Manual trans tailshaft - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-17-2008
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Manual trans tailshaft

Ok I read all the 2wd to 4wd conversion threads but each one I found was with an auto tranny. Is the tailshaft/housing of the manual tranny different on the 2wd and 4wd? If so, is it interchangeable with the 4wd one? I've tried to find some pictures of the underside of someone's 4x4 with a 5-speed with not much success. I'd also go look under my truck but its damn cold and there's snow on the ground. Nobody tell me how it would be cheaper to trade in or anything please, i'm not interested. I'm just trying to figure out what is involved with converting a manual trans for 4x4, that's it! Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2008
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Well I partly answered my own question, thanks to the tech library at TRS. The tailshaft housings are different. Are the actual shafts different as well? If so, how much of a pita will it be to swap them out? Will I have to drop the tranny and gut it? At least they've been using the M5 for a while so I have a better chance of finding one at the yard.
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Old 12-17-2008
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might be easier to just find a 4wd tranny but im not sure just my thought
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Old 12-17-2008
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Yes the shafts are different. They require complete disassembly of the trans to swap out. I would say it would be easier to find a 01-up tranny to replace yours rather then swap shafts, unless you're experienced with transmission work.
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Old 12-17-2008
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Your answer supports what I just read on RPS and TRS. If I can find a M50D-R1 tranny from a 3.0L 4x4 I'll rebuild and swap it. If I find an M5 with a different motor I'll have to completely disassemble the trannys to change the tailshaft and then put on the 4wd tail housing. I'm not scared of the work at all, I'll get it done either way, it's just finding parts for the right price. I'm also aware that the the rear driveshaft will have to be changed with the added length of the transfer case.
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Old 12-17-2008
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It doesnt have to be an 01+ tranny, they've used the M50D-R1 since like 91 0r 92 or something. The 4.0s got the R1HD which I dont know much about, as far as differences to the base M5, so I'm going to try and stay with the 2.3, 2.9, or 3.0s.
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Old 12-17-2008
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Ryan, how have I never seen your Ranger anywhere? NM is not a greatly populated area and your truck kinda sticks out.

I have an idea! How about since you have a 5-spd 3.0 4x4 with the manual transfer already, we just switch!? I think that sounds like a wonderful idea!!
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Old 12-17-2008
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Haha I spent too much time searching for these parts to give them up haha. I live in Hobbs, probably not a good chance you'll see my truck in the ABQ anytime soon haha.



BTW I made the mistake of getting a trans from a 2000 model truck to go in mine. DONT MAKE THAT MISTAKE!!!!!!! 98-00 do not have the speed sensor. If you get a tranny older than 2001 you will not have a speedometer, odometer, or trip. You will also have a constant CEL!
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Old 12-17-2008
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You are right, thank you!

97 and earlier speedos use the gears. 98-2000 are driven from the rear axle ABS sensor. 2001+ are driven from a transmission sensor.

2001 and below would be okay if I want to change just the tailshaft.
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Old 12-17-2008
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Yea the 97 and older use a gear and electronic sensor that is mounted in the t-case, not in the tranny at all on the 4x4 versions. And technically ANY manual transmission from behind a 3.0L will work for ou as they ONLY used the M5ODs with the 3.0L engines. So your only problem would be the speed sensor not matching up right with an older one.
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