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Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, & Differentials Transmissions, Transfer Cases. A4LD, 4R70W, 4R44E, 4R55E, 5R44E, 5R55E, M5OD, BW 1354, Control Trac, GEM, AWD. Ford 8.8", Dana 35

1994 4x4 transmission problem

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Old 09-11-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
Currency
Bedford Indiana
94 XLT 4x4
 
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1994 4x4 transmission problem

Hello everyone.

I recently traded for a used 1994 XLT 4x4 four door ford explorer. My current transmission issue is just bugging me more then the 4x4 not working. I know its strange right?

Well when I got it I put 2 1/2 qts of trans fluid into the transmission because it was jumping into and out of gear, That fixed my issue and everything seemed to be just fine until yesterday morning. I got in it and fired it up, Put it into reverse and backed out of my parking space and turned around. Then I dropped it down into drive and it kicked in just fine, for a second. I started up the not so steep hill to the stop sign at the end of my road when it dropped out of drive into neutral. So I ended up sitting there for a second counting my chickens until it went back into drive. I did however try every other gear but reverse at that time. No problems the rest of the day btw.

well this morning I done the same thing, started it, backed out of my parking space without any slippage or anything. It went into drive for a sec made it to the stop sign and did not want to move any further, So I dropped it down into neutral and backed up into an empty parking space about to open the hood when i checked to see if she would go this time. She did until I was trying to cross the road, Oncoming traffic while sitting and not being able to move is bad.

Well to make a long story short it finally jumped back into gear just in time to get out of the intersection and drive the 1.5 blocks to NAPA where I am lucky enough to get 33% off. Two qts of trans fluid later and no slippage for now.

My explorer has that beloved A4LD automatic overdrive transmission with to my knowledge 182k miles on it.

What I cannot understand, I can leave it sitting there running, drive circles in the parking lot across the street from my house and it does not leak one drop of anything. Where did my transmission fluid vanish to? It's a mystery to me, I would have another trans for it but that parts explorer had its sold already. Just my luck.

Hope you enjoy my story which seems to be a common issue for that tranny. I will be around and thanks for the help I will be receiving soon.

Currency
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
Currency
Bedford Indiana
94 XLT 4x4
 
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I thought I should add a little more information before calling it a night. The last owner had this explorer for about two years, During this time she drove it about everyday and stated "I've never opened the hood on that thing". I just figured I should add that because within one month and 400 miles of driving it this past week and half I've poured in 4 1/2 qts of tranny fluid. 2 1/2 before I drove it and 2 more qts this morning. I honestly do not know where it maybe going since it doesn't leak.

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Old 09-12-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
MrShorty
Spanish Fork, UT
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Check the vacuum line that runs from the vacuum tree to the vacuum modulator on the transmission. If there's ATF in there, the diaphragm on the modulator has ruptured and you need to replace the modulator.




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Old 09-12-2009, 12:19 AM   #4
rhauf
Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrShorty View Post
Check the vacuum line that runs from the vacuum tree to the vacuum modulator on the transmission. If there's ATF in there, the diaphragm on the modulator has ruptured and you need to replace the modulator.
i second this: sounds to me like you just need to replace the modulator and you're problems will be solved!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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Bedford Indiana
94 XLT 4x4
 
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I've taken a look at it and it appears to be a pain to get to from the bottom. I've read you can remove it from the top by removing the front seats, center console and getting to it from an access panel on the transmission hump on the inside. I won't be able to fix it until Monday because of my 13 month old son whom I have on weekends.

I'll work it on it and let everyone know how things go. Thanks for the help guys. Do you think I got a decent deal for my trade? 90 cavalier for this explorer? She wreaked the car already (within two weeks) and got a grand from insurance. I just hope she maintains the car better then she did the explorer.

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Old 09-16-2009, 11:48 PM   #6
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Bedford Indiana
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Update, Not had a lot of time to toy around with my explorer but will be heading to a friends house tomorrow to check it out, replace it if needed which I think it needs replace.... another 1 1/2 qts later...

Also going to check into my 4wd issue. Everything points to the t/c shift motor but my friend thinks it maybe something else. All he said *which was sent through a middle man* was a ball looking thing mounted on the driver side fender well. I looked at what he was talking about and it appears to have something to do with the vacuum lines but I may be wrong. I will update everyone once I get back home. Will also be making another thread about a strange pecking sound when I give her over 1/2 throttle, at full throttle it goes away whatever it may be.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:55 PM   #7
nooberiffic
Utah
93 XLT
 
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I had problems with my 4wd. I would press the 4wd and 4 lo buttons and get no respons but a click from the cargo area. Did a search (on these forum) and found all the help I needed. I did the self test on the control module (left side cargo area) and it was good. Turns out, it was the shift motor. I replaced the motor with a spare one I had laying around. Works great now.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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Bedford Indiana
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Wink

That is the main reason I joined but I believe my tranny fluid issue was the first thing to be fixed.

I test my 4x4 control module and forgot to turn the key on when I did that so I got one from a family friend who owns a junk yard in my area. $40 later I found out they both were ok. I'm glad he knows my entire family or he would never have refunded me without a 10% restocking fee and never said "No refunds on electronics" which he told the guy in front of me. so that leaves the little rusted motor on my t/c as my problem.

Now if I could only figure out why ford riveted the radius control arm bracket piece to the frame. My bushings wore out and I replaced them with moog ones from advance for about $50, Got a used radius arm but every time I hit a bump I hear it hitting. So ford says $101 for the mount or I can visit my most previous employer which is a steel fabrication plant to get an oversized washer made then find someone to weld it in place. Replace the moog bushings and put the 1 1/8th nut back on and hope for the best. I was thinking a 1/4 inch thick washer would work. If the welder is not there the foreman would use a tig on it, But I think the mig would be better. I don't know.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #9
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Bedford Indiana
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Today I replaced the modulator and a cracked hose leading to the tranny fluid cooler. My buddy said my front main seal has a small leak so I put a qt of lucas in and a little more tranny fluid. I will keep an eye on it and update you guys in a few days.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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I'm still keeping an eye on my fluid levels, Things seem fine now. But I noticed a leaking vacuum line under the intake, It has some sort of sensor going into right under the intake. The only way I see of getting to it is removing my throttle cables and reaching in from the front. My buddy said he has changed them before and that may be the reason my 4wd doesn't work. The guys at advance don't know what it is and cannot order a replacement sensor. So I'm at a lose as to what it is, Anyone here know?
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:31 AM   #11
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Fluid is still good for now anyways. Took it to the car wash the other night and washed under the motor, trans and trans cooler. It appeared as if the trans cooler may have a small leak above where the hoses attach to it. It's clean for the moment and I will be watching it like a hawk. I found a small bird that was covered in tranny fluid under the trans cooler. It looked yellow but of course was black because of the nasty tranny fluid. I am planning on flushing my system soon with the tips I've read here about flushing it.

*Adds that to his to do list, Item #50*
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #12
abrzrkr
Erie pa
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This thread is awesome! Did you say that you had a bird in your Explorer?
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:03 AM   #13
Currency
Bedford Indiana
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Yes, It appeared to have been yellow at some point but was cover in old transmission fluid so it was mostly black. It was located in the driverside front right below the transmission cooler. Another interesting tidbit is I have an ant infestation in the front passenger side door jam as well. My ex is a wilderness lover I guess and brings all sorts of things home with her.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:24 PM   #14
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According to these guys...

http://www.transmissioncenter.net/tipsheets.htm

A4LD – TRANSMISSION

When an A4LD goes bad it usually takes about $400.00 worth of new hard parts on average. When the transmission is rebuilt never use used hard parts; use only new or rebuilt hard parts. Used hard parts will not hold up in this transmission. Never pull a trailer with an A4LD, it will go bad real quick. (If someone rebuilds your A4LD and reuses any of the hard parts with only slight wear, you’ll be doing the job again in less than a year. This information will save you $$$$.)


So that means even with my explorer having the tow package which includes a transmission fluid cooler I shouldn't use it to tow junk cars to a junk yard?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #15
Jack Flash
Ethel, MS
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I tend to cut corners on a vehicle repair job when it's my vehicle...lol.

I disagree with the 'not' using used hard parts. I have a '92 Ex that had a blown tranny in it. I was shocked at the $$ the tranny shops wanted to overhaul it. I started searching for answers and my last stop was here on the explorer forum.

To make a long story short, I bought a used overdrive assembly, put it in my tranny, and about 2 years later it's still going strong. The only thing that I regret is not replacing the torque converter. Now I'm having to pull it back out and replace a slipping converter.

I spent my formative years in a wrecking yard and am not afraid of used parts. Read the A4LD stickies and see what damage to look for on the hard parts.

,
,

J...retired and doing whatever I want.




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