M5OD Transmission Top Cover Okay to Remove? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 07-08-2006
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M5OD Transmission Top Cover Okay to Remove?

Hi guys. This is my first post on this great site, and hope you guys can give me a little advice.

I recently bought a 92 2WD Ranger with the 2.3L that needed some work. It needs a new clutch, oil pan gasket, and a valve cover gasket, but the rest is in pretty good shape.

I removed the M5OD transmission to do the clutch and while it's out, I replaced the 3 rubber plugs on the transmission with 5/8 steel plugs as recommeded since it was leaking there. I also noticed that the shifter was really sloppy so i took it apart and found the 2 plastic bushings missing at the shifter ball pivot. Also, the bottom spring washer was broken in half, and is gone. I imagine the worst that has happened is that these parts fell into the transmission, but I really don't know.

So...before I install the transmission, I want to open the top cover to see if I could find the 2 plastic bushings and missing half of the spring washer. Can I safely remove the top cover without having any small parts or springs shooting out? I don't want a situation where I can't reassemble it because of lost parts or anything requiring alignment with special tools. I drained the fluid, and did not see any parts coming out, nor anything on the drain plug magnet. Any help or advice would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 07-08-2006
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ok, first MAKE SURE THE TRANNY IS IN NEUTRAL. after that just pull the 10 bolts around the top cover and lift it off, there is nothing to go flying. and putting it back in, just make sure that the top cover is still in neutral it will slide right back on.

did you get 2 new bushings to replace the old ones? and the new spring for it? if you need i have the part number for the bushings. and the order of parts seeing as you had things missing is wavy washer, flat washer, bushing, shifter stub, bushing, flat washer, wavy washer, boot cover.

the bushing pieces are definitly in the tranny, and while they are plastic and cant damage anything on their own, they CAN block the oil passages and cause starvation of fluid to the bearings. there are two catches in the tranny where it picks up the fluid, i know you take off the rear housing to get to one, i forget where the other is, but ehse are normally the spots that the pieces collect. but definitly open it up and take a look around and see what you can find, the top cover doesnt use any sealant when you put it back together, just the rubber gasket that runs around it. if you take off the rear housing, just clean up both surfaces real good and use a small amount of either high temp red RTV or gray RTV when you bolt it back on.

but take a look around in there, and maybe grab a shop vac and vacuum as much of the area inside as you can to hopefully get out as many of those things as possible. and as long as everything is in neutral before you take it off or put it back on you will have no trouble with the top cover, it just slide straight up to come off and slides straight back on.
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Old 07-08-2006
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Right on, TireIron! Thanks for the thorough and detailed explanation, and the order of how the pieces go together. I have the shifter repair kit on order from the online auction site, and seems to be the best price I could get for a complete kit. I called the local ford dealer, and they wanted 10 bucks for each of the metal washers... unbelieveable.

Like you said, I will indeed place the trans in neutral when removing the top cover, and hopefully finds the parts. If I don't, I will remove the tailpiece, and look there also. Easy enough. Thanks also for the sealant info...I was just about to ask, but you read my mind. It's very apparent that you've been through this same problem. I appreciate your help.
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Old 07-16-2006
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Just wanted to give an update for anyone who decides to do tackle this. I removed the top cover and didn't see parts floating around, so I went ahead and removed the tailpiece since it seems the parts have a better chance of landing in the rearward area anyways. BTW, you don't have to remove the speedo drive to get the tailpiece off.

I did find a mangled piece of piece bushing, though not all of it. I guess most of the stuff got grounded by the gears. Didn't find the half of the metal spring washer though. I cleaned the rest of the trans where I could get to. Some shredded granular plastic stuff were on the walls of the housing. Pretty clean overall. Glad I checked though.

Upon reassembly of the tailpiece, you need to make sure you index a thin round plastic cap about 2 inches in diameter on one of the ends of the shafts. There's a small tab on this cap that fits the recess of the tailshaft housing. I used a dab of vaseline to hold it for reassembly.

Where I was stumped is there was a rubber sleeve (splined on the inside diameter) that fits snugly between the output shaft and the tailshaft housing just forward of the rear seal where the driveshaft slips in. After trying a couple of times to assemble the tailshaft with this frigging thing where I thought it would go, I finally came to the revelation that the rubber sleeve is there for initial assembly only to keep the tranny fluid in. It probably comes from the manufacturer filled with fluid since it's probably more of a PITA for the assy line workers while the trans is installed. When you finally slip the driveshaft in, it pushes this rubber ring forward and lets it just harmlessly dangle on the output shaft , letting fluid go to the rest of the tranny until it's sealed by the rear seal where the driveshaft fits. So folks, I would recommend just throwing away that rubber ring if you ever need to take the rear tailpiece off, and save yourself some grief. BTW, this is on a 2WD. Don't know how a transfer case setup is like on the 4x4.
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Old 01-18-2014
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do you need to lock tight the bolts for the shift cover?
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