Ford Thunderbird Transmission Problems & Cost | 4R70W | 5R55S

The Ford Thunderbird was equipped with the 4R70W transmission in early models and 5R55S transmission in later models. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Ford Thunderbird transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Ford Thunderbird Transmission Models

Ford Thunderbird: 4R75E / 4R70W Transmission
Ford Thunderbird: 5R55S Transmission

Ford Thunderbird Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

Replacement 4R75E / 4R75W / 4R70W Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail
4R75E/W 4R70W1687188518852839

Replacement 5R55S Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail

What are the DTC codes related to Ford Thunderbird transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0705Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction (PRNDL Input)
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0715Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0732Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
P0733Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio
P0734Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
P0735Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
P0741Torque Converter Clutch Circuit
P0745Pressure Control Solenoid 'A'
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0775Pressure Control Solenoid 'B'
P07822-3 Shift
P0795Pressure Control Solenoid 'C'
P0797Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Stuck On
P0798Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Electrical
P1762Nissan DTC: Direct Clutch Solenoid Valve

Ford Thunderbird Transmission Recalls

None Found

Ford Thunderbird Transmission Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 05-21-8 – Delayed or harsh reverse engagement – 5R55S Transmission
2004 – 2005 Ford Explorer – 2004 – 2005 Ford Thunderbird – 2004 – 2005 Lincoln LS – 2004 – 2005 Lincoln Aviator – 2004 – 2005 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – Some vehicles may experience a delayed or harsh reverse gear engagement due to improper pressure control
Solution – It may be necessary to place the solenoid body assembly, valve body and/or an in-line filter

Common Problems with the Ford Thunderbird Transmission

TCC Application in 2nd Gear – 4R70 / 4R70W Transmission
2005 – 2006 Ford Crown Victoria – 2005 – 2006 Ford E-150 – 2005 – 2006 Ford E-250 – 2005 – 2006 Ford Expedition – 2005 – 2006 Ford F-150 – 2005 – 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis – 2005 – 2006 Lincoln Town Car – 2005 – 2006 Lincoln Mark LT
Problem – A lack of power after the 1-2 shift can be caused by an un-commanded torque converter clutch application / TCC apply. The P0742 and/or P1742 DTCs may also be stored.
Solution – the #7 check ball inside of the valve body may have worn down to an incorrect size, allowing the torque converter clutch to apply after the 1-2 shift. Replacement of this check ball may solve the problem.

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

If your Ford Thunderbird can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a Ford Thunderbird transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Ford Thunderbird transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Ford Thunderbird transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are Ford Thunderbird transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Ford Thunderbird transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a Ford Thunderbird transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Ford Thunderbird transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed. Once it is in place, for the 6L80, the vehicle PCM will have to be reprogrammed / reflashed to accept the new transmission using the latest GM subscription.

Recommendations for Ford Thunderbird transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit truck VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Ford Thunderbird transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Ford Thunderbird Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Ford Thunderbird Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford Thunderbird Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford Thunderbird Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Ford Thunderbird Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Jordan brown
2 months ago

89 ford thunderbird with the 3.8l v6 54,583 miles transmission had trouble shifting on first test drive and now periodically shifts mainly sticking in 2nd can manually downshift to first and all shifter gears work other than the aod I’ve replaced the neutral safety switch as well as the transmission filter and fluid and added trans x with no change is there a control module that controls the shift of the transmission

Mike Hamilton
3 months ago

I have a 1993 T-bird v6. Automatic. Drive 1, D and Overdrive. The overdrive does not engage. The engine revs in Overdrive. The car seams to work fine in drive.

Troy Packer
8 months ago

I have no I have no forward gears I heard a squealing sound when I put it in the drive and there’s no drive only reverse

2 years ago

My 55 t-bird gets hung up between shifts. It’s a 3-speed stock transmission

2 years ago

I have the dreaded ‘E’ problem.

3 years ago

Transmission get hot

3 years ago

Gets hot

paula nichols
3 years ago

i have a 2003 tbird that just had a new pcm replaced. it has 40k miles. the transmission slams into gear now and the check engine light is on.

2 years ago
Reply to  paula nichols

went thru that nightmare also. After 2 pcm’s replaced (A1 Cardone doing rebuild for Ford dealer/CarQuest) with shift problems still present I found one used from a wrecking yard and no more problems.

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