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Swapping a 97 Transmission with a 96

coreyraub

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'97 Explorer Sport
Being new to this website, I am not quite sure how to navigate it, so I am having trouble finding a post that deals with my particular problem. I am sure it is here, but I'm just not smart enough to locate it. My question deals with swapping transmissions.

My 97 Ford Explorer with a 4.0 V6 has a faulty automatic transmission. The overdrive light flashes and the vehicle will not shift into overdrive. Because the truck has approx. 150,000 miles, my mechanic thinks it is best just to replace the tranny. He purchased a used transmission from a junkyard removed from a 1996 Explorer. The folks at the junkyard told my mechanic that the transmission from the 96 would work in the 97, but when he got home and compared the two, the two were different. The 97 tranny has two electronic switches on top of it that the 96 tranny does not have. When my mechanic questioned the junkyard staff about the differences in the two transmissions, they told him that the 96 transmission would still work; all he has to do is close the circuit where the switches plugged into. Does this sound logical to anyone out there? I don't want to pay my mechanic for installing a transmission that is not going to work. Thank you for taking the time to read of all of this. Also thanking you in advance for any responses I get.
Corey
 



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Jack Flash

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you have a problem.

the '97 tranny is a 5R55E (5 speed). the '96 tranny is a 4R55E (4 speed).

there are threads/posts dealing with the specifics of this problem; too many things that won't work together. the wrecking yard guy was wrong; this swap is not gonna work without some major changes. I seem to remember that the '97 tranny is unique to that model !?! maybe somebody else will chime in and confirm the '97's uniqueness.

I'm not all that familiar with the '97 tranny. seems that Ford, in it's "wisdom", likes to change things in the middle of some year models. your sensor plug-ins may be the same as '98 and newer 5R's. this would widen the availability of a used tranny. by all means, take that 4R back to where it came from (if possible), it ain't gonna do you any good, it fits '95 - '96 models only.

use the search function, read some threads while you wait for someone else to give you a better answer.

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BrooklynBay

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pj8847

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The 5R is a direct bolt in as long as the bell-housings match up. No "Major" changes needed at all. The 5R has 2 extra sensors that aren't used in a 4R application, not plugged in, not needed. The 5R will function fine, if not better, since it is a little beefier inside. (torringtons vs thrust washers, better frictions, etc...) How do I know? I did it, right this very second, my '95 sits outside of my house with a custom built 5R in it... (95's only came with the 4R's...)

The extra sensors are for the vehicles that use the "5th" speed, which is really only a computer controlled, overdriven 2nd gear in conjunction with the OD...something to that effect, I can't recall at the moment. the extra sensors tell the computer the speed of the output shaft and OD drum (OSS and ODS Sensors) where the 4R applications don't monitor/have that...

As i said, just make sure the bell-housings match, (you can use yours from the 4R if need be) and use your 4R VB to avoid any trouble ( although i think the 5R vb would work fine, you would just have to swap the epc solenoid in from the 4r since they are different...something about inductive vs. resistance, blah blah blah...again, I can't recall, it's been a while since i tore into these and did it, but It works fine) And while your at it, when you swap the VB, you can take care of any updates it may need as well, kill 2 birds with one stone...;)
 






coreyraub

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Wow! I think I am going to like this site. I can't believe I already received 3 responses to my question that I posted less than 24 hours ago. I really appreciate everybody's time. I called my mechanic this evening, and he is eager to see what you folks had to say. He is so anxious that he wants to meet tonight to get on the website and read the responses to my question and search the forum for related posts. You guys are great! Thanks again.
 






BrooklynBay

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Jack Flash

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are we not going to have the same problems swapping the '96 model 4R into a '97 model which came with a 5R that this thread:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219545&page=3

dealt with ? Glacier advised against swapping a '96 model 4R into a '98 model which came with a 5R (post #59).

I'm not trying to "muddy the water", just asking for some clarification.

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pj8847

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are we not going to have the same problems swapping the '96 model 4R into a '97 model which came with a 5R that this thread:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219545&page=3

dealt with ? Glacier advised against swapping a '96 model 4R into a '98 model which came with a 5R (post #59).

I'm not trying to "muddy the water", just asking for some clarification.

.
.

***EDIT*** after reading through the thread again, somewhere along the lines it would appear a few of us had reversed the years of the trucks, including myself (that's what happens when you have pain induced insomnia...LOL)... the DONOR vehicle is a '96 with the 4R, and the truck needing the tranny is a '97 with the 5R? If that is the case, then no go.. you must get a 5R, a 4R won't work... I apologize for my error...***/EDIT***


A 5R will work in place of a 4R because the extra 2 sensors are not used, the reverse of that is a different story. A 4R will NOT work in place of a 5R, because the computer will be looking for input from those 2 sensors that the 4R does not have ( OSS and ODS sensor, the 4R only has the internal TSS sensor)

So using a 4R in place of a 5R will just not work, but a 5R in place of a 4R is quite fine, as the 2 extra inputs from the mentioned OSS and ODS of the 5R are not used.

hope this clears things up.
 






C_7777

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The 5R is a direct bolt in as long as the bell-housings match up. No "Major" changes needed at all. The 5R has 2 extra sensors that aren't used in a 4R application, not plugged in, not needed. The 5R will function fine, if not better, since it is a little beefier inside. (torringtons vs thrust washers, better frictions, etc...) How do I know? I did it, right this very second, my '95 sits outside of my house with a custom built 5R in it... (95's only came with the 4R's...)

The extra sensors are for the vehicles that use the "5th" speed, which is really only a computer controlled, overdriven 2nd gear in conjunction with the OD...something to that effect, I can't recall at the moment. the extra sensors tell the computer the speed of the output shaft and OD drum (OSS and ODS Sensors) where the 4R applications don't monitor/have that...

As i said, just make sure the bell-housings match, (you can use yours from the 4R if need be) and use your 4R VB to avoid any trouble ( although i think the 5R vb would work fine, you would just have to swap the epc solenoid in from the 4r since they are different...something about inductive vs. resistance, blah blah blah...again, I can't recall, it's been a while since i tore into these and did it, but It works fine) And while your at it, when you swap the VB, you can take care of any updates it may need as well, kill 2 birds with one stone...;)

how do you swap the epc solenoid?
 






BrooklynBay

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