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5R55S harsh shifting; bump engaging reverse;


tmarat

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I have a 2008 Ford Explorer V6 4.0L with 5R55S transmission, 45000miles, 4X4. Vehicle is a middle east spec car, purchased in Dubai.

1) Most of the time shifts from 2nd to 3rd happen with a bump. I can't here any related noise, like clunk etc. Not sure if a flare is visible in the tachometer, but from what I can see and hear engine rpm does not increase, it falls during the shift without spiking.
2) If accelerating, let off the gas at around 2000-2200 rpm and start coasting, then transmission still does the upshift. Upshift usually happens when engine is at around 1600-1800rpm and falling. This happens with a slight bump in my back, not as hard as 2nd to 3rd shift, but still feel-able. This is true for both 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th upshifts.
3) Engaging reverse from D happens with a very noticeable bump. I can hear the bump, but it is not a clunking sound (not hollow). Holding down the brake pedal more firmly makes the bump less noticeable, but it's still there. If engage the R from D right after the vehicle stops, then most of the time there is not bump, it goes smoothly.

I am not very hard on the gas pedal, shifts usually happen in the range of 2100-2300 rpm. If accelerate harder, then virtually all shifts are noticeable. It feels as if the transmission disengages the gear, car starts braking for a moment, then engages the next gear with a bump. I am not sure on the braking feeling, might be confusing sudden loss of the acceleration with braking, it might just be coasting at that moment.

Changed the oil and filter a month ago. Oil is Valvoline MaxLife ATF Multipurpose ATF (has Mercon V spec). Vehicle was refilled with engine on and transmission on P, cycled through other gears (D, 3,2,1, R; no actual wheel rotation). Old oil was in good condition. This issue was there before the oil change.

I have read about the flare issue and that most of the time this is solved by changing the solenoid block, or the EPC valve. But I am not seeing a flare in my case. No check engine lights or OD lights. Wonder if anybody could offer some advise on this?
 
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puff-daddy

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did you ever diagnose your issue, or resolve it?
 




tmarat

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did you ever diagnose your issue, or resolve it?
nope. I still have it all. changed the shift solenoids, but did not see any improvement.
what I do see however is that if I disengage the battery for a while and reset the pcm memory, then for a while it shifts good, without those bumps. but after that everything is back to usual.
do you have something similar?
 




puff-daddy

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nope. I still have it all. changed the shift solenoids, but did not see any improvement.
what I do see however is that if I disengage the battery for a while and reset the pcm memory, then for a while it shifts good, without those bumps. but after that everything is back to usual.
do you have something similar?
I have very similar symptoms. I just did a radiator replacement (leaking trans fluid from the cooling reservoir on the rad). I added trans fluid to correct level and have been road testing to and from work. The shifting has been a bit erratic, with noticeable issues from 2nd to 3rd. I just noticed the clunk from drive to reverse this morning. It only does the clunk if it has been driven a few minutes first. I did my first battery disconnect just yesterday for the erratic shifting and I only noticed a slight improvement. Ford workshop procedure says it will take some time after battery disconnect to relearn shift patterns.

I did find this info today:

Driveline clunk — loud clunk when shifting from REVERSE to DRIVE

Incorrect axle lubricant level
CHECK the lubricant level. FILL the axle to specification.

Excessive backlash in the axle
CHECK the ring gear backlash. REPAIR as necessary.

Damaged or worn pinion bearings
REPAIR or INSTALL new pinion bearings as necessary.

Damaged or worn U-joints
INSPECT the U-joints for wear or damage. INSTALL new U-joints or driveshaft as necessary.
 
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puff-daddy

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tmarat

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Driveline clunk — loud clunk when shifting from REVERSE to DRIVE

Incorrect axle lubricant level
CHECK the lubricant level. FILL the axle to specification.

Excessive backlash in the axle
CHECK the ring gear backlash. REPAIR as necessary.

Damaged or worn pinion bearings
REPAIR or INSTALL new pinion bearings as necessary.

Damaged or worn U-joints
INSPECT the U-joints for wear or damage. INSTALL new U-joints or driveshaft as necessary. [/I]
What is ring gear backlash?
The U-joints is the one along the driveshaft? The ones that connect to the wheels, are they also u-joints?
 




puff-daddy

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What is ring gear backlash?
The U-joints is the one along the driveshaft? The ones that connect to the wheels, are they also u-joints?
I had the same question. I asked a guy at work he said:

"Not easy - when I was racing I would us a dial indicator on the ring gear. To get proper mesh you ink the ring and pinion gears to view the contact area. To adjust we would add 1000th shim stock to the pinion."

I agree with him... "not easy" :frustrate

I can look up the workshop procedure if you would like to see what it says...
 




puff-daddy

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I changed my fluid this weekend and disconnected the bat cables. It's shifting better for now.

This is what my fluid looked like:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348616

It only bumps when I go back and forth from drive to reverse.

Let me know if you ever figure yours out.
 




tmarat

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I did change my fluid, twice already :) First last summer, then together with solenoid block change.
Also tried disconnecting the batteries. Afterwards it shifts better, but only for a while. Then back to bumpy shifting (though sometimes it does shift almost unnoticeable).
Haven't yet got the chance to look at u-joints. Though would appreciate if you could help understanding this one:
Excessive backlash in the axle
CHECK the ring gear backlash. REPAIR as necessary.
 




Wills05xlt4x4

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I did change my fluid, twice already :) First last summer, then together with solenoid block change.
Also tried disconnecting the batteries. Afterwards it shifts better, but only for a while. Then back to bumpy shifting (though sometimes it does shift almost unnoticeable).
Haven't yet got the chance to look at u-joints. Though would appreciate if you could help understanding this one:
Excessive backlash in the axle
CHECK the ring gear backlash. REPAIR as necessary.
On your ring and pinion; the pinion must have some(very little) play between it and the ring gear itself otherwise it would grind into it or if excessive play would cause a clunk and could shear some teeth easy..
Just checking driveshaft for backlash can be misleading to most people it is hard to check without lots of xp in the field(I wouldn't feel confident in my abilities)

Could it be that you are not adhering to the proper relearn process thus causing the issues?
Just trying to throw it out there. Would explain why its fine and first then gets bad after a pcm reset...

Also your 08 drivetrain is same as my 05 and while there is a u joint the driveshaft does not ever move due to the diff mounted to frame as the transfer case...technically can go but I very seriously doubt it is a u joint with the its/irs setup...
 




puctte

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hi

Hi Tmarat,

I'm in Qatar and I have the same problem and I'm wondering if you find out what is the problem.

Thank you,
 




tmarat

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went to the dealer so that they check the u-joints, they say no problems. actually they think there are no issues with the auto transmission also, they think it's normal. having searched through the internet it seems a lot of explorers have this shifting behavior. I don't think it's normal, but seeing how widespread these are, I am starting to think maybe there are some design issues with the 5R55S and there isn't anything you can do. I mean it works, it shifts, but sometimes not as smooth as you want (I am not having any flare issues).
Also, what I noticed is that if you are moving from D to R, then letting the gear selector stay in N for a second before going to R helps, it engages R without a bump. But strangely, for me this works only in the first or second shifts from D to R, if you do more than that (say you drove for 30mins in D, arrived home and are maneuvering to park the vehicle), then the bump in R become more and more noticeable.

Also, if you engage R straight from 3rd gear (not D), then you get quite a loud bump. But probably you are not supposed to do that.
 




tmarat

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one additional thing I noticed. As I wrote above when you came driving and engage R, most of the time R is engaged smoothly, but any further shifts from D to R go with a bump. Today what I did was to rev the engine to around 2000 rpm for about 2 seconds, let it fall back to idle then engage R. Then back to D->N, again rev to 2000rpm for 2 secs, then R. This way I did 7-8 shifts from D to R, and there is no bump, all of them were smooth.
Can this be a pressure issue? How oil pressure works in auto transmissions, is the oil pump dependent on the rpm?
 




puctte

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Hello,

Bad news from me.... the things are getting bad with more millage, I have 110 K km on my car and now it is engaging very difficult - the rpm goes up to 4000 and when you release the throttle there is a chance to engage. Before if I remove the battery the gears were resetting and the issue was resolved for 1-2 days, but now even this is not helping. I have already used the http://www.fordservoboretransmissionfixsolution.com/ but nothing changed - the problem is not from this. Recently I have ordered refrb valve body and solenoid set - I'm expecting to receive it soon - I will replace them and if this does not fix the problem I will give up. I will bring it to the official dealer - most probably they will ask to replace the entire gear box.... I will be keep on posting
 




Pacificcoaster

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Hey, Puctte...

We are experiencing the same issues and a local Phoenix tranny shop wants to "rebuild" the tranny for $2,000-4,000!! :eek: We are looking for incremental attempts at this repair and are chasing every possible angle we can research.

We are anxiously :feedback: waiting for your follow-up on the "refurbished valve body and solenoid set" installation. We are working with a 2005 Lincoln Aviator 4X2, AdvanceTrac and a 5R55S tranny and are considering the "worn bore" repair kit from Andy up in WI. But, you are saying that the kit did NOT resolve your problem. :(

Please post as soon as you can. :help: We started on this journey April 19th.

Thanks!
 




puctte

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more bad news

I replaced the valve body and the solenoids the oil and the filter - the result: in the beginning the gears were in safe mode or something like this - only one gear was working, so when we were putting the oil most probably it could not fill all the valve body and when we tried the car the gears stopped engaging at all - we removed the battery in order to erase the fault from the computer and on the next day we add more oil. There was some improvement - it engage two times and at that time the car was running and shifting between the gears without problem but when the car goes in standstill position it did not engage any more and the service light came on the dashboard - today I will try one more time - I don't know if the solenoids should be reprogrammed, as I said I replaced them - I read in the net that this is required - if somebody can help on this it will be good. I have one more concern - that yesterday we put more oil than required - and I did not have time to check this - I don't know what are the symptoms of there is excess oil in the gear box - I should read more. If there is no improvement today - I'm going to bring it to the official dealer - to cut my head :) - 99% they will ask to replace the gears
 




puctte

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Latest up date - the car is with the dealer for 3 weeks for repair - 1000 $ for labor and around 2500 $ for spare parts - I really hope that they can fix it. Once I get it I will try to sell it immediately.....this will be my last ford. I'm planning to post one more update - all the parts that they replaced in the service I hope that this may help to somebody - it was really long list most probably there is no problem with all of the parts - but this is a dealer - whatever that they say is for replacement you should replace.
 




Rickademus

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ive just finished rebuilding my 5r55s only driven it for 15 min it has a bump in reverse too i checked the parts inside the transmission and all seemed ok so i think mine is a diff issue.
 




Corporate Zombie

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Single Bump or repeated bumps?

I too have done the OD servo fix (O-ring style) due to the flashing "code of death" (OD servo bell was actually broken into several pieces?) and and after driving for a while, am now experiencing a bumping sensation. I almost didn't notice because it resembles the same sensation as hitting the expansion lines on a concrete highway (dropping in and out with a bump). This seems similar to the hydraulic hammer you get when you slam the kitchen fawcett shut after runnig at full bore? Does anyone else see the bump at speeds?
 
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Mitchs07explorer

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I know this is an old thread but I want to add to it if this helps anyone...

I had my tranny rebuild at 80k mi because of shuddering shifts (worn servo bores) and a 2nd to 3rd gear shift flare (valve body or solenoids)

The shop couldn't identify what the issue was because miraculously my ex would stop showing the symptoms whenever I took it to them I think they though I was crazy. To be fair I had a few shops look at it and only the first shop AMMCO actually said I needed a rebuild.

After the rebuild things were great for about 18k miles and then the 2nd to 3rd shift flare came back. Also around this time my radiator started leaking and I replaced it myself. I took it to the Ford dealer to make sure my fluid was full and all checked out just fine. I think I may not have been gentle enough on retraining the tranny and this is where the shift flare came from because it was really intermittent at that time.

So not understanding the shift learning process I took it back to the tranny shop again. They scratched their heads and opted to replace the solenoid pack. I was good for about 5k miles and the flare came back and I just decided to live with it because it was very intermittent. Ironically around this time I did a full time up and a pcm reset and I still wasn't aware about being easy on the tranny somit could learn the propper shift points.

I upgraded my tires to a larger size than manufacturer spec without adjusting the tire size in my computer. I went from 265/65R17 to 265/70R17 which is a 3% increase in size. This messed with my tranny and really screwed things up. My shift flares got worse and more consistent to the point of me worrying about reliability. I'd beening mulling over this shift flare problem for a while and I felt that perhaps the tranny shop didn't resleave my servo bores or did it improperly. I also needed to correct my tire size in the computer so I ordered a SCT scan tuner to correct the computer for the tires. This has preloaded tunes so I installed the 91 octane tune because thats the fuel i always use. The tune supposedly crisps up shifts as well so I thought if I had any computer issues this would correct them. I also ordered the aj1e upgraded servo bores to give them a try. I installed them and the SCT preloaded tune and had great shifts for about 2 days but then the flare was back. Then I also had a very loud downshift when I would drop below 20mph and it was very noticeable. Also at that point I noticed my 3-4 shifts when the tranny was cold were loud and noticeable.

I figured I give repairing my transmission one more shot. I bought an upgraded rebuilt valve body with a transgo shift kit already installed as well as a new solenoid pack.

I watched a few videos by Fordtechmakuloco on YouTube as far as proper install and proceedure and that's when I learned about being gentle on the transmission for a couple hundred miles after the pcm reset. All the parts installed easily, I replaced the filter and put new fluid in and sealed it up. The only troubling thing I found was 1/2 of a sheard off green O-ring sitting on top of the valvebody gasket. I have no idea what it's from or if it even came from my transmission. I started wondering if it got dropped into it by accident while it was being rebuilt. Anyway after the new parts were put in everything shifted so smooth except that 3rd to 4th gear bump shift as well as a harsh manual shift from drive to reverse. The 3 to 4 shift only is noticeable when the tranny is cold and goes away within 5 minutes of driving but the harsh drive gear to reverse gear is always a harsh shift. I reinstalled the preloaded tune after I put 1000 miles on since my repairs. Drives great and I have better mileage because of that tune I installed too. The only thing that bothers me now is that 3rd to 4th gear shift and the harsh drive to reverse manual shift, if someone could tell me it's no big deal I wouldn't worry about it but I wonder if something is going to break eventually.

I've decided I'm going to keep my tranny fluid as clean as possible so I'm going to start changing the fluid once a year or every 10k miles. I'm considering putting my old servos back in to see if the new updates servos are causing pressure issues because my servo bores are actually in good shape. If anyone has any other info for me about the harsh bump shift I'm experiencing I'd be grateful. I really am wondering if the upgraded servos are not good to use if your servo bores are not worn out.
 




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