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Hydraulics or transmission


arachnofreak

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Hey ya'll

First post here, but been lurking ever since I got my truck. 99' Ranger 2.5L with the M5OD-R1 I've had for 10 months now. I learned standard transmission on this unit but I feel like when I was learning it shifted pretty smoothly but that could be irrelevant.

Once I was comfortable with what I was doing I began to notice that it was becoming increasingly difficult to shift into 1st gear from a stop and also that on occasion (1/4) of the time I would feel a grinding / rumbling sensation in the shifter when shifting into 2nd.

As it got colder here in Illinois I began to hear whining noises from within the bell housing that would change with the use of the clutch pedal so I jumped onto the diagnosis that the slave cylinder was the issue. I did my research and accumulated some parts, mostly all OEM. I replaced my pilot bearing, pressure plate, clutch, slave cylinder, and master cylinder. I bled the new master and slave according to the perfection clutch videos on youtube and I watched loads of air bubbles come out and I felt like I spent quite a bit of time on the bleeding process in fear of having air in the lines.

So here we are, the truck is put back together and the noises from the bell housing are totally gone. I shift into 1st gear infinitely more easily than before.... but the grinding sensation in the shifter is still occuring about the same exact amount of times that it did before (1/4) or so... I can shift from 2nd to 3rd; 3rd to 4th fairly easily and into overdrive.. reverse is easy as well.

Do I need a transmission rebuild or should I revisit bleeding the hydraulics? Love the truck and would really like to see it running good.
 

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RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)

Well first post at TRS

Have you changed the transmission fluid?
I would do that now, the M5OD-R1(M5R1) uses ATF, yes automatic transmission fluid in a manual trans

Check the drained fluid for metal bits

Bone dry it only holds 2.8 quarts, so refill may only take 2 quarts of ATF

Many like using synthetic ATF in the M5R1 and say the shifting is smoother
Do a little reading about both Mercon V and the synthetic versions
 

arachnofreak

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I drained the fluid when I pulled the transmission to do the the clutch and refilled it with new Castrol Mercon V. There were some metal shavings on the magnet of the drain plug but it didn't seem excessive and the fluid that drained out to me didn't look terrible. It still had the red color although was a bit more dull / darker in coloration instead of bright red like the new fluid.
 
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Josh B

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How many miles does it have and how many have you put on it? Where did you find it?

It could be possible there's problems beyond what you've already found, and isn't unheard of for previous owners/carlots etc to "cover things up" when selling, and some who'll sell one at the first sign of trouble and simply not mention knowing it

When draining the transmission I like to use a clean white paper towel on the drain magnet, wrap it completely around it and try to remove the metal bits mostly in one twisting motion. If it seems worse than it should sometimes I'll save it awhile for reference. I have sometimes taking them along to visit a shop manager at Ford dealerships so they can see
 

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You could try engine oil too. 5w-30 synthetic is what I used. It helped a LOT on one trans I had that had a rough 1->2 shift. Did not help at all on others I tried it in. Have to experiment and see what works for you.

Metal shavings on the magnet is normal. Sludge and chunks are not. From your description, I don't see any cause for alarm.
 

arachnofreak

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Truck has 65k miles on it, I purchased it from a new car dealership that had received it as a trade in. Typically they wouldn't have even sold a truck like this on the lot but it is unique being so old with so few miles. It was clearly garage kept because the level of rust isnt even close to what even a 10 year old Illinois vehicle would typically have. I've driven it about 5k miles or so since I got it.
 

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arachnofreak

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I suppose that here in a few weeks I could try to run a different lubricant inside of the transmission. I did literally just pour $25 dollars worth of Mercon V inside of there a few days ago when I finished the clutch so it would be a shame to drain that out and pour something different in there to have the same results but it is something I would be willing to give a try.. Would be a lot cheaper than a new transmission!!
 

8thTon

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I had a '99 Cougar that was originally filled with ATF but shifted poorly. I tried the motor oil first and found did not work well. Then I filled it with Pennzoil Synchromesh and it shifted like a dream for the next 2 years I drove it daily.

That makes it the 3rd manual trans I've used it in that went from nearly un-shiftable to basically perfect.
 

arachnofreak

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I seriously think this is going to be my next step. I was just reading about syncromesh earlier. Perhaps this weekend I can give it a whirl. Would be awesome if it helped.
 

pjtoledo

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try down shifting to 1st before you come to a full stop. I typically down shift somewhere between 15 and 10 mph.
 

arachnofreak

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Ended up draining the Mercon and refilling with Royal Purple Synchromax. It seems to have helped a little bit..enough that I believe I'm going to live with it. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
 

Adderall

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This might be my next fun project. That, and a power steering pump haha.
 


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