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Old 02-22-2011
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Swap gears?

I just bought a 96 Ranger XLT. It has auto trans and V6. Getting lousy mileage, 15-18 highway. I do not tow anything, carring bulk items with little weight and a lot of highway driving.
Tacking 3200 to do 60 mph. The door code is R5 axle and there is a tag on the axle that says 3.57. From what I have read the R5 should be a 3.55 differential, the 3.57 is a bit confusing.
Considering changing to a 3.27 for a little better fuel consumption. The question being would I just change the ring and pinion or do I need the entire gear set?

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Old 02-22-2011
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Probably not going to make much of a difference from 3.55 to 3.27. The rpms sound more like 4.10's or higher. Unless you have way smaller tires than I've got. I have 3.73's on mine and I do about 60 at 2000 rpm. Do the usual K&N/Cold air, e-fan, exhaust, pullies, Autolite XP plugs, etc. I average 20 mpg city/highway right now with winter/colder weather. And I've got almost 251,000 miles right now with no internal/mechanical repairs on the original motor.
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Old 02-23-2011
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Thanks for your reply. I bought this just last month and the person that sold it said he had the same mileage. Something did not seem right. Last night driving home I started with the OD button pressed in and at 60 I pushed it on. Nothing changed, apparently what I thought was the transmission going to OD was actually converter lock up at around 40-44. Interesting that no error lights on the dash.
I stopped at Autozone to play a hunch and asked if they would connect their code reader. They showed a code P0761, shift solenoid. Now I am trying to find out exactly where that is located. I believe it is internal. I am considering doing a fluid/filter change this Saturday and might try to find it then. I am still curious about the diff though. Would the ring gear just bolt on to what is in there?
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Old 02-23-2011
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Is it a 2wd? If so, then all you need to worry about is the rear. Yes, you would need a new ring and pinion in the gear ratio you would like to change it to. You have to take what in is there out and put the new in. It must be set-up correctly so you can't just bolt it up and put it in there though. Things like this are best left to a reputable shop unless you know what you are doing.
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Old 02-23-2011
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The issue is somewhat moot as I believe the problem is transmission and solving that will hopefully improve economy. There should be no reason to change differential but I hate having unanswered questions. If I understand correctly, changing gears would require the entire rear end and not just the ring and pinion gears. And yes it is 2wd. I am still looking for an answer as to how the solenoid can be replaced. I have seen pics of it attached to a valve body. Really would like to know if it can be replaced by simply removing the oil pan, or if it is more involved.
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Old 02-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_spect_r View Post
If I understand correctly, changing gears would require the entire rear end and not just the ring and pinion gears.
No, just the ring and pinion. I'd also get a master install kit to replace all bearings, races, seals, etc. You change them by taking off the differential cover that is facing the rear of the vehicle.
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