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97 Explorer 5-Speed Grinding on downshift

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by chieftechie, December 30, 2004.

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  1. chieftechie

    chieftechie New Member

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    City, State:
    Colorado Springs CO.
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 Explorer Sport
    Greetings folks! Quick question since I can't find a thread directly related to this issue that I am having.

    Specs:

    1997 Explorer Sport 5spd Man.
    4WD
    92K Miles

    I just purchased this for my son (first car) and took it in to have all the fluids changed. The tranny had been filled with GL5 (obviously wrong) and I had it filled with the proper Mercon fluid. Well now after just a few weeks the tranny started grinding whenever you downshift (and release the clutch) and the gear doesn't engage. Instead I am met with high-speed grinding noises when I reengage the clutch. Pressing in the clutch, reving to an acceptable RPM and releasing the clutch, it engages fine and with no noise. Upshifts are fine, really positive in all gears. This problem exists all transfer case settings (auto, HI, Lo). Also if you try loading the trans (engine breaking downhill for example) the grinding/spinning noise starts and you have to push in the clutch and get the RPM back up (not optimum on a downhill run obviously). Other notes, The shift lever never "pops" out of gear either and I can actually hear the gears start spinning up (pitch increases) when this occuring.

    Now my question is this really nested as this. I have a new trans on order and will be replacing the clutch and all bearings etc. But after looking at this site and some of the issues that sound "close" to mine, I want to make sure that it isn't a transfer case or such issue instead. Or am I just foolish and could fix this with a different fluid? Overall my theory is that my synchro's have bit the dust but in all gears (including having issues in reverse if you have to really load the trans) wouldn't that seem odd?

    One other quick note, I had the 4WD shift motor replaced already since the flashing lights on the dash started on day one....4WD works fine.

    cheers
    wes
     
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  3. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '96 XLT 4.0L OHV
    Welcome Wes.

    I'm going to guess that the synchros on 5th gear are shot. But, with all that metal floating in the gearbox, something else may fail, too. Replacing clutch, pressure plate, slave cylinder, etc. while the 'box is out is a good idea. I would have rebuit the existing 'box (but that's me). Doesn't sound like you have t-case issues but you might want to change the fluid in there, too. You'll need 2 quarts of Mercon III. Filling the t-case is another issue........

    As for the shift motor, Forum member Brain just did a write-up on how to fix them. Too bad you had it replaced, chances are, you could have fixed it yourself.

    There's a lot of members from Colorado. If you need help, I'm sure someone will be willing to assist.

    Dave.
     
  4. chieftechie

    chieftechie New Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 Explorer Sport
    Thanks Dave....I just wanted to make double sure that the tranny was the issue! I canceled the order for the tranny and my mechanic is going to rebuild the unit...takes a day and actually worked out to not be much more since they were going to have the unit down anyway. Also after reading the forum notes I told him to take care of the slave cylinder as well. For those in Colorado Springs (Monument), the costs breakdown as such:

    Rebuild Transmission - $775
    Clutch (all bearings, preasure plate etc) - $201
    Flywheel - $50
    All hydraulic (slave cylinder etc) - $200
    Labor for all above $450

    So you all can do the math...it isn't cheap but without the proper tools and such sometimes you just have to pony up the dough (unfortunately).

    For reference I found a place for rebuilt trannys and the cost was:

    Transmission - $650
    Shipping - $75 - $125 (each way)
    Core charge - $250

    So in essence you're right...rebuilding the current unit worked out and it goes to the shop on Monday!

    Also, I did see the writeup on how to rebuild the shift motor....but it was getting cold here and laying on my back in the garage to pull it down and rebuild it made me change my mind (especially if I messed it up and it took more than once to get it right) ;).

    Anyhow, I figure with this thing having over 90K on the clock and my son using it...I will be hanging out on this forum quite often! BTW, my wife actually likes this little SUV so much that I may have another one comming home for her to zip around in up here in the hills.

    cheers
    wes
     






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