Well I finally found some time to tackle this project. After jacking up the rig and taking a good look I decided to not remove the cat. and decided to just remove the two heat shields around the passenger side cat. This gave me enough room to get to the servos on the passenger side of the trany and actually use the cat as a leverage point for pushing the servos in with a standard pry/crow bar.
I started with the OD servo as this was the one that was acting up and giving me the shift problems from 2nd to 3rd and a occasional OD warning light. Removal of the original servo was fairly easy, the hardest part was getting the snap ring out. The replacement O-ring servo went in nice and smooth with a nice pop as the O-rings passed the inside journal.
This is when things got hard. Getting the snap ring back in was a bear. It took me about a half hour wrestling with the snap ring to get it seated back into the slot. An extra pair of hands while doing this would have come in handy (no pun intended) but I was solo on this project.
With the OD servo complete I decided to not attempt the intermediate servo since I wanted to see how the OD servo was going to work, I was also running out of time and still had the band to tighten and filter to replace.
Tightening of the OD band fought me as well. The lock nut was seized onto the tightening bolt and needed some finesse to get it loose enough to tighten the bolt on the band. The info I had on the square tightening bolt said it was a ¼” square head, well its not exactly ¼” square as I couldn’t fit the drive side of a ¼” socket over it. I ended up using a slightly worn 10mm socket and slid it over the head. This gave me enough grip on the head to get my torque wrench in and tighten to the recommended 10ft/lbs and then back off 2 full turns. I had to remove the shift linkage bracket that is around the OD belt tighten bolt to get enough room to do this.
The filter was fairly straight forward. I pulled the center allen head drain plug from the 7/8” pan drain plug. About 3.5 quarts drained out. I decided to leave the rest of the fluid in the pan since it didn’t smell or appeared to be burnt. I carefully removed the pan bolts and lowered the pan keeping in mind there is still a lot of fluid still left in the pan. The filter was just two bolts, in and out and then carefully bolted the pan back up. Since I only removed about 3.5 quarts of fluid I only had to put back in 3.5 quarts of fresh fluid.
Something that I found out through my research on these tranys is that they have an allen head fluid fill plug on the passenger side of the trany just before the transfer case. Filling with a hand pump from this plug was way easier than the other methods I have read about.
Before the fix, under normal accel., the engine would go to about 4500 rpm between 2nd and 3rd gear. If I stomped on the throttle, it would nearly red line with a lot of noise and not much forward progress until it got into 3rd gear.
After the fix the trany shifts normally. Much like I assume it would have from the factory. It seems to stay in 1st longer and shifts from 2nd to 3rd with no long delay or hesitation. Granted I have only put on about 30 miles since I did this fix yesterday but I would have to say it has been well worth it. I don’t have to granny the throttle through 3rd gear any more.
Just ordered my new OD server from AJ1E Superior Solutions. Will attempt the replacement a week from this Saturday. So all you did to gain access was remove the CAT shields? No exhaust cutting or removal? BTW, i bought a cheap set of 90 Degree Bent Nose Pliers to attack the snap ring. You don't have a pic of the servo access with the shields removed? I don't want to have to remove the right side exhaust by cutting the crossover and disconnecting the O2 sensors.
I just had the aftermarket oringed OD servo put in with success. Cost was parts + $150 for a mechanic to perform the install. Well worth it. My problems arose quite quickly. Both 2nd and 5th gear were missing. This fixed it. The mechanic noted no bore or band wear. My explorer is an 02' XLT 4.0 4x4 automatic with 106,000 miles.
Not much of a "mechanic" in my book, the bore had to be worn or you would not have had the problem, also he cannot see the band unless he takes the trans apart.