5R55E Transmission Problems | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5R55E Transmission Problems


Explorer Torture Tester
Elite Explorer
April 3, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Gloucester City, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 2Dr,2,000 & 04 4dr xlt
So I was backing into my driveway a few weeks ago and I heard a snap, followed by reverse becoming just like neutral. I thought to myself, that reverse band just snapped. 230,558 miles. No other symptoms. I did install a valve body (New OEM Ford Part$$$$) at about 130,000 miles. So it was time for an overhaul. When I opened up the transmission I found quite a bit of other damage. It is done and back in, drove it for three days & over 240 miles. So far so good. Lets see how long it lasts.....
This was on my 4 door explorer, not the supercharged one.


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Found some interesting goo on the magnet.
Cleaned the pan and had a bolt welded on the inside for a drain plug.
Then leak tested it and hit it with some spay paint.


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Oil Leaks

If you pull your transmission out it is a perfect time to fix a few oil leaks.
This torx bolt is the bolt for the right rear timing chain guide. It has an o ring around it. You can access it with the flex plate on. Don't pull it out all he way or you will have to remove the Chain Tensioner to get it back in. You can slip the old o ring off and slip the new one on by just loosening it enough to expose the o ring.


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rear seal

Rear main seal was leaking. Drilled a hole, then installed a screw to remove it.
Don't scratch the crank or block!


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Oil Filter Adaptor

The Oil Filter Adaptor was leaking too.
A couple more O rings sealed it up.
With the transmission out, I was able to remove the center bolt that holds it to the block without removing that rusty old exhaust manifold on the right hand side. Not so lucky with the left manifold, it had to come out to remove the transmission. Needless to say it now has a new left side manifold on it.


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Some special Tools are required, some make installation much easier.


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Where did you get the transmission tools at and how much did the cost ???


I got the tools off eBay, they were expensive. I got way more than I posted pictures of. I spent 1,100.00 rebuilding the transmission and half was probably tools.


Well, I changed the valve body(had 100,000 miles on it since I first installed at 132,000), pump(used one) and yet another torque torque converter(last one ruined by failing pump) this time and it is back up moving and shifting like it should.
240,925 miles.

Blinking O/D light

Well last night the O/D light started blinking on my way home in my 4 door explorer. Just as well, my ranger has developed a water leak on the drivers side (looks like kick panel area).
I hope it is just something electrical that doesn't require pulling the transmission out again. Seemed like the lock up troque converter was not working but I still had O/D and all other gears seemed fine. I am going to pull codes and check the mileage.....


Probably defective torque converter with my luck.


So I cleared the codes and took it for a short ride, the light did not come back on. I also have acquired an intermittent high idle like the IAC is sticking. I have had this problem a while back and cleaned the IAC and it was gone. It may be time to replace the IAC. I will try to look into it some more today if my other trucks let me.

4 Door explorer

So I finally got time to look at my 4 door Explorer yesterday. I hooked up the NGS scan tool and selected some of my favorite sensors to look at.
Everything looked fine at first so I took it for a road test. The O/D light never came back on. The down shift (for what I believe was 2nd gear) was very harsh when coming to a stop. It had been doing that off and on for a short time and I thought it might have been the ABS going off when the tires were not locking up (ABS misfire). When I got back to my house the Idle was high again.
I found the TP sensor reading 1.18 volts when it was supposed to be around 1 volt. The TP "mode" was reading PT for part throttle, when it should have been reading CT for closed throttle. I wiggled the connector and the voltage went back to 1.01 and showed CT. I checked the terminals in the connector for corrosion and they looked like new. I did a terminal tension test and they held tight to a terminal of the opposite gender so they were not spread. I tried wiggling the connector and harness and could not duplicate the problem any more. I applied dielectric grease to the terminals and made sure it was connected tight. On the next road test everything was perfect, no high Idle or any harsh shifting. The O/D lights never came back on.
Wednesday I will be driving it 40 miles to work and hopefully 40 miles back home. If it acts up again I will replace the TP sensor. If that don't fix it I will replace the connector. If it doesn't act up again, I will work on something else next weekend.

its this kind of crap that makes you wish you didnt know a damn thing about cars so you can shovel your problems on someone else...


its this kind of crap that makes you wish you didnt know a damn thing about cars so you can shovel your problems on someone else...

I know what you mean!
I am just glad I did not have to pull the transmission out again.

I drove it 80 miles today and no lights came on, no more banging during downshifts, and no more high Idle. Truck runs like new again and I am ok with that!

Its back!!!!

My flashing O/D light came back. Downshifting hard when coming to a stop too. Just like before. Happened on my way to work.
After leaving work I was thinking about it because the lights were still flashing so when I hit the turn pike ramp I mashed the pedal to the floor and then let the throttle slam shut. The damn light went off and no more problems the rest of the way home. lol. This is making me think the TPS is sticking. Guess I will have to shop for one of those now.


I picked up a new TPS while shopping for head gaskets for my other truck.
Had to take a few minutes to install it. I hate the Phillips head screws that hold them on so I replaced them with allen head screws. Time will tell if this is all that is wrong with it. If it acts up again I will replace the connector pigtail.


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P0741 on the 4door explorer

So the O/D light started flashing again a couple weeks ago.
I finally have time to look at it. No high Idle this time. The TPS is working, returns to closed throttle every time.Got a P0741.

It seems to act up only on the highway (70+). Around town it never happens. I managed to get a recording with the Ford NGS scan tool just when the pcm showed DTC count going from 1 to 2 codes. (P1000 was the first and to be ignored since it is from clearing codes). The code(P0741) is set after seeing the problem 4 or 5 times so I lightly accelerated a few times with converter locked in 5th(O/D), felt like the transmission was slipping a very little bit under load. In the recording I see an approximate 200 rpm difference between engine RPM and one of the other trans speed sensors (I forget which one). I will go look at the recording again to remember which one it was. I think it was input shaft speed. Without load it was approximately 100 RPM's different.
I am assuming it is torque converter slip since it never happens in second gear and the transmission feels nice and firm through all gear shifts.

I ordered a Matco Transmission Pressure Gauge set but I wont see it for a couple days at minimum. Maybe not till next week.

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The pin point tests for 1998 5R55E with P0741 suck, just like many older pin point tests they are not self explanatory and sometimes leave you going in circles. Ford has come a long way with newer pin point tests for newer cars/trucks but the old stuff was ruff.

It starts out with commanding all the shift solenoids on and seeing if the fault pids change to yes. That would imply a circuit fault like an open or short etc.
The fault pids all stayed saying no. That sucks, I wish it was a hard circuit fault, they are easier to diagnose and fix.

The next step is turning all the solenoids on and off to hear if they click. I did not bother with this since I have all 5 gears, and even torque converter lock up (as tested by stepping on brake pedal while stepping on gas at highway speeds).

The next step is putting the transmission in Output State Command Trans- Drive Mode. I am not sure how this works exactly yet. It sounds like you have to push buttons on the Ford NGS scan tool to shift while driving. I don't know how safe I feel about doing this yet. That's why I made the recording that I posted about above. Also, it winds up asking if the transmission shifts through all the gears and torque converter lockup occurs. They do under normal driving anyway. If you answer no they have you checking for electrical problems like opens or shorts etc. which were already ruled out. If you answer yes it says to go to symptom charts to diagnose shift or torque converter concerns. So OK, time to go to symptom chart.