5R55E - Stairway to a Diary (Companion Thread to the 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5R55E - Stairway to a Diary (Companion Thread to the 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary)

Bigg_billy

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2006
Messages
195
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1
City, State
Westford Mass
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLS 4L AT
Well here is my list of steps taken to get to the 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary. I know a few guys were waiting to see how it worked out. The 2-3 flare is gone and reverse is as it should be. I did not do the Sonnax Boost valve or three of the mods in the Superior kit, “Pressure riser” splice, operating temperature mod, and the “hard to get out plug” coast clutch mod. Upon taking mine down, I found gaskets blown out in several locations and bolts that had “lost their torque.”

1. Before starting be sure you have all your parts in-house and have read the appropriate diary to be sure you have the “right stuff” to begin the job. Be sure you have the Mercon V to refill with, by the time I was done it took 7 qts. to refill.

2. Disconnect your positive battery terminal and turn your headlights on for an hour, then off. This will reset your computer to factory specs so it can “relearn” your rebuilt characteristics.

3. Set up a clean area for cleaning parts and to spread all your parts out. (unless the Mrs. will let you use the dining room table) Mine did, it’s her XLS.

a. Have plenty of clean rags, card board to make a bolt layout template.
b. Vaseline for re-assembly, and anti-seize dressing for bolts.
c. Buy or borrow an inch/pound torque wrench.

4. Jack up the vehicle, I raised mine so the bottom of the tranny was 2 feet off the Garage floor.

a. Naturally use jack stands to hold her up.

5. Remove the heat shield, one 10mm nut that’s hard to get at (use a 10mm deep socket and a long skinny arm) and then the slip off the clip-ons where it fastens to the pan. Push the shield up and out of the way. I didn’t bother fishing it out.

6. Lay out some 4 mil plastic under the work area (I like to leave no trace on my garage floor) and line up your drain tray to catch your tranny fluid, hopefully bigger in size than the tranny pan. I have a 50 gallon drum bottom about 6” high.

a. I put mine on a dolly and raised it as high as possible to avoid a tranny fluid shower.
b. Unbolt your pan letting it dip to a corner to get as much fluid out as possible, and then remove the last bolts and let it settle into your tray. Let it drip…
c. Now is a good time, while you have your fluid change gear handy to drain your transfer case as well.

7. Next disconnect the wiring clips from the solenoids, (6 on 5R55E) label if you think you need to.

a. Carefully lower the little plastic “loom” which carries the wires across the bottom of the VB.

8. Unbolt the detent spring which puts pressure on the manual valve.

9. Unbolt (4) the reverse servo plate and lower the servo, remove the gasket if it comes easy.

10. Next loosen and remove the 23 gray 10mm bolts which hold the VB to the tranny. Be sure not to remove the two shiny bolts (marked in the manual - often golden in color) which hold the solenoid brackets in place.

a. Back them all out about ¼” and let her drip.
b. Make a cardboard template to put these bolts in as you take them off, there are 4 or 5 different sizes. I copied and enlarged the torque sequence page, taped it to a piece of cardboard, and poked holes through to slide the bolts into. (ROE recommendation and a good one)
c. I left the middle bolt in until last and then gently lowered the unit taking care to clear the wire harness and disengage the manual valve. (Gear shift)
c(i). Observe how this comes apart, so on reassembly you remember to engage it properly, “or you ain’t going anywhere.”
d. Now move your drain pan back under your tranny, what’s left will drip forever, and a LOT of fluid still will drip out.
e. Turn you VB every which way to get as much fluid out as possible.
f. Place your VB on top of some rags in a shallow cardboard box, and your off.

11. Now you can proceed through which ever of the diaries are correct for your case.

a. Work cleanly and carefully, AND DO NOT TURN THE VB UPSIDE DOWN WITHOUT THE PLATE IN PLACE. (or until you think you can figure out where all the balls and whistles go)
a(i). Parts for my 2000 XLS 4L OHV 4WD: (yours may vary depending on engine and year - different separator plate and gaskets for SOHC vs. OHV - see Diary page 1):

1.Purchased from: FORDPARTSNETWORK.COM

a. EPC – XL2Z-7G383-AA @ = $112 (This part is the same for all)
b. SOL BRACKET – XL2Z-7L491-AA = $6 (same for all)
c. FORD SEP PLATE – 1L5Z-7Z490-GA = $14
d. FORD TSB KIT – 3L5Z-7M203-JA = $14 (same for all)

2. Pruchased from: BULKPARTS.COM

a. SUPERIOR SHIFT CORRECTION KIT – S56165H = $36 (same for all)
b. FILTER - 56010G = $11 (Same for all 4X4)
c. GASKET - 56300EF = $2 (Same for all)

12. Reassembly is the opposite of the above.

a. Torque sequence for the VB bolts is in the Diaries OR Haynes Manual. I used anti-seize compound on the drain pan bolts (18 @ 13mm) and the heat shield nut (10mm). ( you never know when you’re going back in)
a(i). Torque the VB in at least four steps, drain pan three.
b. I also put a drain plug in the drain pan as was recommended. ( I think I’ll change my fluid a lot more often now)
c. Now you can wipe up the garage floor, because you know you didn’t put the plastic down!

As mechanic jobs go it was an easy one, about 4 or 5 hours work taking your time. It would be good to do steps 1-10 at night and let it drain and drip all night. Then you can rebuild the VB and start back in without getting “rained on.” Personally I recommend reading the Diaries through plenty of times, there’s a wealth of information there. My special thanks to Glacier, ROE, BrooklynBay, 2001ExpSport, Wrench, and others who responded to me quickly and supplied instant knowledge, answered (probably foolish) questions, and generally inspired confidence to “do the job yourself.” A job completed for around $200 as opposed to the tranny shop quote of $1,600 for a “rebuilt tranny.” Maybe for the $1,400 saved, you can talk the Mrs. into buying that tool you’ve been dreaming of. In my case she’d rather take it out in Zombies at the local Chinese joint.

Good Luck,

Bill
 



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Bill... Thank you for that excellent post. For some this was the missing piece and I am sure it will prove helpful. I'll link it in the diary.

Glad to hear you got your problems fixed.
 






5r

Thanks Buddy, I never would have known anything if I hadn't joined the forum and met up with you guys. My wife can't believe the difference...But you know the worse part of this whole thing, if you were the tranny shop wouldn't you at least offer a VB rebuild as an option, especially when your experience would dictate it as a high percentage solution? In my case they would have made $300-$400 instead of $0, and set up a reputation as being fair and square. But I guess there's more pleasure in raking over the coals.

I'll be watching,

Bill
 






Good job, Bill! That's a great feeling on the test drive, to find the flare is gone and all your work has been worthwhile. I now have about 15K miles on my flare fix, and it still shifts perfectly, so this apparently is a permanent remedy for the flare.
:thumbsup:
ROE
 






Transmission shops always say that it has to be rebuilt. If they tell you that it is a simple problem, they won't make as much money! I wouldn't be surprised if most of the transmissions they get only required some minor parts, and they tore it apart to do a soft parts replacement with a valve body rebuild.
 






Shift correction kit

I also have a 99 5R55E trans which this site has helped me solve a shifting problem awhile back. I only installed the Ford TSB parts which solved a no 2nd gear shifting porblem. I'm sitting on the fence as to whether the Superior shift kit was required to solve the shift flare problem. Its not that I'm against shift improver kits but have not read any posts that can pin point that was the solution to their problem. Can anyone shead some light on this for me.
 






Well... in a perfect world... folks would remove their VB, do just ONE fix, and see how it worked for them, and if not, try the next one, and so on. Kind of the scientific method.

But it helps to remember that there are numerous potential causes of these problems... and even if someone found what fixed theirs, precisely, it might not fix the next guys. On top of that, add that folks seem to want to do this ONCE, and incorporate all the possible fixes at once (certainly understandable) and voila'. No easy answer.

Shift correction kits, especially for the 5R55E, are a good investment in my book. Stay on top of your fluid changes, make sure you have a trans cooler or add one, and incorporate a correction kit when you change out the EPC (which has a seeming life of about 100,000 to 125,000 miles or so ) and your transmission should last you a good while.

That's my view on it.. 2 cents worth.
 






5r

Trading it in for a Honda is a good idea too..........oh sorry. I belong to a Dodge Ram Truck site too, and not that they are any better than Ford, but one fellow has a Ford emblem in his signature with the quote under it "At Least They Circled The Problem."

Take Care,

Bill
 






I picked up my 98 exploerer from Ford to see what they said about the 2-3 flare, and they wanted a new tranny installed. They then handed me what they called keys (2 of them). I have digital pictures but not sure how to upload them for comments. If you have any idea how I can get these uploaded to get an opinion on where these go and how bad my tranny may be please let me know.

Thanks for the new web sites for the parts, I will start searching. Again appreciate all the feedback
 






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I've just posted a response in your other thread. As a rule of this forum, it's not a good idea to double post, since people will respond with similar answers in both places, and not realize that it's about the same problem from the same person. It also makes additional work for the moderators to delete, move, and combine posts in the same thread to keep this site organized.
 






55r55e Valve Body Rebuild Diary

Hello Bigg Bill,
Read your thread and think I am going to attempt this on my Mountaineer(1999 4.0l SOHC)
You refer to a diary. What is that?
I want to make sure I have all the information before I start.
My problem is my transmission is not not shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. The RPMs will race and I need to let off the throttle and it will shift.
Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks Mountaineer99
 












5r55e transmission parts in pan

I am attempting to rebuild the valve body on my 5r55e transmission on my 1999 mountaineer 4x4 4.0l.
I removed the pan and found to metal pieces. I have taken pictures of the pieces can someone let me know how to attach photos to my post. I would like to find what they are and if I need the transmission replaced?
 






Most of the time these parts in the pan are from broken bands, anchors, or related hardware. You could either post pictures on a site like Photobucket or Putfile to link them to this site, or sign up for elite membership to post directly onto this site.
 


















5r55e transmission replacing band

Can the band be replaced after removing the valve body or does the transmission need to come out?
I think my best bet is to replace the transmission.
 









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VB Rebuilt

Hello Bill,
My name is Anthony, my 00 explorer sport is started a slipping in2 & 3 gear and the O/D light fashing one awhile. I want to give my hand on it. I have read your comon, but I am not quiet understand you said three of the mods in the Superior kit, “Pressure riser” splice, operating temperature mod, and the “hard to get out plug” coast clutch. Could you please tell which part of superio kits you did not install it. Did you bore in the VB or Gasket.Because I have ever do this before.
Thank you.
Well here is my list of steps taken to get to the 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary. I know a few guys were waiting to see how it worked out. The 2-3 flare is gone and reverse is as it should be. I did not do the Sonnax Boost valve or three of the mods in the Superior kit, “Pressure riser” splice, operating temperature mod, and the “hard to get out plug” coast clutch mod. Upon taking mine down, I found gaskets blown out in several locations and bolts that had “lost their torque.”

1. Before starting be sure you have all your parts in-house and have read the appropriate diary to be sure you have the “right stuff” to begin the job. Be sure you have the Mercon V to refill with, by the time I was done it took 7 qts. to refill.

2. Disconnect your positive battery terminal and turn your headlights on for an hour, then off. This will reset your computer to factory specs so it can “relearn” your rebuilt characteristics.

3. Set up a clean area for cleaning parts and to spread all your parts out. (unless the Mrs. will let you use the dining room table) Mine did, it’s her XLS.

a. Have plenty of clean rags, card board to make a bolt layout template.
b. Vaseline for re-assembly, and anti-seize dressing for bolts.
c. Buy or borrow an inch/pound torque wrench.

4. Jack up the vehicle, I raised mine so the bottom of the tranny was 2 feet off the Garage floor.

a. Naturally use jack stands to hold her up.

5. Remove the heat shield, one 10mm nut that’s hard to get at (use a 10mm deep socket and a long skinny arm) and then the slip off the clip-ons where it fastens to the pan. Push the shield up and out of the way. I didn’t bother fishing it out.

6. Lay out some 4 mil plastic under the work area (I like to leave no trace on my garage floor) and line up your drain tray to catch your tranny fluid, hopefully bigger in size than the tranny pan. I have a 50 gallon drum bottom about 6” high.

a. I put mine on a dolly and raised it as high as possible to avoid a tranny fluid shower.
b. Unbolt your pan letting it dip to a corner to get as much fluid out as possible, and then remove the last bolts and let it settle into your tray. Let it drip…
c. Now is a good time, while you have your fluid change gear handy to drain your transfer case as well.

7. Next disconnect the wiring clips from the solenoids, (6 on 5R55E) label if you think you need to.

a. Carefully lower the little plastic “loom” which carries the wires across the bottom of the VB.

8. Unbolt the detent spring which puts pressure on the manual valve.

9. Unbolt (4) the reverse servo plate and lower the servo, remove the gasket if it comes easy.

10. Next loosen and remove the 23 gray 10mm bolts which hold the VB to the tranny. Be sure not to remove the two shiny bolts (marked in the manual - often golden in color) which hold the solenoid brackets in place.

a. Back them all out about ¼” and let her drip.
b. Make a cardboard template to put these bolts in as you take them off, there are 4 or 5 different sizes. I copied and enlarged the torque sequence page, taped it to a piece of cardboard, and poked holes through to slide the bolts into. (ROE recommendation and a good one)
c. I left the middle bolt in until last and then gently lowered the unit taking care to clear the wire harness and disengage the manual valve. (Gear shift)
c(i). Observe how this comes apart, so on reassembly you remember to engage it properly, “or you ain’t going anywhere.”
d. Now move your drain pan back under your tranny, what’s left will drip forever, and a LOT of fluid still will drip out.
e. Turn you VB every which way to get as much fluid out as possible.
f. Place your VB on top of some rags in a shallow cardboard box, and your off.

11. Now you can proceed through which ever of the diaries are correct for your case.

a. Work cleanly and carefully, AND DO NOT TURN THE VB UPSIDE DOWN WITHOUT THE PLATE IN PLACE. (or until you think you can figure out where all the balls and whistles go)
a(i). Parts for my 2000 XLS 4L OHV 4WD: (yours may vary depending on engine and year - different separator plate and gaskets for SOHC vs. OHV - see Diary page 1):

1.Purchased from: FORDPARTSNETWORK.COM

a. EPC – XL2Z-7G383-AA @ = $112 (This part is the same for all)
b. SOL BRACKET – XL2Z-7L491-AA = $6 (same for all)
c. FORD SEP PLATE – 1L5Z-7Z490-GA = $14
d. FORD TSB KIT – 3L5Z-7M203-JA = $14 (same for all)

2. Pruchased from: BULKPARTS.COM

a. SUPERIOR SHIFT CORRECTION KIT – S56165H = $36 (same for all)
b. FILTER - 56010G = $11 (Same for all 4X4)
c. GASKET - 56300EF = $2 (Same for all)

12. Reassembly is the opposite of the above.

a. Torque sequence for the VB bolts is in the Diaries OR Haynes Manual. I used anti-seize compound on the drain pan bolts (18 @ 13mm) and the heat shield nut (10mm). ( you never know when you’re going back in)
a(i). Torque the VB in at least four steps, drain pan three.
b. I also put a drain plug in the drain pan as was recommended. ( I think I’ll change my fluid a lot more often now)
c. Now you can wipe up the garage floor, because you know you didn’t put the plastic down!

As mechanic jobs go it was an easy one, about 4 or 5 hours work taking your time. It would be good to do steps 1-10 at night and let it drain and drip all night. Then you can rebuild the VB and start back in without getting “rained on.” Personally I recommend reading the Diaries through plenty of times, there’s a wealth of information there. My special thanks to Glacier, ROE, BrooklynBay, 2001ExpSport, Wrench, and others who responded to me quickly and supplied instant knowledge, answered (probably foolish) questions, and generally inspired confidence to “do the job yourself.” A job completed for around $200 as opposed to the tranny shop quote of $1,600 for a “rebuilt tranny.” Maybe for the $1,400 saved, you can talk the Mrs. into buying that tool you’ve been dreaming of. In my case she’d rather take it out in Zombies at the local Chinese joint.

Good Luck,

Bill
 






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