Thunderbird, Cougar, and Supercoupe Information

Friday, November 18, 2005

M5R2 transmission rebuild & info

Recently I've noticed interest regarding the M5R2 transmission, equipped in Thunderbird SC and '89 - '90 Cougar XR7 packages. This was a 5 speed manual transmission designed by Mazda, hence the name Mazda 5 speed Rear wheel drive 2nd edition. There were approximately 19000 Supercoupe and 3000 XR7 packages with this transmission.

While the basic M5R2 design was shared amongst several Ford vehicles, there were unique differences for the SC and XR7. These were due to the personal luxury status of the cars, and hence it is widely believed some durability was sacraficed for smoother gear selection.

For some owners, this has led to trouble with the synchronizer assemblies. The problem is amplifed by clutch problems and power shifting. A type of plastic fiber backing on the brass blocker rings becomes worn, failing to produce the friction necessary to sync gears. In the process other parts are often damaged, resulting in symptoms like grinding when shifting, hard shifting, and gears disengaging while driving.

There are several things you can do when problems occur. The transmission can be rebuilt using stock or a limited selection of aftermarket parts, it can be replaced with another M5R2, or it can be replaced with a T-5 using the extension kit available from MN12performance.

Numerous informative rebuilding instructions can be found, including the following:
Rebuild kits and parts are available from Southern Gear, Autozone, Napa, and Rockauto. Part numbers listings can be found at the SCCOA.

Sources for new, used, or rebuilt M5R2 transmissions include:
Autozone (Accurate transmissions)
Jasper (part # E9SR-AB)
Southern Gear
SCCOA Classifieds


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