How to: - 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary | Page 55 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! Once registered you can join the Elite Explorers to eliminate ads from the website.

How to: 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary

hjthaboss2020

New Member
Joined
January 27, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
City, State
Lampasas, Texas
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 explorer eddie bauer
so i just bought my 99 explorer a week ago i went to pull out of my driveway and felt a pop now it will not engage in any gear.... any one have any ideas on where i should start at. it does have 265000 miles from what the odometer says. but i do know that the motor has been rebuilt
 



Join the Elite Explorers $20 Get rid of the ads!
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
. First register on the forum, then join the Elite Explorers to get rid of the ads!





BrooklynBay

Moderator & long time member.
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 11, 2005
Messages
55,507
Reaction score
802
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
88 89 93 95 96 Aerostars






JohnH55

Elite Explorer
Joined
January 11, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
37
City, State
Perry, Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
Most of the issues will be in the VB and other parts you can work on or change, but the mileage may have worn out the clutches by now. You could do everything possible and hope the clutches are still okay, but be ready to do a full rebuild if it doesn't shift great at that time.



I'm at 178k miles with my newest 98 truck, and the shifting is too soft. I need to make time to do the VB servicing and hope I caught it in time. The clutches can last 300k and more if the shifting never becomes too smooth/soft etc. Smooth shifts are slipping shifts.

I will probably still do the VB work, and upgrades then tighten the bands. The fluid doesn't smell like it was burnt, but just looks black and definitely old. I only plan on doing the work later down the road. Right now it only flares under slow acceleration, i.e. shifts 1-2 at 2400rpm, but if I let it go to 3000 it shifts fine. If need be I will do a full rebuild, but you can drive on a bad transmission for a long time.
 






waren

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 4, 2014
Messages
64
Reaction score
6
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer EB
Most of the issues will be in the VB and other parts you can work on or change, but the mileage may have worn out the clutches by now. You could do everything possible and hope the clutches are still okay, but be ready to do a full rebuild if it doesn't shift great at that time.

I'm at 178k miles with my newest 98 truck, and the shifting is too soft. I need to make time to do the VB servicing and hope I caught it in time. The clutches can last 300k and more if the shifting never becomes too smooth/soft etc. Smooth shifts are slipping shifts.
I have a very new to me ‘99 5r55e with 100k miles that seems to function normally other than a very slight 1st gear engagement delay (1s) when cold. The records I have suggest the trans was last dealer serviced at 55k miles.

Fluid is visually in good condition with no burnt smell, but slightly overfilled.

I changed the fluid in my ‘00 4r70w every 50k miles and it ran strong for 16 years for me. Based on this I planned to change the fluid and filter on the 5r55e to correct the overfill condition and maintain the same regimen.

While I’m in there I was thinking about updating the trans with the TSB bonded plate and a sonnax zip kit, as it seems to me to be more reversible than the transgo kit which includes drilling in the event I make something worse.

I assume the sonnax and transgo are still the go to options, ie. a newer solution hasn’t surfaced in the last 15 years.

The objective would be to firm up shifts and try and maximize the friction life of the unit.

I wonder if a proactive EPC replacement would also be worth while or wait until the next 50k mile interval.
 






CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,863
Reaction score
3,115
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
The EPC solenoid is a critical control device for the trans, I'd replace that at least every 100k miles. The 4R70W an expert suggested those should have the EPC replaced as often as 60k miles. He said the normal vibrations can cause some wear of the EPC outside surface where it goes into the trans case, and if that wears, the case can also and that's not repairable.

The early 5R55E had a different kind of EPC as the replacements available now. We here on the forum were part of a test program to final test a new EPC by Borg Warner for the 5R55E. That new one is a better solenoid, all original EPC's should be replaced no matter the mileage. The EPC was expensive back then, about $110 or more as I recall.

If the solenoids have never been replaced, they should all be after this age and a good 100k miles.
 






waren

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 4, 2014
Messages
64
Reaction score
6
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer EB
Ahh ... great information I better understand the BW EPC recommendation now.

Ok I will plan to purchase the same as Paul
1) EPC Solenoid BW 50155
2) Valve body separator plate with bonded gaskets 1L5Z-7Z490-HA
3) Solenoid bracket XL2Z-7L491-AA
4) Sonnax 4R44E-5R55E-ZIP kit
5) Low/reverse servo piston D-Ring kit seals 23256K
6) Reverse servo cover gasket 23128
7) Transmission Pan Gasket 23141D

I am little confused by the difference between the separator plates 7Z490-GA vs HA. On the TSB it lists Explorer vs SOHC? I assume -HA is correct.

Also I wonder if Paul had trouble because he didn’t do the ford TSB mods with the updated plate?

I know that the sonnax kit is supposed to contain all the upgrades but which plate Is it intended for the TSB update? If so shouldn’t it specify only for updated plate?

Its just odd that he swapped the valve body and it ran perfect, makes me think something wasn’t right there.
 






CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,863
Reaction score
3,115
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
I can't help with the bonded separator plate questions, I had installed the TransGo kit before I had heard of those. Many of the kits overlap in what they do. Sonnax and TransGo are the best companies to follow for improvement products.
 






Runnin'OnEmpty

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 20, 2002
Messages
2,038
Reaction score
54
City, State
Southeast USA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Sport
I think the Ford letters after the part numbers simply refer to a later design or version,
so the HA updated the GA. But either version should work fine. The bonded plate's
purpose was to reduce blown gaskets, and apparently they worked since mine
has over 100K trouble free miles with the bonded plate installed.
 






Exp98

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 31, 2020
Messages
120
Reaction score
17
City, State
USA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT SOHC
questions!

A. can i jusr use the Superior kit on its own wothout purchasing other stuff? if not, what else doni get? do i need the sonnax?

B. do i add the sueprior kit proactively before a component failure? ot is this to cure the component failure? (i think its the first but just checking)

C. what should i expect from the auperior kit?
 






CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,863
Reaction score
3,115
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
The Sonnax parts are all upgrade parts, they don't make shift kits of any kind. But there is overlap there of the purpose of individual VB components. Some things from the shift kits will be for the same thing that a Sonnax upgrade does too.

TransGo is the first brand for making shift kits, but they long ago branched off and made correction kits(to improve overall functioning). All other brands have followed TransGo for serious shift kits, and the correction kits. The 5R55E doesn't have the ability to shift really hard, so all available VB kits are really to improve them as much as possible.

So choose your brand etc, note the Sonnax parts are likely the best developed for the small things they do, and TransGo has always been great. The solenoids and accumulators are as important as the VB items.
 






Lee's Automotive

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 23, 2020
Messages
209
Reaction score
95
City, State
Alabama
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Explorer XLT 4.0 SOHC
I am missing the heat shield pictured does anyone know a part number or maybe where I can get one?
 






Fix4Dirt

Get a Load O' This Guy!
Elite Explorer
Joined
December 22, 2021
Messages
1,697
Reaction score
630
City, State
Los Angeles, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4x4
I am missing the heat shield pictured does anyone know a part number or maybe where I can get one?
where is it pictured? can you link the post, aorry. is it the cat shield?
 






Top