5R55E Shift flare help | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5R55E Shift flare help

Trail Runner

May 8, 2004
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT, 2008 XLT
Hoping someone can help me on this issue. About 8 months ago my Explorer (2000, 4.0L with 5R55E) started to have the shift flare issue. In this case it would ‘flare’ between all shifts, unless WOT. If going over 55mph and the accelerator is press to WOT, the trans will attempt to down shift to passing gear but instead it will go into neutral and the engine will rev up. If going less than 55mph it will down shift as normal.

I pulled the valve body and found the gasket was ripped. I replaced the gasket with the updated one from Ford along with a new EPC solenoid and valve body update kit. After reinstalling everything the problem was still there. Re pulled the valve body and checked that all the valves moved freely, all the check balls where in the correct spot and that there was no debris. I decided to clock the shift solenoids to (moved each one into the next spot over) to check if the shift issue would change (in case one of the solenoids was bad) reinstalled the valve body again and this time the trans worked fine.

About 2 months ago the flare came back with the down shift to neutral issue. I was able to ‘cure’ it by shifting into 2nd and accelerating up to near the rev limit, decelerate and re accelerate. After the trans warmed up (I have a Autometer trans temp) from hard accelerating the flare when away.

Well it’s back again. I was able to stop it by accelerating as mentioned, but this time it only lasted a week.

Any suggestions on what to do next? I plan on pulling the VB next week.

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what did you find?..i have the same problem today...thanks

I had one 5r55 98 year explorer with same issues + p0741 code. Worked almost fine when cold and problems started when hot. Shift flare 1-2 2-3 and lock up problems were getting worse. I decided to tear valve body out for inspection, but forunately saw that the cooling liquid box was empty. Looken into radiator and it was only half way filled. The car had not any boiling probles...yet:D
Filled it up to level and took a test drive. It has not displayd the p0741 for two weeks and all flares are gone. Took many test with light medium and WOT throttle. Much better throttle response also.
So the engine temp sensors are important. The instrument cluster did not showed the over heating and was in center where it usually stays. Another sensor was maybe dry and gave incorrect information. This ex is lucky one, 380 000 km with original transmission and chains, it is something rare with sohc and 5r55

i had to get mine rebuilt....for the tune of $2300....but its got the upgraded/performance TC and internals......when they tore it down..i had them save the worn parts for me.....it was undoubtedly the pump housing ...it had worn to the point of the center section had broken loose and was loosing pressure....and of course clutch /hub and band wear.....i believe most was a recent bunch of damage from pressure loss.....had to get another credit card just to pay for it....i realy didnt need all this crap:confused:.....what sticks with me.. is the fact i had the rig only a couple of weeks before all this happened...i hope that dose of bad luck will buy me a couple years bad luck free:help:

Yeah the pump is the devil very often, seen it quite often. My point was that sometimes it could be something electrical what is causing low pressure. Like engine sensors. It is not regular, usually when I get transmissions for inspection then they are burned badly and anyway need rebuilt.

Hi there is a guy named Mike that works at American Muscle in florida that writes tunes for the SCT programmer. I used it in my 2001 4.0 XLT 4x4 with great results not only does the engine become more responsive he is able to raise the line pressure in the trans so that your shift issues should go away. I had a similar issue with my newer explorer a 2005 and had Mike write me a new program for that as well. It shifts firm and the flare ups are completly gone I have 92000 miles on it now and haven't had the valvebody apart yet. the number there is 1-866-727-1266. You will need the 4 digit computer code located on the pass side door jam usually letters and numbers along with rear gear ratio. Hopes this helps