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How to Change the Shift Solenoid on a Ford F150?

How to Change the Shift Solenoid on a Ford F150?

The faulty solenoid on Ford F-150 causes hard shifting or delayed shift of gears in the transmission system. Therefore, you need to replace it to move the truck smoothly.

How to Change the Shift Solenoid on a Ford F150? To change the Shift Solenoid on a Ford F-150, you have to drain the transmission fluid and remove the fluid pan cover to access the solenoid. After that, disconnect the faulty solenoid and connect the new one with the wires. Lastly, refill the transmission fluid and close the covers to complete the replacement procedure.

There can be slight variations in the process depending upon your pickup truck’s type of transmission and model.

However, mostly they require the same sequence of steps despite the change in the shape of the transmission system.

How to Change the Shift Solenoid on a Ford F150?

I will share the shift solenoid replacement procedure for Ford F-150, and you can do it independently to save the repair costs.

However, it is time-consuming to remove the fluid and access the solenoids. It will take about 3 to 7 hours, depending upon the number of solenoids you need to replace.

Tools Required

Keep following spares and tools at hand to carry out the repair activity:

  • New shift solenoid
  • Gasket and fluid filter
  • Transmission fluid
  • A container to drain fluid from the transmission
  • Ratchet with the socket set
  • Screwdriver

Park and turn Off the truck

Park your pickup truck on a service ramp and turn it ON for 10 to 15 minutes in an idle state to push all the transmission fluid in the fluid pan covering the transmission system.

Make sure to place wooden chocks behind the wheels to prevent movement of the truck and apply the emergency brake. 

Locate the transmission fluid Drain Plug

Locate the transmission fluid drain plug underneath the Ford F150 on the backside of the engine.

It will be in the form of a nut, right at the bottom of the transmission pan.

Drain the fluid from the transmission system

Place a container to collect the transmission fluid underneath the drain plug. Unplug it with the ratchet and appropriate-sized socket.

Transmission fluid will start draining into the container underneath. Moreover, you have to wait for it until it stops flowing.

Earlier models of Ford F-150 did not have drain plugs, and you need to open the fluid pan cover to drain the fluid. 

Remove the Fluid Pan Cover

Reinstall the drain plug in the fluid pan cover. The transmission fluid cover has multiple screws to secure it in its place, and a gasket prevents oil leakage from its sides.

Use a socket wrench to start loosening the pan screws on opposite sides to each other. Repeat this procedure until the pan is free to remove.

Drain any remaining fluid in the pan cover and transmission box into the drain container. Next, clean the surface of the magnet filter to collect metallic particles.

Remove the Gasket

Underneath the fluid pan cover, there will be a gasket to seal the cover sides to prevent any oil leakage. Remove it to clean it and check its condition. You can also replace the oil pan gasket for better results.

Locate the shift solenoid on Ford F-150

Once you open the cover and remove the gasket, solenoids will be visible on the valve body. They will be in the shape of round cans with electric power and signal wires attached.

They can be in a group or separate from each other depending on the transmission type.

You will find 5-6 of them for shifts and other purposes.

Locate the one you need to change according to the error codes you got during the diagnostic procedure of transmission faults. 

Remove the faulty parts

After locating the faulty solenoid, remove it by unscrewing it with the help of a ratchet and socket.

After you remove the screw, unplug the wiring connector with the defective solenoid. Carefully remove it to avoid popping other things out of its holes. 

Install the new solenoid

Unpack the new solenoid and install it in the place of the old one with the help of screws that you have disconnected.

Make sure that it firmly sits in its place. In some cases, all shift and TCC solenoids form a group or block arrangement.

Therefore, you also need to take care of other solenoids while installing the new one.

Connect its wiring

Short-circuiting, open circuiting, or grounding of the shift solenoids also give error codes.

Therefore, before reinstalling the wiring connector with the new solenoid, ensure its continuity for proper functioning.

You can test its working by providing an external power supply at its terminals. 

Replace the Fluid filter

It is an excellent opportunity to check the fluid filter as the transmission fluid cover is open.

If the filter is dirty, you can add a new transmission fluid.

Reinstall the Gasket and other parts

The gasket should be in good shape without any worn-out corners or cracks on its surface.

If you find it in bad shape, replace it with a new one. Otherwise, you will face transmission fluid leakage and low fluid level problems. 

Reinstall the fluid pan cover to fix it in its place. Next, screw all bolts with the help of a ratchet.

Next, use a torque wrench to tighten all bolts up to 120 inch-pounds or according to the limits mentioned in the owner’s manual for your particular model of the Ford F-150.

Since you have drained almost all of the transmission fluid from the pan and reservoir, the last step will be to refill it up to the recommended level.

Turn the truck ON for a few minutes and check the fluid level with the help of a dipstick. Add more fluid to it if it is below the recommended level.

Remove the Error codes

When you complete the replacement procedure, you need to connect the On-board Diagnostic (OBD) tool to reset the error codes related to the transmission system warning light.

If you don’t reset the codes, you will get a warning light despite repairing the problem. 

Turn ON the engine to check the working of transmission shifts

After completing the replacement procedure, remove the wooden chocks and turn ON the engine. Check underneath the fluid pan for any signs of fluid leakage.

Moreover, check the operation of transmission shifts on Ford F-150 to ensure that solenoid is working fine.

In the case of a manual transmission, shift gears to test its operation. In the case of an automatic transmission, accelerate the truck to observe the shifting process.