View Full Version : M5R1 tranny DIY rebuild success

11-19-2007, 12:39 AM
First post - Greetings!

I recently purchased a 1988 2.3L standard bed/cab Ranger for $700. Going to be my commuter run around beater. I have a 2001 F-350 PSD but diesel getting way too expensive as a daily driver.

The Ranger has a great engine (97K miles) but the tranny was sorry. The bearings were pretty bad and sounded like a grinding stone while driving down the road. I decided to rebuild myself as a learning project. I have rebuilt engines and done my own clutches, brakes, etc in the past but never crossed over the "line" to take on a tranny rebuild.

I found two web sites online that were instrumental in helping with the rebuild:
This site was invaluable and has a photo tutorial for the M5R2 but works for the R1 also.

This site has the factory disassembly/reassembly posted online in PDF for the M5R2. Also very useful.

The rebuild isn't for the faint of heart but very doable and rewarding when done. I had one setback when I installed my 1-2 gear synchro ring backwards. When back in truck it wouldn't stay in 1st. Shift forks couldn't travel enough. This ring isn't symetrical and must be put on correctly. I had to tear back down and fix. That was frustrating but now I am a happy camper because the tranny is awesome. I bought the "ultimate rebuild kit" from Southern Gear (on eBay). I would add the locking nuts to the package. I also added the shifter rebuild kit. One other PIA is getting the press-on bearings off. There are various ways to do this. I had to get creative with standard bearing pullers. I put in a new clutch and slave while I was in there.

Anyway, just thought I would share my experience. Looking forward to joining the Ranger crowd.

11-19-2007, 09:43 AM
I recently bought a '93 and it ran fine for a few weeks.
Now I can't get it into 5th or reverse. Could ease out on the clutch and get it to grind/slip into rev. a few times, but now it is like hittting a brick wall.
Shifter will go to the side but won't go forward or back. The other gears are fine.
Any ideas, I too have never crossed the line into trans. except for clutches.

11-19-2007, 10:05 AM
I assume you already ruled out the clutch and/or bleeding the slave?

I don't profess to be an expert just what I have seen with my own eyes for my transmission. Have you taken off the shifter and shifter ball yet? Perhaps start with the easy path and see if something is binding there first. Perhaps the bushing or shims are binding. Make sure it is in neutral before you pull it.

If not, then sounds like something gone wrong with the rev/5th shift fork or synchro assembly. To look at that you would need to pull the rear cover of the tranny. You might be able to pivot the tranny down and remove the cover. Or just pull the tranny following the Haynes shop manual. You can also read the factory troubleshooting guide on the site I posted above which has them posted in PDF.

Good luck.

11-19-2007, 10:11 AM
Thanks for the quick response.
I haven't really tried anything yet.
The shifter is attached with a beveled bolt. Is this the "ball" you're talking about, or do I go a step futher in?

11-19-2007, 10:21 AM
Go to this page:

Click on Dissassembly/Assembly and then look at the two shifter assembly diagrams.

First remove shifter boot, then remove the beveled bolt from one side, put on other side and tighten to pull the bolt out the opposite direction. This will get the stick off. Then you are looking at the shifter ball. Take a look at the diagram to see how it comes apart.

You will need a torx screwdriver to remove the ball cover. Make sure you are very careful to not drop anything inside the tranny when you pull the ball.

11-19-2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks a lot!!
I have heard that the bushing in the shifter assembly is made of plastic and they can wear and cause this type of problem. Do you recall if it was madt of plastic?
Either way this is a very good start for me and I thank you.
Hopefully this long weekend I can get in there and get-R-done.
Or at least learn a thing or two.

11-19-2007, 10:39 AM
Yeah it's plastic. The shifter rebuild kits sold on eBay come with a new one.

If you are ambitious, you can actually shift the tranny with a screw driver after the ball is removed. I only mention this because it might help you troubleshoot before you go through the hassle of removing the tranny. Just make sure take note of how it looks when in neutral before you start manipulating with a screwdriver. You will need to put back in neutral to get the ball back on.

11-19-2007, 10:45 AM
Thanks a lot. I am printing these to take home.
If the rain holds off here in NE Ohio I may play with it some tonight.
I will update you when I get to try anything.
I sent you a PM also.
Thanks a lot.