kit (minus thermo blocker and pressure riser), and reinstalled with new VB gaskets, all (4) new shift solenoids, new EPC, new filter and pan gasket. Refilled with Motorcraft Mercon V.

- P0761 again

- Adjusted OD band, no sign of broken band

-P0761 again

- Removed OD servo cap and servo, no sign of damage
- Replaced OD servo, readjusted OD band

-P0761 again
 






JK080

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I would get back into the valve body, this will give you a chance to air check the servo operation too.

When you dropped the pan you saw no unusual debris, was there any black stuff or a full magnet, just thinking the band may have lost its lining and cant hold the drum. Compare the OD band adjustment bolt with the intermediate band adjuster, they should be the same.

Found this about this valve body, make sure this L pin is in the right spot or you will lose 2nd and 5th.

5R55E L pin.JPG
 






97Sandbox

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Thanks for the reply James.

I would get back into the valve body, this will give you a chance to air check the servo operation too.

Not sure when I'll get the chance to dive back into the VB, but I'll definitely be taking a closer look. I guess it's finally time to buy an air compressor haha!

When you dropped the pan you saw no unusual debris, was there any black stuff or a full magnet, just thinking the band may have lost its lining and cant hold the drum.

Below are a couple of pictures from when I had the VB out, it's sitting on the pan. You can see some "black stuff" in the pan as well as some on the magnet. Let me know if that looks like an OD band lining's worth of debris to you
20201011_125044.jpg
20201011_125051.jpg


Compare the OD band adjustment bolt with the intermediate band adjuster, they should be the same.

When you say to compare the OD band adjustment bolt to the intermediate band adjuster, do you just mean look at the exposed threads on the two studs and see if they're the same? I can check that quickly.
 






JK080

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The pan looks normal from what I can see.

Yes I mean the exposed threads just to compare the adjustments.
 






97Sandbox

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What are the odds that an OD band's friction material accounts for roughly 1.75 threads on the stud? :confused:

Studs_Marked.PNG


I get the feeling that's about the gap from a toasted OD band, but let me know if the difference in exposed threads is reasonable.
 






97Sandbox

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Good evening all,

I made it home from a vacation tonight and I plan to get back to work on the '97 this coming weekend. Before I tear into things again, does anyone have recommendations as far as specific things to look for?

I know I want to try to get some kind of look at the bands (OD band especially) and double check all of the retainer pins in the VB, but is there anything else I should pay close attention to?

Any particular areas of the VB to pull apart and inspect extra closely?

Any specific electrical areas to check for resistance/continuity? I did measure the resistance of my old solenoids and the new ones when I replaced them and everything was in spec. I didn't check any of the wiring at that time though.

I gave the VB a decent once over when I updated it with the Ford TSB and Superior shift kit, but clearly I missed something. I'd like to do anything and everything I can to drill down to the issue this time. Any and all suggestions are much appreciated!
 






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Thanks for clarifying. The access to the OD adjuster does seem better -- linkage is still in the way, but maybe I'll find a way to get at it with the right combination of sockets and extensions. I will try to give it another go tomorrow.

I did take a ton of pics during the VB process, would I possibly be able to see the band anchor in one of those? Not like I'm expecting to eyeball the clearance in a dark image, but maybe something to check before I tear back into it...

Curious to try the servo air check too, but I'm not sure what you mean by pan rail (I'm new to this auto trans world).
are you sure that you are adjusting the overdrive band, and not the intermediate band.? Also the adjustment of these bands requires different adjustment settings when you install a shift correction kit into the valve body. try adjust the intermediate band/directly above the shift linkage as such: Crack the lock nut and while holding it in place tighten the adjuster bolt until 10ft pounds then loosen it back just until you are able to turn the bolt by hand, in both directions. THE STOCK ADJUSTMENT FOR INTERMEDIATE BAND IS
(2 AND1/2) For (1996 1997 1998 )Hold in place and tighten up lock nut firmly. Now overdrive Band is the same procedure but only back the bolt off 2 turns . I hope that this helps!
 






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The VB gaskets will be fine just be careful not to tear them, I have had a valvebody off and back on multiple times.

You do need to get rid of the cork pan gasket anyhow, neoprene is the way to go.
 






kidrock72

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Valve Body Gaskets should be changed out , every time you crack the seal.
VERY
IMPORTANT
 



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97Sandbox

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are you sure that you are adjusting the overdrive band, and not the intermediate band.?
I have been adjusting the stud towards the front of the vehicle, which I understand to be for the OD band.

Also the adjustment of these bands requires different adjustment settings when you install a shift correction kit into the valve body.
This is the first I'm hearing of a different spec. The Superior instructions did not make mention of an adjustment even in the section about the intermediate servo spring replacement...

try adjust the intermediate band/directly above the shift linkage as such: Crack the lock nut and while holding it in place
All of my issues seem to be related to the gears that use the OD band -- is there a way the intermediate band could cause the shift solenoid c code?

tighten the adjuster bolt until 10ft pounds then loosen it back just until you are able to turn the bolt by hand, in both directions.
Are you saying to loosen it before backing off the two turns?

THE STOCK ADJUSTMENT FOR INTERMEDIATE BAND IS (2 AND1/2) For (1996 1997 1998 )Hold in place and tighten up lock nut firmly. Now overdrive Band is the same procedure but only back the bolt off 2 turns.
I have been backing the OD stud off 2 turns from 120 in-lb.

Valve Body Gaskets should be changed out , every time you crack the seal.
Even if the gaskets have only been in the trans for a couple of weeks and less than 20 miles? I was surprised how nice the ones with 50k miles looked when I swapped them out.
 






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