2-3 flare and separater plate ??? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2-3 flare and separater plate ???


Explorer Addict
July 6, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Leicester, UK
Year, Model & Trim Level
No Ex at the mo
Hi there guys from a cousin across the pond. 1998 4.0L SOHC 5R55E 112K
Recently i have been having the 2-3 flare. I have dropped the pan and replaced the filter and fluid, and whilst the pan was off i torqued all the VB bolts (there were 3 or 4 loose). I have also done the band setting.

After the fluid change the shifts firmed up but the flare was slightly worse ie most 2-3 shifts rather than just 1 in 4. After the band adjust the shifts are now smooth but still getting the flare tho now it is worse when cold but only occasionally once warm.

Now my thoughts are next i should try the VB gasket and/or the epc solenoid.

As i'm in the uk i'd rather not get an updated VB just yet and i'm not sure i'm upto doing the upgrades myself from a kit.

I have read a few threads to get my head around this and i think i may have confused myself a little but i am leaning towards gasket blown or epc struggling.

So my question is two fold;
If i source the updated bonded separater (part number? ) can i use this without upgrading the VB?
Should i do the epc at the same time?

Thanks in advance

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after 20 minutes

Jan, my blown out separator plate gasket resulted in a 3>4 flare which was worse after about 20 minutes of driving. It took about that long for the ATF in the torque converter to reach 150 degrees and the external cooling loop to open. Warm ATF results in greater leakage thru the blown gasket lowering the pressure as does the external cooling loop. I took a chance by not replacing the EPC solenoid and so far am not having any problems. However, I'm running a custom tune that increases the EPC pressure for more positive shifts. For more details see 5R55E shift saga

Thanks for the reply Dale.
My flare seems worse when cold.

OK a little update.
Went to the dealer this morning to see if they could give me a price on the solenoid bracket and the separater plate and the epc solenoid.
The epc comes in at approx $200 :confused: so that can wait and get ordered from your side of the pond if i need one.

The bracket was easier and ordered at $2 :D The disparity in prices astounds me.

The separater plate was a whole other story. In the UK they only list the 3 individual plates/gaskets and the middle one is no longer available. I explained that there was a 2-3 flare TSB that included the bonded plate but they couldn't find it and the US part number is of no use to them.
Undetered i rang the Ford Technical Team who, once given all the info were able to find the TSB and the corresponding UK part number for the plate but then no more info on its availability or price.
So back to the dealer armed with the UK finis No. (4333472) they finally found it and ordered at approx $30

Both the bracket and plate will take 5 days min to come but i'd be looking at that if i ordered from the US plus massive postage and import duties.

So we'll see if these fix my problems, tho obviously i'll clean up the VB when i drop it.
Ta ta for now

experts pls help

So after reading some more i have the impression that i can only fit the updated separator plate IF and only IF i do the VB upgrades also.

Can anyone confirm this one way or the other


Well i've got a little further with this

As i suspected the updated plate should only be used with the updated VB. Now in the UK you can get the updated plate but you can't get the VB updates as they were never included in our TSB. Over here the TSB states that the problem occurs due to a fauly VB and this must be replaced :eek: However you cannot even buy this :eek::eek:

So they are quite happy to sell me the updated plate but can't supply me with the parts i need to use it, oh and they won't refund me on the plate.

This leaves me with 2 options
1 order the updates for the VB from USA
2 order the standard plate gaskets

I have gone for option 2 as this is the cheapest and quickest option. If it doesn't solve the issue then i can try option 1.