Help... EPC Solenoid causing 2-3 Flare?? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Help... EPC Solenoid causing 2-3 Flare??


New Member
August 21, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Elk Grove, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Ford Explorer
This is my first time posting here, so hopefully my post ends up in the right place and follows protocol... it's a little long, sorry:

I have a 1996 Explorer 4wd (4R55E) with 187K. I just got the truck 2 weeks ago and the replaced the engine with great results... I have no history on the vehicle so I don't know what's been done to the tranny previously -- however it had a red band EPC solenoid on it so possibly some tranny work has been done. Anyway, we are now trying to get the transmission to perform correctly. We presume that the problem is related to the solenoids and is not mechanical because of process of elimination (see below). Called the tranny shop and of course they'd rather put a new tranny in for $1600 rather than tinker with the old one... but we think it may be the EPC solenoid... looking for any input on this:

1) The inital problem was a 2-3 flare and it also was showing code P0761 (SS3 stuck off).

2) Thinking the flare was likely related to solenoid 3 code, we replaced SS3 along with all other solenoids (including the EPC solenoid) from another explorer in hopes that the flare would stop (note: the EPC on it was red band, the "new" one was green). When we put the green solenoid on, the flare did stop and upshifting was smooth. However, when downshifting into 2nd gear there was a very noticeable "clunk" and also the same clunk when put into reverse. Something didn't seem right.

3) So, we took off the "new" green EPC solenoid and put the old red one back on. We've driven it 100 miles and no codes come up at all.... but the 2-3 flare is back after putting the green EPC solenoid back on.

We are thinking we now need to replace the old green band EPC solenoid with a new green band solenoid. Would this likely be related to the 2-3 shift flare? The part is around $200 and I'm already in more on this vehicle than I'd like to be... wanted to find out if it is likely that the EPC solenoid will fix the prob. Thanks in advance!!

Problem Fixed

Went ahead and replaced the EPC Solenoid with another green one... shifts great now! Just saved myself $1600, I was ready to give up and get that new tranny.