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Old 10-01-2013
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Icon5 What does this connector go to?????

2001 XLT 3.0 4x4 5 speed manual: I just bought the truck and it was in a state of disassembly. I am making progress, the wiring harness that goes along the frame rail drivers side. This harness has a number of connectors for different sensors, I am stuck as to what this connector goes to? Right at the location of the post cat O2 connector is another square flat 2 tang female connector with just enough of a lead to appear to connect somewhere on the trans? No sensor other than the backup lamp connector. The back up lamp connector is plugged in. It is before the 4x4 shift motor connector. I am baffled anyone know what this was for?
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What does this connector go to?????-dscn0019.jpg   What does this connector go to?????-dscn0018.jpg  

Last edited by hakukamana; 10-01-2013 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Adding pictures of the connector
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Old 10-02-2013
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I believe that to be the VSS connector (vehicle speed sensor). Unfortunately because your transmission has previously been replaced with a 00 and older trans, you do not have what that plugs into. That plug is 2001+ specific and sadly, you'll be left without a working speedometer gauge. '00 and older trucks use the rear axle ABS sensor to talk to the gauge cluster to give you speed. '01+ trucks use the trans tailhousing VSS to talk to the gauge cluster to give you speed.

What it should look like...

*Photo courtesy of Rwenzing*
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Old 10-02-2013
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So do all M50D-R1's from 2001 + utilize VSS sensors? I thought that they deleted VSS on these transmissions in 1998. Is there a way to install a VSS in a non-VSS transmission? How would you tell without looking at the transmission, other than the seller telling you it was a 2001+ are there any specific part numbers to reference a VSS equipped trans? I have the casting boss right where your VSS sensor is located. There have to be magnets on the output shaft, or a hall effect ring, to pick up the rotations. what a mess
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Old 10-02-2013
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94-back Ranger had a fully mechanical speedometer that was cable driven from the transmission.

95~97 electric speedo read directly from a plug-in VSS signal generator that was gear driven from the transmission similar to the way a speedometer cable would be driven.

98~2000 used the rear axle sensor to do double duty supplying the raw signal for the speedometer and ABS.

2001+ used the transmission OSS (output shaft speed) sensor for the raw speed signal. I believe that the OSS is a Variable Reluctance Sensor reading teeth cut directly in the output shaft. I would guess that an earlier version could possibly be converted by swapping in the later output shaft, extension housing and OSS - but that's all it is, a guess.

If you're looking for a replacement transmission for your 2001, the "safest" bet would be a 2001~2003 although newer ones might also work. Also, be aware that the M5OD-R1 transmission cases have integral bell housings and they are cast to match each of the Ranger engine bolt patterns. So you must source a 3.0 transmission for yours, not a 2.3, 2.5 or 4.0.
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