Trucks Of The Month
The first thing I did was disconnect
and remove the frame cross-member and transmission mount then pulled
the A4LD/extension housing/transfer case. (Note from experience (NFE):
If you don't have a transmission jack, pull the transfer case first -
that SOB is HEAVY! Also - getting the transmission past the
exhaust cross-pipe will SUCK! Just shimmy it back and forth
while prying on the lip of the bellhousing - CAREFULLY). I then
pulled all the automatic transmission doodads: cooler lines, linkage,
shifter assembly, kickdown, etc. Plug up the hole in the
firewall left by the kickdown so you don't get a draft. You may
have to trim back the carpet to get at some of the shifter assembly
screws. I let the transmission cooler drain, then plugged the
ports on the edge of the radiator; I'm going to just leave the rest of
the transmission cooler system installed until I have a reason to
remove the grill. I then removed the transfer case from the A4LD
(Another NFE: take the opportunity to inspect the transfer case and
check/change it's fluid - easier with the unit removed from the
With that out of the way, I prepped the FM146 for install - attached
the bell housing, installed the slave cylinder, etc. I then
changed out the flywheel and installed the clutch assembly (NFE:
depending on prices in your area, you may want to buy a new flywheel.
I saved ten bucks buying new instead of buying used and having
it turned. Plus you don't have to wait to get it back.) Since
the thing was open and there, I installed all new parts for the clutch
- I don't want to do this again in the near future. New
flywheel, pilot bearing, clutch kit. With that done, I lifted
the transmission in and bolted it up. (NFE: the manual transmission
was SUBSTANTIALLY easier to get in than the automatic was to get out,
though still hung up a little on the cross-pipe.) In case you
don't already know, the FM146 install longer than the A4LD so you
don't need the extension housing. I put a new seal on the
transfer case and lifted it in. Then I put the drivelines back
in (changed the u-joints since I had the drives out) and that was it
for the bulk of the under-rig work.
The shifters were a cinch to install. Since the lengths are the
same between the transmission, the transfer case linkage bolted right
back on. The stick pops in and is held down by four torx bolts.
The next thing was to install the hydraulic clutch system. I got
the entire thing from a salvage yard pull. I started at the transmission
and worked my way up. The quick disconnect hydraulic line went
in smooth; the slave cylinder included a new o-ring for that end.
Then I installed the reservoir and connected the line at that
end (NFE: Make sure you don't lose the retainer pin that locks in the
line at the reservoir, it's little guy and easy to misplace). There
is a screw-on plate that covers the hole for mounting the master
cylinder right below the brake vacuum assist module. Slide the master
cylinder in and bolt it on. Then move on to the pedal assembly.
I ran into a snag here. The pedals I got from the salvage yard
were from an older ranger than mine, I think an '84 or '85. The
pivot arm for the pedals was longer than the cowling in my rig and
wouldn't fit. Fortunately, my father-in-law is a machinist, so
he helped me mill it to fit. If you can find the right length to
begin with, it'll go much easier. Watch the order of the parts
that go on the pivot arm, as there is a series of sleeves and spring
washers for spacing and tension. Also watch how the brake light
switch comes apart so you can put it back together properly. Once
the pedal assembly is built back up with the clutch pedal installed,
hook the the master cylinder to the pedal and plug in the clutch
interlock connector to side of the master cylinder plunger. (NFE:
In an automatic rig, there should be a cap on the interlock plug with
shorting blocks inside. Hang on to this thing! If there is
anything wrong with the interlock switch on the master cylinder, you
will need this to bypass the interlock and start your rig.)
Lastly, you need to take care of the electrical connections left over
from the A4LD. In my case, there was a 5-pin cannon plug for the
neutral start switch and reverse lights, and a 3-pin plug which I believe
is part of the overdrive. I let the 3-pin plug dangle and cut
the plug off of the other.
There are a few follow-up things you'll
want to do. First and foremost, re-time the engine. The
timing is different between automatic and manual. Also you'll
want to fabricate some kind of plate to cover any exposed hole in the
floorboard where the automatic shifter was.
That's it. Have a blast!
Comments from Jim Oaks:
Typically the wires going to and from
the neutral safety switch are red with a light blue strip. The
other option would be a pink wire.
For the back-up lights, the wire going
from the back-up switch to the lights is black with a pink
stripe. The wire going in to the switch to provide the power is
purple with an orange stripe.
my 1988 Bronco II XLT the 2 wires to splice into on the 5 plug
connector were yellow and red with a blue stripe.