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1999 2WD 2.5L 5 speed manual (M5OD-R1) stuck in 4th gear


jpark6491

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I have a 1999 2WD 2.5L 5 speed manual (M5OD-R1) that I recently bought for $600 that is stuck in 4th gear. Apparently this happened while the previous owner (17 year old kid) was out driving it.

I do not know how this happened, but I do know that it has a new clutch and a different flywheel put on recently. So far all I have done is to put the rear end up on jack stands, take the shift lever off to look down inside of the transmission, and try to see if I can move the shifter linkage out of gear and into neutral. Unfortunately nothing I have tried has worked yet.

Any ideas of what to try next, or does this require dropping the transmission to repair?
 


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RonD

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Inside the hole with shifter removed you will see 3 shift rails, steel bars running front to back
Each has a slot attached, these need to be aligned in the center of the hole for transmission to be in neutral

They are set up in such away that only 1 of the slots can be forward or back of center at a time

Middle slot/shift rod will be forward if stuck in 4th, it is attached to the shift rod with a roll pin, you should see the shift rod move with the slot if you use a screwdriver to pull it back to center, if it moves but shift rod doesn't then the roll pin has sheared off.
Check the 2 slots on the left and right, they need to be in the center or center slot will be locked

M5OD has a top cover plate that can be removed if you pull out the seats, removed the floor plate and cut floor out a bit
Overall I think it will be better to drop the transmission, and then take cover plate off if moving the shift slots doesn't unlock it.

M5OD-R1(M5R1) is a reliable transmission, so not usual to have problems with them, making a used M5OD-R1 a safe bet
They do not have a detachable bellhousing, so each M5R1 is built engine specific
Your 2.5l Lima engine has a unique bolt pattern, but it does match the earlier 2.3l Lima pattern(1988-1997), NOT the 2.3l Duratec pattern(2001 and up)

So you could use a 1988 to 2001 M5OD-R1 from a 2.3l or 2.5l Lima engine Ranger or B-series Mazda(B2300/B2500), 2WD

These transmissions use ATF, yes Automatic transmission fluid in a manual trans
 

jpark6491

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Inside the hole with shifter removed you will see 3 shift rails, steel bars running front to back
Each has a slot attached, these need to be aligned in the center of the hole for transmission to be in neutral

They are set up in such away that only 1 of the slots can be forward or back of center at a time

Middle slot/shift rod will be forward if stuck in 4th, it is attached to the shift rod with a roll pin, you should see the shift rod move with the slot if you use a screwdriver to pull it back to center, if it moves but shift rod doesn't then the roll pin has sheared off.
Check the 2 slots on the left and right, they need to be in the center or center slot will be locked

M5OD has a top cover plate that can be removed if you pull out the seats, removed the floor plate and cut floor out a bit
Overall I think it will be better to drop the transmission, and then take cover plate off if moving the shift slots doesn't unlock it.

M5OD-R1(M5R1) is a reliable transmission, so not usual to have problems with them, making a used M5OD-R1 a safe bet
They do not have a detachable bellhousing, so each M5R1 is built engine specific
Your 2.5l Lima engine has a unique bolt pattern, but it does match the earlier 2.3l Lima pattern(1988-1997), NOT the 2.3l Duratec pattern(2001 and up)

So you could use a 1988 to 2001 M5OD-R1 from a 2.3l or 2.5l Lima engine Ranger or B-series Mazda(B2300/B2500), 2WD

These transmissions use ATF, yes Automatic transmission fluid in a manual trans
Thank you for the insight RonD I greatly appreciate it! To be honest I wasn't quite sure what I was looking at in there but knew that I might be able to realign to center/neutral. I will try again and see if it works this time.
 

jpark6491

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I need to double check this when I go to work on the truck tonight, but I believe that the lower part of the shifter was not installed correctly when I took it out to look at it. The bolt that holds the shifter in place was running side to side vs. front to back of the truck (if that makes sense). I was just watching a video on YouTube on a 96 Ranger and noticed that this was different. Unless the 96 vs 99 model is different?
 

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Nope, there is definitely something broken inside. Will have to pull the trans out and investigate.
 

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You could try pulling the top cover off the trans, could possibly just be a roll pin broke on one of the shift rails or something minor like that. Or a fork not lined up with the slider ring. From the sounds of it, the shifter stub was also not installed right - that bolt should be on the passenger side. Not sure how it would go in the wrong way though unless they really forced it.
 

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You could try pulling the top cover off the trans, could possibly just be a roll pin broke on one of the shift rails or something minor like that. Or a fork not lined up with the slider ring. From the sounds of it, the shifter stub was also not installed right - that bolt should be on the passenger side. Not sure how it would go in the wrong way though unless they really forced it.
Its 99% likely to be in the top plate. IME the most likely cause of a manual trans shifting into a gear and not coming back out is a bent shift rail.
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. I have the driveshaft out and will check the top of the transmission when I get the truck home in the garage.
 

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At some point during the production of the M5OD , they switched to a different shifter setup... iirc, the older ones the bolt was east/west and the newer ones the bolt ran north/south. There's nothing wrong there.

When you have the top cover off, silicone the 3 rubber plugs at the back of the shift rails (or replace the with freeze out plugs), they are prone to leaking. I've seen a few M5's that died horrible deaths from them leaking.
 

jpark6491

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At some point during the production of the M5OD , they switched to a different shifter setup... iirc, the older ones the bolt was east/west and the newer ones the bolt ran north/south. There's nothing wrong there.
Thanks for clearing that up, I was very confused as to whether it was correct or not ?

Also, good advice on the freeze plugs, will definitely be doing that. Any other good preventative maintenance I should consider while I’m at it? I believe the transmission has ~173k mi
 
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jpark6491

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Update: The Ranger is now home in the garage and I have the transmission out with top cover off. The shift forks look worn but what is going on at the front part of the transmission?? Also, what should neutral position look like with the gear selectors?
 

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adsm08

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Input shaft is stripped. You need at the very least an input and counter shaft assembly.

If you look down into the shifter hole, everything should be symmetrical and even side to side. I ever really paid attention to what the forks looked like, I just made sure all my collars where out of gear and that the forks fit over them nicely before putting it down.
 

jpark6491

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Thanks I wasn’t sure what part that was but knew it looked effed up. Here is a look at inside the shifter hole right now.

Edit: Just looked at pictures of what the input shaft should look like....what the heck caused this to happen?
 

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That looks right.
 

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How difficult is an input shaft/countershaft replacement? I am debating between rebuild or used transmission since there is a place close by where you can harvest your own parts from the junkyard for cheap
 


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