Conversion Perversion- My tranny swap - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-30-2007
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Conversion Perversion- My tranny swap

The manual tranny blew in my 04 4.0 4x4. Because of the large amount of towing I do, I'm going back with an automatic (5800 tow rating vs 3000 for a manual).

The option I came up with is a 700r4 GM tranny. It's not computer controlled so as far as the Ranger computer knows, I'll still be running a manual. They've been installed in anything from Corvettes to Suburbans.

Advanced Adapters sells 2 pieces- one to mate the tranny to the 4.0, and another to mount the transfer case to the tranny. There are three different 700r4 configurations. Buick, Small Block Chevy, and 2.8 V6. This adapter requires the 2.8 v6 version to bolt up.

I'll post progress here as I move along. Some issues I'll have to deal with off the top of my head:
Speedo
TV cable bracket
Y-pipe clearance
Tranny oil cooler

I'll use a floor shifter. I should have the ability to hold a gear (manually shift) as well as putting it in drive.

Parts and Price list (updated as it grows, prices rounded):

$1000.00 for 700r4 (60 degree style) Tranny, torque convertor, tranny flush, tv cable, and dipstick. Tranny has corvette servos and beefier sunshell over stock.
$500 for Advaced Adapter tranny to 4.0 adapter
$500 for Advanced Adapter tranny to transfer case adapter.
$60 for Flex plate (not needed if you start with automatic tranny)
$30 for 3 gallons decron III tranny oil
$5 for blue loctite
$15 for flexplate spacer
$100 for tranny cooler and 10" electric fan
$250 for B&M floor mount shifter (truck model)
$120 for starter (not needed if you start with automatic tranny)
$60 for TV cable adapters to fit to throttle body

Total to date $2640

__________________________________________________ ___________
Prepping (removing the old stuff). The following came off: Y-pipe, tranny, transfer case, front and rear driveshaft, Clutch, tranny crossmember.






__________________________________________________ _____________

Prepping the tranny. Torque convertor:


Adapter mounted with blue loctite and torqued to 35 ft lbs:


Added oil (Dexron III) to convertor and locked into tranny. Note the advanced adapter at rear of tranny. This is needed only on a 4wd truck. It was installed by tranny shop and includes a new output shaft to adapt to stock transfer case. Th background shows the rest of the front adapter to 4.0 motor:


Tapped the slide dowels into the front adapter:


The adapter mounts to the engine first. I slid in onto the tranny to make sure it did fit. It does. All the holes line up:


Engine just needs the flex plate installed to recieve adapter and tranny. I bought the flex plate but found out there is a spacer needed to install it. This is only a problem if you are swapping from a manual to an automatic. If you start with an automatic the flex plate will already be installed on the motor:


Flex plate is installed (torque to 52 ft lbs). Adapter is installed. The instructions stated that grinding was necessary to clear exhaust. They weren't kidding. Left side was cleared for the future pipe off the exhaust manifold. The right side needed clearance to fit on the engine. The exhaust manifold bolt wouldn't let the adapter sit flush on the engine. There was a little clearancing that needed to be done on the back side. reason- Cylinder heads stick out past the engine block. I beveled the backside to clear it. It wasn't much, but something you should look at before torqueing the plate down (35 ft lbs and blue loctite). The bottom two bolts were too short in the kit. I used the original tranny bolts which were a 1/4" longer than the longest bolts they sent:


Slid the tranny on. Torqued to 35 ft lbs with no loctite. I have to get shims before bolting flex plate to torque convertor:





Time for some math to shim the torque convertor. They want a space of .125 to .188" between the torque convertor and flex plate before you bolt it down. I packed some feeler gauges antil I had a snug fit. I then measured the gap. The gap was .329 (not as pictured). You can see the shims in the pic. .329 - .125 = .204 and .329 - .188= .141. That is the range of shims that are acceptable. I stacked the shims and used the slide caliper until I had a stack within that range:


Shims are installed. Bolts are torqued to 25 ft lbs. There very little room so using a torque wrench was not feasible. You access the bolts through the starter hole. I put a socket on the center crank bolt to turn the engine to get each bolt in the access hole:



Started working on tranny cooler. Not needed if you start with an automatic. The radiator on a manual does not have the lines to run tranny oil through it. The cooler and e-fan are rated at 10,000 tow capacity. It was the largest in stock at auto zone and seems ample. The cost was about $100.
I took some square tubed aluminum and made some u shaped brackets:


I bolted the fan to the brackets:


I flipped over the unit and did the same to mount the unit to the truck:


I took the grill off to access the mounting area:


The unit mounted in. A simpler way is too zip tie the cooler to the radiator with the supllied plastic tabs. I wanted a separate fan unit and I didn't want to stick plastic tabs through the fins so I fabbed up some brackets:




Reinstalled the grill:


Cover plate installed for flywheel. Y-pipe installed also:


This is where I cut the Y-pipe. It's the Passenger side (the short pipe). Advanced sent the coupler, but no u-bolts. The coupler was too small. I went to local parts store and bought a 2-1/4" coupler with matching u-bolts.


TV cable hooked up. Bowtie overdrives makes a conversion kit for ohv engines. I never pursued it. This is what I came up with. Throttle cable bracket bought locally. Most parts stores have it. I bent the bracket to bolt to the intake. I had to redo averything a couple of times to make it work so it's not pretty:


Close up of Throttle body connection. The fitting is missing a cotter pin. I have copper wire for a temporary fix. The connector is adjustable to get the proper tension. Its part of a kit from local parts store that containes a throttle cable


The shifter. Light truck model from B&M. The truck version as pic'd is taller than a car version. The base is a lot bigger.

Last edited by graniteguy; 07-30-2007 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 04-30-2007
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How are you going to supply the raw vehicle speed pulse to the PCM? In the stock setup, it comes off the OSS sensor on the transmission, then it goes to the PCM which corrects it for tire diameter/axle ratio and outputs a 0~12v square wave to the speedometer, 4x4 module and speed control.
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Old 04-30-2007
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Old 04-30-2007
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i thought he was doing a c4 swap scott?
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Old 04-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taknotes
i thought he was doing a c4 swap scott?

he changed his mind
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Old 04-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
How are you going to supply the raw vehicle speed pulse to the PCM? In the stock setup, it comes off the OSS sensor on the transmission, then it goes to the PCM which corrects it for tire diameter/axle ratio and outputs a 0~12v square wave to the speedometer, 4x4 module and speed control.
Can you break these down? I'm going in with the understanding that the speedo won't work. What is the downside of the other two?

Scott, those links are what gave me the idea.

I need to put in an auto. I haven't bought anything yet, but I need to get going soon. If there are options, I'd love to hear them.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Called advanced adapters, who sent me to bowtieoverdrives.com. Their opinion (almost 100%) was the sensors were in the transfer case, not the tranny. They said the tranny in a 4wd does not have a tail housing to hold the components so they are in the transfer case. If this is correct, I will not lose speedo capability, 4x4 rev limit, etc.

i thought I saw this same info briefly while looking through my haynes manual.

The same company also has a tv cable adapter to work with the efi unit on the 4.0. Looks like all the pieces are there to do this with less complications than a 2wd truck.
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Old 05-01-2007
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that is good news!
get a tranny yet? lol
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Old 05-01-2007
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sweet! man if i didn't have my big honkin Pioneer console, this would be my mod, instead of rebuilding the Ranger tranny!
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
sweet! man if i didn't have my big honkin Pioneer console, this would be my mod, instead of rebuilding the Ranger tranny!

it would be much more work for yours and my truck. we have autos already. this is good for a manual swap, otherwise we need some other parts
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Old 05-01-2007
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true......a new steering column for 1....
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Old 05-01-2007
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PCM... that is what you will need. something with the throttle body as well as i have read.

btw ill stick to my 5r55e ive rode in one that was built.. ill stick with ford.

but for wayne i think this is a better option
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
Called advanced adapters, who sent me to bowtieoverdrives.com. Their opinion (almost 100%) was the sensors were in the transfer case, not the tranny. They said the tranny in a 4wd does not have a tail housing to hold the components so they are in the transfer case. If this is correct, I will not lose speedo capability, 4x4 rev limit, etc.
All 2001+ read raw vehicle speed from the transmission output shaft. The manual trans OSS sensor is in the extension housing, the automatic OSS is in the rear of the transmission main case.

Rangers haven't had a T/C speedo output since 97.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Bob, what am i dealing with here. I don't understand the consequences.

With the speedo I can go aftermarket. Don't see a problem there. Past that?
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
Bob, what am i dealing with here. I don't understand the consequences.

With the speedo I can go aftermarket. Don't see a problem there. Past that?
With a stock Ranger automatic, you MUST have the raw vehicle speed input to the PCM or the shift schedule won't work. I'm not sure how a manual transmission truck would need it other than for the vehicle speed limiter but maybe I'm not thinking of all the possibilities. I don't have access to the Ranger calibration strategy, so I don't know for sure.

For either transmission, the speed control uses the corrected VSS which depends on the PCM having the raw OSS signal from the trans. I can't see how the speed control could work without it.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
I'm not sure how a manual transmission truck would need it other than for the vehicle speed limiter but maybe I'm not thinking of all the possibilities.
The 700r4 needs no input other than the tv cable and torque convertor lock up. I've already done this swap on an s-10 from a computer controlled 460le (computer tranny) to the 700r4. It was necessary to swap trannys when I conerted the s10 to a carburetor instead of the efi system. It was either this or a separate computer to control the 460le. The dollars were about the same either way, I just got a fresher tranny by swapping it over the computer.

That part is fine. I'm comfortable with the tranny doing its job without interface from the engine. The unknown (to me) is whether the engine needs input from the tranny.

If it will drive but have no speedometer- I'm fine.
If it drives but has no rev limiter or top speed - I'm fine. Better expressed- I'll need to figure a way around it. In the case of the s-10 I installed a msd 6al with a rev limit pill. I understand the importance of that function. That pill saved the engine at least 3 times.


Zach, the advanced adapters were ordered today. The tranny guy wants the adapter for the transfer case to complete the rebuild. I should have a tranny at the end of next week. The truck is still at the tow shop. I'll have it towed to my driveway this week. Party should start two weekends from now. I dont have a timeline or deadline.

I'll start a parts/price list soon. It may end up over $3,000 when its all said and done. Tranny and adapters is gonna be $2000. Flex plate, shifter, tranny cooler, etc need to be added. The only saving grace here is I can't seem to get out of a tranny shop without spending $1800- $2200. That seems to be the pattern. If I end up with a $3000 system up front and future tranny replacements cost $600, the cost should catch up at some point.

4x4 rangers never die. They become dedicated off road vehicles. Off road vehicles don't need odometers. lol
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
4x4 rangers never die. They become dedicated off road vehicles. Off road vehicles don't need odometers. lol

hehe i love that!
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Old 05-01-2007
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I mean no matter what way you look at it, Your flirting with $3,000 weather you get another Ford tranny or you do your own, at least if you do it yourself, youll know its right
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Old 05-02-2007
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I went to the yard and removed the driveshaft (aluminum d/s weighs nothing. I was surprised) so it could roll. Afterwards I was surprised that I could change gears so I started it up and put it in 4wd and went forward. It went, but plenty of gear grinding was taking place. I could feel it from the shifter.

It got towed to my driveway today.

All I could do before the rains came was drain the tranny and transfer case. Plenty of oil came out of the transfer case, not much out of the tranny. I'd say the tranny was about 2/3's too low -just making an educated guess.

I also scanned it with my code reader. No codes were sent through that ordeal.

I can already tell this is gonna be a long project. While I was under there the thoughts start going through the head- "while the tranny is out, why not lizard skin the underneath." good grief. I hope I can control myself.
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Old 05-04-2007
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Only had an hour today. Worked on the transfer case. Unplugged the electrical and vent tube. Removed the 5 bolts holding it to tranny. Removed the front driveshaft from transfer case. Should be ready to slide off.
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Old 05-06-2007
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pics if I can get the camera to load to the computer.

tranny is out.

Transfer case, both driveshafts, tranny crossmember, tranny, y-pipe, cat, starter are all out. Only thing left to pull off is the clutch and flywheel.

Hopefully the delivery man will be by tomorrow with some adapters.
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Old 05-06-2007
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The centerforce clutch is all thats left to remove. Pics on first thread

Last edited by graniteguy; 06-16-2007 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 05-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
4x4 rangers never die. They become dedicated off road vehicles. Off road vehicles don't need odometers. lol

in my sig
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Old 05-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
I can already tell this is gonna be a long project. While I was under there the thoughts start going through the head- "while the tranny is out, why not lizard skin the underneath." good grief. I hope I can control myself.
:cough: manual t-case
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Old 05-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoplusone
This guy did the 700R4 conversion. You may wanna talk to him. I think he was runnin an 4.0L OHV. I think the VSS was in the rear axle b/c the vehicle was an exploder.


http://www.jefethegreat.com/truck/

theres a sensor on my diff, is that not the VSS?
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