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Shift Motor removal problems On 98 (This was a surprise)

Aussie Explorer

Well-Known Member
June 3, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Western Australia
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Basically I have undone all the bolts and disconnected the wiring harness pulled the shift motor off it mounting point.

When Oh ****, got it as low as the fuel tank whit I realised there are wires coming out of the shift motor wiring harness.

Of the 14 wires I think 8 go into the shift motor and shift motor gear housing aria and the other 6 go to 3 sensors that are in the T/case

So what do I do now? I can’t remove the shift motor with these wires still attached and it will be one big PITA pulling it apart wile lying underneath the X.

It’s a 98 XLT so I am guessing these sensors are for the TOD system or sensors for Low range engagement and have just been added to the Shift motor wiring harness so 2 wiring harness don’t need to be used.

Who has worked on a shift motor on an X with the TOD system??

I would just pull the sensors out of the case but that could be asking for more trouble, unless you guys have done it before.

The shift Motor was in Perfect condition inside the gears were not gummed up and the Magnet and coil was nice and new looking no rust or anything, I put it all back together and plugged the motor in with the reduction gear not installed just the worm drive.

Got my brother to start the car and select Low Range wile I laid underneath the Explorer and nothing the motor didn’t spin up, so **** it isn’t the shift Motor then. I don’t know a lot about electrics but I know enough to know that the motor is in working order.

So there must be a Fault somewhere because my guess is the shift motor isn’t getting any Power. How can I test for this?

Any way there are some differences between the Motors on the second Gen Explorers so I will post a link to some Photos I Took.. I hope it works


1St Photo> Is just the shift motor (Magnet, Motor Coil and Case sitting in the driveway)

2nd Photo> The Motor assembly removed from the case ( Look How new that Looks It’s 8 years old !!!) It took a bit of force to overpower the magnets to get the Motor
Assembly out of the case

3rd Photo>Inside the Case, magnets are not broken and only a little bit of rust on the inside bottom of the case, but it isn’t going to stop the motor from running.

4th Photo> I just used a bit of Lithium grease on the worm gear hear ( No thay arent the Explores Mags in the Photo LOL But it is a FORD.

5Th Photo> The brushes and sprigs (Once agene in working order) Took me 2 goes to get the motor on the brushes and spring kept fling out as I was sliding the shaft into position. What I did was, Hooked the Brush wires around those 2 groves (One on each side about ¾ of the way up the Sprig retainer tunnel on the left side) To hold the brushes in place and stop the sprigs from pushing them out wile I reinstall the shaft motor assembly.

6th Photo>The gear housing cover backing plate (The blue thing with all the wires going into it), This I guess is the Location sensor for the shift Motor/ 4WD sytem as there are no electrical contacts on the reduction gear like in the first Gen Explorers (As you will see.

7th Photo>The mating service that bolts onto the T/case sift socket (You can see the alignment marks I made "it's the black pen" To line up with the socket in the reduction gear.)

8Th Photo> The reduction gear As you can see has no electrical **** on it or on the back also note the alignment marks on the centre socket (the black pen) The grease you see is the original Ford stuff and the rubber stopper bush is in mint condition. The Red stuff that looks like Rust is in fact West Aussie Gascoyne Mud and dirt that I knocked onto it as I removed it (Don’t worry I cleaned it all off) as you can see the under body of my car is coved in this Red Mud as once it gets on it stays on and coolers the under body Red You would need a Hoist a Pressure washer and a sponge to get it off.

9th Photo> My alignment marks on the outside of the gear case and gear backing plate/ sensor thing (The Blue cover with the wires going into it LOL) This has size 15Torx Security bist holding it on and not a 20 like on the 1st GEN.

10th Photo> The wiring harness> You will see the extra wires coming out of it. The baulk of the wires that are running over to the left are for the shift motor (You can kinda see a bit of it in the corner of the photo) The other 5 wires coming out of it go to 3 sensors in the T/Case, one you can see, it is right above the Drain Plug and has 2 wires coming out of it. The other 4 wires run over towards the Drive shaft flange aria.

11th Photo>The thing all plugged back in a sill not F**king Working LOL

It’s a bit of a ruff right up but I figure it’s enough to show the differences between the 2 Motors.

Cheers guys, and any idea on what to look at now.

OK, so the problem is no low range? Does 4 high work?

Those wires could be for the vehicle speed sensor, but those were supposed to have been eliminated for the 98 model year. Maybe they carried them over for a short time for the export models, but I don't know for sure.