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Megapost on Explorer Transmission Rebuild


dubrike

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Hello everyone,

I recently rebuilt the transmission on my 165k 2002 Ford Explorer, saving around $2000. I have taken videos on the entire process, and I have all the information needed. I will be updating this post as I edit the videos and upload them.

I don't know how many people are interested in such complex repair. Please post any question or interest in the subject.

Transmission types:
Ford Explorers come with the 5R55S and 5R55W. These two transmissions are almost exactly the same, only having small size difference in two internal gears, which does not affect any of the procedures necessary for rebuild. These transmissions are also found in Mustangs and Rangers.
The 5R55N and 5R55E are very similar to S/W but have different valve body and therefore cases. Some Lincoln and Jaguar have this transmission. Do not buy anything that is specific for these two.

Symptoms:
- The car took a long time to shift to most gears, specially 2nd and 5th.
- Took around 10 seconds to engage to D and R, unless I got to 3000 RPM, engaging very violently.
- I would randomly lose power, just like if I changed to N in the middle of the road.
- Absolutely no codes or engine light.

The problem:
- No transmission flush (at least to my knowledge) after 165k miles.
- All gaskets and rubbers were hardened and shattered because of the very old burnt fluid.
- Worn servo bores responsible for shifting problems, (fixed with new case).
- Sticky oil pump valve responsible for delayed engagement, (redesigned replacement came with Transgo kit).
- Internal clutches although none were burnt, the friction material was almost gone in all of them.

These transmissions all have the same "servo bore problem". The servos are metal pieces shaped like an umbrella. They move in and out thanks to fluid pressure. After years of use the servo carves a bigger hole in the aluminum case, allowing oil to scape through the bigger hole.

To solve this problem:

you can re-sleeve the case which requires you to take the case out.
In this video a professional drills and installs the only sleeve kit sold on eBay for $380. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW8eUe5VzOw
Instead, I bought a case that was already re-sleeved for $265. I took no risk in drilling my case and it is cheaper than doing it yourself.
OR
you can buy modified servos with a o-ring installed around them, which can be done from the outside.
http://www.fordservoboretransmissionfixsolution.com/
This solution does not last forever, and does not fix any other internal problem.

PDFs:
Removal:
https://drive.google.com/uc?id=0By4YZG4K4CV2Q1g3SkJ0OFNWamM
Rebuild:
http://downloads.bustedfingermotorsports.com/Ford Transmission Manuals/5R55W.pdf
All parts:
http://www.atpnz.co.nz/admin/uploads/5R55W.pdf

Necessary parts:

Ford 5R55W 5R55S Transmission Overhaul Deluxe Rebuild Kit 02-ON Mercury Lincoln $275 on eBay


Rebuilt Torque Converter $170-$30=$140returning the old one on Autozone


Transgo Shift Kit $65 on eBay


5R55S 5R55W Ford/Mercury UPDATED Transmission Case $256 from eBay's powertrainpartsplus




Transjel $11


MerconV Transmission Fluid 12x$6=$72



+$275
+$140
+$65
+$256
+$11
+$72
= $819


Necessary tools: (that you get to keep)

Socket kit, of course.

Torque wrench.

Pick set.

WD-40

Snap Ring Pliers $7


Dial Indicator $12


Transmission adapter for jack $65

Videos:

Disassembly:

Servo explained:

More videos coming..









The car has been working PERFECTLY 100%. It feels really good knowing that I was able to fix it. ^^
 
Last edited:

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drdoom

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Sounds good. To begin, what problem did you have, and what codes? Also does this involve sleeving the main case?
 


dubrike

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How much did the tools needed to perform the rebuild cost?
The tools I needed were pretty standard. There's a Ford tool to get the oil pump out, but most people do not use it :D. The prices are updated now.
 
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5whiskey

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Subscribed. My tranny feels kind of weak and sometimes slips for a half second on a shift (mostly going into third)... but I don't have the major issues that you reported. I'm gonna ride on mine a little longer before I make repair plans, but I'm pretty sure I'll eventually need this.
 


JoshMcMadMac

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It looks like you should add in ~$300 for a new solenoid pack. This is an awesome write up for doing it yourself, although personally I think I would stick with buying a remanufactured ETE transmission for ~$1600.
 


dubrike

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It looks like you should add in ~$300 for a new solenoid pack. This is an awesome write up for doing it yourself, although personally I think I would stick with buying a remanufactured ETE transmission for ~$1600.
I didn't have the symptoms of a bad solenoid, so I didn't replace it. If it ever fails it would take an hour to replace. There's no need to take the tranny down.

I called several shops around the Atlanta area and they all told me it'd be about 2700$ for a rebuilt transmission, and I'm guessing they would charge me more for installation..?
 


JoshMcMadMac

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I didn't have the symptoms of a bad solenoid, so I didn't replace it. If it ever fails it would take an hour to replace. There's no need to take the tranny down.

I called several shops around the Atlanta area and they all told me it'd be about 2700$ for a rebuilt transmission, and I'm guessing they would charge me more for installation..?
Original solenoids fail, sooner or later. If going through the effort of rebuilding the transmission, it is definitely advisable to replace all of the parts that are prone to failure.

I cannot speak to rebuild costs in your area. I personally encourage the use of ETE transmissions through RockAuto. A properly remanufactured 5R55 transmission with an excellent warranty can be had through them for ~$1600.
 


dubrike

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Original solenoids fail, sooner or later. If going through the effort of rebuilding the transmission, it is definitely advisable to replace all of the parts that are prone to failure.

I cannot speak to rebuild costs in your area. I personally encourage the use of ETE transmissions through RockAuto. A properly remanufactured 5R55 transmission with an excellent warranty can be had through them for ~$1600.
I agree. If you are not going to enjoy rebuilding it yourself you should't do it.
 


EXPLORER04

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It looks like you should add in ~$300 for a new solenoid pack. This is an awesome write up for doing it yourself, although personally I think I would stick with buying a remanufactured ETE transmission for ~$1600.
This is the route i went. $1400 from rockauto and you can use the 5% discount code. Plus cant beat the 3yr unlimited mileage warranty.
 


mikeinri

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I applaud this thread. Anything that can demystify an auto tranny, even if having the work done by someone else, is priceless!

Mike
 


Number4

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Did you have prior experience with rebuilding transmissions?
 


dubrike

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Did you have prior experience with rebuilding transmissions?
No. I have done some things in my car such as wheel bearing, alternator, and spark plugs. I'm just a college student.
 


drdoom

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Dub have you seen my 5R55E thread?
 


dubrike

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Dub have you seen my 5R55E thread?
That's awesome. Now that I've taken one apart I know the big challenge (and accomplishment) it is to rebuild a AT. Did everything work fine after the rebuild?
 


dubrike

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So is anybody interested on more videos? I don't have much free time anymore. I'll make them if requested.
 


drdoom

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Yes, I have over 60, 000 miles on that build.
 


ICoull

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The tools I needed were pretty standard. There's a Ford tool to get the oil pump out, but most people do not use it :D. The prices are updated now.
I used a bearing puller [the split halves type] to clamp on to the oil pump shaft and then pulled it with the usual two jaw type puller. Worked very well.
 


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