Question about 1994 Ford Explorer Limited

5 Answers

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

Posted by on

  • 2 more comments 
  • 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



5 Answers

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

    Vice President:

    An expert whose answer got voted for 100 times.

  • Master
  • 321 Answers

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

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

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

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

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

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

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

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Master
  • 1,010 Answers

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.


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

1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Mechanic can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Mechanic (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

My 1999 ford ranger shifts hard from 2nd to 3rd gear what is the problem I recently changed fluid and filter but shifts hard !

Auto Trans not shifting correctly from 2nd to 3rd - Ford Explorer ... > ... > Under the Hood

May 8, 2004 - 19 posts - ‎9 authors
Auto Trans not shifting correctly from 2nd to 3rd Under the Hood. ... Become an EliteExplorer. Lithuania. 1999 5.0. Join Date: Jun 2003. Posts: 107 ... When this happens, the transmission will skip to the next gear like you said.

Transmission Harsh shifting - YouTube

? 3:59
Jan 13, 2013 - Uploaded by James Burns
... Doctor, explores the causes of harsh shifting in automatic transmissions. ... Early diagnosis is important to ...

Hard Tranny Shift between 2nd & 3rd - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums > ... > Super Duty & Heavy Duty
Feb 24, 2012 - Hard Tranny Shift between 2nd & 3rd Super Duty & Heavy Duty. ... I just got a new to me 99 f250 5.4 V8 SD XLT 4x4 Auto Trans longbox 118k miles. ... it out and said it was solid except for a hard shift between 2nd and 3rd gears. ..... Hard shift between 2nd and 3rd, Brenda Lamka, Explorer, Sport Trac, ... hard shift 2nd to third gear only 4r100
Dec 26, 2012
hard shift into 3rd
Nov 4, 2009
4r55e 5r55e Ranger / Explorer Transmission Problems - CLICK ...
Mar 15, 2007
00 Expedition trans shifts late and hard

Jan 01, 2016 | Ford Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My son inherited a 1994 Mercury Sable with 12,000 miles that hasn't been driven since 2006 and sat outside in snow and sun. Repairs will cost $2,300. What are odds transmission won't work eith

Well anything is possible, but I would expect the transmission to work given the time and mileage.
Is there any way you could drive it a short distance before spending much money ?
I am assuming you are having the fuel tank drained and the cooling system flushed among other things.
I would change the fluids and try to drive it a few blocks before spending money on much else to see what it will need.

Jan 14, 2013 | 1994 Mercury Sable

1 Answer

Hard to shift

You may have what is called a syncronizer problem which is basically a transmission rip down and inspection, when the syncros go they create havoc inside the gear box making shifting extremely difficult in these gear ranges.
The other thing that also should be inspected at the same time the transmission is looked at is the clutch assembly, clutches should last long times depending on how each vehicle is driven, generally a clutch can be worn out in as little as 30,000 miles if it is pushed hard as oppossed to a car being babied and lasting 100,000 miles or more.

May 08, 2010 | 1994 Toyota 4Runner

1 Answer

Transmission 1994 lincoln towncar- 89000 miles

I would not conclude you have a trans problem,as some other issue maybe be confusing the shift stratagy.
The temperature issues and time driven are the key here.
I would check for stored codes first.
Then go over the basics-Spark Plugs,Ignition,Egr Valve,Vacuum Leaks,MAF Sensor and so forth.
Clean up the engine driveablity issues first.

Becareful when considering changing the trans fluid. That will not fix anything and may cause it to slip more,if you get to that point in your testing

The time parked is not a concern ,as I feel these issues where there before.
If the engine is not running correctly ,you will get just what you discribed,with the shifting up and down

May 05, 2010 | 1994 Lincoln Town Car

1 Answer

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD transmission stuck in 1st when warm

well i wish i could say...yes............but i built over 8000 trannys in my life and what you have is internal leakage in the clutch/drum's /packs/servo's in essense the tranny need some TLC and a major rebuild sorry

Jan 15, 2010 | 1994 Jeep Cherokee

1 Answer

2002 Dodge Intrepid

Chrysler vehicles often need to be driven between 300 - 500 miles for the control module on the transmission to "learn" your driving habits. Avoid punching the gas or driving very slow, and you should be just fine.

Nov 20, 2009 | 2001 Dodge Intrepid

1 Answer

Nissan sentra 1999, car starting but gear are not working so not moving fwd or rev.

This sounds like a transmission problem. I am haveing a simular problem. Shifts to drive, but is slow to catch and if you apply gas before engage it lurches forward. I am having the transmission replaced with a used one with less miles.

Aug 03, 2009 | 1994 Nissan Quest

1 Answer

1994 F350 transmission intermittent problem

I had the same problem in my 96 f-350. The transmission has slipped recording a slip code in the transmission. You can pull the codes and get it. I shifts into a safe mode that increases the pressure inside your transmission as part od a fail safe. Plain and simple, you have to have the tranny rebuilt.

Dec 06, 2008 | 1994 Ford F350 Crew Cab

1 Answer

Gear shifting problem

The 1st thing to do is have a test run on the transmission control module to see if any trouble codes are present, next have you ever serviced the transmission, fluid and filter change, should be done at 60,000 miles, on occasion this can cure problems like yours.

Nov 05, 2008 | 1994 Acura Integra

Not finding what you are looking for?
1994 Ford Explorer Limited Logo

3,866 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Ford Experts


Level 3 Expert

77499 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22306 Answers


Level 3 Expert

5626 Answers

Are you a Ford Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides