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Mercury Sable LS Shift Solenoid "C"

Q. Hello, I have a 1996 Mercury Sable LS, 3.0 liter, V-6, DOHC. I have the CarChip device which has been quite handy. However, I need help on finding the problematic part and how to change it. The error I'm getting is " P0761 - Shift Solenoid "C" Performance or Stuck Off ". I understand this is a solenoid problem, but where do I find it and how do I repair or change it if I can?

Mercury Sable LS Shift Solenoid

To further, the Overdrive Off Light (OOL) is blinking and the Service Engine Soon (SES) light has come on. I can feel the car not shifting into overdrive, apparently this solenoid is causing the problem?

  • 1996 Mercury Sable
  • 3.0 liter, DOHC
  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • ABS brakes
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control

I recently had the right front axle changed because the inner CV boot went bad. It was cheaper to have the axle replaced than just the boot. Also, the rear brake pads were changed and the rotors turned.

Thank you in advance for your help...

A. In the diagram below, #11 is the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid, # 12 is the Pressure Regulating Solenoid and #13 are the Shift Solenoids. To replace them you will need to remove the transmission side cover.

Mercury Sable LS Shift Solenoid

For that you will need to support the engine and take just about everything on the left front off to get to the side transmission pan. You can get the procedure in the MOTORS or Mitchell Manuals in the Reference Section of the Public Library. You can rent the engine support from a tool rental store.

There was a Technical Service Bulletin issued on this problem. It could very well apply to your vehicle.

Article No.: 98-10-7
Date: 05/26/98

Transaxle: AX4N - No 4th Gear And Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P0734 And/Or P0761 For 1996-98 Taurus/Sable And 1995-98 Continental, And DTC 648 For 1994-95 Taurus/Sable

Transaxle: AX4N - Retaining Clip For Forward Clutch Control Valve - Service Tip

1994-1998 Taurus

1994-1998 Sable
1995-1998 Continental

No 4th gear operation (no 3-4 shift) and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P0734 and/or P0761 or 648 may occur on some vehicles. This may be caused by a broken retaining clip in the valve body that secures the forward clutch control valve and spring in place.

Replace broken forward clutch control valve retaining clip with revised forward clutch control valve retaining clip. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.

Mercury Sable LS Shift Solenoid
Figure 1


  1. Inspect for a broken retaining clip by removing the valve body and then the valve body separator plate. Inspect the forward clutch control valve, spring, retaining clip, and valve body casting for damage (Figure 1).
Mercury Sable LS Shift Solenoid
Figure 2
  1. If the clip is broken and the forward clutch control valve and/or valve body casting is damaged, replace the main control. The retaining clip has just been revised to prevent the chance of breakage. The revised Retaining Clip (F8DZ-7F194-AA) has circular cutouts on the side of the clip in place of the square cutouts on the previous design level clip (Figure 2).
  2. Inspect the new main control (if required) before installing it and replace this retaining clip for the forward clutch control valve and spring if it's not the new design (Figure 2).
  3. Any time service is required on any AX4N transaxle main control, inspect the retaining clip for the forward clutch control valve to be sure it is the latest design level, and replace the retaining clip if it is not. The revised clip is larger and will remain centered in the valve body casting groove.
F8DZ-7F194-AA Forward Clutch control valve
F8DZ-7F194-AA Retaining Clip

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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