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2nd to 3rd Slip - Sometimes.....

Discussion in 'Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, &' started by tmcquinn, April 17, 2006.

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    1. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      1996 Explorer XLT 4WD automatic - 76,000 miles - one owner, mainly wife driven (until now), no towing, no off road, no abuse other than not getting driven much the last 2 years.

      I have tried to read through the posts to learn a bit but I'm still no transmission man. I have saved and repeatedly watched a couple of TV shows (Horsepower TV, Extreme 4x4) on auto. transmissions and understand a little, but nowhere near enough to diagnose my problem. Sometimes I hear it slip between 2nd and 3rd gear. The RPM goes up between shifts and it's very noticeable. Then, when it has your full attention, it will NEVER do it a second time. I can see no pattern to when it happens and I can detect no other problems. Hot, cold, driving hard on an on ramp, slow acceleration, it just seems to only slip randomly, usually right after you decide it 'fixed itself'. But I like to feel like my vehicles are dependable. I have two questions:

      1) I have read the posts where it sounds like there are codes being generated that relate to the transmission. Is that true, and do these codes get stored without the 'check engine' light coming on? Looking through the old invoices (car was dealer maintained until I inherited it) they are charging me $90.00 just to hook it up to the computer.

      2) Given the symptoms above, is there anything that I could attempt with the transmission still in the vehicle that might fix the problem? I would be willing to take a chance on wasting some time and a few dollars. Watching Extreme 4x4 just about had me convinced that I could rebuild a transmission but the more I read about it the more I think a guy ought to practice it about twice a week to be any good at it.

      Tom
       
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    3. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Ok, this one should be not as hard as some. Your problems are more than likely in the valve body or solenoids.... things you can fix without removing the transmission.

      Your valve body could have bolts too loose, some damage to the gasket(s) (common) sone VB damage internals (rare), a failing Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) solenoid (common though 73K is a little early) or a bad Shift Solenoid (SSA) (also rare but possible).

      You are not into rebuild territory. What is your mechanical experience level?
       
    4. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to this forum! I would suggest that you should read Glacier's VB rebuild diary to get familiar with it first before you attempt to rebuild it. It is also a good idea to get the ATSG book. It has some break out diagrams of the VB, although a shift kit would also come with a diagram.
       
    5. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      I have rebuilt several engines but it was so long ago that they had points and carburetors (over twenty years ago). The last couple of decades I did little more than oil changes and tire rotations. In February I was allowed to assist with some of the easier parts of an annual inspection on an aircraft - plugs, oil & filter, disassembly. In March, with help from the folks here, I replaced the rotors, pads, and emergency brakes on the Explorer. I have basic hand tools, air compressor, torque wrench (18 months out of calibration), dial indicator, 6" dial caliper, taps & dies, etc. I also have another car to drive while this is going on.

      This car isn't going back to the dealer any time soon. I would be willing to take a chance on 'fixing' it and screwing it up. One way or another I am going to start doing my own maintenance. I just have so much to learn.....

      Tom
       
    6. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      Wilco on both. I think the TV show Trucks just did a shift kit on an S10 and I will watch it again too.

      Sorry to be dense, but can I see what transmission I have from underneath the Explorer? ATSG has a bookstore on their web site but I want to order the right book!

      Tom
       
    7. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran Elite Explorer

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      I actually had the same problem with my '95 as you are having now. Although I sold it before it was fixed/got worse.
       
    8. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    9. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      Thanks. I have the 4.0L and I just ordered the ATSG manual. So hopefully my future questions will sound more like I belong under the car. Speaking of which, I just got under it for a quick look. That isn't going to be an easy place to work. I may have to start with some taller jack stands or go on a crash diet............

      Tom
       
    10. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      You should do fine. I think you will find most all of what you need info wise in the Diary. If you think something should be there that isn't let me know. I want it to be as complete and stand alone as possible.
       
    11. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      OK, I hope you're saying that the 4R55E and 5R55E are similar enough that I should read the "5R55E Valve Body Rebuild Diary" sticky to familiarize myself with my 4R55E. If so, I'm on it.

      As for pointing out any errors and omissions I might find, please be advised that I can be annoying pedantic but I don't expect the world to take me seriously!

      Tom
       
    12. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This site has an excellent search engine that could be used to search a thread, the entire website, or just by somebody's name if you know who might have posted the information that you might need. Don't forget to also search photo gallery for pictures, and diagrams. I'm sure that if you do these things, you could probably find what you are looking for most of the time. If you get stuck on something, and can't find it, you could always post your question. Just let us know if it works out. It will help other people in the process that have a similar issue.
       
    13. douglaswmoyer

      douglaswmoyer New Member

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      My Bad

      I have the same problem. Mine started with a dirty transmission filter. (I barely made it home!) after changing the filter, now- (when cold only) it dosen't want to shift from second to third unless I let off the gas. Seems ok after that. Could be reving a little high to shift. Any ideas?
       
      Last edited: April 22, 2006
    14. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to this forum! You have an A4LD transmission. If your fluid was pretty dirty, and you started to have shifting problems only when it is cold, then it could be your governor. That is responsible for the 1-2 shift. The intermediate band is for 2nd. Did you try to adjust it? You could have a partial clog in your valve body, or cooler. There are 2 solenoids in your transmission. One is for overdrive, and the other one is for the torque converter locking, and unlocking. Did you do a pressure test? It will tell you where you might have a problem. How many miles do you have? Sometimes it could be the valve body gaskets, or loose valve body bolts.
       
    15. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      Yes sir, I have been doing that since the very beginning. I appreciate the help the you, Glacier, and others offer and I want to avoid running to the computer every other time I remover a bolt or a screw. I have the Ford TSB CD now and an ATSG manual on the way and I have the wife braced for what the garage is going to be like while this goes on (hideous, tiny, crappy garage that is barely better than being out in the rain).

      Can I get a sanity check on something? Before I get started, I should order a (Ford, Superior or Transgo) shift kit and an EPC solenoid, right? I don't see any pictures of any gaskets in the VB diary and I'm wondering if they are included.

      I have run out of paper trying to print the VB diary so I can highlight parts of it and page back & forth more easily. More questions shall surely follow when I return from the office supply store!

      Tom
       
    16. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You should get the EPC, bracket, bonded gaskets, and as far as the shift kits, the Ford, and the Superior. Read this thread too: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154655&highlight=stairway+diary. This is what Bigg_Billy recommends to buy:
      a. EPC – XL2Z-7G383-AA @ = $112 (This part is the same for all)
      b. SOL BRACKET – XL2Z-7L491-AA = $6 (same for all)
      c. FORD SEP PLATE – 1L5Z-7Z490-GA = $14
      d. FORD TSB KIT – 3L5Z-7M203-JA = $14 (same for all)

      2. Purchased from: BULKPARTS.COM

      a. SUPERIOR SHIFT CORRECTION KIT – S56165H = $36 (same for all)
      b. FILTER - 56010G = $11 (Same for all 4X4)
      c. GASKET - 56300EF = $2 (Same for all)
       
    17. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      Parts are on the way.....

      If anyone else tries to follow this, I bought the first parts (EPC, Sol. Bracket, Sep Plate, TSB Kit) from fordparts.com. The second list of parts I did buy through bulkparts but, after some initial frustration, decided that Makco Distributing, Inc. must be the vendor:
      http://www.bulkpart.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=2

      I would never have been able to put this parts list together on my own as many of them list as 5R55E parts and I am doing a 4R55E, so thanks for the help.

      Tom
       
    18. tmcquinn

      tmcquinn New Member

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      And I haven't even gotten dirty.........

      I just got an e-mail from fordparts.com. Ken says that EPC – XL2Z-7G383-AA is the wrong part for a 1996 with a 4R55E . Says it should be F5TZ-7H144-A and it's $242.23. Any comments greatly appreciated as I am getting that sinking feeling.

      He also sent me TSB 03-22-10 that Glacier991 describes in the VB Rebuild Diary and says it's for some of the parts I'm requesting. Does the Superior Shift Correction kit address the TSB and make it a non issue?

      Tom
       
    19. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      If you reference the TSB in the Diary, you can determine what separator plate you need and if you need gaskets for it (you will in your case) which gaskets those are. The bonded plate only came on much later year models than yours. It is NOT one size fits all on separator plates and gaskets. The FORD blowoff mod IS one size fits all.

      I recommend the Superior kit, as it is more readily used when using the FORD MOD kit.

      I'll investigate the EPC issue. That sounds absurd, but then I haven't looked into it yet. At that price I'd be pricing a new VB!
       
    20. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Well, apparently the 4R55 DOES use a different EPC. The FORD version LISTS for $289 and he provides the correct #. He's giving for a $45 discount from list. I can price one at my trans supplier for grins if you like.

      I learn something every day.
       
    21. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Glacier, what year was the separator plate used with the bonded gaskets? Did the newer years use the cheaper EPC? I guess the 4R VB was different in the older ones, but became interchangeable in the later ones. Is that a correct assumption?
       
    22. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      I think you can tell with the TSB, but I think bonded plates came into play in 98 or so. I am unclear as to why the 4r55 used a different EPC.

      Tom... one thing you might want to consider, since the EPC can be added without dropping the VB is NOT to replace the EPC this go around, and see if the rest of the things fix the problem. If they do you saved yourself $250. 75,000 miles is low miles for EPC failure.

      I'd put in a drain plug if you choose this path so you can do a less messy job if you need to go back in.
       
    23. toy720

      toy720 Active Member

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      i have an extra epc and shift solenoids from my vb when i messed it up there just sitting in the garage i would be willing to give you the epc its not new but it ohms out ok. that is if you have not already bought a new one ? also if you think you need shift solenoids i have those as well.
      thanks brad
       
    24. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      That is a kind offer Tom. He could swap between your old one and his old one and see if there was any difference. I am doubtful his 75K EPC is necessarily the problem.
       
    25. douglaswmoyer

      douglaswmoyer New Member

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      I hadn't done anything as I was totally surprised when it wouldn't go! I have a drain plug and i change the oil every other engine oil change. when i pulled the filter off and saw that it was dirty inside, I was very surprised! I haven't tried any thing else yet. Hopeing for a simple cure since there had been no trouble until it would barely move
       
    26. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Doug... start a new thread and let's start over on your problem, which is something different. I think I may have some ideas for you but don't want to hijack this thread. Once you have started the new thread I will delete those here so this thread stays related to the issue at hand. Thanks!

      And, a fellow Sacramentan !
       

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