5R55E - new symptoms after VB repair | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5R55E - new symptoms after VB repair


December 28, 2007
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT, 94 Sport
Replaced VB gaskets, 97 4x2 - would only move in 2nd before this repair with OD flashing.. Now after repair it slips in D (1st gear) and it also slips a little in Rev, but a bit more power than 1st - other than that it shifts perfectly.

If I start out in manual 2nd and get going about 15 mph then shift into D, it drives perfectly, upshifts and downshifts smoothly with no OD light flashing.... I did have the OD switched off for this trial run. Once I stop, I have to start out in manual 2nd again.

Any ideas ?


Have you tried manual 1rst to see if it slips? Just curious.

Either way, with reverse and 1rst slipping, you would have to pull the transmission out to fix it. I read your other posts about this and my thinking is maybe you could find a used transmission for $400.00 with a guarantee.(30 days?)
Then you could take the old one apart to see the carnage.
Just so you know, 400 in parts turns into 1,100.00 in parts and tools.
Fluid was burnt which means the clutches are burnt, probably have clutch material and maybe even metal all throughout the trans. Torque converter should be replaced since you cant really clean them out and the clutches may be burnt in that too. Rebuild kits do not come with the special Torrington bearings that are in there, that's kind of a hidden expense. There is also different sized plastic thrust washers (for lack of a better word) you have to take precision measurements with a depth micrometer and special tools to see what clearances are.
I don't mean to deter you on fixing that one if that is what you want to do. I also usually recommend people fix stuff because of the satisfaction of doing it and doing it right. But it will not be cheap, and can really take its toll on your patience.
I invested a lot in the 5R55E tools but I have three trucks that all have the same transmission so I will get my moneys worth. If one is down I can also drive the other two. I am still thinking of picking up a spare transmission so I can just swap them out as they fail. lol.


Also slipping could be from sprag clutches, not included in rebuild kits.
I don't know if you saw my other thread on my supercharged Ex but in that one I broke two one way sprag clutches, that's why I mention them. That thread is very long though.

Thank You for your advice. I'm an older engineer and self-taught mechanic (30+ years) and still trying to keep my 3 daughters in running vehicles - doing things 'right' is usually the only way I'll do a job - until now... trying to find the 'right approach' - economically prudent for this vehicle.

Gasket was blown, replaced - now slips in 1st, 2nd and Rev, will run and shift 'properly' only above 25 mph with the OD-OFF. I've read/studied 10+ hrs of posts/specifications, but I still don't have a grasp or feel for how to connect my symptoms - diagnosing the failed/defective parts. Some complexity here, takes both hands-on and experience that I don't have. Noticed the operational differences in the literature for manual (1), good question...but I haven't tried because the shifter has that loose screw thing going-on and it won't go all the way over to 1. I considered repairing that for the data point...but it doesn't seem to change my predicament, certainly would aid diagnosis.

Pretty sure I have hard part damage based on symptoms - trying to decide if I should spend $300 on parts and ...try... to bring it back with dismantling and repairing just what's damaged up to a fixed cost - enough to get a year of use or spend this same amount on a used one. Without the proper tools and knowledge this is probably a no-brainer - go for the used, but the availability of buying used with low miles is severely limited. My daughter could drive it now if it had reverse...that's not safe..

Vehicle has 152k, fluid is red and clean now, never any sparkles - magnet looked just like your pic in your rebuild diary. Seems the combination of electro-mechanical, electro-hydraulic, and mechanical interplay make it impossible to diagnose unless it's all apart on the bench, and not even then really - but I'd bet my bottom dollar one of these professionals (experienced transmission builders) on here could immediately nail it, at least with a fairly high confidence level. You know how that goes...

Thanks again, wish I could help you more my friend...I appreciate your time and expertise. I'm in NC, let me know if I can help you in any way...