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97 ranger 3.0 2wd 4r44e will not shift.

Discussion in 'Ford Ranger - Mazda B-Series Forum' started by Little_hoopday_that_could, July 7, 2017.


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    1. Little_hoopday_that_could

      Little_hoopday_that_could New Member

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      Location:
      Wherever I break down or pass out for the night.
      City, State:
      Pittsgrove, NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2-97 explorers. xlt,sport
      Callsign:
      Call me anything you like. I don't follow. I lead.
      Ok here we go. Just because I love to bang my head against walls repeatedly and I am a sucker for a great deal and punishment as well I just purchased a 97 Ford ranger XLT. 3.0 v6. Reg.cab with the 4r44e auto trans. Previous owner told me last time he drove it would not shift out of 2nd gear and stuck in that gear and will not shift. I bought it and test drove and appears to have lack.of torque at start off like it's in 2nd gear and winds out at 35-40 and will not shift. Letting off gas does not help. Shifting manually does nothing. Od on or od off it's the same. Also noticed it does not have reverse.which owner did not tell me about. Pulled obd2 codes and got po751 po756 and po420. I doubt the last one is related but you never know. Fluid is fine level wise but is a darker color almost brown. No water but just a bit burnt. Probably from me driving it the 15 minutes home to o save a tow.yep I went there..and would do it again in a heartbeat cuz that's how I roll. Cleared codes and restarted and ran in park for ten minutes and codes came back. All three. Know there are multiple issues with this trans and not sure if there is a recall on it or not. Before I do anything I researched it and want to be positive before I start it. I know both the trans codes are for solenoids and I know there is an issue with this trans and gasket failure behimd the valve body. Also know there is an upgraded valve body option. Mileage is 236k so just curious other than a full rebuild or swapping it out with another..is there an open recall on these about a recalibration of some kind and what direction to go before I start on it. Thanks
       
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    3. Little_hoopday_that_could

      Little_hoopday_that_could New Member

      Joined:
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      Location:
      Wherever I break down or pass out for the night.
      City, State:
      Pittsgrove, NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2-97 explorers. xlt,sport
      Callsign:
      Call me anything you like. I don't follow. I lead.
      Ok so more to the story..still waiting for my trans filter to actually be in stock to go pick it up and I get underneath and find a sticker on the pan of the trans. Wish I could upload it here cuz u just can't make this stuff up. It has a tsb warning red sticker on it. The actual sticker reads as follows..us and Canadian dealers only. 1997 5r55e exchange program. Prior to repair see tsb 96-18 please call 1-800-888-5199 void after December 20,1997. I never was one to follow directions and since I'm 20 yrs too late to this exchange and swingers tranny swap party I guess I don't need to call the number either. So still leaves another interesting question that just popped up though . Why is it saying I have a 5r55e trans and not the 4r44e trans listed on my door code. Yes door code is "T" for trans and also T for Trainwreck. I obviously can't count the shifts in a truck I just bought that don't shift. This is so gonna be a fun project that now I'm really into it. Btw..left myself am out. I found a 99 with the proper 4r44e trans and can go pull it in a couple days. It has a 2.5 motor in it. Not a 3.0 and it's a 99 and not a 97. I believe that they are interchangable but put it out there just in case maybe someone will say something if it is not. I will keep updating as I go along so that someone might get use out of this for comedy if nothing else.
       
    4. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      '93 Ranger XLT 4X4
      Maybe the sticker means they would have exchanged the 4r for a 5r. Or maybe it means they already did the swap. The door code only shows what the factory put in.
      Ill try and find you a link that would help visually ID which one in in there.

      Also, I believe the 3.0 has a bellhousing bolt pattern that is different from both the 2.5 and the 4.0, but I'm not positive. Let me check on that, too.
       
    5. Little_hoopday_that_could

      Little_hoopday_that_could New Member

      Joined:
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      Location:
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      City, State:
      Pittsgrove, NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2-97 explorers. xlt,sport
      Callsign:
      Call me anything you like. I don't follow. I lead.
      Thanks I appreciate that. For some reason I seem to always get the challenging ones. It does keep life from being boring though. Any info will definitely be helpful. Thank you.
       
    6. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    7. Little_hoopday_that_could

      Little_hoopday_that_could New Member

      Joined:
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      Messages:
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      2
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      Location:
      Wherever I break down or pass out for the night.
      City, State:
      Pittsgrove, NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2-97 explorers. xlt,sport
      Callsign:
      Call me anything you like. I don't follow. I lead.
      Omg you are the best! I dont know why I never found that but have learned just to accept gifts and just say thank you! Sorry I have been a long time Chevy guy that came over to Ford about five years ago when I just couldn't take gm any longer. I owned a 02 trail Blazer..nuff said. Not that I still won't buy a pre 88 Chevy full size truck or any pre 72 power plant but as far as today's vehicles Ford has it hands down. Just need to get my schooling on the transmission now on them. You just saved me an hour drive and pulling a trans that won't work,and don't forget the embarrassed look on my face as I figure out finally I'm about to put the wrong trans in it that's for sure. Priceless advice! Think I owe you big time!
       
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    8. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      '93 Ranger XLT 4X4
      Haha, buy me a beer if we ever cross paths and I'll call it good!
      You know, if you're considering a tranny swap, why not consider one step further to an engine and tranny swap?? The 3.0 is the red headed stepchild of Ranger engines, and most auto transmissions that Ford put in the Rangers and Explorers are weak time bombs. You could drop in a 4.0 with manual trans, or even the 2.5 with manual would be better than what you got, IMO. You could even go 5.0!
      :burnout:
       
    9. Little_hoopday_that_could

      Little_hoopday_that_could New Member

      Joined:
      June 15, 2017
      Messages:
      15
      Likes Received:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      Wherever I break down or pass out for the night.
      City, State:
      Pittsgrove, NJ
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2-97 explorers. xlt,sport
      Callsign:
      Call me anything you like. I don't follow. I lead.
      And now for the dreaded update..no good news. Pulled the pan and filter and cleaned the pan out and checked the valve body for any springs broke or missing or any gasket materials or damaged spacer plate and u can eat off the inside of this trans! Nothing at all! No clues no nothing. Changed out the filter and put the pan back up and yes I'm an idiot because I never checked the solenoids for the proper ohms. So put it all back together and managed to get 5 qts out on letting it drain two days. I was busy not lazy lol.put mercon V transmission fluid in it to be sure and let it set a good hour to make sure it all drained and then started and let run in park for another half hour and no leaks and took it for a test drive and did absolutely nothing at all other than I feel like there's more torque behind it now. Still no shift. Yep I'm an idiot. With too much on the brain for my own good..now for the wierd part. The fluid was cherry red after about a good mile or two drive and running all that time. And the codes are all cleared on there own and did not come back. All three. The two trans codes and the po420 all cleared themselves and now I heard anoise when I came back in the driveway and had my wife hold the brake and slowly shift from park to first and leaving a few seconds between each gear shift. Yes my wife loves me cuz she totally could have ran my ass over with no problem. I could hear the fluid and each solenoid activating on the driver side with the 4 gear solenoids. So they were all working and switching from solenoid to solenoid on each gear shift movement! WTF? Now I'm really confused. The only thing I'm thinking now is the damn thing has a lack of pressure which is the one solenoid on the pass side which my dumb ass could have tested had I not been trying to get it done before a thunderstorm hit. I was outside and no garage or cover and did not want to add water to the situation. But now I get to tear it apart again to test the ohms output on those two solenoids. Lucky me. Stupid me too. Took a break from it for the weekend before I started to throw wrenches or potentially leave a permanent dent and boot print in a body panel. It has happened but not in a long time. I'll get there but damn just once a nice easy fix would be great. Also found three different trans that are identical from the same 3.0 and one is a97 and the other two are 99s. So at worst case I'm gonna get one of them at the end of this week since I get to pull them out on every one of them no matter which one I choose. But they are all between 150-200 so not all bad. Paid 250 for the truck and I'm not complaining to have 500 total in it and be running properly down the road believe me. Just used all my luck up in the purchase I guess. Will update or send smoke signals from the flames of this burning transmission when I light it up in a blaze of glory! Hopefully some good news next update or at least a more comical one. If anyone has any encouraging wisdom to conflict what I'm thinking please let me know before I do something else stupid. Thanks.
       

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