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How to Replace the 4x4 Shift Control Module (Easy Fix)

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by quandary, January 20, 2012.

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    1. quandary

      quandary New Member

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      Firstly, thanks to this forum for helping me save hundreds of dollars. After disconnecting the battery for a transmission rebuild, i had no 4x4. The rear tires slid out and there were no lights when trying to switch to 4x4 H and L. When i first turned on the ignition, 4x4L would flash for a second.

      The dealer wanted $100 for diagnosis + $500 for parts + labor. Thanks to this forum and Rock Auto, i replaced it for under $200 myself in less than 10 minutes.

      This post is to consolidate the process and provide some pictures (unfortunately i cannot post attachments).

      1) Do a couple easy checks first to save some money. Check the fuses and relays. The diagrams are here: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107270
      (This doesn't necessarily mean that the control module is flawed so you will have to decide if you want to take the risk of going straight to the contol module. Other problems can be speed sensors, broken wires or the motor. Since the control module seems to be the most common problem, i took the gamble.)

      2) Order your part. I used Rock Auto but here are some other dealers found in this forum:
      http://www.rockauto.com/
      http://fastpartsnetwork.com/
      http://www.millenniumford.com/
      http://www.trademotion.com/

      It can be known as a shift control module or 4x4 control module or modulator. The Ford part is TM153 and the alternate part number is 1L2Z7E453A (as of 2012). Some of the web sites will ask for a VIN number to double-check the part number. (Being from Canada, i usually use Fed Ex because they have an inhouse brokerage. Sometimes, you will get long delays because of clearing customs relying on external brokerages.)

      3) To gain access, you need to swing the glove compartment to the floor. There is a plastic tab on each side that you need to push inwards. Removal of the glove compartment is not necessary.

      4) The module is located in the left-centre. (It is not the one on the right that says Bosch.) From the under the dash, unscrew the single screw that holds the silver-coloured bracket in place. (Getting the two screws directly attached to the module is almost impossible). You need a 7mm socket. The other side of the bracket is not screwed and simply slides out when you pull it.

      5) Turn off your ignition. (I did not disconnect the battery terminal but have read some threads that recommend it. I suspect that might be what wrecked my module in the first place.) Unplug the two wiring harnesses. Remember to use your thumb to press in the tab. I used a flat screw driver to help pry the harness off.

      6) Remove the module and brakcet. Unscrew the module from the bracket. There are 2 screws.

      7) Installation is the reverse.

      8) Test out your 4x4 afterwards.
       
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    3. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ah, it is that time of year!! One thing I would add is that the part number is VIN specific.

      Nice job. :thumbsup: I'm sure this will be helping out a few people since the white stuff is finally flying, around here at least!
       
    4. Artbaileyjr

      Artbaileyjr New Member

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      Yep. What quandary said.

      A picture is worth a thousand words. ;)

      [​IMG]

      (above) Pull in the sides of the glove box until the shown tabs allow the glove box to drop open. Let it hang.

      [​IMG]

      (above) Remove the ONE vertical screw and pull the module and bracket straight out.

      Reach under dash and remove the connectors with one hand while manipulating the module through the glove box opening with the other hand.

      Installation is reverse.



      Art :D
       
    5. Mender

      Mender New Member

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      TM153 should be in today from rockauto, once I found out the alternate part number it was much easier to find. Came to about 250 with shipping if all goes well the install should be tonight. I will post results, thanks Quan.

      ~UPDATE~

      Install was simple, 4x4 High works like a charm! though 4X4 Low mode remains unresponsive. When I am in Neutral with the break depressed and select 4X4 Low mode the indicator light on the button flashes for several seconds and then stays off.

      Thoughts?
       
      Last edited: September 28, 2012
    6. ravenecw

      ravenecw New Member

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      Any word on this? I just did my 4x4 Module and I have the same problem. (Got mine from RockAuto as well)
       
    7. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      When I first got my Ex, I had 4x4 flashing issues. I replaced the module to no avail. It turned out that I had a bad ground on the transfer case shift motor.

      I suggest you check that out. Good luck!!:thumbsup:
       
    8. ravenecw

      ravenecw New Member

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      I'll have to check, the module did fix the 4x4 problem OTHER than 4x4 Low. Just like when things are working.... and saw that others are having the 4x4 low problem (although no one seems to say what the problem is/was).
       
    9. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out.
       
    10. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      Quandary: How did you know the module was the causative culprit? You did not mention specifics, unless I missed something (entirely possible, it's past my bedtime!). imp
       
    11. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      Move 'em by Shooting 'em!

      Rondo - USMC, Combat Engineer, 1983-1996

      Did I ever tell you about how my '66 I-H Scout was getting obstinate, and knowing my wife depended on it getting through the mud to the bus stop, 26 miles away, to come down weekends to where I was working,

      I pumped about 10 or so rounds from my 9mm pistol, about 40 feet away, through the rear fender and low quarter panel? That damn beast perked RIGHT UP! imp

      (I carefully avoided anything important)
       
    12. ravenecw

      ravenecw New Member

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      I will- wish others would have posted back on this exact topic.

      Might be a bit though, I don't have an easy way to get under there- is there diagram to show me exactly what i'm looking for? Otherwise when I get the chance i'll see if my local oil place will let me go in the pit to look from underneath.
       
    13. scorpo8972

      scorpo8972 Elite Explorer

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      Quick question. My 4x4 is down however what is the correct part number. I'm getting TM152 as the "updated" version. Can anyone help so I don't buy the wrong part.

      I heard there is 152,153. and 154. Are these updated units of the old versions just different modules for different drivetrain types. My truck has abs, no TC, no SC.
       

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