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For all you M5OD swappers. . .

JC3006

Member
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
30
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City, State
Kentucky
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Explorer Sport
Hey guys. I'm debating an M5OD swap sometime later this year, but I want to get all my ducks in a row before I even consider it. I have a 91 Sport A4LD/1354E which I've been slowly rebuilding. The trans still does "OK" but I'm starting to drive this truck farther and farther away from home on little roadtrips, and the aging slushbox is always in the back of my mind. . . I hate the thought of being broken down and stranded.

Anyway, I picked up a cheap 94 Sport for parts, with M5OD and 1354E. It has 150K miles, runs great and SEEMS to shift good as well (it is complete minus the rear differential, so I can't actually test the trans).

My question concerns the ECM. I know I can't use the 94 ECM in my 91 truck, but the major issue is that I simply can not located a 91 manual ECM anywhere near here. I work at a NAPA Auto, and I would typically just order a "new" remanufactured ECM, but there is a whole laundry list of possible ECM calibration codes, and I'm not sure where to start.

F17F-VA
F2PF-ZA
F07F-ZA
F17F-XA
etc, etc, etc. . .

I assume some this concerns power windows/locks, Electric shift Tcase, Cruise Control, etc. . . Does anyone know how to read/decipher the factory ECM codes?

Also, it will get a new LUK clutch kit and all new clutch hydraulics. Is the metal 1991 style Slave Cylinder preferable, or the plastic bodied 1994 stye? Also would you guys recommend LUK hydraulics or stick with new OEM ford parts? In recent years I M5OD swapped a Bronco II, which was fairly easy, so I'm no stranger to this, but I wasn't nearly as particular about the BII. This truck is very special to me, reliability is KEY, and I want it to look/perform like it was a 5 speed from the factory, no shortcuts on this one.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks a bunch for any help.

Explorer.jpg
 



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I don't think you will have an issue using the stock automatic ECM with the manual transmission. It's when you go the other way that there would be issues.

Hopefully someone else can confirm that.
 






You can use an auto PCM. You will need to tie the neutral position switch of the manual into the park neutral position harness of the auto. The PCM will also throw 2 or 3 codes at you, basically dealing with the TCC lockup and 3/4 OD that it will no longer see.

Also, from experience, the engine will idle higher with the manual since it is tuned to compensate for the load of the torque converter. Fortunately these PCM's are pretty dumb so as long as you don't mess with any sensor directly related to the engine (which you shouldn't need to do), it'll run just fine with the manual.

If you can find a 92 manual PCM, that will also work. The ones that are the hardest manual PCMs to source are for the non Cali '93s (2 O2 sensors, no EGR, no Camshaft positions sensor, different PWM for the injectors, no barometric sensor), so you can't use a 91,92, or 94.

Also, Ford sourced LUK clutches for the manuals, so they are OEM without the Motorcraft markup.
 












I ran the 1994 auto factory computer with my m5od for several years and there were no ill effects. I swapped a 1994 manual ecu out of a 2 door sport and I personally did not notice any change in engine idle or engine braking. Others have reported a difference though so your results may not be the same. In my experience, you can definitely and reliably run the auto computer. It will always have (if I remember correctly) two "soft" codes that are visible with a code scanner. They Do Not turn on the check engine light. I ran like that for years.
I had read that the "soft" codes can be corrected by removing two solenoids from the auto trans and wiring them in to "trick" the computer to thinking everything is copacetic. I never found it necessary so I did not try it.

If you have not read through this thread, al4d to m5od swap it is worth a read. It should have most everything you need to know. I fixed all the pictures awhile back so they should be there.
 






yes you can use resistors to fool the pcm into thinking the auto is still present and remove the"soft codes"
DO NOT USE CHEAP HYDRAULICS
LUK or FORD only.........
 






I sort of did this in my Bronco 2, installed a 1994 4.0 from an Explorer parts rig I have, that had a bad A4LD, bought a M5OD, and converted it. I used a ECM from a 1994 Explorer with a M5OD, Part #s F47F-12A650-KB or F47Z-12A650-KB, with Federal emissions. If you need a CA emission one, look for a F47F-12A650-CTA, or F47Z-12A650-CTA. The part numbers can be found on Rock Auto's site. I bought mine on EBAY, but you can also look on Car-Part.com.
 






I also used an auto trans ECM on a 4.0 swapped Ranger I built a few years ago... it came from a '94 Explorer and I put an M5OD behind it. Worked fine other than the codes present - may be a problem if you have to pass emissions but won't affect how it runs.

I'm not sure why there are so many variants of ECMs available. I'm guessing there were simply a lot of revisions made to the software, probably early ones (F0xxxxx) mid year (F1xxxx) and late 91's (F2xxxx.) Functionally they are all probably very similar, just a matter of finding one for your vehicle that is programmed for a manual trans... any '91, '92 manual trans 4.0 ECM should work.
 






I appreciate all the replies. A couple more quick questions:

If I run the auto computer, will the idle speed be the same as the auto idle speed in Neutral/Park? Could I theoretically unhook the auto trans connections and see if the truck still runs ok?

Also, does the Electric shift TCase have any bearing on the ECM calibration? I know that the Eshift system has it's own little computer behind the rear left interior panel, but if I remove all that and switch to a BW1354 manual shift, will the ECM detect missing components?

I really want to do this one right. The high idle doesn't bother me too badly, but I don't want a CEL at all. Thanks again folks. Hope everybody is staying safe these days.
 






The Electronic transfer case has its own module inside drivers rear fenderwell. If i remember correctly had one wire that controls it from the transmission. All the transmission does is ground said when in neutral to allow low range.

Completely separate from ecm.

The starter circuit also is seperate from the ecm
 






Sorry i didn't read your post thoroughly lol. There will be no check engine lights for any thing you do to the transfer case.
 






Here's parts and part numbers I've used and have had excellent luck with on my 93' sport - this is also what I used when I replaced my clutch in march of this year. My truck has always been a manual though.

LUK RepSet Clutch -07096- was around $86 from Rock Auto - comes with alignment tool, pressure plate, and clutch disc + spline lube
FelPro BS40419 Rear Main Seal - $15-20 off RockAuto IIRC
Ford Motorcraft 9L5Z-7A508-A - it's the newer plastic version, came in a Ford Motorcraft branded box - $45.00 off E-bay
Power Torque PTQ CM1281 Master Cylinder - I've got almost 100,000 on mine. It's metal and has a metal push-rod. $64.00 from Oreilieys
Valvoline Long Life Mercon/Dextron ATF - I used the whole bottle before it dripped out of the fill hole - $30.00 for 5 Quarts.
 






Consider an upgrade:
In 1997 the SOHC engine came out in 2000 the Ranger had the sohc engine and a 5 speed.
The clutch got much larger
The sohc and ohv 4.0 use similar flywheel.
So anytime I do a clutch on a OHV 4.0 I will modify the 4.0 OHV flywheel, you have 6 holes drilled and machined and you can run the SOHC clutch
The SOHC clutch will give you a WAY BETTER pedal feel, way more grip, and last alot longer behind the OHV
The 1989-1997 OHV flywheel needs to be machined with 6 new holes
The 98-2000 OHV engine just needs to bolt on a SOHC flywheel. 98-2000 OHV engine have an 8 bolt crank, just like 97-14 SOHC engines do

Order a clutch for a 2004 Ranger Edge 4.0 SOHC and 5 speed, the clutch is a bit more expensive, but that is because it is a better clutch
Same slave cyl, same master cyl, same trans, etc
 






I know this thread is a bit dated, but I had to respond. I found it as a google search result after looking for a manual trans PCM part number. I had to do a double take on the poster's pic. It's nearly exactly the same as my first Explorer and the poster is in KY. Hopefully JC3006 is still active? If you see this, hello from NKY! I had to post pics of my blue 92 XL 2 door to compare to yours. Its not nearly as nice as your truck and never was in my ownership. I bought it in 2002 and it's got a lot of rust in it now. The only straight body panel is the driver's door. It's been wheeled, rolled once and hit 3 times. (one of which caused the dent in the tailgate. I had to get another bumper). These photos are nearly 20 years old! A before lift pic and after lift, flexing pics.

IMG_20220108_151748674.jpg IMG_20220108_151903237.jpg IMG_20220108_151921660.jpg
 






JC3006, have you completed the manual swap? When I swapped a manual transmission in my 91 aerostar van, I used an ecm from a ranger.
 






Hi guys,

It’s cool to see that this old thread still gets viewed once I’m a while. I actually just created a new mini-build thread! I haven’t swapped in the M5OD yet, as the slushy old A4LD is still holding up (although downshifts are getting harsher and reverse is taking longer).

I did find a (hopefully) correct ‘91 Manual ECM, so I’ve got everything I need. Other than the time!

On a side note, has anyone done the 4cyl gear swap to get the lower 1-3 gears? How do you like it?
 






Looks good man, you're going through it right. Its too bad they don't make 2 dr doglegs.
 






Hi guys,

It’s cool to see that this old thread still gets viewed once I’m a while. I actually just created a new mini-build thread! I haven’t swapped in the M5OD yet, as the slushy old A4LD is still holding up (although downshifts are getting harsher and reverse is taking longer).

I did find a (hopefully) correct ‘91 Manual ECM, so I’ve got everything I need. Other than the time!

On a side note, has anyone done the 4cyl gear swap to get the lower 1-3 gears? How do you like it?
I did it on mine. 3.0 and 2.9 internal work too. It was a decent improvement while it lasted, I started having issues with it popping out of 1st gear so I went through the trans again and had the same problem after 2000 miles.

My buddy did it at the same time I did and his has held up well. It's basically the equivalent to going from 3.50s to 3.73s... or 3.73s to 4.10s, one jump in axle gear ratio but only in 1, 2 and 3. Highly recommend it.
 






I did the 2.3/3.0 gearset swap, you'll definitely feel the shorter ratios. FYI the shorter gear set is significantly smaller and thinner than the 4.0 set. I don't know what the long term reliability detriment is yet.... 5k miles on my swap.
 



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Good info you guys!
 






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