Query | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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January 2, 2007
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My explorer, a 1997 that was manfactured maybe early/mid 97, the tranmission stick says 'use mercon', so i assume that this transmission only requires normal dextron iii/mercon fluid and not the special Mercon V?

I have seen some dipsticks that say use mercon V 5.

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I have a 97 Sport with the 4.0 OHV and the 5R55E. My dipstick says Mercon V only. I am almost certain that all SOHC engines also were paired with the 5R55E. I am virtually certain that all 5R55E transmissions require Mercon V.

Did you buy this truck new? Maybe someone switched the dipstick?

I didn't buy it new. But i think it is unlikly that someone changed the dipstick.

It is a UK model, that may make a difference.

My owners manual says a fluid no. for it, which is different to a fluid no. that i have seen in a 98 explorer, which had the v5 on the dipstick.

One way to resolve the problem would be to use a synthetic ATF that is approved for both Mercon and Mercon V applications. AmsOil Synthetic ATF meets this criteria and I believe the newer version of Mobil Syn ATF does as well. Of course, both of these are more expensive than Dino or Semi Synthetic ATF.

I don't know if the export versions of the Explorer may have a different requirement. I do know that the US 1997 version used the 5R55E with either type of 4.0 L engine.

97 is the break between Merc 5 and Mercon. Could have either. If in doubt, put Merc 5 in.

Thank you everyone for your help.

Just to sum up, i read that ford started to use mercon v in some a4ld and 5r55e transmissions from 1997 onwards, so i assume that means that there are some early a4ld and 5r55e transmissions that require just mercon, before they changed over to the v5? Mine is 5r55e as it is a 5 speed.

I only thing is that you can't get this v5 over here, the only place that might have some would be the special american import places, which are few and far between.

I mean i wouldn't think of putting normal mercon in if the dipstick said 'use mercon v5', but as it says 'use mercon' it sort of believes me to think that it is meant for mercon, plus the owners manual thing.

I guess they could of put the wrong dipstick on at the factory, or it could of been changed for a reason? But if it was put on at the factory than if it was ever changed or has a top-up prior to my ownership, they would of used normal mercon, as the dipstick says to.

Just wondering, 185a is the code which means normal mercon, 195a (didn't make it up, seen on back on bottle) mercon v???



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As BB has said, Lubegard makes an additive that makes Merc III act like Merc V... that may be your easiest bet.

Well i have 4x4 and my manual says 9.25, not 9.55 litres, weird.

I have located another 1997 sohc explorer uk spec with a transmission dipstick that says 'use mercon'. Surely it must take normal mercon, why would they put wrong dipsticks in them?

Someone is hopefully getting hold of some of this lubeguard stuff for me, so i will just put that in to be double sure.