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Hi Rob, I have a 1995 Ford Explorer V6 4 door and it needs a new or reconditioned transmission. The repair shop said they had found one but when they came to install it they said it wouldn't fit, as Ford changed the size of the transmission for the 1995 model.

Is this true?

Thanks for your help – B.

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Your shop is partially right. But I'm afraid they missed their target year. What has happened is that they have likely picked up a 1997 transmission. The transmission offerings in the Explorer were evolutionary and were changed during technical refreshes. As such, care must be taken to select the right one for replacement.

The first generation of these SUVs, built between 1991 and 1994, all came equipped with either the infamous A4LD automatic transmission, or a 4-speed manual transmission. I say infamous because these transmissions were rife with problems and you have found this out personally.

The second generation, built between 1995 to 2001, was a restyling exercise for Ford, but for the 1995 model year this SUV started out with much of the same mechanical components as the first generation Explorer. In 1997, there was a significant powertrain upgrade. New for this year was a Single Overhead Cam (SOHC), 4 litre, V6 engine. The increased power output of this engine required a bump up of the transmission – enter the new 5-speed, 5R55E automatic. This 5-speed not only could handle the increase in torque and horsepower, the additional gear provided flexibility in the operation of this vehicle.

B., I would bet money that your shop has tried to shoehorn this larger transmission into your '95.

Go back to the shop and ask them to find the proper year transmission replacement and put away the shoehorn.

Send your auto maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

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