5 speed to auto swap | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5 speed to auto swap


Well-Known Member
January 30, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Decatur Indiana
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 EXP XLT 4X4 4 DR
I am curious about putting a auto trans in my 93 sport that is currently a 5 speed. I am going to use this truck on and off road but for wheeling i prefer an auto. What trans would go dirrectly in? Has anybody done this before? I dont really trust the mazda tranny and mine already makes noise and seems to have a lot of play in it.

I really like this truck and want to keep it but would it be more economical to sell and just get one with auto trans? want to stay with a two door.

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If you don't trust your 5 speed I don't know how you're going to trust an A4LD, you're sacrificing a large amount of durability and reliability. With proper gearing it's not hard to off-road with a manual.

I think in the 5 or more years I've watched this site closely, you're only the second person I've seen going from a manual to an auto. Everybody always wants to go auto to manual. I'd find somebody that wanted a manual and trade trucks.

Im just hunting info. I have had 3 different trucks and another explorer with this transmission and had problems with everyone accept my last ranger and that was probably because it only had 70,000 miles and 2wd!

On the other hand i have several friends with autos in there explorers and only one has had trans problems and that was at 217,000 miles, and this truck has 33 inch tires and is mudded regularly.

That's surprising. I've had multiple rebuilds on my '91 and a complete rebuild of the '92 at 216,000 miles.

I went from a Mazda 5 speed to an A4LD years ago in my 88 BII
I too wanted the auto for towing and 4x4ing, I also believed the A4LD is a good transmission, getting a really bad wrap for whats actually a poor rebuild and installation (front pump seal especially).

from Ford and when rebuilt properly its not a bad transmission, keep it cool and it can have a full service life
However it is definatley a light duty transmission in a 4500# SUV and today there are far better options for your 4.0L
If you can live with 3 speeds the BUILT C5/4 is your absolute best option for a 4x4 rig

There are adapters (I think you can still get them) that allow the use of a full size auto trans behind your V6, but for many like myself, this becomes alot of power loss for the OHV and why not just use the V8 in front of it? similar time and money invested

If you decde the a4ld is a good choice for you, its not a difficult conversion, you will just need parts from a auto truck similar year as yours, and you will have to add 3-4 wires from your new auto computer to your transmission
Kick down cable, brake pedal assembly, clutch pos switch bypass, auto computer, trans wiring harness, starter, cooler, radiator, floor/column shifter will all be needed.
I used parts from a 93 explorer and a 88 bii for my conversion, even a floor shifter from a 84 bronco II to shift the A4LD
I went through 2 A4LD's in my BII before I pulled it and went V8, the second A4LD built by Transwerx in So Cal is still going strong in rangerx's explorer sport I believe

I also towed a 19" bayliner from CO to CA sitting on 33's and daily drove as well as wheeled the heck out of my bii with the a4ld, only the first one let me down, and I didnt competely kill it but it was acting up enough to get a replacement from transwerx, the second unit was stout, it stayed cool and shifted firm, even abused

I am considering a v8 swap down the road but this 4.0 runs like a champ and there isnt a reason to pull it right now. On the other hand, one of the rangers i had with the mazda junk in it, broke while wheeling one day. It actually broke a hole in the case from internal trans parts flying out!!

Dont want a repeat of that:thumbdwn:

how does the truck act with the fluid and vacume operated trans like the c4?