No 4th gear in my 5spd trans!? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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No 4th gear in my 5spd trans!?


New Member
August 6, 2007
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City, State
Hot & burning up in Idaho
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 Eddie Bauer
Have a 93 explorer with a 5 speed that I love. But it recently stopped going into 4th gear.
Actually it "goes" into 4th, but nothing happens. It's like it's in neutral. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th all work fine. It slides into the 4th position with no grinding or any other weird noises, but there's no 4th.

A mechanic at a shop suggested the shifter itself that moves the forks may be shot.

Could that actually be it? Or is it tranny time?

Nice old rig so selling it is not really an option right now, but neither is a new tranny right now in this wonderful economy we're in.

Any id's? Or Cheep fixes?

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Third and fourth are on the same shift fork so if it goes into one, I would say that's ok. Fourth gear just locks the input and output shaft together so I imagine the lock ring will be broken. Trans will have to come out and most likely fully disassembled.

I haven't dug any deeper than 5th/reverse in mine but they say this trans is pretty easy to work on. Worth a shot if you can afford the downtime.

As I amtodd said they are very easy to rebuild. I'm just trying to think of how you could lose fourth. It is one shift fork for 3/4 and also one slider for 3/4.

I'm doubting the slider would work for third and not fourth.


Those "nubs" for for lack of a better word touching my thumb are fourth gear (not to be confused with the actual gear underneath, that is the countershaft drive gear). Maybe they broke?

I would do some research and see if you can pull the top cover off the tranny while it is still in the truck. I honestly have no idea, its been so long since I worked on one. You might have to cut an access hole?

If it is a problem with the forks then you have just saved yourself pulling the tranny. If not well you know for sure the problem before you pull it....

So you're saying it could be one of the forks on the shifter then?

My plan this weekend was to tinker on this a bit and remove the shifter and hopefully get an inside look at the trans, or some of it anyway, thru the top.

I obviously would love to Not have to pull this tranny, but I'm usually not that lucky.
If I've got to pull it I'd like to another tranny thats good to put back in it.

May be a dumb question but, are there differences in trannys from the 2WD vs. the 4 WD? Do they interchange?

All shifting parts for 4th gear are also shifting parts for 3rd gear. So it is not likely a shifting mechanism issue. The only thing I can think of is maybe the syncro teeth on the input are gone (never seen them that far gone), or they have spun on the input shaft (never seen that in any trans except a Toyota).

4x4 transmissions are identical to 4x2s EXCEPT for the length of the output shaft.

I've located a 2 wheel drive tranny. How hard is it to change output shafts? Or should it have to be done by a tranny shop?

Did these transmissions in Rangers have problems like I've seen in the Explorers

The output/main shaft are one and the same.

You might as well rebuild the tranny if you swap the main shaft.

Mmerlinn is incorrect also as to the output shaft being the only difference. The back half of the cases is different. You could probably swap them but you are also into rebuild territory at that point. Not to mention you need a different drive shaft for 2wd and 4wd.

It is possible to wear one side of the shift fork, this would only effect one of the gears associated with that fork, such as just forth and not third. I am sure if you just remove the cover you will be able to find the problem.


If you remove the cover, you can check the fork as JK080 pointed out and if you put a screw driver on the 4th gear teeth and pry on them and the gear rotates, it means it has broken loose from the input shaft and the shaft needs to be replaced.
Here is pic of the input shaft, the gear with small teeth is 4th gear and it should be tight on the shaft, they do come loose.
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Mmerlinn is incorrect also as to the output shaft being the only difference

Duh. I was assuming that anyone reading my post would be smart enough to know that if the shaft is a different length, then the housing must also be different.