How to: - 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary | Page 29 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary

Prefix for threads which are instructional.
For the record. BrooklynBay is the man!

He helped me rebuild this VB late last night. It was like instant messenger on the Forum here. AMAZING!

Thanks again! Thanks for creating the new post also.

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Im in limbo here - hopefully you guys can help me out - quick specs for my truck - 2000 XLS 4x4 5r55e - ok... I got a 2001 model transmission from my ford dealer for $100! (I'm their FedEx guy and they wanted it out of their parts room - so even if it wouldnt work in my 2000- Its worth $100!)

Well - Ive read this valve body rebuild diary and now know that when I install this new transmission - I need to do the valvebody rebuild, TSB and the shift kit fixes on the new tranny... So I bring this up to the shop guys at the Ford dealership, that there is a TSB on the tranny, and that I need to get a seperator plate for it - they look it up and see that the TSB doesnt apply to a 2001 model - and also that in 2001 there is no seperator plate listed. If they look in the 2000 model, its all there - but not for 2001. So - the question is - does all this info only apply to the 5r55e up to 2000? Were these problems corrected for the 2001 model year just before the redesign?? Im looking in the "Transmission and xfer case by year" sticky thread - and it lists the 5r55e only up to 2000... did I buy a 4 speed 4r55e?? Why would they go down to a 4r55e xmission in 2001? problems w the 5r55e?? Any help is appreciated - thanks guys

Ford most likely made changes in 2001 that didn't need additional help, in their opinion. I would install a kit, the others apply to any 4R or 5R55E trans. Ford has never made an automatic that was perfect and didn't need any firming of the shifts or corrections. Unless the trans has very low mileage, change at least the EPC solenoid. If it is that old it would be wise to replace the servo pistons and covers, the rubber on them is old enough to be hardening now. It's easy to work on a trans which is out, do it while it's easy. Regards,

upon further inspection - I see that the transmissions are virtually identical in proportions - however - the new tranny I got from the dealer (the supposed 2001 explorer model) has a sperate bellhousing, while the tranny still in my truck has an integrated bellhousing. Its just got me all confused - as far as variations in the 5r55e - and comparing the tranny id guide also on this message board (2001 not being listed for a 5r55e option).... any ideas?

Below is my 99 SOHC and 5R55E, with BW4405 behind that. The same basic trans is in all 95-01 V6 Explorers. From 98-01 they should be virtually identical, 97/98 had versions with an extra external sensor or two. Avoid those odd balls, but this thread applies to all of those.


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Ok spent all weekend working on this project. Just got finished. Started the explorer and it would not go into gear at all.
It went into gear and was drivable before trying to install the valve body.
I purchased the rebuilt unit from Central Valve Body so I am pretty sure the valve body is in top notch shape. Any ideas??

One thing that popped into my head. Does the spring loaded roller on the left side go over one of the teeth? The picture that I used for a reference didnt seem to have it over one of the teeth.

5R55E Valve body

hello so i have a 01 explorer sport trac 132k... took it in to a transmission shop because my o/d off light starts flashing once i reach 45 mph. they told me that my trans is in lockout mode? can that be caused from the EPC solenoid and the valve body gasket leak? plus i have some light slipping on hard acceleration from 2-3 i think. i am looking into ordering parts, i am thinkg about buying a rebuilt valve body and new gasket.

i need to know more about this "limp mode" i think thats what my sport trac is in, my o/d off light keeps flashing when i get to 45mph.... i took it in an thats what they told me. so is this something that the epc solenoid would fix?

no codes.... tried several times, a modis wont even pull anything. all i was told was it was mechanical and had nothing to do with pressure, from what i have read "limp mode" does have to do with pressure? they gave me a price of about 2k (i thought it was weird they wouldnt get into detail about what they wanted to do)

I'm replacing VB in 5R55E; Pardon my ignorance, but I saw a blow-up schematic on here of the 5R55E and I was wondering; Before you drop the VB, when you drop the reverse servo cover, and pull out the servo- Should there be a spring in there? I pulled the servo down, and I only have the cover, the gasket to it, and the servo ( piston attached to cast cap with large and small o-rings attached). Do I have a spring missing and/or disentegrated ?


i have got a lot of helpful information from this web sit and want to thank all who took the time to give this information out. just did all the front chains on the 4.0 and with the info i got here, the job turned out ok, really great. only now my 5r55e is overreving from 2nd to 3rd which according to a lot of info here it turns out its righ on the money. so again i say thank you very much:)

1997 4.0 SOHC Valve Body Upgrade

This is my first post and I want to thank everyone for their postings. I have a 1997 4.0 SOHC 136k mile and I have the 2-3 flare. After I drive 15 miles or so the O/D light starts blinking it will stop blinking every now and then when its cold. I have not checked the codes as the transmission shops near me want 75-100 dollars. I planned on doing the Ford Service kit updated 7m203-ja with the Superior Shift Kit, the Sonnax Boost Valve, the new solenoid bracket, and a new EPC Solenoid. I ordered the Sonnax valve and the Superior kit online. I went to the Ford dealer to order the Ford parts as per TSB 03-22-10 the 97 Separator Plate is different the the other years. He punched in all the numbers the kit, EPC solenoid, bracket, separator plate, and gaskets. When he pressed the order key it told him that the Valve Body separator plate is discontinued and it referred him to another TSB 98-5-14. He typed the new valve body separator plate number in and it said that was discontinued... end of road. I was wondering what my options are. If I buy a VB on Ebay will it work on my 97. I'm guessing that the 97 VB must be different from the other years because the plate is different. If I change the whole VB assy and put one on from a 98-00 will it work on my 97. If I buy on of those cheap Ebay VB's for $69 I will still want to do the updates as I'm sure they don't do them prob just clean them and test the solenoids. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank You

Another successful 5R55E VB Rebuild

I want to thank all for your postings. I successfully rebuilt my 5r55e VB. 1997 4.0 SOHC. I will spend the money and become an Elite Member this form has saved me alot of money and if I can do my part to keep this site going I will. I love Explorers I've always been a Ford guy. Also like Bronco II's if anyone has a project they want to get rid of. I will make this site one of my daily sites to visit. Thanks again to all

Wonderful, wonderful forum. This forum already helped my solve my 4WD control module problem..... and now you guys saved the day again on my valve body.

I just ordered a rebuilt valve body from Donny at Central Valve Body. I will let you all know how it goes!!!!

Thanks again!!!


What a difference. Wrapped up swapping out one of Donnies valve bodies from CVB. I have a 2001 Ranger 4.0 4WD..... 215000 miles.

2-3 flair is gone.

Delayed reverse gone.

Occasional torque converter shudder seems to be gone.

Smooth, firm shifts. I didnt realize how much I had been "shifting" with the gas pedal.

Post mortem revealed a couple of gasket blowouts. But what I think had been causing the lions share of my issues was one of the TORX screws on the separator plate had loosened. It had backed out and I could turn it with my fingers!!! I havent seen that issue mentioned anywhere in this thread before. Im sure that doesnt help maintain proper pressure.

Anyway.... thanks to all the contributors that made this thread so informative, complete and helpful.

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I have been lurking around the RBV sites far and wide and this is absolutely amazing! A million thanks to everyone who contributed. I'll be becoming an EM here this summer and doing the 5R55E updates (when I fix the "no reverse" issue)