The 5R55E and the infamous 2-3 shift flare issue | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The 5R55E and the infamous 2-3 shift flare issue

Thank! Any idea where to find the tranny info? Think 2002 is year they changed body/model midyear, I have the later (newer) body/model, so would think it is the newer tranny (5R55W?) any idea how do I dig this out would be appreciated.

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I think any dealer or trans shop should be able to tell you. There will be a code on the VIN tag on the door to use for the trans, I think. I think the V8 was always the 5R55W, but I'm not very sure.

Good Day,

I am new to membership on this forum but have been reading this forum for several years. I have a 2004 Sport Trac Adrenaline 4.0L SOHC V-6, and I am experiencing the 2-3 flare and have a couple of questions.

First - How do I find what transmission model I have? (5R55W/5R55E)?

Second - Where is the best place (Internet) to purchase -
* Revised Ford separator plate kit
* New EPC solenoid
* Bracket
* Superior Shift Kit

Any help would be appreciated...


I have been reading on this thread for some time. Lots of great insight and contributions here. I too, have a trans-disaster-mission in my 99 Ex Sport... I am not going to ask "how do I" "what parts do I need," as all of it is listed earlier in the thread. I would like to do instead is create a list of sorts, or flow chart:
>>>>>>NO REVERSE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
1)>Check to see if no reverse Manual and no 1st Manual
2)Check fluid and replace as necessary
3)If still no Reverse & Manual 1st Then Proceed To [relevant info...]
> If vehicle "Jumps" or "Snaps" into R a nd is accompanies by a "Bang" then drop pan and inspect for pieces of band, as this means the drum/band have possibly been damaged and a complete overhaul is nded...
>If the vehicle sluggishly lurches in and out of reverse inspect R servo** gasket/VB Gasket and bonded plate for obvious blow out.

** R Servo Gasket is difficult to seat, may need to reposition trans OR remove flex pipe/catalytic converter assy to effectivley seat gasket/servoe...
>>>>>3-4 Shift Flares<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
2) Replacement etc...
>>>>>4-5 Shift Flares<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
And So On....
Get the picture?

BUT Everytime I bring my laptop to work during the lunch hour to print the whole thread(s) so I don't have to go back n forth between 11 pages I get a message "Server Busy-Try again later"

I'll keep tryin to print this so I can make this flow chart and before I post I will PM all the members from years ago to make edits so it is accurate.

I am blown away by all the info on here, and from what I can tell The VB/GAskets are half the problem. It would just be nice to have a chart to refer to (maybe with hyper links to parts suppliers, and thread posts?)

I have the same issue as everyone else it seems on my 2003 V8. I tried adjusting the bands tonight and after torquing the stud then backing off 2.0 turns there is virtually NO torque on the stud anymore. I do THINK it improved the problem some and was really tempted to try it again maybe backing off 1 or 1.5 turns but knew I should get some more info first. Is that stud supposed to be that loose. It feels about finger tight at 120 in-lbs minus 2 turns.

It is tight at 120 in-lbs (otherwise it would never reach 120 in-lbs) but when i loosen it the required 2.0 turns it feels like it has no torque on it.

Is this normal.

My son's 97 Ranger STX 4.0 6cyl, with almost 200,000 on it is doing this. He took it to Ford and they told him it was his 31 inch tires causing it to happen. He want to AAMCO and they flushed it for him and changed the fluid but it is still doing it.

I took it to my mechanic and he couldn't pull any codes at all. It only does this when the engine warms up.

Lose bands?

Is it worth getting fixed with this many miles on it?

ALSO - How do I find out what tranny I have? I know nothing about cars.

I performed my first transmission flush today on a 5r55 and filter change and found the following?

Anybody can tell me what these are and why they were in the bottom of the transmission pan?



Spacers for the trans pan gasket. Perfectly normal.

You could fix or replace the valve body yourself for a lot less money. The 5R55E valve body rebuild diary has all of the information. If you decide to purchase a valve body, then take a look at this link:

Followed the link, added the upgrade options, got it in the mail, installed it and...

... 15 minutes into the test drive - 2-3 flare and flashing O/D light. Batteries on the PC were low so no pulling out Autoenginuity to get the codes tonight but I can take a wild stab at what it's gonna say.

P0721 will be in there.

Replaced the OSS sensor prior to the valve body change.


P0720 Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0721 Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P1000 ODB Systems Readiness Test Not Complete
P1900 Output Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent

Check the internal wiring harness with a continuity tester from one point to another, and the bulkhead connector for corrosion.

Thanks for the tip.

Any common places where continuity could be a problem? The entire underside of the sport trac looks like it earned it's money as a truck (on dirt roads) so I wouldn't be too surprised if something was up with regards to crud in connectors or some mangled connections.

I saw there was a thread or two with people having OSS sensor issues and electronic issues/wiring between those and the PCM. Hmmm - how long are the leads on the multimeter ;)

My first thought is that it's still a "hydraulic" issue as this still only starts to happen after the truck has been driven a while. I could always look at the obd2 software (With ford specific software) to see if its related to the trans fluid reaching a certain temp and a reduction of viscosity. I don't think there's a sensor built in that measures pressure - so i guess hooking up a pressure gauge would be a logical step at some point.

A 'sometime in the near future' project will be to clean everything up down there.
The bulkhead connector - is that the one close to the ecu that's close to the top of the firewall just to the left (passenger side when viewed from the front of the engine bay) of center - with the screw through the middle?

The bulkhead connector is on the transmission. It goes into the transmission, and connects to the solenoids. You might be getting intermittent codes if the internal wiring harness has breaks in the connections or if the pins have corrosion.


... since I don't have an owners manual and just got around to finding the section in the factory service manual on "how to correctly check the fluid level" it would appear that I've been doing it all wrong.

Fluid level between the two dots = good with fluid at ambient temp of 50 to 95F

Fluid level in hatched section on dipstick = good when fluid temp is 150 to 170F

I was in neither - inbetween the dots when temp was ~150F. Whoops - too low.

Oddly, at cold (~50F) the fluid was toward the lower dot but not below it but it didn't expand enough when at the correct temp to make it into the designated area - but only to 1/2 way between the two dots.

Maybe the temp sensor is giving incorrect data to my tester but when I added enough fluid to get it into the hashed section on the dipstick (155F) life was better.

I still get odd reading occaisonally if I watch the OSS data, so something is still amiss a little there. Maybe it's normal and the OSS sometimes can't keep up - but now it's not enough to flash the O/D light on the dash.

I still get a little flare - somewhere in the 300 rpm range. Sadly, I can't slow down the real time on screen data - I guess I'll have to learn how to capture that in Autoenginuity.

I do have a question about engine rpm, gearing ISS and OSS speeds - but that's outside the scope of this thread so I'll make another.

I still need to check the adjustment on the OD and intermediate bands though. Gotta figure out how to pry the end of the shift cable off. Looks like a plastic-on-plastic disaster (ball snapped on socket?)waiting to happen.

Oddly, my tester wasn't picking up any numbers of the OD drum speed. I saw it in the list of sensors so I took a looksie. I should take a look in the service manual to see if there is one. The output read a constant 0.

Oddball continuation of my little 2-3 saga.

So, I replaced the valvebody with a rebuilt unit featuring all the updates, tested solenoids and new bonded gasket. Over the course of the last two days I've been driving it for an hour or so each day and monitored the situation using Autoenginuity and the Ford specific sensor pack.

Things I've noted:

The Sport Trac drives fine when driven continuously from a cold start to 40 or so minutes. The trans temp with reach 160 to 165F and the fluid level will be towards the top of the hashed area on the dipstick. This period of driving has included numerous very hard accelerations from 5 to 70mph. It sounds like some bushings are worn in the back of the truck so I don't nail it from 0 - just roll it on for the first few mph and stomp the gas to the floor. All works fine.

If I stop to check the fluid level, which I have been doing to monitor the level because of the number of gaskets changed and the fact that I want it reasonably topped off, then shortly after moving off (the truck engine will be left on and in park during the stop) the OSS will throw a p1ssyfit and chuck a single P0720 and the corresponding P1900. If I clear these on the move then they won't return until a stop for more than 5 minutes. Not sure what is going on there - answers on a postcard if you have any ideas please.

Over the course of both test drives the past couple of evenings, just as I returned (after about 90 minutes) there was some pretty bad flaring just as I got home which was a little puzzling. I suspect some wiring issues... I've been bouncing questions off the autoenginuity folks and it appears that the ISO diagnostic network if farked on my Sport Trac - just another thing to fix. Thankfully diags for the trans come straight from the PCM not via the loop-de-loop daisy chained ISO...

So I'll be under the jallopy and in and around the dash with a can of 'clean my connectors', a little brush, a tester and a partridge in a pear tree...

So, I've been doing a bit of datalogging and discovered that my trans only has the 2-3 flare if the trans stays at 160+ (never higher than 170) for 20 minutes. If I drive at 50+mph then the trans never gets that hot and stays 140 to 155F. If I drive city streets and the temp gets up there, it's around 20 minutes before it starts to flare again.

Ran out of time to see if jumping back on the freeway and cooling the trans down for 20 minutes would lead to the 2-3 flare dissapearing for a while when I got back on regular city roads.

I still want a manual trans...

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External cooling loop control

Does your valve body retain the thermal external cooling loop control that opens when the torque converter temperature exceeds 150 degrees? If so, maybe your pump is weak and can't maintain adequate pressure when the external loop is open.