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**SOLVED** 5R55E No/Weak Reverse, 1st Engine Braking Works


Clayton

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Depending on what exactly they did to the VB, I'm pretty certain that when I modified mine installing a "shift kit", part of the procedure was removing some of the check balls. I'm trying to dig up the instruction manual and pics I took when I did it to verify that. There was alot of moving things around, replacing this with that, drilling holes, making holes smaller, I can't remember it all.
Oh, interesting, I didn't know that. That said, with the check balls from my old VB, I'm back to square one, which is better than where I was with no check balls. They say they use the TransGo kit, which I can't find instructions for online. I've emailed TransGo to try and get a copy.
 


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Clayton

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Got busy with work/life, but found some hours here and there.

There were indeed supposed to be check balls in the VB. I contacted ShiftRite and at first they were apologetic (though didn't offer any sort of refund for wasting my time troubleshooting their error), then I figured no big deal I'll just see if they have any input on my continued issue. I typically wouldn't expect free consultation from a shop for a DIY'er, but it seemed the least they could do after wasting a day of my time, however many quarts of ATF, and a good serving of frustration. Well, they thought different I guess. They stopped replying. Oh well, their business practices will catch up with them.

Anyways, I ordered Sonnax 56532-01k, a reverse servo sleave kit as a last resort before dropping the trans and digging in. Not sure if I mentioned, but the filler neck was corroded and leaked, which caused fluid to drip all down the passenger side of the trans and onto the cat-- I pulled that, cleaned it good, and jb welded it. Well, when I went to pull the pan to get at the reverse servo again I noticed there was still a leak. With the cat and the heatshield there, I couldn't really see up there. Well, I cut out the exhaust, pulled the shield, and guess what I found...



Intermediate servo cover snap ring must have corroded and failed, letting the servo cover cock to the side, pinch the o-ring and create enough of a leak to cause the gear that requires the highest pressure, reverse, to not engage or have weak engagement. Kinda crazy, I drove the truck 200+mi home like this! I was able to get the snap ring and had a close enough O-ring on the shelf. Case casting that retains the ring doesn't seem to be damaged at all. Truck drives as it should now. Gear engagements can come with a bit of a clunk, but nothing too harsh, and from what I understand this is a feature of the shift kit that came in the VB I bought. Had the dealership special order the correct o-rings-- I'm going to replace the OD servo cover snap ring too and may as well do the O-ring while at it.

So that's it. Thanks for all the help everyone. Automatic tranmissions were mystical magic boxes to me before setting out to solve this issue, and while I haven't by any means mastered them, I have a good foundation from which to troubleshoot them. That wouldn't have been possible without all the generous assistance offered in this thread. So, again, thanks!
 
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Dirtman

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Wow... I've followed this since the beginning and gotta say two things.

You stick with stuff well beyond the point where most people would just say "eff this I'm selling the truck or getting a whole new transmission".

And your dedication to problem solving and following up on it here with info, pics, details etc so we can all learn is awesome.

Really glad you discovered some hard evidence of the issue. Report back again when you get the servo cap fixed!
 

19Walt93

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Glad you fixed it and posted the fix. I never give up either, it's not stubbornness, it's persistence and determination. If you give up you lose.
 

Clayton

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I think I'd have a much harder time falling into frustration if I were a pro working on a customer's vehicle-- but since it's my truck, it's choose your own adventure. I actually bought the truck on the cheap (thanks to the no reverse) planning to v8/manual swap it, but it's a FX4 4.0 with a seemingly strong engine. If I could solve the transmission problem, it wouldn't be an LS with a t56 behind it, but I'd be pretty happy coming from my old base model single cab 2.5lima former fleet ranger. Also, I'm just curious and like to figure out how things work. If I pulled the trans, I likely would have dug into it just to find the failure point and better understand how it works, but then go ahead with the v8 I have on the stand. If you have one rigid fixed goal, every other outcome is a failure-- I guess I have a sort of philosophy along the lines of: move with determination towards your goal, but allow your curiosity to lead you down promising diversions and to alternate goals as they present themselves.
 

Clayton

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Oh, I forgot to mention, to get the cocked servo cover out, I used the biggest welding clamp I had to go from the cover to the driver's frame (other clamps or a ratcheting spreader to the driver side frame would work, this is just what I had.) Then I used another clamp to pull the trans the other way, since the first clamp just pulled the whole trans on it's mount. Then I used a drift and lightly tapped the cover until it popped back in place. Once realigned, I was able to painstakingly work what was left of the ring out. Then, finally, I started up the truck and did a stall test (firmly apply brake, put in gear, blip throttle to ~3k), which produces enough pressure to push the cover free. I forgot to put a catch pan under the servo before doing this. Don't be like me, unless you like having several quarts of ATF on your floor.
 

Transman304

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Great job! Kinda makes you feel good. Thanks again for posting the fix.
Brad
 

Clayton

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Forgot to update-- got the correct O-rings in from Ford and had a friend with a lathe turn down the pitted/slopped edge of the covers that contacts the snap rings. May not have been necessary, but I've seen posts of people who had the snap rings fail within months, and my best guess is that the covers themselves were the issue or a part of the issue. Have only driven in the neighborhood because this truck isn't plated yet-- need to address a bunch of small things before I make this my daily, but the transmission feels great.



Again, thanks for all the help, and I hope this thread helps someone else down the line.
 


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