C5 swap- cable linkage problems


crankyjew2d2

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Howdy y'all-

been a long time since active. I'm in the middle of swapping a c5 auto from an 84 ranger into my 92 ranger, in the home stretch now. I'm having troubles with my kickdown cable and shifter cable. I have a b&m unimatic shifter.

I have already flipped the shift lever to the "down" position to work with a cable shifter. I don't see how I can route the 5' cable for my unimatic without interfering with the transfer case, or the front drive-shaft, or without the cable hanging too far down below everything.

I've swapped the kickdown lever from my old a4ld- and that's as far as I've gotten with the cable.

Does anybody have wisdom, or better yet pictures, of how to make this mess of cables work? Do I need a shorter cable for my shifter?

Welding/fabricating brackets is not an issue for me. I'll make whatever I need to make it work.
 


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Shran

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I have installed several cable shifters... the cable usually has to come out of the back of the shifter, towards the rear of the vehicle, and make a loop on top of the trans and t-case so that it will come down to where the shift lever on the trans is at. The cables are always stupid long but they almost have to be in order to make that loop - otherwise it doesn't come to the trans in the right direction and you wouldn't get the push/pull action required or is so short that it gets bound up.
 

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Same here.
 

crankyjew2d2

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The cables are always stupid long but they almost have to be in order to make that loop
Cool! that's the kind of "obvious to some but not to me" kind of help I needed.
 

wildbill23c

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I didn't know it was possible to swap a C5 into a newer Ranger, I didn't think the C5's bell housing and bolt pattern would work? This is news to me, but if my A4LD blows up in my Bronco 2 I think I'd like the C5, I had the C5 in my 84 Ranger and that thing pulled a 14' travel trailer from 1984-1989 without any problems, seems like the C5 is heavier built than the A4LD.
 

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I have a C5 in my 1994 Explorer. Works great. I'm not quite done with the swap so the kickdown is not hooked up and just has a temporary shifter but I love it. Driveshaft lengths needed to be changed and crossmember bolt holes moved but it's pretty easy. I even used a 4.0 starter and flex plate.
 

wildbill23c

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I have a C5 in my 1994 Explorer. Works great. I'm not quite done with the swap so the kickdown is not hooked up and just has a temporary shifter but I love it. Driveshaft lengths needed to be changed and crossmember bolt holes moved but it's pretty easy. I even used a 4.0 starter and flex plate.
This is interesting to know. I did have the A4LD in my 88 Bronco 2 rebuilt a couple years ago and the shop did a lot of updates and supposedly better parts during the rebuild. I've driven it daily sense then and haven't had any problems so I hope that's a good sign, but I do like the idea of being able to replace it with a C5. The only issue I'd wonder is if a computer problem would arise as a result since the A4LD is electronically controlled for overdrive & torque converter lockup?
 

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Your B2 won't care. It may throw codes for lack of shift solenoids but that's probably all. Will not affect driving conditions at all.

FWIW I did it because I had the parts, the truck had a bad clutch, and I wanted a worthwhile automatic in it. I'm not sure it'd be worth paying any money for, the A4LD can be built to be reliable... Unless you have a specific purpose in mind and a huge parts stash like I did it may not be worth the cost.
 

wildbill23c

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Your B2 won't care. It may throw codes for lack of shift solenoids but that's probably all. Will not affect driving conditions at all.

FWIW I did it because I had the parts, the truck had a bad clutch, and I wanted a worthwhile automatic in it. I'm not sure it'd be worth paying any money for, the A4LD can be built to be reliable... Unless you have a specific purpose in mind and a huge parts stash like I did it may not be worth the cost.
The rebuild on my current A4LD was $2400 so I'd think if I had an operational C5 it would be a lot cheaper than another rebuild, but I don't foresee any problems the A4LD has been great since the rebuild 2-1/2 years ago. Nice to know the C5 will work though. I had a C5 in my 84 Ranger which pulled a 14' travel trailer all over the country from 84-89 and never had any issues. I had a 93 Ranger that ate 2 A4LD's and my current 88 Bronco 2 on its 1st rebuild thanks to the PO's lack of proper maintenance and towing behind his motorhome improperly.
 

Shran

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Yeah. Might be a wash, I don't know. Figured $500? for a good C5, another $500 to rebuild driveshafts, $300 for a shifter (A4LD one won't work, could use a C5 factory shifter IF you can find a good one... I could not... and the floor plate is slightly different so it would need to be modified anyway.) Plus labor if you're not doing the swap yourself.
 

wildbill23c

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Yeah. Might be a wash, I don't know. Figured $500? for a good C5, another $500 to rebuild driveshafts, $300 for a shifter (A4LD one won't work, could use a C5 factory shifter IF you can find a good one... I could not... and the floor plate is slightly different so it would need to be modified anyway.) Plus labor if you're not doing the swap yourself.
Those numbers would be best case LOL. Personally if I'd have to swap a transmission I'd rather have a shop rebuild it prior to putting it in, rather than putting it in and finding out there's an issue, course if you got one out of an operational donor then that would be best of course.

I would never have thought the shifter would be different or floor plate, the dang shifter looks the same as what was in my 84 Ranger except the A4LD has overdrive where the C5 didn't, so just 1 more position on the shifter creates a need for a different shifter and floor plate modifications is a great heads up.

Nice to know it can be done though, really happy I found this particular thread. My apologies to the OP for derailing his thread.
 

crankyjew2d2

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No worries, I'm so bad at remembering to check forums that I hadn't noticed!

My c5 swap was, in my mind, the most logical solution to my a4ld letting go.

The tech library here on TRS has all kinds of good info regarding what parts you can reuse, and what parts you need new.

This past week I fired the ranger back up, to get fluid into the trans and check things out. My output shaft spins! All gears appear functional at this point. VSS working.

Driveshafts are at the shop getting rebuilt. Hopefully I can get the cooler lines finished this weekend (right now just looped at the trans for testing purposes), then button up the exhaust. I found that after moving the crossmember forward to accommodate the c5, the factory catalytics don't fit. I had to fabricate an oval to round adapter and delete the forward cat.

Once I know for sure that this pig can move under it's own power, I will consider how to deal with the cables.
 

wildbill23c

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No worries, I'm so bad at remembering to check forums that I hadn't noticed!

My c5 swap was, in my mind, the most logical solution to my a4ld letting go.

The tech library here on TRS has all kinds of good info regarding what parts you can reuse, and what parts you need new.

This past week I fired the ranger back up, to get fluid into the trans and check things out. My output shaft spins! All gears appear functional at this point. VSS working.

Driveshafts are at the shop getting rebuilt. Hopefully I can get the cooler lines finished this weekend (right now just looped at the trans for testing purposes), then button up the exhaust. I found that after moving the crossmember forward to accommodate the c5, the factory catalytics don't fit. I had to fabricate an oval to round adapter and delete the forward cat.

Once I know for sure that this pig can move under it's own power, I will consider how to deal with the cables.
Great information, thank you. Please update once you get the drivelines back in as to how it drives. Course without overdrive you'll be running higher engine RPM's, but I'm going to say the C5 would be more reliable...and given my 93 ranger ate 2 A4LD's and my 88 bronco 2 is on its 1st rebuild thanks to the PO improperly towing it, I'd have to go with the C5 which was what was in my 84 Ranger that did a considerable amount of towing from 1984 to 1989 pulling a 14' travel trailer all over the country with no issues.

Edit: I was reading in the tech section about swapping from an A4LD to the C5 and it states that there would be a gap between the bell housing and block. How did you correct that? It doesn't say anything as far as a fix in the tech section.
 
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crankyjew2d2

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I was reading in the tech section about swapping from an A4LD to the C5 and it states that there would be a gap between the bell housing and block. How did you correct that? It doesn't say anything as far as a fix in the tech section.
My trans is a 1984 unit from either a ranger or a b2. A local junkyard had it on a shelf, as far as anyone there knew it had been sitting there since 1994. It came with what I assume is the original (lockup) torque converter.

I used the 1992 4.0l starter, engine plate, and flexplate spacer. I ordered a new 2.9l flexplate from bronco graveyard. The top six bolts of the c5 bellhousing match up to the 4.0l.

Everything slides together without issue and so far everything appears to be playing nicely. The 4.0l starter engages the mismatch of parts just fine, and so far no puddles of ATF on the ground to suggest something is very wrong.

Will report back when I have at least the rear driveshaft back.
 

wildbill23c

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Awesome, thanks again for your information. So you have the transmission installed, with a different shifter, wonder if the original C5 shifter would work, I mean why wouldn't it, that's how it worked originally. Did you just use an aftermarket shifter due to liking it better? Or was there another reason?
 


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