1997 Explorer O2 Sensor Codes and Runs Bad

Question: I just replaced the motor in my 1997 Ford Explorer v6 SOHC and had to put the old motor wire harness on it (the one on the new motor didn't start with the key and the transmission didn't work. I dove it about 15 miles to a transmission shop and back

manually it ran bad. To see if it was the transmission, it wasn't it was the motor wire harness. It starts up but after it warms up it runs really rough.  I hooked it up to a computer scan tool and it said the o2 sensors were bad. I dont remember hat the code numbers were though. I took them out and cleaned them and replaced only one (cause it was beat up looking).

Any ways the motor runs like crap when you put it in reverse and idles up and down and shakes bad. There is all kinds of pinging noises when i put it in drive. I have my foot all the way down and it doesn't have the get up and go that it should. It just struggles to pick up speed and goes to around 4500 to 5000 RPM before shifting out of 1st gear. The other gears are not as bad but still not good. I have spent too much money on it and need to know if getting new 02 sensors will fix this problem. Please help. Thanks.

Answer: Since I don't know if you put the same year engine in your Ford Explorer truck or not, it would be hard to say if this was just a wiring harness problem or something more. Oxygen sensor codes have a lot to do with how an engine runs no matter what kind of car or truck it is. Most of your problems could be related to bad oxygen sensors. Removing and cleaning oxygen sensors only make them worse. You cannot tell if a sensor is bad by looking at it. You need to watch a live data stream to see the readings. Again, I don't know if this engine that you put in was the same exact year.

You say that when you put in reverse it runs bad, idles down and shakes. This sounds like a loose ground or other sensor connector problem. But if it runs bad and shifts bad all the time even in drive, then this could also be just a fuel pressure problem. With the new engine and an original wiring harness you never know, just because a connector will plug in to the sensors does not mean that the wire colors and circuits are all the same. I would suggest replacing the oxygen sensors that have the codes, and check fuel pressure.

Comment: Check to make sure the spark plugs wires are on correctly. You may have a few of them crossed up, especially if the new engine is not the same firing order as the original. Crossed plug wires will cause all kinds of running problem on your Ford or any other truck or car. This causes the spark is getting to the wrong cylinder and will cause terrible running and spark knock or ping.

Ford Explorer Transmission O/D Light Repair Cost

I was an idiot to think it was bad luck to have taken a loan for my 2002 Ford Explorer XLT in 2008, only to have a $3,200 transmission problem before I was even done paying off the loan.

I am very angry and agitated over this issue. I am not a rich person who can throw money away.

I am a single mother living on a small paycheck. I am suffering in this economy as most of us are. My problem came out of no where all of a sudden. The Explorer was running fine for a month. First the check transmission warning went on, then the O/D light started blinking and it was not going into gear if I went over 40 miles an hour. One day it was below zero temp and the state Police had called a snow emergency so when I called Triple A to tow me I was informed that it would be 5 hours before a tow truck would be able to get me. When I realized that this issue was severe and would cost at least $3,000 to fix it, that nearly brought me to tears.

Realizing that I would still have to continue to pay for my loan in spite of this. Reading on forums that almost every person with this model Ford Explorer has had the same exact issue and Ford has failed to recall it made me more angry. I walked with a 9 year old in below zero temperatures and spent all my money, and Ford is to blame. They could have prevented this with a recall? Good old American cars.  Lets fight them.

We can try doing it as individuals, each with our own story but if we all complain we have a better chance. We can get justice and save others from making this same mistake and putting their hard earned money into a truck that will fail them. There has got to be some attorney out there that knows about this transmission problem and will want to cash in on it.

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