Ford Torqshift Trans erratic shifting

Bob Owner/Technician East Longmeadow, Massachusetts Posted   Latest   Edited  
Resolved
Driveability
2012 Ford E-350 Super Duty 5.4L (L Flex) 5-spd (5R110W) — 1FDSE3FL0CDA71074
Erratic Shifts
When Hot

Got this beauty from a local Transmission shop I'm friends with to diagnose a Transmission fault. After spending a lot of time on this I see now why they pushed it off on me. This has the 5R110W torqshift transmission. I have never done any diagnoses on one of these before now, so it's a learning curve. I will post what I have tested so far and hope that some one can give me some direction on what to test next.

The symptom is, after driving for several miles, the transmission will start to shift erratically. Sometimes it will throw a downshift for seemingly no reason, then it may throw an unintended upshift or go down up down or up down up etc. Also, when the problems start it will often times hang way to long in 2nd gear. I keep accelerating more and more and finally it will skip 3rd and slam into 5th.

The Trans shop said they never saw any fault codes stored. Early on in my driving and testing the truck acted up very badly for a stretch and the wrench light came on. It stored codes P0761 Shift solenoid "C" performance and P2702 Friction element "C" apply time performance. I recorded the data and cleared the codes. They have never returned even though I have duplicated the problem numerous times. 

Now looking at scan data it appears to me that when the erratic shifts happen, they are being commanded. That suggests to me there must be an input problem. I have scoped the turbine sensor, intermediate sensor, output sensor and never saw any glitches or drop outs. I have monitored the range sensor and other data and cannot see any anomalies that coincide with the faults. The PCM has run and passed all monitors except EVAP. I monitored mode 6 looking for any sign of misfires and saw nothing when the faults occur (or ever).

I suspected a valve body or solenoid issue but when watching all the solenoids in scan data, it appears that they all activate appropriately for whatever gear is commanded and the gear changes actually take place. 

I would like to hear any ideas you might have. Most importantly I need a better game plan to track this down. Right now I'm striking out.

Normal shift pattern

Hangs in second gear

Downshift

Upshift

UPDATE _ Addition of scope captures

I think I have seen enough to condemn solenoid C. While watching the scope during a normal shift, the trans shifted to 3rd as soon as I saw the solenoid energized. During a delayed shift to 3rd I saw the solenoid energized for several seconds before the trans finally slammed into 3rd. Seems to suggest a sticking solenoid.

I don't ever see any signs of pintle movement. I suspect this is due to the type of solenoid and control strategy being used. These are not full on or full off type solenoids. They control the flow of fluid through a range of movement by PWM, so I think without the quick snap back and forth of a conventional solenoid, it may not be possible to see pintle movement. It may be possible with a far more sensitive amp clamp perhaps. If anyone else has had success at this I would love to see the waveforms.

The first VSM file is during the normal shift, the second is during a delayed shift and the other 2 are during very erratic upshifting and down shifting.

A sticking solenoid causing a delayed shift to 3rd makes sense. The erratic up and down shifting is a little more unclear. I have some thoughts about it but it's just guess work at this point. 

This is solenoid C during a normal shift to 3rd gear.

This is the solenoid when there was an abnormal delay before slamming into 3rd gear.

UPDATE 3/17/2020

The transmission shop replaced solenoid C but the problems remain. The tech driving it said that sometimes it would start off in 3rd gear and 3rd gear was being "Commanded". I had noticed it doing that intermittently also.

So the big question is, What is causing these incorrect commands? If it's commanded to start off in 3rd gear I'm thinking it may be in some sort of fault strategy. The problem is I have not been able to determine why it would be in a fault strategy. Other than the one solenoid code, there are no other signs of faults.

I need a new game plan, any suggestions would be appreciated.

UPDATE 4/5/2020

So it seems that the current virus situation has some unintended benefits, I have more time to mess around with this problem child. As I mentioned previous, the C Solenoid was replaced to address the codes. The codes have still not returned but the symptoms still occur. I uploaded a snapshot from a recent test drive where the vehicle was staying in 3rd gear when coming to a stop. 

If you look at the capture you can see several things

  1. We are stopped in drive and the commanded gear is 3rd
  2. All the solenoid commands agree with a commanded 3rd gear
  3. The range sensor input at 52% is good for drive position
  4. All the speed input sensors are reading zero rpm

Stuck in 3rd

So the big question is what else could be causing the module to command 3rd gear? On this transmission the PCM issues the command for gear change based on various inputs and the trans carries it out. It appears the transmission is doing what it's told. It seems to me either there is something I'm missing that is causing the PCM to command the wrong gear or, there is a logic fault being caused by some kind of electrical interference in the PCM.

I have been working with ATSG tech support and they told me they have seen many driveability issues caused by bad electric cooling fans putting electrical noise in the system. Unfortunately this vehicle does not have any electric cooling fan or fan clutch, it's all mechanical. That got me thinking however and I started testing the ignition system for coil problems. Although I never felt any misfires or saw any evidence of misfires I thought it was possible a failing coil could still be spiking the module with high voltage. After scoping the ignition I found a suspect #8 coil and also very worn spark plugs. I replaced all the spark plugs and cyl8 coil. I was super confident that I fixed it but no, after 20 min of driving, the symptoms re-appeared. I also disconnected the alternator but the symptoms remained.

So my big question to the group is, what types of faults have you seen that can scramble the PCM logic? What testing methods can I employ to track this down?

This truck is fairly basic and not packed with an excessive amount of electronics but, the torqshift transmission system is pretty complex. I'm open to any ideas.

0
Art Technician
Kamloops, British Columbia
Art Default
   

Your problem is with intermediate clutch not applied. Code P0761 indicates SSC stuck off. P2706 indicates that intermediate clutch is not applied properly. These both apply in 3rd gear, What I would do is use low amp probe on circuit GY-OG pin 5 from trans harness. Look for amp change when 3rd gear is commanded. Should go from 0.00 A to about 0.800 A.(Remember the amp values on the scan tool are…

+1
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Helpful
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

Art, I should have mentioned I tried this but I was not able to see any usable pattern for pintle movement. The solenoids appear to be PWM controlled and I was not able to see the detail needed in the pattern. I may try this again with a better amp clamp. I agree with your thinking on the codes. They're performance codes that probably indicate a sticking solenoid. The codes have not returned…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Art Technician
Kamloops, British Columbia
Art Default
 

According to ford theory if a fault is detected in a certain gear , module will command alternative gear to prevent more damage . I feel that transmission in hanging in 2nd gear while PCM is waiting for conditions for 2-3 shift. As the never happens due to malfunction then conditions must be present for shift to 5th gear. These may include higher engine RPM or road speed . This will result in…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

Art, that all makes sense but how would you explain the sudden downshifts? If it was only an upshift problem that would be one thing but I don't know how to account for the unintended downshifts.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Art Technician
Kamloops, British Columbia
Art Default
 

Try this video. youtube​.​com/watch?v=5LODp1…. While this article is about injector theory applies to any electromagnetic device. Hump in pattern is caused by metal pintle moving thru magnetic field

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

I get a video unavailable message from that link.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Randall Technician
Kunkletown, Pennsylvania
Randall Default
 

Bob, I like to do manual amp clamp testing with the PCM disconnected. Then you should be able to see the mechanical action of the pintle, (obviously without hydraulic pressure acting against it), compare them all. I also like to use a heavy duty 10 ohm resistor to limit current. I hate to shotgun parts, but have a few knock down rounds with mechanical issues regarding shift solenoids. hope…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
   

Randall, I tried that but I only saw a pintle hump on 2 out of 7 solenoids so I found that inconclusive. I'm pretty confident I don't have 5 stuck solenoids. Solenoid A Solenoid B Solenoid D

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Dave Mobile Technician
Ironton, Ohio
Dave Default
 

What is the TPS reading during the event? I would also monitor the APP and the pressure switches. If the shifts are being commanded at the wrong time and the tranny is just doing what it is told to do , the problem would be an input.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Bob: I don't think this will materially affect your normal diagnosing but it could be important. According to Ford, you should not have the transmission that you think you do. What was done to it before you or the trans shop got it? It's rarely a good outcome when the wrong parts or shift strategies are installed. fordservicecontent​.​com/ford_content/c…​.​pdf (Page…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

I'm curious what makes you think it's the wrong trans? Repairshop link shows it to be a 5r110w. Thanks for the ford document. I am sifting through it. These transmissions are very complex and I don't have any experience with them yet so it's a lot to digest. PWM range sensor, Normally high and normally low solenoids, multiple shift strategies etc. It's a steep learning curve. If it was in your…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Bob: Look at the top of Page 233. It states that the trans you have listed (5R110W) was replaced in 2011 with this trans (6R140). It appears that someone is lying. I'd want to know who and why. Guido

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

Guido, I crawled under the truck this morning and got the number off the id tag. It sure looks like a 5r110w. AC3P-7000-EA

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Bob: You saw where my source was. Obviously, I have to defer to you, Chris and some of the others. Unless I'm acting more doplic than normal at the moment, I don't see how I could've read that incorrectly. It's obvious Ford's printed material has an error in it. Sorry for the snipe hunt. Guido

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
   

No problem at all Guido. I was taking the trans shops word on what model was in there and I needed to do my due diligence anyway and verify it. Wouldn't be the first time service info led us astray. I wasn't able to get back to it today because they brought me another one to do first. 2018 F350 6R140 with a new valve body. One of the guys tried to do some recalibrating with the scan tool and…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
   

Someone must've seen me at The Gummy Bears' Picnic, Bob. :) Guido

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Art Technician
Kamloops, British Columbia
Art Default
 

According to Ford website when entering serial # this is indeed 5R110W. Another fact to this is that optional transmission 4R75E will not generate DTCs that you have. I should have noticed that right away. I am still to convinced to replace shift solenoid and retest.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

I think that is what I will recommend but I was hoping to try current ramping it one more time to see if I can get some good data that would confirm the fault.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
   

The 5 speed torqshift transmission was still in use well after 2011. TSB 16-0057 shows applications as late as 2016

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric Default
 

Guido, I ran the VIN through Ford and came up with the 5R110W being the correct transmission for this vehicle. I've seen them used on 2014 model years so I think your publication may be in error. Eric

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Frank Owner/Technician
Toronto, Ontario
Frank Default
 

Absolutely fascinating! If I had the time and your permission I'd love to join you on this journey. I wish I could add more to the strategy for finding the 'fix' but sadly I'm unable to at this point. Anthony's research certainly muddies the waters but 1 thing I'm certain of is that you will end with an in depth knowledge of this trans and a solution!

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

Working on these in the dealer it was common practice to replace the solenoid and retest or pull the valvebody and use the air test to verify if any leakage was present. If the fluid is dark and smells burnt, maybe pulling the pan and inspecting for debris is warranted, If there is a sufficient build up of clutch material in the pan, teardown may be the best course of action. There were common…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Mike Owner
Cromwell, Kentucky
Mike Default
 

I always try to practice route cause analysis and hate shotgunning parts, but in this case, i'd replace the solenoid and retry. I run into a lot of these with faulty solenoids. when we rebuild these we always replace them all because they are fairly high failure rate. I've tried to scope amperage of these when acting up as well, with limited success. when you see the performance codes on these…

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Darren Mechanic
West Allis, Wisconsin
Darren Default
 

Just wondering if pressure testing is an option on this transmission...with transducer.?

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

There is a line pressure port, but that's it.

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Dave Mobile Technician
Ironton, Ohio
Dave Default
 

Bob, along with my previous suggestions I would disconnect the O2sensors and see what happens. The wiring diagram shows the o2 sharing a circuit with the TFT sensor . I have seen a lot of weird shift problems on Chrysler's due the O2,s ,maybe on this Ford too ?

0
Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Resolution
 

I finally have a resolution on this one. After spending lots of time on this and not being able to pinpoint anything external that would account for the symptoms, I sent it back to the transmission shop and told them they needed to tear it down and look for problems in the intermediate clutch circuit. If you recall we already had them replace the solenoid due to a trouble code for that circuit…

0
Resolution Ð Bounty Awarded