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

Good thought Dale, any drop of pressure would hurt shift qualities.
 



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Curiously curious.

Not too far off the mark. Turns out that the external trans cooler had a nice leak off the passenger side hose. Chop, chop, snip, snip, clamp, clamp... works like a champ.

I was wondering why things would work fine until the trans stayed >160F for any length of time. Kinda makes sense now.

That said - the new addition to the family will be picked up on Friday - a 03 Sport Trac with a fecking MANUAL transmission :D and a nice 1943mile drive back home :)
 






just a question

Ok so I am basically (long story) and new owner of a Gen II X and the previous owner in passing mentioned a "occasional slip between 2-3." So I found this link and have been reading . . . wow. Now before my question a short poor me moment. The truck all but caught fire and I am trying to fix that and then drive it half way across the country. I am having to replace the main harness in the cab of the truck along the dash so funds are drying up fast. Here is the question that I think I know the answer but I want some feed back. The owner says it is occasional depending on how hard it is driven and it usually only present on acceleration ramp. I want to drive this with my family from GA to CO and all the while tow a trailer with a Toy Hy lander on it. Do I deal with it once I get to CO, do filter and fluid, the bonded gasket and EPC solenoid, the gasket, solenoid, and separator plate kit or the entire rebuilt VB from a vendor. I have never driven the truck yet so I have to go off of what the owner is saying but I am just getting the "peanut gallery's" (intended as a complement) opinion.

:usa:Geoff:usa:
 






Fix first

The shift flare will probably increase as the ATF heats up and the external cooling loop opens. That usually takes about 20 minutes of typical driving but will happen sooner if towing a Toyota Highlander. You will be placing a considerable strain on the transmission and risk breaking down with two vehicles instead of one. I suggest that you perform the valve body upgrade first. I also suggest that when you drain your ATF you check for metal particles in the pan and filter. Your problem may be more significant than just valve body separater plate gasket blow out.

Be advised that while your Explorer has a towing capacity large enough to pull the Highlander there are numerous restrictions to consider. State laws typically require breakaway emergency brakes on a towed vehicle weighing more than 3,000 pounds. This is why most vehicles are towed on a dolly or trailer with a battery to apply electric brakes. U-Haul requires that the towing vehicle weigh 750 pounds more than the vehicle being towed. Also, U-Haul limits the maximum weight for a front wheel drive vehicle towed on their dolly to 3,500 pounds. Many U-Haul managers refuse to rent any type of trailer to be used with an Explorer.
 






Ditto.

Also know that owners of V8 Explorers the same model as yours have had overheating ATF on long tows.

The capacity of the transmission cooling system(radiator and extra cooler for towing option), it is not sufficient for heavy loads for any long distance. The V8 trucks begin to overheat the ATF after a couple of hours. No one wants to stop for hours at a time to cool down a vehicle on a long trip.

The V6 trucks have the identical potential cooling system, given the same towing option and model. I'd bet the V6 trans makes a little more heat for a given load. So just expect the ATF to be running very hot.

For a heavy load I would definitely add a much larger ATF cooler into the system, bigger than the stock towing cooler. Good luck,
 






Ok so I am basically (long story) and new owner of a Gen II X and the previous owner in passing mentioned a "occasional slip between 2-3." So I found this link and have been reading . . . wow. Now before my question a short poor me moment. The truck all but caught fire and I am trying to fix that and then drive it half way across the country. I am having to replace the main harness in the cab of the truck along the dash so funds are drying up fast. Here is the question that I think I know the answer but I want some feed back. The owner says it is occasional depending on how hard it is driven and it usually only present on acceleration ramp. I want to drive this with my family from GA to CO and all the while tow a trailer with a Toy Hy lander on it. Do I deal with it once I get to CO, do filter and fluid, the bonded gasket and EPC solenoid, the gasket, solenoid, and separator plate kit or the entire rebuilt VB from a vendor. I have never driven the truck yet so I have to go off of what the owner is saying but I am just getting the "peanut gallery's" (intended as a complement) opinion.

:usa:Geoff:usa:

So you've bought the truck but have yet to drive it?

If your Hylander has the V6 Tow package I'd use that the tow the ailing Sport Trac. It has a seperate engine oil cooler as well as a air and water trans cooler and can handle 5,000lbs

I wouldn't go cross country, towing a heavy vehicle in a mini-truck with an ailing transmission. Don't forget that you'll literally be going uphill and into a headwind most of the way - given that CO is significantly higher than GA and the prevailing winds come from the West. Figure that Denver is about 5,500ft and Colorado Springs is ~6,500ft

The thought of pulling a vehicle the same weight that I'm driving for that distance and in the hills... Not my ideal choice either. This time of year you'll be facing the possibility of dealing with the snow and the big rigs just tearing **** up going up the freeway inclines while all the cars flounder.
 






reply

Swampy1970

I was trying not to be too long winded. I have not given the "owner" any money. The owner is my next door neighborer. I have not driven it bc he was deployed and when he got home it would not start. It is his third car. We had to do a fuel pump and battery. While he was gone his tags expired. We have moved it from his back yard to my driveway. I was inquiring bc I will be getting out of the service soon and it will be a quick time line. So I am trying to do as much as I can being proactive bc I think we will get the tags and then we will be moving. The 98 X was just driven here from CO in 2008 towing a trailer w/ motorcycles and then it was parked. I just don't the worse to happen and me be oblivious.

If this comes off as brash it is not meant that way.

Geoff
:usa:
 






Quality Transmissions & Parts of Florida

Has anyone on here used this company for trans parts? They have a lifetime warrenty on their VB and they are 80 bucks? Big difference to the 250+ I am reading about.

Geoff
:usa:
 






Has anyone on here used this company for trans parts? They have a lifetime warrenty on their VB and they are 80 bucks? Big difference to the 250+ I am reading about.

Geoff
:usa:

I don't know about that company, but there are only two reasons to change a VB.

Do it because there is something very wrong with yours, and a good used stock VB is desirable. Or do it because the used VB you buy has the aftermarket modifications done to it that are helpful to correct inherent VB issues.

My point is that every 5R55E needs a VB kit installed, all of them. It doesn't help much to buy another used VB without that already done to it. These symptoms aren't in every vehicle, but potentially they will be.

So ask your source what is done with those VB's, are they just used or are they upgraded as you have read about here.

I think the $250 price that others have paid is high for what amounts to maybe 20 minutes of VB labor, plus the core VB. I know VB's are not cheap. But I would always try very hard to maintain the original VB in its trans. Buying a critical part like a VB is taking a big chance, not knowing anything about the vehicle or previous owners.

I would find a way to have the work done to the existing VB, unless the current trans was burned up(debris throughout the trans).
 






Hello, I'm a new member (wife truck) MY name is Forrest. Have a 2002 Sport Trac 4x4. Transmission problem. 102000 miles. Gear changes ok 1st thru 4th. When it changes to overdrive 5Th the rpm's go up 250 to 300 and gear ingages. I can run it and lock the overdrive out and the gear changes properly and i engage the overdrive and the gear changes properly. Diagnois code reads po 741, Torque converter slip. I see in your forum, the issue is from 2nd to 3rd gear. I had a transmisson shop work on it and they put in a complete sonnex valve body. The transmisson then gave problem changing from 2nd to 3rd gear. My valve body was then checked for any leaks and evey thing in tack. The shop reinstalled the valve body and new fluid. It works ok except for the rpm gain going to 5th gear. This all began when I started a trip to Florida. running at interstate speed the rpms suddenly increased about 250 rpm. the overdrive lite started blinking. I checked overdrive and would lock in and out properly but the rpm's remained up about 250 to 300. Thats when I had it checked at a ford dealership and the diagnois was made showing code # PO741, Torque converter slip. Being the week end I returned home about 250 miles. The truck gave me no more problem RPM's normal at 70 to 75 mph rpm"s 2500. A week or so later it started acting up again. Im now at a loss . Should I go ahead and replace the torque converter or do you think the EPC solenoid should be replaced. Thanks wife truck.
 






You get what you pay for...

Has anyone on here used this company for trans parts? They have a lifetime warrenty on their VB and they are 80 bucks? Big difference to the 250+ I am reading about.

Geoff
:usa:

This is the same company that is listed as 800700trans that many people on this forum and others have had major issues with... I bought one of their valve bodies and was unimpressed with the product I received...

They seem to change ownership/management/leadership quite often and their products are questionable as far as the quality or newness are concerned...

Do a search on 800700 and see what I mean...
 






I have an 05 v8 X and i have this flair or hesitation thats been going on for about a year now. Started around 65k car has a little over 70k on it now. I was wondering if 05 is this same trans that you guys are talking about. Most of the responces i've been reading on this thread have been from guys with 99-02 X's.

Would like to get this fixed. Looks like i need to change the VB, epc and bracket? Whats this going to cost me in parts to change?
 












You could rebuild the valve body. Check the sticky threads in this section for more information.

as a college student that just finished finals and read the first 5 pages on this thread, :wtf::crazy: my brain is about to ford explode.

Whats the straight forward fix and parts needed?
 






It's a valve body issue, so rebuilding the valve body should fix it. You have a 4R55E transmission. The separator plate is different than the one which is used on the 5R55E as well as the EPC & TCC solenoids.
 






Well by now, if you are either a loyal reader of this sub forum, or possibly have an Explorer with a 5R55E, you are used to hearing complaints about the so-called 2-3 shift flare. Simply put, many folks experience a situation where, at the time the transmission is shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd gear, the rpm's jump a little before the actual shift occurs to completion and they are fully engaged in 3rd gear. Sometimes this problem can get SO bad that it is needing to be addressed. I usually recommend a VB rebuild, and a replacement of the EPC solenoid. In most cases this works and fixes the problem.

Yet, in the 5R55's we are seeing this problem becoming a major one at relatively low mileage... sometimes as low as 60-70,000 miles (and in the case of the 5R55W - another thread soon - more so). What gives?

Let's take a look, and I'll solicit some expert views from a new member on the subject.... WAYYYYYY smarter than me.

First off let's examine what all happens on this shift.

The Coast Clutch (OD clutch) "May" be applied - One thing
The Front Servo (OD band servo) "IS" released - Thing number 2
The Intermediate Servo (Intermediate band servo) "IS" applied - Number 3
The Forward Clutch "IS" Applied. (No change it stays applied in all F gears - no big deal)
The Reverse Servo "IS" Released - Thing Number 4.

The main 4 things that happen, are all interrelated and have to happen in a timed sequence.... a neat trick, controlled by the computer. Key to all this is line pressure control exhibited by the EPC solenoid, and the computer controlling how it all comes together - a nice dance if you will.

Why is all this so tough? Well remember that in the 5R55, the 5th gear on a 4 speed was derived by overdriving first gear to get a 2nd gear (effectively making it a 5 speed). Now, in one felled swoop, we drop the OD and Reverse and add the Intermediate Band to make the 2-3 shift.... a LOT going on more or less all at once. Often a problem child. Without computer control? Nearly impossible.

Wanna see what happens in the typical shift? This graph, provided by "new" member Allbert, shows the "flare" in the normal, or at least not unusual, operation of the 5R55:

Outlook.jpg


See that little obvious blip? It is about 250 RPM's in the "normal shift". Compare that to the 3-4 shift (next drop on the chart - where only ONE thing happens, the application of the intermediate band... see?

The question becomes - why does this ultimately become a HUGE problem (BIG RPM jump) for some folks and how can it be fixed?

My typical answer is, when the RPM jump becomes a large one and is a problem...is: change the fluid, rebuild the VB and upgrade it, and very importantly, replace the EPC. And most of the time, as I have said, it DOES fix the problem (and avoids a quoted $2000 bill for an unnecessary rebuild!)

At the end of the 5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary new member Allbert posted some highly technical and very interesting info about the design of the 5R55E EPC solenoid. Long story short? It is so highly precise in its tolerances and operates in such a fashion that it is terribly unforgiving of any contamination. Here is a cutaway look inside the solenoid, but what is more important than the precision, is the way it operates - for that you have to go read Allberts post on page 13 of the 5r55E VB Rebuild Diary. Here is the solenoid in cutaway view:

viewofsectionedBoschEPCfrom5R55modulewithnotes.jpg


MORAL? In the 5R55E, filters, even additional filters, are a crucial key to their longevity. Frequent fluid changes are a MUST.

Maybe someday someone will come out with a new design EPC that is more tolerant to contaminants.... hmmm.... I bet the new one might have a "normal" 2-3 flare that looks something like this:

file000.jpg


Now if that EPC could be more tolerant of contaminants, it would beat the pants off the stock one!

Stay tuned, this might be a fun ride guys. More to come...really exciting stuff.

Glacier

ps. All photos and graphs compliments of Allbert - I thank him.


""""Just to let you know it fixed my problem!!! I read this and went out and bought the valve body from 700800trans.com and they sent one for $140 dollars and my buddy put it in. The truck drive 100 times better and shifts perfect. I'm actually feeling some 4.0Liter power... lol...

Thanks ALOT! '

Lee
 






as a college student that just finished finals and read the first 5 pages on this thread, :wtf::crazy: my brain is about to ford explode.

Whats the straight forward fix and parts needed?

" Buy a valve vody from this site ( http://800700tran.com/prod.itml/icOid/80 ) Its $140 shipped and I had my buddy who is a tranny tech put it in just because there alotta bolts that have to be to spec. You could probably do it but I didnt wanna deal with it. Plus, he has a lift. My 2nd to 3rd gear shift flare was getting pretty bad and this fixed it. The gasket when he took it off was JUNK. I will take pics if people want them of bad gasket.
 






This is the same company that is listed as 800700trans that many people on this forum and others have had major issues with... I bought one of their valve bodies and was unimpressed with the product I received...

They seem to change ownership/management/leadership quite often and their products are questionable as far as the quality or newness are concerned...

Do a search on 800700 and see what I mean...

"I just had one installed yesterday and its workign great now. Maybe it wont tomorrow but it is now. They were fast, godo ppl to work with."
 






Ahhh the infamous 2-3 shift flare issue continues

Hello all.
I have a 2001 Ford Explorer LTD SOHC 6cyl 4.0 liter with a 5R55E 5 speed automatic 4x4 transmission.
Lately my ‘O/D OFF’ light has come on and the transmission fails to down shift at stops below third gear. The transmission stays in third gear while stopped at traffic lights. I own a DTC reader and find that when I reset the on board computer, the transmission reverts back to down shifting correctly. BTW there are no codes recorded, check engine does not come on. Also there is slippage shifting between second and third gear. (the infamous 2-3) I can get third gear to shift in by releasing the gas pedal for a few seconds and then it engages and I’m off and running as normal from that point on. I keep the DTC reader connected at all times and reset the O/D OFF warning whenever it comes on. This prevents me from starting in third gear at traffic lights.
I have researched this online and it seems that a replacement of the EPC solenoid should do the trick. I figure why replace one solenoid when you have access to all of them. Using that logic I have ordered all six solenoids 1 EPC, 1 TCC & 4 SS. Of Couse I’ll be replacing the filter and pan gasket too.

Here’s my question: can those solenoids be replaced from underneath while the transmission is still on the vehicle. I will be doing the job in my driveway using service ramps and wheel chucks and REALLY don’t want to drop the tranny.
Also, Can I get away with not removing the Main Control Assembly? I’ve never done this job but I am very mechanically inclined and can follow the diagrams and instructions with a high degree of competency so I feel confident I can do this but the instructions I have are for the complete dismantling of the transmission and does not mention any short cuts if you just want to pop in a new solenoid. My instructions have you remove the transmission and work with the pan side up. So in short; can I do this without removing the Main Control Assembly, while the pan side is facing down? What are the down sides to doing it this way if it is possible at all? Will I have enough clearances to remove and install the new solenoids?
I’m pretty sure that if I have to remove the Main Control Assembly I will probably have to replace the:
*Control Valve Body to Case Gasket, the *Control Valve Body separating plate and *separating plate Gasket. I’d like to avoid this if possible. The documentation warns of TCC & SS3 solenoids possibly popping out and talk about Main Control Body check ball locations. Now I’m wondering if these check balls will just fall out if I do this pan side down.
I’m tempted to pick up a used tranny and completely rebuild it in my garage. Swap the transmissions then rebuild and sell the original. Decisions, decisions.

Really; all I want to do is replace the solenoids with as little fuss as possible. Any suggestions, comments, critique will be greatly appreciated.
 



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That is a no big deal job, the solenoids are in the side of the VB. I don't think the VB has to come off for them all to come out. There is a bracket along one side which an old version would sometimes crack. I think that was before 2001.

Do that and be ready to have to work on the VB if that doesn't fix it. Often the VB gaskets will blow out in one certain area, due to high pressures and the long deep passages of the case there. There are a few other things you could do if the issue remains, all easily by R&Ring the VB.
 






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