Transmission Confusion


EvanCole45

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Hello,
My transmission is in pretty rough shape along with my clutch so I thought I'd replace them while I have the time. Some real genius had 80-90w in my M5R1 for 25 years and 130k miles. 80-90w has an additive that dissolves brass and guess what the synchros are made of in the M5R1....
I thought I'd read some old forum posts to make sure the transmission I buy is compatible with my truck and I ended up getting way more confused than when I started. There is some conflicting information as to what is compatible around speedometers and bell housing patterns.
My truck is an 88 GT with the M5R1 (yes I'm positive it's the M5R1)
Can someone tell me straight up what vehicles I can get a transmission from? I've heard that I could get it from and pre 1998 2.9 or 4.0 truck from some people and I've heard others say it can come off of any 4.0 truck. Which is true?
 


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rusty ol ranger

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My credo
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Any 2.9/4.0OHV M5OD should work.

A 4.0 SOHC has one bolt hole different on the bellhousing pattern, but supposdly can be made to work,
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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2.9 m5od gears are different than the 4.0 and SOHC gears.

Transmissions with cologne pattern interchange freely between all cologne engines. Only sticky spots can be driveshaft lengths and transfer case linkage with manual transfer cases.

I swapped my 1988 2.9 FM146/1350 x cab for a 2.9 M5OD/1354 standard cables long bed last year.

Used the 88 rear driveshaft and 1990 front. No issues.
 

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A 4.0 SOHC has one bolt hole different on the bellhousing pattern, but supposdly can be made to work,
It's not really different, just extra. There were technically two or three versions of the SOHC block/pattern. One (early build I think) had a bolt hole at 1:00 just like the OHV engines. One (later build) had a dowel or something there and the bolt hole was moved closer to the 1:00 or 2:00 position. There may have been a third pattern that used all the holes for bolts, if there was I'm pretty sure it was Ranger specific. All the holes are there in the M5OD-HD bell, just one doesn't get used for a bolt sometimes.
 

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Yes on the "earlier that 1998"
1997 and earlier M5R1 will have speedometer gear on the tail shaft and housing with hole for speedo cable that you need

1998 and up don't have that

Assuming 2WD, 1988 was first year for the M5R1s in Rangers, but 2WD only
Yes, 2.9l and 4.0l used same trans bolt pattern
 

EvanCole45

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Yes on the "earlier that 1998"
1997 and earlier M5R1 will have speedometer gear on the tail shaft and housing with hole for speedo cable that you need

1998 and up don't have that

Assuming 2WD, 1988 was first year for the M5R1s in Rangers, but 2WD only
Yes, 2.9l and 4.0l used same trans bolt pattern
Thanks this is what I needed to hear!
 

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Is swapping tail shaft housings an option to get a 4.0 sohc to work with my speedo? How difficult would that be?
 
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RonD

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I don't know for sure

Picture here of M5R1 with tail shaft housing removed: https://i764.photobucket.com/albums/xx287/steeltech65/P9270750.jpg

You can see the white speedometer DRIVE gear, its not machined onto the shaft like automatics had, its removable/replaceable

Your current tail shaft housing with the hole will fit on the M5OD-R1HD
I just don't know if the DRIVE gear can be used on the M5OD-R1HD tail shaft, I can't see Ford re-machining the output shaft just to not accept a DRIVE gear, no reason to spend money on that, but don't know for sure


One heads up, the shifter on the M5OD-R1HD(2001 and up) is different than on the M5OD-R1 so not interchangeable, so you must get complete M5OD-R1HD with shifter
Seen here: https://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/January2011/M5OD-R1HD/m14.JPG


EDIT: you might try looking at M5R1 replacement parts to see if 2WD output shafts are the same from 1988 to 2011, if so then DRIVE gear could be installed
 
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EvanCole45

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I don't know for sure

Picture here of M5R1 with tail shaft housing removed: https://i764.photobucket.com/albums/xx287/steeltech65/P9270750.jpg

You can see the white speedometer DRIVE gear, its not machined onto the shaft like automatics had, its removable/replaceable

Your current tail shaft housing with the hole will fit on the M5OD-R1HD
I just don't know if the DRIVE gear can be used on the M5OD-R1HD tail shaft, I can't see Ford re-machining the output shaft just to not accept a DRIVE gear, no reason to spend money on that, but don't know for sure


One heads up, the shifter on the M5OD-R1HD(2001 and up) is different than on the M5OD-R1 so not interchangeable, so you must get complete M5OD-R1HD with shifter
Seen here: https://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/January2011/M5OD-R1HD/m14.JPG


EDIT: you might try looking at M5R1 replacement parts to see if 2WD output shafts are the same from 1988 to 2011, if so then DRIVE gear could be installed
Okay thanks! The pictures are really helpful. Is the M5R1HD mated to the 4.0 OHV or just the sohc?
 

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Only found on the 4.0l SOHC engines, because of the SOHC's higher torque rating Ford added an extra bolt hole to the bell housing, that is what the "HD" designation means
But other the bolt holes match 4.0l OHV or 2.9l OHV
 

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Just as a note and to reiterate what petroleum junkie said at the start of his first post above, the gear ratio's on the 4.0L transmission are taller in first through 3rd gear. As long as you are ok with that, continue on... you at least have a V6 so you have some bottom end torque...

There are some changes through the years and I never nailed down how interchangeable parts are, the slave cylinder changed in '92 as did the quick connect fitting on it and I think the fitting on the master cylinder for the hose. The shifter changed at some point after that too which was mentioned above, the pinch bolt turned 90 degrees from it's previous orientation...
 

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Just as a note and to reiterate what petroleum junkie said at the start of his first post above, the gear ratio's on the 4.0L transmission are taller in first through 3rd gear. As long as you are ok with that, continue on... you at least have a V6 so you have some bottom end torque...
I have driven the following combinations for M5ODs and engines:

2.9 w/ 2.9 gears,

2.9 w/ 4.0 gears

4.0 w/ 2.9 gears

4.0 w/ 4.0 gears.

I have driven all 4 combos on both 215/75/15 and 31X10.50x15 tires. It makes little to no difference. The 2.9 barely notices the taller 4.0 gears, and the 4.0 is quicker to get off the line with the lower gear set but runs out of breath and doesn't hit it's true potential.
 

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Fair enough, it's been a while since I drove the '91 Explorer manual I had, I know it was easy to drive with 3.73's and 235 75 15's, on the other hand my '97 Ranger 2.3L with 4.10's and 235 75 15's takes some clutch slipping to start from a stop.
 

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My Explorer has 2.3/3.0/2.9 gears in the trans and 4.10s in the axles with 30x9.50x15 tires - recently changed from stock 4.0 trans and 3.73's. The difference is pretty remarkable, especially the lower gears in the trans. Since 4th and 5th are the same across the board, it didn't affect my top speed/highway cruising at all.

If you're comfortable with your mechanical abilities, I'd suggest just buying a bearing and syncro kit and rebuilding the trans you have now. They are pretty easy to do and the only special tools you need are a caliper to measure shims, a 55mm wrench (not totally necessary) and a nice selection of chisels and punches.
 

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I’m probably not competent enough to rebuild it myself. I also want to minimize the down time for the vehicle. Maybe I’ll rebuild the old transmission and sell it to make some money back.
 


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