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Are Explorer auto trannys bad?

aldive

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1999 XLT
I keep reading on these boards horror tories about auto trannys. Got me to wondering so I asked several friends with older Explorers about their trannys.

Here are the results ( I asked their current mileage and if they ever had toi have any tranny work done ):

116k No
93k No
187k No
65k No

mine at 62k No

None of the above are younf folks who drive rather hard. I wonder if driving technique has a lot to do with the problems posted here?

Thoughts.....
 



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Further....

Of those of you who have had tranny woos, do you:

(1) use synthetic fluid ( complete change )
(2) have a tranny cooler
(3) use an aux tranny filter
(4) how often do you do a complete ATF change

Thanks....
 






I'll jump in. YES and NO. Some Explorer trannies do suck. I bought my X off of my sister. She did not drive it hard and it only went into 4 wheel a half dozen times and never Lo. It was alway maintained on time by Ford. It has a factory aux cooler. So that gives you an idea of where my X came from. I bought it with 150k. My sister had complete tranny failure at 145k which isnt too bad. She had it replaced by for with a new unit which failed within TWO MONTHS. She had it replaced again. And that's when she decide to sell it. I've got my fingers crossed.
 






I have 130k on mine. No problems YET. Although at times it will slip out of gear, however that is due to Oil leaking out somewhere???

I personally think they are junk just because they are not built to withstand the power of a motor that isnt all that powerfull to begin with. Which is alot to do with driving style. If you romp on it all the time don't expect it to last. However if you baby it it can last. Why should you have to baby it? What if you bought it just for the sole purpose of towing everyday and towing the max possible? Say you do this for 30k and all of the sudden the tranny lets go. Well to me this is a poorly designed tranny just because of that. It should not let go untill at least 300k+ miles of hard abuse.
 






The older (91-94) explorers are far more notorious for this than the newer ones. Ford redesigned the tranny in 96 i believe and i'm not even sure if i've heard of a automatic SOHC failing.

I had a 92 that visited the tranny shop 11 times in a year and a half. Whether that was the tranny itself or the shop's half-ass work i'm not sure but now i've got a 98 with a V8 that has a completely different tranny.
 






The old A4LDs for the most part are junk. Mine blew at 92K, even with an aux trans cooler. I think part of the problem is that the 4.0 is just a bored and stroked 2.8, which had the same trans behind it, sans overdrive. This is what I've been told, anyway. 1.2 liters more of displacement coupled to the same light duty trans? Hmmmmm, good one Ford. Anyway, I'm now at 140,000 and the new one's still going strong, not that that means anything, since these things seem to go out with virtually no warning. I'm just going to shut up about it now so I don't jinx myself. :rolleyes:

peace

Mike
 






My dad's '96 V8 is still going strong and is approaching 100k. Mine is at 114k and still going strong. I think it's mostly driving style, but there are definately some weak trannies out there.
 






I think that the A4LDs are kind of a luck of the draw. Many people, myself included, have not had tranny problems. I have 187 thousand plus miles on my stock tranny with an aux cooler and i drive it fairly hard. Many other people have had serious problems and baby their trannies, so who knows.
 






Yup, the A4LD and it's Explorer decendants, the 4R55E and 5R55E (there's also a 4R44E) are all fairly weak. But it is luck. Mine was working almost perfectly until it just bombed at 64k. Of course, it does have lots of power routed through it. It's being beefed up a bit and should last longer after it's rebuilt, but I do run it hard. For a tranny that many times doesn't last past 80k on a stock vehicle, I'm happy with 64k from it; but not happy with the overall weakness of the tranny.

I have an aux cooler, change the fluid every 30k, but my filter was over 60k old. They lied to me at 30k and didn't change it :rolleyes:
 






the V8 trannys dont have the same reliability issues as the early V6 ones. the V8 tranny is by no means a bullit-prof unit, but it will withstand much more abuse than a pre-96 V6.
 






Originally posted by CougarX
The older (91-94) explorers are far more notorious for this than the newer ones. Ford redesigned the tranny in 96 i believe and i'm not even sure if i've heard of a automatic SOHC failing.

I had a 92 that visited the tranny shop 11 times in a year and a half. Whether that was the tranny itself or the shop's half-ass work i'm not sure but now i've got a 98 with a V8 that has a completely different tranny.

Stephen's ( the moderator) tranny died on his 97 SOHC. Also, a few others with the SOHC have died as well.
 






I think its all a matter of how you drive. If you drive it easy and don't give it hard shifts then it should last longer. But still Ford needs to put out quality stuff, not crap. So in a way im disappointed ford should even have this problem.
 






My tranny, 99 SOHC bought new, failed in a few months. Luckily it was still under warranty. Then it failed just last year. I took it in and they only replaced a valve, still had a 1st gear miss. I took it in again and it was in for a week. What pissed me off was that they charged me labor again! I complained why I have to pay labor again when the problem was not fixed, and they deducted the labor off. It still cost me about $1k, but I have a problem with the service manager who took in my Ex. He doesn't have that customer satisfaction attitude. Last few times I brought my Ex in, he was the one who took my Ex in and have never been satisfied by him.
 






tranny

hey pbzman, i also have a 99 sohc and i was curious how u drive or if its just a crappy tranny that u got? Do u do alot of off roading?
 






I have a navjo wich is just abiut the same as the x. my tranny ate it at 132k.i do all of the mant. myself and on time,i 'm a motor freak what can i say. any hoot. mike has it right first gen x's motors were just the 2.9L bored out, so much so that ya can;t really bore them any much more than they are. there fore they do ustilize the same weak a!$ tranny that the broncoII had along with the ford areo star minivan,hey at least with minimale work u can take the engine out of a minivan and dump it in your x i know this for a fact i have the books and purposely went out and boght one form the junkyard $400 cheaper!!!! take care of your stuff maintain it and yours will live to see another day:)
 






My X is only 2wd. I only do highway driving. I don't gun my engine at the light, but do only to pass a slow drivers. There is also a TSB for a missing first gear that I found on www.alldata.com.
 






I am worried about my tranny. I have the 3.55 gears, after adding the 31's I can definiately feel the tire size difference. I have 62k and no problems so far, but I am waiting, biting my nails.
My mom has an Expedition her tranny failed at 60k, they claimed it was the valve body, $1800 job. She has never towed or anything other than buy groceries with it.
 






Are Explorer auto trannies bad????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

if you do any wheeling and get even the slightest amount of water in there its only a matter of a short time before youre question is answered...but ill make it quick for ya....yes
 






worried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I drive my ex city only and allways push it hard, esp when I take on some lill punk in some jap car! also tow a boat!
Now I have a stutter/slipping feeling when I go up a slight incline but only in first gear.
Is this a bad sign????:eek:
 



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Re: worried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Originally posted by kammo
I drive my ex city only and allways push it hard, esp when I take on some lill punk in some jap car! also tow a boat!
Now I have a stutter/slipping feeling when I go up a slight incline but only in first gear.
Is this a bad sign????:eek:
Not particularly. Could be your motor. How long has it been since the tranny fluid was changed?
 






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