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5R55E shift saga

Valve body related torque specs

Today I received my ATSG 5R55E manual. The specified torque values for the screws/bolts related with the valve body repair/replacement are:

Separator plate-to-main control screws (T30):53-71 Lb-in

Solenoid clamps-to-main control screws (gold 10mm): 53-71 Lb-in

Main control assembly-to-case screws (10mm): 71-97 Lb-in

Manual valve detent spring screw (10mm): 71-97 Lb-in

Reverse servo cover-to-case bolts (10mm): 106-124 Lb-in

Fluid filter assembly-to-main control assembly screw (10mm): 71-97 Lb-in

Fluid pan-to-case screws (13mm): 115-133 Lb-in

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In reviewing the A4LD transmission rebuild diary there are photos of several potential sources of the brass particles I found in my filter.

After seeing how badly scored some of the parts in the A4LD were I'm not very concerned about the small particles I found in my filter.

I don't know how large the particle were that you found, but I would just re-assemble and run it. Its either that or take it apart for re-build. I have changed my filter 3 times, and never bothered to look inside for particles. I may have had more than yours, or none at all. A little wear on these moving parts can be considered normal, and no one knows how much life is left in that transmission.

Hi guys, thought I'd add my 2 cents to this thread:

I had a 2-3 shift flare soon after buying my 2000 Sport with about
40K miles on it. Back then little was known about it. I replaced the
separator plate with the revised bonded plate, new solenoid bracket,
new EPC solenoid, revised 'D' ring for the low/reverse servo, and a
Superior shift kit. I threw everything in it but the kitchen sink hoping
to not have to go into it again. It worked. The trans shifted perfectly
from the first test drive, with the added bonus of more uniform shift points.

Fast forward 90K miles. The wife had been using it to commute to work,
and noticed the OD light flashing a couple of times. After finally telling me
about it, I replaced the EPC again and no more OD trouble lights. That was
about 10K miles ago and everythings still fine.

Since the EPC dithers constantly to regulate pressure, I think it wears out
prematurely rather than clogs. No big deal to replace however, especially
if the pan's already off to replace the filter.

I also disabled the thermostat in the valve body when doing the original
work, with no ill effects. Also have run Lubegard Red since then too.

Just though someone might be interested in reading about how the
flare fix held up long term.....

EPC replacement

Thanks for posting your after upgrade long term results ROE. If I were going to keep this transmission I would replace the variable force style (VFS) EPC solenoid and the TCC solenoid that appears to also be VFS even though my ATSG manual doesn't state that.

Poor timing!

Today a couple drove down from North Carolina to look at my Tahoe that's been for sale for several weeks. They liked it enough to purchase it on the spot and returned home with it. So now I can start looking for a 2000 4 door Explorer with 2WD and the 5.0L V8. Unfortunately, the parts for my Sport's valve body still haven't been shipped and I'm in the middle of replacing my water pump. I hope my wife will let me drive her Highlander when I need transportation for the next week or two.

valve body upgraded

Today as I was finishing up my water pump replacement my valve body parts were delivered. This evening I worked on our breakfast nook table which has good lighting and I replaced the solenoid bracket, I installed the Ford TSB upgrade and bonded plate separator. I also replaced the reverse servo O rings with D rings. I was disappointed that the Ford transmission filter kit did not include a pan gasket. I guess I should have known that by the price. I've decided to reuse my old gasket because I think it will be better than the after market gaskets I looked at.

(if it is not to late) can you post a pic of what your Rev Servo tip is supposed to look like? If you already put it up don't worry about it, but it seems like every one I have seen had tiny cracks in it on the tip. (including mine) I ordered a new one but it is the wrong one...

too late

(if it is not to late) can you post a pic of what your Rev Servo tip is supposed to look like? If you already put it up don't worry about it, but it seems like every one I have seen had tiny cracks in it on the tip. (including mine) I ordered a new one but it is the wrong one...

Sorry, but I already had the reverse servo installed when I read your post. When I was struggling with it to install the new D rings I didn't notice any cracks in the tip. As I recall the tip was made of solid steel, I would be surprised if it cracked. Mine looked just like bluestream1's. It was difficult to install the new D rings because they are very tight. I ended up installing the ring over a small screwdriver and then sliding the shaft of the screwdriver around the circumference of the servo until the flat side of the D ring was facing the servo. Otherwise, the ring would not have sealed properly.

Manual valve lever post

When placing the valve body in position in preparation for inserting the first retaining bolt make sure that the manual valve inner lever positioning post is in the correct position as shown in the photo below.


The green arrow identifies how the positioning post should engage the manual valve slot. I had about 10 of the valve body retaining bolts loosely inserted before I noticed that the valve slot had slipped forward and the post was not in position. I had to back off all of the inserted bolts and lower the valve body before the valve slot could be moved to the proper position.

By the way, I bought a box of disposable surgical type gloves to keep the ATF off my hands. They work very well.

Wondering how clean was your valve body? Was there any sediment or dirt in any of the passages? Did you remove the small screen as part of the upgrade? My valve body was surprisingly clean in side, more so than the ones in the rebuild diary. Braken gasket came off clean without any scraping

Anxiously awaiting your results of this repair...

No more shift problems!

Yesterday I installed the transmission pan using the old gasket. I used RTV between the gasket and the pan to keep it in place and help prevent leaks. Then I positioned the servo heat shield and installed the driver side down pipe/cat assembly. I connected the stock O2 sensor and the wideband A/F sensor and then lowered the vehicle after removing the jack stands. Today I topped off the radiator again (I had left it with the cap loose to allow air to escape) and then started adding ATF. I put in three quarts and then started the engine.

I really appreciate my Accusump. It has been two and one half weeks since the engine ran but when I turned the ignition key to Run the Accusump brought the oil pressure up as if the engine had run earlier this morning. From now on any vehicle that I own and care about will have some form of preoiler.

The engine started immediately. I let it run for five minutes and then shut it off and added another quart of ATF. Then I restarted and checked the ATF level. I have always had difficulty reading ATF dipsticks and the one in my Sport seems harder than my other vehicles. Part of the reason is because the ATF is so clean (a good thing). I believe the cleanliness is due to the Mobil 1 engine oil filter that is in the external ATF cooling loop. Eventually the engine warmed up and I ended up adding a total of six quarts of ATF. I'm still not sure if the level is correct.

I topped off the radiator again since the engine had warmed up enough for the thermostat to open and prepared to go on my first informal test drive. I was a little tense when I selected Reverse being unsure of my installation of the D rings on the reverse servo but my Sport moved in the direction commanded. Once out of the driveway and in Drive I was pleased that forward motion was achieved. There is a slight hill pulling away from my house and the shift from 1st to 2nd was quick and firm. I believe one of the things James Henson did in my custom tune was to increase the EPC pressure in addition to changing the shift speeds. The 2nd to 3rd shift under light throttle was also good. Once out of my subdivision I was able to accelerate enough to experience a 3rd to 4th shift under normal throttle and was elated that there was no detectable engine flare between the shift. I drove around for about 30 minutes and experienced no shift problems. I could not do any performance testing because the rain started almost as soon as I left the house and there was a lot of traffic on the roads. In a few days when the weather is good I'll do another data log drive and compare the results with the one before the valve body upgrade.

I considered adjusting the front and intermediate bands when doing the valve body upgrade but decided not to introduce any other variables. I'll wait until after I generate the next data log.

bluestream1, thank you for your advice on my shift problem. You were totally correct in what needed to be done. To answer your previous post my case fluid paths were very clean except for the single piece of gasket that was hanging. The valve body paths were also very clean. The only particles I found (almost like fine dust) were trapped between the gaskets and the valve body separator where they was no flow. I followed the Ford TSB instructions and removed the screen and the spring loaded valve.

Thank you Glacier991 for creating the threads on the 5R55E problems and thank you forum members who took the time to post your related experiences. Prior to performing this valve body upgrade the only thing I did on an automatic transmission was to adjust the bands on my 1958 Jaguar XK-150 about 40 years ago and to change my transmission filter on my Tahoe. I saved lots of money by only having to purchase a few parts and I experienced the satisfaction of correcting my shift problems myself. I really enjoy my Sport when its running well!

No forward or reverse

A few days ago I started my Sport to run an errand. I noticed it was slow to go into reverse but assumed it was due to the outside temperature being about 35 degrees. The driveway is fairly level but the cul-de-sac has a slope. When I shifted from reverse to drive and let off the brake I started rolling backward toward the end of the cul-de-sac. I quickly shifted to reverse and cranked the wheel hard to back around the curve. I tried Drive again and revved the engine to about 2,000 rpm when 1st gear engaged hard but enough for me to pull into the driveway and garage.

Upon later investigation I learned that the ATF level was two quarts low and that fluid had leaked out where the external cooling hose connects to the oil filter mount. Apparently the pressure in the external coolant path increased after upgrading the valve body. The path is only pressurized when the ATF in the torque converter exceeds 150 degrees which takes more than twenty minutes on a cold day.

Today I disconnected hose connections and unscrewed the leaking brass fitting. I applied high temperature thread sealer and reinstalled the fitting and connected the hoses. This evening my wife and I drove thru downtown Greenville looking at Christmas decorations which took about an hour. The external ATF temperature gauge stayed at 155 degrees for the last thirty minutes of the drive. There were no leaks at the fitting or hose connections.

From this exercise I learned the importance of maintaining the ATF level in the normal operating range.

Well done Dale, I didn't know that you had a problem until today. I like to check the ATF level by pulling and wiping the dipstick several times, for each check.

If do that you will discover that one side of the dipstick will almost always be wet in the hatch area. By doing that you will figure out which side stays more dry from R&Ring it each time. So then you can pay close attention to that one side, and put it back in with the labeled side so it can be read easily. It takes a long time to set the level after doing any work to a trans.

BTW, are you still bypassing the radiator ATF cooler? I'd want lower temps than the 155 if possible. I still haven't called a maker of oil filter thermostatic adapters to see if they can make me one to operate at 100 degrees instead of 160-180. Soon,

Radiator bypass

. . .
BTW, are you still bypassing the radiator ATF cooler? I'd want lower temps than the 155 if possible. I still haven't called a maker of oil filter thermostatic adapters to see if they can make me one to operate at 100 degrees instead of 160-180. Soon,

Hi Don. When I upgraded the valve body I didn't do the modification to keep the external cooler path always open. The internal thermostat opens the external path when the torque converter fluid exceeds 150 degrees. My external temperature sensor is located at the input to the remote filter and stays at about 155 degrees once the internal thermostat opens the path. I have verified the accuracy of the temperature sensor by comparing it to data from my SCT scanner. I'm still using the radiator internal oil cooler for my engine oil. My temperature sensor for the engine oil isn't working correctly so that's on my to do list.

I saw a graph somewhere of transmission life vs ATF temperature. As I recall, the life did not appreciably increase by lowering the ATF temperature below 150 degrees. Since I don't tow anything significant or hill climb my two oil coolers seem to be adequate. I wonder if the viscosity is significantly higher at 100 degrees. If so, it might be a good idea to run full synthetic. I'm using the semi-synthetic Mercon V from Wal-Mart.

Gotcha, the trans thermostat keeps it near 155. I'd shoot for anything between 100-150 really, it's just that you want enough cooling to keep up with heat that would push it over 150. That's why I began with the Superduty cooler, that thing will do the job. I just need to be able to keep heat in it and not run cold in Winter. That's what the thermostat can do, maintain enough heat in the ATF.

The radiator cooler may be useful for oil as you have it, if the OEM V8 cooler doesn't do enough. We are doing well to work out those details.

Your ATF should be good enough to last until you swap. Night,

Some people claim that bad things happen in threes. Yesterday reinforced that claim. I spent about 20 minutes setting up the data parmeters to record to analyze my shift problem. When I was finally ready and attempted to start the engine the battery charge was insufficient to crank the engine. So I saved the parameters and hooked up the battery charger. While the battery was charging I pulled off the cell caps and noticed the electrolyte level was low. I added distilled water to bring the level up to normal. While waiting for the battery to charge I checked the coolant level in the radiator. I was surprised that it was low since I had just topped it off a week ago. I noticed the cap larger gasket was cracked so I replaced the cap after topping off the coolant. By then the battery was charged enough to start the engine so I went on my data log drive.

By counting shifts I confirmed my initial suspicion that the flare occurs on the 3 to 4 upshift. I also noted that immediately after cold start the flare is not detectable but after 20 minutes of driving becomes very noticeable. Analysis of the recorded data indicates that at 8 minutes and a transmission temperature of 110 degrees there is no detectable flare and the upshift time is 0.3 seconds. After 22 minutes and a transmission temperature of 152 degrees the upshift flare was 366 rpm and the shift time increased to 3.6 seconds. I detected no deterioration in the 1>2 or 2>3 shifts.

After my drive I noticed engine coolant leaking on the driveway. So now I need a new battery, I need to fix an engine coolant leak, and I need to fix my transmission. I parked my Sport in my garage, raised the front end and supported with jack stands, and sprayed the left catalytic converter to muffler bolts with Blaster.

I am disappointed and somewhat concerned that I am experiencing a 3>4 shift flare instead of the more common 2>3 shift flare. I've spent the last few days reading posts about the 2>3 shift flare. Now I have to research something else. Hopefully, a rebuilt valve body will solve the problem but I intend to inspect before ordering any parts.

How did that go. I just put in my rebuilt valve body and my shifting problem is slowly resolving itself but the OD light still blinks, the dash is dead except for the 2 lights OD & Chk Engine light. Wondering if there is some kind of 'reset' button(for lack of a better word) for the OD light??:banghead:

You may want to change the o-ring on the reverse servo to the Viton D style ring. It seems to help a bit with the slow reverse engagement

I have been looking for this pak and no one has it. Can you please tell me where I can get them from. I have just worked on my VB 2 times without replace the band and the cover gasket. Any info would really help as now I have a 00 explorer showing signs of the same thing!

Transmission Parts USA

As stated in Post#26:

"I ordered the D ring set, gasket and ATSG 5R55E Transmission repair manual 1998-on from Transmission Parts USA"

23256K A4LD 4R44E 4R55E 5R55E Transmission reverse servo piston D-ring kit (no gaskets)

23128 C3 A4LD 4R44E 5R55E Transmission reverse servo cover gasket

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Did it take your vehicle time to get better?... On my 95 shouldn't my OD light stop blinking if the whole VB w/solenoids got replaced or is there something else I am missing? I so appreciate any help you could give me... Where, if I can, can I get the bonded plate for my 2000 xls