How to: - Ford 4R55E Transmission removal & installation instructions. | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: Ford 4R55E Transmission removal & installation instructions.

Prefix for threads which are instructional.
im currently trying to remove the transmission on my 95 ranger 2.3
all i have left to do is to remove the top two bolts which sound easy but ive spent almost a month on this already i removed the passanger side bolt by removing the air intake and using a 13mm wranch the other bolt is nearly impossible to get from the top because of the dipstick and that stupid exhaust recycaling tube then i tried to lower the tranny down so i could reach the bolt from the bottom using a long extension and no luck it kept slipping off, i tried a swivel socket too with no luck so i went and got these bolt out sockets where the 13mm one is too small for that bolt and a 14mm is too large.
im out of ideas

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Any idea how long it should take an average guy to pull a trans out of a '96 ?

Is there plenty of room to slide it out with car sitting on 4 stands ?


The labor time they give you for flat rate is 6.1 hrs. The only way your going to be able to do it in a few hours is if you use a lift, have all the proper tools, know what you are doing, and you run into no issues. If your going to be on your back and you've never done this before, I'd give yourself plenty of time and maybe get a helper. An A/O torch is your friend for getting the y-pipe off the exhaust manifolds. I've also never had a problem using jack stands.

8.Remove the bolts and nuts from the catalytic converter outlet and muffler inlet. Using mechanics wire, secure the muffler and tailpipe assembly to the vehicle. Remove three nuts from the crossover-to-converter inlet and discoonect the HO2S connector. Disconnect the converter from the hanger and remove it from the vehicle.
9.Disconnect the shift cable from the lever and bracket. Position the cable aside. Disconnect two rear HO2S connectors and the locator.

working on taking my tranny out today. got to step 8 with the cat doesnt seem to want to come out....getting stuck on hanger and crossmember. can i just leave it there until im ready to lower the crossmember?

step 9 says something about locater.....what locater?

also these instructions never mention removing the transfer case from the following them the transmission and transfer case come out all as one or is that just assumed that you take the transfer case off before hand?


working on taking my tranny out today. got to step 8 with the cat doesnt seem to want to come out....getting stuck on hanger and crossmember. can i just leave it there until im ready to lower the crossmember?

step 9 says something about locater.....what locater?

also these instructions never mention removing the transfer case from the following them the transmission and transfer case come out all as one or is that just assumed that you take the transfer case off before hand?


It is possible to remove and install the catalytic converter with the crossmember in place.
Don't over think it, relying on the instructions and not common sense is going to drive you crazy.
As for the transfer case being removed, that is up to you. I personally think the extra effort it take to remove and install the transmission with the transfer case is less work than removing and reinstalling the transfer case separately.

how do i take one out with out taking out the engen

I have just reinstalled the A4LD in my 1993 Explorer XLT 4wd. I would like to have found some more detailed instructions for reinstalling, but was unable to find them. The following tips would have helped me:
1. It is possible to remove and replace the A4LD from the 4.0 L without removing the crossover pipe. You have to lift the transmission up in the rear a little more to get its lower flanges over the pipe - then slide it out/in to remove/install. This extra effort saves a lot of time trying to get the crossover pipe off along with broken bolts, etc. It is also counter-intuitive to lift it up in the rear more, but that works as long as the engine is resting on the crossover pipe against the forward crossmember.
2. Before moving the transmission into position, clean the surfaces, use a tap to clear the bolt holes, and use some emery cloth to clean the receiver for the torque converter shaft and coat it with some grease.
3. When the transmission is inserted over the crossover pipe, level the transmission and slide it forward and align it. It might be necessary to wiggle it to get it to slip into place. Care should be taken so that the pipes, wires and mounting clips are carefully moved out of the way of the transmission to engine connection path. There are four medium length bolts with collars (neck of the bolt without threads) the same size as the bolt diameter, two shorter bolts with larger diameter collars and two longer bolts with collars the same size as the bolt. The longest two bolts go in the bottom holes, the two short bolts with larger collars go in the top. The four medium bolts go on the sides. The five fully threaded bolts nearly the same size as the medium bolts are for the transfer case.
4. The medium bolts through the locator guide posts are to be installed first on either side of the transmission. They go right through the locators. The threads will catch when within a 1/4" of the flange, but don't use the bolts to pull the transmission to the engine - if you do that you are asking for damage to the pump. It isn't right unless the transmission is fully in place against the engine and the torque converter bolts must match with the flex plate holes for that to happen. Note: The torque converter hub should be at least a half inch behind the surface of the transmission mounting bell. If it is not (the picture shows flush), the torque converter is not fully installed or has slipped out and must be corrected before things will go together.
5. Install the top bolts next. The left side bolt (driver's side) goes through the clip for the vent pipe and then through the left hole in the top bracket. Start the bolt in the hole and then position the spike on the vent pipe bracket into the top bracket. Holding the vent pipe in the approximate position, turn the bolt to near snug (you should be able to do this by hand using the extensions without the wrench). The right side bolt goes through the dipstick tube's bracket which must be in place, then through the right side hole of the top bracket - adjust the top bracket as necessary. Tighten the bolt to snug. Insert and bring all of the bolts to snug, then tighten the two side bolts, the top bolts and then the others to the torque values specified. Put the flex plate nuts on one at a time and tighten to the spec. I was able to put a 3/4 socket on the front crankshaft nut to turn the engine and watch as the stud was moved into position to install the nut. Turn only clockwise (looking at the front of the engine). You should be able to view the studs in the flex plate through the opening for the starter using a trouble light while you turn the engine. I crawled under the left (drivers) side to do this - my head toward the front of the vehicle.
6. After all of the connections and paraphernalia attachments have been made, put the front driveshaft in place (attach at the front) and then the transfer case should be attached. The transfer case's bottom bolt cannot be inserted when the transmission mount is installed, so use a jack at the back of the transmission to hold the transmission up while the transfer case is installed (or install the transfer case on the transmission before installing the transmission). Then install the driveshafts to the transfer case. Note: it is possible to insert the forward driveshaft after the transfer case is in place, just harder. I prefer to put the transfer case on after the transmission is in place because the transmission is lighter without it and I find that it is necessary to wiggle the transmission to get it to move forward into position. I am also not certain whether the transmission can be lifted enough to get over the crossover pipe if the transfer case is already installed.
7. Install the exhaust section and the transmission mount (the right side bolt holds the mount for the exhaust pipe as well). Then install the crossmember and the shield after all of the connections have been made. Reinstall the damper if used. Don't forget to refill the transfer case and the transmission. The transfer case uses about 2.5 qts and the transmission, etc, needs about 9 - 10 qts. Put at least 4 qts in to start. I was fooled by the thing showing full when it wasn't so exercise the transmission on the jack stands until it seems to be working right before drive test and then check the fluid levels frequently to assure that it is full.
8. I found that the mount for the transmission selector was difficult to put into place under the bracket for the transfer case vent pipe. I had installed the bolts with extensions for it on the top of the transmission, but only one goes in the top, the other goes on the driver's side, so I had to swap these two around once I figured out where the selector bracket had to go. It is wise to figure this out before installing the transmission. I did not find a clear picture of it, but was able to figure it out when I had the transmission in place and the only way it could possibly fit was as the picture actually showed - unclearly. I had to fiddle with it for awhile before it finally popped into place - unfortunately I could not do that ahead of time.

It would have been nice to find this stuff written down somewhere.

when removing the transmission is there ways to getting around from taking the exhaust off, i have the transmission disconnected from everything and im trying move it back but the top of the bellhousing is hitting a flange on the body and the part of the bellhousing where the starter bolts to is hitting the exhaust pipe is there anything i can do to get around it?

Yes, the catalytic converter has to be removed. But the transmission will come out without removing the crossover pipe, which is a big plus. If you lift the rear of the transmission and then lift the transmission it will slide over the crossover pipe and towards the rear. This tilts the bell housing forward allowing more clearance, enough to slip the bottom flange over the crossover pipe. After it is past the crossover, lower the transmission and level it with the jack. I used a flat piece of 1" board physically attached to the rotating jacking pad on a hydraulic floor jack (2.5 T) as a transmission jack.

Be sure to lower the engine so that the crossover pipe is as low as it will go before trying to get the transmission out - the crossover pipe should be resting on the support frame that goes across there.

Great thread, all of u! Special kudos 2 jwwing! Anyone who's done this r&r knows that it can be very tricky, but I'm here 2 tell u that it CAN be done without removing any exaust components, it CAN b done with a floor jack and jackstands, no special tools(other than plenty of extensions and a good ratchet!!!) and u need only be moderately skilled at crawling under a large, heavy vehicle & removing & replacing major components. I just got the bad one on the ground less than an hr ago & am taking a WOOSAA break! Am crossing my fingers that the junkyard trans I'm installing will hold out until I get a chance to rebuild my toasted one...Most of all BE PATIENT!!! if u try this one folks! Better tools and facilities make the job easier (of course) but all my tools fit in a standard 5.56 ammo can, I borrowed my neighbors floor jack and I'm working on sheets of plywood laid over sand(GREAT! Trust me, I'm being VERY careful about not getting it anywhere near my tranny, much less into or on it!). It's dark now, so I will begin install fresh in the morning. PEACE!

Tranny removal/install

I would like to keep everybody involved in my removal/install of a 95 explorer auto 4x4 tranny because I have found allot of questions answered on here and some not.

Day one: picked a nice week because I am doing this in my driveway and found a tranny at the yard for 200 (crossing fingers) have Sport up on Ramps and started my journey into the change by reading up all I could about every possible obstacle that comes with such a change.

Worked four hours on it and only got to taking step 7 of HeavyMentill's list ( and quit for the night. I am in no hurry as I am a amateur at best in auto mechanics. Luckily I came upon Jwwing’s post ( )
About not having to take the Y pipe off because I spent four hours already trying to loosen the four bolts with-out breaking them.

Day 2: (4 hours) The tranny coolant line were a bit of a pain to get to because of the Y pipe left in but I found that if I dropped the tranny enough I could get to them easy enough. I might add that I did take them loose from the radiator first to allow for them to slid down.

I got the tranny out in time to watch some football on this Saturday, did I mention I was in no hurry?
Day 3: ( 4 hours) got the new tranny cleaned up and r filtered and bands adjusted as covered in this link ( )
Got the tranny up far enough to put the coolant lines back on and lined up the tranny to engine while trying to mate the two I was having a tough time aligning the two to draw together. At this point I have them aligned and about 5/8 apart and ready to go at it again tomorrow.

I was thinking because I am doing this on my own that if I put a draw strap behind the tranny to the engine that if I gently pull the tranny forward while wiggling it into position would that work? Or do I need to turn the engine while doing the same? I thought all that needs to align are the splines or is there something else I am missing?

95Exploresport: don't try to force the tranny onto the engine. That last 5/8" is a trap to get you to destroy something. The tranny should slide onto the engine with less than an eighth of an inch - if it doesn't, something is not right. Resist the temptation to try to force the two together. Look for what could be holding it apart: something is interfering, a sheetmetal plate is caught between the surfaces, the transmission adapter plate is not aligned right, the transmission is not straight with the engine, the torque converter did not bottom correctly - something like that. If you try to wiggle the transmission while encouraging it to mate up with the engine, it should go on all the way without any gap to speak of. If it won't, something is not right.

dose any one know is a 98 exsplorer 4x2 and 4x4 is enter changable by putting the 4x2 tail shaft on the 4x4

Hey, I need some help with pulling out the transmission on my 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. It's a 5R55S and I was wondering if there was a way that I can pull the transfer case out first, then the transmission since together they are far too big and I feel that I'm causing damage to other parts of the car when I try to pull them out. Is there any way at all or do I have to pull them out together? Any help and hints are appreciated.

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hey am curious about something , u said 2.Remove two bolts retaining the fan shroud to the radiator. Remove the transmission fluid level indicator.

this means that i have to remove the fan shroud out ? thats why u remove the bolts right ?