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Servo pin wear on the bore of 5R55W transmissions?

Servo Design

The servo design basically looks the same. Without measuring actual bores I could definitely machine some of these also with some additional tool holding. I will check these out thanks!:p:
 



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Modified servo installed, so far, so good.

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I thought my experience might be helpful to someone facing the same issue.

I've been having the typical symptoms of a worn OD servo bore on my 02 w/ 150K. Trans was previously rebuilt by the Ford dealer at 37K and, from what I can see, the bore was not sleeved at that time. Not wanting to pay for a full rebuild at this point and not having the facilities or skills to sleeve the bore myself, I decided to take a chance on the ebay fix sold by a1e.

It took me about 4 hours to complete the installation. I managed to do the install on jack stands without dropping the exhaust y-pipe. I did have to cut out the cat heat shield to get enough room to work so I'll have to fab up a replacement for it at some point. And I did spend a good chunk of time on the r/r of the OD servo snap ring due to the limited amount of space (and probably my lack of skills). I've also not attempted the other servo just yet.

But the replacement OD servo seems to have done the trick. The 1-2 shift is now fine (seems to be the same as I remember it when new). It will be interesting to see how well the o-rings on the replacement servo hold up. But for now I'm extremely satisfied and would recommend this fix to others with the same issues.

Nice job, a1e - I figure you've saved me about $2K in repairs.
 






What are the symptoms of this problem?

I just bought an 02 Explorer XLS 2wd. Currently the transmission has some hard shifting between 2nd-3rd, but the thing that makes me wonder is that from reading online about this issue is that sometimes the 5th gear will go out. When I am driving down the road at about 70 my rpms will jump from 2000 up to 3000+ does that mean that my 5th gear is going out? I want to get the problem fixed but i do not want to spend money fixing the wrong things, and I am in college so I am still learning about cars. Thanks for the help!
 






I just bought an 02 Explorer XLS 2wd. Currently the transmission has some hard shifting between 2nd-3rd, but the thing that makes me wonder is that from reading online about this issue is that sometimes the 5th gear will go out. When I am driving down the road at about 70 my rpms will jump from 2000 up to 3000+ does that mean that my 5th gear is going out? I want to get the problem fixed but i do not want to spend money fixing the wrong things, and I am in college so I am still learning about cars. Thanks for the help!

Don't know the answer to your question, but I would suggest that you start a new thread, as not too many folks check this sub-forum, and your question might get more airplay. Do reference this thread with a link in your new thread, should you choose to do so.
 






Nice job a1e, should help a lot of people out. My experience tells me though that the O-ring fix will never be permanent. I have done quite a few mods to worn/leaking shafts where I would either machine the bore or grove the shaft to accomodate a o-ring and over time the movement WILL wear the o-ring out. This may buy you more time before a rebuild but eventually the bore will need to be fixed correctly. Just my .02 Cheers
 






bought the bores from a1e and the install was easy and fast. Had a broken OD bore once things were apart. Problem is solved for now, at 77,000 miles I thought Ford would have done better.
 






Is this O-ring fix still available? I'm having the same problem w/this junk transmission (I miss my 99... that vehicle was excellent for me... until the windstorm dropped a 40' Maple on it)
 












5R55S Servo Bore Wear

This information might help everyone on the Servo Bore wear on the 5R55S/W. I'm going through it right now.

I've got an 03 Explorer 5R55S and when accelerating from a stop to about 30mph the 1-2 shift starts, although it tries to shift and lags and the rpms go
up and up until about 5K and then eventually it catches and completes the shift. Also, no overdrive and the OD light flashes.

I knew that the Servo Bores could be worn and I didn't want to half disassemble the transmission while still in the truck to figure that out. I decided to do a rebuild myself and removed the transmission and inspect everything on the bench.

Removing the transmission wasn't to hard. The hardest thing was removing some broken frame bolts where the transmission mount cross member connects to the LH frame rail due to rust and one bell housing bolt on the top passenger side. Can easily do this with normal tools. You will need an impact driver for some of the frame bolts as they use loctite and you'll need a 12pt 12mm socket for the drive shaft bolts.

The only special tools I needed to completely disassemble the transmission were: Slide Hammer which you can rent from most parts stores $40 but I get refunded when I return it. OTC 307-397 Front Pump Removal Tool. Basically clamps onto the pump shaft and use the slide hammer to remove the pump assembly. Then everything else comes out after that. I bought the OTC tool from Ford because I have a discount, it was $110 but I've seen it online for $125. You absolutely need it!

After disassembling the transmission (145K on the Odometer) the only thing that was worn was the Low/Reverse Band Assembly, the friction material was getting really low in some edges. That was basically it for the internals within the case.

The valve body didn't look to bad after disassembling that either.There was some minor wear on the Cooler Bypass Valve but that was about it. Have to install a new bonded separator plate during rebuild too, like a gasket.

Removing the Servos was another story. I removed the Overdrive Servo and found that it was cracking but didn't look like it went all the way through. Poured some water in the servo itself to see if the water went through the crack and it did. Cut the pin off the Servo since I wasn't going to reuse it anyways (Both servos are like $20 each from Ford, Buy new Ones if you're removing them). Put the pin itself in the case bore to see how badly worn it was because you can't really tell when you shove the whole servo in (seals take up the slack), just the pin in there and there was some huge slop, up and down, no side to side slop. It was pretty clear that I had some good leakage there and from the cracked servo itself too.

Talked with two transmission shops. Said when the bores where out, the pins get stuck in grooves and it puts added pressure on the servos themselves, then they start to crack. They said they do at least 2 Servo Bore jobs a week!!! So I knew from the start that it was a fluid leakage problem. When the tranny fluid was cold, it would shift okay but when the fluid got warm it had real trouble. Cold fluid is thicker then warm/hot fluid so it took up some of the slack.

So if you got issues like my Explorer has, plan on taking your time and removing the transmission from the truck. Pull the servos out (you can remove the snap rings easier) cut one of the pins off one of the servos and slide the pin in the bore and check for slop. If it does have major slop, do the rebuild from there because you have to completely disassemble the transmission to do the machining work. I budgeted $800 to do my full rebuild. $280 for the master overhaul kit from Ford.

By the way you don't have to buy the Servo Bore or Sonnax Kit to do the bore reaming and sleeving. That's like $350 to $500, I'm having a transmission shop repair my case for me for $125! Easy and it's done correctly. Just call some shops and tell them what you got.

I haven't started on assembly yet but have most of the specialty tools. The ATSG rebuild manual found on Ebay or TransmissionParts.com is a necessity for rebuild $25. I should have my rebuild done in a few weeks, In a couple months if anyone is interested, you can buy my specialty tools from me.
Also got a couple of Sonnax upgrades coming too.

You guys got questions email me mcrawley@live.com
 






I saw the thread on this but wondered if it is really worth doing or not, I replaced the solonoid because well it was def bad (it helped the shifting immensely however it still overrevs going into 2nd) what is the likelyhood that the transmissions bands are out of adjustment vs it being this servo problem, I have the 3 codes for gear 2 and 5 ratio, as well as for the solonoid b malfunction... it seems like it is def this issue... so should I really still go through with doing the band adjustment?
 












Band Adjustment

My Transmission has 145K on it and the two bands that you can adjust: Intermediate Band and the Overdrive band were barely even worn. Brand new they only have about 2 to 3/32nds of friction on them. My used ones have about 2/32nds. Tough friction material. And even if you were to adjust them, I'm pretty sure the tranny could take up the slack of 1/32nd by itself. Also the nuts that secure the adjustment bolt have seals in them. So once you loosen and tighten them, it may eventually leak. I'd probably start looking at the small servo which is the Overdrive Servo on the side of the case. It applies for 2nd and 5th gear. That is where all my issues were. Remove that servo from the vehicle and inspect it for cracking around the top. Pour some water in there and see if it leaks through. Punch or cut the pin off and slide the pin itself into the bore of the case and check for slop. Bet you have a ton.
 






My Transmission has 145K on it and the two bands that you can adjust: Intermediate Band and the Overdrive band were barely even worn. Brand new they only have about 2 to 3/32nds of friction on them. My used ones have about 2/32nds. Tough friction material. And even if you were to adjust them, I'm pretty sure the tranny could take up the slack of 1/32nd by itself. Also the nuts that secure the adjustment bolt have seals in them. So once you loosen and tighten them, it may eventually leak. I'd probably start looking at the small servo which is the Overdrive Servo on the side of the case. It applies for 2nd and 5th gear. That is where all my issues were. Remove that servo from the vehicle and inspect it for cracking around the top. Pour some water in there and see if it leaks through. Punch or cut the pin off and slide the pin itself into the bore of the case and check for slop. Bet you have a ton.

thanks for the info Mercy, don't suppose there is an idiot proof guide to doing this anywhere is there? I've done alot of base mechanic work but nothing w/the particulars of the transmission or internal engine so honestly any help would be great
 






Right Here

I'm using this manual, it's the best and lays it out in simple to understand terms and has illustrations for everything removed. The tools are what makes it complicated. There is a section in the manual that shows all the tools that you need to do the job. Here is what I budgeted for my rebuild:

Ford Overhaul Kit, $280
Servos, Valve Body Upgrades, Fluid, Misc Parts, $200
Labor to Machine Servo Bores at Shop, $125
Specialty Tools, $300

You can also buy a used transmission with all the same issues, probably working fine at the moment for around $900. Try this site, it will search all areas.

Good luck!
 












Right Here

I'm using this manual, it's the best and lays it out in simple to understand terms and has illustrations for everything removed. The tools are what makes it complicated. There is a section in the manual that shows all the tools that you need to do the job. Here is what I budgeted for my rebuild:

Ford Overhaul Kit, $280
Servos, Valve Body Upgrades, Fluid, Misc Parts, $200
Labor to Machine Servo Bores at Shop, $125
Specialty Tools, $300

You can also buy a used transmission with all the same issues, probably working fine at the moment for around $900. Try this site, it will search all areas.

Good luck!

i was under the impression that just doing the servo's would be fine... tbh i'm not looking for something that will last for 250k miles... honestly 150 miles so i can trade this one (god i miss my 99 :-( ...) towards anything... this whole thing the fact that ford knows about this issue and did nothing, similar to how the spark plugs can blow out of some of the expeditions because of sub par headers... i loved my 99 and have been a ford man my whole life... but at this point i'm not sure anymore... and i was hoping for the free online version of the guide... for the cost you just quoted me i can take it to a local guy and have it done for probably about 200 plus parts... which i might do and just buy the servo upgrade
 






5R55S Rebuild Assembly

After getting the transmission case back from the machine shop to have the intermediate and overdrive servo bores machined, I started on assembly. The machine shop even boiled the case for me to make sure all the shavings and debris were clear from the case. I bought a tub of green Trans-Jel which is much like Vaseline but it is meant specifically for automatic transmissions. The gel does not clump like Vaseline does and it holds very well. The Trans-Jel is absolutely necessary as you will be "sticking" bearings and o-rings to objects where they would normally just fall off making assembly extremely difficult.

I started by installing the new detent spring plate in the transmission. This plate is what has the notches in it and is what you feel when you actually shift the shifter on the column. My plate was all worn out and was very sloppy. This is really the only mechanical wear besides the servo bores that I found in my transmission. Now the shifter is tight and feels very smooth, brand new.

Assembling the parking pawl and 4wd housing plate on the end of the transmission was tricking. It took awhile to get the parking rod aligned into the hole of the plate because the parking pawl lever constantly had spring pressure. I held the lever open with a pick while I slid the housing down onto the rod. Took me about 5 tries to do it. Then I double checked to make sure the tranny engaged in park before I torqued the bolts down.

After that, assembly was fairly straight forward. I did run into and issue when I got to the center support snap-ring. Every thing that I had assembled put the snap-ring grove just below the center support so there was no way I could get the snap-ring in. I had to take a few items out and wiggle them to see what didn't fully seat. Something finally clicked and then I was able to reassemble and install the snap-ring.

I added some Sonnax upgrades to my valve body and my oil pump too. A new relief valve in my oil pump was an easy install. You need an alignment tool to make sure the two halves of the oil pump are aligned together. This is so the torque converter won't wear on the seal or the bushing abnormally. Also, I bought oil pump alignment dowels, which proved very handy. Installed the dowel pins in the case, where the oil pump would be bolted to. Used the Trans-Jel to stick my orange selective washer to the under side of the assembled oil pump. There are tabs that must be aligned and you have no idea if they will be if you lay the washer in the transmission first and then put the pump in. Then I set the oil pump on the dowels and pushed it in as far as it would go then used the bolts to drive the pump in. Then I unscrewed the dowels and put the remaining two bolts in.

I built a box out of wood to hold the bottom of the transmission while I installed it in the vehicle. Not safe to put the jack directly on the pan. Since my truck was on jack stands, it was really difficult to get the transmission back in. I had to slide the transmission on cardboard under the vehicle. Then install the transfer case on the transmission. Then I had to lift the transmission up to get the wood box underneath and then had to get the jack under the wood box. Ha, took me 2 hours to get the thing installed. I aligned my torque converter stud with a flex plate hole before I got the transmission close to the engine to make things easier.

What surprised me about assembling the suspension was that even though I cranked on the bolts to make sure they were tight, when I used my torque wrench to torque the bolts to their specific torque, I was still way loose. Those M12 crossmember bolts need to be tight! And I just put the transmission in park when I hand torqued the rear drive shaft bolts. Install the most upper passenger side bell housing bolt first, then install the upper left hand one. The bracket that holds the fuel and evap line will get in the way if you tighten the left hand one up first.

To fill the transmission, I bought a 18 npt fitting that had a hose flare on the end, wasn't a barb. Then I bought a qt/g oil pumper for about 8 dollars. Installed the fitting in the drain plug and pumped about 5 qts into my transmission. Started the vehicle up for about a minute and shifted through the gears. Shut the engine off and pumped in about 3 more qts. Then after that I had the engine running while in park. I'd pump a bottle in and then take the hose off and see if it would give me a steady stream overflowing out. If it just trickled out, I pumped another bottle in. I got to the tenth bottle and half of it overflowed out. So a complete rebuild with some fluid still in the converter, takes around 9 or so qts of Mercon V.

Shifts great, no lag between shifts and is not sloppy in the shifter. I spent about a total of $900 to do my rebuild and it took me about 4 days to do it.
 






any free ideas here?

Hi All,

Well I replaced the solonoid first, and then the servo's with the upgraded ones, and still no change, still shifts at too high of rpm's from 1-2 and I'm not 100% sure it goes into OD (what should rpm's be at 60mph... mine are about 22-2500). Still throwing shift solonoid b and gear ratio 2 and 5 incorrect codes... went to ford dealer (well got screwed by one as they didn't diagnose a damned thing and charged me 120 for it because they were too ignorant to get it when i told them 5 different times on 5 different calls that I needed it back before the end of the day 4 times on calls to check on it the day of as well as actually about 4 times on the initial call to schedule the appt for it to be looked at). They claim to have hooked it up to a computer and that it doesn't need an update... no parts in the transmission pan so not a broken band (well at least not in theory) are there any connections worth checking to make sure something isn't just messed up w/the electrical? or anything else free (or cheap) to check? it ticks me off that I'm already out over 500 and it still isn't fixed (also that the dealer even though I told them I had replaced the servo's and solonoid insisted on wasting time checking the solonoid)


ok to summarize for those who don't want to read the full rant, replaced solonoid, servo's with upgraded ones, no band/strut parts in transmission pan... doesn't shift hard but just not at right rpm's from 1-2 and no od i think... what can i check for cheap/free? Considering having the transmission flushed as the fluid is very very crappy looking but dealer insisted that it wouldn't fix it and in turn i didn't drop 170 on it yet... will do it after its fixed


thanks in advance,
JC
 






Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I thought my experience might be helpful to someone facing the same issue.

I've been having the typical symptoms of a worn OD servo bore on my 02 w/ 150K. Trans was previously rebuilt by the Ford dealer at 37K and, from what I can see, the bore was not sleeved at that time. Not wanting to pay for a full rebuild at this point and not having the facilities or skills to sleeve the bore myself, I decided to take a chance on the ebay fix sold by a1e.

It took me about 4 hours to complete the installation. I managed to do the install on jack stands without dropping the exhaust y-pipe. I did have to cut out the cat heat shield to get enough room to work so I'll have to fab up a replacement for it at some point. And I did spend a good chunk of time on the r/r of the OD servo snap ring due to the limited amount of space (and probably my lack of skills). I've also not attempted the other servo just yet.

But the replacement OD servo seems to have done the trick. The 1-2 shift is now fine (seems to be the same as I remember it when new). It will be interesting to see how well the o-rings on the replacement servo hold up. But for now I'm extremely satisfied and would recommend this fix to others with the same issues.

Nice job, a1e - I figure you've saved me about $2K in repairs.

Ordered my upgraded servo today. How is your tranny holding up?
 



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Hi All,

Well I replaced the solonoid first, and then the servo's with the upgraded ones, and still no change, still shifts at too high of rpm's from 1-2 and I'm not 100% sure it goes into OD (what should rpm's be at 60mph... mine are about 22-2500). Still throwing shift solonoid b and gear ratio 2 and 5 incorrect codes... went to ford dealer (well got screwed by one as they didn't diagnose a damned thing and charged me 120 for it because they were too ignorant to get it when i told them 5 different times on 5 different calls that I needed it back before the end of the day 4 times on calls to check on it the day of as well as actually about 4 times on the initial call to schedule the appt for it to be looked at). They claim to have hooked it up to a computer and that it doesn't need an update... no parts in the transmission pan so not a broken band (well at least not in theory) are there any connections worth checking to make sure something isn't just messed up w/the electrical? or anything else free (or cheap) to check? it ticks me off that I'm already out over 500 and it still isn't fixed (also that the dealer even though I told them I had replaced the servo's and solonoid insisted on wasting time checking the solonoid)


ok to summarize for those who don't want to read the full rant, replaced solonoid, servo's with upgraded ones, no band/strut parts in transmission pan... doesn't shift hard but just not at right rpm's from 1-2 and no od i think... what can i check for cheap/free? Considering having the transmission flushed as the fluid is very very crappy looking but dealer insisted that it wouldn't fix it and in turn i didn't drop 170 on it yet... will do it after its fixed


thanks in advance,
JC

FYI. i had the servo from A1JE installed today because i couldnt get the old one out. All is well and shifts like new. Your symptoms were exactly like mine, 1-2 shift over rev.
 






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