95 4r55e 2-3 flare | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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95 4r55e 2-3 flare


Well-Known Member
November 16, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Dallas, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 Explorer XLT
Ok I've seen tons of info on the 5r55 2-3 flare, and I am having a similar problem with my 4 speed.

It's got 282,000 miles overall and 55,000 on the trans itself, when the shop rebuilt it they did not replace the solenoids at the time. It was rebuilt because it snapped the intermediate band on the factory trans (it went 225,000 miles on the original trans!) I had been having a softish 2-3 shift a while before it broke the band (broke it climbing Raton Pass going back to Dallas).

Now the problem has returned but with a twist, if left to it's own devices it will hit all the gears just fine cold or cool, but get the trans warm or hot sitting in traffic it will flare during the 2-3 shift, and sometimes will shudder on take-off. Now here's the twist part of it, If I manually place it in 1st or 2nd, then back to drive, it's fine for a while. I thought it was the limited slip slipping since I had rebuilt it not that long ago.

The trans shop did not replace the solenoids, and I've never replaced the EPC nor has the previous owner (brother in law, and I have all the records on it.) So is this an EPC/shift solenoid problem or a VB problem? It gets fairly regular trans service.

I have manual low, and engine braking in low is good. It's definitely temp related.

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Doing some reading, it's probably time for an EPC solenoid, and also check the readings on the intake air temperature sensor. The IAT appears to control EPC quality and tells the PCM roughly when to adjust line pressure. If it is out of spec, which it's a 16 year old sensor, the EPC will give soft or hard shifts,

The EPC if it's not working well, will cause hard damaging shifts, literally banging through the gears, or causes it to slip in 1st and 3rd.

Is my train of thought on track?

I think the servo pistons were replaced when the trans was rebuilt in 2007, they might have just replaced the o-rings. I'll double check the parts list when it was rebuilt. I know they didn't replace the solenoids as they weren't on the list and the shop said they ohmed in-spec.

I'll order an EPC for it. I'm getting ready to take it on a road trip to Colorado in 4 weeks and decided it's time to fix that little problem, plus it's due for a fluid and filter change.

Can the servo pistons be done in-car?

Good, I wasn't looking forward to wrestling that beast out of the truck. I did look over the invoice from the trans shop, and they did replace the servos.

I'll order an EPC for it when I get paid.

I've noticed it's shift quality is getting somewhat erratic. Sometimes its smooth like the TH350 in my Chevelle, sometimes its rough - shifting like the TH-125 that was in my '86 Pontiac 6000-STE, it'd bang the 1-2 shift lightning fast and be butter smooth on the 2-3 shift.

Thanks for the help so far, I'll post back when I get the solenoid installed.

Ordered the EPC, should be here next week.

Been driving the '77 Chevelle since it's been so hot that I don't really want to risk the trans in the Explorer.

OK, I've noticed something on the X today, the shifter is very sloppy, so I took the covers off, and noticed that the bushings for the shift tube are gone, as in no longer there. So new bushings are in the works, and that should fix the vague shifter, and make gear selection a bit more precise.

Ok I rebuilt the shifter, it needed it in the worst way, and was allowing the column to not jive with the trans. Feels like a brand new one again.

I also got my EPC solenoid in... finally. Going to install it tomorrow.

I just got back from a 2200 mile trip to Colorado in it, and it did great as long as it was cool-ish. Got back to 110 degree weather in Dallas and it started its usual trick of drawn out 2-3 shift, along with the occasional slip in 1st that goes away when you manually shift it to another gear and back, I guess thats the EPC doing that.

I've ohmed out the rest of the solenoids and they are within spec, even the ancient EPC is dead-on money with the new part. I guess as it gets hotter, it starts changing value.

fluid looked great, minimal clutch material in the pan, and hardly anything on the magnet. No burned smell either.

I did discover that my trans mount bolts have disappeared.


new EPC solenoid and it's back to its original typical Ford slow shifting ways. I can now rest easy that it will shift up and down like its supposed to. It will never be as snappy and positive feeling as my all-hydraulic TH-350 in my Chevelle, but it now will not grumble if I'm being impatient with its general lack of horsepower.

Just for the rest of ya'll out there, I was having a slow 2-3 shift when hot, and a scream at WOT as well as occasional slip in 1st. new EPC solved all those problems.

It might make 300,000 miles yet! So far its at 286,000.

Cool! Here's to 300,000! :dpchug:

It's a darned good truck despite some re-occuring issues with it. It wasn't until it hit 250,000 miles did it become somewhat needy.

I'm still pleased as punch with it!

It'll hit 300k as long as the engine doesn't die, which it's been fed a steady diet of quality oil, and changed regularly. It's first 200,000 miles was almost all highway as a college car, so it's only recently had a stressful life as a commuter.

Thanks Brooklyn for pointing me in the right direction!