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My 1988 Explorer would not go in reverse either after the trans was just rebuilt about a year before. Turned out it was the transfer case. Unfortunately it cost as much as getting the trans rebuilt. I thought the transfer case was just for the 4 wheel drive but it has something to do with the reverse as well believe it or not. Hope that helps.
HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR FORD BACK TO THE PEOPLE WHO REBUILD YOUR TRANS. FOR A 300 MILE TEST DRIVE? I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM AND COME TO FINDOUT THE TRANNY WAS LOOSE ON THE END AND THEY WERE ABLE TO FIX IT AGAIN.
There a few differnt things to look at.
First look at the univeresal joints make sure they are ok then I would pull the rear differential cover and see if there is any gears broke in it ( a little messy). If you are convienced that it is the transmission take the pan off and see if there are any metal shavings in the pan (messy as well). There is a magnet in the transmission pan that will collect the metal shavings ( note there is also a magnet in the differential for the same purpose). I do not know your skill level of mechanics but, a transmission does take a lot of specialty tools and they are not cheap so I would recommend take it to a transmission shop. If you do it yourself there is no warranty if something happens. Most reputable shops have good warranties. I hope this has helped you and good luck.
if your truck still drive forward you broke the reverse band in the transmission. sorry to say it will take an overhaul to fix. good luck just an idea take it to a transmission shop they might be able to help you out better than a general repair shop. a ford deaker will only want to sell you a new or rebuilt.