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2.3L 4cyl Transmission 4x4 5speed


Coreyrocks

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I have a 97 2.3L 5 speed 2wd and I am putting a sa and converting it to 4x4 I know it's easier to buy a new truck but I have time and money. My question is. Is it possible to use a 5 speed 4x4 transmision from an older ranger that is from a 4cyl?
 


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RonD

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Yes, as long as trans is from a 2.3l Lima engine they have a unique bolt pattern, 2.0l and 2.5l Lima will also work.
M50D-R1 would be best choice, it was used with 2.3l from 1988 on

You will also need to change the computer, current computer will "look for" automatic trans solenoids when it powers up, not finding them it will turn on the CEL(check engine light) and it will stay on.
Engine should run OK but may have random high and low idles.
While having the CEL on all the time might seem like a non-issue, it does prevent computer from warning you when there is a real issue, so best to get a manual trans computer and have a working CEL.

You also need the wiring harness and 4x4 control module plus dash board switches for 4x4 control.
Or if possible find a manual shift transfer case these are not common but can be worth looking for as the electric "shift on the fly" can be unreliable and frustrating, i.e. you don't know it doesn't work until you need 4WD and don't have it, lol.

And use manual lock/unlock hubs, period :)
 
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Coreyrocks

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What is Lima and I have a 5speed manual now why will I need a new computer? And thanks for the quick reply
 

RonD

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The 4 cylinder 2.0l/2.3l/2.5l OHC engines were made in Ford's Lima, Ohio plant, so became known as the Lima engine and also called the Pinto engine since that was it's first application use starting in 1974 Pinto's.
All 3 engines used the same block, 2.0l was an under bored 2.3l, 2.3l was given a longer stroke to make it a 2.5l

These engines were used in Rangers from the first year 1983 until 2001 when the unrelated Duratec 2.3l DOHC engine replaced the Lima's
Since Lima's all used the same block the bell housing pattern would be the same from 1974 to 2000
2.3l DOHC has a different pattern.

Since the late 1980's the Computer in a vehicle with automatic transmission is used to shift and operate the torque converter in the transmission, this allows for better MPG and smother operation since transmission control now has "driver input" and engine status from computer.
Just like there is different software in a computer made for a 2.3l, or a 3.0l, or a 4.0l engine, there is different software in an automatic trans computer than in a manual trans computer.
 

Coreyrocks

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My truck right now has a 2.3l m5od in it and if I get the m5od-r1 I will still need a computer
My truck is manual for the dealership
 

RonD

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If you have a manual now then computer and transmission is fine to used for 4x4 conversion.
M5OD in a Ranger is an M5OD-R1 so you are good, the R1 is because there is another M5OD
M5OD-R2 were beefier and used in Full size trucks, i.e. Ford's F-150

You will need to change the tail shaft housing on current manual trans so it can be bolted to a transfer case, this is not hard to do.
Any M5OD-R1 4WD tail shaft housing will work, this part is not related to vehicle or engine size.
Best bet is to get transfer case and tail shaft housing(with tail shaft inside) from same vehicle if possible

If you go here: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/ManualTransmission.shtml

And go down about half way you will see pictures of M5OD 2WD and M5OD 4WD transmissions, and see the tail shaft housing differences
 

Coreyrocks

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Will I need to get another output shafted of the original is fine. And how hard is it to change the tail housing ?
 

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Yes, like I said, you need to get 4WD output shaft with 4WD tailshaft housing.
It is very easy to change, just 6 or 8 bolts
 

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The easiest solution to your problem is to grab a manual transmission and transfer case from another 2.3L powered 4x4 Ranger, hopefully with a manual transfer case to make it easier than adding the electric shift case to a 2wd truck... The next easier solution is to grab a 4x4 M5OD from a 3.0L powered 4x4 Ranger hopefully with a manual transfer case, disassemble the two transmissions and keep the front 2.3L section and the rear 3.0L section (it's just the output shaft and rear part of the housing that's different between 4X and 2X...), the 3.0L M5OD is the same as the 2.3L version just with a different bellhousing, the 2.9L version would be the same too but they aren't all that common as for whatever reason they kept using the FM 146 (I think, I'm bad on 2.9L trivia...) for a long time and it was a crapshoot even up to '92 which was the last year of the 2.9L...
 

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How hard is it to change the output shaft
 

tomw

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The transmission must be taken apart, and all the gizzards removed, and then the output shaft & bearing can be moved towards the front of the transmission and removed. At least all that I know of are assembled that way. First part installed is the output shaft. The countershaft might be installed first, as the output shaft will be meshed with it full time, but it may be positioned, the output shaft installed, then the countershaft moved into place. All depends on design, and bearing type used. Loose needles are harder to install than caged needles, and being inside the countershaft... are not readily accessible.
tom
 

Coreyrocks

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The out put shaft can it be from an automatic transmission or it has to be from a manual transmission?
 

Coreyrocks

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Do I need the shaft assembly ask well as the output shaft?
 

Mikel89us

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Has to be from a manual.
 

Coreyrocks

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I have a question can I take a output shaft from a M5R1 transmission? It is a manual 4x4
 


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