98 Explorer/ Nothing in Drive or reverse?? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 Explorer/ Nothing in Drive or reverse??


August 24, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer EB
My wife took her explorer skiing and on the way home it slowly lost all drive gears, forward and reverse. When I got there it went into 1st for a second then nothing just like it's in neutral, reverse was worse nothing at all.
Trailered it home and today and if I start it, it makes a lite buzzing noise in park and neutral. It will slowly go into drive but not reverse, or at least it doesn't lock into reverse.
Come to find out that the O/D light has been flashing intermittently for a couple weeks now and she didn't tell me.
How bad is it to pull the trany out?
I was going to pull the pan and check for a bad gasket on the valve body and soleniods but one of the cats are directly under the pan (what idiot came up with that one). Looks like the bolts on the exhaust manifold will surely break if I try to take them out.
Anyone have any ideas where to start? There isn't anyway this is a computer issue is it?
I'm not much of an automatic trany guy, so any help will be usefull!

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Start by getting the codes pulled. You will need a scanner that can pull the extended Ford codes (most auto parts stores will do this for free if you can your Ex there). On my 99 I could pull the tranny pan if I drop the drive shaft first, this gave enough wiggle room to get the pan out. Post back with the codes, mileage and past tranny work done on your Ex.

Thanks Bill,
I'm getting a code reader tomorrow from a friend here at work. The X has 145k on it and hasn't had any tranny work done to it for the last 5 years we have owned the vehichle. The only trouble it gave us was the front ball joints. Probably from running it down the washboard sand roads in northern wisconsin. If you run them fast enough you won't take your fillings out, but it's murder on vehicles. lol

Talking with the wife today and she said something that struck me as strange. She said everytime she drove on wet roads the O/D light would flash, is there something that could get wet that would cause this condition?
Does the EEC control the trany like on the mustangs, or is there a seperate computer to control the trany?

The only code that is coming up is P1762.

The only code that is coming up is P1762.

My 5R55E manual describes that this code is a SS3/SS4/OD band failure giving the symptom of no 2nd or 5th gear. This points to shift solenoids 3 or 4 and or possible the front band. Have you tired driving in manual 1st or 2nd?

I would drop the pan and inspect for any damage and adjust the bands. If no damage is present and the bands can be adjusted then your problem is likely VB or solenoid related. In this case with your high mileage Ex, a VB assembly replacement might be the best way to go. The Ex tranny is prone to blown VB gasket, EPC solenoid failure. If you go the VB replacement make sure the replacement assembly has the updated ford modifications. Check out the 5R55E rebuild diary.


Thanks for info but I took it to the shop here in town last night. I had to hold it in 1st, if it shifted into 2nd it was like neutral. I made it about a mile before it had to be pull the rest of the way.
I'm going to talk with mechanic monday morning, at least now I have some first hand knowledge to tell him.
I agree with you, I believe it's probably a VB or solenoid problem.
If I could have could have done this myself I would have, just don't have the time or the correct tools. It's been years since I had to take anything to a shop. I really don't like the 1600-1800 I was quoted!
What can ya do... Bill's a pretty honest guy so maybe it will be cheaper if it's a VB problem.
Thanks again