HELP! M5 Shift Rail Plugs | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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HELP! M5 Shift Rail Plugs


Well-Known Member
May 16, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
Ok, I've heard about the 3 plugs on top of the shift rail that fail, I'm having a bit of fluid leaking out from what seems the top of the M5 tranny. Now where the heck are these things??? I've looked around and see some stuff on the sides and bottom, but I can't see any part of the top of this thing... How the heck do you get to them, even to check them??? Also anyone know where you can get the replacement metal plugs.

I searched for this stuff, and found lots of threads talking about them, but no how-to or instructions or anything. I know they are supposed to be on top, behind the shift rails, kinda facing the rear or something...but I don't see a way to get to em! Or check em! Any ideas? I'll post a how to if I do this thing.

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Have to lower the crossmember to see them. Common fix is to replace the rubber plugs with steel cup plugs (like engine frost plugs). May have to pull the transmission to really do the fix.

Also, make sure you run the RIGHT oil. Many guys make the mistake of running gear oil. It takes auto transmission oil. Check the manual.

Hmmm..... Does anyone know if we can get to ours from the cab too? It looks like it should be almost right under the shift boot, unless I'm mistaken. I haven't had mine off, if anyone has let me know what's under there! LOL, I might just pull mine and see anyway!

You can get at them by just removing the shift boot and upper shifter. I just re-sealed mine last week by doing it that way. I used a flat screwdriver to pry them out. Then I degreased them, and then coated them with a bead of RTV after they dried. I used needle-nose pliers to lower them down and back into their holes. After letting them cure overnight I haven't had a leak since.

I'm glad I found this before I installed my transmission- plugs are ordered, will be installed Wednesday. I'd have hated to install it and then have to deal with it leaking everywhere.

Brian1, thanks for the post- saw a couple other tips on your page that I may try to knock out this weekend, as mud is a primary ingredient in most of the local trails.