Transmission Wisdom Needed - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 06-19-2016
Steven_C_64's Avatar
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Location: Mattoon
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Icon4 Transmission Wisdom Needed

Hey Guys, I would like to gleen some Wisdom from you before I go forward with this. First, let me share that I'm working with a '99 XLT 4x4, 4.0, Automatic w/OD.
Next would be the issue(s): 1. Odometer not working. 2. OD Light switches on/off at random. 3. Reverse went out with a 'Clunk' 2 Days ago; but Drive (1st, 2nd, 3rd) still 'Good'.
Now, what I would 'Like' to do, for the Immediate future, until I can afford a Rebuilt Transmission; is to get that Reverse repaired.
I have read on here about others that have had Reverse go out on their Rangers; and they were almmost All told to replace the Low/Reverse Seals in the Pan. But they didn't mention the 'Clunk' I had when mine went out.
So I've decided to jump into a New Topic, and find out if I should proceed with this Repair before I actually do it? Or just forget it, because that 'Clunk' means something different; and it wont work.
Some more Wisdom I'd like to glean, is: (A) Where can I find the Transmission #? (I'm pretty sure that at some point I'm going to need that info. for Parts and Another Transmission.) (B) How long does a Transmission 'Last' without Reverse? (Is this a 'Serious' issue, that potentially "Kill" my Trans.?) (C) Does any of you have any 'Rebuilt' Tranny's that would fit mine? How much would you want for it? (Please include Shipping: Which would be to Mattoon, IL 61938)
Once again, thank you All for Sharing your Wisdom. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate y'all!
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Old 06-19-2016
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4.0l Rangers had the 4R55E automatics from 1995 to 2001, so that's the trans you have
2.3l/3.0l Rangers used 4R44E, just FYI

55e was just heavier duty for the larger engine.

All automatics run on Pressure, that's what the ATF is for and the Main pump(front pump), it creates internal pressure used to engage and shift the gears.
Newer automatics, 1985 and up, got electric solenoids inside to open and close internal valves to allow external computer to control shifting which made for better shifting and better MPG.

But trans still needs Pressure to operate, and transmissions have test ports on the outside to read these pressures.

Easy to read PDF here:

generic trans not specific to 4R55E
If you look at pressures needed, page 2, you will see engaging Reverse requires the highest pressure, this is why when an automatic starts to get internal leaks, pressure leaks, losing Reverse is the first and most common symptom.

Clunk aside.

Average price to have a shop diagnose trans issue is $100-$150, and some shops will give you some of that back as pre-paid credit if they rebuild the trans at some point in the future.
Diagnoses should included hooking up Pressure gauges and scan tool then running trans thru the gears and speeds need to do full diagnoses, about an hour shop time, $0 in parts needed.

Using additives can work to restore some pressure, they soften seals and cause them to swell, so seal some internal leaks, but they usually only work with slipping trans issues.

Replacing valve body was a common fix for the 4RXXE transmissions, which can be done in the vehicle.
But I would get trans tested before doing this, Reverse is the big deal here.

Last edited by RonD; 06-19-2016 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-20-2016
Steven_C_64's Avatar
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Location: Mattoon
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Thank you, Ron. I'll be heading to the shop today to see what can't be found. And let you know what they found. Again, Thanks you!
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