TK5 to Mazda M50D-R1 swap?


Dan B.

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Working on the latest 1986 2.3L, 2wd, Tk5 project. Now have it running great...or as good as a 2.3L can run.

Now that the other issues are tackled, the problem of a super sloppy TK5 shifter needs fixed. I've called around and cannot find a new shifter anywhere. Since I have two parts truck setting outside that are both 1990, 2.3L, 2wd, M50D 5 speed I've thought about just swapping one of those into the 1986.

Is this a reasonable solution to eliminate the sloppy TK5 shifter (otherwise the trans is quiet and works well) or keep looking for a replacement shifter? I've read some threads with fix hacks to the TK5 to make the shifter tight again. May even explore that.

Just looking for ideas. Thanks.
 


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4x4junkie

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I've not looked into the availability of shifter parts for the TK5, but the M5OD definitely would be a worthwhile swap if you got one on hand. There is likely a length difference between the two, so if the M5OD donor is not the same body style (wheelbase), you may need to source a driveshaft from a different donor that is the same body as yours for it to work.
 

Dan B.

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I have TWO donor trucks that are both 2.3L/M5OD and match the wheelbase of the 1986 2.3L/TK5 project truck. So I have no shortage of 5 speed's....or four cylinders! May just do the swap since I don't have much else going on in the garage this winter.
 

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I'd do it in a heartbeat. There will be no shortage of M5OD parts in the near future... Any other trans that came in an RBV is disposable in my book, they're fine until they're not and at that point you're money, time and frustration ahead by doing the swap.
 

Ranger-Roush

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I agree the M50D is the best way to go. I had a 89 ranger with the tk5 and it blew 5th gear through the side of casing at 150k miles. The M50D is a solid tranny and I have yet to have any issues with it in any of the 3 rangers we have.
 

Daniel Black

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The trans and driveshaft from the donor should fit fine. If I remember right you'll have to modify the plate in the floor or maybe the one from the donor will fit the '86. The shifter is further back on the TK than the M5OD. I doubt the straight M5 shifter would clear the ashtray if you ever have it slid out. I think all the M5s were made for a speed sensor instead of a speedometer gear like your TK but I'm not 100% sure. I bought a wrecked '98 Ranger a few years ago cheap to swap the trans into my '86 but all the little things started to add up to the point that I found a metal TK-4 shifter and made it work in my TK-5. I'd like to know how this turns out.
 

4x4junkie

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1997 was the last year the M5OD had a port for the speedometer cable (2WD).
 

turbo91xlt

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1st gens could also have an m5od trans ('88 1st year) so you're fine with ashtray clearance haha. Stick to '97 or older trans.
 


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