How to Identify a Ford Ranger 5-Speed Transmission

by Cassandra Tribe

One of the problems that can arise when trying to identify the type of transmission in a Ford Ranger is that the 5-speed transmission in the Ranger is not made by Ford. The Ford Ranger 5-speed transmission is made by Mitsubishi or Mazda, and you may not be used to seeing its identifying marks. You can identify a Ford Ranger 5-speed transmission by learning how to spot the two transmission models used in the stock truck. This enables you to confirm that the truck you are buying isn't modified from the original specifications.

Look under the transmission at the bottom pan (where the transmission screen is) and count the number of bolts attached to the pan. A 12-bolt pattern is typical of the original Mitsubishi and Mazda transmissions made for the Ford Ranger.

Measure the extension housing. This is the portion of the transmission located past the bell housing and center part of the transmission. It is much narrower then the rest of the transmission unit and should measure 10 inches.

Locate the ID tag. Both the Mitsubishi and Mazda transmission units have a metal ID tag attached to the left side of the bell housing that is stamped with the Ford part number of the 5-speed transmission for your Ranger. On the Mitsubishi unit the ID tag will be made of red metal; on the Mazda unit the ID tag will be silver in color.

Identify the style of bell housing. Both types of transmission units have a closed bell housing on all-wheel-drive (AWD) models only. The bell housing on 2WD vehicles will be a half-style (not fully enclosed).

All the above identifiers will be present on an original 5-speed Ford Ranger transmission. Any transmission that is missing one of these identifiers is not considered to be original.

Tip

  • check A 5-speed transmission will have six gears (including reverse). Don't be confused by the difference in terms between the number of forward gears and the overall number of gears.

Warning

  • close Only replace transmissions with units rated for the engine size and gear ratio of your truck. Otherwise, improper gearing may cause the engine to work harder than it's designed for, resulting in wear and damage.

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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.