Valve Body Rebuild this Weekend 5r55e | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Valve Body Rebuild this Weekend 5r55e


Well-Known Member
October 4, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
Glendale, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer 4.0 4x4
Picking up these parts today for a VB rebuild this weekend

Superior Boost Valve Kit
Superior Shift Correction Kit
VB Gasket Kit
EPC Solenoid
Solenoid Wiring Harness

I'll post back and let you know how it went and if I can feel any change in performance.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Picked up the parts less the wiring harness they were out. Cost was $153 out the door. Getting excited.

Im looking forward to how you make out.

That is a good price. Hope it goes smooth.

Sucks. Took my time, basically all day, and buttoned it up everything looked great.

Now I only have park and drive. All gears are drive. Not sure how putting it in reverse and nuetral results in drive but someone I screwed up.

It's 130am and I'm kicking myself. Will tear into it tomorrow but I forsee an expensive shop bill in my near future.


Is the manual valve engaged?


thanks for the tip. i'll get into it soon and give an update.

ok so the manual valve was not correctly positioned. good news, now it is.

bad news, took it out for a test run and it slips in reverse and 3rd. it did not do this prior to the kit.

so... did I bork the kit install or did I bork the clutch because of the manual valve issue? Because it's definately borked.

Have you checked what central valvebodies wants for a rebuilt valvebody?

Hopefully the guys here that know what they are doing can help.
Sorry, I hate that sinking feeling when you put so much work in to something and it goes horribly wrong.

yes i'm beating myself up over this. trying to stay positive (fooling myself ftw).

if youre thinking about doing a VB rebuild yourself ---- practice on your neighbors car first. :thumbsup:

i have a valve body replacement going in tomorrow (i'm not putting it in). it wont have the shift kit but it does have all the updates already incorporated into it which is a plus.

better work. if this doesnt i'll have a 5000 lb bird feeder and have to go buy a bicycle.

Well, my hats off to you for giving it a go.

Laying on your back installing, and reinstalling a valve body/transfer pan is no fun. Adding, and reading fluid is no fun either. I feel your pain.

It would be nice to know where things went bad, but I doubt we will ever know.

Don't let this discourage you though. I think you picked a tough, high risk job to do. Springs, clips, filters, solenoids, check valve bearings, gasket surfaces, little oil passage ways to be cleaned. Nightmare to do the first time on your own.

I bought a rebuild from a online place that it turns out has a very bad reputation. I was lucky and it was a success story. I didn't install it myself, either.

The new VB runs $418 plus another $200 to install, fluids, etc.

If you could post up the instructions to that shift kit or find them online and post a link I will look them over to see if anything jumps out to me that could cause the problems you have.

Can you post a link to the kit you used, like "JK080" suggested. :)

I would also suggest the following::thumbsup:

1 - Very carefully go back through the instructions with the unit on the bench and check it piece by piece.
- Is all the L-retainers in the correct location?
- Is all the balls in the correct place?
- Did you line up the VB with pins when putting back together?
- Check the VB gaskets?
- Did you torque it by the book?

2 - Install new "D-rings" on the first/reverse servo and replace the servo gasket.

3 - Adjust both of your bands (both; tighten to 10 ft-lbs, and then back off 2 turns)

If the after the above and the transmission still fails; Then I would order a valve body from CVB's, and get a new harness and an updated solenoid bracket.

- I would also get a new TCC solenoid as it is also modulated (CVB's installs used "tested solenoids").

If all the above fails, then it's time for a rebuild. And if you do go the rebuild route, I would definitely make sure all (3) servo bores are checked and new servos used, and definitely still use the D-rings on the first/reverse servo.

I'm going to pick up the explorer shortly, it's ready from the shop. Got him to come down on the price a little to $600 cash out the door.

It was definately the valve body. Said it drives good as new now with the replacement in.

I will never know what happened or where I screwed up. He said he needs to return the core to the manufacturer so I wont get the opportunity to dismantle it. Also this is my only car so I'm eating 50 a day on a rental so I need to get this fixed quick.

The parts I used are:

4R44/55E/5R55E Boost Valve & Sleeve Kit (Superior K037 )
4R44-E/4R55-E/5R55-E Kit (Superior K4R/5R55E )

You can read about the kits on the Superior Transmission website.

Total cost of learning your lession
153 VB parts
30 pan gasket and filter
50 fluids
60 shop supplies
600 VB replacement
150 rental car for 3 days
= 1,043 to fix a 15 year old explorer that wasnt broken to begin with...:party:

Yup, we all have those stories.
They sure hurt.

Update on this?

Is it still running well?
I'm in a bit of the same boat and about to try a third valvebody.
It'll be one from Central Valvebody though.