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6Bucs, Ford Senior Master
Category: Ford
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Experience:  Ford senior master tech, 18 years experience.
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Ford Explorer Transmission Solenoid, O2 sensor, Speed Sensor issue.

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I have 3 codes, PO 761 shift solenoid C, and PO153 slow response bank 2 sensor 1, and P500 speed sensor. The car acts like it goes into gear but doesn't move. No noise from transmission, just doesn't move. I pulled the transmission pan and no metal chunks in pan or filter. These are my questions.

1. Does the speed sensor ( P500 ) effect the transmission?

2. If it does would you change that before the ( PO761 ) shift solenoid?

3. Is shift solenoid C the same thing as shift solenoid 3 on a Ford transmission?

4. Where is shift solenoid C located in the trans and how do I change it?

I would recommend testing the shift solenoid and replacing it if necessary first, then clear the trouble codes. See if the trans will operate properly at that point and then address the speed sensor code if it returns. The speed sensor issue cannot cause the vehicle not to move, but could cause shift timing, or speedometer problems.
Shift solenoid C is the same as SS3, you are correct there. If you have an ohmmeter, the resistance of the solenoid should be 22-48 ohms. If you find otherwise, replace the solenoid. Here is a diagram of the internal transmission harness, should you need to verify continuity through it.

Pin NumberCircuitCircuit Function
1BlackTCC Power
2RedTurbine Shaft Speed Sensor Signal
3WhiteSensor Signal Return (TSS-)
4RedTransmission Fluid Temperature Sensor
5PurpleTorque Converter Clutch Solenoid
7YellowShift Solenoid No. 3
8RedSensor Signal Return (TFT-)
9OrangeCoast Clutch Solenoid
10WhiteShift Solenoid Power
11GreenEPC Power
12BlueElectronic Pressure Control Solenoid
14BrownShift Solenoid No. 2
16GrayShift Solenoid No. 1

Here is the location of the solenoids in the valve body. With the fluid pan removed, simply locate shift solenoid C, and unbolt the bracket that holds it on. To replace, lubricate the solenoid seal with some trans fluid, push it into the valve body firmly and carefully, then install the bracket and torque the bolts to 89 lb/in

ItemPart NumberDescription
17F037Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid Assembly
27G484Coast Clutch Solenoid Assembly
37G484Shift Solenoid 2 Assembly
47H144EPC Solenoid Assembly
57G484Shift Solenoid 1 Assembly
67G484Shift Solenoid 3 Assembly
  1. CAUTION: SS3 may pop out of its bore. This may damage the solenoid.

    Use a 10mm socket to remove the SS1 and SS3 solenoid clamp screws. Remove the solenoid clamp and the solenoids.


6Bucs and other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My questions were answered fast and in great detail ! Thank you!

Thank you and good luck with the Explorer.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I checked the ohms and shift solenoid 3 checked at 24 ohms and that is supposed to be the solenoid for = PO 761 shift solenoid 3.

I checked the others and one thing I noticed was that torque converter clutch solenoid ( #1 on the drawing ) is only reading 10 ohms. Do you think this is bad?

My trans is a 4R55E I was told. (if that helps)

Thank you

Try testing with the harness installed at the large square connector that the vehicle harness attaches to. The first diagram shows the internal harness.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I took readings on all the solenoids in the transmission. These are my readings:

1. 10 ohms

2. 25.8 ohms

3. 25.7 ohms

4. 4 ohms

5. 25.8 ohms

6. 25.7 ohms

Are any of these way out of line?

Also with the transmission being in the car and me sliding under it, its hard to see the pins. A neighbor was asking if there was a way we could check it at the ECU? Also were is the ECU located and what wires would we check. If you say he is full of crap and want me to stick to your process I understand. To check the harness I will have to pull some solenoids and I can check it from the bottom if I take off the wire wrapping I can tell which wire is which.

We are also cleaning the cruddy battery post but I dont think it matters.

Thank you

Ok, the PCM harness is really easy to get to. It's a rectangular 104 pin connector under the hood. Open the hood and look straight back at the firewall, top and slightly to the passenger side. There will be a large harness plugged in. The PCM is behind there. It's quite a bit easier to check from there anyways, and will verify the entire circuit, in case the PCM is at fault. The TCC solenoid you asked about earlier has a spec of 8.9-16 ohms for normal resistance.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This is what I have done and came up with so far, (neighbor mechanic isn't much help lol)

I tested shift solenoid 1, 2 and 3 with a 9 volt battery and all click (I did not put in the new shift solenoid #3 yet.

We went to the PCM Harness and checked all three shift solenoids. We plug one end of the OHM meter into the correct corresponding pin and the other end of the OHM meter to the solenoid we were testing. (solenoids were left plugged in)

I will start with #3 solenoid since that was the one that gave us the code. Readings are as follows:

#3 = Brown wire 3.4 white wire 26.3

#2 = Brown wire 5.5 white wire 30.7

#1 = Brown wire 3.1 White wire 28.3

To me it shows we have conductivity and decent Ohms. If you agree then what should I text next? Anything else electrically that would keep it from going in gear? Or anything I can check mechanically?

Help me get a better picture of the symptom, as I've been more focused on the code up until now, based on earlier posts. When the vehicle is put into drive range, the first post says it feels like it goes into gear, but then doesn't move. Do the engine RPMs go up according to accelerator pedal position?

Does the vehicle move at all?

Feel like its being held back?

Is the symptom different in reverse, or in manual 2,1 ranges?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

When I put the car in drive it sounds as if it went into gear but if I press on the gas hard (3000 rpm) it might move an inch or two only. Does the same thing in 1st and second and reverse.

Through all this no strange noises are coming from the transmission.

Ok, so you have no forward or reverse engagement in any range. Was the fluid black and smell gross? While you have the pan off, did you notice any of the solenoid brackets broken, like where the EPC solenoid is maybe?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I was very careful and stored the transmission pan in the garage in case I needed to analyze it.

There is some sludge built up on the magnet (no metal felt when ran between my fingers). But if I dip my finger in the top half of the remaining fluid (about 1/4 inch in was left in the pan) it is very clean. It doesn't smell bad after I send this off I'm going to smell the new and the old fluid.

I did notice a small piece of plastic in the pan which I thought was the gasket but after looking again it is a harder plastic about an 1/8 inch thick and 3/4 inch long. Also I did notice when I checked the #4 EPC solenoid it didn't snap with the 9 volt like the others, so I hooked it to the 12 volt battery and it would make a noise but not the snap like the solenoid # 3 2 and 1 did. Seemed weaker not a distinct snap like the shift solenoids.

Ok, so while the shift solenoids are either on or off, the EPC is modulated to provide different ranges of line pressure, so it might not sound the same when you click it on. Did the trans problem happen all at once?

Do you think you can post a picture of the plastic piece on here?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.


I just sent the picture. I noticed the back of torque solenoid kinda broke up when I tried to re-install the plug. Plug connected fine and tested fine but the small plastic piece by the clip lost a piece. But that happened after this was found in the pan (today)

The fluid does not smell bad.

My Son said the transmission seems to slip between gears for the last month while he was driving it, after I drilled him lol

Okay. I'm assuming the fluid filter had not fallen out of the valve body and was secure in there when you removed the fluid pan. With the symptom you describe and the diagnostics already performed, I'd say we can narrow this down to one of 2 things. The first, and pretty common, is a failed valve body gasket. There are 2 on the valve body. They like to harden, then a piece will push out. It's possible that the piece you retrieved out of the fluid is really a "petrified" chunk of the valve body gasket. If you feel comfortable, I can send the removal procedure so you can check it. It's not terribly difficult, but will require an inch pound torque wrench to install it back. This makes the most sense to me since your son reports previous slipping. A common place for the gasket to fail is near the EPC solenoid where the low/reverse servo cover bolts on. It's the square piece bolted onto the case through the separator plate at one corner of the valve body about 3.5" across.
The second is the Overdrive One Way Clutch. This piece can break without sending debris into the pan and requires trans removal and disassembly to view. There is a plastic portion of the clutch that has metal "rollers" in it. If the plastic breaks, the rollers are allowed to freewheel and there will be no trans engagement.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

At this point I can get a re-manufactured trans on eBay for $699 and about $100 shipping.

I'm just afraid if I spend more time on the first thing you mentioned then it winds up the second etc.. you know what I mean. Anyway I didn't think it was a bad deal and they have like 10 feedback with 100 percent rate What do you think? I'm thinking atleast I know it would run again. Do you have instructions to remove and install this transmission?

I think putting in a reman transmission is an excellent idea. I have a good friend that used to work for a 1stop. He never had anything negative to say, although I'm not personally familiar with them.

The instructions say they are for a Ranger. The procedure is the same. For 1996 in the service manual, they lump Ranger/Explorer/Aerostar together. These instructions are for a***** Let me know if yours is 4x4.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the transmission fluid level indicator.

  2. Remove two bolts retaining the fan shroud to the radiator.

  3. Raise the vehicle and position suitable jack stands under the vehicle.

  4. Mark the relationship of the driveshaft flange and the rear axle companion flange, so the driveshaft can be installed in the original position.

  5. Remove two bolts and clips retaining the mid-ship bearing to the rear crossmember. Remove four bolts retaining the driveshaft flange to the rear axle companion flange. Disconnect and remove the driveshaft from the vehicle and install a plug into the extension housing.

  6. Position a drain pan, remove the transmission pan bolts, and drain the fluid. Install the transmission pan, with the original gasket. Remove the drain pan.

  7. Disconnect the shift cable from the transmission manual control lever and remove the cable from the cable bracket.

  8. Remove the oil filter drain funnel retainers. Remove three starter motor bolts and position the starter aside, using mechanics wire. Remove the funnel.

  9. Remove two torque converter access cover bolts and the access cover from the converter housing.

    NOTE: Mark the converter stud to the flexplate. The flexplate-to-converter nuts are not reusable.

  10. Rotate the torque converter and remove four converter-to-flexplate nuts. Discard the nuts.

  11. Support the engine.

  12. Install a transmission jack under the transmission. Secure the transmission to the jack.

  13. Remove the transmission mount nuts. Remove the left and right crossmember bolts and nuts. Remove the crossmember.

  14. Disconnect three HO2S connectors from the catalytic converter assembly.

  15. Remove the bolts retaining the Y-pipe to the exhaust manifolds. Remove the converter-to-tailpipe retainers. Secure the tailpipe. Remove the converter hanger bolt and the converter assembly.

  16. NOTE: The case connector fittings must be held in place while loosening the tube nuts from the cooler lines.

    Slightly lower the transmission. Remove the bolt retaining the cooler lines to the right side of the engine block. Disconnect the transmission fluid cooler lines. Cap the cooler lines and plug the fittings at the transmission.

  17. Disconnect both transmission 16-pin connectors at the left rear cylinder head. Remove the transmission-to-engine bolts. Remove the fluid level indicator tube.

  18. CAUTION: Make sure the torque converter separates from the flexplate and remains seated in the transmission. Do not allow the transmission to tip forward, as the converter could fall out while lowering the transmission.

    Separate the transmission from the engine and carefully lower the transmission from the vehicle.

You'll want to put the pan back on first, so you have a place for jacking it up.

Let me know if I can assist you further in any way.