Information About 5-Speed Transmission on a Ford F-150 1992by Rob Wagner
Mazda manufactured the M5OD-R2 five-speed manual transmission for the 1992 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The M5OD-R2 was the heavy-duty version of the M50D-R1, which transmitted power for the compact Ford Ranger, but was virtually identical in design. The 1992 F-150's five-speed transmission only came with trucks equipped with the 4.9-liter in-line six-cylinder engine or the 5-liter V-8.
The Ford Motor Company developed a partnership with the Japan-based Mazda Motor Corporation in the late 1960s and collaborated extensively in developing the compact Ford Courier pickup, which was a rebadged Mazda B-Series truck. In addition to the truck, Mazda provided mechanical components, including engines and transmissions, to Ford. In 1979, Ford acquired a 25-percent stake in Mazda. The partnership was particularly beneficial to Ford during the fuel shortages of the 1970s and a downturn in the economy in the early 1980s. Mazda provided efficient, durable components that kept costs down. During the 1980s, Ford relied heavily on a transmission produced not by Mazda, but the Michigan-based Borg-Warner Company. The Borg-Warner T-18 four-speed manual transmission was a heavy-duty cast-iron gearbox available for two- and four-wheel drive F-150s.
Enter the M5OD
In 1988, Ford equipped its F-150 trucks with the M5OD-R2 five-speed manual from Mazda. The designation stood for Manual, Five-Speed with Overdrive. R2 designated the transmission for heavy lifting compared to the lighter R1 model. The Borg-Warner T-18, which Ford used in its trucks since 1956, remained in Ford's transmission lineup until 1992. The Mazda M5OD-R2 was lighter and more efficient, but its service was limited to the venerable 4.9-liter straight-six or the 5-liter V-8. These two engines were the smallest of the 1992 F-150 lineups, which had also had the 5.8- and 7.5-liter gasoline V-8s and a 7.3-liter diesel V-8. The 4.9 Six was a big-block version of the old Falcon six-cylinder engines, and powered F-150s and commercial trucks since 1964. The 1992 F-150 4.9-liter version generated 145 horsepower. The 1992 5-liter V-8, which developed 185 horsepower, derived from the original 302-cubic-inch V-8s that originally powered the first-generation Mustangs.
The M5OD-R2 featured an extension housing, shift cover, integral bell housing and aluminum case. It was not much different from the M5OD-R1s, but it was slightly larger and had the shift lever mounted in the middle of the shift cover. Mazda produced the fully synchronized transmission for two- and four-wheel drive 1992 F-150s. When the 4.9-liter 300 ceased production in 1996, the Mazda converted the M5OD-R2 to adapt to Ford's modular 4.6-liter engines.
The M5OD-R2's gear ratios were substantially different from the Borg-Warner T-18. The Mazda transmission had a 3.91-to-1 first gear, 2.24-to-1 second, 1.49-to-1 fourth and a direct 1.00-to-0.20. In contrast, the four-speed T-18 had a 6.32-to-1 first, 3.09-to-1 second, 1.69-to-1 third and 1.00-to-1 direct gear fourth.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.