5R55E Archives - Transmission Digest
What is that Unpleasant Grinding Noise?

John Griffin confronts a 5R55E unit with oil-pan bolts wiggling such that the pan is shifted past the mating surface of the block.

4R/5R55E: Engine Stall on Engagement after Rebuild

A local general-repair garage brought a 5R55E transmission and converter to a transmission shop for a rebuild. The transmission came out of a 1997 4.0-liter Ford Explorer with 216,456 miles on the odometer. The shop had the correct rebuilt transmission and converter in stock, so exchanging the change-over parts was all that was necessary to return the unit to the garage.

Is It Safe to Drive?

Knowing about specific transmission problems still doesn’t stop folks from asking whether it’s OK to keep driving their vehicle. A customer has a 4L60-E transmission that has no reverse, second or fourth and he wants to know whether he can drive it to work this week or would it last until his next payday. Another customer has a 4T65-E with a P1811 code and wants to know whether they can make a trip over the weekend, or yet another customer who has a 5R55E with a broken third-gear band wants to know whether it is safe to drive.

4R44E, 5R55E Case-Wall Movement and Comebacks

I’ve heard complaints of blown-out valve-body gaskets, loose valve body bolts and various otherwise unexplained symptoms due to cross leaks in Ford 4R44E through 5R55E units.
These problems are usually accompanied by an odd wear pattern or “fuzzing” visible on valve body gaskets and witness marks on the separator plate (see Figure 1).

Valve-Body ‘Kibbles & Bits’

In all the years of building transmissions, I think the worst thing that could happen is having the R&R guy, manager or owner come back after a road test and tell you, “It’s not working.” All of a sudden you get this knot-in-your-stomach feeling that makes you wish this were not really happening.

Tools That Money Can’t Buy and They Pay You to Use

This article addresses special tools relating to 5R55E and 5R55W/S transmissions. If you have worked on these units, you’ve already discovered how difficult it is to isolate slip codes and TCC problems. These tools are specific to the 5R units, but you can use your design creativity, a cut-off tool and a drill to make test fixtures from other parts as well.