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Old 06-09-2003, 12:42 PM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Question Blinking OD light

Does anyone know the cause and fix for a blinking Over Drive Light?.

I was just driving around, then the OD light started to blink, first I thought someone had accidently hit the shifter and turned it off.

I push the button to turn the OD off several times without any results, the light still blinking.

Any thoughts would be welcome, may it already happened to some here and would like to let me know the procedure to fix this problem.

Thanks

Ed
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:45 PM
evb281 evb281 is offline
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Blinking OD light

Hi Ed-

Are you having any other symptoms along with the issue?
(speedo out, abs light on (if equipped), check engine light, etc.).

What Year/Model Explorer?
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:51 AM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

NO, the only light blinking now is that of the OD. However, a couple of weeks ago, I did have a check engine light on, it came on a couple of days before the car stop running.

I had it towed to my local dealer, and they change the fuel pump (Very expensive fix) which made it start again. After taking the car out of the dealer shop the "check engine" light came on again. I took it back and they change oxygen sensor valve (an other expensive repair). The car run very rough after that, and the dealer shop, since I was complaining about the charges, said that to fix the roughness of the engine would require a lot of testing and work.

That it could be anything from a leaking vacumm house, to a crack cylinder head. I didn't have any more work done by them, and used the car as it was (with a rough idle).

Until now where the OD light began to blink, and as I explained no matter howmany times I press the button on the shifter, it does not stop the light from blinking.

The only other thing the car has, its that the 4x4 does not work.

Any help, would be greatly appriciated since the only thing left in my pockets are lint bunnys and I don't know what is the dollar convertion ratio for them? lol.

Thanks

Ed
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:51 PM
CNTHOR CNTHOR is offline
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Blinking OD light

quick way to stop the blinking. disconnect battery for about 10 min and reconnect.
depending on year of car (which you seem to not want to tell us) there are other ways

also for the 4wd system there is a TOD(torque on demand relay) that might be bad


I'm Glad I could help.
I had a problem with my transfer case. the Ford dealer gave me a qoute on $1750 to replace the transfer case. I felt like the symptons didn't match the diagnosis so I was forced to learn how the 4wd system works on a 1995. the result was that I changed a $30 speed sensor and now my system works fine. (and I learned quite a bit about the 4wd control-trac system.
Here's the $5.00 tour of your 4wd system.
1. PCM
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is the main computer for your car and also controls the engine and Transmission. the PCM is mounted on the engine side of the firewall in front of the passenger air bag.It is not serviceable but is very easy to change ($300.00). It is notorious for going bad at about 100,000 Miles
2. transmission.
This transmission is all electronically controlled. It is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). It is also known as a weak transmission looking for a reason to fail. I had mine fail on me and it cost $3,000 to rebuild
-GET a Small external tranny cooler and have it connected in series with the existing cooler so that the engine pumps the fluid through the original cooler first, then the auxilary cooler and then back to the transmission (PEP BOYS sell the cooler for $40.00 and will install it for you for a small fee)
-GET the fluid PUMPED OUT every 12,000 miles
-GET the fluid PUMPED OUT and have the filter changed every 24,000 miles.

3. GEM
The generic Control Module (GEM)is the secon computer in your car. It is mounted in the dashboard behind the radio. It controls the Inside Lights, Windows, Wipers AND TRANSFER CASE (believe it or not) among other things. It is about $250 an is also very easy to change. And is aslo notorious for going bad
4. BORG-WARNER 44-05 transfer case
The transfer case is electronically controlled by the Generic Control Module (GEM). It has a INTERNAL clutch that is controlled by a solenoid (Electric Clutch). it also has 3 speed sensors mounted to it (one is the main vehicle speed sensor and is not used by the vehicle in controlling the 4wd system) two of the speed sensors are very important for 4wd operation. They are called HALL sensors and one measures front driveshaft speed the other measures rear driveshaft speed. The transfer case also has a ELECTRIC SHIFT MOTOR the is used to preform a mechanical shift of the transfer case from it's high gear range to it's low gear range.
In 2wd mode the GEM DISENGAGES the Clutch and the front axle (through the VACUUM SHIFT MOTOR).
In 4wd-AUTO the GEM engages the front axle and SLIGHTLY engages the electric clutch in the transfer case to send power to the front driveshaft (but still allow for slip so that your drivetrain isn't stressed if you are turning). It also starts reading the HALL sensors. If the rear driveshaft is spinning much faster than the front the GEM increases power to the electric clutch until the driveshafts are going close to the same speed. (NOTE THAT THERE IS NO MECHANICAL SHIFT IN THE TRANSFER CASE WHEN YOU GO FROM 2WD to 4WD-AUTO)
In 4wd-low the ELECTRIC SHIFT MOTOR shift the transfer case into low gear range (2.88:1) and fully engages the ELECTRIC CLUTCH.
This is what I learned about the transfer case:
-CHANGE THE FLUID EVERY 24,000 Miles (it only takes 1.5 quarts of mercon transmission fluid. Make sure you take the fill plugh off before you take the drain plug off in case you can't get the drain plug off you still have fluid in the transfer case)
-If you have a problem with the 4wd high mode it is probable one of the HALL sensors going bad (the rear one took me 5 minutes to change. The fron one requires removing the ELECTRIC SHIFT MOTOR to access)
-Keep the car in 2WD mode unless you need the 4wd don't waste your electric clutch on dry pavement.
-don't shift into 4wd-auto if you are going above 30mph. I have heard of people damaging the front axle if the axle doesn't engage properly
-once a month, on wet roads drive for about a mile in 4wd-auto to lubricate your front axle fully.
- TEST YOUR 4WD-LOW SOMEWHERE NEAR YOUR HOME THE FIRST TIME (You wouldn't want to find out that the shift motor got stuck in low gear in the middle of the desert would you?)
5. REAR AXLE
Most of the rear axles in '95 were the limited slip type. They take 80w90 hypoid gear oil and require 2oz of a special ford additive for the limited slip axles.
CHANGE YOUR AXLE OIL EVERY 50,000 miles
CHECK THE CONDITION OF THE OIL EVERY YEAR
MAKE SURE THE BREATHER TUBE ON THE AXLE DOESN'T GET BRITTLE AND BREAK
6. FRONT AXLE-DANA 35IFS
they are not limites slip (if you get stuck only one front wheel will spin)
the axle is supposed to tak a synthetic gear oil, But even the dealers use the same oil as the back.
CHANGE YOUR AXLE OIL EVERY 50,000 miles
CHECK THE CONDITION OF THE OIL EVERY YEAR
MAKE SURE THE BREATHER TUBE ON THE AXLE DOESN'T GET BRITTLE AND BREAK
the control module you found the tubes disconnected from is called the ELECTRONIC VACUUM CONTROL VALVE. The reason two line are going to your vacuum shift motor on the axle is to because the axle has to be DRIVEN ENGAGED and DRIVEN DISENGAGED. If the designers had only one line to DRIVE IT ENGAGED the they wouldn't have any way to disengage the axle once it was engaged.
As far as why the lines were off, I think it is stupid to pull both lines off. If you want the front axle to stay disengaged the you should leave the disengage line plugged in. your lucky the axle didn't get stuck haflway engaged and halfway disengaged. Just watch it carefully for the fisrt few days
Finally, If you are in 2wd the front shaft will still spin slowly because the transmission fluid in the transfer case still cause some small amount of energy to get to the front driveshaft.

I learned all of this because I thought my local Ford dealer was trying to rip me off. AND I WAS RIGHT.
I'm glad I could help you out. Get all your fluids changed
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:59 PM
bombtech bombtech is offline
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Blinking OD light

Good answer, sounds like everybody's OD light is blinking this weekend, like x-mas trees.
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:36 AM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

CNTHOR,

Wow, your knowledge on this type of course left me speachless. I tryed the fix for my OD light, by disconnecting the battery for 10 min. Just as you said and I'm happy to report that IT WORKED.

Thanks you so very much.

As I'm new at this forum I did fail to leave critical information about my vehiacle, which is:

1995 Ford Explorer Limited, 6 cyl, 4doors and 4x4.

Next I'm going to try your recommendations for fixing my 4x4 system. It appears that I'm not the only one who mistruts the dealer's pricing and recomendations.

Don't be alarm if I become a pest, and ask you for more advice.

Again, Thank you.

Ed
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Old 06-12-2003, 07:10 PM
CNTHOR CNTHOR is offline
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Blinking OD light

No Problem,

One of the most common 4wd problems is that the HALL sensors I described above are magnetic. After a while they get metal flakes stuck to them and stop working.

Does your 4wd light start binking 6 times every two minutes when you try to put the vehicle into 4wd auto?

Does your 4wd low work (remember to be in nutral when shifting into 4wd low)? try this on a loose surface and actually see if your front wheels have power

If the answer to any of these two questions is yes then it might be one of your HALL sensors


Does the 4wd light come on OK but you never feel power in your front axle? if so it might be a problem with the vacuum actuator or vacuum relay for the front axle

Did you drain the oil from the transfer case to see what shape it is in? it only takes about 1 quart of mercon fluid to refill it

give me some more info, I'll try to help you out

There were some more threads I was involved in where we went to some detail about the 33hz AC signal that is used on the Transfer CASE solenoid. we actually looked up the patent to see how it works.
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Old 06-12-2003, 07:12 PM
CNTHOR CNTHOR is offline
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Blinking OD light

ANd have your tranny fluid flushed
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Old 06-12-2003, 10:36 PM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

CNTHOR,

Unfortunally, the answer to the questions concerning the 4wd lights are both negative, I don't get a light at all when I switch the button.

Having said that, I know the lights work, because when I first start the car, they both light up as the car goes through the start-up procedure.

I've only had this vehiacle for about a month, and when I got it the 4wd system did not work -that is to say, I noticed that the lights didn't come on, when switched to either 4wd auto or 4wd low. Even then, as is the case today, there were no lights, nor the feel that the 4wd system was actually doing something when I drove it.

When I took it for other repairs to the dealer, I aslo had them check the 4wd system to see how much it would cost me to have them repair it. The dealer told me that there were a couple of leaks in the 4wd transmission systems, and that they couldn't tell me what was wrong with the 4wd system until they service the 4wd transmission (transfercase) I guess would be the correct word here.

They even when to the point of suggesting me, to sell the car, because I was going to spend a lot of money and that the car was already 8 years old.

I would like to repair it my self, and go through the learning process, only because I'm fund of the car and I like the feeling one gets after making something work on the car, and knowing that one saved a considerable amount of money in the process. Not to mantioned the fact that I've already spend a considerable amount on it.

So, if it wouldn't be too much to ask. Can you tell me what would be the first thing for me to do here, when trying to service the transfercase, and repair my aling 4wd system?

Do I need to lift the car any further than what a regular floor jack could lift it?

I have a set of books I bought anticipating to do some serious work on the 4wd trany. They are by Helminc for a siries of 1995 models which include, the Aerostar, Ranger and Explorer.

The volumes I have are: 1) Powertrain, Drivetrain 2) Body, Chasis.

Obviously I won't get the same valuable information I get from someone like you, who has got the hands on experience and actually fixed the problem. But I mantion it here, just as background information and with it, let you know that I am a newbie when it comes to Ford Explorers.

With regards.

Ed.
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Old 06-13-2003, 03:22 PM
CNTHOR CNTHOR is offline
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Blinking OD light

Sounds like your GEM doesn't even realize that you want to leave the 2wd mode.

I think your 2wd-4wdauto-4wdlow switch may be bad. The switch uses 3 resistors. there might be a way to simulate the switch for testing

when I get home I'll dig around and see how to test the switch.

Check all your fuses (of course) although I don't think that is the problem
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:12 PM
CNTHOR CNTHOR is offline
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Blinking OD light

Don't go back to that dealer. he is full of crap. The transfer case is very well sealed up. it shouldn't be leaking anywhere. And if it was , since it only contains about a quart of fluid, it would be empty by now and you would know it.

I'm betting your 4wd mode switch is not working properly. it seems od that the 4wd lights aren't blinking in error mode

start with the easy stuff.

1. check the connector plug for the wires going to the transfer case. Follow your rear driveshaft rom the axle back to the engine. the first thing that it hits is your transfer case. there are a couple of interesting things to see here.
There is a cylinderical sensor with a white gear on it. This is your vehicle speed sensor. leave it alone. it is ok
There is a single wire running straight into the transfer case. this is the wire that controls your clutch solenoid. dont' pull to hard on it but make sure it looks in good shape
There are three wires together running into the transfer case through a 1" round well with a philips screw right underneath the wires. this is your rear driveshaft HALL sensor . I think this is OK. you can check to make sure no fluid is leaking from around it and you might as well take the screw out. you can then pull the sensor out of the transfer case and make sure no metal flakes are stuck to it. also check the o-ring. don't worry. theres no way to put it back in the wrong way and the internal fluid level is below the opening when you pull it out so nothing will pour out. wipe it off then put it back
There is a silver "CAN" hanging off the back of the transfer case.it has a right angle gear on it and bolts to the back of the transfer case this is your shift motor. leave it alone. if you take it off you can shift your transfer case manually with a wrench but the you have to use silocone rv sealant before putting it back
There is a round metal piece "looks sort of like a donut" this is your harmonic balancer. leave it alone.
Underneath the shift motor and harmonic balancer (still on the back of the transfer casae) is the front driveshaft HALL sensor. leave it alone since you would have to do a lot of work to get at it.

All the wires I spoke about run back to a connector right above the shift motor. make sure it is connected good and tight.wiggle it a little if your careful you can pull it apart and check for corrosion. if you take it apart you should get some Di-Electric grease and smear it on the contacts before re-connecting it . PEP boys sells it in a small can, make sure it is di-electric (non conducting).

While you are doing this you should change your transfer case fluid. There are two drain plugs. a 3/8" rachet and 3/8" extension fit into the plugs. make sure you remember how far the are screwed in before you take them out (the transfer case is only about 1/4" thick metal. you don't want to screw the plugs in to far) the higher plug is where you refill from. the lower plug drains. figure out how your going to get the fluid in the higher plug before you start draining. take the top plug out then take the lower plug out. let it drain and then put the lower plug back in. use teflon tape when you put the plugs back in
check the fluid to see if it is burnt or has flakes in it. refill until the fluid starts coming back out the top plug and then put the top plug back in.

This was the first step in diagnosis. now check to see if any 4wd mode works.
I don't think this is going to fix anything but you should be doing this stuff anyway


I think your 4wd mode switch isn't working. I believe the radio panel comes off and you can access the switch with pulling anything else out (except the radio maybe). the switch has 4 connection (i believe) 2 are for a light (this might be the light above the switch) 2 are for the actual switch. the switch uses 3 resitors each position of the switch connects a different resitor. you can take the switch off and hook a ohmmeter up to it to see if you read 3 different values depending on where the switch is. I think the values are 350 ohms, 1.1kohms and 3.9Kohms (it's hard to read the print I have)

You might even want to try substituting these 3 value resitors in one at a time to see if the 4wd turns on for any of them (dont forget to leave your car in nuetral for this


I never took off the switch. I'm only looking at the print and this is what I would do in your case.

If the switch checks out OK then I think your GEM module might be bad.


When you put it in 4wd low do you hear anything move or click under the center console
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Old 06-19-2003, 03:58 PM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

Well my OD light is not blinking anymore. Thats because the entire transmission broke down on me.

Looking back, the OD light started to come on when ever the car was loaded with a moderate load -more than its usual 3 (light weight people).

Here is the skinny of what happened.

I had planned a trip to VA, Beach -about 4 hours from where I live. I packed the car with all unecessary evils for a beach vacation, and picked up 3 other people in my car.

It was a Fraiday and anyone who's visited the Washington DC metro area knows that traffic on a Friaday evening 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM makes every highway and main artery more like a spidier web parking lot.

I didn't get very far before the transmission made a bumbing grinding noice. Then the OD light came back on again. I didn't think much of it until the line started to move again. I noticed my RPM was going way up 5x1000 range, and we barely moved.

I packed just about everything for the vacation exept a good set of wranges/sockets. So I pulled to a gas station and asked to borrow a wrange to disconnect my battery, this to reset the OD light, because up to this point I though -not known much about Fords- that the problem could be resolved just by resetting the OD light. Wrong.

I continued with my trip, and feeling the transmission sleeping with every mile I tried to cross. There were a couple of times that I stopped -I had bought an emergency set of sockets by then- to reset my OD light.

To make the story short, I decided to turn around after going about 100 miles with the car on this stage and limping back to my garage.

The next morning I had AAA tow the truck to Cottonman -A transmission placed near my place- Only to have them diagnos the tranmission with just about every single piece of component burned, scared or over heated.

I checked the Internet for a 4R55E rebuild transmission, and I found an outfit that would send me one for about $940 delivered. I needed to pay a $450 depoist for the core and uponed successful returned I could get my depoist back.

Cottonman quoted me a price for taking the transmission down and inspected and to put it back on the truck again. Their labor cost just for this $450.00. A couple of days later once they've taken the transmission down, the guy from cottonman call me to show me all the parts that had to be replaced and the extensive damage to the drums. In his words I needed to have the entire thing redone, at a price of 2,758.00 (parts/labor) including the $450 for taking the transmission down and a 24 month warranty on their work.

I almost went with the Internet Transmission for the price, however the more I thought about it, the less it made sense to have someting that important ship, with the argument that if anything went wrong I had to take it to another transmission shop, pay for their labor, and then dispute weather or not if somehting had gone wrong was because of poor rebuilding techniques. They would argued of course that if anything had gone wrong with the transmission it had to do with improper installation, and I could spend a lengthy amount of time without the car and at the end getting the short end of the stick.

Agains all of my better judgement -paying this much for an old car- I decided to have Cottonman rebuild the transmission. This way I can always go back to them since they are local and have it repair under the warranty. As a consolation price, I had the shop replace all the major seals on the transfared case, and check for the actuator to see if its in good condition. My comical outlook on this is the fact, that if I can walk out with my transmission rebuild and a working 4x4 it would provably feel less pain full.

I towed my truck to this place late on Saturday, Monday they didn't do anyting other than plug it to a tester to read the compuer codes, Tuesday they actually took the transmission down. So if all goes well, I'll have my car late today Thursday, or early Fraiday, wish me luck

Why do I feel like a sucker?

At any rate, there is an other problem I want to be able to work on the car, and this I want to do my self since I've already spent, my retirement fund

The problem has to do with a lagging rear end. It looks like the car's rear is to low for a utility vehicle, and once in a while I get a beep from the center consol, asking to check the Air right system.

Any thoughts on this?

Ed, Moneyless

95 Ford Explorer Limited
4x4 4.0
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:41 PM
charlie calcote charlie calcote is offline
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Blinking OD light

my wife has a 1996 with a v6 and the OD off light began flashing and the trans wouldn't shift until you let off the gas pedal. i had the codes checked and they said the shift solenoid was stuck in the off position. where is the solenoid?
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:55 AM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

Well almost $4000 later, here I go again. Just got the Explorer back from the transmission shop, with a rebuilt transmission and Transfercase. Now for the real test, I'm going to attempt the postponed vacation trip, to Virgina Beach or about 4 hour drive from where I live, in the midst of 4th of July Traffic.

Hopefully, you wont see me -if you are going that way- on the side of the road, smashing my Explorer with a sledge hamer trying to exercise the evil trany spirit within.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:02 PM
exlmtd exlmtd is offline
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Blinking OD light

Made it back from the beach, but guess what? On the way back I run into a major rain storm. I mean 2 inches of water on the pavement traffic moving pretty slow, etc., etc.

So I decided to put the dam thing into 4wd auto, it shifted ok and then after a couple minutes, my 4wd high and 4wd low lights began blinking about six times and then they go off for a couple more minutes. What is going on, with this Explorers, does anything work well with them. This is my first Ford SUV, but so far I got no love for them at all.

Any suggestions on the blinking 4wd auto and 4wd low problem?

Ed
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:02 PM
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