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Slow shifts out of first, flashing OD light

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by ophidia, January 24, 2012.

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    1. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      1999 Mtneer 4.0 SOHC 4x4. 158000 miles. A few weeks ago, it started doing a thing where it would occasionally free rev in drive unless you put it in 2nd or neutral and back in drive. At that point, I checked the transmission fluid, and it was about a quart low. I topped it off and forgot about it.

      This past week it started doing that again, so I checked the transmission fluid level again, and it was fine. I dumped in a can of Transx, and figured it might just be the cable out of adjustment since bumping it into neutral and firmly back in drive solved it for that trip. I also tested engine braking, and it does not have engine braking in 1st, but does at speed if you turn off O/D. Reverse works fine.

      Now it's taking a long time to shift out of first (seems to be at least 3k RPM's at the minimum) and, after a few of those, it takes off in 2nd and the O/D light flashes. I'm sure this means there's a code, but of course my Bluetooth OBD adapter doesn't read those.

      Based on the symptoms, does this seem like something involving dirty internals/solenoids that could be addressed by using a cleaner in the transmission, or does it sound like something more serious? I can't afford to have the thing rebuilt (or even replaced with a junkyard transmission) right now, so if there's anything I can do to extend it's life at this point, it would be great. Up until tonight, when it started the slow shift out of 1st, it shifted fine, no delays or flares.

      Thanks for reading.
       
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    3. fled

      fled Active Member

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      Common problem is failure in solenoid b in your transmission. Dealer sells as solenoid pack only. Part, fluid and filter. Run for around $400.00 plus labor. Theres a really good doit yourself thread on here to replace solenoid pack. Check it out.
       
    4. daveleeander

      daveleeander Active Member

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      One other possibility is the OD servo worn out. Don't know about your year. Worth using as search word and checking out. I just did my 02 Explorer and fixed mine. The 5R55W tranny uses the OD band when taking off. If the band doesn't tighten (servo doesn't provide pressure) then there is a slip in first and the high revs. If you don't have a drastic drop in RPM when OD kicks in (or if it's slipping) then you may have a worn servo cavity.

      D
       
    5. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      Can either of those fixes be accomplished lying under the vehicle in my garage w/o removing the transmission? How complicated is the job? My most complex thing that I've done was a lower intake gasket on a 2000 Grand Am-- involved removing pretty much all the accessories, upper intake, valve covers, rocker arms, push rods,etc. down to the heads...

      Is the O/D solenoid part of the solenoid pack?

      How likely is the transmission to go completely to hell if I don't do this immediately? Winter in ND is a bad time to work on vehicles w/o a heated garage, even being an unseasonably warm 14 degrees today... :p
       
    6. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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      Take it in and get the codes read, then post back up.
       
    7. joecrna

      joecrna Active Member

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      Valve body and selonoids are easy enough to replace in garage. Not too expensive compared to a rebuild. Run them long with problems and hard parts start to wear. Then the only fix is a rebuild. Once all is considered, price/time/space/experience/weather, I would buy a rebuilt valve body from Central Valve Bodies and a complete selonoid pack and new style braket from Ford. Drop the pan, change those, the fluid, filter and the foreward/reverse servo gasket and call it a day or three (I work slow). This will fix 99% of all problems in the 5R55E transmission. It will also cost $750-$1000 plus your labor but far cheaper than a rebuild and you will probably get better parts/solutions than from the local transmission shop.
       
    8. JTH0714

      JTH0714 New Member

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      It is the tps! throttle positioning sensor! I promise you! I had that problem. get it at autozone for about 40 bucks. takes three inutes to replace with a screw driver. easiest thing in the world! let me know if that was it. i bet it is. I had that problem a few weeks ago. the OD light flashing means that the tps sensor is broken.
       
    9. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      Replaced the TPS tonight since 24.99 and 5 minutes is better than the alternative, and it might work. It still seems to be shifting late into 2nd, though, but seems better. I've disconnected the battery and am letting it sit for a while. I've wasted 25 bucks on a lot worse. I'm not expecting that it'll resolve the problem, but it is something that crossed my mind to try.

      We shall see.
       
    10. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      Nope, didn't fix it. Time to search out the how-to for replacing the solenoid pack.
       
    11. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      I don't seem to be having any luck finding that how-to thread. Anyone have it bookmarked by chance?
       
    12. fled

      fled Active Member

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    13. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      That actually looks pretty easy. Thanks!
       
    14. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      I can't seem to find a part number for the solenoid pack-- looked on fordparts.com and the Tousley ford websites. Can anyone help with that?
       

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    15. fled

      fled Active Member

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      Ihad the part number but cant find it. I think you should get it from dealer. Motorcraft tranny fluid is recomended as well.
       
    16. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      I'm going to drop the pan, change the filter, and get some fresh fluid in it tonight. Gonna be a week or so before I can get a solenoid pack, so I figure it can only help until then. Hopefully I don't find any ominous metal chunks lying in there...
       
    17. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      I did not end up dropping the pan, as the jug of fluid I got was not Mercon V compatible. I did notice that now it does not shift into overdrive anymore. This seems to point to the overdrive servo. Is this something that can be replaced with the transmission in the truck? Is it part of the solenoid pack?

      Thanks!
       
    18. fled

      fled Active Member

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      Search for threat to service servo. Theres good explanation there.
       
    19. ophidia

      ophidia Member

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      I brought it in today to get the codes read and have a trans tech test drive it. The codes were 2nd gear ration wrong, and 5th gear ratio wrong. It also is having trouble engaging the forward clutch (both first and reverse don't always have much right away) and often when you coast the clutch doesn't reengage unless you put it in neutral and back in gear.

      Rebuild? :(
       
    20. italianbigsky

      italianbigsky Member

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      I rebuilt the transimmion (the previous owner did) 2 years ago, and I drove it for about 20k miles, but I'm experiencing similar problems today.
      I don't think you have to rebuild the whole thing, but if it will be easier than wasting time and money trying to fix each part one by one, as soon as you have the money rebuild it.
      Thats' just my 2 cents.
       
    21. cakeboy06

      cakeboy06 New Member

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      A used one is a lot easier on the wallet! Gille Auto in Valley City has one with 75,000 miles for $650, already out of the truck, sitting on a warehouse shelf. Including fluid and labor, you should still come in right around $1,000. A "standard rebuild kit" usually doesn't cover a new valve body, solenoid pack, torque converter, or trannsmission case.

      Just an idea?
       
    22. HobokenMikeJ

      HobokenMikeJ New Member

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      I am have the exact same symptoms you described. Did you ever find a fix?
       
    23. Robman

      Robman Active Member

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      Use full synthetic tranny fluid when it's time to fill it back up.
       
    24. HobokenMikeJ

      HobokenMikeJ New Member

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      Thanks!!!!
       
    25. gatzdon

      gatzdon Active Member

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      Wish I saw this thread when it was first posted.

      Forscan can pull all Diagnostic Codes from the Powertrain Control Module and Transmission Control Module (and all the other modules too). These are not the same as OBD codes you get from the autostore. If the OD light is blinking, there's a DTC in the PCM or TCM related to the transmission.

      Most likely, there will be one code that stands out as the root cause. If you are lucky, it's something simple like "Shift Solenoid [X] Intermittent Failure" where X is the solendoid letter. Solenoids can be replaced just by dropping the pan, you don't even have to remove the valve body.

      The cheap $10-$15 Bluetooth OBD Adapter can probably pull all the codes, but I recommend a good one like OBD Link MX Bluetooth which runs about $80 on Amazon. Forscan is free for the PC, about $5 for the phone.
       

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