Question about 1994 Ford Explorer Limited

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1994 explorer transmission problem

My explorer was driven home by my son slow in first gear about 13 miles
because it would not shift.
I replaced the modulater and now it shifts until the engine gets warm then
it will shift but it take longer and hesitates
I had changed the fluid about 2 months before the problem occured

Any help would be great
Thanks

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  • armstrong1 Jun 23, 2008

    fluid level is fine I dont know about the cable I turned modulater screw counterclockwise this made the problem worse once the engined warmed up

  • brian c
    brian c May 11, 2010

    You will have to "tinker" with the screw and find the "sweet spot".

    As far as the cable, it may be "hanging" up, or even broken. The kickdown (also known as the TV - throttle valve cable) controls the valve body pressures, and can definitely effect shift points. If not adjusted correctly, it can quickly destroy the internals of the transmission.

    How many miles are on this thing?

    Has it ever had the bands adjusted?


  • brian c
    brian c May 11, 2010

    Have you checked the usual stuff, like fluid levels, etc?

    The next step is the kickdown lever / cable (i'm not sure which type this vehicle uses).

    Also, Is the modulator adjustable? Sometimes you can put a small flathead screwdriver into the vacuum port and turn a screw. If this is an adjustable modulator, try turning the screw counter clockwise a turn or two. This will lower the shift points.


  • precy croft Jul 07, 2013

    i had a guy tell me that the bands were not catchin i've never dealt with the internals of a trans befor but i do hve some machnical skills i just need alittle help with workin on one these can you help

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1994 Explorer has an A4LD trans.This trans shifts purely off of engine vacuum and the governor mounted onto the output shaft.The kickdown cable is just that....kickdown (passing gear) only.To properly check vacuum,you need a vacuum gauge.Disconnect the vacuum line at the modulator and connect the vacuum gauge.Engine vacuum at the modulator should be 17-20 inches at idle.Have a helper rap the gas pedal pretty hard.Vacuum on the gauge should drop to near zero,then back to 17-20 inches at idle.This is important,as this trans shifts off of engine idle.If you have inadequate vacuum,fix the vacuum leak.The only electronic controls inside this vehicle is lockup (TCC) and 4th gear is controlled by the PCM and actuated by a solenoid on the valvebody.The other 3 gears shift off engine vacuum and roadspeed (governor).Make sure the modulator you installed is indeed for an A4LD as a C3 modulator will fit,but leave you with late shifts.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008

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99% of ALL Ford A4LD Transmittion Problems are either a Valve Body Problem or a Bad Sprag Gear. Most of the time a Fluid change is not the problem if it was shifting fine and the fluid is FULL! Something has Failed to cause the problem 9 times out of 10 the O-Ring in the Valve body is leaking with Age and Miles! Remember Fluid Flushes are Good but You need to drop the pan and remove and replace the filter in the transmittion every 20000-30000 unless towing than every 15000-20000. I have 2 Explorers the Very First Yr 1991 Explorer Sport with 215,000 miles and I just had to rebuild the transmittion for the first time 12-20-2011!!!!!! I Also have a Troublesome 2004 Ford Explorer But because of a Defective transmittion design the Transmittion only lasted 110,000 miles which I also have replaced with a Remaned Ford Factory Transmittion that is suppose to have been redesigned to fix the problem. I sure don't like the way that trans has a delayed shift between gears. I have been told that there is a way to reprogram the shift times to help with this problem!

Posted on Dec 30, 2011

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94 ford explorer my tranny is reving up to 3.5 & 4 rpms . it does this in drive and overdrive . its sluggish shifting down . fluids good linkage is good all lined up. could it be the modulater on tranny?

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

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Hi everyone i am also having a problem with my transmission it wont leave first most of the time and i had a new tranny put in it last year would the kickdown cable have anything to do with it? thank you

Posted on Dec 30, 2009

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It's most likely a transmission issue, which is acutally common on the Ford Taurus using the AX series automatic transaxle. Later years had significant improvements of this transaxle series, but it's still a tad more troublesome than transaxles from other automakers.

I concur with the first poster regarding checking the fluid level. Also pay attention to the fluid condition by checking out its color and odor. The color should appear reddish or cherry red and should not smell burnt. If it smells burnt and/or appears discolored such as looking brownish and/or if it has particulates in the fluid, then the transaxle requires service.

If the fluid is burnt and or discolored, then that means the transaxle was overheated, which might need to be rebuilt or, at least, the fluid replaced.

If you need to flush the transmission out, it shoud be done by someone who knows what he/she is doing when doing a power flush; you can easily damage it if you don't perform a power flush properly.

Power flushing is supposed to replace ALL fluid in the transmission as simply draining the transmission may not drain the fluid that will still be in the torque converter whereas, in a power flush, new fluid is being actively pumped throughout the entire system through the transmission lines, purging it of all old fluid.

You might also want to replace the transmission fluid filter, which will require dropping the transmission pan. Use a genuine Ford filter and not some aftermarket knockoff. In addition, use a new rubber gasket for the transmission pan. DO NOT use a cork gasket as these don't last that long before they start allowing fluid to drip out.

Particulates are bad to find in transmission fluid as this means that various parts may be falling apart inside of the transaxle. If you find metal shavings, then that's REALLY bad.

****BUT****

One of the first things to do is replace the manual lever position switch. (Ford part no. 15A-127)

I had originally suggested using a code scanner to check the sensor info, but don't bother scanning for codes and just replace the sensor. They go bad with age and use, especially if this is the original sensor that came with the car when it was originally built.

Usually, when this switch goes bad, the car's drivetrain computer cannot determine if it's in park, neutral, etc. You would normally try to diagnose it to see if it's actually the problem, but these switches do go bad from age and your car is old enough for this to occur if the switch was never replaced before, so just replace it outright.

This is a relatively simple thing to do as its on top of the transaxle housing accessible in the engine compartment and does not require a teardown and rebuild of the transaxle to deal with it, so do that first.

If the problem is not solved by replacement of that switch as well as a power flush, then the only other option is a teardown and rebuild.

And, brace yourself for the bill; a teardown and rebuild of the transaxle may easily top $2,000 by a reputable transmission shop.

Sorry if I keep chaging things up but I'm going by what I remember, having owned a Taurus myself.

Posted on Jun 24, 2008

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