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Transmission fitting question...1996 Explorer


Explorer Addict
March 8, 2012
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City, State
Inside the Rehabilitation Center
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 SC400 92 SC400 96 Ex
Hi all,
I have a 1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer that I acquired not too long ago that needs a transmission. It drives just fine, but reverse is out and doesn't work at all. Any thing to check what might be the problem BEFORE removing and replacing the tranny?

My other you all probably know, the 1995 and 1996 V6 Explorer models have the 4R55E transmissions. I went to the JY and found a 1998 Ford Explorer sport with a transmission still in. So I removed it with some help. Look's to be in very good condition, with low miles...(engine was removed from the JY Explorer as well). But I was researching and it looks like the 1997 and later V6 Explorer models have the 5R55E transmissions, not the 4R55E. My question to you guys is, this 5R55E transmission, is it compatible with the 4R55E? I really hope it is, somebody had told me on another thread that interchanging these two trannys will make some small sensor issues with plug ins or whatever. If you know the answer, please respond! :)

Thanks in advance, I love this forum.

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It's not compatable, but it can be made to work by puttin the 1996 valve body and seperator plate in the 98, but you must have know good 96 valve body, or you could wind up chasing your tail. Best to get the right one.

Thanks for the reply. Will the valve body be good do you think on my broken tranny?

Another q for you PopRichie: Should I do this? (reverse is out)

Any more advice to be shed? :)

If the reverse band broke, the valve body is probably good. Search the forum for how to check for a broken band. Sorry I can't open your youtube link, I am away and my portable internet connection is not to good. If you decide to change the valve bodies, get new gaskets as they are necessary, and you need and
INCH pound torque wrench, which is necessary for proper torque of the valve body bolts, in the correct order. If not done correctly valve binding or a blown gasket can happen.

Thank you sir for your advice! Should I find another 4R44E tranny or replace the broken band, OR swap out the valve bodies? I really appreciate your advice.

Sorry, the choice is yours, as I don't know what your mechanical skills are. Replacing the band requires a complete tear down of the trans.

Never gotten into a trans before. I know you need a couple special tools as well. It looks like my decision is NOT to swap the valve bodies, but to sell the tranny I pulled at the JY. It looks rebuilt so it could be worth for the tranny W no reverse in my Explorer, I am looking for a cheap replacement, and looking at the option of taking it to a tranny rebuiling place, and having them rebuild it. (we would have it already out). Thanks for the guidance.

*SO< if I understand correctly, the 5R55E is NOT AT ALL compatible with my 96 because the 96 takes a 4R55E and the valve bodies are different, and it is a 5 speed instead of a 4 speed.

(Forgot to add, I am 16 years old and I have worked on many cars in the past, just not as much the trannys. Had a 71 Cutlass, than a 92 Explorer, I now have a 92 Lexus SC400 and this 96 Explorer. Just to inform you a little)

Have a question to whoever knows the answer: This is the 5R55E transmission that I got from the JY, does it look rebuilt? I think it might be just because of the blue bolts instead of the stock blue ones, and the black caps in a picture I provided are switched around. What do you think?

Does it look rebuilt?

Does IT??????

Would love it if somebody knew. I heard the blue bolts were considered stock, but i'm not sure. Dont wanna be a stuckup idiot that's asking to be spoon fed either, just not patient with an answer. :)