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5r55e rebuild advice


April 25, 2011
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Ranger xlt
Hello all!
I've been doing alot of work to my transmission lately. I have a 97 ranger 4.0l 4x4. The transmission is a 5r55e. In the past I installed a rebuilt valve body from central valve bodies, but now I'm having some issues that I think may require the entire transmission to be rebuilt. I've lost 2nd, 4th, and 5th gear. Torque converter lock up is erratic, and there is a delayed shift into reverse. Taking the truck to a transmission shop for repair isn't something I really want to do because they just tell me it needs to be rebuilt and I don't want to dump another $2-3k in this truck. I'm thinking of trying to rebuild the transmission myself. I haven't done this before, but I do work on vehicles alot and I believe I can do it. I have the downloaded the rebuild manual and have been looking through it. I've started looking for rebuild kits and I was interested in this one


It seems to include most everything I would need, and all of the parts are alto which seems to be a good brand name. For those of you who have done this does this seem to be a good rebuild kit? Are there any suggestions/advice in choosing a rebuild kit? I don't mind spending a little more for quality parts. I'll also replace the torque converter while I'm in there. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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That kit seems to have all the wearable items covered with the steel plates and bands. You should really wait before you order anything until you have the transmission apart, chances of needing something else is high.

I used to work for O'Reilly's, and I REALLY think you could buy a Pioneer kit for about the same price. I used eBay timing chains and I'll NEVER use eBay parts again for major systems. Also, "Stage 4" sounds kinda fishy, I wouldn't want anything with that much grip as it just means it WILL wear down quicker than a stock kit. I'd go stock kit, shift kit/shift improvement kit and call it good. To be real.

The whole stage 4 thing I think just references whats included with the kit. For instance they sell the same kit as stage 1 except you don't get any of the bands or bushings. The clutch material is the same in every kit. When you say pioneer kit are you referring to brand? I found a pioneer kit on O'reilly auto parts for about $250. Are pioneer kits good? I didn't find much info about them online.

Thanks for the advice Jk080. I'm sure there will be other items that will need to be replaced as well, I'm just trying to do a little research and get some suggestions before I tear it down so I'll have an idea of what to order.

In my opinion Alto is a good brand, my daughters Crown Vic, AOD has Alto parts in it and it functions fine.

Are there any special tools the average home mechanic wouldn't have that are necessary to rebuild the transmission?

Only thing that comes to mind is a pump alignment tool, you could use the converter to line it up but it not a good as the tool and if there is noise after install it will have to come back out. You might be able to find a shop that can line up the pump for you for a couple of bucks, I have done this several times.

Getting the spring retainers out of the drums might be tricky but you should be able to come up with something.

Other than that I think you will be fine.

The basic things that should be used in rebuilding this tranny is of coarse the kit that includes the frictions and steels, both bands and maybe the rear one too, converter and filter. Both servo pistons which come in different sizes, they have to match their covers. Pump bushing is always a good idea, but you will need a driver to install it. Maybe if you get a shop to help you with the pump they can install it for you.