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5R110W Filter Change

Until mid-2008 Ford trucks equipped with a TorqShift transmission, otherwise known as the 5R110W, came from the factory equipped with an inline filter installed in the cooler lines. In most instances this filter is a replaceable element inside a canister in the cooler lines (Figure 1). This requires the technician to remove the canister and replace the filter element after a flush service or a transmission replacement, at a cost of about $8 for the filter element.

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5R110W Filter Change

R&R Tech

Subject: Replacement of inline fluid filter
Unit: 5R110W TorqShift
Vehicle Application: Ford trucks before mid-2008
Essential Reading: Rebuilder, R & R 
Author: Mike Steen

R&R Tech

  • Subject: Replacement of inline fluid filter
  • Unit: 5R110W TorqShift
  • Vehicle Application: Ford trucks before mid-2008
  • Essential Reading: Rebuilder, R & R
  • Author: Mike Steen

Until mid-2008 Ford trucks equipped with a TorqShift transmission, otherwise known as the 5R110W, came from the factory equipped with an inline filter installed in the cooler lines. In most instances this filter is a replaceable element inside a canister in the cooler lines (Figure 1). This requires the technician to remove the canister and replace the filter element after a flush service or a transmission replacement, at a cost of about $8 for the filter element.

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About 10% of the fluid flowing to the transmission cooler passes through the inline filter element, which is a much-finer 5-micron element for better filtering over time. The transmission, of course, also has the 60-micron filter in the sump.

It is important to understand that you cannot flush the cooler and cooler lines with the filter element removed; the fluid would just bypass the cooler altogether.

What we recommend is to bypass the inline filter element and canister to flush the cooler, or use a spare clean filter element during the flush and install a new filter element after the flush.

In some 2007 and 2008 vehicles this inline filter element cannot be removed separately from the canister, in which case the whole canister needs to be replaced at a cost of about $80 (Figure 2).

In these applications there is no way to adequately flush the filter, as you can see in Figure 3, and the whole canister will have to be replaced.

Beginning in the middle of the 2008 model year, Ford changed the sump-filter design in the 5R110W (Figure 4).

This change also required a change to the transmission-fluid pan (Figure 5). The new-design sump filter eliminated the need for the inline filter in the later vehicles.

The later-design filter incorporates the same features as the early sump filter and inline filter, in that it passes a percentage of fluid through the finer-micron filter, but is all packed into one filter in the transmission pan. The late filter design doesn’t trap particles quite as small as the inline design did.

Mike Steen is the manager of Certified Transmission’s Technical Department.

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