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04 Explorer transmission

bstewartglasgow

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I cannot locate a dipstick for the tranny on my daughter's '04 explorer! Called Ford dealer...they advised it is a 'closed system' (heard of this with rear ends, but not trannies.) How can you check the fluid level?? Her tranny sounds 'dry' & is grinding badly! I am old-school & have always worked on our vehicles...is this Ford's way of assuring we HAVE TO go to a mechanic?
 

bremereric

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I am just guessing but somewhere there has to be a fill plug. They probably fill it to the level of the plug or just below it.
 

wizwrath

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Iam assuming you have a manual trans by the way you are describing your issues, and ive never seen a manual trans with a "dip stick". If you have a auto trans, and i you dont see a dip stick its because they are filled and drained from the drain plug on the bottom of the pan, and yes you can do it at home, the procedures are harder but doable. I highly doubt this should be your concern as regardless of the trans you have, you will need to pull it and replace or rebuild it anyways. And if you take it to a mechanic you should let them deal with it for you.
 

Riverdawg

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Yeah, starting at least with my 2002, maybe earlier, they came up with some new plug and no dipstick. Yeah, it some kind of special tool you insert in the middle of the "drain plug" in the bottom of the pan. I can't remember exactly how it works, but what a pain. I guess they update the trans in 04 or 05 too, I've had my trans rebuilt twice now. I believe first around 60k and 2nd time around 142k.
 

65 sporty

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Old thread but you remove the small plug in the center of what looks like a drain plug and when it is warm you should have fluid drip out. It is a stand pipe in the pan, use a bottle with a nipple to push fluid into the pan. We have a fluid exchanger we use at the shop but you can get it done with a bottle.
 
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Yikes! We have an 05 Explorer and we've put in a brand new transmission and motor and even had to go back in and have some of the gears redone...and now its acting up AGAIN!!! OMG!! I think our Ole Bessy is on her last leg. ‍♀
 

Riverdawg

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Yeah that sucks. My 02, on second trans rebuild is doing the occasional slip or hanging going from 2nd to 3rd again. Just going to see how long it lasts. So far the engine has pushed at least three plugs out of the heads too. Still runs like a champ with 166k+ on the 4.6. I’m considering throwing in a manual transmission next.
 
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@Riverdawg I didn't know that you could do that. Wow! At least you know how to do that...our mechanic called today and he's putting in another transmission in it today or tomorrow and if that doesn't fix it, he has 5 gallons of gas to torch it! hahaha
 

Riverdawg

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I did some looking around on that web thing and found that the 4.0 liter explorers could be had with a 5-speed manual. I’m a novice mechanic but a mechanic friend told me we could take the stick from a wrecked mustang and convert the explorer. My biggest problem at the moment is that the rockers are rusting out, Michigan winters.
 

65 sporty

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I did some looking around on that web thing and found that the 4.0 liter explorers could be had with a 5-speed manual. I’m a novice mechanic but a mechanic friend told me we could take the stick from a wrecked mustang and convert the explorer. My biggest problem at the moment is that the rockers are rusting out, Michigan winters.
2wd Explorer? Some hurdles but could be done. 4wd would be a nightmare.
 

65 sporty

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Actually it says both 2 & 4wd versions, but only with the 4.0 v6. Yeah, I bet it would be a big job.
A friend had one, a 93 I believe. 4.0 OHV, 5speed, 4wd.
If yours is a 2wd it would be a lot easier than a 4wd. The Mustang trans was never built in a 4wd version. You would need a trans that a transfer case can attach to.
The older Explorer's used the Mazda M5OD same as the F 150's.
 

Riverdawg

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Yeah it’s a 4wd. Probably more of a pipe dream than anything. It’s was the family vehicle from 04-14ish and my daily driver since then. Stupid automatic transmissions had issues from the 02-05? models. Like I mentioned previously, it’s been rebuilt twice over the years. Fortunately the 4.6 still runs great and I’ve replaced a lot of worn out suspension parts the last couple years. So I’m on the fence about what to do if the trans goes bad again.
 

Riverdawg

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It's a shop that my brother has do most of his transmission work. They've been far to me, LSJ Transmission Technologies in Dimondale. He told me on the last rebuild that it wouldn't be able to be done again. First rebuild was 62,800 miles in July 2006. Second was April 2014 with 140k miles. Have around 167k on the truck now. Hopefully it'll hold together a couple more years. I really want to get a newer pickup but I need to get the wife's car paid off.
 
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