Jay@BroaderPerformance.com (Login JaySOHC) from IP address 126.96.36.199
We recently purchased this trans for R+D purposes. The gear ratios would be real nice in a street car. I have torn it down and inspected it for performance potential. Sad to say it looks like a whimp. It has a small input shaft (.75 diam) and limited clutch area. I have been talking to a company who will make a controller for me. I would like to build it up and install it in our 66 Mustang to beat the hell out of and test it out. Anybody have any experiences with these units? Whats failing? What kind of power do they surrender to? The good thing about the unit is it is a bit shorter than a C6 and has a thick case. The trans does not come with a bell for the small block. This would have to be manufactured. Will this trans be the next hot swap? Opinions? Interest? I have a cost estimate of about $3000-$4000 for the trans, converter and electronic controller. Not an inexpensive swap. It would be worth it if it proves reliable in a car that is driven daily. The 3.2 1st gear would really wake up a whimpy motor and the OD gear would give good gas mileage. This trans is used in the 2005-2006 Mustangs. It weighs about 140 lbs.
Working at the Ford dealership I have seen quite a few of these trans. The most common problems with them are the solenoid packs failing. The information I had received from Ford's tech hotline was that there was an anticorrosive additive to bulk Mercon 5 fluid that would cause plastic bushings within the solenoid pack to swell restricting solening action. Normally, the symptoms were delayed harsh reverse engaugement and harsh 2-3. Sometimes a slipping shift was present. Earlier united suffered from some gear whine issues. Ford suggest replacement of the forward planet, ring and sun. I haven't seen much breakage, other than some stripped fwd clutch teeth. Also higher mileage units suffer from the OD and INT servo pin case bores having excessive eggshape wear. I have seen repair kits with reamers and sleeves availible online. I would say I prefer the 5R55N over the S or W. The N has an additional clutch pack that comes on in place of the intermediate band and houses a oneway clutch to be overrun when shifting into 4th (direct). Ford has had several revisions on programming for the S and W to minimize overlap issues. The N is found in up to 02 V-8 Lincoln LS and maybe T-birds, not sure.
Naming four similar transmissions the 5R55N, 5R55W, 5R55S and 5R55E kinda ressembles a compass which makes it quite appearant that Ford did not know which way to go with these transmissions.
Jay I am with you. At first glance they appear to be whimp of tranny. I have yet to step in one that accualy shifted "harsh" as say you can make the C4 or AOD. I would be affraid they would snap under a hard shift.
They crammed alot of shit in there - thats for sure.
As was mentioned...."hearsay" the selinoid packs fail (transtarindustries has a tech artical and some "aftermarket parts" I think for this - the webstie was down this morning). ALso the servo seems to leak and they have TERRIBLE overlap - far too grandma for me.
As for a controler....that would be the shit! You would think a company might be already making bells for SBF by now - but then again, you would have to have a manual VB or the "controler" you would talk about and I have not seen anthing of the such.
DO you think there is a possiblity to piggyback the 5R EEC to the SBF EEC? Correct me if I am wrond but doesn't the 5R have a stand alone controler?
OK I'm new here and this is my first post so if I'm screwing it up please don't throw too many rocks. I have a 5R55E and I am wondering how that differs from the W-S (or any other 5R55)? The trans came from an '03 Ranger 4X4. I am converting to 2WD (output shaft and extension housing) as the trans is going into a street rod behind the 4.0 SOHC it came with. Mark mentioned "some stripped forward clutch teeth," I have been told that the "part the output shaft splines into" is known to strip the splines out of itself if the wheels are spun on a slick surface under load and you suddenly get traction (like in the wet and you catch a dry patch). I am wondering if this is what I was told about. I understand the part is aluminum and the OE service replacement is supposedly steel. I have a Proquest printout for the trans and I think the part in quetion is the one marked 7M167. All the parts tech at the local dealer said when I asked what that part was called is "I don't know, I'm not a mechanic, just a parts guy." I appologise for not being more concise but I am an Aircraft Mechanic by trade. I have built race engines and the like but I have never been inside of an automatic. I would just buy another trans (2WD) but the only thing cost effective currently is a local wrecking yard that has a recycled one, but no warranty. The shop I am contemplating will at least warranty their work. I'm sure the trans will be strong enough for now but I am considering upping the output of the engine (boost) at a later date. I see some 6 pinnion steel planet sets and a hardend sun gear shell on Ebay but I don't know if that is what needs reinforcement. I have talked with Performance Automatic and Hughes Performance and they say they don't have anything yet. The only thing firm I was told was by one of the guys at Huges told me that the guys with the Mustangs that are puting the Procharger kit on their cars ar blowing the 5R55's up regularly. He didn't say what was breaking, just that they didn't have any beef up parts currently. Of course you have to figure something is going to break when you go from 210 ish at the flywheel to 400+ at the rear tires. But that is my point and why I think this post belongs in this thread. What can be done to upgrade/reinforce the 5R55 series and/or what does it need?
Our plan is to get a 5R55E and N also. The E is an older design that has a removeable bell and more basic solenoid controls. The stand alone controller is not a problem we can get that and set up the initial parameters on a dyno then put it in our car to get a real world test. The clutch packs are what concern me the most. The plates have small surface area and Im not sure there is room for adding more or larger clutches. The case bore can be sleeved in a bronze material for better wear. Sorry to say this is all going to take lots of time and money and may never be suitable for anything over 300 horse power. If we feel we can make it live to at least 400hp the project is a go. The good news is the gearing is really mostly beneficial for cars of lesser power. This trans can really wake up my wifes 300hp Mustang. Someone with 500+ HP is better off with a 4R70W.
We moved to TX in Aug of 2005. My wife is from here and wanted to move back.
The 5R55S,W,N transmissions are capable of running into the 11's in a mustang. This trans like most new 5,6 and up speed transmissions are torque managed. Fuel,cam timing and ignition timing are pulled out on most shifts to prevent breakage and increase longevity. Most breakage occurs when the tune is too aggresive or there is just too much power. The cases are prone to wearing out but can be sleeved. There are hardened input shafts available.There are performance cluthes and bands available also. Performance Automatic in Md.does make an adapter to put these behind a small block ford.It's a simple bolt up.They also have a stand alone controller. This trans does not have a speedometer hookup and does require a special driveshaft. I think you can buy the setup for about 4,500. thru Jegs or Summit.They will handle about 500hp in a street car as long as they are not abused.New technology is not cheap and most people would just use a 4R70W trans and controller.The new 6 speed is beefier but it to has some drawbacks. The 5R55 can be made into a 6 speed by changing the program, but the car isn't any faster,so sometimes more gears isn't better.Just more expensive.Just my 2 cents.
i ALSO thought of them being the next hot thing, however I can;t seem to find a way to "shift" them without spending a bit of money, and wire work. And then again, who would want to manually shift 5 or 6 gears, there is not enough detents for a MVB.
The VB is not traditional with "valves" and the solenoids do all the work.
the lack of matting options to SBF and whatnot is a bummer as well.
The guy who can come up with a way to fit one in a FOX MUSTANG or your 69, and make it a "simple" bolt in situation will hold the market for the "next big thing" however....my simple thoughts on why it won;t work is the AOD/4R are stronger, and accomplish the same goal more easy, still have the same OD.
I had the 5R in my fox body about a year to do the programing and work out the bugs.The results are really not worth the work and money involved considering the alternatives. The program and the adapter work great. There are issues with body clearance,crossmember,and you'll need a gps speedo or at least a new electronic speedo.The best shifter is the factory one,but there is some fabricating for that.The driveshaft isn't cheap.The easy part is getting a trans.It's alot of time and money after that.