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5R55S swap

fixnrun

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2003 ford explorer

I am wondering if anyone has taken this drivetrain and put it under early rig. If so, where can I get a stand alone wiring for transmission? I have the engine running and it goes in 2wheel but I don't seem to get 4x4 when I push the button.
 



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S7

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So I have an 02 4.0 xls and the transmission just went on it...funny I was surfing sites and found a site offering an 800+ hp transmission for the new mustangs and I was thinking man id love to have that durability so I didnt have to worry about replacing it again anytime soon! I was full of hopes and dreams and then I found this thread and got pretty excited! What kinda price would I be looking at?

How would 4X4 work?
 






CDW6212R

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Send James a PM if you haven't already. He's the source of the good information about that here.

I think the rear case bolt pattern and shaft is the same for all 5R trannies, the same TC should work.
 






neilpridenz

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5R55S reliability and strength?

Hi there, hope you guys don't mind a question from someone who knows next to nothing about transmissions!

Very early on in this thread there was some comment about the 'best' 5Rxxx transmission. Some of the comments seemed to say that there are various flavours of tranny within the model numbers, eg a 5R55S built for a V6 might be different from the 5R55S for a V8.

I can understand the need for different bellhousing obviously due to different engine bolt patterns, but I think the comments were saying the internals would be built differently, eg sturdier components for a V8 compared to a V6. Maybe also when meant for different vehicles, eg Explorer vs Mustang.

Is that so, are there internal component differences between various 5R55S trannys?

The reason I ask is that I have a 2004 Explorer XLT 4.0 which the door label says has a 5R55S. It have been doing delayed and harsh shifts recently. I have talked to a lot of people about it including people in the motor trade, and the overwhelming response was "Ha - Explorer transmissions are rubbish, wait a while and it will blow up". :(

I work with 2 guys who had Explorers, admittedly earlier ones than mine, and both had expensive transmission failures - one twice. Generally where I live (New Zealand) Explorers have a very bad name for transmission failures, but most of the ones I have heard of have been with earlier models than mine which have a different transmission. My Explorer has a pretty easy life as a suburban vehicle with occasional towing 3-4 times a year.

This thread is fascinating reading (at least the 25% I can understand!) and I am picking that the point of swapping IN a 5R55S is because it is an improvement on the previous tranny - otherwise why do it.

So the question in my mind is do I get rid of my Explorer before the transmision fails in an expensive way, or if the 5R55S is fundamentally a good solid reliable transmission should I invest some money in it and keep the vehicle (which I love BTW).

Maybe one of you guys who is in the Transmission business can say if 5R55S trannys are any more or less reliable than average?

Are there differences between individual 5R55Ss that could make it a great tranny in some vehicles but unreliable in others? (I am thinking that the demands on it in a 4x4 offroader (Explorer) is quite different from what it would be in a fast street machine (Mustang).

I am hoping that all the Explorer trans failures I heard about are early models and that Ford improved the 5R55S to sort the problems out, or am I just dreaming?

Thanks,

Neil.
 






CDW6212R

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Welcome Neil. I don't have any experience with the 5R55S, but I've read the same things which say that the 5R family are related and many parts swap.

The 5R55E was first and it has the least potential, some things improved in yours cannot be used in the "E" models.

The biggest thing you should learn about Ford auto transmissions is that they all(every single one of them) can be improved greatly by installing a VB kit. Ford has earned the reputation for troublesome trannies, rightly so. They always have odd symptoms in the earliest models, and eventually Ford fixes the big issues.

The key is that the 1-3 good VB kits available for a given trans, those made to correct inherent problems are wonderful to install in every single Ford trans possible. Those "correction" kits fix so many things and improve the overall performance that usually they will fix a trans which is having problems. The vast majority of all Ford trans issues are correctable by installing the right VB kit. The VB is the brains of a trans, and when they aren't working in the most efficient way possible, it doesn't matter how good the rest of the trans is. The rest could be installed brand new, zero miles, and the problems would continue or return shortly.

I suggest that you research the VB kits available for your 5R55S, and find someone familiar with the Ford trans, to install it. Regards
 






neilpridenz

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Thanks Don, can you provide a link to, or name of the suppliers of said VB kits?

Thanks for your coments, Neil.
 






CDW6212R

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There are a few good parts sources, but this is one of the best;

http://www.transmissionpartsusa.com/

I suggest TransGo kits, they have been doing it much longer than others, and they always made the correction kits. Also look into any Sonnax parts available for your trans, they make excellent parts to improve most automatics.

Also read what others have done with their like transmissions, you will learn other things from them beyond these general suggestions. Regards,
 






PhantomFord

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ok this thread is a little old buy i am interested in doing a 5r55s in my 4x4 ohv.
from what i understand the 5r55s was available in the v6 mustangs the w was in the explorers, and there almost the same thing with different ratios, the housings are spicific for what they went in to so does this mean in order to make a 5r55s work in a 4x4 it would actually need to be a v6 5r55w 4x4 with the 5r55s components inside to achieve the close ratio
 






Orleans

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Sorry for resurrecting an old topic, but I have a big doubt.
Does anyone know the exact function of this screw? We can complete the level of ATF through the hole where that screw is housed?

5r55s.jpg
 






Cobraguy

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That is the overdrive band adjustment. No...you cannot fill through that hole. If you have removed that bolt, the trans will more than likely need to be disassembled. The intermediate band adjustment is to the rear of it behind that harness.

There is a fill plug on the opposite side towards the rear. Or you can remove one of the sensors on this side and use that.
 






Orleans

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Thanks for helping me.
The tip of the screw is long and round. He really can not be removed?
If this screw is removed it is necessary to dismantle the transmission to fix it?:banghead:
It was removed and returned to its place of origin, with the engine off.
 






Cobraguy

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Well, the band adjustment screw goes into a band lug that applies pressure to the band. When you completely remove the screw, that lug falls out of place and can usually only be reinstalled through disassembly of the transmission. That being said, I am not all that familiar with the internals of this transmission. But before I started and drove the vehicle, I would be finding out for certain. It's possible you were able to catch the lug properly by pure dumb luck or by design of the trans. Again, I would find out from someone who is VERY familiar with this trans before I started it. Major "oops" possible otherwise and you could be spending a ton of money for a new trans and case.

By the way...both those band adjustments are very critical to proper trans operation. Get them wrong and ugly things happen. If you are unsure of yourself, or what you have going on, this is not a good time to work on your learning curve so to speak. The consequences of being wrong are just too expensive. Tow the vehicle to a professional and chalk it up to a lesson learned.
 






Orleans

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If I had removed the bolt would be happy to have learned a lesson.

You hit the target. The overdrive light is already blinking.

A mechanic who thinks he knows everything removed the screw, but actually know nothing. He is good at destroying the transmission.
No use crying now, I have to solve.
I'll take the car to a specialist.
You think I can fix the damage removing only the oil pan?

Thank you for the great help.
 






Ronin8002

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If I had removed the bolt would be happy to have learned a lesson.

You hit the target. The overdrive light is already blinking.

A mechanic who thinks he knows everything removed the screw, but actually know nothing. He is good at destroying the transmission.
No use crying now, I have to solve.
I'll take the car to a specialist.
You think I can fix the damage removing only the oil pan?

Thank you for the great help.

You will need to drop the pan and possibly the valve body to fix it. this may help

http://www.ratiotek.com/5r55w-complete.pdf
 






Cobraguy

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That is an outstanding pdf that everyone should save. Great information. But the bad news is, I just don't see a way to replace that without pulling and disassembling the transmission. I could be wrong...but take a look at page 2 of that pdf. I just don't see any access to the band and lug through the bottom of the case. You might be able to drop the servo and position everything through that tiny hole on the side, but it sure looks tight to me. If you can, then you have to hold everything in place while you install the servo and the lug on that side.

Ronin, have you been successful with this by dropping the valve body? Good to know if you have.

Your mechanic sure didn't do you any favors.
 






Orleans

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Good to Know That there is a chance, even if it is minimal.
I'll enjoy the service and try to resolve the delay in reverse (When life gives you lemons, make lemonade).
Do you think I should buy a master kit or banner kit?

The master kit PARTS AUTHORITY that is sold on rockauto is a good choice? Can you suggest some best brand?

Help me not to make another mistake.:thumbsup:
 






Cobraguy

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I can't help you with that question. I buy my parts from both OEM and from a wholesaler here in town. Some aftermarket parts are good, some not so good so I buy OEM. I just pick the parts I want from the source I trust. About the only "kit" I use is a gasket kit...and even then I will use something different from that kit if I feel it's necessary.

There are lots of good aftermarket support companies though. Companies such as Sonnax (and others) who have an outstanding reputation for developing products to cure some of the factory compromises. Then too...electronics come into play with these later transmissions and an ECM tune can really help.

Unless you are very familiar with the internal workings and operation of an automatic transmission, this can be a real nightmare. Find someone who is familiar with this trans and hire them to do it for you...and watch and learn from him. Believe it or not, it was almost 40 years ago when I asked a master tranny tech (and close friend) to teach me how to overhaul a turbo 400. He said "no...but I'll teach you how it works. If you can't figure it out from there, you shouldn't be touching one." Best advice and education I ever had. I've been rebuilding trannies of different makes and models ever since.
 






Orleans

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Dear Cobraguy,

Again thanks for the help and great patience.

My idea is this, pay a specialist to perform the service and watch to learn.
In my country only 10% of cars have automatic transmissions and this percentage Reached That Number in the last decade because of the large power increase in sales of Japanese cars. Before this percentage was much lower. Result .. few cars with automatic transmission = few experts in A / T.

Honestly I believe in you, but do not believe a mechanic who only thinks about making money, so I ask you to let me know Which pieces (parts/gasket) I'll need for this service and if possible, Indicate That website sells OEM parts or e-mail some seller who accepts paypal.

Here in my country I can only buy kits of Transtec, Parts Authority, Toledo or ATP Parts.

If you can guide me on the relationship of parts that i need, even better.

About automatic transmission I am good at changing the ATF's 5R55E and A4LD, only.
 






jah81592

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Orleans-you sent a pm about answering in this thread. Your pm box is full and there are 12 pages to read here. Please send an email of what you would like me to answer.-j
 



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Orleans

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Solved

Thank you to everyone who helped me, especially Cobraguy and Ronin8002.
Problem solved.
After three hours of service and a lot of patience, the expert was able to accommodate the screw in its proper place. Using only two pieces of iron wire. It was necessary to remove the oil pan.
Price of service - $ 175.00
Problem ... he had no ATF Mercon V and was forced to complete the oil level with the Dexron III. Any problem with that?

Another big question: What is the symptom of a band too tight and too loose?

Thank you
 






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