M5OD-R1 trans has an integrated bell housing, so not detachable, it is the part that bolts to the engine.
3.0l engines have a unique engine/trans bolt pattern, so.......................you can only use a trans from a 3.0l engine.
1991 model year Ranger was the first to get 3.0l engine option, and they all got the M5OD-R1 as the manual transmission
So you could use any M5OD-R1 from 1991 and up
Mazda B-3000 also has same transmission, you can use one from that model.
2WD or 4WD are not interchangeable, so you want a trans from similar Ranger or B-3000 Mazda truck, a 2WD transmission if that is what you have now.
(You can change a 4WD trans to a 2WD if needs be, but partial tear down is needed to swap tail shaft and housing.
Never heard about the '02/'03 issue, M5OD-R1 has always been a good transmission, with the literally millions of them out there there are some things that pop up more often.
1. Losing fluid from rear shift rod caps, replace with metal caps
2. bent shift forks, I think this is from people not bleeding clutch system better, forcing trans into a gear, then bitching that the leverage broke the fork, lol.
I would get a newer one just for the lower miles it may have, also have shift rail plugs replaced and make sure mechanic knows this Manual Transmission uses ATF(automatic transmission fluid), NOT gear oil like most.
I think it takes just under 3 quarts, and some say they like the synthetic ATF better that Ford ATF, users choice I guess
Last edited by RonD; 02-02-2016 at 06:26 PM.