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Remanufactured Ford Explorer Transmissions

  • Learn about common Ford Explorer transmission problems
  • Everything you need to know when shopping for a Ford Explorer transmission for sale
  • How and when to buy a remanufactured Ford Explorer transmission
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Ford Explorer Transmission Problems & Solutions


By 1997, the Great SUV Craze was sweeping the country, and suburbanites were rushing to trade in their stodgy minivans for the latest Hunter Green-and-Tan sport utility vehicle. The midsize Ford Explorer had become one of the hottest trucks in its segment, so Ford decided to one-up the competition by giving their popular kiddie hauler the world’s very first 5-speed automatic transmission. The innovative 5R55E transmission initially proved quite reliable, but common Ford Explorer transmission problems tend to set in as the miles rack up. The same goes for the later 5R55W and 5R55S. V8-powered 2006-2010 Explorers got a new 6-speed automatic called the Ford 6R60. This gearbox was designed by the German transmission company ZF, and built by Ford at their plant in Livonia, Michigan. Like the 5-speed Ford 5R55 transmission, the 6R60 transmission can start to develop issues over time, which could leave you thumbing a ride back to the cul-de-sac. So lets look at some of the most common Ford Explorer transmission problems, and see how you can solve them once and for all.


Common Problems with the Ford Explorer 5R55W / 5R55E / 5R55S Transmission


Slipping Between Gears / Complete Loss of a Gear

To shift gears, little electric plungers called solenoids route pressurized ATF through veins in the valve body. This activates a piston that forces a friction-lined metal transmission band to squeeze against a spinning clutch drum, which engages/disengages a gear. If any one of those components starts to fail, your Ford Explorer 5R55W Transmission won’t be able to properly change gears, stay in a gear, or even engage a gear. To address these known weak points, every SST remanufactured 5R55W transmission receives numerous upgrades, including new pre-tested solenoids with updated connectors to prevent moisture from corroding the solenoid. The valve body is recalibrated to improve pressure control. The big metal clutch drums are tested for hairline cracks and integrity. And the transmission bands feature a thicker, more durable friction material.


Common Problems with the Ford Explorer 6R60 Transmission


Rough Shifts

As your Explorer racks up the miles, you may start to experience rough or erratic shifting behavior, and transmission error codes. This is likely due to excessive wear on the clutches, clutch drum, and bushings. To extend the life of these components, every remanufactured Ford Explorer 6R60 transmission receives heavy duty bushings, sturdier clutches, and all of the clutch drums are tested for damage, and replaced if necessary.

Common Problems with the Ford Explorer 5R Transmission and 6R Transmission



The Ford 5R transmission and Ford 6R transmission are both susceptible to overheating. If you do a lot of towing, or driving in heavy traffic/mountains, the transmission has to work much harder than normal. The additional friction from the moving parts generates extra heat, which the stock cooling system isn’t equipped to handle. That heat will severely damage everything from the seals and torque converter, to the transmission bands and clutches. So if you want to extend the life of your remanufactured Ford 5R transmission or remanufactured Ford 6R transmission, then we strongly suggest that you install an auxiliary transmission cooler.


How to Solve Ford Explorer Transmission Problems


Option 1: Buy a Used Ford Explorer 5R55W / 5R55E / 5R55S / 6R60 Transmission

To save time and money, many people will buy a used 5R55W / used 5R55E / used 5R55S / used 6R60 transmission from a junkyard. But given the problematic nature of these Ford transmissions, it’s very likely that your new/used gearbox already has problems of it’s own. Most junkyards will usually give you another used transmission if the first one doesn’t work. However, the installation charges for that replacement transmission will come out of your pocket. And once you’ve spent all that time and money, you still aren’t guaranteed that used Ford 5R / used Ford 6R will last very long


Option 2: Buy a Rebuilt Ford Explorer 5R55W / 5R55E / 5R55S / 6R60 Transmission

If you don’t want the uncertainty that comes from buying a used transmission, then you might consider having your existing transmission rebuilt. However, most mechanics and transmission shops don’t have the equipment to inspect all of the hard parts (valve body, clutch drums etc.) for cracks, warpage and tensile strength. It’s also common practice to use OEM-spec parts for the rebuild, so trouble-prone components like the transmission bands and solenoids will probably wear out just as fast as the originals. Plus, the standard 1-2 year warranty might only be honored by a small number of shops in a specific area.


Option 3: Buy a Remanufactured Ford Explorer 5R55W / 5R55E / 5R55S / 6R60 Transmission

If you want to solve all of your Ford Explorer transmission problems, while simultaneously extending the life of your family truckster, then a remanufactured Ford Explorer 5R55W transmission / remanufactured 5R55E transmission / remanufactured 5R55S transmission / remanufactured 6R60 transmission might be for you. Every Street Smart Transmission is built in a state-of-the-art factory, and must pass multiple quality inspections throughout the process. Once all of the upgrades have been installed, the completed gearbox is hot and cold tested on a dyno machine to test the shift quality, and break in all of the new parts. This keeps you from having to go back to the shop to have something adjusted. And you can hit the open road with confidence, because your remanufactured transmission is covered by our Nationwide 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty. This will pay for any part and labor charges from   any licensed repair shop in the USA. And you can transfer the warranty to a new owner if you decide to sell the truck. So stop worrying about your transmission problems and give us a call at 1-866-812-7560. Or you can click here to check on the price and availability of a remanufactured Ford Explorer transmission.