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Changing out transmission crossmembers. Any advise?


Manitoman

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So I had a little mishap and bottomed out my ranger and really messed up my stock transmission crossmember and bent up the frame mounts for it by the old rubber bushings. So I found another mount from a '91 3.0L 5speed that mounts to the frame directly and eliminates the old setup with bushings. I'm told you need to grind/drill out the steel rivets (3) on the old mounts and remove the mount/crossmember completely. The '91 crossmember bolts into the old holes where the rivets where, and one extra bolt hole needs to be drilled on frame bottom. Has anyone ever done this "swap"? It sounds easy enough, if the holes truly line up and the transmission is being held in the right place. Thanks everyone.
 


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It has been done. If you do a search of our forum, you will see that this has come up abunch of times. It's just that nobody has done a tech article on it yet.

Should be pretty straight-forward. If your frame is relatively rust-free, the rivets can be a bit of a pain to remove. Best method I know is to use a cut-off wheel and cut slots in the heads of the rivets. Then use a chisel to break the remaining part of the river heads free. After that, a punch and good sized hammer will eventually push the rest if the rivet out if the hole. I use a 3 lb hammer for that last part.
 

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Plus i then drill out one hole in frame and crossmember to 1/2" on each side. Bolt it in snugly and then drill out the other holes one at a time and install bolts and snug up as you go. I like to find bolts long enough that the shank engages the hole, not the threads. Use washers to take up shank length if necesary. Ive always used grade 8 bolts but grade 5 are adequate. Then go back and torque the bolts. A dab from a paint pen on the head and nut to frame will tell you at a glance if anything is coming loose.
 

JMF661

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Used grinders and punch/hammer, as well as air chisels for rivet removal. Air chisels are definitely the way to go, much cleaner.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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3 rivets a side.

It will change your driveline angle slightly too.

There is a few different variants, the older ones that bolt to the inside of the frame are the highest, the one outside the frame (later TTB like Explorer era) are in the middle and your dogbone style is the lowest.

 

Manitoman

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Thanks everyone. I'm going to do it and probably keep records of the project so maybe it can help someone else. 85_Ranger4x4, I can tell you for sure my driveline is angled so bad right now it's hitting the body! This will be the first step to finding out if I more issues:mad:. BTW, the one I found is from a '94 Explorer, I hope it fits.
 

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