looking at a 92...need some advice - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-20-2016
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looking at a 92...need some advice

It's a 1992 4.0 automatic 4X4......very original...unmolested and appears to be in really nice condition for a truck with near 200k on it....

The fellow selling it is a retired mechanic....and old friend of mine..

He's been using it for 3 years as a daily driver....and said it's been very reliable...and currently has no real issues....other than the trans won't go into overdrive......prolly NOT a big issue for me....Could there be a simple fix?

I have a dedicated use for it...(as it has a canopy).....for the next 6 months or so...

The price is $700....so it's kind of a "no brainer"...as long as the transmission doesn't go out...I'm sure I can get my $$$ back....when I'm done....

Any problem areas that I should check...BEFORE I pull the trigger?
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Old 02-21-2016
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Trans will fail, no simple fix once OD starts to go, will it last you 6 months.......no crystal ball here, and I would look at lotto numbers if I had one, not transmission longevity, lol.
Automatics don't really have simple fixes, low on fluid would be about it.

$700 is a good price but plan on sticking in another 4.0l A4LD 4x4 transmission, if you decide to rebuild then don't just get a "soft parts" rebuild, it will fail again in 12-18 months.
So look at craigslist and Truck Trader for similar trucks in your area, see what "asking price" is, this is NOT what they are "worth" it is just asking price, but it will give you an idea of the value of this truck with working transmission.
Also check for used or rebuilds of this trans locally, has to be 4.0l 4x4 A4LD 1990-1994

Good read on the A4LD here: Ford Ranger A4LD Automatic Transmission

read this part for sure: When having an A4LD rebuilt, there are a couple of things that you need to make sure of. First and foremost, do not let a shop do a soft parts fix only (clutches, servos, and bands). This will almost ensure that you will have another repair needed right after the 1-year warranty is out.

The 4.0l OHV engine is a good one, one weak point is overheating, if engine overheats even one time, one or both heads will crack between valve seats, weak point in the casting.
So if temp gauge starts to climb DO NOT "try to make it home", pull over and find out why temp is going up, let engine cool off and if you can't add more coolant or fix the issue where you are then after it cools down drive it short distances letting it cool down in between, heads and gaskets are not "cheap" so you can be "making" over $100 an hour if it takes you 5 hours to "get home".

Last edited by RonD; 02-21-2016 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 02-21-2016
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OK,THANKS...... I kinda figured that was the story....

Personally I'm NOT a fan of automatic transmissions....with several exceptions......from the 60's and 70's...

SO....if I buy this truck....and the trans goes out......my first thoughts would be to put in a clutch pedal....and 5 speed....from the same/similar year truck....which I assume would be far cheaper and possibly fairly easily attainable in the used parts market?

With the engine management systems/computer...(I'm sure it has some sort)....is this a feasible ...or straightforward swap?....I realize it will be somewhat labour intensive...
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Old 02-21-2016
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Nothing wrong with an automatic, and if you only have a shop service a vehicle then manual or automatic cost about the same maintenance-wise.
Redoing a clutch at a shop is $1,000+, and you will usually redo the clutch 2 times in the same period you would rebuild an automatic once, which runs $2,000-$2,500 at a shop

Most DIYers prefer manuals because they can change the clutch themselves but don't feel as confident about rebuilding an automatic.

No, you probably don't want to convert to manual trans, you can but it isn't as "cheap" or "easy" as you may think.
You would need a 4x4 manual trans(M5OD-R1) from a 4.0l engine, Flywheel from same, clutch/brake assembly, and clutch switch.
Clutch master/slave, clutch disc and pressure plate.
Steering column change, got that auto shifter there now.
And then computer change, there are two computer softwares, one for manual and one for automatics.
The software is different, different idles and engine operation, automatic one will also turn on the CEL(check engine light) and leave it on all the time because it has no connection to a transmission, not a big deal unless you do have an engine issue and don't know about it until engine dies or won't start one day, normally computer would turn on the CEL to warn you of a problem, but if it is on all the time......................


Good read here on rebuilding an A4LD: Ford A4LD transmission rebuild diary - How to rebuild Ford A4LD - Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations"
There are pictures, just keep going thru the pages, ALOT of good info on what parts are MUST HAVE on the rebuild.
The 1992 trans has probably been rebuilt once, but maybe not, and that trans 24 year old now, so not a bad trans, they just wear out like a clutch or any other moving part.
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Old 02-22-2016
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Well....I think I'm going to pull the trigger.....

Will post some pics....if I do the deal....
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Old 02-22-2016
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Any rangers before 96' had shitty transmissions put in them anyway
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Old 02-22-2016
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A4LD got a bad rap, mainly because it was one of the first computer assisted and first Over Drive transmissions
Most Repair shops didn't have a clue on how to fix them much less rebuild them.
So common thing when a mechanic, or anyone else, has a problem is "oh, these are crappy transmissions that why my fix didn't work", lol.

They were not prefect, but what is.
The TCC and 3-4shift solenoids burned out until they figured out how to fix them.

The 1995 and up transmission were A4LDs, just added full computer control and slapped a new model number on them, lol.

The 5-speed, was also an A4LD, since they now had full shift control Ford change the shifting so after 1st gear Overdrive kicked in for 2nd gear, so 1st + OD = 2nd gear(look at the ratios and do the math), then 3rd, 4th and OD(5th)
A 5-speed from a 4 speed, gotta love engineers
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