Fords new torque converter requires special attention in the areas of clutch clearance and fluids. The TorquShift Transmission, or otherwise known as the 5R110W, is Ford’s newest transmission to enter the arena. The TorquShift torque converter is basically the same as the 4R100. It is identified by the outside as having: first, no drain plug; second, the code 6MM appears stamped into the front cover (see photo); and third, the impeller also indicates a lower angle of the third row of fins.
Internally, the impeller to stator plastic stator cap has been replaced with a roller bearing design. Overall height of the converter has only changed a modest .100 of an inch. This is hardly noticeable and could be mistaken for the 4R100 converter. As for the clutch design it too remains the same, although the friction material has not been positively identified.
When rebuilding this converter, special attention must be given to clutch clearance. If clutch clearance is excessive, or more than .030”, the computer receives feedback that the RPM drop has not successfully occurred.
The converter clutch will lock up at a slightly lower speed for a given accelerator position. This improves transmission cooling. The clutch will also stay on longer to improve engine breaking. This may provide extra wear and tear on the converter clutch and should be inspected carefully for wear marks on the front cover as well as the clutch plates.
The 5R110W converter requires extra attention to make it last after rebuild. This converter is featured behind Ford’s 6.0L next-generation PowerStroke engine. This engine produces over 325 HP at 3200 RPM and 565 ft/lbs of torque at 2000 RPM. Not only will this torque converter have to withstand this powerful engine, but also vehicle weight and towing capacities have increased which puts more demand on the torque converter. This transmission also automatically downshifts on deceleration to help increase brake life.
Be advised: the TorquShift Transmission uses a new fluid–Mercon SP. This is NOT interchangeable with any other Mercon or Dexron fluid. The chemistry and physical properties of this fluid are unique and should not be challenged. It will result in transmission/torque converter failure. Special attention must be given to the valve body gasket. It contains a built-in filter. If the transmission or converter has suffered a failure, chances are this filter will contain small particulates. It is easily overlooked.
Filtering of this transmission is so critical that there is also an external filter mounted near the radiator. This external filter must be replaced during every fluid change. As little as ten micron in size particles can clog these new high-tech filters. Cleanliness must be maintained at the time of the transmission or torque converter rebuild.
It should be noted that the converter impeller hub is burnished to a chrome-like finish approximately five micro on the RMS scale. If hub replacement is necessary, pay even more attention to the hub finish because it must be smooth. Premature seal failure is guaranteed if the hub is not perfect.
Found in issue 12, 2003