5r55e trams help!!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5r55e trams help!!!

JAYTINNY76

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February 12, 2015
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PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Ford Explorer
I have researched as much as I can on this website and other sites anyone with knowledge please help me, I need a experienced opinion and or someone who had/have this same problem. I have a 99 Explorer 4.0 SOHC auto 4wheel drive and it's just hit 105,000 miles. I started having issues one night the transmission shifted funny and made a knocking sound going into reverse. It only did that one night, but since then when driving it will go great in 1st gear shifts good Into 2nd but at around the shift point that it should shift into 3rd gear it will rev, the rpm goes high and it feels like it's slipping if I don't let off gas right away. I have to let off gas to under 2000 revs and then it will shift into 3rd gear and then through the rests of the two gears 4th and then 5 or overdrive I guess. The overdrive light will start to blink but only after driving for longer than ten miles or after its warned up and if I keep the rpms low it will shift better and won't slip as much but the light always ends up flashing after so long. The code that I had a tranny shop pull was : incorrect 3rd gear ratio: after a lot of searching the forums I thought it could be valve body gasket or the epc solenoid or solenoid bracket? I wS told at the tranny shop he thinks that both of the servos or one is bad and I saw they can get bad from the aluminum bore hole and leak but if that's the case I also am thinking a broken or bad intermediate band. Where should I start and I think I'll do it myself take off the pan and test the voltage to solenoids then check valve body torqe or just replace filter and new gaskets while I have it apart then go from there to servos. Should I also check the torque on both band adjustment bolts. ??? Please help
 



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That is the notorious 2-3 shift flare that every 5r55 transmission suffers at some point. My 2003 Mountaineer suffered it at 59K and again at 83K, my moms Aviator lasted till 115K before catastrophic failure.

Chances are it's a bad shift solenoid and bad clutch packs. Could be more, could be less. The transmission is a massive heap of crap.
 






That's what I was affraid of, but it seemed to be more than just a flare cause it will not shift if I don't relase the gas to allow the rpms to drop. How will the transmission function with the intermediate band broken. I'm concerned it's more than just a solenoid for third gear? Would it shift at all into 3rd if the solenoid was not working? Any tests I could do to eliminate certain problems like I heard of putting vehicle in first seeing if it rolls back down a hill and so on, I do have an issue when i manually select 2nd gear it seems to slip or just not be all there. Thanks for the help, I just want to isolate the problem before tearing into the trans if that's possible! It's crazy to see just how many people have had the same problems with Fords, that's some ****ty engineering if Ya ask me.
 






That's what I was affraid of, but it seemed to be more than just a flare cause it will not shift if I don't relase the gas to allow the rpms to drop. How will the transmission function with the intermediate band broken. I'm concerned it's more than just a solenoid for third gear? Would it shift at all into 3rd if the solenoid was not working? Any tests I could do to eliminate certain problems like I heard of putting vehicle in first seeing if it rolls back down a hill and so on, I do have an issue when i manually select 2nd gear it seems to slip or just not be all there. Thanks for the help, I just want to isolate the problem before tearing into the trans if that's possible! It's crazy to see just how many people have had the same problems with Fords, that's some ****ty engineering if Ya ask me.

Your problem is identical to the issue I had with my 03 Mountaineer. Honestly I would just consider a full rebuild instead of fixing stuff at this point.
 






That happened to mine as well around 85k. The rivets let loose on one of the bands(intermediate I think) and the apply strut couldn't apply. You'll find if you were to shift manually through the gears it will work, just like when you let off the gas. If it were just the 2-3 shift flare it would rev up/slip between 2nd and 3rd but still shift even without letting off the gas. My guess is if you drop the pan you're going to find some parts in there. You might be in for a rebuild or replacement.
 






I think I will check the torque specs on the band adjustment bolt but I have shifted through all the gears manually and 1st works fine 2nd does not work it just slips like crazy and doesn't seem to want to go and then the rest of the gears seem fine. Overdrive on off works and it will stay in 4th if I turn od off. I'm just wondering if it could just be a valve body issue or if I'll find the band is broken. The tranny shop wanted to replace the servos and I don't see that being smart before checking the bands if the bands broke fixing the servos won't help. There has to be more of yah out there with more info' just wanted to see if others had s full rebuild as well or just some parts like servos and valve body gaskets. Is there a sticky on replacing the bands I know the trans has to be dropped but just wondering how much is involved then and if I'm gonna tackle it or just get it done. Thanks for all your help so far. I've said many times I don't know what i would do without the internet and forums, fixing and solving problems on my vehicles has been much easier. Before Internet a lot of time was spent diagnosing and reading the Haines manual.
 






tranny rebuild time or scrap it. sorry.
 






Time for a rebuild.

As a side note, my mom has been having massive issues with her Transmission in her 04 Aviator because of the aftermarket warranty company she has/had. Took her truck out last night to run to Pep Boys and the Post Office and it could be the worst shape I've ever seen a 5r55 that still moved under it's own power. 2-3 Shift flare, sometimes it doesn't want to shift into 4th, and on the RARE occasion it shifts into 5th/Overdrive, it will slip right back into fourth within 30 seconds. Needless to say it's going in for a rebuild next week out of my mom's pocket because the warranty company just keeps installing junkyard units instead of doing it right and she's fed up. This will be the third time it will be in a shop for transmission issues since May. With that being said she got about 115K miles out of the OE transmission, which I was impressed with.
 






I started to get the 2-3 flare and reverse never clunked, but always felt like it was slipping a bit. O/D light started to blink and when I turned the motor off, back on it would work OK for a bit then flare within a mile. I immediately parked the truck.

I rolled the dice and bought a rebuilt valve body ($240) off of eBay from Shift Rite Transmissions, it has the Transgo Shift Kit in it.

Swapped out the old valve body, filled it up with Merc V and it has been driving like a dream - have 300 miles on it so far without a hiccup.

Attached is a picture of the old valve body, the separator gasket blew-out at multiple places (silver area around servo and round reverse valve) - this explained my problems. I figured I would buy a rebuild instead of piecing the parts together, and the rebuild has a warranty.

I think by not driving my truck when this started saved my bands and other internal damage.
 

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I started to get the 2-3 flare and reverse never clunked, but always felt like it was slipping a bit. O/D light started to blink and when I turned the motor off, back on it would work OK for a bit then flare within a mile. I immediately parked the truck.

I rolled the dice and bought a rebuilt valve body ($240) off of eBay from Shift Rite Transmissions, it has the Transgo Shift Kit in it.

Swapped out the old valve body, filled it up with Merc V and it has been driving like a dream - have 300 miles on it so far without a hiccup.

Attached is a picture of the old valve body, the separator gasket blew-out at multiple places (silver area around servo and round reverse valve) - this explained my problems. I figured I would buy a rebuild instead of piecing the parts together, and the rebuild has a warranty.

I think by not driving my truck when this started saved my bands and other internal damage.


That's what I'm wondering if I can get away with. He tranny hasn't gotten any worse if it's just the valve body gasket it would just continue to leak through and cause the same problem to occur. It seems like a pressure problem which would lead me to belive a gasket or a servo issue.
 






I was in the same boat (minus the reverse clunking). I would pull the valve body off and look at the separating gasket (right on top as you drop the VB) - this will tell you REAL quick if you are having fluid blowing by causing the 2-3 slip - maybe even with the reverse issue, but I am not sure.

I would pull the VB and access from there... I went with a rebuilt because I did not want to piss around ensuring the servo's were OK or not. They did check out fine with an OHM meter, but you never know if you have other issues lurking. If anything in the VB fails it is on Shift Rite.
 






Okay I appreciate it, I think that's where I'll start and go from there. I just don't think the whole tranny needs a rebuild that's gonna cost more than it's worth. So shift rite has the valve body that's rebuilt with shift kit in it and it has the attached gaskets?
 






Most certainly does (completely assembled) - I searched and found the VB on eBay. The VB was a complete plug-and-play. Arrived quick and packaged very nice.
 






very good information,my 2001 xlt just started the same problem with the 2-3 shift and od off light flashing.everything resets when I shut the key off it even shifts fine for a while but the problem always returns
 






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