5R55 Repairs

Lincoln LS

  1. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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    For anyone unlucky enough to have bought one of these... :eek:

    There are a few solutions to make this transmission work as it should:

    1) Fluid - get rid of the crappy "Mercon V" and put in actual Mercon V
    Symptoms - You won't really notice anything except the failing solenoid
    2) Solenoid - the factory "Mercon V" ruined your solenoid
    Symptoms - delayed engagement from P to R/D and from R to D
    3) Servos - the battle of aluminum vs. steel will always be won by steel. Always.
    Symptoms - 5th gear fails; if you hold steady speed at ~60ish you'll feel a hard shift from 5th to 4th and back to 5th quickly and violently; and crappy shifting into 2nd
    4) Spring - the 3-4 spring has a very good chance of breaking on you.
    Symptoms - You'll lose 4th gear (and 5th is made from 4th)

    I pulled my tranny thinking that I would just replace it. Unbeknownst to me - I would be rebuilding it. :(

    I yanked my tranny ;) to do this. It could be done in the car but the cursing budget would be at least double.

    First thing - the drain plug. Toss it. The 3/16 allen will strip on you. New ones are Torx and don't strip.

    Next is to pull the pan.
    Build043.jpg

    If your pan looks like this:
    Build054.jpg

    then you're good. Wipe it clean and you'll be good to go:
    Build055.jpg

    If your pan looks like this:
    Build040.jpg

    You're screwed. Get another tranny.

    Drop the filter:
    Build044.jpg

    Then the reverse pressure switch (V8 only):
    Build045.jpg

    Then the bottom plate:
    Build046.jpg

    Then the reverse pump:
    Build047.jpg

    Next is the spent solenoid:
    Build048.jpg

    You want to make sure that the bore is perfectly clean for the electrical connector:
    Build049.jpg


    While you're in here go ahead and plan to replace the 3-4 spring.

    Start by taking of the gear indexer:
    Build050.jpg

    And then a bunch more bolts to get the valve body off. Be sure to remove it slowly as there is a spring and ball that would love to find a corner of your garage without you knowing:
    Build011.jpg

    There are three bolts holding on the gasket plate. Once you take them off DO NOT tip the valve body as there are three tiny balls that will disappear:
    Build012.jpg

    Getting the spring out kinda sucks.

    Make sure you're going after the right one:
    Build013.jpg

    Then you have to remove the retaining clip:
    Build014.jpg

    The cap is a little trickier, but it is threaded:
    Build016.jpg

    Then pull out the old one:
    Build018.jpg

    The replacement is well worth the ~$5:
    Build019.jpg

    They look nearly identical, but only one will fail on you:
    Build020.jpg

    Reverse the steps and you're going in the right direction!
    Build021.jpg

    I bought my valve body gasket, gasket plate, and solenoid from Maxx because one email got it done. He is the best Ford parts source and now my first call for my trucks, Mustang, and LS. I cannot say enough good things about him. He keeps his attention focused on your success and there aren't enough Ford guys out there like that.

    The next task is the servos. These can be difficult! The snap rings suck and the covers don't like to come out.

    First grab a couple tiny srew drivers. (Never abuse a tool unless it says Snap-on):
    Build057.jpg

    Hit one with a hammer to open a gap:
    Build058.jpg

    Then work your way around:
    Build059.jpg

    The cover can be much more difficult. The intermediate is nearly always a PITA. The OD is usually a bit easier. Grab a couple standard screw drivers:
    Build060.jpg

    And work them as a pair to pry as levers:
    Build062.jpg

    You will want to quit many times before these give up. You may only get .001" per pry but keep going; they'll give up. Eventually.

    You'll want a spray can lid to catch the wee bit of fluid:
    Build063.jpg

    I bought servos from Andy at http://www.fordservoboretransmissionfixsolution.com/

    They're $230 well spent!

    He uses actual Ford parts and then machines a groove for an O-ring. The mechanical engineer side of me says "Brilliant!" And he uses viton o-rings. The chemist side of me says "Perfect!"

    The other option is to completely disassemble, drill, and sleeve the case because of this piss-poor factory engineering. Uncool. :mad:

    These are a great long-term fix.
    Build025.jpg

    But there's a bit more work to do. The O-ring needs a bit more of a camfer to fall in than the factory machines. Grab a drill and go SLOWLY:
    Build029.jpg

    And be sure to remove all metal bits:
    Build030.jpg

    I use a brass bar and tiny taps from a three pound sledge to set these and put the caps back on. BE SURE TO PUT THE SPRINGS BACK ON.

    You should then be back to a complete tranny:
    Build065.jpg

    The top line is the cooler return line and I keep it off until clear red fluid runs from it to assure complete removal of all old fluid.

    If you are attempting this (or planning to) and have question you can pm me here or email me at mike@mikeyswood.com prior to starting. Overall it should cost ~$450 from Maxx, ~$230 from Andy, ~$50 for a filter, spring, and sensor from http://www.transmissionpartsusa.com, and ~$100 from an AutoZone or similar for Mercon V. Under $1000 and a day's work to make this shift as smooth as an eighteen year old t*t. Not bad at all!
     
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    • Right on the Mark

      Right on the Mark Dedicated LVC Member

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      Great write up! Way it should be done.
       
    • nelliott500

      nelliott500 Well-Known LVC Member

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      I hope to never have to do any of this (other than the solenoid... I'm expecting that), but this write-up is amazing. Great job.
       
    • mikeyswood

      mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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      If you're doing (or having done) the solenoid you will want to do the spring because that $5 part will cost you an additional $120 in fluid and filter.

      The servos can be done separately but I would also encourage you to do it all at once so you can enjoy a perfect transmission.
       
    • Shredicus

      Shredicus Dedicated LVC Member

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      Holy Moses that's a good write up.
       
    • nelliott500

      nelliott500 Well-Known LVC Member

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      For now, I don't have the means to pull the transmission on the car since I live in an apartment. I'm hoping it lasts for another 1.5 years before I need to do anything like that. By then, we should have a house and a garage.
       
    • G-RELL

      G-RELL FULLY DIPPED LS

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      another thread bookmarked.... Thank you sir.
       
    • mikeyswood

      mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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      I'm thrilled to offer some help to those that have helped me.
       
    • col batitong

      col batitong Active LVC Member

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      Good job! can we sticky this?
       
    • hite337

      hite337 Hite Performance

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      Very nice write up! One question. the spring and ball you speak of finding a corner in your garage...I found this spring but not the ball when I did my shift kit. I had no idea where it came from and didnt re-install it. The trans seems to run fine but I'd like to know if the ball goes on the trans side of the spring or on the valve body side of the spring? Its the spring in the middle of the trans where the valve body goes in this pic correct?
      Build011.jpg
       
    • mikeyswood

      mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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      That would be the intermediate clutch fluid inlet tube seal and spring. There is no ball there.

      The three Jesus parts are under the the valve body gasket that's held on with three bolts. If you invert the VB with the cover off they'll fall out just as you turn your head as to not see them. They're sneaky bastards!
       
    • hite337

      hite337 Hite Performance

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      Thankyou very much. I knew I didnt see a ball fall out but you never know. I will be tearing my trans apart again in the near future and I plan on putting that spring back in now that I know where it goes....thanks to your pic. Once again, great write up.
       
    • davemeradith

      davemeradith Active LVC Member

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      damn mikeys wood... if you're ever out in cali. get at me and ill pay you all the beer you can drink to do this for me :) I'm definitaley not attempting this myself.
       
    • Dewanjd

      Dewanjd 2003 lincoln ls

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      does anyone know how much this would cost if i took it to a shop.....ball park adverage i have a 2003 ls thats having issues with shifting.
       
    • nelliott500

      nelliott500 Well-Known LVC Member

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      All of the things that mikey outlined? A hell of a lot at a shop. They're not getting parts at a discount like you can through Maxx and the labor could be a lot if they decide they need to pull the trans to do it.
       
    • Shredicus

      Shredicus Dedicated LVC Member

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      Correction: They probably are getting them at discount but they're certainly not passing it on to the customer ;)
       
    • mikeyswood

      mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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      This would be ~$2000ish; and few dealers know about Andy's fix. :confused:
       
    • Tommy2011

      Tommy2011 LVC Member

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      So, all this information is great, but for someone that’s not even the least bit mechanically inclined, it still leaves me with many questions. My 06 Ls has 78k on it, and sometimes it will shift into P or R very rough. Sometimes it shifts from 2nd to 3rd really weird, almost like it’s slipping, and sometimes as I am slowing down it’s like the transmission is confused so it just jams into a gear. It doesn’t always shift weird, if I’m at a red light and floor the gas, it shifts beautifully! If I drive “easy”, the transmission seems to be ok, but in southern California if you drive “easy”, you’ll get run over. So I guess my question is, out of all the transmission fixes, what the heck do I need to fix, to make the car shift normal again?
       
    • mikeyswood

      mikeyswood Active LVC Member

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      Get it reflashed.
       
    • Tommy2011

      Tommy2011 LVC Member

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      Really? It could be something as simple as getting it reflashed? What does reflashing do? Sorry for all the questions, Just tryin to find a fix.
       
    • Right on the Mark

      Right on the Mark Dedicated LVC Member

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      Your trans is controled by a computer. Ford has noticed nitches with the stock computer program and has updated trans shift functions that can be uploaded.
       
    • Tommy2011

      Tommy2011 LVC Member

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      Cool! Thanks for the help you guys!
       
    • nelliott500

      nelliott500 Well-Known LVC Member

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      I'm assuming reflashing is a dealership thing? Or can anyone with tuning capabilities do it?

      Well, true. :lol:
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      If you want the new programming from Ford, you'll pretty much have to go to a dealer. I think that reflashing is usually covered by the standard diagnostic charge (about $100 in most areas).
       
    • nelliott500

      nelliott500 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Hmm... that's not too bad. I may have to do that. I've only got a little bit of a hesitation from P to D. Other than that, nothing noticeable.
       

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