Transmission Solenoid Question

Lincoln LS

  1. rgorke

    rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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    My ‘04 V8 sport is starting to shift hard between 3rd and 4th...the trans was serviced at dealership about 3 years ago.

    With searching the site it appears that the solenoid/valves are going.

    Is the solenoid like the cooling parts? Do I have to go Motorcraft? I see some rebuilt Motorcraft solenoids on the eBay.
     
  2. DaleGrib

    DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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    I went with a rebuilt and so far it's been fine. I think the main thing is to check out the feedback if you are looking on places like eBay. Obviously a New OEM part is your best choice in most cases but I think long as the seller is legit you will most likely be fine.
     
  3. rgorke

    rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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    Thanks!

    After watching this video, I feel a bit more comfortable being able to do the job myself.



    I don’t have a hoist and would be using jack stands. Biggest issue for me is getting the fluid level correct.

    Should I replace anything else while I have the pan and solenoid out?
     
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    • DaleGrib

      DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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      I know the transmission pan gasket is reusable but I replaced mine as a preventive measure. I would also recommend to change the transmission filter since you have it open. That's pretty much what I would do if only changing the solenoid pack.
       
      Last edited: May 11, 2019
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      • rgorke

        rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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        Thanks again Dale for your input.

        Over the past couple of days, I have read through many many pages of threads (even the one with Mr. "reset the transmission learning, it fixes everything.").

        This thread has a great explanation. 5R55 Repairs

        He suggests removing the valve body and replacing the "3-4 spring." Would replacing this spring be a good fix while I have the pan off and replacing the solenoid? Or is he working on a different version than what is in my '04 V8? The manual says that you need 2 "aligner tools" to reinstall the valve body. I could only find 1 on ebay at $40. Yikes!!! Unless someone has a couple they want to lend me....

        I will be ordering/have ordered:

        1) Motorcraft reman solenoid that comes with a lifetime warranty
        2) Special nipple insert for refilling
        3) Filter
        4) Maybe new pan gasket...just in case something is wrong with mine but I am not leaking anything.
        5) a set of metric flex-head combination ratcheting wrenches to get at the 10mm bolt, probably cutting the wrench to make it work.
        6) the "3-4 spring", if you all think it should be switched out.

        I also saw the updated $209 servos. Those look like a great upgrade but their site says you have to partially remove the tranny to replace them.
         
      • DaleGrib

        DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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        No special tools were used to do my 2001 Valve Body and solenoid pack. The only reason I replaced my valve body is because I had no reverse with no codes showing any issues. I had hard shifting and no reverse so I think I had issues in both of mine. I mean I guess if you have the extra money to spend it's not bad to get a valve body with a new seperator plate with the bonded gasket. It never hurts to go the extra mile on that transmission.
         
      • rgorke

        rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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        Thanks, I wasn't planning on buying a whole new valve body, just the one $5 spring outlined in the "5r55 Repair" thread. I may just leave well enough alone.

        And, am I correct in understanding that the 10mm "bolt from h*ll" on the solenoid connector is outside of the pan? IOW, one could unscrew the bolt prior to taking off the pan, right?

        Here are the pictures of the 3-4 valve spring:

        build013-jpg.jpg
        build016-jpg.jpg
        build018-jpg.jpg
         
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        • DaleGrib

          DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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          Yes! And it's a pain to get to that one bolt. I would say it's the worst part of the entire process! I bought a rebuilt valve body and solenoid for like $140 shipped so I am not so sure about replacing the spring inside the valve body.
           
        • clubairth

          clubairth Active LVC Member

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          Hope that fixes your problem but I have found a rebuilt valve body is most likely what you will need.
          I changed springs, solenoids and still had problems. Changed the valve body and perfection for the next 80K miles until I sold the car.

          One last hint-be sure and wipe the pan out good and clean the magnet. It will have "hair" on it and that's completely normal.
          .
          .
          .
           
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          • rgorke

            rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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            I got the new solenoid in...that 10mm bolt is a b*t*h. Once I figured out that the short ratcheting box end had to have the wrench pointing up to get it on the bolt.

            The shifting seems to be better but I’m not sure I did “learning” right. I drove around soft 5-6 miles then I was on the freeway for 80 miles. When I got off the freeway and coming to a stop, the engine stalled. It didn’t do this before. Is it due to relearning the shift patterns?
             
          • lincoln_zero

            lincoln_zero Dedicated LVC Member

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            Wow! ....

            I don't really understand how any of this is necessary unless you're super high mileage?
            My first LS, the 2002 LSV8, went to about 280,000 kms before I sold it, and never had to replace anything on the transmission, but a simple tranny oil flush at a 'Jiffy Lubes' drive through when I was around 150k.

            At what mileage have you all done your solenoid packs?
             
          • rgorke

            rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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            I’m at 240k
             
          • DaleGrib

            DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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            I am not sure how you could think that. There are quite a bit of threads on that transmission having issues with the solenoids and valve body.
             
          • DaleGrib

            DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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            I never had to do a relearning process on my car when I changed that out. It worked perfect upon changing out the valve body, solenoid and the plate with the bonded gasket. Is your CEL light on and do you have access to a scan tool to see if anymore codes show up?
             
          • lincoln_zero

            lincoln_zero Dedicated LVC Member

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            Well because, my first LS (2002) never experienced anything of the sort. My wife's (2005, also sold, now has 220k+) never experienced anything like it either.
            My current LS is 2004 with 119k on it, and this thread has me paranoid.

            I mean I'm learning about it all now.
            How many Kms on your LS Dale when you did the solenoid?
             
          • joegr

            joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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            2004 was among the worst for solenoid problems. Chances are that the somewhat defective fluid and solenoid assembly have both already been replaced on yours. (There was a sort of recall on the fluid where they added something to it when you took it in.)
             
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            • DaleGrib

              DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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              120,000 Miles but mine is a 2001 Model not a 2004. I just know the solenoid is a problem in general for that series of transmissions. I think the big difference was they don't typically have the band problems so much in the Gen 2 version. I just know after I had my valve body and solenoid pack changed, it shifted like a dream and I got all my gears back.
               
              Last edited: May 30, 2019
            • rgorke

              rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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              Any thoughts on the downshift hesitation? Otherwise, the shifting seems much improved...
               
            • joegr

              joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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              Sorry, no.
               
            • DaleGrib

              DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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              Do you have a check engine light on? Have you checked with a scanner to make sure there is no transmission codes?
               
            • rgorke

              rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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              no CEL, no codes...
               
            • DaleGrib

              DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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              I would say take it to a transmission shop but finding a honest shop is gonna be hard. They always want to replace or rebuild a transmission and never seem to want to check it out. Not sure if it's cause they don't know what they are doing or if they are just a bunch of dishonest people in general. Even the one shop in town that I would say that I trust said with my transmission having no reverse they would have rebuilt it and not replaced the solenoid or valve body. This forum is what saved me from getting bent over because I had went to 2 shops to have my transmission checked and both said rebuild the trans that would be the only fix. I wish I had an idea of what is going on in your case but I don't. How did the fluid look in the transmission when you dropped the pan? Did you notice any metal?
               
            • rgorke

              rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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              Thanks...no metal or pieces in the fluid nor was the fluid too bad. It had been changed a few (3) years back. Fortunately, the car doesn’t clunk or jerk or grind shifting gears. Just periodically not fully shifting all the way down to low gear coming to a stop, particularly an abrupt stop...like “oh the light is changing...maybe I can...no I’m going to stop...” kind is stop. If that makes any sense.

              The other “idea” is having my PCM checked out. I have read some threads on here that the PCM could cause some problems.
               
            • DaleGrib

              DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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              Ouch that sucks the only other thing I would say is find a honest dealership to check that out. Pay with your credit card that way if they BS you have some recourse.
               
            • lincoln_zero

              lincoln_zero Dedicated LVC Member

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              Hesitation between gears could be:

              *Lack of hydraulic pressure
              *Worn or broken transmission bands
              *Worn out gears
              *Torque converter issues
              *Low fluid levels
              *Burnt fluid
              *Clutch problems
              *Solenoid Problems

              (from this site Reasons Your Transmission is Slipping)

              A thought I'm having: A weak battery might play a role. I've read that if the solenoid is not getting enough power, it can sometimes cause slipping or hesitation, or not shift at all. Check your battery and check your alternator voltage.
               

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