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About 5-6 years ago i was looking to rebuild the 4.0l in my Ranger. Every rebuild kit I saw or asked about was listed as 2 options "manual or auto trans". No one could tell me the difference and the prices were the same. I guess this was the difference.
But I can tell you I did a few auto to manual swaps in 4.0l trucks. One of them went atleast 150k miles without any bearing problems.