Ford Ranger Transmission Swap Options

Replacing a Manual Transmission with a different Manual Transmission:

All 2.8, 2.9, 4.0 V-6’s and transmissions are the same. keep flywheel, bellhousing, pilot bearing, throughout bearing, clutch release mechanism(s), flexplate, torque converter with the transmission.

The only modification that will need to be done is to the floor plate. You can either cut it to fit the new shifter or you can remove the front seats and pull the carpet back to get to the (4) 8mm bolts that hold it on and swap in the one from your donor. All that may be left is to trim the carpet. If you take your time, the piece that you trim out can be used to replaced the gap it will leave behind the shifter.

Replacing an A4LD Automatic with a 2.8 Manual Transmission:

A transmission that came off a 2.8L will work on a 2.9L. The 2.9L flywheel and starter will bolt up and work perfectly. The 2.8L clutch disc and pressure plate bolt perfectly to the 2.9L flywheel. This means that the 2.8L, 2.9L, and 4.0L all use the same clutch internals.

The only downside to swapping in an early Mitsubishi for an A4LD is that you need the tranny cross member that bolts INSIDE the frame. On the Mitsubishi’s there is no t-case adapter as it is built into the tranny. This causes the tranny cross member to be moved 2.5″ toward the motor and you need to lengthen the rear driveshaft and shorten the front one.

Your automatic transmission truck has a shifter plate on the transmission hump under the carpet. Use the manual shifter and floor plate from the donor vehicle.

You also need to bypass wire the NSS (Neutral Safety Switch) and wire up the reverse lights.

Replacing an A4LD Automatic with a C5/C4 Automatic:

Even though the flexplate bolt patterns are the same, they will not interchange from an a4ld to a c5. Using an a4ld flexplate with a c5 tranny results in a gap of approx 1/4 – 1/2″ between the bellhousing and block. using a flexplate from a c5 with an a4ld will do the opposite resulting in drawing the torque converter out of the front seal, pump, etc.

You will have to fab/modify the kickdown linkage bracket.

You need to lengthen the rear driveshaft and the front shaft needs to be shorter. You can avoid shortening the front one by using a front driveshaft from an 1984-1985 Bronco II or Ranger, which is already 4.5″ shorter.

To use a C4, you’ll need a C5 bellhousing.

Neutral Safety Switch: The wiring for the NSS goes like this. From the original A4LD harness. Take the red/lt blue striped wire, and splice it to one of the red/lt blue wires on the C5 switch. Take the Pink and red/white striped wires and splice them to the other red/lt blue striped wire on the C5 switch. The other 2 wires you are left with are the black/purple and black/orange wires for the reverse lights. Simply match them with the remaining wires on the C5 switch.

Putting a C4 behind a 2.3 4-cylinder:

To put a C-4 behind a 2.3 4-cylinder, there was a 4-cylinder bellhousing used in some Pintos to mate the 2.3 to the C4 transmission. Though this will limit you to only 3 speeds and no overdrive. This part is currently the Holy Grail of Ford transmission parts as it seems to have been a limited production item and not all Pinto Autos were C4’s. Pinto wagons are your best bet for one of these.

Putting a T-5 Manual behind a 2.8 / 2.9 / 4.0 V-6:

The Mustang 2.8’s had a T-4 type transmission available and those bellhousings will allow use of a T-5 behind a 2.8 / 2.9 / 4.0 V-6.

Parts Needed To Put A C-4 Automatic Behind A 4.0 OHV:

The following parts are from a 1975-1978 Mustang II with a 2.8 V-6:

Flywheel spacer
Torque Converter
Converter to flywheel bolts

Automatic flywheel to crank bolts from a 4.0

You can also get a C5 bellhousing from any mid 80’s 2.8 V6 with the C5 transmission. You will need the C5 torque converter and the C5 flexplate. Try to get a C4 that is a ‘case fill’ versus a ‘pan fill’. We’ve also heard that the flywheel needs to be out of a 4.0 automatic. If replacing a manual, the manual starter won’t work. You’ll need a longer one from an automatic.

The C4 automatic transmission torque converter will work on a 4.0 factory auto flexplate engine.

Computer Notes:

If replacing an automatic with a manual, you need a manual transmission computer to turn the MIL off. If not, the computer will send an error code complaining that it can’t see the torque converter clutch. You also need to hook up the neutral switch to the computer.

4.0L Bellhousing Notes:

All Ford 4.0L’s have the same bell housing pattern, even the Mustang 4.0’s. On the SOHC’s there is (1) bolt hole in the bell housing that will not line up with the blocks. Other than that, the others line up perfectly. It is at the 2 o’clock position if you were looking at the back of the engine from the tail housing on the transmission. The bellhousing bolt changed to accommodate the SOHC 4.0L. The SOHC motor first appeared in 1997 for Explorers, later added in 2001 for Rangers (’97-’00 Ranger 5R55Es have the OHV bell.

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