A4LD vs. M50D-R1 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A4LD vs. M50D-R1


Active Member
August 29, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
gurnee, illinois
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 ford explorer eddie
Hey guys, well I was recently offroading with my 91 Explorer (5.5in suspension lift, 35in mud terrains, 4:88 gears and a detriot locker in the rear). I just had the engine replaced and the trans rebuilt about 8-10,000 miles ago. Anyway, I was hung up and was rocking her back and fourth and was about to break free, when I went to shift back into drive when all of a sudden nothing happened except a grinding noise. I already know whats wrong with it because I took it back to the shop where I had the trans rebuilt, and they said i broke the good ol' A4LD again! I am under the impression that in 91-94 the manual transmissions used in the explorers was the M50D-R1 and the automatics (mine) was the A4LD. Also I am under the impression that the M50D-R1 is stronger than the A4LD, does anyone know this to be true? I ask because there is a manual trans out of another 91 explorer thats close to where I live for sale on ebay. They still have the truck that the trans came out of, and I could pull off everything that would be necessary to do the swap from auto to manual. I was wondering if this would be at all beneficial to do in place of my automatic? Would I see any benefits or improvements from doing the manual swap instead of rebuilding the auto A4LD? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

M5OD is 100X better than an A4LD. I wouldn't even think twice about throwing that A4LD in the dumpster and doing an M5OD swap, you'll probably get better gas millage too.