transmission wont click into gear. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

transmission wont click into gear.

October 28, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 xlt 4.6 2wd
My 2003 4.6 2wd transmission will not go into gear. The shifting lever moves as does the part on side of transmission but it does not click into gear or move. Fluid is full. Worked fine now nothing. Any ideas?

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Check the fluid level with the engine running and again with the engine off, the level should be lower when the engine is running, if they are the same the pump might not be working.

no luck

I took off a transmission cooler line that meets the radiator with vehicle running and the fluid dripped out very very slowly. Should it pour out ? It was in park at idle. Also put in d with no improvement.

Cooler flow should be around a quart in 20 seconds, sounds like the pump has a problem.


Will engine and transmission housing bolt together snugly if torque converter and trans not lined up right? I had to replace the flywheel and since I have put it back together trans not working. Wondering if I didn't get it put in right. It pulled together fine with no space between.

Well that is the number one reason for a failed pump after a installation.

The transmission will bolt up to the engine even if the converter is not fully seated. The converter studs that fit through the flywheel should move around a bit before the converter nuts are installed when the transmission is bolted to the engine.

On transmissions that don't use the studs (like a GM) the converter will spin freely inside the bell housing when the transmission is bolted to the engine.

If the converter wont move around before its bolted to the flywheel its not fully seated into the pump. Then when the engine is started it trashes the pump.

could it not be trashed?

If mine are bolted together but pump is not working and was before then what are the chances my pump is still good? Should torque converter have been put onto trans then bolted to engine?

last post

Last post didn't make a lot of sence when I read it again. If my bell housing is bolted together but not correctly and pump is not functioning what are chances it could be put in the right way and work?

Should torque converter have been put onto trans then bolted to engine?

This ^^^

The converter should have been installed into the transmission and turned until all splines and the pump gears engage.

I am sorry man but the pump is broken, and the converter very well could be damaged too.

where to buy a pump?

I have looked but can't seem to find a pump online. What model transmission do I have? Lol I know I sound like an idiot who should not be doing anything like this but im learning the hard way. How hard is pump to change?

2003 4.6L Explorer should have the 5R55W transmission.

I would remove the trans and take it to a transmission shop to have the pump installed on the transmission. There is a pump alignment tool that needs to be used to get the pump centered on the bell housing and the converter might need a line up tool to get the metal plate centered on the converter (if you need to replace the converter).

The converter may or may not have that plate.

This is the plate in yellow and the tool sitting on top


Do u think the torque converter is bad to? A way to test it while its off?

There may be visible damage to the converter hub at the end, this is where the pump gears ride.

So if it looks good its good? No way to damage internally? Can't find transmission shop that will do pump only. Its a,liability blah blah. One said 900-1200 with no warranty. I found a pump on eBay for 55$. Think I'm going to try it myself. What's the worst that could happen! Any advice before I do it? Thanks for all the help so far! Really appreciated

Look at the two sets of splines in the front of the transmission if they look good with no damage I would think the inside of the converter would be ok. The damage most likely will just be to the converter hub where the pump gears ride.

Maybe find a pump that is still mounted to a bell housing, like from a assembled core or a parts transmission, maybe someone will part one out and sell the whole front still assembled. Check a junkyard for one with a broken case, or buy the whole transmission and swap the whole thing out if its cheap enough.

You can buy a pump but you will need the tool to line it up.

I got the transmission out and bolts holding pump out but pump doesn't seem loose or ready to come out. Before I go pulling on it is there something holding it besides bolts in front? Need to pull pan and pull other parts?

The pump should come off after all the 17mm bolts have been removed, nothing in the pan that will keep the pump from coming off.

Ok so I have put pump in re installed tranny put new fluid and it test drove great. Came back out to go to the store and no reverse! It worked the first run but not now and also it won't shift past 1st gear. I put i t in d 3 2 1 but still stays in first gear. Oh and od light is flashing too.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Well the no shifting could be a easy fix if we just find out what the flashing OD light is all about, need to get the codes. The no reverse is another story, there is nothing electrical that can cause this. Just start with the codes and see what happens.

The pump that you used, was it installed with a line up tool on the bell housing? What all was done to the transmission to get it to the point to be reinstalled?