1996 Ford Explorer Shifting Problem

Tiny
MTRIST64
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a 1996 Ford Explorer 4x4 which is having shifting problems. The problem I am having seems to be somewhat common, since I have seen the exact same scenario posted on other sites. However, there weren't any answers.

First of all my fluid is good and is filled to the proper level. It has no problem going into reverse or forward gears and it does not slip a bit.

The problem is: my Explorer stays in first gear too long (usually) and I have to take my foot off of the accelerator for a moment and wait for it to shift into second gear (usually at about 25 MPH). Sometimes it works like it should, but not often. Once it shifts from first gear to second gear, it seems to be fine with shifting into the other gears. Another thing that I have noticed since this problem started is: my "check engine" light stays on and my "OD off" (overdrive) light flashes constantly. I have pushed the OD button on the shift lever and it seems that the overdrive is working, since I can notice a difference (I think it is working - maybe not). However, whether the OD button is off or on on the shift lever, the "OD off" light in the instrument cluster still flashes constantly

Could it possibly be a malfunctioning shift solenoid? If not, what is the problem? Can someone please help. Thanks and have a blessed day.
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Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 10:17 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like a bad shift solenoid; however, I can't be sure without a code. Take the vehicle to a nationally recognized parts store to have the computer scanned. Most will do it for free. That is the only way to make sure it is a shift solenoid.

Let me know what you find.
Joe
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Thursday, April 1st, 2010 AT 11:13 AM
Tiny
MTRIST64
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

I did take my Explorer to have it scanned at my friend's repair garage. It came back with a DTC of "P0756" which is "shift solenoid 2" failure. I went to Ford and bought a new shift solenoid, gaskets and etc. Dropped the pan on my transmission. I found the adjustment ear and tensioner for the "intermediate" band in the bottom of my pan. I went ahead and replaced the shift solenoid anyway, but still the transmission shifts like it did before, due to the intermediate band having no tension on it. I guess what my transmission is doing is: starting in first, skipping second and then shifting into third and so on. Other than the inital shifting problem, the transmission shifts through all the other gears and works perfect. Looks like I need the intermediate band replaced or have the tensioner ear welded back into place. The original spot welds broke loose. It can be seen and gotten to easily, with the pan off, with a "stick welder" if only I could find someone to do it, it would be a relatively easy fix. Otherwise, It would have to be taken apart. Any ideas? Other than a rebuild. Thanks.
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Friday, April 2nd, 2010 AT 11:32 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
First, thanks for your response. I'm sure it will help others. Second, that is the problem for sure. I'm sure you should be able to find someone to do it for you. My only concern is that ATF can burn, so be careful when welding. Make sure it is as clean and dry as you can make it.

Let me know how it works out for you, and I hope you have a good Easter.

Joe
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Friday, April 2nd, 2010 AT 11:48 PM
Tiny
MTRIST64
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Hi Joe,

Thanks again. I am going to try to find someone to weld the ear back on, but I doubt if I will be able to. If I had a stick welder (still) I would do it myself because I am sure with a couple of zaps from a stick welder, it would be as good as new. Though I am a little concerned with the combustion of the fluid residue, I am sure that will be the biggest obstacle in finding someone to weld it for me. I will let you know the final outcome. The bad thing about it is I spent $1200 having the transmission "fully" overhauled 3 years ago and the warranty just ran out last month. Gee whiz! Anyway, you have a great Easter too. Thanks again,

Mike
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Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 AT 12:14 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I would try asking if they would cover it since the warranty just ran out. It's worth a try.

Let me know how things work out for you.

Take care,
Joe
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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 1:34 AM

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