I just wanted to submit a story so that others can maybe avoid the expensive problem I had. I have a 92 Mazda Navaho, which is exactly the same mechanically as a 2-dr Ford Explorer.
I have a 5 speed manual transmission. I have since found out (the hard way) that there is a serious problem with this transmission. Apparently, the shifter plugs on the top of the tranny tend to dry out and leak. It is a slow leak, but since it is at the top, it does not leak unless the truck is moving. I changed the transmission oil at 25 and 50 thousand miles, the fluid level was not low. To make a long story short, After 50,000 miles the transmission oil all leaked out on the highway, leaving little or no sign on my driveway. I think you see where this is going.
I unknowingly ran the transmission dry and killed it. I replaced the transmission with the latest model. I hope that the problem is solved, but I will now keep an eagle's eye on the fluid level. The mechanic I talked to said that this is a common problem with this tranny, but Mazda (or Ford) has not said a word about it. No recall, no nothing.
If you have this year and model, get under your truck and check the fluid level in the tranny. Check the rear seal, if it looks like it is weeping, most likely, your shifter plugs are hosed and the oil is finding its way around to the rear seal and soaking it. Replace the plugs immediately and maybe you can avoid my problem.
Message me at BobHewitt@Misterfixit.com
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