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post #1 of 7 Old 11-15-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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03 limited explorer problems

OK this is going to be kind of a long post so try to bear with me. 2003 limited explorer w/4.6. Bought with a cracked exhaust manifold. Before I replaced it the lie-o-meter was showing 13.7 MPG. After replacement of manifold, EGR and tube, oil change, E3 plugs and new air filter the meter is showing 12.3?! Its been about 3 months now and it hasnt gotten any better. I havent actually hand calculated yet as its my girlfriends so I dont drive it and I have been on the road for 2 months. The tranny is having some issues: normal driving everything is sound (firm and smooth/no slipping). But when you lay into is to down shift and pass the RPMs jump up and and the motor is doing its job, but it hardly gains speed. Would the tranny cause this much of a mileage loss? Even if so, why would mileage go down after maintenance? Being a damn enclosed tranny I obviously cant change tranny fluid myself so would it be worth taking it to the dealer to get a flush? Or would that be worse on it now that its slipping? Sorry guys, just at a total loss right now.

1997 CC SB. Stage 1s, 17*hpop, S&B CAI. 4" straight pipe, TW tunes, zf5 swap
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-16-2010, 05:14 AM
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How many miles are on the tranny and when was the last time the fluid was changed? The tranny could definitely be the reason for the drop in mileage, although it could be anything. What do you mean by enclosed tranny? Also, you mention that with normal driving there is no slipping, but near the end you think it might be slipping... Is that due to the fact that the RPM's jump up and it hardly gains any speed?

My wife's Dodge is just like that. It will drop the gear, RPM's jump up and the engine will roar, but it doesn't do much other than that.

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-16-2010, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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How many miles are on the tranny and when was the last time the fluid was changed? The tranny could definitely be the reason for the drop in mileage, although it could be anything. What do you mean by enclosed tranny? Also, you mention that with normal driving there is no slipping, but near the end you think it might be slipping... Is that due to the fact that the RPM's jump up and it hardly gains any speed?

My wife's Dodge is just like that. It will drop the gear, RPM's jump up and the engine will roar, but it doesn't do much other than that.
Ya but this is no chrysler lol. Ya thats the only reason I assume its slipping. I have had it hooked to the scanner a few times and it pulls no codes though. Also going off of how my buddys acts. he has the exact same thing and it hauls ***. Hers is gutless. It has about 140,000 on it and we just bought it so it may have never had a tranny flush . By enclosed tranny I mean there is no pan/access to anything. Not even a dipstick to check fluid levels.

1997 CC SB. Stage 1s, 17*hpop, S&B CAI. 4" straight pipe, TW tunes, zf5 swap
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-17-2010, 05:54 AM
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If it was old fluid (and since you don't know, you should assume that it is), I would certainly start with that. BTW, you might want to find out what your buddy's strategy is and whether he has a tuner on it.

BTW, I have never had an automatic transmission which didn't have a pan to service it. Perhaps there is a drain plug and fill plug on the side that would allow you to drain and refill, similar to a manual transmission or transfer case? You might also ask over on Explorerforum.com.

I'm a member over there and the information helped me rebuild my transfer case. It's a 1996 pushrod 4.0L V6, so I don't know exactly about your situation.

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BulletProof All-Aluminum Intercooler
BulletProof Oil Cooler System w/ Bypass Filter
SCT w/ Custom Tunes (TSD, DJ's, Innovative, Gearhead, QuickTricks)

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Icon Adjustable Trac Bar
Firestone RideRite Air Bags
BDS Dual Steering Stabilizer
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Icon 2.5" Leveling Kit w/ F-350 rear blocks
20" BMF Novakanes wrapped in 33" Nitto Terra Grapplers
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-17-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Ya im a member over there too. Great forum. My biggest thing was I didnt know if a flush could hurt it. I have always heard that once a tranny starts slipping it would make it worse to do a flush. Dunno how much truth is behind it though. Thanks

1997 CC SB. Stage 1s, 17*hpop, S&B CAI. 4" straight pipe, TW tunes, zf5 swap
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-19-2010, 03:48 PM
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The trans has a pan on it. There is no dipstick, but the fluid is set by the center of the plug in the bottom of the pan. It is a torx make sure that you hold the hex nut. Get it hot and then pull the plug with it hot and the fluid should just trickle out. To drain the fluid you just remove the hex nut part and it will drain it. But be warned that you have to fill it through the check plug. That is not always as easy as it sounds.

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post #7 of 7 Old 11-20-2010, 05:22 PM
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i've replaced more of those little 5R55 drain plugs than i can count, they round off so damn easy (esp in salted areas). most of the times the hole needs drilled out a little larger and an extractor bit hammered in

to fill i lay the pan up in between the exhaust and cross brace, dump in 3+ qts and then set it up into place and start some bolts. final fill is with a gear lube bottle containing merc V

good luck with the trans though. sounds like it's time for an overhaul

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