Transmission info

Discussion in 'Drivetrain Tech' started by Sam, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Sam

    Sam New Member

    I have a 1997 Ford Ranger XLT supercab 2.4l engine with a 5-speed w/od manual transmission. Mazda code m, M50D-R1 this transmission was used for several years and for several different engines. Just letting people know, and I am looking to do an engine swap, this is why I know this.
    1988 & up 2.3l 2wd ranger
    1988-92 2.9l 2wd ranger
    1991-2000, 4.0l ranger (3.72/2.05/1.31/1.00/.0.79, 4.0l engines)
    1991-up 3.0l ranger
    (3.72/2.20/1.50/1.00/.079 all other engines)
    And is also noted on the 1988 Bronco II and Aerostar.
    The difference between 4 wheel drive and 2 wheel drive is the tail end of the transmission connecting to the transfer case. Just letting you guys and gals know. Have a great day
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  3. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    ...used in the Mazda pickup variants, as well. ( ;) )
    Before the '98, I had an '89 B2200 for almost 21 years. Good ol' truck. A former co-worker named her "Ol' Betsy".
    Used the older version of this tranny, the M5M-D.
    3.622/2.186/1.419/1/.858 coupled to a "P" type drive axle. 3.91 gears (43:11).
    REAL happy @ 50 mph. I averaged 25mpg with mine.
    These days, my '98 XL, which I call "Whitey Ford", prefers much higher speeds. Had to becareful when I first got it. Constantly found myself doing 70 in the thing.
    Now 50-60 is no problem, but I call 50 mph the cutoff for OD gear and I downshift often on hills.
    Still, faster and quicker than my ol' Mazda, but not nearly the low end (seat-of-the-pants) power of my older truck.
    If I can keep my foot out of it, I can average around 26-27 mpg.
    Works for me, but I'd really like to swap to 3.73's in the rear end.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  4. vinn

    vinn New Member

    Dean; which engines will bolt-up to that poor little tranny? thanks, vin
  5. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    ???....the engines are listed in your quote....why is it a "poor little tranny"?
  6. vinn

    vinn New Member

    thanks, by differnt engines i ment like small block chev., toyota 4 or ford 302. not important. "poor" is refured to trany that would hold up to a 302 ford. once again, not important, i like the masda made ranger for economy. vin
  7. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    I think it would not be advisable to put anything more powerful than a 4 litre in front of that tranny (and make sure you have the correct version, at that!).
    From what I understand, the version of the M50 that is in the 4 cylinder trucks have the lowest ratio gears that can be offered. This means the teeth are cut as thin as possible without degrading the strength of the gear.
    If you put a SBC in front of that one (assuming one even could), the first time you put the coals to it, you'll probably do some internal damage.
    I can't speak for other versions of the M50, but there are SO MANY other tranny's that will fit, or can be made to fit, the SBC, that this exercise is really pretty futile.
    ...anyway, if you swap in a SBC it gives you an excuse to get rid of that stupid hydraulic clutch system that the last Rangers had.
    What a POS! It's the worst thing about my truck.
  8. vinn

    vinn New Member

    right you are. " that miserable, problemmadic hydrolic clutch system". the first chev. s - 10 had a cable, mechanical system, BUT the next year, used the "un bleedable - replaceable - expensive " hydrolic clutch. the italian made jeeps later did the same thing. at last report, the toyota, still had the "removable - repairable " system. hence - the idea of installing a toyota 22R when cutch change on the ranger occurs. i like the little truck!! it deserves better. vin
  9. Logan385SBC

    Logan385SBC New Member

    I've got a 1991 Mazda 2200 LX plus cab with the automatic, it is slowly starting to go out, I can't find any info on what 5 speeds these trucks had, i assume a M50D-R1 but im not sure about bolt patterns between V8/V6/I4 did ford do the same like Chevy with every pattern is the same? I want to swap out the auto when it does go as they are much more abundant. All i need to know really is what trans they had, Applications or interchangeablilty. Im certain its a M50D but im not sure.
  10. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    I had an '89 B2200 for 21 fact, my '98 Ranger replaced it.
    The tranny in your Mazda is an older version of the one in the Ranger.
    The 5 speed is known as an M5M-D
    Ratios are 3.622/2.186/1.419/1/.858
    The auto tranny in your truck is a 3-spd w/OD and is known as N4A-HL
    Ratios are 2.841/1.541/1/.72
    Both tranny's connected to a Mazda "P" (as in "P"assenger car) rear axle with a 3.91 ratio.
    With the 5-speed, the truck seems to perform best at 50 mph in 5th.
    If you wanna hot rod your truck, the options are endless, but I wouldn't use either of these tranny's. Use something that was made to sit behind the engine you want to use.
    If its a Ford, throw a C4 or a C6 behind it. If its a Chevy, one of the hydramatics would be a far better setup....same goes for the rear end.
    Think hard about this and plan it all out before you touch one wrench.

    If you decide to keep it stock and go another way for your hot rod, one thing you can try with your auto tranny, if you haven't done it in a while, or never have, is a filter service.
    Quite easy, although a bit messy.
    Grab a big flat catch pan and set it under the tranny.
    Pull all the small bolts on the bottom that hold the pan on the tranny.
    Take care because its full of fluid. If you can, try tip one end down and drain all the fluid into your catch pan.
    Once the fluid has been drained, set the tranny pan next to you and remove the large filter sitting on the bottom of the tranny (its bolted on, to some degree. Look around before putting a wrench to it).
    Reverse the procedure, to install the new filter.
    Remove the old pan gasket and clean the mating surfaces, then install the new pan gasket (a light application of Permatex or even grease, will help you here).
    Reinstall the pan and tighten the bolts.
    Put the truck back on the ground and pull the tranny dipstick and set it to one side.
    Place a funnel in that tube and pour the appropriate amount of the appropriate tranny fluid in through the tube (via the funnel).
    Once you've done that, jack up the rear end of your truck and place the rear axle on jack stands (set the stands on their absolute lowest setting. You only need to get the rear tires off the ground. Doesn't have to be too high to do that).
    Block the front tires and start the truck. Shift the tranny into drive and watch for the rear wheels to turn.
    Once they do, put on the brakes and shift into reverse then left off the brakes. Watch for the rear wheels to turn.
    Do this a couple more times, then put the tranny back into park and put the back tires back on the ground.
    If everything looks like its working like it should, take the vehicle out for a short test drive. Give it enough time for the engine to fully warm up.
    Once you're back home, pull the dipstick and check the level. Add more fluid if necessary.
    It's important to have the vehicle warmed up before checking the level of the tranny fluid, as doing it cold will give you a false reading.
    If everything's gone the way it should have, congratulations, you've just performed your first tranny service.
    The reason I'm walking you through all of this is because what your experiencing could be lack of fluid flow through the tranny due to a clogged filter.
    The fluid may have also thinned through age and use, to the point to where the tranny doesn't quite operate like it should.
    While this may, or may not, fix your problem, it is the easiest and least expensive "repair" you can make to the transmission. Any mechanic will recommend it as a "first step" towards making your tranny work properly.
    If you do this and there is no change in how the tranny performs, there may be a deeper problem. At that point, you're likely looking at a total teardown and examination.....and this is where things get REAL pricey!
    Try the service first. It'll probably put things back right. I just can't gurantee that it will.
    As for a service schedule, I've never heard or read of any, but the new fluid and filter should be good for a few years of driving, at least.

    P.S. If you're curious about the specs for your 1991 Mazda truck, I think you'll find this page quite informative -
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019

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