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dirt cheap built!

explorer redneck

Active Member
January 27, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
oldfort nc
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 xlt
finlly get to start on my ex. so far ive got 60 bucks in it. only thing is the a4ld is going bad.have a free set of 33x12.50. 17s. just needs rims. i was thinking of the 3in body with the 2in leveling kit. oh yea its got 3.27 gears so them bad boys has to go. any cheap ideas out there.

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As far as gearing, check a junkyard to possibly find a different ratio. Since the jeep crowd loves the ford 8.8 axle, check some of them to see if they have different gears.

I'd swap in a 5 speed since the auto is dying. Pull-a-part has some really good prices. I see you're in NC, there's one in Charlotte, and Winston-Salem. Foxracin swapped his dead auto trans for a 5 speed swap. I think it cost him less than $200.

ive thought about that. but dont u need the 5-speed computer with the 5-speed u take out. thanks for ur repley.

nope i swapped my auto for manual too you just need the brake pedal(cause its smaller),clutch pedal and lines,tranny wiring pigtail and the tranny. you can use stock computer and tranny mount and same xcase and drivelines

ive thought about that. but dont u need the 5-speed computer with the 5-speed u take out. thanks for ur repley.

honestly if you had some time to kill on here check out Fox's build because he almost has a step by step on how to convert from auto to manual. just click his link to his 91 explorer.

The only thing I've heard about the 5 speeds is some rail plug or something, I have no idea about it mine has almost 200k and shifts fine. My clutch needs replacement, but the trans works fine.

ya the shift rail, you need to go to ford and get the metal plugs there dirty cheap and well worth the time to do it

ok im lost on the shift rail. what in the world is that. lol

you can get aftermarket plugs, there is a thread about it with dorman part numbers, i recomend you search that if you go with the manual trans

The shift rail is a little metal rod inside the M5OD that the shift fork is attached to.

#21, 23, & 26 in the diagram are the shift rails and #20 & #22 are the shift forks. #14 are the shift rail plugs - there are 3 total. The stock rubber shift rail plugs deteriorate over time and shrink / become brittle and then they leak which causes the transmission to lose ATF (the M5OD uses ATF, not gear oil like most manual transmissions) over time. To remedy this, people install freeze plugs (like you use on an engine) in the shift rail holes since they don't leak like the rubber plugs do.

Also, you can use an automatic ECU with a manual transmission, but it's not ideal. If you're going to snag a manual setup out of a donor vehicle, spend the extra 5 minutes and couple bucks to grab the ECU. You'll thank yourself later.

ah cool thats a idea ive never heard about. lol the new things u learn every day. thanks a lot guys.