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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2014, 04:40 PM
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Stevaroo01 Stevaroo01 is offline
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Manual or Automatic Transmission?

I'm currently shopping for an F150 of the 1987-1996 range. My ideal setup would be a 300 straight six with a manual transmission and an eight foot bed. Anyway, in the process of shopping around, I am beginning to notice, to my chagrin, that there don't seem to be a whole lot of 5-speed trucks out there. Or if they are, folks are holding on to them. I know Ford discontinued offering manual transmissions in the F150 sometime in the mid-2000's (07-08 maybe?), but I was under the impression that they were pretty common before that, at least in the date range I mentioned.

So, while I continue my hunt, I'm curious... how many of you are driving manual transmissions versus automatics? When you bought your truck, was that a deciding factor, or did you just find the truck you liked and take whatever transmission it came with?

And one more questions for anyone who may know... in that date range, how many different types of manual tranny's did Ford offer? Was it the same one for each of the engines, or did each engine option have a different manual mated to it? I've seen a few folks mention that they've swapped manual to auto or vice versa... besides the obvious physical transmission swap, how much is involved with switching from automatic to manual?

Sorry for all the questions. Main question was more or less a poll to see who drives what. I'm loving this forum! Thank you all for the info and help you provide on here!
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2014, 04:59 PM
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I ended up buying an automatic but I'd much rather have a manual. The stick shift trucks were few and far between and were either high mileage or too expensive, or both. There definitely seems to be a premium on the manuals. I do want to swap a stick into my truck when I do my cab swap though. It all depends on the person, but I'm much happier driving a manual truck.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2014, 07:42 PM
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I prefer a manual transmission, but unfortunately (as you discovered) they ain't so common. I think it's ridiculous that Ford don't offer a stick anymore. They claim that sales were way down on those models, so who knows.

As for what I drive, well when I went looking for my current truck I had a pretty specific set of requirements. It HAD to be a Supercab 4x4 with the 351, and I would have preferred manual 4x4, manual transmission, and XLT trim level.

What I ended up buying had everything I wanted EXCEPT manual 4x4 and manual trans but she also came with a few awesome extras which are Captain's chairs and rubber flooring. It's an XLT like I wanted, but someone had to have custom ordered it because every XLT I've seen has carpet. That's fine, I hate carpet and would have replaced it with rubber floors anyway.

The electric 4x4 transfer case took a digger so I rebuilt a manual model and installed it along with ditching the auto hubs for aftermarket manual ones.

All that's left now is to convert it to a 5 speed!
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixie460 View Post
I prefer a manual transmission, but unfortunately (as you discovered) they ain't so common. I think it's ridiculous that Ford don't offer a stick anymore. They claim that sales were way down on those models, so who knows.

As for what I drive, well when I went looking for my current truck I had a pretty specific set of requirements. It HAD to be a Supercab 4x4 with the 351, and I would have preferred manual 4x4, manual transmission, and XLT trim level.

What I ended up buying had everything I wanted EXCEPT manual 4x4 and manual trans but she also came with a few awesome extras which are Captain's chairs and rubber flooring. It's an XLT like I wanted, but someone had to have custom ordered it because every XLT I've seen has carpet. That's fine, I hate carpet and would have replaced it with rubber floors anyway.

The electric 4x4 transfer case took a digger so I rebuilt a manual model and installed it along with ditching the auto hubs for aftermarket manual ones.

All that's left now is to convert it to a 5 speed!
The rubber floor mat was a no charge option….
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:01 PM
Jeramyb Jeramyb is offline
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my truck has everything i wanted but the engine i was looking for. had a choice between 4.9 with manual or 302 with auto and i bought the 4.9 with manual.

im on the fence about a engine swap down the road as the 300 has grown on me some but the truck will remain manual regardless what i do.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2014, 11:25 PM
roby_78832 roby_78832 is offline
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have a 90 with 5.0, still 302 to me and a 91 with 5.8 or 351. AOD in the 90 and the 4 speed electronic in the 91, happy with both, but would rater have the 5 speed manual.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:46 AM
85GT5.0 85GT5.0 is offline
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hodgery
ive had a f150 with the 4.9 and m5od and now have a f250 with 4.9 and zf5

the zf5 is a way better tranny
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2014, 12:52 AM
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Auto for me, I have bench seats and it's nice to drive the truck without having to work around a passenger to shift. An auto has always been my preference in a full size pickup. Big block has plenty of power to work around the automatic and if mileage was a massive concern I wouldn't drive a crew cab long bed truck with a 460 and 4.10 gears.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeramyb View Post
my truck has everything i wanted but the engine i was looking for. had a choice between 4.9 with manual or 302 with auto and i bought the 4.9 with manual.

im on the fence about a engine swap down the road as the 300 has grown on me some but the truck will remain manual regardless what i do.
The 302 and 351 aren't really "OMG amazing" compared to the 4.9. And they don't get much better mileage than a 460, that is a boat load more powerful.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:47 AM
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hi I have a 1990 f250 xlt lariate with auto and the 7.5 l 8 ft bed didn't seem to be any manuals and or 4wds in the uk when we were looking
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2014, 11:49 AM
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So it seems that even back in the 80's and 90's the manual trans was somewhat of a rare find... interesting... I guess I was wrong about how many would be out there. I'm still hopeful that I'll find the combo I'm looking for. Time will tell.

Still curious though, how many manual tranny's did Ford make for this era of truck? Only one, or multiples for different engines? Can an automatic be easily swapped out and replaced with a manual?
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2014, 12:08 PM
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When I started selling Fords in '91 our F-series were a 50/50 split between manuals and automatics. We sold a ton of 4-speed manuals to farmers and construction companies. Most 'personal use' trucks were sold with automatics although the AOD of the time was not trusted to be reliable by many.

The introduction of the 5 speed kept many guys in the 'manual' camp… better fuel economy than the old NP435. The E4OD shifted better than the old AOD and was a big help in keeping Ford owners in Fords… our GM competitors down the street always had a better shifting transmission until then…

By the time I left the biz in December, '96 most F-series here were automatics.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:24 PM
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9 out of the 11 trucks I own are manual

The only 2 are a 94 lightning(only came in manual)
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My 80 F350 with a C6. It is perfect for pulling because if I start to over rev, I can shift to 2nd. Cant do that with a stick
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevaroo01 View Post
So it seems that even back in the 80's and 90's the manual trans was somewhat of a rare find... interesting... I guess I was wrong about how many would be out there. I'm still hopeful that I'll find the combo I'm looking for. Time will tell.

Still curious though, how many manual tranny's did Ford make for this era of truck? Only one, or multiples for different engines? Can an automatic be easily swapped out and replaced with a manual?
From what I've picked up there were two different basic 5 speed manuals, the Mazda-built M5OD and the ZF5.

The M5OD was used in half tons (and probably Broncos). It's not considered a very heavy-duty trans, but is generally OK for half tons. I have heard people complain about the gaps between the gears not being very ideal.

The ZF5 is a heavier trans that came in 3/4 and 1 tons. There were actually at least 3 different versions of it: small block gas, big block gas, and diesel. Bellhousings are different between the three, and there are also some slight differences in torque ratings.

There are a bunch of threads about swapping a manual in for an auto. Do a search and you'll probably find everything you're looking for. I don't think it's that tough, but it's not just a brake job either.

To your original question, I looked for a crew cab gasser with a manual for over 2 years. When I gave up and started considering autos I found a truck within a month. A swap to a manual is WAY down the list, but it is on the list.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2014, 01:45 PM
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I have a 1996 F150 4x4 XLT 4.9 with the M5OD 5-speed manual. While I'll agree it's not the greatest manual transmission, it does just fine for me. I don't do much REAL work with this truck. I find the 5-speed rather fun to drive, although it can be a little persnickety....
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:53 PM
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I travel deep into the boonies. I like the simplicity of a manual trans. I found a very nice 5-speed/460 F350 so I bought it. If I had more time/money I would have held out for a 5-speed diesel combo.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:53 PM
 
 
 
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