Automatic trans wont go into any gear :( | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Automatic trans wont go into any gear :(


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September 18, 2011
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1991 explorer
Hey guys, VERY GLAD i found your forums :) , I could really use some input here as i really dont know much about transmissions..I have a 91 ford explorer automatic that i just bought (just couldnt pass the deal up) I bought it knowing that when you put it into ANY gear it wouldnt go anywhere, essentially just acting like its out of fluid, No Drive, No Reverse, nothing happens when you hit the gas no matter what gear its in, at first i thought it might be something to do with the transfer case so i pulled it off and it seems to be fine, then got under the truck while a friend went through all the gears and watched the transmission output to see if it spun at all, nothing , the tranny doesnt make any weird noises or anything, and when you shift through the gears while its idling the engine idle changes as if it went into gear but nothing happens when you hit the gas..i looked at the trans fluid and its not burnt, the guy i bought it from had a few vehicles and was honest about everything , he said he had gotten stuck and was trying to rock the truck out and it simply stopped going into gear, I'm wondering if it could be the torque converter or maybe something else thats not too big of a deal, the linkage is all fine but one of my friends suggested maybe its just a fuse somewhere? I would really appreciate any be honest my Fiancee is getting pretty pissed at me and itd be nice as hell to tell her i fixed the truck lol, so any ideas? Is there something other then the torque converter that would explain no power coming from the tranny no matter what gear its in?

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It could be the TC but not likely, and not a fuse, if the TC is bad the trans is bad also from contamination, there are many things that it could be, governor stuck, bad modulator, blown valve body gaskets, bad hydraulic pump, broken linkage. A pressure test would be one of the first things to check.

Alright, well i took off the trans pan today and replaced the filter, i found a substantial amount of metal dust/paste on the magnet in the trans pan and one very thin metal shaving about 1/2 inch long, and the filter didnt look like itd ever been changed so i'm hoping that was the problem, tomorrow i'm going to put the transfer case back on and refill the trans with fluid ( it all drained out when i took off the TC ), is that normal? i thought the transfer case had its own fill and drain plugs so it could be taken off without draining the trans but maybe i was wrong? anyways the plan is to put the transfer case back on tomorrow and fill the trans back up with fluid so i can do a pressure test, one thing i noticed that i cant figure out is while i was under there looking for any leaks in the cooler lines etc , i noticed a decent gauge wire with a round connector on the end that looks as if it should have a bolt through it connecting it to something but it is just completely unplugged, its ran right by a wire that has a plastic cover on it and goes into the trans with i believe 2 wires inside the plastic cover, on the front passenger side towards the front of the transmission, possibly a ground wire or something? I tried to find it in my haynes manual but they seem to be content saying "disconnect the electrical connections from various components" rather then showing what the hell this wire is for :(

If you have the front end raised, it is normal for a good bit of fluid to run out of the extension housing. That entire area is lubricated by ATF routed through the valve body extension housing lube orifice. So make sure you seal it up good when you re-install the T-Case. Get a new paper gasket if you can, or if your old one is not shredded, just give it a light skim of RTV.
Also, I do recall on some Explorer transmissions, there was a front sensor that was recalled, in a manner of speaking, to be disconnected as per a Ford service notice.

ok, it is up on ramps in the front so thats a little bit of a relief lol...If replacing the filter and fluid doesnt do the job the auto dismantlers here will let a trans go for $85 bux..I'm just debating on whether or not to take the chance to rebuild the tranny myself since the kits on ebay are only like 150 bux, I'm going to do as much troubleshooting as i can and take some pics in the morning and try to get a more definitive explanation for the wire :exp: .

checked the pressure and it seems to be fine, the wire i was talking about seems to be a ground coming off the battery so i dont think that has anything to do with it...almost done dropping the tranny now but dont really know what i'm looking for at this point lol

if the torque converter was broken would the trans fluid still have pressure?