Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts!

Go Back   Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts! > >
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Welcome to Ford Ranger Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread

Old 09-03-2018, 06:59 PM
jib32 jib32 is offline
Learning to use the forums
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Default Automatic transmission friction/spinning noise

On the way back home from a trip I noticed a noise coming from my transmission. I figured out it was happening when the truck would shift from first into second. It sounds like some rotating part is rubbing something else; it's a similar sound to putting your hand on the side of a spinning bike tire to stop it. The truck still shifts fine and doesn't slip, and the fluid isn't burnt or dark. It's got about 140k miles on it. The noise started either today or yesterday.

Any ideas what this could be? The Ranger is an '02 3.0L V6, 2WD.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2018, 11:59 AM
jib32 jib32 is offline
Learning to use the forums
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Default Re: Automatic transmission friction/spinning noise

I'm going to replace the filter as a first step towards getting in and seeing if I can figure out what's going on before going to a transmission shop. I'm trying to identify which transmission I have since RockAuto shows two possibilities: a 5R55E and a 5R44E. O'Reilly offers multiple (differently-shaped) filters that say they're compatible with various combinations of 4R44E, 4R55E, 5R44E, and 5R55E models. Advance Auto Parts has options for the 5R55E and the 5R44E. Autozone claims their Duralast filter will work for all of the aforementioned models.

I'm only concerned about this because in ChrisFix's video on changing the filter, he says there are different standoff distances for the filter on some transmission models, and he got the wrong one.

I got under the truck and got the part number or serial number off the side of the transmission, but didn't see a model number that matched any of the -R--E patterns. There was also a stamped metal tag sticking off of it, but it didn't have a model number either.

Here's what I've been able to find:
According to, all 2002 3.0L automatics had a 5R44E transmission.
Multiple sources say the transmission code can be found on the sticker on the side of the door.
According to both and, the "D" code indicates a 5R55E transmission.

I've attached a picture of my door sticker. In the bottom, it seems to have a transmission code of "D," under "TR." I don't know if any of this even makes a difference, the pan may be the same depth on both types. I just want to be sure before I pull off the drain pan and find out I've either got to leave the old filter in there or seal it up and find another way to get to work for a few days while a different one comes in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg door_label.jpg (18.5 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by jib32; 09-16-2018 at 12:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2018, 12:32 PM
Dirtman Dirtman is offline
Whats this do?
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 261
Default Re: Automatic transmission friction/spinning noise

You have a 5r44e. The 5r55e only came in the 4.0 trucks. It is an IDENTICAL transmission to the 44e except for some minor HD parts to handle the extra tourqe of the 4.0. All the parts are 100% interchangeable though. When you buy parts most places just refer to all of them as a 5r55e.

The 4r44e, 4r55e, 5r44e, and 5r55e are all identical in fact. The 4r models are 4 speed and 5r are 5 speed but the extra gear in the 5 speeds is done by the computer, the internal parts are the same. The computer on the 5 speeds engages the overdrive twice to gain the extra gear.

There are only 2 differences with the filters that matter on ALL models, one has a long pickup tube which is for the 4x4 trucks because their pan is slightly deeper. The one with no pickup tube is for the 2 wheel drives. That is it. You have a 2wd so when you buy a filter just verify it is flat with no pickup tube.

The "shape" of the filters has changed and varies slightly by manufacturer but does not matter.

Last edited by Dirtman; 09-16-2018 at 12:43 PM.
Reply With Quote

3.0l v6, noise, transmission

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which automatic transmission mikkelstuff General Ford Ranger Discussion 0 02-18-2017 11:12 PM
Gear noise in automatic transmission? riverguy Drivetrain Tech 1 03-28-2015 02:01 AM
No RFW on Automatic Transmission? OomD Drivetrain Tech 2 11-15-2012 10:08 PM
Want to Buy: 99 3.0L transmission automatic billygoat1 Engine & Drivetrain Parts 0 07-15-2012 02:51 PM
Automatic Transmission? PDRanger Drivetrain Tech 4 08-08-2009 10:26 AM