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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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Old 09-30-2008, 07:25 PM
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How much is a transmission rebuild?

The title says it all I guess. I have a 1994 Ford Explorer XLT, 4.0L, 4WD.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:23 AM
Bear River Bear River is offline
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A simple partial rebuild can be as little as $1200. A full rebuild can get up to $2400, and an upgrade rebuild can get up to around $3,000. Depending on what parts need to be replaced, and whether those parts are soft or wear items, or if solid parts need to be replaced. Obviously, the cost goes up if you have damaged gears.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:31 AM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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with something that old, I'd do a tranny swap - you can get a brand new Jasper or something with a warranty for that kind of money

if you go the cheap route, you could get a used one with warranty, and end up at about a grand parts and labor, but run the risk of it failing - still, though, you'd have to be unlucky 3 times in a row for the same money...

just my 2 cents
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:47 AM
Bear River Bear River is offline
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Thats one opinion, but according to my transmission guy, he advised me against swapping in a rebuilt. The reason he said, is that you know nothing about the history of the transmission, why it failed, etc. He says he has often seen this wear pattern, which Jasper neither tests for or repairs, which can cause shifting problems and accelerated wear. His approach was they we knew what was wrong with my transmission, and what could be done to fix it. They were able to tear it apart, check every critical point, and replace the parts with upgrade and problem solver parts that are better than the originals. According to my transmission shop, they said even witht he way my van is used, towing and routinely hauling loads in excess of one ton, it should still last at least another 150,000 - 200,000 miles or more if I take care of it. My rebuild came with a three year warranty.

To me, a transmission swap is a gamble, unless you buy an upgraded transmission to swap in, such as these ones
A4LD Performance Transmission and Parts from PATC, A4LD
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:57 AM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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I think it's more a $$ thing - why would you put $3K into a truck that is only worth $2K? - I guess unless you had little miles on it, etc...

I'd either do a swap with a used one (with a warranty though, and you can get a parts and labor warranty) - or replace it with a truck that has a good working tranny...

If a rebuilt is torn all the way down like it's supposed to be, it should be like new or better if you opt for the beefier bands, etc... doesn't matter what the history is, because it's all rebuilt...

I think the only time this is worth it, is if you are going to be keeping the truck for 5 years, and secondly, going to be hauling with it... then it makes sense to get it done that way...

Of course, I own an 89 aerostar that people can't understand why I still have it... they never owned one :-)
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:08 AM
Bear River Bear River is offline
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Yeah, the van I use is newer, its a '94, which actually used the exact same tranny your '94 Explorer has. However, my way of looking at it is that It costs me time and money to find a suitable replacement, and the only suitable replacement for an Aerostar is another Aerostar. Astro is too small, other minivans are also too small or too light duty. If I got another Aero, it would have the same transmission problems. So if the one I have is in otherwise good shape, it is worth my time and money to fix it right, and enjoy the fact that I have no car payment and my insurance is cheap.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:15 AM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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Hi Bear - right, but he had an explorer - lots of newer explorers with the same drive train too...

I agree with you 100% on the aero - there is NOTHING else made like it, so there is no other way to go, unless you get a newer one.

I have a 96 Exp btw :-) - just had rockers replaced - darn new england weather! - but anyone in MA need a good welder for cheap money - I finally found a guy here - he's doing my 89 as we speak - it needed a TON of Rust repair... the whole drivers side is rotted... I should post photos :-)
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:28 PM
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback. I don't think the tranny is shot at this point, but it leaks, and today it seemed reverse with slipping when going up hill. I've only owned the thing for week or two, but I'm trying to plan ahead if I can.
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1994 Exploder XLT, 4x4, auto trans and Pioneer cd player

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Old 10-03-2008, 02:56 PM
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Just for kicks, is it an auto or a manual? I can't tell so far.

Right before I sold my '92 I had a partial rebuild of my manual tranny for $1200 (in 2006), and a complete rebuild done for 2 grand in 2000. The first rebuild was mainly due to soft plugs leaking, second one due to bad bearings.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:48 PM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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Before you give up on it, I'd change the pan gasket and filter, re-top off with Merc, and also add some of that stuff from international Lube - run it for a week - if it still slips, and you know you will be spending money, I'd try something like that lucas Tranny stuff, but ONLY if you'd be doing a swap - I'm not big on additives for anything, but this stuff seems to get a few more miles out of a tranny... a friend of mine sells used cars - enough said :-)

BUT if you do use the lucas stuff, you should ONLY add it when it's warm out, and only when the trannys been working, and all heated up, etc - and after you add it, drive it for like 100 miles if you can, so that the stuff gets nice and mixed in there - you don't want to add that stuff, and then just let it sit in the bottom of the pan, cold - then, you screw up your tranny valves, some guys will heat it up first actually... not so it's HOT, but so it flows faster...

I don't like any of the other Lucas stuff BTW - except I have seen the Tranny product actually save a tranny... for how long? don't know, but if you get 10K miles more out of it, it was worth the $8 for the bottle.

it will/may also cure your leak too, but if it's not a big leak, no worries anyways - tranny fluid is cheap, and if you watch it, and top it off every month, cheaper than anything else talked about here...

if you like the generation 1 explorers, all the power to you to keep it - myself? I think the Gen 2 was the best one ford made, but that's just me - the Gen 3's are not made as well, no question... 2 ford ASE guys I know say they do more in warranty work on the gen 3 explorers than anything else, second to the newer 150s -
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:01 PM
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BTW - I'm assuming that you have an Auto Tranny? spikedog asked as well... but really, it's all the same idea... most bang for the buck... and you have to ask yourself at what point does it make sense to quit spending money on something that never gets any newer :-)

as we all know though, the days of getting 15 years out of anything you buy today brand new are over, so old is gold, but with something like an explorer, there are lots of them out there, and people were giving them away when gas was over $4 a gallon here... I could have bought a 99 fully loaded for $2000, but it was a V8, and not the 4.6 the 5.0 - so it was really thirsty too... the 4.6 V8 would be a better choice, since many say that it is on par with some of the older 4L V6's...
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:01 PM
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