4r44e clunking/ flared shifts | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4r44e clunking/ flared shifts


New Member
March 14, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
98 xlt ranger
I have a 1998 4x4 ranger with the 3.0, 4r44e and 147k miles.

The tranny has started to do a a flared 1-2 shift. If I am in heavy traffic, like usual, and am going along at a steady pace and need to accelerate the transmission will clunk slightly. The clunk could be the slip joint, but i recently greased and there is not a big clunk when starting from a stop. I am concerned about the flared shift. It will also slightly slip when shifting into 2nd if hammering the truck hard.

Here is the oil change history of the transmission:
Bought truck 69k miles fluid looked great
Changed fluid at 90k miles
Changed fluid at 140k miles due to some slightly flared shifting
Changed fluid at 146k with mobil 1. Used regular mercon V before.

It's still doing it. The transmission is not bad and I've driven worse, but I'm thinking its time to sell the truck unless someone can give me any hints/help.

Also, no flashing O/D light or CEL

Truck is also missing at idle slightly and has a large sucking sound from under the hood when I put it in reverse, always had the sucking sound. I cannot find a leak. Missing at idle is most likely bad wires or bad IACV. Stupid dangerzone parts.

Thanks for your help.


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Sucking is a vacuum leak which can cuase all kinds of problems in a number of ways. Find your vacuum leak (probably a vacuum line disconnected) and fix it first.

in the 4R44 2nd gear is accomplished by the intermediate band being applied. Your band may just need adjustment, or you could have other things wrong, but a band adjustment is fast and easy and may help.

Klunk is likely a U joint.

Will try band adjustment this weekend. I've looked and looked for that vac leak and cannot find it. Been looking for it for about 2 years. While I am under there I will re grease the slip yoke.

Until you find and fix your vacuum leak you may be chasing symptoms that will go away when it's found and fixed.

I have found alot of the problems with the 1,2 shift flair to be in the valve body. these vb's wear really easy and get sloppy.. i have replaced several vb's for that reason with great success.. the problem is that vb's are very expensive (over 400 bucks).. i checked around and found them for about $200 with solinoids and all gaskets.. so check around before buying one