So, if I'm interpreting correctl; you are asking if BW4410 off '03 Explorer with 4.0 SoHC* & 5R55W will fit '03 Ranger with 4.0 & M5OD R-1HD:
Reader's Digest answer: no.
Novel length read:
The Ranger M5OD R-1xx uses a 5 bolt basically round pattern pattern on an extended housing, while the BW4410 uses a 7 bolt trapezoidal pattern bolted right to back of transmission.
There are 5 Ranger manuals in '03: (smart @$$ response below, and there are 6 versions not listed as they weren't available in North America and/or '03)
2.3 M5OD R-1 2wd
3.0 M5OD R-1 2wd
4.0 M5OD R-1HD 2wd
3.0 M5OD R-1 4wd
4.0 M5OD R-1HD 4wd
5R55W's in Rangers use an adapter from the 7 bolt pattern of transmission to the 5 bolt pattern of the BW1354 and extended output shaft.
Replacing the rear housing of the M5OD R-1 with one that would bolt to the BW4410 would be seriously expensive proposition - 3.0 to T-5 bell housing runs $2k and that was simpler casting with small volume production.
*I'm not sure if the 4.6 engine Explorer with 5R55S has same transfer case or not.
The Dana 28 found in Aerostar: Bolts up to your transmission, provides AWD = 30/60 split I believe but no low range, wiring will allow it to be more/less locked in a 4 High setting. If you search forum you can find examples of its execution.
BW4404 is more/less older model of the 4410; it uses viscous coupling to add power to split power as required.
I'm not sure how much difference there is between a Dana 28 and BW4404 - it almost looks like BW purchased Dana's transfer case division - but I'm not aware of that history.
I'd be bigger fan of the 4405 - basically 4404 with 4 hi lock + low range of the 1354 - Explorer shifter was 4-Auto, 4 - Hi and 4 - Lo if I remember correctly (I'd have to look at my niece's to be sure.)
Wouldn't you need an Explorer PCM/GEM to control either 4404 or 4405? And I'm not sure how well they would work with '03 dash/manual.
The 4405 is an electronically controlled auto 4wd. It senses slip between the front and rear driveshafts (speed sensors in the T-case) to know when to active “AWD”.
It should be able to easily be made a stand alone system using the selector switch, gem, torque on demand relay, transfer case, and wiring.
Using all 95-96 parts, it would have 2wd, 4wd high auto, and 4low
Using all 97-01 parts would give you 4wd high auto, 4wd high , and 4wd low.
Using the electronics from an Expedition with the Explorer T-case, you should be able to make a system that gives you 2wd, 4wd auto, 4wd lock, and 4low... I say should because I started researching it and found the systems use the same signals, started collecting parts, but never finished and tested it.
This is a street project. Not interested in a low range. So far I’ve learned that the 4404 awd case has a 31 spline input and I will have to swap my trans output shaft to one off a bronco/f150. I know they both have the round style flange from looking at pics. Does anyone know if all bw flanges are the same?