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5r55s/w no forward gears copper in fluid

anti eloi

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Hi everyone. I have a 2005 4.0L 4WD Explorer with the 5r55s/w. the symptoms are: No Forward gears at all. Reverses works normally except it slams into gear sometimes. I have removed the valve body and didn't see any glaring problems but I am not experienced with automatic transmissions. I was able to move all of the spools that I could access and the sealing surfaces looked good on the gaskets. When I dropped the valve body the fluid that came out from above it had a lot of copper flakes and a few 1/4 inch thin, semi-circular shaped pieces like they might be a thrust washer or something similar. I have to believe that there are not very many parts made out of copper used in this transmission. Does anyone know which parts are copper? My next step is to pull the trans and tear it down. Thanks in advance for any insight.
 
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JK080

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You can find brass in the shims of the planetary gears, the overdrive planet in this transmission is known for wearing out its shims and sometimes bits of the shim will find its way into the valve body and pan. You will also find brass material in the bushings and thrust washers in a few locations too.
One thing is for sure you will find out where it came from once you disassemble the transmission, it might not even have anything to do with the no forward situation, that sounds more like a problem with the forward clutch.
 
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anti eloi

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I just finished the tear down and so far what I have found is the overdrive servo piton rod broken in half at the oil hole.
The transmission looks new inside. I will inspect individual components tomorrow. My symptoms were no forward movement in any gear but good reverse so maybe the broken rod was bleeding off the pressure to the forward clutch.
 
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anti eloi

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broken servo piston rod pics

IMG_0347.JPG


IMG_0348.JPG
 
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JK080

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I wouldn't think the servo is the culprit of the forward engagement issue.
 
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anti eloi

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Thanks, I will see what else I find tomorrow.
 
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anti eloi

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So far this is what I have found: Burned forward clutch frictions. They measure .059-.060 (should be .068) steels measure .064(should be .065).
Also, you nailed it with the overdrive planet gears eating their bronze shims. 2 are completely missing and one is half gone of which I found the other half. see pics. Is there any way to replace the overdrive planet shims?
Both Sprags work, more to come.

IMG_0349.JPG


IMG_0353.JPG
 
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anti eloi

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I found a piece of rubber underneath the forward clutch frictions and steels which can only be a part of the molded rubber seal on the back of the stamped piston. Now once I figure out a way to compress the spring pack and remove the snap ring I am sure to have found the culprit.
 
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anti eloi

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Here is the no forward gear problem.. Thank You for your help

IMG_0355.JPG
 
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anti eloi

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One Question. Do you think that I need to replace the overdrive planet shims?
 
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JK080

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Yes you definitely found your forward gear problem with the failed lip seal on the piston, the clutches are scorched but they are good enough to hold for drive but I would replace them anyways.

I have replaced the planet many times due to the worn and missing brass shims however I haven't seen them wear any past the point where the brass is gone. Once the brass shim is gone the planet doesn't wear very much any more and quits making debris that can end up in places that might cause problems. This planet rarely fails due to the brass shims wearing out so if the rest of it looks good you could reuse the planet without issues if you wanted too.
 
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anti eloi

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Just found this. So both servos and the forward clutch piston seal all going bad at the same time. DO you think this is related? maybe a massive high pressure situation?

IMG_0356.JPG
 
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JK080

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I don't contribute the servos failures with high or low line pressures, I believe they fail like that due to the servo bores in the case being worn. This would be the time to have the case sleeved to prevent this and other issues that the worn bores cause. Maybe find a local transmission shop that wouldn't mind sleeving the case for you
 
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anti eloi

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This is a re-manufactured transmission and already has the bronze sleeves in it. Can I just remove the worn sleeves and press in new ones?
 
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JK080

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You could I have done it, however I would check them with the servo pin from the intermediate servo to see if they are worn, maybe the servos just failed on their own. Stick the pin in the case bores and check for movement from side to side and look to see if you can see any worn spots, if all checks out good then I wouldn't do anything to the case.
 
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anti eloi

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Well I already made the mistake of reassembling the transmission and it is back in the truck and driving now. It has a soft 1-2 shift and a thunk 2-3. Worse than that when I accelerate full throttle from a standing start it revs all the way to redline (which is the normal shift point for this V6) it seems like it wont shift into 2nd and a revlimiter seems to kick in causing the engine to start missing and making a "whop whop whop" sound along with a wobble sensation. I have to reduce the throttle to make it finally kick into 2nd. Also noticed is a soft overdrive engagement but that is more subtle since when that shift occurs the vehicle is not under acceleration. I am going to try pulling the valve body and replacing the valve body and separator plate gaskets since I was lazy and tried using the old plate and also swapping out the solenoid pack with another one that I have to see if anything improves or changes. I am pretty sure that I will be pulling the transmission again and trying to figure out who makes the servo bore inserts so I can put in 2 new ones. Would you happen to know the companies that use the bronze insert bushings? I know Sonnax uses an aluminum insert so it is not theirs. How are the old inserts removed? Do I need the special insert installing tool to drive in the new ones? Thanks. I am looking at this "repair" as an educational experience at this point......
 
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anti eloi

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Just got back from some more test driving. The missing and stumbling "whop, whop, whop" occurs at 5k rpm well below the 6k redline shiftpoint. my conclusion is that it is not a rev limiter function but is directly related to the transmission attempting to up shift into 2nd. 2nd and 5th are the overdrive servo/band. I am still going to try replacing the valve body gaskets and swap solenoid packs since I have both on hand and it only takes a couple of hours. I believe that the delayed reverse will probably be cured with the gaskets and new solenoids but not the 2nd gear problem.
 
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anti eloi

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Just an update. Last night I installed 2 new separator plate gaskets and a new solenoid pack. I also adjusted the bands to 72 inch/pounds and backed out 1 turn instead of the recommended 2 or 1 1/2 from various sources. All symptoms have improved. I still have a somewhat soft 1-2 and a little thunk 2-3 but overall these are things most drivers would not be concerned about. I also discovered through research that the 2005 Explorer does indeed have a rev limiter and that is what
I have been experiencing under full throttle acceleration around 5k rpm in first gear. I filled the trans with Amsoil multi-vehicle ATF and 5 oz of Lubegaurd and it is shifting better and better every time I drive it. So this job is complete and I want to thank JK080 for taking the time to answer my questions and give me valuable advice. I hope anyone that followed this thread learned as much as I did and will be able to reference it if they find themselves with a misbehaving 5r55w/s.
 
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JK080

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Nice!

Glad you were able to get things working again.
 
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