Other Articles - September - 2016

Updates to the Ford 6R80 Part 2

In the June 2016 issue of GEARS, we looked at some of the updates to the 6R80 transmission. We covered why the one-way clutch was added and some of the dimensional changes that were required to get it to fit, along with the strategy changes in clutch and solenoid operation.

This month we’re going to look at the rest of the dimensional changes, along with the hydraulic and electronic changes.

The 6R80E case was altered to provide for a place to add the bias spring (figure 1).

The bias spring holds tension on the one-way clutch to keep it from rattling in the case during garage shifting.

The casting for the D2 clutch port has been machined closed and no longer requires the D2 rubber tube seal. In addition, an opening in the case was provided for the bias spring.

Since the hole in the case for the D2 feed is now cast shut, you’ll also notice a change in the D2 feed in the center support. The center support has the D2 passage cast shut (figure 2), and the whole D2 area where the piston sits has been modified.

There’s also been a change to the apply area for the low/reverse clutch (figure 3): There’s no longer a D2 apply area; there’s only the D1 apply area. In addition to the center support change, the piston had to be redesigned (figure 4), completely eliminating the D2 passage.

At the same time the D2 passage was eliminated, some not-so-obvious changes took place to the valve body. In the earlier 6R60/75/80 hydraulic system without the one-way clutch, the manual valve can be in any position to apply the low/reverse D clutch (figure 5).

The pump supplies line pressure to the D1 and D2 regulator and latch valves. Shift solenoid SSD provides regulated solenoid pressure from the SREG circuit to the solenoid multiplex valve through the VFS4 circuit. That circuit feeds pressure to the D1 and D2 regulator and latch valves through the CL DC circuit to move the valves and apply the low/reverse D clutch.

In later units, there’s no D2 regulator valve in the hydraulic circuit (figure 6). Since the hydraulic circuits are different, there must be changes to the valve body assembly. Let’s take a look at these changes, starting with the outside of the valve body.

Take a look at the difference between the solenoids in the 6R60/75/80 (figure 7) and the 6R80 with one-way clutch (figure 8). The solenoids on the 6R80 with one-way clutch have a yellow connector protector and the solenoid snouts are different colors.

The normally vented solenoids (VFS 1, VFS 3, and VFS 6) have a brown snout and the O-rings are green and red; the normally applied solenoids (VFS 2, VFS 4, and VFS 5) have a black snout and the O-rings are orange and red. The on/off SSE solenoid has blue O-rings.

The SSE resistance has also changed: On units built before November 4, 2010 the resistance is about 10.5 ohms. On units built after November 3, the resistance is about 18 ohms. Always check for the most current solenoids when replacing them.

The next difference is in the upper side of the upper valve body, where it fits against the case and the rubber tube seals (figure 9). The D2 passage is cast shut in the valve body for the 6R80 with the one-way clutch; it’s open in the earlier 6R60/75/80. On the worm track side of the upper valve body (figure 10) you can see the D2 port on the worm track side, with the D2 circuit passage cast shut.

The spacer plate is also different (figure 11): The orifice in the spacer plate has been closed. This orifice is for pump feed pressure to the D2 clutch regulator valve. The part number for the spacer plate has also changed. The plate for the 6R60/75/80 is stamped 6L2P-7Z490-FC or 6L2P-7Z490-FB. The spacer plate for the 6R80 with the one-way clutch is stamped AL3P- 7Z490-BA. Always check for the most current parts when purchasing a new spacer plate.

The next difference is the D2 clutch regulator valve was eliminated (figure 12). The channel casting for the 6R60/75/80 has the D2 clutch regulator valve; it was eliminated in the 6R80 with the one-way clutch (figure 13).

So far we’ve covered almost all structural and parts changes, including the case assembly; the addition of the one-way clutch and bias spring; the center support; the rear planetary; the low/reverse brake piston assembly; and the valve body changes, including the casting, separator plate, channel casting, D2 regulator valve lineup, and solenoids.

Next, let’s move to the final changes: the removal of the TCM from the conductor plate and the addition of the transmission controls to the PCM.

The 6R60/75/80 model conductor plate houses an internal TCM (figure 14). With the addition of the one-way clutch, the PCM has taken over control of transmission pressure, shifting, and braking, requiring a different conductor plate for the 6R80 with a one-way clutch (figure 15).

These differences required changes and additions to the wiring harness to accommodate PCM control. As always, refer to the factory manual for wiring diagrams, as they may change from year to year and model to model.

In addition to PCM control for the transmission, Ford also gave the 6R80 driver control. That’s right! Your 2011- on Ford with the 6R80 with a one-way clutch now has select-shift capability. If the vehicle is equipped with select-shift, the shifter selector pattern will have seven positions for the F150 — P, R, N, D, M, 2, and 1 — and five positions for Mustangs: P, R, N, D, and M.

In drive (D), all driving is automated and controlled by the PCM. In manual (M), driver control is engaged, giving the driver shift control through a button on the shifter handle on the steering column for F150s, and on the console shifter handle for Mustangs.

The manual position lets you control shifting by pressing the + and – buttons on the shifter. In addition, you can lock out gears for driving in hilly conditions or when towing.

By selecting M in first gear and pressing the – button, you can lock out the higher gears, essentially turning the 6R80 into a 5-speed, 4-speed, or even a 3-speed transmission.

This ends our tour of the 6R80 with the one-way clutch. As you can see, these new features provide driver control, the ability to lock out gears, and, with the one-way clutch and PCM control, have helped reduce the bumpy downshift to first gear that was common in earlier models.