Need Help/Suggestions With My Explorer (O/D, Chains, 2-3 Flare) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Need Help/Suggestions With My Explorer (O/D, Chains, 2-3 Flare)


September 15, 2010
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT V6 SOHC Explorer
Hi, I have a couple of problems with my 99 Ford Explorer 4.0 SOHC, and needed some help or suggestions with trying to figure out what's wrong with it.

First problem is the O/D light coming on after decelerating a couple of times (ex: in a city, frequent stops), feels like the tranny is trying to catch up with the shift when I decelerate and then go to take off (like at a stop light), does the small kick from the rear and the o/d light blinks, during which the truck goes into the limp or safety mode and feels heavy. The problem with all this is that I cant figure out what's specifically wrong with it, I have tried getting the code pulled while the light's on (3 different places), and no codes came up. Some places I've taken it to say to shut off the truck in order to find the code, however whenever I do that, the light goes away and the truck runs fine and normal. At first I thought it was the tranny going bad, but ruled that out, seeing as how the truck runs fine and shifts properly while driving. I checked to see if it shifted properly with the flashing o/d light, and it has, even feels smoother with the o/d light on with the exception of it taking longer to accelerate from a stop. Not entirely sure as to what is causing this problem, or if anyone else has experience the same issue.

Second problem with the truck is that it sounds like a diesel when starting up, like its coming from the timing chains (driver side), and only seems to occur during hot days/weather. (On cold days or mornings, especially during the winter, it just starts right up with no rattle, sounds strong, drives better). The sound does however go away after warm up when it does occur, but still im not entirely sure what's wrong with this either.

Last problem is the 2-3 Shift Flare, not sure if this is tied in with the other two, but the truck's rpms do flare up for a second when shifting from 2-3. Wasn't sure if this was normal or not. If not, any suggestions as to how to fix this would gladly be appreciated.

Overall, I've had this Explorer for a year now (has 144,x.. miles on it), with these same issues occurring, and havent had any serious problems with it, other than the ones stated above. I'm at the point of deciding between whether or not to keep it or sell it. Would love to keep it, but these problems have got me thinking that it might be something serious and expensive, and it would just be cheaper to get another vehicle. Would truly appreciate anyone willing to help me with these issues and finding any solutions.

PS: Only solutions I could think of after doing some research, was to replace solenoid, vehicle speed sensor, and timing chains, but not sure if these would fix these problems or not. Am on a small budget.

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You say the OD light comes on, does it flash, on and off??

yes, randomly, often comes on when I go to accelerate immediately after decelerating (ex: stop at a light, then go) feels as if the tranny is trying to catch up with the shift, kinda hard to explain. But yea, cant see it being the tranny as it shifts properly while driving and the truck runs fine, just occurs randomly. Another note is that I have tried getting codes pulled, but none have come up.

When the OD light flashes a code is stored in the computer, not all code readers can read manufacture DTC codes, you need to get the code read with the right reader.
From the information you gave it doesn't sound like it is running fine. Continuing to drive it till the problem is fixed could cause more damage.

Except the problem is that it comes on randomly, and not all the time, and in total I have those 3 main problems listed above, I'm not entirely sure if all three are connected to each other some how, but I do know that the truck drives differently dependent on temperature. On cold days it starts right up, no rattle from front, and drives great, barely feel the 2-3 flare, and light doesnt come on. On hotter days however it does rattle from front (sounds like a diesel), can definitely feel the rpms flare up when goin from 2-3, and the o/d light goes off (randomly/easily) after immediately accelerating from a deceleration. Not sure what can be causing any of these problems. I have tried getting the codes pulled from 3 different places and they all came up empty, and some other places their readers can only pull up codes if the truck's off, which is a prob because the moment I shut it off the light turns off and won't come back on until I trigger it again somehow, even then no codes show up.

Sorry tried as best I could as to explain the problem/symptoms, all pretty hard to explain unless you were actually driving it. This problem is pretty frustrating because I cannot pinpoint what's wrong, specially if I have no codes. But I do appeciate your time in helping me out.

shift flare & chain rattle

The 5R55E has an internal thermostat that opens the external cooler path when the torque converter fluid reaches 150 degrees. It took my transmission about 20 minutes of driving in cool weather before the temperature was reached. When the external path opened my upshift flare significantly increased. I had no flashing O/D light or codes set. Inspection revealed valve body separator plate gasket blowout. The warm ATF, blown gasket and open external cooling path results in lower line pressure. Could be an inexpensive fix for the upshift flare but may not fix the flashing O/D light. See thread: 5R55E shift saga

It is very difficult to isolate by sound to the source of timing chain rattle. The only reliable method is visual inspection. See my thread: Timing chain rattle resolution process - SOHC V6

Find someone with a Snap-On SOLUS Pro scanner, that will read it, no problemo.

The OD light does not have to be flashing to read the Trans codes. They are stored in the computer until erased. Turning the engine off and restating does not remove the stored codes. It does reset the computer, but the codes remain.

Thanks guys, gonna have to check it out and find someone with the reader to pull the codes, been very busy with classes and work, so have had little time to mess with it. I'll let you guys know if it's been resolved or not. Was also thinking of buying a new Throttle Position Sensor to see if it would help with the flare, I believe im still running with the stock one and the truck's got 144,x.. miles on it.

PS: Was thinking about buying myself a code reader, came across this one while looking online, any thoughts?

TPS Test Procedure

The TPS is easy to test and sometimes difficult to replace.
TPS Test Procedure

Generic, means the codes are common to all manufactures for OBD2
It will read Transmission codes, according to the documentation. I have the 3150 and it works great.
You need to get the trans codes read.
Some codes are very pacific and others have many associated things that can cause the problem, but it points you in the right direction.
Replacing the TPS will not change or fix the flare.
Adjust the bands, this could help the flare and should be done anyway.
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