1st gear - Ford Explorer - Automatic Transmission

I recently lost first gear on the transmission of my 98 Explorer. It happened when I backed into something and accidently revved the engine while shifting into drive.

My brother seems to think that there is a protection function on the computer that stopped it from shifting into first gear, by dropping first gear. And that if I can reboot the computer - first gear will reappear.

is this correct? or do I need a new transmssion?

It sounds like you lost the forward clutch or sprag assy. The computer does not control this.


Here’s the thing. I shift into 2nd gear to get it moving and then back into drive - and once it’s moving - it shifts perfectly. I’ve been driving it, because I don’t have the funds to have it serviced yet. Would it still be the forward clutch?

Do you happen to know how much that would cost to repair (ball park?)

Thanks, Transman. Do you have any idea, ballpark figure, of how much the forward clutch or Sprag Assy would cost to replace?

Thats going to depend on which transmission you have. Which engine do you have?? It still sounds like the forward sprag also called the low roller has given out. This is a one way clutch. Let me know which motor you have.


It’s a 98 exlorer - with a 6 cylinder engine. I’ll see if I can find the specifics on the engine size today.

Thanks for you help.