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Tim, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1044
Experience:  23 years Dealership experience, Ford Senior Master Technician since 2000, ASE Master since 1985
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2002 Explorer XLS with 5 speed manual transmission (208K miles).

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2002 Explorer XLS with 5 speed manual transmission (208K miles). Weeks ago a grinding/clicking noise appeared when I shifted into reverse. It went away when I reshifted. Later the noise appeared intermittently when driving. It increased in speed but did not affect driving. Shifting sometimes eliminated the noise. Recently after parking, I had no reverse gear. Forward gears were fine. When turned off & parked in gear the car would still roll on incline. When driving the noise disappeared when accelerating & reappeared when decelerating. Symptoms sometimes disappear after driving a while. Car is in a shop I trust. Transmission has been taken apart and found to be fine. Clutch was previously replaced at 75K miles. Interestingly it took 3 tries to find the right clutch because Ford used 5 different clutches in 02 Explorers. A truck clutch is in this vehicle. My mechanic now is exploring possibility of a flywheel problem. Flywheel is sealed & very expensive to replace. Your thoughts?


Is this vehicle aXXXXX


Is it possible for you to give me the vin#?


I will help you with a little more information.




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes this is aXXXXXvehicle. VIN is 1FMZU72EX2ZB73984


I am not sure what kind of issue you had with the clutch as far as getting the right one. There were no other options when looking one up in the Ford system. That being said, it cannot be a flywheel causing a "no reverse condition". It can however be a transfer case concern. I have had several with a worn out fork in the transfer case allowing it to kick out the gear in reverse causing a noise and eventually a no reverse situation. Have him look closely at the transfer case. And yes, the flywheel is nine hundred and some dollars! My bet is on the transfer case. I hope this helps, if so pleae accept this answer. If you need additional help, just reply back to this question and I will help you.




Tim and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Can this happen when theXXXXXis not engaged? I usually use the 4WD only in winter driving conditions and maybe once a year off road.


Yes, it will happen in two wheel drive. When the fork wears out, it allows the gear to move back and disengage.




Customer: replied 8 years ago.

When I took your answer to my mechanic, he smiled and said that the shift forks were the first thing he suspected and checked. When the problem could not be found in the transmission or clutch he began talking to other mechanics, and eventually found one who suggested the problem might be in the flywheel. Of course in Ford's infinite wisdom, they made the flywheel a sealed part (and a damned expensive one at that). Diagnosing the problem took so long because he had been unaware that the flywheel could cause the problem I was experiencing, and everyone he talked to in the Ford system told him it was impossible. He wanted to be sure before spending the money. He finally tracked down the company that manufactures the flywheel and found that it was indeed possible.for the flywheel to slip (although it is a rare problem). He also saved me some $$ by ordering the part from the manufacturer instead of from Ford. I finally have my car back with the symptoms corrected.

Because so much was already disassembled I chose to have him replace the clutch plates. Yes, the Ford system says that only one clutch was used in this model, but that's not the clutch that they put in my Explorer. The first time I had the clutch replaced, my mechanic ordered the clutch that Ford specifies, and it was wrong. It took two more tries to get the right one. This time it should have been easier because he had the part number, but NO. He had to get part numbers off each individual part because Ford had apparently assigned this clutch a new number. This clutch is one that is usually found in much larger Ford trucks. Sounds to me like someone at the end of a production line used whatever parts were available that day.

In the end my mechanic served me well, and that is why I trust him. When I asked for your help I had been without my car for more than two weeks and needed to feel like I was doing something about it. When you gave an answer, I accepted and excitedly hurried off to the shop. Although it wasn't the right answer, it did make me feel like I was doing something. I guess I got $9 worth of satisfaction.