Pushed out of 3rd gear on ramp | Will not shift into 1st, 2nd, 3rd gear anymore! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-25-2016
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Icon9 Pushed out of 3rd gear on ramp | Will not shift into 1st, 2nd, 3rd gear anymore!

Hi there! I've just gotten a 1996 Ford Ranger 2.3l with 240k miles about a week ago, I got it by trading one of my flat screen TV's.
When inspecting the truck for the first time, it ran good, I took the trade and drove 120 miles back to where I live. It drove great, no issues it running at all.

A week later, I changed the engine oil and filter (Mobil-1 Synthetic 5w-30), I took it out and as I was going down the freeway ramp (I was in 3rd gear about 6k-8k RPM), I suddenly heard a popping noise and sounded like it popped out of gear so I quickly shifted into 4th gear and took the upcoming exit.

After taking the exit, I could not shift into 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear and was only limited to 4th, 5th and reverse. I drove about 4 miles home in 4th gear.

Now when I got home, I tried through all the gears and reversing, the truck is slow when letting out the clutch in 4th and 5th and a strong smell of something burning (possibly clutch). When I put the truck in neutral and I let go of the clutch, it seems as if the truck is still in some gear...

Before this happened, I've also noticed a rattling noise when putting the truck in 1st and 2nd gear even when the clutch is engaged. The engine still runs great! Will start up no problem to this day.

I am not sure if I did something wrong while changing the oil and filter, this is the first Ford truck that I've owned and did many other oil changes on my other vehicles. I will take pictures of the drain plug where i drained the engine oil. (I put 4 quarts in). I'm 80% sure that I did not drain the tranny fluid lol.

Please reply to this thread if anyone has any information or help on this topic! Thank you!!

tldr; Got the truck, went down freeway ramp in 3rd gear about 3-4k RPM, truck popped out of gear, will no longer shift into 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear. Truck seems to be in a gear even when put into neutral.

Last edited by jamiejja8; 09-26-2016 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 09-25-2016
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Changing your engine oil will have absolutely no effect on your transmission.

Check the tranny's fluid. You mention 'clutch' so I assume yours has a manual. Look at color and amount. If it's low or out of fluid, well, you basically found the Trans's head stone. If it's fine, then perhaps it's the clutch or pressure plate.

EricTheCarGuy has some videos on manual transmissions. Granted he works mainly with Hondas, but they should all be the same principle. I know he does a diagnosis on a ford focus for a slipping clutch, too.
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Old 09-25-2016
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Thank you for the reply, TheArcticWolf1911.

It definitely is a 5-speed manual. I was going to check the transmission fluid and flush it tomorrow but I ran out of time (night time here). Was going to post here and see if anyone else had any other input. Will keep you guys updated!
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Old 09-26-2016
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Slave cylinders are notorious for failure. Welcome to Rangers.

There's tons of vids and threads about this problem and how to service them.
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Old 09-26-2016
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So you have a 1996 - twenty year old, Lima you were running at 6-8k revs?

Hope you have a full wallet, as that is abusing that tired old hoss.

You likely have a linkage problem in the transmission. Interlocks are supposed to keep more than one set of the gears from being engaged at the same time. The interlock mechanism can get worn, and block legitimate normal regular shifts.
I think I would remove and inspect the transmission.
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Old 09-26-2016
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You will probably have to pull out the transmission.

You could remove the carpet and then the access panel and try to get the top cover of the trans removed to access, and see, the shift rails.
It reads like that is where the problem is, a sheared roll pin on 3/4 shift rail, either on the shift slot or the fork.
New fluid won't help
And most likely once top is removed you will see that trans needs to come out anyway because of another issue.

You have an M5OD-R1 manual transmission
These are very reliable so it is unusual to have a problem with them
Rangers have used these transmissions since 1988

The M5OD-R1 is made for a specific engine, so a trans made for a 2.3l won't fit a 3.0l or 4.0l engine, and visa versa
They are also 2x4 or 4x4 specific, so if you have a 2WD truck you need a 2WD trans.

So if you are not a transmission repair guy you may want to find a used M5OD-R1 they are a pretty safe bet, or a rebuilt one if you want.
You want a 1988-1997 M5OD-R1, from a 2.3l 2WD truck, Ranger or Mazda B2300

1998 and up won't have correct speedometer hook up although you could swap tailshaft and tailshaft housing

M5OD-R1 is also called M5R1
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Old 09-26-2016
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I just took the shifter off in the cab and this is what it looks like in the hole, I am not sure if that looks normal or not but I will have to do a little more research on how to make it a "mirror image" inside.

Based off of previous replies, I am not really sure what to do yet so I will be taking it to a mechanic this upcoming weekend... Also, I'm not really sure if it was actually 6-8k Revs lol. This ranger doesnt have a tachometer and its abnormally loud.
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Last edited by jamiejja8; 09-26-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-26-2016
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Yes that looks to be in neutral, 3 slots lined up

Post #7 here has link to other pictures of that: https://www.ranger-forums.com/drivet...hifter-143998/

If truck won't roll forward or backward with rails in this position then a shifter fork inside the trans is broken so can't be moved to Neutral position by shift rail.

Pictures of shift forks here: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11...cs-inside.html

This is an M5OD-R2 but same internal setup just heavier duty for V8 engines
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Old 09-26-2016
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Ron, I just went out to check if the truck rolls in neutral and it will roll backwards slightly.

I put the shifter back on and turned on the truck. I put the car in neutral and tried to release the clutch but it seems as if it's still in some gear despite being put in neutral so whenever I try to let go of the clutch, the truck stalls.

When I push in the clutch, the truck rolls freely no issues. I'm also thinking it is the shifter fork... I really appreciate the time you are putting into the responses!
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Old 09-27-2016
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It could be that a Roll Pin sheared off on one of the forks, so it on long moves with the shift rail, so trans is "stuck in gear".

You may be able to fix this in the truck, if it is a sheared roll pin

M5OD has a top plate with 10 bolts that can be removed and the plate with shift rails and forks can be pulled up and out.
Image of top plate here: IMG00388-20101002-1329.jpg Photo by nshamilton | Photobucket

Underside of top plate: http://s588.photobucket.com/user/gka...Cover.jpg.html
If you look at the forks you can see the 1 roll pin in each, this pin holds fork to shift rail, also you can see the OD/reverse(top of picture) roll pin that holds shifter slot to shift rail.

The whole point of a manual trans shifter setup is to not allow the shifter arm to "engage" another gear until previous gear is "disengaged", that's what Neutral is, all 3 shift forks are in the middle between their "gears".
1/2
3/4
OD/Reverse

The "/" is Neutral

This is why you can't move a manual from 1st to 3rd sideways, you must pull 1/2 shift fork out of 1st, which lines up slots to Neutral, then you can move sideways to engage 3rd

Problem getting top cover out is the access plate is usually not big enough to pull the top plate directly up and out, and it has to come straight up so forks can clear shaft/gears
You can cut the floor metal to make bigger hole and then repair it after words.
But it may NOT be a sheared roil pin and you will have to drop transmission..........

So I think dropping transmission may be best bet.

It is for sure not a clutch issue, but if you do drop the trans then I would install new clutch kit.

Last edited by RonD; 09-27-2016 at 11:16 AM.
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