3.0 vs 4.0 bolt pattern | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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3.0 vs 4.0 bolt pattern


Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
January 14, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Fresno CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
86 ranger no more
This seems to be a pretty common question that gets asked on swaping motors and trannies. Here are a few pictures to show the difference between the two showing how they WILL NOT interchange with the tranny.

This picture is of a 4.0 bellhousing. You will notice the starter is on the driverside and the two top bolts on the bellhousing are about 3" apart.


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Here is the 3.0 tranny bolt pattern. You will notice that the starter is on the passanger side and the upper two bolts on the bellhousing are about 4.25" apart. you will also notice the starter uses 3bolts to hold it on.


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That was just part of the pile of light duty trannys they had. The shop usually does semi trannys rearends and driveshafts but they do a few small ones every now and then.

I can see the starter is on the other side

The picture shown is of a 2.0/2.3/2.5 tranny, the starter is still on the drivers side on a 3.0 engine the difference is the "lopsided" bell housing pattern and the fact that the starter is held on with three bolts instead of two like the 2.8/2.9/4.0(OHV)

The 2.0/2.3/2.5 also use a three bolt starter but they are mounted on the passenger side as shown in the picture.

FWIW I have my own stack of tranny cases, I frequently pillage the "core pile" at a local scrap ("scrap" as opposed to "junk") yard for some tranny parts.... FWIW I ONLY work on the Mazda tranny for the Ranger based vehicles as all the others are crap.

Bue even when I do grab trannies out of the junkyard they still
usually have something wrong with them....