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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 11-07-2015
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Transmission problems

I have reoccurring transmission problems in my 19994 4.0l super cabs 4wd ranger.
A couple of years ago my transmission locked up. I changed the transmission and put one in out of a Mazda. It was the M5OD transmission. The original transmission was tough to get into and out of gear but only at times. The needle bearings ended up backing out of the race in the front of the transmission and got chunked up in the gears.

I put in the M5OD and after a year I had the same symptoms. It was hard to get in and out if gear at times. When I changed the transmission I changed everything but the clutch and slave cylinder.

Now after having the same symptoms my second transmission has blown for lack of a better term. I was driving along in OD and the gear must have gone. First,second, third and OD is junk but 4th is ok. I was able to drive it home.

Why do I keep having these transmission problems? I am an experienced driver with manual transmissions.

Is there a better transmission that I can put in instead of the original or the M5OD?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2015
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M5OD-R1 is a pretty good trans, used for many years in Ford Rear wheel drive vehicles.
In Rangers it was used from 1988 until 2012.

To get 2 bad ones would indicate an outside problem but hard to say what that would be.
Pilot bearing supports one end of the trans input shaft.
Maybe flywheel/crank setup is sticking out to much putting pressure on trans input shaft and bearing when bell housing is tightened down to block.

4th gear on a 5 speed OD trans is a direct connection from input shaft to output shaft, 1 to 1 ratio.
In the other gears the input shaft gear and counter shaft gears are used, most likely failure in this case would be stripped/broken input shaft gear.
While I wouldn't call it a common failure it is a known failure point in all manual transmissions.

One thing to watch out for with the M5OD-R1 is the 3 rubber shift rail plugs at the top back of shift housing, these rot out and trans loses fluid over time which can cause premature failure.
There are metal plug replacements for these.
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2015
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Countershaft

Firstly thank you for the info. I do not know much about transmissions.
If the input shaft is locked to the output shaft in gear 4 and there seems to be no issue in that gear do you still think it is the input shaft that is broken or could it be what you are calling the counter shaft?

I'm not sure why I have had these problems. The slave cylinder and clutch are the same but the throw out bearing and transmission are different.
I actually changed the motor at one point but I had trouble with the transmission. Before then.

I have since put a junk yard transmission in which seemed to work well at first but eventually had the same problems.

If the dowel (guide) pins are lined up and the transmission is flush with the bell housing/back of engine, shouldn't he input shaft and crank be aligned?

Thanks again!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
M5OD-R1 is a pretty good trans, used for many years in Ford Rear wheel drive vehicles.
In Rangers it was used from 1988 until 2012.

To get 2 bad ones would indicate an outside problem but hard to say what that would be.
Pilot bearing supports one end of the trans input shaft.
Maybe flywheel/crank setup is sticking out to much putting pressure on trans input shaft and bearing when bell housing is tightened down to block.

4th gear on a 5 speed OD trans is a direct connection from input shaft to output shaft, 1 to 1 ratio.
In the other gears the input shaft gear and counter shaft gears are used, most likely failure in this case would be stripped/broken input shaft gear.
While I wouldn't call it a common failure it is a known failure point in all manual transmissions.

One thing to watch out for with the M5OD-R1 is the 3 rubber shift rail plugs at the top back of shift housing, these rot out and trans loses fluid over time which can cause premature failure.
There are metal plug replacements for these.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2015
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It is all just best guess now.

Input gear drives counter shaft's input gear, counter shaft powers 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and reverse
Input shaft powers 4th gear directly when 4th is selected, so input gears and counter shaft are not used.

Input gear on input shaft or counter shaft can fail, that would leave you with only 4th gear.

All the power passes thru the input gears when accelerating, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears tend to be highest stress, and as said if a manual trans does have a problem then input gears can be suspected, especially if 4th still works
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2015
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Thanks again

Thanks again Ron.

I am having trouble finding a manual transmission for a ranger near me. Do you know anyone putting any other transmissions in a ranger?

Also between the 2wd and 4wd Trans, is the only difference the tail shaft and can I adapt a 2wd Trans to a 4wd?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
It is all just best guess now.

Input gear drives counter shaft's input gear, counter shaft powers 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and reverse
Input shaft powers 4th gear directly when 4th is selected, so input gears and counter shaft are not used.

Input gear on input shaft or counter shaft can fail, that would leave you with only 4th gear.

All the power passes thru the input gears when accelerating, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears tend to be highest stress, and as said if a manual trans does have a problem then input gears can be suspected, especially if 4th still works
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2015
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No, you have to disassemble trans to swap output shaft which is shorter on 4x4 models.

And you also need a trans with speedo cable output which I think will be '97 and older.

You may need to rebuild what you have.

Other model trans swap would cost more than rebuild, you have to modify bell housing and clutch setup and adapt transfer case, also 2 new drive shafts most likely.

M5OD-R1 were used in these:

1988–2011 Ford Ranger
1988–1990 Ford Bronco II
1988–1995 Ford Aerostar
1991–2000 Ford Explorer

But remember you need 4.0l, 4wd and '97 or older.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2015
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If my computer is a 94, could I run a 98 or newer transmission and just not hook up the spedo cable?
How does that work?
Sorry for all of the questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
No, you have to disassemble trans to swap output shaft which is shorter on 4x4 models.

And you also need a trans with speedo cable output which I think will be '97 and older.

You may need to rebuild what you have.

Other model trans swap would cost more than rebuild, you have to modify bell housing and clutch setup and adapt transfer case, also 2 new drive shafts most likely.

M5OD-R1 were used in these:

19882011 Ford Ranger
19881990 Ford Bronco II
19881995 Ford Aerostar
19912000 Ford Explorer

But remember you need 4.0l, 4wd and '97 or older.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2015
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No speedo..............or odo

But come to think of it, have a look at your transfer case, drivers side where rear driveline connects, speedometer hook up should be there, so on the transfer case, NOT the transmission.

If that is the case then you can use 1990 and up M5OD-R1 or R1HD from 4.0l, 4WD.
Forgot about that.

The BW 1354 transfer case was used from 1990 to end of Ranger model(2011) with M5OD-R1 and R1HD on 4x4 models

M5OD-R1HD was used on 4.0l SOHC Rangers from 2001 and up, an extra bolt hole was added in bell housing, they have same bolt pattern as 4.0l OHV, 2000 and earlier.
Later model R1HD trans can be used with '94 4.0l OHV and your BW 1354 transfer case, keeping speedo cable hook up
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2015
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So if the transfer case has a speedo hook up I can use a 1990 and M5OD?
What does this look like?
Thanks so much for all the help

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
No speedo..............or odo

But come to think of it, have a look at your transfer case, drivers side where rear driveline connects, speedometer hook up should be there, so on the transfer case, NOT the transmission.

If that is the case then you can use 1990 and up M5OD-R1 or R1HD from 4.0l, 4WD.
Forgot about that.

The BW 1354 transfer case was used from 1990 to end of Ranger model(2011) with M5OD-R1 and R1HD on 4x4 models

M5OD-R1HD was used on 4.0l SOHC Rangers from 2001 and up, an extra bolt hole was added in bell housing, they have same bolt pattern as 4.0l OHV, 2000 and earlier.
Later model R1HD trans can be used with '94 4.0l OHV and your BW 1354 transfer case, keeping speedo cable hook up
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2015
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yes, a 1990, and up, M5OD-R1 trans from a 4.0l 4WD.

What does what look like?
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2015
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The speedometer hook up. If it's on the transfer case and not the transmission I'm good right?
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
yes, a 1990, and up, M5OD-R1 trans from a 4.0l 4WD.

What does what look like?
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2015
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Just find and follow the speedometer cable.

Yes, in 1994 it will be on the transfer case, which you are keeping.

On 4WDs the speedo cable or Speed sensor must either be on the transfer case or the axle, other wise when transfer case was in 4low, speedo wouldn't work correctly.

And just as another heads up, the shifter for the M5OD changed, I think in '97, so if you get a '97 or higher then get the shift arm with the new trans if possible.
If you can't then you can remove the top plate and shifter from your current/broken trans, and put it on the new trans.
It is not hard to do at all, and this is not a part that wears out.
Then you can use old shift arm(the part with the **** on top)
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2015
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Thank you for the heads up.

Is the 5spd in the 3.0 and even the 4cyl the same?

I have found some trucks with smaller engines that have what they say are M5ODs.

Thanks yet again!
:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Just find and follow the speedometer cable.

Yes, in 1994 it will be on the transfer case, which you are keeping.

On 4WDs the speedo cable or Speed sensor must either be on the transfer case or the axle, other wise when transfer case was in 4low, speedo wouldn't work correctly.

And just as another heads up, the shifter for the M5OD changed, I think in '97, so if you get a '97 or higher then get the shift arm with the new trans if possible.
If you can't then you can remove the top plate and shifter from your current/broken trans, and put it on the new trans.
It is not hard to do at all, and this is not a part that wears out.
Then you can use old shift arm(the part with the **** on top)
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2015
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An M5OD is an M5OD, inside they are the same, but bell housing is not detachable and they are not the same, 4cyl Lima and Duratec engines, and the 3.0l all have different bell housings as does the 4.0l.
So a 3.0l M5OD will not fit on a 4.0l engine, or a 4cyl engine

The 4.0l models did have slightly different 1st, 2nd, 3rd gear ratios, but not much.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2015
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How do I tell what engine an M5OD is for?

Is there a sub model or something in the vin# of the transmission that will tell me?

Thanks again,

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
An M5OD is an M5OD, inside they are the same, but bell housing is not detachable and they are not the same, 4cyl Lima and Duratec engines, and the 3.0l all have different bell housings as does the 4.0l.
So a 3.0l M5OD will not fit on a 4.0l engine, or a 4cyl engine

The 4.0l models did have slightly different 1st, 2nd, 3rd gear ratios, but not much.
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Old 11-11-2015
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There might be a different part number somewhere on the trans that would tell you what engine its bell housing fits but never seen those numbers published anywhere.
If you find out please share that info
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2015
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I will. Thank your for all of the help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
There might be a different part number somewhere on the trans that would tell you what engine its bell housing fits but never seen those numbers published anywhere.
If you find out please share that info
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2015
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So just to keep you up to date. I found a M5OD-R1 from a 94 3.0l 4wd that I will be looking at and most likely buying. I will try to make a template for the bell housing of my M5OD for my 4.0l 4wd.


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Originally Posted by ROSCO View Post
I will. Thank your for all of the help.
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2015
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What is different about the 3.0 M5OD from the 4.0 M5OD?

Someone mentioned the output shaft may be longer, but I had a buddy who cut one down. Would it be possible to do this if that was the only difference?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSCO View Post
So just to keep you up to date. I found a M5OD-R1 from a 94 3.0l 4wd that I will be looking at and most likely buying. I will try to make a template for the bell housing of my M5OD for my 4.0l 4wd.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2015
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M5OD trans has integrated bell housing(transmission case and bell housing are one piece), and 3.0l engine and 4.0l engine have different trans bolt patterns, so 3.0l M5OD trans simply won't bolt to 4.0l engine and visa versa.
3.0l vulcan engine trans mount bolt pattern doesn't match any other engine
4.0l OHV and SOHC use the same trans bolt pattern, also older 2.9l used the same pattern.
2.3l/2.5l Lima engines were also unique, their trans bolt pattern doesn't match any other engine

And no adapter plates are available for any of the above.

2WD or 4WD M5OD transmission do have different tail shafts and tail shaft housings, you can swap those around, but it does require opening transmission, not just a few bolts.
The tail shaft is the output shaft accessed from inside transmission.

I have read of someone cutting tail shaft, but never heard back that it worked for any length of time, so...........up to you really, not my time or money.

Why not just rebuild yours?
Parts, including new input shaft, counter shaft, bearings and seals would be about $300.
It is just wrench work, no special knowledge is needed, you can rent any special tools you don't have.

Have a look here and see if it is something you might try: Ford M5OD-R1 Rebuild - Ford Ranger Forum
And here: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=248249

And there are other How-tos out there, M5OD-R1 was used on literally thousands of vehicles

Last edited by RonD; 11-22-2015 at 12:36 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-22-2015
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Thanks for the info! I will look into rebuilding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
M5OD trans has integrated bell housing(transmission case and bell housing are one piece), and 3.0l engine and 4.0l engine have different trans bolt patterns, so 3.0l M5OD trans simply won't bolt to 4.0l engine and visa versa.
3.0l vulcan engine trans mount bolt pattern doesn't match any other engine
4.0l OHV and SOHC use the same trans bolt pattern, also older 2.9l used the same pattern.
2.3l/2.5l Lima engines were also unique, their trans bolt pattern doesn't match any other engine

And no adapter plates are available for any of the above.

2WD or 4WD M5OD transmission do have different tail shafts and tail shaft housings, you can swap those around, but it does require opening transmission, not just a few bolts.
The tail shaft is the output shaft accessed from inside transmission.

I have read of someone cutting tail shaft, but never heard back that it worked for any length of time, so...........up to you really, not my time or money.

Why not just rebuild yours?
Parts, including new input shaft, counter shaft, bearings and seals would be about $300.
It is just wrench work, no special knowledge is needed, you can rent any special tools you don't have.

Have a look here and see if it is something you might try: Ford M5OD-R1 Rebuild - Ford Ranger Forum
And here: M5R1 Rebuild thread - Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations"

And there are other How-tos out there, M5OD-R1 was used on literally thousands of vehicles
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