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#3034800 - 06/16/13 12:04 AM 2004 Explorer (4.0, 4x2) Auto Trans. Prob. (P0745)
john_pifer Offline

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 821
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
Vehicle: 2004 Explorer V6 Auto 4x2

Miles: 79,xxx

Usage schedule: Mostly city, few trips here and there

Symptoms: Slipping, poor shifting, banging into gear (esp. 1-2), overdrive won't engage. 1-2 shift almost impossible. Bangs into 2nd HARD.

CEL: Illuminated, P0745 code.

O/D light: Flashing

Message Center: displays "Check Transmission"

Additional symptoms: Engine shuts down intermittently at cruise speed. Message center displays "check fuel cap" when engine shuts down. Engine starts right back up, only to run for a while before shutting down again.

Fluid status: Unknown. Pulled small T-30 Torx plug to check fluid (truck was idling, and had just been driven for at least an hour on the highway). Loosened the plug, and some fluid trickled out. Didn't remove totally. Not sure trans was in proper temp range for check. The owners (my sister and bro-in-law) say they haven't noticed any leaking fluid, but they're not sure, as they haven't been actually looking for it.

A Ford dealership tech who is a friend of mine says it's probably the solenoid pack, which is easily replaceable by removing the trans. fluid pan. I just hate to replace that and then have it still not working correctly. He says one of the clutches could also be bad. He also says that the different systems in the trans. need to be checked for proper hyd. pressure, in order to localize the problem.

Anyhow, I thought I'd ask here if anyone has had this sort of problem on this vehicle, and, if so, what you did to fix it.

Hate to have to take to a trans. specialist if we can avoid. Tempted to replace sol. pack and see what happens.

I wonder if there could already be damage to other components inside the trans.
07 Tacoma (1GR-FE) - M1 EP 5W-30, Fram Ultra
07 Yamaha R1 - Rotella T6 5W-40, Bosch 3300
07 Yamaha YZ-250
02 Yamaha YZ-250
01 Yamaha YZ-250

#3034835 - 06/16/13 03:33 AM Re: 2004 Explorer (4.0, 4x2) Auto Trans. Prob. (P0745) [Re: john_pifer]
01rangerxl Offline

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 8387
Loc: Birmingham, AL
It could be a solenoid issue and almost certainly started out as one, but if it has been slipping for a while, too much damage may have already been done to salvage it. Your friend at the dealer can probably look at detailed info from the trans on what is going on (including clutch wear to see if it's rebuild/replace/sell time) and test the solenoids.

This Explorer will have either a 5R55W or 5R55S. With the W/S, the solenoids are all in a block that's going to run about $175-$250 depending on where you get it (other versions of this trans use individually replaceable solenoids). A lot of the W/S versions destroy themselves to the point a rebuild is needed though. Given the severity of the symptoms, I think it may be rebuild time.

How long has this been going on? Not just when it got bad, but the first symptoms (flashing O/D off light, slow engagement, etc). If it just started doing this very recently, throwing in a new solenoid pack may save it. If it has been going on for a while now, I'd bet the clutches are toast. Many people run them with problems until the clutches are toast...which is why a flashing OD off light should always be investigated and fixed right away.

I remember when I worked at an auto auction and we got an '02 Eddie Bauer 4.0 in with similar symptoms. My coworker said "I ain't pushin' this [censored]," and proceeded to floor it until it caught 3rd. Poor 'Sploder. Ford really should have beefed up the 5R55W/S as they are the main weak point in '02-'05 Explorer V6s, and I think everything else that came with them (Lincoln LS, T-Bird).

The "check fuel cap" light is probably totally unrelated, but basically points to a massive EVAP leak. My truck threw that light after the vacuum line for the charcoal canister purge valve got knocked off during some off road abuse, but it never stalled or ran any different than usual.

Edited by 01rangerxl (06/16/13 03:37 AM)
2002 Ford Ranger XLT | 3.0 V6 / 5-Speed Automatic / 2WD | 176K miles
1994 Ford Ranger STX | 4.0 V6 / 5-Speed Manual / 4X4 | 173K miles

#3034842 - 06/16/13 04:42 AM Re: 2004 Explorer (4.0, 4x2) Auto Trans. Prob. (P0745) [Re: john_pifer]
JAM25 Offline

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 155
Loc: Chicago, IL
I have the same issue with my 03 Aviator 4.6 but i found a trick to it in my case. the first 2 shifts seems like it revs up but doesnt accelerate as much. and in order for me to avoid the check transmission display i keep the first 2 shifts under 3k revs per min once i hit third all shifts woork properly and i get that nice kick to it. if i were to accelerate past 3K revs and still in 1st shift more than likely during the day or a day or two ill get the Checl treansmission and OD flashing. but i just turn of the car and back on and it all goes back to normal. Those transmissions on the 4.6 4.0 and are straight garbage. and ford did nothing to help its buyers.
2003 Lincoln Aviator AWD 4.6 V8 102K+ PYB 5W-20
2002 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 I4 154K+ QSDefy 5W-30

#3034858 - 06/16/13 05:52 AM Re: 2004 Explorer (4.0, 4x2) Auto Trans. Prob. (P0745) [Re: john_pifer]
punisher Offline

Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 2161
Loc: snowblind in TX
MLP. Hook up scantool/data recorder verify MLP reads correctly.