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New guy with a problem. Manual to Auto

ghostrider

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I am sure this has been covered but after about a week of off and on searching o n here and the ranger forum I have found little information other than it is a real PIA. I have a 1993 Ranger 2.3 liter with a manual trans that i need to change to automatic. I have located a 1997 with automatic which I believe would be a good donor transmission but of course the problem is controlling the transmission. If I use the ECM from the donor I will also need the wiring harness , all the sensors and it is my understanding the crank position sensor on the 93 will not work with the 97. I had originally thought of using a stand alone controller but could not find one made for the 4R44E. I know there has to be someone on this forum that has a good solution to this problem or at least can share some wisdom on the subject.
 


franklin2

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What's wrong with the 97 donor truck?
 

ghostrider

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What's wrong with the 97 donor truck?
The 97 is sitting in a pull your own parts junkyard. It just arrived a couple of weeks ago but the instrument cluster has already been pulled. Yesterday I pulled the power steering off it and most of what I would need is still there. The real problem is the electronics as the 93 is a manual transmission so the ECM is very different. as well as the wiring. The easy solution would be a stand alone controller but I cannot afford a custom made controller.
 

ghostrider

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I have decided that going with anything after 93 is too much of a problem . I have located a 1993 Mustang that has the A4LD transmission in it behind a 2.3 which should work. Now the question is will the wiring on the 93 manual Ranger work or will it need to be modified in some way. Please help me out here guys.
 

franklin2

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I can't find much specific info on your particular swap. Apparently it is popular to get away from the AL4D transmission. If you keep your manual setup with the manual ECM, you will be missing the signals to shift the trasmission from 3rd to 4th, and also the signal to lock up the convertor. I suppose you could put this function on a manual switch if you wanted to, but the lock-up would also have to be tied into the brake switch. It might be a little aggravating after awhile to have to manual shift the trans with a switch all the time.

Can you get the computer from the mustang and possibly some of the wiring? I would think it would have the shifting functions made into it.
 

ghostrider

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I had thought about that but since the vehicle is for my sister and she would not be very adept at doing that, I do not think that would be a very viable solution. The Mustang is in a auto parts recycling operation so ECM is also available and probably the wiring also. I thought I read somewhere that the wiring to the transmission was a separate cable that was not part of the main harness. Can anyone verify this?
 

ghostrider

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I know the A4LD is not a ideal transmission but the problems in trying to use a 4R44E are almost insurmountable as no stand alone off the shelf controller exist. I suppose there is not a market for them.
 

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I had thought about that but since the vehicle is for my sister and she would not be very adept at doing that, I do not think that would be a very viable solution. The Mustang is in a auto parts recycling operation so ECM is also available and probably the wiring also. I thought I read somewhere that the wiring to the transmission was a separate cable that was not part of the main harness. Can anyone verify this?
This is true but the main problem is that in and after '95 there were a LOT of changes to the wiring harness throughout the truck so everything will be vastly different. FAR from plug and play. You might as well be swapping a Honda trans into it at that point.

The ideal thing to do would be to find a harness, computer and transmission from a '94 or older truck. Maybe even back to '89 would be relatively easy.

I know the A4LD is not a ideal transmission but the problems in trying to use a 4R44E are almost insurmountable as no stand alone off the shelf controller exist. I suppose there is not a market for them.
You are correct, nobody swaps autos into these trucks because of the reputation the A4LD earned for itself. I understand that there is a need to do exactly that on occasion and a very small niche market but I would guess most people just take the easy route and buy a truck that has an auto in it already.
 

franklin2

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This is true but the main problem is that in and after '95 there were a LOT of changes to the wiring harness throughout the truck so everything will be vastly different. FAR from plug and play. You might as well be swapping a Honda trans into it at that point.

The ideal thing to do would be to find a harness, computer and transmission from a '94 or older truck. Maybe even back to '89 would be relatively easy.



You are correct, nobody swaps autos into these trucks because of the reputation the A4LD earned for itself. I understand that there is a need to do exactly that on occasion and a very small niche market but I would guess most people just take the easy route and buy a truck that has an auto in it already.
He is beyond that now. He has found a older AL4D transmission from a older mustang that had a 2.3. Now he wants to mate this to his same older style ranger.

He is asking does anyone know if the Mustang 2.3/auto ECM will be able to run his ranger 2.3 with the auto swapped in, and what wiring he would need to do. Without knowing or have done this before on this model, I would think he might have to get the complete computer harness with the wires to the auto trans and swap the whole thing. Unless Ford did something dumb and has setup the 2.3 in the mustang differently than they did in the 2.3 in the ranger?
 
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Ranger850

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RonD

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I would find a 1993/94 2.3l Ranger automatic computer to use with current 1993 engine/manual trans wiring harness
You just need to add 2 wires to computer for the 2 solenoids in the A4LD

You will need to pin them in the 60 pin connector, but not that hard to do

You can by-pass the current clutch pedal Neutral switch or run 2 new wires from it to the A4LDs Neutral switch, so starter motor can't be used unless transmission is in Park or Neutral, a safety thing

Your current manual trans has a Reverse light switch to activate backup tail lights, should have a purple wire and a Black/pink stripe wire
Purple wire has 12volts with Key On
Black/pink wire runs to tail light bulbs

The A4LD will have a 3 wire solenoid plug-in just in front of the shifter, get the 3 wire plug for that with wires attached so you can splice them to new wires
The center wire needs 12v key on.....................................like reverse lights purple wire has, so perfect, wire is already there, and no solenoids are used in Reverse on the A4LD so no issues with amp draw on the wire, it can run both solenoids and backup lights when needed


A4LD has its Neutral switch(NSS) just above shifter, its a plunger type switch, has 4 terminals, and has two switches inside
One switch connects 2 of the terminals together when trans is in Park or Neutral, for starter activation
Other switch connects the other 2 terminals together when trans is in Reverse, activates reverse lights
Get the connector for this with the transmission, so you have wires to splice to

You already have both wires for reverse lights there from manual trans switch, they just need to be added to the NSS
The other 2 wires can be run from current clutch switch to NSS, thats up to you if you want that safety switch working

If you have never install an automatic transmission then you need to know ONE THING that is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

You MUST SEAT the torque converter inside the bell housing BEFORE putting transmission on the engine
This requires rotating the torque converter while pushing it in, it will slide in at least 2 times some times 3 times as it lines up with pump and splines inside trans
Torque converter should be fully inside the bell housing when its SEATED, it slides forward a bit to bolt to Flexplate
Failure to do this WILL ruin the transmission, no do overs, FULL REBUILD required

Don't forget the automatic trans Radiator and transmission lines, these are required

And always a good idea to change the rear main seal when you can, i.e. transmission is off the engine
 
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franklin2

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Does the AL4D have the touchy throttle cable adjustment like the larger AOD of the day? As in, if the AOD throttle linkage is not adjusted correctly, it can slip and burn up the trans (AOD).

Good advice on the torque converter. If the trans and engine wont go together, don't pull it together with the bellhousing bolts. Keep wiggling and messing with it till it goes together by hand or take it back out and push and turn the torque converter some more. During transport when the tranny is out, it's easy for the torque converter to slide forward a little bit and become disengaged.
 

franklin2

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I just checked, it looks like the AL4D has a vacuum modulator, so it may not have the throttle valve cable like the AOD.
 

ghostrider

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I would find a 1993/94 2.3l Ranger automatic computer to use with current 1993 engine/manual trans wiring harness
You just need to add 2 wires to computer for the 2 solenoids in the A4LD

You will need to pin them in the 60 pin connector, but not that hard to do

You can by-pass the current clutch pedal Neutral switch or run 2 new wires from it to the A4LDs Neutral switch, so starter motor can't be used unless transmission is in Park or Neutral, a safety thing

Your current manual trans has a Reverse light switch to activate backup tail lights, should have a purple wire and a Black/pink stripe wire
Purple wire has 12volts with Key On
Black/pink wire runs to tail light bulbs

The A4LD will have a 3 wire solenoid plug-in just in front of the shifter, get the 3 wire plug for that with wires attached so you can splice them to new wires
The center wire needs 12v key on.....................................like reverse lights purple wire has, so perfect, wire is already there, and no solenoids are used in Reverse on the A4LD so no issues with amp draw on the wire, it can run both solenoids and backup lights when needed


A4LD has its Neutral switch(NSS) just above shifter, its a plunger type switch, has 4 terminals, and has two switches inside
One switch connects 2 of the terminals together when trans is in Park or Neutral, for starter activation
Other switch connects the other 2 terminals together when trans is in Reverse, activates reverse lights
Get the connector for this with the transmission, so you have wires to splice to

You already have both wires for reverse lights there from manual trans switch, they just need to be added to the NSS
The other 2 wires can be run from current clutch switch to NSS, that's up to you if you want that safety switch working

If you have never install an automatic transmission then you need to know ONE THING that is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

You MUST SEAT the torque converter inside the bell housing BEFORE putting transmission on the engine
This requires rotating the torque converter while pushing it in, it will slide in at least 2 times some times 3 times as it lines up with pump and splines inside trans
Torque converter should be fully inside the bell housing when its SEATED, it slides forward a bit to bolt to Flexplate
Failure to do this WILL ruin the transmission, no do overs, FULL REBUILD required

Don't forget the automatic trans Radiator and transmission lines, these are required

And always a good idea to change the rear main seal when you can, i.e. transmission is off the engine
So, RonD, the computer from the 1993 Mustang will not work, it must be the Ranger computer? I figured the computer would have to be changed. Will the floor shifter from the Mustang work?. It has been quite a while since I have done any wrenching but I have changed out auto transmissions. Replaced a TH350 with a TH475 about 24 years ago. I am familiar with the problem of not getting the torque converter engaged into the pump correctly. I have rebuilt several transmissions but it has been a while ago. I really appreciate all the assistance. This little Ranger that my sister has was her son's daily driver for many years and she wants to make it drivable for herself. It has at least 342,000 on it and possibly 442,000. It has not been operated in about 3 years but with any luck it will go again..
 

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1993 Mustang computer might work but I know the Ranger computer WILL work, lol, not a Mustang guy so never looked at their computers
Mustang wiring harness will NOT work, without changes in the location of engine bay devices, you can see that just by looking at engine bay lay outs

Might be able to make the Mustang shifter work, I think it was cable operated not linkage, but not a Mustang guy :)
 

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