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Ford Explorer AWD 4WD Questions



  • When I hit 56 mph or there about, my Ford Explorer misses/jerks. It's when you accelerate to 60 mph, it's when you drop speed at 56 mph or so, it misses. It also does it somewhere in the 40mph range (the exact same speed). Any idea what's causing this or what to do to fix it?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Doesn't sound like the engine - it should be RPM sensitive, not speed sensitive. That leaves Transmission. Any idea which gear it's in when it does that? Could be a clutch issue between 4th and 5th (overdrive)...

    wwest? Any ideas?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I've seem failed motor mounts cause that effect. Our '95 LS400 exhibited those same symptoms due to loose rear diff'l mounts/cushions
  • UPDATE: It's basically a bump or it feels like an engine miss but we've determined it's not an engine miss. We unplugged the 4WD actuator on the transfer case and it stopped doing it. Could it be a wheel sensor or a selector switch? It does it in 4WD automatic. When we unplug the 4WD actuator, it doesn't do it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Check the rear diff'l, motor, and transaxle mounts. If the motor or diff'l is able to rotate in it's mounts even slightly during acceleration or decel the transaxle vehicle speed sensor will give momentary eroneous speed readings causing the transaxle to shift in and/or out of lock-up.

    On the other hand at ~40MPH the "auto" 4WD system should NOT be engaged, perhaps that is part of the problem.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited December 2011
    Since the 4X4 spline/dog clutch cannot possibly be used how is 4WD "automatic" implemented in an '04 Explorer...?
  • Im have 4x4 issues. When i bought it it wouldn't go in to 4hi or 4low and no lights when you turned the knob to eachone. I changed the electric motor and volia i have 4hi and 4low lights..... but the front wheels they do not turn.... this is my issue i dont think its the transfer case because i can feel it shift into low when i turn it to 4low.....i also noticed while in 4hi if you tromp on it i feel a cluck or jerk like its slipping in and out of 4x4.....any suggestions? Would the TOD (torque on demand) relay have something to do with this? And another thing does anyone know how the front wheels lock up, does it have locking hubs or is it in the front axle?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You need to take your Exploder to an EXPERT R/awd/4WD/4X4 mechanic/technician for repair, possibly, but most certainly for a detailed TUTORIAL on the subject at hand.
  • I've seen this on an 04 F-150. Using the tach, check the RPM at 56 MPH. Now find a section of road where you can hold it in 1st gear and do a very gradual accel through that RPM point. (Not too fast or you'll drive right through it.) If the miss occurs at that RPM then you may have an issue with the Crank Position Sensor (CKP) wiring.
    There's a variable reluctance sensor. and it is triggered by a 36-minus-1 tooth trigger wheel mounted on the crankshaft . The sine wave output is via a twisted pair, but if one wire is open or grounded then a miss will occur due to the designed CKP software edge transition.
    At low speed it reads all tooth edges, but as speed increases it has to shift to counting every other edge. The software designer picks an optimal transition RPM, and all is good unless one CKP wire fails. Then the PCM goes through a momentary reset which ends up as a miss.
    It usually won't hurt the vehicle, it's just annoying when you drive at that point. Look for pinched or corroded wiring between the PCM and CKP sensor.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Again, your expertise is respected and valued, but your insult to owners by calling their truck an "exploder" is not appreciated nor respected. Must you? The visitors here may have a problem, may not even be happy, but it's their car. They chose it, they own it. And they may like it. I've had 8 of 'em. Some were better (140,000 trouble free miles) than others (65,000 trouble free miles), but I do love the superior design of them since inception. Which is why I'm on my 8th one.

    I have pretty much zero respect for GM, but I don't insult the owners.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The "moniker" was chosen to denigrate the Ford model, the "Exploder", not the owners in any way.

    The term arose out of the tire under-inflation episode that Ford themselves caused. Even worse they decided to place the blame on the tire manufacturer, even won that point in court, rather than take responsibility for their own idiocy.

    And the now we come to the new models being converted to FWD, or should I say the FreeStyle, Taurus X, failed in the marketplace models, have simply been renamed in order to benefit from the buying public's faith in the "Exploder" name.

    I have never really liked, been a fan of the 4runner, but I would direct anyone considering purchasing an Exploder take a long hard look at the 4runner.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ok, I'll bite. NHTSA also cleared Ford of the blame for the rolling Explorers, because, virtually all of the trucks that rolled, were on Firestones. Those with replacement tires, or OEM Goodyears, or BF Goodrichs, for some odd reason, didn't roll. Firestone found the defective tires, and the plant that manufactured them, which was cutting corners in the manufacturing process. The Firestones failed from heat, worse in South American heat, rarely had a problem in Canada. Underinflation only exacerbated the problem. But one more time, only on the Firestones. I owned a 97 with those tires.

    Car and Driver did their damndest to replicate the phenomenon. Blew up numerous tires on the back of Explorers - couldn't duplicate the rollover.

    So Ford bigots like yourself will ignore the evidence that the Government, the Courts and the Media have concluded to be correct - and blame the car. But you're wrong. And your credibility with me just expired.

    As for the 4 Runner. I like those too.
  • stacyschstacysch Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    I have a 2002 Explorer XLT with about 108,000 miles on it. About a year ago my 4x4 High light would flash 8 times every 3 or 4 minutes. It made a noise like it was trying to throw itself into 4 wheel drive when I was driving anywhere and made a grinding noise when turning to the left that sounded like it was metal on metal. The eletronic shift motor, transfer case control module, and all sensors were replaced.

    I've now been greeted by that little flashing light again. The local Ford dealership ran a diagnostic scan and it basically indicated that the same parts need to be replaced. Is it really possible that all of those things could be bad again? I know it isn't the dealership trying to milk any money out of me. They didn't know that those things had been replaced before or that the computer's history had been cleared after the repairs previously.

    I seriously want to just pull the sensors out of the control module, but I can't seem to fit myself under the glove compartment and the cover is bolted in place. I believe that I'm going to try to remove the glove compartment today and give it another try.

    Has ANYONE else had this problem? :confuse:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Think about it, more seriously...

    Ford engineering realized that the Exploder had to great a tendancy for rollover.

    Ford design engineers decided that the fix would be to recommend lowering the factory recommendation for tire pressure in order to lower the center of gravity.

    Sound like a good deisgn approach to you, anyone...??
  • I am having the problem with the 4X4 light coming on too. Then everytime I put it in reverse the 4x4 seems like it kicks on. Have you found anybody to fix it? I'm looking at transmission shops to take it to today. The transmission also stutters alot when I'm driving on the highway. Scares me!
  • sorry no, the engine took a dump, so i sold it for scrap
  • 4 wheel drive kicks in and out all the time when in 4 high
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The 4X4 light flashing is an indicator that the shift motor (that engages and disengages the 4WD) is failing and needs replaced. A $500 job.
  • Our 2002 XLT just decided to not engage the 4WD any longer. When you push the button, nothing happens. No light, no shift, Nothing. Any ideas? Thanks
  • dmaitland61dmaitland61 Posts: 1
    edited February 2013
    Hi - Can anyone tell me what the sequence means when the lights are flashing? Mine are flashing 6 Times. If not, where do you find out what it means? Any help is appreciated.
  • arizona336arizona336 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Explorer 4WD 4.0L SOHC. When I start out it makes a load “thump” sound from the front end area. It usually just does this once a day and volume varies.

    The trans-axels, ball joints and control arms, and front wheel bearings have been replaced since the noise started, so those parts are not involved. Noise has been happening for at least two years (about 20,000 miles)

    Reading different forums seems to point to the transfer case. Logically I would think it would be the transfer case or front drive axle.

    Any comments on what the problem is?
    Can I just “unhook” the transfer case drive to the front end (basically turning it into a 2WD)? I really don’t need the 4WD.
  • htduckhtduck Posts: 1
    I have just bought a 1999 ford explorer,
    While I was driving it home the transmission
    Acted like the 4wd high was ingaged.
    Around 45 mph it smoothed out. Both the
    4wd high an low light would flash randomly.
    Was wondering if this could be the shift motor.
    Any advice will help a lot.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Could be the shift motor, maybe......
  • semperjsemperj Posts: 1
    Yesterday my 6 cyl. Explorer's high and low 4WD indicators started blinking 6 times each few minutes. I have a Borg-Warner 44-05 T-case. Shifting into low or high 4WD did not turn the indicators on, but 4WD did engage.

    Today when switched into 4WD (high or low) I get a ghastly grinding noise when moving, and a serious amount of drag when I turn left or right - as though I'd applied the brakes. Straight ahead it's just the grinding noise, and if I switch back to auto 4WD it's all good - no noise, no drag. Oil in T-case is good, all wires seem connected.

    Sounds very mechanical to me, but I don't want to pull the T-case if this is only a sensor/relay/GEM/switch motor problem. Suggestions?
  • lrain88lrain88 Posts: 1
    I'm a certified Ford Mechanic and when we call an explorer and Expoder it's just a term so no offense get over it. I call them that every day to customers faces and regardless if it's 15 years old or 5 years old in great running shape or not it's still labeled to us techs as an exploder. doesnt mean we dont like them or not it's just a term used by most anyone.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    edited September 2013
    I don't take offense, but my experience differs from your explanation would suggest. In every case that I hear "Exploder", it is intended as a pejorative, hardly a term of affection. So, if you are merely one of the millions of certified who "all" refer to the car I have now had 10 of with general satisfaction, it's not working as you think it is. Bet Mullaly would consider re-naming the truck if he knew that you love the "Exploder".
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