98 Ranger auto no reverse Metro Detroit Area - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 02-08-2013
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98 Ranger auto no reverse Metro Detroit Area

Hey I don’t know if anyone has any idea what may be causing this issue. I read through the message boards to see if there were any similar posts. There are, but not exactly the same. I have a 1998 Ford Ranger, 228K miles, all original, I’m the original owner. It’s a 3.0 V6, 2WD, automatic transmission. I have no reverse. Everything I have read said that if the reverse band has snapped it won’t work in 2nd or 1st gear. Problem I’m having is it works in every gear, Drive, 1st, 2nd and neutral but no reverse. It’s also leaking transmission fluid. There was no noise when it quit working. Also the transmission engages when I put it in reverse, (I can hear it physically trying to go into reverse) it’s just as if it simply won’t “connect”. It drives, handles, shifts and etc in drive as if it did the day I bought it, just no reverse. I figure it’s going to have to be rebuilt but I’m hoping it might be something dumb or simple and isn’t going to cost me $1500. I’m going to rebuild it, just waiting on my tax returns. I was debating whether to rebuild it or not but there’s nothing wrong with the engine so why pay $2k or $3k for a vehicle I know nothing about when 3 or 6 months after purchasing it something could go out. If you have any suggestions or are or know of any transmission shops in the Metro Detroit area, post a reply or send me a message..

Last edited by jnazars; 02-08-2013 at 09:29 PM. Reason: added to it
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Old 02-09-2013
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I think its time to put a transmission in it.
I'm no expert on transmissions, but if its leaking and reverse doesn't work. its time to get repleaced.

You should check Craigslist and some Junkyards to find a used one. It'll be way less than a rebuild cost will be if you can put it in yourself.
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Old 02-09-2013
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I would first add transmission fluid and see if it will engage. Since three components are applied for reverse, low fluid will affect reverse first.

When in man2 or man1, the reverse band may provide "engine braking" by preventing the one-way clutch from overrunning. You could remove the reverse band completely and the transmission would still operate in man2 and man1, just without engine braking.

If you add fluid and still dont have reverse, sounds like either the reverse modulator valve is stuck in the valve body, or something has happened to the reverse band or servo. with 200k+, its time for a rebuild. I know a few trans shops locally, but would you be able to remove and install the transmission yourself?
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Old 02-10-2013
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186k on my wifes 99 exploder! 4WD xlt, reverse bands been broken for 6mos. shes been driving it to work ever since. Big money to have it fixed. Estimates at around 1400. not going to do it, have it up for sale. 4WD makes it more expensive to fix than on mine, 2wd 01 ranger. Cost me 850 to replace the reverse band on it.
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Old 02-13-2013
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Those of you that responded, I thank you. I am a truck driver and am away from home two to three days at a time so I can’t respond on a regular basis, so sorry its taken a little bit to respond.

I have no idea how to put a transmission in. I have never done it before but a couple of people have told me that this truck is fairly easy to swap it out. My father in law claims he can probably do it in less than two hours but he lives in Tennessee. It’s kind of a catch 22 because a used trans will cost me $400 and it will cost me $400 to have someone put it in. So im looking at $800. Another $200 to $400 and I can have it rebuilt and have a warranty versus $800 with a used transmission and the risk it could go out three to six months latter or if it’s a salvage yard trans, not even work at all when its installed.

I did top it off with trans fluid but there’s still no reverse.

I can deal with the no reverse issue. The trucks actually not that heavy and not that difficult to push. Heck I might even just leave it as is and just sit on the money I was going to use. Is there anyway to stop the trans fluid from leaking without having to rebuild it? I have no idea why it’s leaking trans fluid and have not had a chance to get it in somewhere to have it looked at. It went in about six months ago for a trans flush and the gasket was redone and it was never leaking then so I don’t think it’s a gasket issue.

Last edited by jnazars; 02-13-2013 at 09:01 AM. Reason: typos and etc
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Old 02-13-2013
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try to find where it is leaking from. Clean all the leaking fluid off with brakleen and run the truck and try to find the area of the leak.
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Old 03-05-2013
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I took it into the trans shop. It has to be rebuilt. It should be done sometime by the end of the week. The transmission its self originally did not go bad but went bad because of other parts. What I mean by that, they put the truck on the car lift and apparently one of the servos snapped and it leaked trans fluid and the trans shop believes that's what caused the rest of it to go bad. I never noticed the trans fluid leaking. What they told me though is it was probably only leaking originally as I drove it and the trans heated up, fluid was cycling, etc and didn't get worse enough to be noticed until the end when the damage was to great. If I could have caught it I could have saved a huge repair bill.
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