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In This Guide
- Vehicle Compatibility – Makes & Models
- 5R110W Transmission Overview
- What is the 5R110W Adaptive Strategy?
- Simple Process to Expedite Adaptive Shifting Relearn
- 5R110W Tow/Haul Function
- Remanufactured 5R110W Transmission Updates and Upgrades
- What’s Included
Replacement 5R110W Transmission Prices:
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5R110W Vehicle Compatibility – Makes & Models
5R110W Transmission Overview
Although the 5R110W is listed and marketed as having five forward speeds, it actually has six forward gears. Two shift sequences exist in the transmission’s programming, and they respond to changes in temperature. The standard sequence starts at first gear, moving up through the numbers except for fourth.
Should the outside temperature drop below 5 degrees Fahrenheit as measured by the onboard thermometer, the transmission uses the alternate shift sequence. This one omits fifth gear. The reason for the change is to make the engine run faster and warm itself up.
What is the 5R110W Adaptive Strategy?
A special feature of the 5R110W TorqShift transmission is the use of a so-called adaptive strategy. This is an adaptive schedule that controls the timetable of a gearshift. It isn’t so high-tech that it learns how drivers handle the vehicle or what they’re most likely to do.
Instead, the powertrain control module (PCM) times how long it takes to complete a shift in gears, starting from the instant the system commands the change to occur until the shift is completed. It takes this value and runs it against the ideal shift times stored in the onboard computer.
The PCM then instructs the transmission to make the necessary changes in pressure. Therefore, rather than individual customization, the 5R110W aims to keep as close to ideal shifting intervals as possible.
Adaptive shifting in the 5R110W will not work if the vehicle is driven in one road condition. It needs a variety of conditions and terrain, as well as speed and load variances. The keep-alive memory, or KAM, stores the settings for pressure timing as they pertain to pressure regulation.
If that memory is lost or cleared, the transmission resets to default and has to relearn the process. Disconnecting the battery will lead to a loss of stored data. During the relearning process, the transmission will have rough shifts and periods of improper engagement. It takes time for the PCM to aid in the relearning process.
Simple Process to Expedite Adaptive Shifting Relearn
Although it’s possible for the PCM to learn the adaptive shifting schedule automatically, you can drastically reduce the time by following a specific procedure to get your transmission back in top shape quickly. The adaptive schedule updates all the time when you drive your vehicle normally. It won’t completely eliminate the initial roughness but will reduce the time necessary for the PCM to do its work. Here is a basic outline of the manual relearn process
First, start the engine and let them reach idle operating temperature. Don’t turn on anything like the AC or radio. Once this happens, let it run in idle for at least one minute. Next, turn the AC on and let the engine continue to idle for one minute. This completes the first phase of relearning
Next, put the truck into drive, and gradually throttle up from first gear all the way to fifth. Do so twice more with greater acceleration each time, the final time at full throttle as though you’re testing 0-to-60. Obviously, don’t do so in heavy traffic or if there are police around. Take the truck somewhere private or remote to really cut loose. This completes the second phase.
Finally, move your truck to flat, open ground and put the gear selector into neutral. Shift from neutral into reverse and allow the vehicle to move for three seconds. Ensure no obstructions are in the area and keep a foot poised on the brake. Next, shift from reverse to drive and wait for three seconds. Finally, shift back to neutral. Do the same thing again, but this time activate the towing switch because the settings for the transmission will be different and require a different calibration.
5R110W Tow/Haul Function
Another feature of the 5R110W TorqShift transmission is the switch for the tow/haul function, activated by a switch on the shift lever. The purpose of this switch is to make it more energy-efficient to tow heavy loads.
When you activate this switch, it turns on the torque converter lock while in lower gears This is an important safety feature when going down long hills to control the vehicle’s speed. When the gyroscope detects your truck moving down a decline, it automatically downshifts the engine to reduce speed and provides extra ability to brake.
Ford Transmission TSB’s / Recalls:
05-25-4: 2005-2006 Ford Super Duty 6.0L – Some models equipped with the 5R110W transmission may experience erratic shifting in Tow/Haul Mode, a late 5-6 shift in Tow/Haul Mode, a harsh 3-2 engine braking downshift, and potentially a harsh 5-2 downshift.
Solution: The powertrain control module (PCM) needs to be reprogrammed (WDS release B39.15 and higher or B40.2 and higher).
What are the DTC codes related to 5R110W transmission problems?
P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This 5R110W transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the 5R110W intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.
Tow/Haul Light Flashing – A flashing Tow Haul light on the Ford F-350 Super Duty acts as sort of a warning light to let you know that something is wrong with your 5R110W transmission. It can be as simple as a failed temperature sensor, or the valve body could be cracked in half. But you won’t know unless there was a DTC stored in the computer.
You can separate problems with the 5R110W transmission into two broad categories: mechanical and electrical. Mechanical problems include physical defects like stripped gears, clutches that have worn away, leaking fluid, and things of that nature. Electrical problems have to do with solenoids and sensors not working properly. It can be harder to fix electrical problems. It’s also possible for problems with the engine to be mistaken for problems with the transmission, so you should always make sure the engine is in good condition first.
Just as with the engine, the transmission has common diagnostic codes. Many code readers aren’t equipped with the 5R110W codes. One popular third-party software to read these error codes is AutoEnginuity. It can diagnose electrical problems and possibly some mechanical ones if they aren’t visible to the naked eye already.
If you’re attempting to diagnose problems with the 5R110W, note that it doesn’t have a regular valve body. Instead, it has a series of seven solenoids used for electronic shifting. Fittingly, this is called a solenoid body.
Just about everything in this transmission control-wise is electronic: pressure in the lines as well as shift cues works thanks to this group of solenoids. A solenoid, for the curious, is nothing more than a coil that creates an electromagnetic field. If you can’t see or detect physical damage like worn parts, check the solenoids and sensors.
You can generally find both electrical and mechanical problems by plugging a diagnostic reader into the transmission. Common errors generate a fault code, which is checked against the reader’s database. Issues that are detected will show up via the tow light on the dash. Should the light begin flashing, it means that the PCM has sent an error code.
Another part of diagnostics is checking the solenoids for issues. First, drain the fluid and remove the oil pan. Any debris like metal filings or parts of the clutch means the transmission is due for a replacement. Usually, there’s no way to fix them, because the mechanical parts have to be replaced.
To check the solenoid itself, place the probes of a multimeter against each pin and measure resistance by setting the multimeter to the Greek letter omega. You should get a non-zero reading. If you get an infinite or overflow reading, it means there is no circuit to create an electromagnetic field.
Common Problems with the F450 5R110W Transmission (2003-2010)
The Ford 5R110W TorqShift transmission is a five-speed automatic transmission that replaced the aging 4-speed 4R100 transmission. Although it was considered to be a 5-speed automatic, it actually had a 6th overdrive ratio that allowed for an alternate shift pattern in cold weather. At temperatures below 5°F, 5th gear would be skipped in order to increase engine RPM and bring the transmission up to operating temperature. The Ford 5R110W transmission also had full electronic controls, which allowed the computer to lockup the torque converter when the 5R110W Tow/Haul Mode or PTO was in use. Some of the highlights included an integrated trailer brake control system, and the optional Torqshift 5R110W transmission which was fitted with a groundbreaking Tow/Haul Mode that minimized upshifts to keep the engine in the power band, and automatically downshifted to provide engine braking when descending a hill. The Ford 5R110W transmission could also be outfitted with a PTO to power accessories like a snowplow or external hydraulics.
1) Reverse Planetary Assembly
A common 5R110W transmission problem has to do with the low/reverse planetary gear pinions. An OE design flaw allowed the gear set pinion shafts to back themselves out of the carrier, resulting in slipping, and harsh or delayed forward/reverse gear engagement.
2) Transmission Pump
The Ford F-350 5R110W transmission transfers engine power to the wheels through hydraulic pressure. This pressure is created by the transmission pump, which has a tendency to fail prematurely. If this happens, you’ll experience a pronounced delay in forward and reverse gear engagement, or the transmission could just “slam” into gear.
Remanufactured 5R110W Transmission Recommended Updates and Upgrades
- Added shift kit and pump recalibration to provide more control over gear shifting
- Pinion pins for planetary gears are tungsten-welded, creating a stronger join.
- Low-power diode upgraded to increase working lifetime of transmission.
- Spring retainer for low reverse clutch upgraded to withstand more pressure.
- New pressure solenoids provide a more consistent pressure through fluid lines.
- Pumps are completely remanufactured, and new bushings are added to promote better flow and reduce leakage
- New torque converter installed and tested for balance and other features.
- Machined and metal surfaces polished to prevent rust buildup
- Valve pump and transmission case tested with Tru-Flat qualification process
- Transmission receives complete test via road simulation software under hot and cold conditions to ensure all parts are up to standard
How to Buy a Remanufactured Transmission
1) Buying Locally
When you go to your local repair shop, they’ll order a remanufactured transmission, then mark up the price. So at the end of the day, you’ll be paying 15% to 30% more than the actual cost of the unit.
2) Buying Online
Buying a reman transmission through a distributor like Street Smart Transmission will save you a considerable amount of money because you pay the wholesale price (avoiding a repair shop’s 15% to 30% markup), they’ll ship the unit to the shop of your choice free of charge, and returning your old transmission is free as well. Then all you have to pay for is the labor to install the unit (usually $400 to $800), and you’re on your way.
How Does it Work?
To order a remanufactured transmission from a company like Street Smart Transmission, all you need to do is provide your vehicle’s VIN number, the mileage, and the address of the repair shop that you want it shipped to.
Replacing a transmission can be expensive, so Street Smart Transmission offers financing through PayPal. Depending on your credit, you’ll be able to order a new transmission, get back on the road, then pay for it over time. You may have to pay labor charges for the installation up front, but you won’t have to shell out for the transmission all at once.
When it comes to shipping, a transmission is quite heavy. So you’re going to pay quite a bit of money, unless the reman transmission company offers free shipping. Street Smart offers free shipping to a business address, which is usually the repair shop that you’ve chosen to install the unit.
What is a Core Charge (Core Deposit)?
Every remanufactured transmission originally came from somebody else’s car. Therefore, they need your broken transmission in order to refurbish it for another customer.
Your old/damaged transmission is called a “core”, and many companies will collect a core charge (usually $500 to $1500), which will be refunded once they receive your old transmission. However, if the transmission case, or other key components are damaged beyond repair, you may not get all of your core charge back. Make sure to ask for the core return policy, so you’ll know what to expect.
We recommend Street Smart Transmission. We have found Street Smart to be of the highest quality. Their transmissions carry a 3 year / unlimited miles warranty that covers both parts and labor. Their warranty is nationwide and attached to the VIN so it is transferable with ownership if you decide to sell the vehicle. It also covers both parts and labor for the installation of the replacement transmission.
Watch the Remanufacturing Process
How it Works
Finding a Shop to Install the Remanufactured Transmission
For warranty purposes, you need to find a reliable repair shop. That way, if the replacement transmission doesn’t work properly, the warranty will cover it.
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