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Manual Trans Swap


Well-Known Member
August 1, 2012
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1998 explorer 4dr ohv
Hello, I had gotten a few requests from other threads I posted to write up a thread on my swap. I didnt intend to do a detailed swap so I do not have many pictures but I hope this helps someone! I bought an 02 explorer sport, from what i have read and what I have seen the sport is the same as a 2nd gen so that why im posting it here.

Below is a list of what you need with the part numbers that I could find with what i think the prices were.

M5od-r1(HD preffered) - $300 pulled from scrap yard (02 ranger), if you can get one that was attached to a SOHC.

Manual Block plate - on ebay the part number is #1L5Z-7007-AA $65 this is necessary trust me I tried using the auto block plate

Clutch kit - there are many options so i wont list the part numbers.

Flywheel - there are two options a single or double mass fly wheel, single is $50 double is $800 guess which one i went with...

Slave Cylinder - I went with a Luk branded one from rockauto.

Rhino Pak prebled hydraulic line and master cylinder - Amazon $70

Manual starter - Amazon $50 <-- you should buy a better one I doubt this will last long

Clutch pedal assembly - $160 You can get this cheaper at a yard if they are available.

8 M10X1.50 bolts about 70mm long. The auto bell housing bolts are not the same for the manual, you can reuse 2 but the rest are too short.

RTV or a new gasket for the Transfer case to extension housing connection.

So here is a basic run down of what I did, most of this has been covered before so I'll skip some details and focus on what I had trouble finding reliable info on.

1. remove the transfer case and from drive shaft bolts at the trasnfer case. I left the rear drive shaft attached and the front drive shaft attached to the front axel. The bolts were seized and its not really necessary to remove this. Once the transfer case is removed and you have been showered in transmission fluid go find a beer, you did good.

2. Remove the transmission cross member and let the weight of the trans tilt the engine down (slowly).

3. Remove and disconnect all wiring harness/o2 sensors.

4. You do NOT need to remove the exhaust to get the trans out.... but you should it will make your life a million times easier. Once you have access use your 3 ft extension with a swivel to remove the two bottom bell housing bolts and the two on the side. Note: to get easier access at the two lower bolts you can remove the oil pan on the trans and the valve body. If you do this you will once again be covered in trans fluid.

5. Go into the car and remove the center console. Good luck, I'm sure someone will chime in with a straight forward easy way to remove it but I couldn't figure it out and removed about 40 bolts and screws. Thanks to Turdle here is that straightforward easy way! Once it comes out remove the access plate and have someone guide the extension from the access plate while the other person is under neath wrench the bolts.

6. One of my bolts were seized so I drilled up from the bottom to cut the bolt in half. Why you may ask did I go that way? I though if I took a grinder and cut the head of it off it would allow the trans to slide back. I was mistaken. After a few hits with the air hammer it broke free.

7. Once this is out you need to remove the torque converter and the freewheel. I found it much easier to remove the trans and torque converter separately. How difficult you choose to make this job is up to you! Enjoy! :) On my ex the bolts holding the Flywheel in where star heads (another trip to lowes). Save these bolts, some say they are different for the flywheel, I couldnt find a definitive answer so I reused them.

8. Install the flywheel and toque to spec in the haynes manual. Install the clutch kit and slide the trans on and bolt up. Dont forget to put the NEW slave cylinder on!

9. Install the starter (possibly the hardest part of the entire job for me lol). Install the old trans mount on the new trans and install the cross member. Before you bolt the cross member to the frame install the transfer case.

10. You will have the wiring harness from the auto hanging still, You can install a manual harness and have the computer reprogrammed for a manual. I didnt do that for financial reason but will eventually. The following info is taken from BonesDT trans thread linked below. on the connector that goes to the shift sensor connect the pink and tan/red wires. Connect red/white and black wires. Connect white/black, yellow/black and grey/red wires together and connect all of them with a 270 ohm resister to the light blue/yellow wire. He has more detailed info in why you do that and some other things that he did. Thats all I did for now to get it to work. Heres the link.

11. Make sure there is fluid in the trans, most scrap yards will drain it.

12. Connect the reverse sensor to the harness using the manual connector (splice the wires)

Note: If you do this the way I did you will NOT have any of the Netural Safety Functions, meaning it will try to start in gear with out the clutch pedal pushed.

13. Remove the brake pedal assembly. This is a pain. The 4 bolts that hold it the brake booster come out easily. The two that hold it to the firewall will not come out easily. With a 3/8th swivel you should be able to get the passenger side bolt. The driver side bolt needs to be removed with a wrench.... about a 1/16 of a turn at a time. Enjoy!

14. Once you have that out remove the brake booster from the car. This probably isnt necessary but after spending an hour removing one bolt you wont need any more frustration. Install the new pedals the same as you removed the old ones. Before you reinstall the brake booster install the clutch master cylinder. You shouldn't need to drill and or cut any new holes. Find the shift cable for the automatic and punch out the hole where it goes through the firewall. This is where the master cylinder will go. In order to get the master cylinder to go into the clutch pedal assembly you need to put it in square and then turn it so it seats. This will cause some frustration but be careful not to break it.

15. Once you have that in reinstall the brake booster and connect the hydraulic line to the slave cylinder.

16. Start it up and try it out. Mine worked on the first attempt which is a first with these kind of projects.

17. To tidy the project up pack the wires into an electrical approved box, and remove the oil cooler lines and fill tube.

You will have multiple check engine codes most of which are no longer relevant.

As I said this is just a brief overview as there are more detailed threads on the subject. Just wanted to point out some of the things I learned that I couldn't find info on. If anyone has any questions let me know, happy to help


Hey thanks! No problem it was a good learning experience! :p