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How to Replace a Manual Transmission

for the 1986 Ford Ranger XL 12 Cyl 6.5L and related vehicles change
  • Transmission Assembly


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Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

Secure the vehicle on a level surface. Making sure that the vehicle will not roll or lean when you are jacking it up.
Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Wrap the cable end with a rag to prevent a short circuit in the electrical system.
Engage the parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent vehicle from rolling back when lifting the front of the vehicle.
Use a jack to lift the front of the vehicle to a comfortable working height.
Secure the vehicle with jack stands on both sides for safety before starting any work. Do not rely on the jack to hold the vehicle up while working.
Support the engine with a hoist (recommended) or place a jack stand under the oil pan.

Note: If using a jack, use a piece of wood in between the oil pan and jack to spread the load and prevent damage to the oil pan.
Remove the shifter boot's retaining screw and lift the shifter boot to access the shifter lever's mounting bolts. Remove the shifter lever's mounting bolts then remove the lever with the shifter boot still attached so that transmission will clear when it is being lowered.
Disconnect the speedometer cable. Label wire connectors for installation reference and remove them from the transmission unit.
Make a match mark line on the rear drive-shaft flange and the pinion flange since they will need to be lined up upon re-installation. Remove the drive-shaft by unbolting the U-Joints.
Loosen the adjusting nut on the rod then disconnect the clutch release cable from the clutch release lever or disconnect the hydraulic lines from the throw-out bearing.
Unbolt the starter from the housing on the engine. If disconnecting the electrical connections, be sure to mark which terminals the wires were removed from.
Place a transmission jack under the transmission and slightly support the transmission with some pressure.
Remove the transmission mount to transmission mounting bolts.
Remove the transmission cross member from the frame by removing the mounting bolts.
Remove the transmission bell housing to engine mounting bolts. Slightly lower the transmission jack to access all the mounting bolts.
With the transmission free from the engine, lower and pull back the transmission jack with the transmission attached. Once the transmission clears the engine, lower the transmission jack all the way and remove the bad transmission from under the vehicle.

Special Tip:
While the transmission is removed from the vehicle is the ideal time to inspect and replace clutch components. If they are not in near new or perfect condition, now is the time to replace them due to the amount of work to gain access. Imagine how "disappointed" you will be if the clutch needs repair two weeks later.

With the transmission overhauled and back on the transmission jack, lift it back into position and insert the main shaft into the clutch. Make sure that the mounting bolt holes and alignment dowels line up. Re-install and torque the transmission to engine mounting bolts 30-40 ft. lbs.
Raise the transmission (if necessary) and install the cross-member. Re-install and tighten the cross-member's mounting bolts.
Lower the transmission until the weight is supported by the mount. Re-install and tighten the mounting bolts.
Install the starter and re-install the mounting bolts. Torque the mounting bolts 16-20 ft. lbs. and re-install the electrical wiring as labeled.
Re-install all other component in reverse order of removal and remove the engine hoist.
Re-install the shifter lever and shifter lever's mounting bolts. Lower the shifter boot into position and install the retaining screws.
Fill the transmission with the recommended fluid type until the fluid starts to flow out of the fill hole.

Note: Use SAE 80 gear oil on 4-speed or 5-speed Mitsubishi transmissions and use Mercon automatic transmission fluid on 5-speed Mazda transmissions.
Re-install and torque the fill plug to 30 ft. lbs. Also make sure to check that the drain plug is proper tight, torque the plug to 30 ft. lbs.
Adjust the clutch (if applicable) and lower the vehicle to the ground.
Start the vehicle and pump on the clutch and brake pedal to make sure that they are both functioning properly.
Road test vehicle to make sure that the transmission shifts and drives properly with no slipping or disengaging. Adjust the clutch as necessary (if applicable) after the road test.
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