96 5.0 AWD TCC locked up in 2nd and up?? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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96 5.0 AWD TCC locked up in 2nd and up??


May 23, 2016
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Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Ford Explorer
I have a 96 all-wheel drive 5.0. Just recently when pulling up to a stop sign it felt like the vehicle was going to stall. Also when upshifting it feels like, what I would say, a manual transmission almost, in the fact that it pulls the motor down more then it should when it shifts and very lightly accelerating. In reverse it acts just fine, and in manual first it acts fine. Even at a stop and shifting to First it idles fine, but as soon as you shift it into second it starts wanting to stall all while sitting still with foot on the brake. With foot still on brake not moving and shift it to drive it idles better, but as soon as you start driving and it shifts into second it starts wanting to stall again when you are slowing down and the up shifts feel more like a manual transmission up shift. It really feels like the torque converter clutch is locked up in every gear except first and reverse? Not sure if just replacing the torque converter clutch solenoid would fix this problem? Just looking for some insight on the issue and possible causes. I have read some people with similar issues but in their cases it stalled in reverse and every other gear. They replace the valve body and it seemed to fix the issue. That doesn't really narrow it down to any certain thing, it possibly could have been the torque converter clutch solenoid for them too. The fact that it acts okay in reverse and in manual first really adds to the confusion in my case.

That 5.0 should have a 4R70W transmission behind it, the problem is not with the converter, its working. Its a control problem and most likely in the valve body.

A common reason for this is the #7 rubber check ball deteriorates over time and blows through the plate, this allows 2nd gear oil to apply the converter clutch.

You may want to get a complete gasket and seal kit so you will have everything to put it back together.

4r70w checkball.jpg

Awesome, that is exactly what I needed to know. That gasket and seal kit in the link is what you recommend? Looks like there are a handful of gaskets and parts with it that I would not be using just fixing that issue. I do know how gasket kits are and some times that's just how it goes, just curious. I'm not 100% sure what all is needed at this point, I'm guessing a new plate and gaskets and the number 7 check ball? Sounds like you would have to drop and split the valve body and replace the plate, gaskets and check ball. Is there anything else I'm not thinking of? I don't want to just throw parts at it, to throw parts at it, but is there any parts that are recommended to replace while I'm in there? There's nothing wrong with preventative maintenance. I more than appreciate your time and information in your response, that was extremely helpful. Thank you

That gasket and seal kit is just one I found doing a quick search, it has the valve body gaskets that you will need and even the updated check balls and yes you wont use half that kit. I couldn't find the check balls with just the valve body gaskets so that's why I recommended that kit. The check balls in your transmission will be the old style rubber ones, the new style are a hard plastic style that wont deteriorate over time. Maybe you could just find a gasket set for the valve body and swing by a transmission shop and see if they can give you all the updated check balls, I know a have a drawer that has a bunch of them in it.

Obviously you will have to remove the plate to get to the check balls once you get the valve body off but you can reuse the plate and just replace the gaskets, I would also replace the filter and fluid too but I would think you would do that anyways. Other than that, that should be all you really need to do.

Let me know if you have and other questions or need any other info.