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Discussion Starter #1
My trans finally went out in my 4.0 4x4, so I decided now was the perfect time to try out an idea I had been tossing around. My truck has 3.73's with 33's, not as low as I would like, but better the 3.27's it came with. The 3.73's are nice on the highway though, and I drive 150 miles one way every weekend to and from school.

I was looking at the gear ratios for the M50D and I noticed that the 4.0 version is geared higher in first. second and third than the 2.5, 2.3, and 3.0 versions.

3.40 / 2.05 / 1.31 / 1.00 / 0.79 (4.0L Engines)
3.72 / 2.20 / 1.50 / 1.00 / 0.79 (All Other Engines)

Having a 3.72 first gear and 3.73 rear end will be like the having the original 3.40 first and the 4.10 rear end I wish I had, but 4th and 5th will remain the same and will make nice highway gears.(something I would lose with 4.10's outback, but eventually when I bump to 35's I will gear down to 4.56's or 4.10's)

I did a little math to figure the final crawl with the hybrid M50D
(first/sec/third all in low range)
34.41/20.35/13.88 (Hybrid M50D w/ 3.73 rear end)
34.57/20.84/13.32 (Stock 4.0 M50D w/ 4.10 rear end)

In third gear I will actually have lower final crawl than the stock 4.0 M50D w/ 4.10's :yahoo:

So I bought a 2wd 2.5 trans out of a totaled 99 ranger with less than 100K, but a 2.5 isnt direct swap into a 4.0 since the bell housing bolt patterns are different.

I pulled all the internals out of my 4.0 case and slipped all the gears, syncros,and bearings off ouf the output shaft and did the same with the 2.5 trans. I put all of the 2.5 gears and syncros and new bearings on the 4.0 shaft. (4x4 and 2wd trannies have different output shafts) I put the 2.5 counter shaft and the 4.0 output with new gear stack back into the 4.0 case.

If you were able to find a 4x4 3.0, 2.5, or 2.3 there would be no need to swap output shafts and the job would be a whole lot easier, but 2wd 4 bangers are a loet easier to find not to mention cheaper.

4.0 4x4

2.5 2wd

4.0 internals

2.5 with tail housing removed

gears, gears, and more gears!!!

the 4x4 shaft is the one w/o any gears on it

empty 4.0 case


Here are some side by side shots of the two cases


I snapped some pics of the shift forks that I pulled out of the 4.0 trans. They have about an 1/8 inch ground out of them.



The complete 2.5/4.0 Hybrid M50D

My tailgate made the perfect place to stand up the trans and bolt it down while I torqued the counter shaft and output shaft nuts.

I put it in the truck and took a test drive, it engages smoothly into all gears and is a lot quiter than my last tranny that had aluminum shavings for lubricant:icon_twisted:

The shifter from an older M50D and a newer one cant be interchanged. The base with the wedge bolt is clocked 90* and the newer shifter is about an inch further back. Which of course was enough to hit my center console when I shifted into 4th and reverse, so I made a temporary shifter to hold me over until I can get my Hurst in there.:icon_twisted:

old on the left and new on the right


I suppose a 2.9 M50D probably has the same gearing as my hybrid and would be a direct bolt in, but what fun would that be? Not to mention low miliage 2.9's are hard to find, and it seems like any 4x4 trans is 100 bucks more than a 2wd. I have heard the 98+ M50D's are supposed to have and improved lining in the syncros as well.

-plumcraz
 

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Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

dude, another amazing post!
 

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Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

I would if I knew how... LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

I figure if enough useful info gets posted up the site will gain reputation and we can get some more members.

-plumcrazy
 

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Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

very good point... that is really what attracts members.

For now, every tech article that is written will be made a sticky in it's appropriate category. I will try to create a tech section, but it will need to be made from scratch so it may take a couple months.
 

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Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

for sure!

I'm going to be doing one soon too. I'm going to save my Bronco II from the RBV graveyard that is my parent's house this week while I'm off work ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

I have one on TRS. I may do a nice long project log on my build, but that sounds like a lot of work.lol I think I will just take bits and pieces of my build thread on TRS and use them in different sections on here. I have pretty much covered my whole build in different sections on here.

-plumcrazy
 

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Re: 2.5/4.0 M50D Hybrid

I deffinently wouldn't argue there, it seems complicated and it is completly custom. Only thing I see that would be close would be ordering a custom tranny.
 
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