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4R55E Rebuild - Urgent help!!!


September 22, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Constanta, Romania
Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 XLT 4.0v6 4wd
Hello guys.

Few days ago i just got the parts for my rebuild. I have a few questions :

1. Between the input shell and the forward planet, is there a bearing or thrust washer? Because i think i made a mistake. I put the torrington from the inner side of the center support between the input shell and the forward planet, and therefore i have nothing left to pot to the center support. I must say that i don't find the torrington or the washer that might have been placed in the shell...so i suppose there wasan't any.

2. I noticed that my low/reverse servo has no spring. Is that normal? As i read from the A4LD rebuild, the servo is very much like mine, and that one has a spring (the big one). So shouldn't mine have one too?

I would appreciate short time answers, as i am holding the rebuild because of te washer trouble.....

Thanks in advance

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Between the forward planet and the input shell there is no washer or bearing. There is no spring in the low/reverse servo on these models.

From the input shell there is, in order coming forward... the forward planetary, the #7 thrust bearing on front of that, the forward ring gear, the #6B thrust washer (with a ring that centers it in the input shell) the 6A thrust bearing and then the forward clutch sits on that.

Hope this helps.

ps. You would have realized this when you measured the clearance at the center support.

Thanks Glacier. I must tell you that the "teeth" of the intermediate drum did not completly mate the holes in the input shell :) . That i found quite strange, because in your pictures, i saw that they ware perfectly united.
I suppose the clearance was quite the same due to the fact that i didn't put anything behind the center support.

Thanks alot. Now i can safely go on. My bad. However the thing about the servo spring i didn't know. Thank you again.

P.S. My O/D Clutch has only 2 (two) frictions. Is that normal? The clearance is ok, but in the overhaul kit, i found 3 (three) frictions. I must say that it worked ok with 2 frictions, and they weren't damaged at all.

Hope to come up with nice results ;)

The 4R and 5R lack a return spring. The accumulator was deemed enough.

Two frictions on the OD are standard. Brain cut down the piston to add a 3rd to Frankentranny. If I had one mod to the 5R that would be it. Adding the 3rd plate.

On my frankentranny rebuilds (2 coming up) I will do that to both.

Thnk you Glacier. Tomorrow i'll finish the pictures of the reassembly also. I wil edit the article and see how i will submit it.

Thanks. BB the answer would involve a more intricate knowledge of VB changes between the A4LD the 4R/5R series than I have possession of. I am sure the accumulator charge rates and the apply rates have changed... but cannot say how or even IF. (I suspect). Since the VB geometry has changed, one cannot simply measure differences easily.

Don't mean to change the subject a little, but I have did a search and turned up empty on this. Can a 5R55W trans work in place of a 5R55E as a bolt in? Looking at the gearing it would make a better trans for offroad use, I sure would like some imput on this, Thanks

Hello guys,

Sorry to trouble you again. I finished the rebuild. I got rid of some old problems, but seem to have some new ones.

1. I have no Park. With the lever in park, the car can be pushed and runs free on inclined ground. Possible causes?
- all other gears respond correctly when selected.

2. I experienced this with the old tranny too. It has a hard departure. When i put in drive, normally it should apply oil pressure and the car should start by itself. I only achieve this pressure after few seconds. And if i accel, it goes, but it reaches speed quite low. Maybe this is normal considering the weight of the car, but i don't think so.
- or maybe the car starts directly with the 2nd gear? If this would be the case, i suppose that the idle pressure in drive wouldn't be enough to move the car?

3. Possible cause of rough start could be bad band adjustments?

4. My manual says tranny eats 9.3 liters of ATF, but is this including the empty convertor in my case, or only for fluid chang, except the TC.

5. Placing a magnet filter on the return line next to the radiator, can affect oil pressure? IF no, maybe you can tell me which line is the return. The one that goes in the upper part of the radiator, or that from the lower part?

Thanks again. I owe you guys

1. Park is a mechanical interconnect. When you engage park the parking rod hooked onto the shift lever inside the tranny slides back and pushes the parking pawl into the teeth of the gear that locks the output shaft. Is that rod properly installed on the roostercomb? Did you properly assemble the parking gear and spring? (a big OWIE because if you are not sure that is in the BACK of the tranny!)

2. Delayed engagement is a common problem in 1st and reverse. There are many suspected problems.... from the low reverse servo seal to internal VB leakage. It is not a one size fits all problem. More and more I am suspecting VB leakage as the culprit more than just the seals on the low reverse servo. I have a brand new A4LD VB that I might be willing try an experiment with the right person with... but plan to use it inyet another project - a Frankentranny with mostly ALL NEW parts, including the VB. (Stay tuned this winter I plan to be prolific in the project diaries).

3. Doubt bands are at issue here.

4. I "believe" 10 quarts is empty system to full, including TC.

5. No.

Hope this helps.

Chris ("Glacier")

I gues the park should be the last part of the tranny, the one that connects to the transfer case?

As far as i saw, on the shift selector, inside the tranny, there is one metal part that rolls on the "teeth" of the selector, and the piston that is being moved by the selector. Should there have been something else?

Not having park, affects the tranny functionality? Can any wear occur?

2. Which pipe is the return line from the radiator to the tranny?


I have installed a new valve body, so i don't think the VB is the cause of the delayed engagement. I also changed the seals from the low/reverse servo, but i will change the piston too. Maybe this will help.

I noticed also something okward, when i first started driving, when changing from the 1st to 2nd, it went up to 3500 rpm then changed. It only happend 2 times. After 1 hour driving, it changes normal. Smoething to worry about? No electric errors.

Maybe the reverse paw is on backwards. If it's on backwards you should be able to hear a clicking sound. It happened to me.
As for the delayed 1st & reverse, I used viton sero seals and rebuilt
the vb and still had a delayed 1st & reverse. I opened the trans again and replaced the OD drum because their was grooves in it and replaced the teflon seals on the stator (back of the pump) with the center support seals from the
Trans go kit. Problem Gone!!! The teflon seals are junk it leaks and causes the overdrive drum to wear out. Ckeck out BB info on seal leakage.:)

Thanks James! I had a conversation the other day with James explaining a mistake that I made in an A4LD rebuild a few years ago. I had reverse, but no drive. It was not valve body related. I left out one of the inner directional lip seals in a clutch pack while rebuilding it. As a result, the clutch pack had no pressure to engage the inner plates. If one of these seals has seepage, it's very possible that it could cause delayed engagement (due to hydraulic pressure loss).

Great exchange of info here. Thanks James and BB.

We have all made mistakes in rebuilding and it helps to share them..... and what happens as a result.

I am guessing that the reverse rod attached to his roostercomb became "unattached" or otherwise not assembled right. The parking pawl and the rod always seem to require a little extra attention in my rebuilds to operate properly....I always check them before I move forward.... just so not to have to go back inside yet once again!

One time I think I removed the internals about 4 times before I got everything right!


Patience and attention to detail are key.


Thanks. Yesterday i had the chance to see an A4LD tranny, and i remembered that i didn't place the parking pawl inside the rooster comb. So now, the pawl is "free" inside the tranny. :)

Can the torque converter be responsible for the delayed engagement?

The strange thing is that 1st and 2nd are delayed and the car has a lack of torque, but in the 3rd and 4th, it runs excellent. You have any ideea why?

P.S. Something strange happend. Some odd metal noise can be heard when breaking or hitting a hole in the road. It sounds like the torque convertor is hitting the bellhouse. Please excuse my lack of knowledge, but i gues that it couldn't be, right? I mean, the car wouldn't work if the torque converter screws had brocken and it got loose, right? :(


When you installed the torque converter, did you make sure that it was fully seated into the bell housing? There is also a separate shaft that slides into it. Was that installed? I know that the A4LD has this.

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? The reverse Paw locks on to the govenor (at the back of the trans)when park is selected.
As to how I came to the conclusion that the stator seal was my problem,
I read in Hot Rod Bulletin (lots of good info there) that a guy had a delayed 1st & reverse and found out that he forgot to put on the stator seals on his A4LD.
I spoke to someone at Transgo and he tolded me that that the stator
seals has nothing to do with my delayed 1st & reverse? Go figure?