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How to: A4ld to Manual M50D Swap - Written by 94fourdoor

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by yostyexplorer94, November 28, 2017.

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  1. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    This How To Thread was originally written and illustrated by @94fourdoor

    This is for informational purposes only and any and all problems/accidents/injuries/divorces/pimp-slaps/etc. that may occur are the sole responsibility of the person that refuses to man-up. That being said, here we go.
    Unfortunately, my computer crashed during the process of the swap and taking pictures and A LOT of my pics were lost, for this I am truly sorry as I tried hard to take as many photo opportunities as possible. Between the few that I was able to recover and the ones I had already saved to the internet, I have the bare bones basics. If anyone has any pics that might help/benefit someone attempting this swap, please send them to me and I will be sure and credit you in my thanks.

    ***It should also be noted that, besides the transmission itself, I used all new parts for this swap. I can tell you right now that it makes the swap itself A LOT easier and peace of mind after it is finished. If you do not use ALL NEW parts during this swap, AT LEAST USE A NEW SLAVE CYLINDER AND THROW OUT BEARING!!!! It is one of the harder parts to change out when it fails and for the price, cheap insurance!***

    Additional important info added here as received:

    Courtesy of @snoranger: If you have a 93-94 Limited, The dash harness is not the same as any other model. You do not have the jumper plug for the clutch switch. They came as auto ONLY, you will have to do your own wiring.





    A how-to on auto to manual swap -1st gen.

    I am going to skip all the crap about jack stands, disconnecting the battery and all that jargon to save space, so do the basics and you should be ready to go! It should also be noted that you should remove your mud guard/wheel well cover on the drivers side, prior to starting this swap, for better visibility and ease of parts removal/installation.

    Here we go!
    I started with disconnecting the driveshafts, transfer case skid plate, and starter, setting them aside.
    pic01.jpg
    pic02.jpg
    Take the time to drain the fluid out of the trans now, before you get too involved in the swap. After it's drained, remove the cooler lines on the side of the trans and also remove the cooler itself (it can be a little tricky getting the lines out from around the engine, but you aren't going to need them later, so I just bent mine up pretty good getting them out.)
    Next, disconnect the plug and the speedo cable on your transfer case and move them out of the way.
    pic03.jpg
    Once that is done, place a floor jack under the transfer case for support and remove the bolts holding your support brace to the auto trans. SAVE THEESE BOLTS as you will need them for installation later!
    pic04.jpg pic05.jpg pic06.jpg pic07.jpg
    Gradually lower the jack down until you can reach the two bolts on the bell housing holding the trans to the motor. NOTE: it may help to place a jack in a secure location under the front of the engine for support later in the removal process. There is a vent tube on the top of the auto trans, just pull it straight up and it should pop out... toss it as it will not be re-used. There is also a vacuum line that runs down to the pass. side of the trans, disconnect and remove. MAKE SURE YOU PLUG THE VACUUM LINE AT THE JUNCTION UNDER THE HOOD!!! Your local parts store should have little vacuum caps on the cheap. Make sure you get one that fits, otherwise you will end up with a poorly running swap!
    pic08.jpg pic09.jpg
    Unplug the oxygen sensors and remove them from the exhaust.
    pic10.jpg
     
    Last edited: November 28, 2017
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  3. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    pic11.jpg
    I am aware that some people are able to remove their trannys without taking the exhaust off... I was not one of those people. It will save most of you time and effort in the long run if you just remove your exhaust now and be done with it. You will probably have to soak the heck out of your exhaust bolt to get them to come out. I found that PB Blaster worked best for me, but to each his own.
    pic12.jpg pic13.jpg pic14.jpg
    Unplug the harnesses running to both sides of your auto and the shift linkage and swing them out of your way. The linkage can be removed and discarded. I saved all my discarded stuff because you never know what you can make out of misc. parts!
    pic15.jpg pic16.jpg pic17.jpg pic18.jpg
    Finally, you can start to unbolt the trans from the engine. With the starter removed, get a flash light and a large flathead screwdriver. Look through the starter hole and you will be able to see the teeth on the flex plate. Using the flathead (making sure the trans is in neutral), move the flex plate clockwise until you see a nut. These are the nuts that hold the torque converter to the flex plate and there are 4 of them. Remove the nuts, turning the flex plate between each one. If it is too hard for you to turn the flex plate, you can remove the spark plugs to relieve some of the compression in the cylinders, making it a little easier. When you have the four nuts off, you can now remove all the bell-housing bolts holding the trans to the engine. Please be careful after those bolts are out as the only thing holding the trans to the motor are now the teeth on the torque converter! Using a tranny jack, or a strong friend to help you, you can now slide the trans backwards until it is free of the engine. Remove the transfer case and the coupler on the back of the trans as you will be using them on the M5OD trans later. Feel free to use the a4ld as a boat anchor, as it is now a nightmare of the past... my dog peed on mine... shortly after I followed suit.

    Now we can finally get out from underneath and start on the inside... for a second.
    For the tasks at hand, it may be easier for some of you to remove your front seats, as you will have to pull the carpet back quite a bit to get to the shift cover on the tunnel. I do not know exactly everything that needs removal here, as my rig is naked on the inside, sorry. You will definitely have to remove your center console and your kick panels.
    pic19.jpg
    In the cab, you will need to access the tunnel cover where the new shifter will reside. If you haven't got a new tunnel cover that is proper for the manual trans, there will need to be some cutting done on your part once the trans is in so there is room for the shifter to move around. I just made a cardboard cut-out of the cover and used it as a template to figure out how much needed to be cut and where.

    A few of the pics that were lost were of the removal how-to of the actual auto trans' shifter on the steering column. The best I can do is tell you that after you take the plastic cover off the column, look on the pass. side and you will see a little pin that keeps it locked in. Drive this pin out with a punch or a equally sized philips head screwdriver and the lever should come right out. There may be a bracket on the side that requires removal prior to this swap, but I was relying heavily on the pics for reference for this write-up and they are no more. Here is a pic of what mine looks like now for reference.
    pic20.jpg
     
    Last edited: November 28, 2017
  4. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Now, I have heard of people, after finishing this swap, running the stock auto computer. I have also heard that, if you DO swap it out for a manual one, that you have to change some of the ports on it. I did neither. I replaced it, straight up, with a manual one from California (for smog purposes, you may want to research the rules and regs for your state regarding this matter), and it performs perfectly. No problems with the revs, sensors, signals, warning lights, nothing. the only thing I have yet to do is take out the wiring harness for the auto and install the correct one for the manual. The errors in doing what I have done are no back up lights, and no neutral safety. I'm not sure this is going to matter for me as I am the only one who drives this rig and I wired up a push button ignition anyway. The removal and install of the computers is straight forward, so if you can't do that part, you probably shouldn't be doing this swap!

    The removal and the installation of the pedals was the most challenging part for me, and thats only because I had a retard moment and didn't research the forums enough. Before you begin, it will help if you remove the panels and the hood release directly under the steering column. This should give you enough room to wiggle.
    pic21.jpg
    pic22.jpg
    pic23.jpg
    pic24.jpg
    To start,remove the round vacuum box that controls your cruise control under your hood on the driver side.
    pic25.jpg
    pic26.jpg
    You need to access the main wiring loom on the drivers side firewall under the hood. It has a 10mm bolt in the middle of it. Don't expect the bolt to come out because it doesn't, just loosen it until the loom is free.
    pic27.jpg
    pic28.jpg
    You will see the inside of the loom and little retaining clips on the outside diameter of it's housing. CAREFULLY push these inward until the loom falls into the cab.
    Next, remove the bolts that secure the parking brake to the side panel. This should allow you to move it aside so you have room to install the pedals.
    pic29.jpg
    pic30.jpg
     
    Last edited: November 28, 2017
  5. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    pic31.jpg
    On the left side of the brake pedal assembly, you will see a retaining pin that (on my rig, anyways) is pink or red. Needle nose pliers or a small screwdriver will allow you to pull it out. Pay attention to where it lands because you will need it!
    pic32.jpg
    There is also a sensor on your brake pedal you will need to remove before taking it out. Pay attention to how this is installed as I believe it sends a signal to your 4X4 module allowing it to engage 4 wheel drive. The rod that connects to the brake pedal should now be free to pull outward then off. Now, on the pass. side of the pedal assembly, there is a "C" style clamp that retains the rod the pedal rides on. Remove this once again with a flathead screwdriver and pay attention to where it lands as well. After this is finished, you should be able to slide the rod towards the drivers side kick panel and remove it completely. Installation of the new clutch and brake pedal is (obviously) the reverse of removal, with the exception of you will have to install the rod on the side of the clutch pedal for the clutch master cylinder. While you are down here, you will see a wire connector with a black cap on it. This is the male end of your neutral safety switch, among other things. Pull the cap off and discard. Note the connectors location for installation later in the swap. During the install of the new pedal assembly, it is a good idea to grease up the rod and all moving components with white lithium grease or a light coat of engine oil. Trust me, this step is worth it! Squeaky, annoying pedals are there long after the joy of short cuts is gone!

    Now, back to the under hood stuff!
    Next to the main wire loom that you took off for the pedal install, you will see a small metal plate with 2 bolts on either side. Remove the bolts and set them aside as you will need them in a minute. The plate you can discard.
    pic33.jpg pic34.jpg
    Take your new clutch master cylinder and insert it into the new hole and bolt the 2 bolts back in. Be careful when routing the plastic hose line from the master cylinder over the frame as it is really freakin' expensive to replace, plus it makes this job a whole lot harder to do since you will then have to bench bleed the master to get the air out.
    pic35.jpg pic36.jpg
    Just up and to the right from that, you will see another metal plate with 3 screws in it. The 2 dots in the middle are where your new clutch fluid bucket will be installed. ( yes I said bucket, I don't like using french words when referring to american cars, hence part of the reason for this swap! The a4ld was designed in france, just incase you didn't know.) Just use a small nail or something to that effect and push in the 2 small holes, and screw the assembly to the plate.
    pic37.jpg pic38.jpg pic39.jpg
    After you finish installing the clutch master cylinder, go ahead and plug the neutral safety switch plug that we talked about earlier into the receiver on the rod going to your clutch pedal.
    pic40.jpg
     
  6. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Getting close to finishing up this swap! Back underneath the rig we go!
    You will need to remove the stock flex plate and replace it with the new flywheel. To do this, remove the 8 bolts that hold the flex plate to the crank shaft and it should come off very easily. Make sure you have a bearing pressed in to the new flywheel before installing onto the crank! If you don't, or yours is bad, buy a new one before installation! You can use a socket of equivalent size to GENTLY tap it into place.

    Also, be sure and install the new MANUAL metal dust cover before installing the new fly wheel. It's not impossible to do later and it might end up falling out before final trans installation, but mine was a pain to get back in after all was said and done. Plus, if you do it now, you won't have to worry about forgetting it later.

    Secure the new flywheel onto the crank using the bolts you took off. Torque them to 30 ft. lbs. in a star pattern, then adjust to 52 ft. lbs. and do the same pattern.

    Your next step is going to be to install the clutch and pressure plate. Putting the clutch against the fly wheel first, then setting the pressure plate against it, loosely screw in the washers and bolts holding the pair to the fly wheel. You should have received a clutch alignment tool with your new kit.
    pic41.jpg
    Insert it into the grooves, pushing it as far inward as you can. You may have to turn it a little to get it to go all the way through. This will allow the teeth on the output shaft of the new trans to be perfectly aligned. With the tool in place, torque down the bolts to 15 ft. lbs. in a star pattern once more, then again to 24 ft. lbs. I used locktite on all of these bolts as 24 ft. lbs. didn't sound appealing to me. After you are finished torquing, remove the alignment tool and save for use when clutch removal is again necessary.

    You are now going to move to the new trans for prep. This part is fairly simple.
    Using the coupler housing off the old auto, install gasket between and install onto new manual trans, again with locktite. Now. with another gasket in place, mate the transfer case to the housing and tighten. Take the trans mount from the auto and bolt to the bottom of the manual, paying attention to which side the receiver hoop is on for installing the exhaust.
    pic42.jpg
    Now is also the time to change out your slave cylinder and throw out bearing. I HIGHLY recommend changing these out now as they are a P.I.A. to do later and they will be the first things to fail.

    The final assembly is now ready for installation. If you want to "spruce" your new manual trans up a bit, there are a couple of things you can do to help out with some headaches in the future. First thing is there are 3 rubber plugs on the backside of the shift rail cover on your manual. You can pull these out and replace them with the more "Structurally Sound" freeze plugs, available at most auto parts stores. The part numbers are: Dana #219-3052 or Doorman #555-108. When you remove the old rubber plugs, you can use the proper sized socket and a small hammer to tap these into place. The other thing to do, is replace the shifter bushing assembly underneath the shifter fork housing. I don't recall the part numbers, but I had to get mine from the stealership here in town. I thought I only needed one of the springs, so I only bought one for 8 bucks and some change, turns out I needed both, so when I went back a couple of days later, the price was 16 bucks a piece! Awesome right? Just buy everything at once and avoid an issue later.

    Assembly of the new manual to the 4.0 is quite the same as installation of the former trans. After the trans is mated to the engine and properly bolted up, jack up the rear of the assembly and secure the cross brace underneath the trans. You will need to connect the hydraulic line coming from the throwout bearing assembly on the side of the trans to the line from the master cyl. This is very easy, just push the male end into the female end and it will give a satisfying snap when connected properly. Now, take the time to install the new manual starter. It installs the same as the auto starter. Plug the wire loom back into the plug on the transfer case and re-connect the speedo cable. When you are finished with that, I would take the time now to re-install the driveshafts and the transfer case skid-plate.

    After you are finished buttoning up all the removed items first listed and re- connect the battery, you should now be able to fire up your newly transformed rig and go for a short test run. Pay close attention here, as there is usually something that was forgotten, or left behind. Listen for odd sounds that were not present before the swap. After your test run, go through the parts removed/replaced and make sure that they are all secure and properly torqued. Final step, ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR!!! You worked hard on this rig! Appreciate it and use it! Take it easy and Salute!
     
    Last edited: November 28, 2017
  7. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Parts List
    • M5OD Transmission
    • M5OD specific Starter Locating Plate/Block Plate
    • M5OD specific Starter
    • Bellhousing Bolts (M5OD Specific)
    • Clutch
    • Pressure Plate
    • Flywheel & Bolts (for your year vehicle)
    • Slave cylinder
    • Throwout bearing
    • Shifter
    • Pedal assembly
    • Clutch master cylinder and hydraulic line
    • Floor plate and shifter boot
    • Clutch pedal switch
    Other (not necessarily required but the "right" way to do it)
    • Manual Harness
    • Manual Computer (for your year vehicle)

    If you are like me and did not get the bellhousing bolts, then here is the bolts you need.
    • These are grade 10.9 bolts
      • top four bolts : 10-1.5x60mm
      • middle two bolts : 10-1.5x70mm
      • bottom two bolts: 10-1.5x75mm
    bolts for 4.0lcrop.png

    Read How to Swap the Clutch Pedal Here
     
    Last edited: December 14, 2017
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  8. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  9. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  10. mr cribb

    mr cribb US Army Retired Elite Explorer

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    Thank you for the bolt size information, because my local ford parts desk wasn't useful, nor were the countless threads saying (insert thread member) they would post back this very information and never did. I have probably spent the better part of a week searching the internet for bolt specific information, and somehow missed this thread altogether.

    I am going to do this very swap myself once I get all the required parts, which are now not all that many, but I did buy a transmission from an individual and naturally didn't any bolts for the transmission.

    Thanks again for the bolt size information.
     
  11. yostyexplorer94

    yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Good luck with the swap. I am glad my information is helpful. If you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to post them here.
     
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