What transmission do I have? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 07-10-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Euless, TX
Posts: 7
What transmission do I have?

Need to know what transmission my 97 XLT has, 4 or 5 speed.
Can I tell by looking at the VIN number?

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Old 07-10-2018
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
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No, that info is not in the VIN unless you can decode the Serial Number, which a Ford Dealer could

You have a 4R44E 4-speed in a 1997 4cyl Ranger, 2.3l

The 2.3l and 2.5l Lima engines, used until 2001.5(mid year) all used 4-speed automatics

The 2.3l Duratec, 2001.5 and up had the 5-speed, 5R44E

But they are THE SAME transmission internally.
Ford software writers added a neat little trick to the shifting to get a "5-speed".
Between 1st and 2nd gear was a pretty big ratio change, so it had to REV fairly high in 1st before shifting into 2nd or engine would bog down

So when 1st was getting higher RPMs the new software turn on OverDrive, which is like an in between gear, a "faux 2nd gear", then as RPMs got even higher it shifts in to the "old 2nd gear" which is now "3rd" gear
Pretty cool

4R gear ratios here: 1st: 2.47,...............2nd: 1.47, 3rd: 1.00, 4th: 0.75
5R gear ratios here: 1st: 2.47, 2nd: 1.86, 3rd: 1.47, 4th: 1.00, 5th: 0.75

2nd: 1.86, added between 1st and 2nd, 2.47 X .75(OD) = 1.8525

Very clever these Americans, lol.

And no there is no way for you to do this or swap to the 5-speed
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Old 07-11-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Euless, TX
Posts: 7
Thank you RonD. Very informative.
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