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Strange 5 Speed Conversion - Will it Work?

PAUL161

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I have a 1986 Ford Ranger pick up with a 5 speed transmission in it. While servicing it the other day, and looking at the overall size of it, it sure looks like it would fit in an MG conversion. Even a T series. Haven't researched the bell housing yet. Great transmission, mine has over 200,000 miles on it and still shifts like new. I wouldn't destroy my Ranger, but I'd be interested in one from a junk yard. Anyone ever try this arrangement? PJ
 

JPSmit

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sounds interesting! I know a transmission guy also talked about one from a Courier - but those are thin on the ground. Keep us posted.

It does have an integral bellhousing which may be an issue
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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JP, The 86 Ranger 2 wheel drive came with two different 5 speed transmissions. I don't know the reason for this. One had an integral bell housing and the other had a bolt on. One was a Toyo-Kogyo and the other I think was a Miata. Could be wrong on the Miata. I am definitely going to look into this further. PJ
 

CZ_Dave

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There is a Place out here
Kennedy Engineering (KEP)
Makes custom flywheels & clutchs
In Palmdale. They make all kinds of conversions.
Just FYI for you to keep in mind.
 

JPSmit

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CZ_Dave said:
There is a Place out here
Kennedy Engineering (KEP)
Makes custom flywheels & clutchs
In Palmdale. They make all kinds of conversions.
Just FYI for you to keep in mind.

They do Subaru conversions for VW vans don't they?
 

CZ_Dave

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JPSmit said:
CZ_Dave said:
There is a Place out here
Kennedy Engineering (KEP)
Makes custom flywheels & clutchs
In Palmdale. They make all kinds of conversions.
Just FYI for you to keep in mind.

They do Subaru conversions for VW vans don't they?


They do those and more.
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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If I can find one of those transmissions around here, within driving distance, for a reasonable price, I'm going to buy it. I don't even care if it's just the housing and input shaft. I have a couple 1800 engines and could use one of them to see what would have to be done to convert it, if possible. The Ford and Datsun transmissions that are used now work very well and are expensive no doubt. With all the transmissions out there, I see no reason why some other models aren't compatible for converting. Ford also used a transmission in the Ranger that had a removable bell housing. I believe it is a Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi and Mazda were used in the Rangers. Ford didn't make their own transmissions for them. Both of these 5 speed transmissions are fully synchronized, including reverse. PJ
 

JPSmit

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For what it is worth, I was reading this the other day. It's a Retro Rides Thread about fitting a new engine to an Anglia - Obviously the engine and car are different but the process is very cool! and well illustrated.
Transmission adapting
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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I would say that is a true version of a SLEEPER! Interesting though. There is a company here that will cut anything out of steel or aluminum with a computerized water cutter. All you have to do is take them a template of your project. The water jets cut, or should I say part, the steel with extreme precision and every cut looks polished. Pretty cool! PJ
 

billspohn

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Using a truck transmission in a sports car can be a serious mismatch, given that the truck usually comes with a bull-low first gear, not exactly what is called for in the sports car.

Better to research various Japanese small sedans - some of the Toyota boxes are compact, for instance.
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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Bill, The transmission in my Ranger isn't geared low on first. I don't believe it's a number or two different than our MGB. The ratios are pretty close and 5th is 0.85. Actually, first might be a tad higher than the B, haven't checked actual ratios yet. That would be good for a stump puller rear ratio of 4.8 where first in the *T* transmission is worthless. When I find out which one has a removable bell housing, I'll check further. PJ
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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I've come to the conclusion that the Ford Ranger 5 spd transmission isn't a good candidate for conversion, but found another one that is. A BW T-5, used in a variety of vehicles, one the Chevy S-10 pickup. Physical size looks right, it is light in weight, will take a fair amount of torque, has removable bell housing and different tail shaft housings. It has been around long enough that parts are readily available just about everywhere. I found one converted for an MGB. If the T-5 can be mounted without any chassis modifications, it's worth looking into. I'm not sure if a T-9 bell housing will fit a T-5, but I'm looking. PJ
 

billspohn

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The T5 is s nice trans, but same caveat - don't use one out of an S10 or you'll have a low first gear with a big split to second (usually 4.03 to 2.37)

I use the version out of a V8 car that has a much nicer 2.95 first gear, and a bonus long OD 5th speed ratio.
 
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PAUL161

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Thanks Bill, glad you told me that. Makes it even more interesting. PJ
 

billspit

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Beware there are many flavors of T-5 transmissions and all do not take a lot of torque. THe ones in the S-10 have poor ratios for a car. Look for one from a V6 Camaro.
 

billspohn

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The V8 versions have even better ratios and higher torque capacity. The T5 in my Jamaican came from a Camaro behind a 305.
 
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PAUL161

PAUL161

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Thanks again Bill. This is getting more & more interesting.
 
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The thing that normally stop people in their track when it comes to making a given 5 speed tranny workm in a given car, say like a MGB is the custom mmachine work involved. The Rivergate Datsun 280Z MGB 5 speed conversion uses a speical custom made engine back plate, a modified early MGB flywheel to put a Datsun starter, a aftermarket slave cylinder, a custom made clutch disc, and a custom made pilot bushing. David Headley does a 5 speed kit for the MGB using the Borg Warner T5 using Mustang and Camaro bellhousing, a speical made rear engine palte, a custom clutch disc, and some itme and need the chassis relieved to make room for the large gear box. The T9 I sell and other is really nice kit and includes a gaurateed gearbox, and has special cast bellhousing that is a exact copy of the front bellhousing section of original MG gearbox, so on a MGB the T9 kit uses all stock MGB clutch parts. and of course all these unit require a custom driveshaft.

Ok that being said, if the transmssion you choose has a intergrated bellhousing in t design like a MGB gearbox , it needes to fit the chassis and, have a special custom made engine back palte, then it come down to input sahft length and diamet wroking with the given engine you are working with, if it require you modify the input sahft, then you already are headiong in the worng direction. if the gear box has a bolt on bellhousing like the T5 or T9, and the sotck one for that doesn not work, you going to have to make a bellhousing, this is not a project for the weak of heart, I done this before on Midget engine to make a custom bellhousing to work on engine dyno with a MG midget A series engine, it was alot of work, I know Bob White has done the same thing with a T5 kit he made for himself on a MGB using a MGB bellhousing section off the MGB gearbox, same sort of thing i did with the Midget.

Long story short, nothing just bolts up, and if the input shaft length and diameter is not right, then it will not work without internal transmission mods, meaning it can't be reproduced for others easily. So you're going to have to a be cracker jack tool and die machinist or be real good friend with one, or you'll probalby spend as much money to get a new kit going as buying one the already existing ones. Moast peopel that have tried this that had to rely on paying a tool and die machinist have said they spent $2500 or so, which gets you real close the best engineered kit out there, the T9 kits,and of course if you're basing this on a junkyard gearbox, that can always be a roll of the dice as well.

In closing, it's not a project that can't be done, thats how all these kits were developed in the first place, but very specialized machining will be involved as well as custom made parts, and low volume design machine work is not cheap, The guys who made the kits for the masses had to sell quite a few of them to ever see a profit after their initial investment. Of course some people design these kit better than others, and IMHO Peter Gambrell who designand had all the piece made up for the T9 kits was a very samrt cookie, he designed the kit ot be simple and rely on stock parts that would be easy form the person to get down the line, where some of the kits use special made parts that the supply will dry up for over time, nothing would be more depressing to find out 3 years after you got a oddblal 5 speed kit is now you can't buy the custom made clutrch disc for,and now you have to paly engineer to just reclutuch your car. Sometime it is just best to just pay the money, get the good stuff, and move on, rather than reinvnet the wheel, unless of course you are tool and die machinsit with full machine shop at your disposal and really good at design, which some of the folks that made certain kit were not.
 
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