Transmission problems | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Transmission problems


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April 1, 2016
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2001 explorer
Hello and thanks for welcoming me to your group. I just purchased a 2001 explorer 2 wheel drive, and on the way home with it the od light started flashing and the trans would not shift into 3rd or 4th gear. No slipage just no shift. Took it to a dealer and they ran a scan and came up with only one code, something to do with the convertor.Dont remember the exact code, a freind says it is probably a bad selenoid, but I dont know witch one, should I just go ahead and replce all of them? 1 epc 2 tcc 3 shift selenoid. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Buy the way the trans is a 4r70w model.

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this happened to my 96 a few months after I bought mine. I did the valve body plate replacement and replaced the EPC, 05/2014. It bought me a few weeks but one day it just stopped shifting past 2nd gear. Had the trans rebuilt 06/2014.

My original posting 2014:
4R55E trans issue
Thanks in advance for any answers anyone can give
Back story.
Bought used 2-3 months ago. Unknown history. 1996 Explorer EB, A/T, 4x4, 4.0 OHV, 134K miles. I had the 2-3 shift flare problem and then later, slow to engage reverse. Driving home one night my O/D light started flashing and it didn't seem to want to shift to 3rd. Playing with the throttle it finally shifted up and we got home. Started the next day. O/D flashing was gone and it seemed OK. Parked it.
Did some research on 4R55E/5R55E trans problems and decided to try the valve body separator plate.
Further research and decided to replace the electronic pressure control solenoid also.
Upon teardown, the VB seemed to be OK with no visible blown out areas. Replaced VB separator plate, EP solenoid, pan /filter, filled with Mercon V and 1 Lucas trans additive. Cleared codes, just in case, so computer was starting fresh after the work done.
Now trans shifts better but only under light throttle. Easing into the throttle the trans seems to shift fine with no flare issues. Problem is under heavier throttle, acceleration from a stop into faster moving traffic, the trans will not shift into, I think, 3rd and the O/D light starts flashing.
If I pull over and shut it off and restart it will shift fine, again under light throttle.
Scanned for codes but found none?
I am dropping it off at a shop to have them take a look/ test drive/ scan.
Any suggestions as to what I may be looking at? Solenoids, bands, servos???

just my 2 cents, however it may help.

I jyst very recently swapped out my tranny with a U Pull It tranny. After the swap I was having similar issues.

I suggest two things..

1) Clean your MAF sensor with some alcohol on a Qtip...or if you have another to swap.

From my readings of the Ford Shop Manuals and this website I found out the MAF sensor works in conjunction with the EPC selenoid.

2) Do a OD Band adjustment. There are many threads on this site that instruct on how to do this. I believe you loosen the locking nut and tighten the adjustment threaded rod to 10 foot lbs then back off 2 turns...then re tighten locking nut.

After I did this I also disconnected the battery so the PCM could re learn the shift points.

I have not had a problem for the last 2 days and I have put on about 200 miles since my latest fix.

Hope this can help.


Before taking anything apart, pull the powertrain codes with Forscan or Forscan Lite.

When I had a shift solenoid go, the DTC told me exactly which one. Luckily you can change these solenoids without pulling the valve body (just have to drop the pan).

I wasted time by not trusting the computer. I pulled the solenoid, checked the inductance, put it back. Problem was intermittent for me and didn't go away until I changed the solenoid.

Only cost me $60 for the solenoid and a trans fluid change. That was almost 100,000 miles ago with no other trans issues.

Keep in mind that a failing shift solenoid will cause a cascade of Diagnostic Trouble Codes for scary sounding things like incorrect gear ratio. Focus on the solenoid that's identified first before attempting to address any other issues.

Whatever you do, DON"T CLEAR ANY CODES. They will go away when the cause goes away. Clearing them deletes valuable information that could help if you have to turn to a shop for help.

just my 2 cents, however it may help.

After I did this I also disconnected the battery so the PCM could re learn the shift points.

I have not had a problem for the last 2 days and I have put on about 200 miles since my latest fix.

Hope this can help.


from the ATSG Ford Motor Co. Techtran Manual, Pg 30, Service Information 5R55E...... "NOTE: If any non transmission codes appear, repair those first, They can effect the electrical operation of the transmission. Record and erase codes from continuous memory after repairs have been performed. After repairing any fault codes in the Quick Test, the Quick Test should be repeated."

what I do..

Repair first fault.
Clear test results.
Re-Run Test.
Repair first fault if fault exists.
If no fault exists test drive vehicle.
If new fault appears GOTO Test.


im interested in this one too, having the light throttle issure from my 1st to second, seems to go into gear just fine on all other gears