5R55W Solenoid Block Replacement | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

5R55W Solenoid Block Replacement


July 4, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Camarillo, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT
5R55W Solenoid Pack Replacement on 2002 Explorer XLT

Here’s the procedure.

Placed all fours on 4”x12” wooden blocks.

Disconnect the battery neg terminal

Draining ATF with 22mm wrench. Only about 4 qts drained.

Next evening, removed plug again another 3 qts drained.

Disconnecting the harness using a 10mm wrench. Note in the photo, the connector w/bolt is seen in the inspection mirror.

Lay down a plastic drop cloth under a metal drip pan.
Remove drained pan using 8mm socket wrench, ¼”swivel and extension.

Using the tranny pan to catch fluids, unbolt solenoid pack using T-30 wrench.

Solenoid body removed. Note the solenoid connector in photo.

Install new solenoid body pack and tighten bolts to 71 in-lbs. Coat harness plug o-rings with dielectric grease and reinstall/tighten harness plug

Install tranny pan, reusing gasket, tighten pan bolts to 96 in-lbs. Tighten drain plug to 19 ft-lbs.

Degrease exhaust pipe under drain pan to remove any ATF.

At pan drain plug, Remove inner plug using T-30 wrench (counter hold drain plug with 22mm wrench). Install temporary fill brass hose barb (1/8” NPT x ¼” hose). Install hand pump (valvoline fluid lubricant pump, fits most standard quart bottles, about $7 at Kragen Auto) and suitable pinch clamp.

Remove pinch clamp, and refill with new Mercor V. Start by adding with 5 qts. Without disconnecting the pump, switch between fresh quart bottles.

Reconnect battery. Run engine for a 30 seconds.

Add remainder ATF. Install pinch clamp, remove pump.

Restart engine and cycle tranny between reverse and drive gears. Let engine idle in "Park" and remove pinch clamp to drain excess fluids. Excess should flow until a very small stream or drip is observed.

Add more fluid if necessary, but install pinch clamp before shutting off engine.

With engine still running, reinstall inner plug. Tighten inner plug to 89 in-lbs.

Test drive.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Welcome to this forum! This is a very nice how to article that should help out a lot of people. Could you increase the size of the pictures?

Looks like the photos are still showing up in my above post. I've added some updating information in post #5 below.

Great photos, thanks! I actually just got back from my friends place where we did the same. But the replacement didn't help, my tranny is still having shift problems between 2nd-3rd. Maybe someone here can help/give advice. Here's the deal (sorry if this sorta hijacks the thread a bit but I figured since we're on the same topic there was no need to start another thread..hope you don't mind)

Ok, so the tranny is acting up. O/D light flashing and slow/very difficult shifting from 2nd to 3rd. SES light goes on. Checked the codes and get P0745 - Pres Cntrl Sol. A Circuit Malf. Reading up here and elsewhere on the web suggest replace the solenoid block. It's a 2002 Eddy V6 4x4 with 64,000. AFAIK, never had a trans filter or fluid change.

Basically did the exact same procedure as listed above (great write-up BTW, thanks). Everything went well, filter change, about 4-4.5 qts ATF M-V came out, replaced same and of course the solenoid. Torqued everything to spec. All was actually fairly simple, no complications.

Test drove the vehicle afterwards (about an hour ago) and it's still behaving exactly as before. Slow shifting 2nd to 3rd, revving high between 2-3 and then sometimes shifts with a slight clunk (nothing too loud) or perfectly if you let off the gas slightly and then reapply. Once in 3rd it drives like a dream until slowing down again. If I let it rev too high or if it doesn't shift correctly the O/D light starts flashing but no SES yet.

Now, after reading borland's post I noticed I forget a step. We did not disconnect the battery before the procedure. Did do it afterwards to reset the SES but didn't even think about it beforehand. Was that a big mistake? Would that be the cause of the solenoid replacement to not correct the problem? Or (which is what I am leaning towards) is it another problem, poss. valve body or worse?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I spent about $250 so far, got the solenoid and filter at a discount via a friend. Should I continue with replacing other parts or just give in and bring it to the dealership and expect to pay $$$.



Maybe one of the experts can give you some recommendations. Glad you posted your problem, as wouldn't want anyone to think this procedure will fix all.

A pressure gage would tell if the pressures are good. It might be your valve body separator plate that needs replacing. There's also a pressure relief valve at the main pump that could be leaking off pressure.

My symptoms were harsh up-shifting. No flashing OD light. Never read the OBD codes to see if there were any. But replacing the solenoid body seems to have fixed it.

A little history on my truck. Current mileage is 75K miles. Dealer replaced the solenoid body at 51K miles with the exact same symptoms (harsh up-shifting) [Repair bill was $616 total]. They said it had an erratic modulation pressure. Immediately after that repair, the truck developed a leak at the converter housing (apparently the fluid was foaming). Remedy for that was to pull the tranny and replace the vent tubing [Repair bill was $131, some of the labor was absorbed by the dealer]. So, total for those repairs was $747.

Why the second solenoid body would go bad after 18 months and only 24K miles? I really don't know. The dealer never replaced the filter; that might have attributed to the early failure. I took the dealer installed solenoid body apart and found no apparent damage. There was some micro fines/particles on one of the internal plastic filters, but certainly not clogged. So, it's a mistery to me.

Update: June 23, 2011


I still own this 2002 Explorer XLT.

After almost 5 years and 50K miles (now 125K miles), the truck developed the same hard shifting symtoms, but only after driving several freeway miles (fully warm transmission). So I replaced the solenoid block again.

Only thing I have to add on this replacement procedure is the center plug on the drain plug stripped out with the T-30 wrench. The factory spec of 89 in-lbs may be too much. It might be a good idea to replace the drain plug each time, as the part (part number 6L2Z7A010AA) is only $7.50 (plus shipping) from Ford and this part also includes the pipe, o-ring (W705355 S300), and center plug. I installed the center plug this time at only 80 in-lbs of torque.

I also reduce the pan bolt torque from the factory recommended 96 in-lbs to 80 in-lbs.

Why would the dealer replace the solenoid block, and ATF without replacing the filter? Maybe they just did a flush from the cooler lines. Does the 5R55W use bonded gaskets on separator plates like the previous 5R55E model?

Yes, the 5R55W has a bonded separator plate gasket too.

Invoice showed only parts replaced were the solenoid pack and 6 quarts Mercon V. They couldn't do a flush with only 6 quarts.

At least they used Mercon V. A lot of people have posted that these shops used Dexron III with the Lubegard additive. Some people posted having slippage problems until they added the Lubegard.

Borland, thanks for the reply. I'll look into those suggestions. If anyone else has suggestions/advice I'd love to hear it.


Was searching for more info on the 5R55W and came across this .pdf. Some nice detail pics and info.

Still looking for more advice on what to do...is Glacier991 still around?


I think he's still on vacation. Thanks for posting that link!

The thread on solenoid replacement is very helpful to me because I have the some problem with my 02 Explorer.Did the powertrain control module need to be re-progamed? I have seen other threads that state this might in to be done

I don't think it's necessary to flash, and reprogram the PCM with a new tune when you replace the solenoid block, but according to some threads, a lot of people experienced better shifting with the new tune, so it's optional, but recommended.

Sorry guys... been away a bit on and off plus really busy at work and missed this thread.

I liked the pix and always think pic threads are the best of all, wish you might had had a few more of the removal and re-install od the block, but that's ok.

When FORD went to "blocks" they more or less mandated replacing everything when just ONE thing went bad. EPC or shift, didn't matter. The EPC was a low mileage failure component, and 75K is about right for that to occur, low end. I have sold a few blocks, and in every case they have solved the problem. I am interested that yours did not.

PO745 is either a mechanical OR hydraulic failure. Pinpoint Test D for the solenoids is the textbook method... requires a NGS tester (every FORD dealer has one).

I am very curious to know ifthe harnesses are ok....In this day and age, transmissions are as much electrical as transmission.

Not much help here, I know... but I am researching, and when I can add something i will.

Well it took me about 2+ hours to swap solenoids,but as of right now [knock wood] the tranny shifts great,very smooth. The only hard part for me was getting that 10mm bolt loose from the top of the pack.I have rather large hands, and laying on the ground working in a very small space just about got the best of me, but I won this one! The best part was I found a guy online that sold me a brand new soleoid for $55, the dealer was asking $275.THANKS to all who post the threads and links that got me through this.

Success stories are always welcome! Thanks for sharing yours. Especially with the W's (and S's and N's) Block replacement is going to become a big event.... and easy to DIY. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us.

5r55w Replaced solenoid following the procedure but still have the problem

Hello Friends: first at all, Thank you for the Great info at this forum.
A week ago i've started to have problems with my 2002 explorer, Trans failed to change from 2nd to 3rd, I've read the post here and everything pointed to the solenoid pack, so i got a new one, and replaced with a new filter and gasket, the procedure went pretty smooth (about 2 hours to replace it), when i went to test it, trans shifted better but i was still having trouble betwen 2nd and 3rd , i having even no shift or a very delayed shift and when the 3rd is finally engaged at high rpm the shift is kinda rough (but i think is because is not doing it at the proper rpm) , I found some others users wuth the same 5r55w trans that have had the same problem, any ideas about where i have to look?. everything was clean when i took off the pan, no metal pieces,no burned smell , oil was little bit darker than the new one but it was 65000 old. I'd really appreciate any input , i'm already out of ideas (and money BTW) . Thank you.

Welcome to this forum! The next step would be a valve body rebuild. Did you use a torque wrench on the bolts when you installed the new solenoid block?

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Thaks for the prompt response!!. i didn't have the torque specs for the T30 from the solenoid but i took care not to overtight them. All the problem started with a 745 OBD code, and the shifting issue, now after a test road, again got the 745 , it's shifting but when it does i hear like a strong hissing coming from the trans, like a valve releasing pressure, could it be a broken valve plate related? , i'm suspecting also from a servo because of the rough shifting. some ideas of how to do a checkout in order to discard options?. Thank you.