Another with 2/3 Shift Flare | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Another with 2/3 Shift Flare

Bill MacLeod

Well-Known Member
November 18, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Hamilton, Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
06 Ltd V-8
My 99 has just turned 100k and have noticed a slight 2/3 flare over the last couple of weeks. Very intermittent, occurs only when at or near operating temp (never when cold) and usually at very light throttle pressure. No O/D light flashing or CEL, yet.

Had read through Glacier's 5R55E diary (excellent article - great detail) and also comments/suggestions offered by CDW, ROE etc.

Seems to be lots of hits and misses with regards to "fixing" the shift flare and therefore no known cause and actual "fix".

Have done an extensive search and came across an article that was published in Gears magazine. The May-June 2003 article is entitled " 2-3 Flare in the 5R55E". It is mentioned that "most" of the time, shift solenoid 2 (SSB) is leaking out the end, which delays the stroke of the 2/3 shift valve.

Anyone care to comment?

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!

That could very possibly be the problem in some cases.... remember a flare is most always due to inadequate pressure or pressure delivered at an improper time. I do not have the technical expertise to say this authoritatively, but I am guessing that improper pressure is the culprit 80% of the time. What can lead to that is a list of items.... seals, gaskets, leaks from worn bores, solenoids, stuck or sticky spools in the VB, filter plugged etc etc....

Thanks for sharing that. The shift solenoids are the on/off ones in the 5R55E and have a pretty good life. They do have an O-ring which *could* fail too. If someone who has tried the fixes and not totally eliminated the 2/3 flare wants to please contact me we can do a little experiment.... I will ship you a brand new shift solenoid to install. (they are all the same in the 5R55, so it's not labelled a 2 or 2/3 shift solenoid, it is just THE only shift solenoid used in that transmission and so just called a "shift solenoid".) If it fixes it, you pay me $20 and shipping. If not return it. I'll eat the shiping to you, and you eat the shipping back (should be a couple bucks.) Anyone wanna try this? Could advance the knowledge base here. I know it means dropping the pan etc, but trust me $20 for a new shift solenoid is my part of this experiment. (Price them you'll understand what I mean).


I might take you up on that, I've got all my parts in-house, just haven't started yet. One thing I can tell you is in talking with a custom tranny shop that sells brand new Ford 5R55Es, "we don't sell any that haven't had the TransGo shift kit already installed."

Thanks for your comments , Glacier. I think that I will maybe replace this solenoid, as it appears to be one of the easier parts to get at.

Would you happen to have a Ford part # for these shift solenoids?

Thanks again.

Not off the top of my immediate resources...I know that the generic Ford Part Number is 7G484, so THAT should be in the number somewhere but the number itself will be much longer than that. All the shift solenoids (4 of them) are identical.


Finally got a chance to change the #2 shift solenoid today. I will monitor it for a few days and post back with some results.

While the pan was off, I noticed a fare amount of friction mat'l in the pan and coating the filter. I have previously flushed, changed the filter, cleaned the pan and added a drain plug when I bought this truck about 2 1/2 years ago. Have drained/changed the fluid in the pan several times since and had also added an aux. filter some time ago.

I retorqued the valve body bolts while the pan was off. Almost every bolt could be torqued to 80 in # and then to 95 in # as a final torque. Specs are 71 to 97 in #.

We'll see what happens.


Adjust your bands as well.........

band adjust?

Newbie question, is it recommended to install new band locknuts before adjusting the bands?

i would much rather have to replace a solenoid then have to have the whole trans rebuilt just from a cost stand point

Band adjusting nuts. In an ideal world you should replace them. The rubber seals on them take a set, and will likely not seal if reused....that said... I'm not sure how BIG a problem it is. I would think you could reuse them (back them off a four or so turns and then retighten them. If they leaked THEN you could replace them.

Bill, did the #2 solenoid replacement cure the shift flare?

No it did not.

But a combination of a new EPC solenoid, Ford seperator plate update and Superior kit did the trick.

I have heard of an other adjustment that will cure the 2/3 flare, but am reluctant to post as I don't have any experience with it.

I bet it involves adjustng the EPC pressure set screw....<g>.If so, BAD idea.

Interesting. That's exactly what I did to cure my flare.

The Superior kit includes a couple of steel spools, to replace the stock aluminum ones. The use of aluminum spools surprised me, because aluminum rubbing on aluminum will gall, where aluminum/steel won't. I'm thinking maybe those stock aluminum spools are sticking, causing the flare.....?

I'm betting the adjustment you're talking about is the screw on the end of the EPC solenoid....? It's not something I wanted to fool with either.

Mine is still going strong after 2 yrs and 24K miles.
Glad your's is fixed! :thumbsup:

Well, its an adjustment of that "screw" and also the adjusting of the intermediate band xxxxxx turns.

I understand the concept. Unfortunately it is like running a marathon on speed. Not good for you, but can seem to make things better.

In other words, don't.

ps. This comment was not based on any personal experience regarding marathon running.