Sick to my stomache LOL | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Sick to my stomache LOL


August 6, 2006
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
Right after I install a new engine LOL, Murphy is alive and well.

After doing a bunch of reading I'm unsure of my next move. I have no slipping issues, I have no 2nd to 3rd gear issues but I do have a flashing O/D light.

On my way for a LONG trip, 150 miles in I notice a flashing O/D light but I'm running down the highway fine. Time for a break, we pull into a small town and I feel a harsh drop (clunk) into 1st gear. Have our lunch, started the truck put it in drive and it clunked (harsh) into 1st. At this point I thought strange but pushed forward. Next town O/D light still blinking I have serious clunking and serious concerns shifting up and down. I started shifting in second prior to a stop sign or red light etc. Once fully stopped I would put it in drive and that helped with the clunking. On the highway if I pushed the O/D switch on the selector it would shift and my RPM's would increase and decrease but I was definitely running at higher RPM's. 60 mile an hour was 2500 RPM. I still have over 600 miles to go at this point......... We made it. I see the sign, fun fly here with an arrow. I slowed down, made the turn, slowed down again and made the next turn and my son said, "hey, it never clunked". He was right. The next day I had to make a beer run, jumped in, it never clunked. Drove down the highway with a flashing O/D light. After 10 miles or so the light went out. I pulled into the liquor store etc, I thought what the heck and dropped it into drive, smooth, left the parking lot and it shifted great, smooth no light etc. Next day, took a drive into another town, no flashing light, very smooth shifting, 60 mile an hour was back to 2-2100 RPM and I was smiling. A few days later we leave for home. 400 miles and all is fine. Stop at Tim Hortens, leave, O/D light flashed the rest of the way home. Different though, no clunking with semi smooth shifts but I was back to 2500 RPM at 60 mile an hour!

If you read all this, thanks.

Almost sounds like a torque converter and solenoid pack issue. I'm guessing she is just done. There is 100k on this tranny no towing. Fluid is clear!

Whatcha think?

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Get the code(s) read with a scanner that can access the GEM module. That harsh shifting you have is limp mode for the trans. The trans ramps up the fluid pressure to limp you home. Not a good thing to let it continue like this. When you turn the key to the off position it will reset the OD light but not the problem. You have a hard code set. Get it checked out ASAP!

Mine did this after I got my misfire fixed... Reset the PCM and it hasn't come on again... Try that.
Mine was shifting very hard due to limp mode (increased line pressure).
As said before, it is NOT good to drive it like this, you can and will cause damage to the transmission.

It's been fine around town. I live 10 miles outside of town, trips in and out and around have been fine.

Can I ask how to reset the PCM ? :scratch:

What you explained, sounds like the Torque Converter not locking up. Get the codes read. Resetting the PCM probably won't help your problem. If you want to try it anyway, disconnect the battery, turn on head lights and leave set for about 2 hours.

To clear a code without a good scanner you must have so many drive cycles without the event that set the light in the first place. The battery disconnect only clears KAM.

I based what I said on my 1999 explorer, I have a code reader that can read and erase the codes. I was having a torque converter problem, P0741 code and every time I changed the valve body, I disconnected the battery. When I got it back together each time I checked to see if the code was there and it was gone. I assumed that all older models would do the same. I do believe that I also read what i said several times in this forum, but maybe it was only certain models?

I forced her to take another 400 mile trip yesterday. 190 miles in, almost at the destination and the O/D light was blinking. When I reached where I was going I disconnected my battery and it sat like that all day. The return home was no trouble. Smooth shifting, low RPM and no light.

I'm on borrowed time I'm sure!
What is the fix, tranny has to come out, new torque converter, solenoid ???
Guess the first thing I have to do is wait until I can get the codes!

This sucks !

Drive it till the OD light flashes again then get the codes read. The trans probably doesn't have to come out, but may. Read all the stickies at the beginning of this forum that are about the transmission, this will give you a better understanding. The code will point you in the right direction and it may be a rather easy fix.

Driving around for awhile now no problems and no more lights, very strange!