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Auto Trans not shifting correctly from 2nd to 3rd

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by George Explores, May 7, 2004.

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    1. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
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      When I put my truck in drive and take off, it shifts from first to second without any problems, but when I go from second to third, it revs up about 500 rpm(kind of like when you put the clutch in while you've still got the gas pedal pushed) then shifts into third. The only time it does that is when I'm shifting from second to third. Other than the revving sound, there are no other unusual sounds coming from the truck at all.

      Sometimes when I'm driving, the O/D light will flash and the truck with forget that first gear exists. When I take off from a dead stop, It feels like I'm taking off in second gear. I don't remember if I have the same problem with it revving up between second and third after that happens, but it shifts normally after I get going, I think.

      Does this sound like something that is not going to cost me $2000? Would it make any difference if I changed the trans filter? I checked the fluid and it's good. Any ideas?
       
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    3. CecilB

      CecilB New Member

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      Whenever the OD light is blinking, a CODE is being set. You can take it to AUTOZONE and they will check and tell you what the code is. Once you know from the code what is wrong, you can begin to fix the problem. GOOD LUCK
       
    4. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      Thanks for the response Cecil.

      I took it to Autozone the other day and the person I talked to said that they could only read engine codes and not transmissions codes from a blinking O/D light. Sorry I forgot to mention that in the original post.

      If the Autozone person was wrong, I will gladly take it to a different Autozone and see if I can get the codes read there.
       
    5. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      Call a local transmission shop, they will normally read the codes and give you a free diagnosis.
       
    6. WillieTD

      WillieTD Member

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      Yes, call a REPUTABLE tranny shop but don't let them talk you into anything. Check back here first so you can receive some guidance. It could be as simple as a bad TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). I replaced mine and my tranny shifts much better.
       
    7. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      Try it in manual 2. In this transmision, second is made up gear by combining first and overdrive. The manual says manual 2 is actually only third gear (intermediate band) like in the older versions of this transmissions. This will test to see if the intermediate band has snapped. When this happens, the transmission will skip to the next gear like you said.
       
    8. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      I appreciate all of the responses I have recieved so far.

      Update:

      I shifted to 2 and took off and it seemed to drive fine. The speed limit here is 40 so I only tested it that far.

      There is a Cottman Transmission down the road from me which opens in an hour. They have a free Transcheck 21 PLUS® service. I am going to ask them to just give me the code first if they can. If not, I'll wait the 45 minutes while they do their test.

      If anyone in the St. Louis area knows of a better transmission shop I should be taking my truck to, I'd me more than happy to drive further for the service.

      I'll report back as soon as I get home and let you know how it went at Cottman.
       
    9. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      BEWARE I had horrible luck with an overpriced, underrebuilt Cottmans transmission. It was 2500 for their "complete everything but the case rebuilt" It didn't last a year, and the tranny shop that I took it to the next time was able to guess who rebuilt it. The one mechanic came from Pittsburgh and said the Cottmans there was just as bad. At the least I'd get a second opinion. Cottmans is a nationwide chain, I'd get my second opinion from a independant shop.
       
    10. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      Thanks for the warning Mbrooks420. I'll keep that in mind if I need to get some work done on the trans.

      The mechanic ran two tests and couldn't find any codes, so he did a continuous memory test and found an error code. The code is PO733.

      The list of possible fixes coming from that code suggest it's an electrical problem. They are going to call their experts on Monday and find out what that code means, if it's a common issue with Explorers and what the fix is for it. If anyone knows of anything I can do in the mean time, I'd be more than happy to try it.
       
    11. CecilB

      CecilB New Member

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      I spoke with a Mechanic friend and he advise the code P0733 - is normally associated with "Extended shift and engine RPM above expected level or "No upshift". He suggest checking the Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) solenoid and the shift soleneod in the valve body. Suspects an electrical fault. Don't just jump and buy a new transmission, when it may just be a solenoid. Let us know what your Mechanic says about this problem.
       
    12. Mendonca00

      Mendonca00 Active Member

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      Mines been doing the same thing for a while now....I'm going to get my tranny filter changed on friday since im at 116,000 miles and I'm sure the owner before it didn't care to much about it...I wonder if maybe thats wrong with mine, but when I had my tranny diagnosed nothing came up. So I dunno...I hope you find out what's wrong with yours because that's probably what's wrong with mine!
       
    13. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      I'm taking it in to the shop in about an hour to have their expert look at it. The guy I talked to said that he would only need about 10-15 minutes of my time, so that translates to about an hour.

      I'm not expecting to have to buy a new transmission anymore. My Explorer only has 57,000 miles on it. I'm not sure what they are going to charge for this, but I'm sure I won't like the price.

      I'll update when I get back from the shop.
       
    14. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      UPDATE

      Just got back from Cottman Transmission and boy does by butt hurt. They would like $1700 to fix it. They said they would have to open it ($400) and find out what's wrong. There has to be a cheaper way. I've only had the vehicle for 5 months.
       
    15. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      Unfortunately 53k isn't unheard of for an Explorers transmission. My first went at 63k. Whats the fluid condition? Does it happen to have a tow ball or reese hitch on it?
       
    16. Mendonca00

      Mendonca00 Active Member

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      Ah geez...now I'm scared the transmission place is going to be like "Hey come pick up your Explorer because it's going to be a waste of money to even change the filter!" =(
       
    17. coled43

      coled43 Member

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      I have a 99 SOHC that also has the same slipping shift from 2nd to 3rd. From what I have researched, I was assuming that it is the EPC solenoid. Here is some of a TSB for this below. I also remember finding some posts that had the same problem and cured it with the EPC. I took my truck off the road as soon as this started happening to avoid further damage. It is handy to have an extra Ford to drive while you work on the other. It is currently sitting in the driveway waiting for me to drop the pan and check this out. In the mean time my other X (97 SOHC) started engaging the 4WD when turning at low speeds and flashing the lights. I stopped it for now by cutting the brown wire. Thanks to this site for making it easy to disable the auto 4WD. From what I have read about the 5r55e, it has a lot of valve body problems. So, you may be able to save the rest if the slipping hasn't caused to much damage. At least that's my hope.

      99-16-10
      08/09/99
      TRANSMISSION - R44E OR 5R55E - SLIPPING SHIFT/DELAYED OR NO ENGAGEMENT
      FORD:
      1999 EXPLORER, RANGER
      MERCURY:
      1999 MOUNTAINEER
      ISSUE
      Slipping transmission shifts and/or delayed or no transmission engagements may occur on some vehicles. The Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) solenoid may cause stress on the attaching bracket. This stress causes the bracket to break and the EPC solenoid to back out of its bore causing line pressure to drop too low or fluctuate, allowing friction clutches to slip.
      ACTION
      Diagnose and inspect for damaged EPC attachment bracket, and replace the bracket and EPC solenoid with new bracket and revised EPC solenoid. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.
       
    18. George Explores

      George Explores New Member

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      This is strange.

      Yesterday, I drove 35 miles to visit my family. While I was there, I did some driving for short distances(less than 5 miles). On my third short trip, the transmission started shifting normally, and has been ever since. I don't know what to make of this.

      Any ideas?
       
    19. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      It will start acting up again. Trust me. The pan needs dropped, and it needs some work. It may just need the valve body bolts tightened with a new gasket, or your bracket may be bent or cracked. Or bieng an Explorer V6 transmision. it may need a full blown rebuild.
       
    20. shinnysplorin

      shinnysplorin New Member

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      MY 2000, LOST 3RD GEAR AT 48,000 MILES, The Ford Garage called it a design flaw!!!! $500 later, they installed their fix it kit, for this flaw. Had to do with a poorly designed gasket, and the fluid not staying where it needed to, etc.
       
    21. cjbarron5

      cjbarron5 Active Member

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      i had the very same problem with the very same year truck mine ended up being the valve body i got it from atc in st louis
       
    22. A .SCOTT

      A .SCOTT New Member

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      Same thing here bad TPS. I replaced it took care of my shifting problems. :)
       
    23. coled43

      coled43 Member

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      I had posted above that I had the same problem with my 99 SOHC and was planning on replacing the EPC and bracket. I finally got around to the work 2 weekends ago. I dropped the pan, replaced the epc and bracket, cleaned pan (fine coating of gray sludge), checked the valve body bolts (a couple took a tweak), reassembled with new filter, and refilled the 4.5 quarts. I took it out for a short test drive and still got the same delayed/slipping 2-3 shift every time.
      So I took a closer look at all my info. I noticed that the EPC was not in the affected date code called out in the TSB and my bracket was not cracked but the new and old brackets were slightly different at one bend. I was starting to think that it could be the valve body or maybe the intermediate band. So last weekend I took another test drive to try it in manual 2, overdrive on vs. off etc.. To my surprise the slipping had gone away. The first shift may have slipped a little, but after that they seemed to be nice and smooth. Seems like the new fluid must have worked it way in.
      After that I did a flush and installed an inline spin-on (FL-300) filter as outlined elsewhere on this board. Took 14 quarts to go from black to red, but the process was very managable. Another test drive was fine. I'm hoping it will be all set, but need to get it registered and drive a few hundred miles before I'm totally convinced.
       
    24. Jay98

      Jay98 New Member

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      Did you ever solve this problem?

      I'm having the same problem with shifts from 2nd to 3rd in my '98 with 4.0L SOHC V6 and 5R55E transmission.

      Actually, I had the problem on a trip to Baltimore two months ago, and now it has gone away. I'm thinking of towing a 6000lb trailer cross-country soon, so I'd like to make sure the transmission is healthy.

      The problem sounds exactly like that described in TSB 99-16-10, but that TSB is not applicable to a '98.... :confused:


       
    25. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      You can't tow a 6000 trailer across the country with an Explorer, let alone one that already has tranny issues. Save yourself the headache of losing a tranny part way through your trip and move your stuff some other way.
       
    26. coled43

      coled43 Member

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      How is your transmission fluid, color, mileage, etc.? See my post above. My 99 is still shifting smooth around 2000 miles later. If you think the fluid is questionable, I highly reccommend the flush with the cooling lines procedure. The external filter mod and/or more cooling would help for towing as well.
       

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