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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there folks... :smile2:

I finally finished bolting the M5R2 to the 4.6 on my 94 TBird... :xpcool:

Yes (!!!) ... I knew all along that it wouldn't be as easy as the other manual options out there, but I love challenges and it can definitely be done if you are bent on the idea like I was... (and if you don't mind cutting a non-structural corner off of the block :surprise: and making some other mods to make it work mechanically speaking)

I have read Papa John's article (and almost every other thread I've found on the topic of wiring a 5 speed conversion) but now I understand that his setup defeats the safety feature of the neutral switch -by jumping the terminals- and this way the car can be accidentally started in gear (!!).

I would like to retain the safety feature of the neutral switch, but I'm confused as to how to go about it.

The M5R2 has a two-wire neutral switch on it, and I could simply run the two wires from the auto car harness (the ones jumped on Papa John's article) to the switch, but I wonder if that will be enough to enable the safety feature or there's something else to do regarding the clutch safety switch ON THE PEDAL.

Although the 94 was a factory auto car, it has the clutch switch connector under the dash by the pedals (??) but it's currently plugged with a gray plastic plug that I will call a "jumper block". I don't know if it actually "jumps" the terminals or if it's just a plastic plug to prevent unnecessary exposure of the terminals.

Has anybody here connected BOTH a neutral switch on their 5-speeds to a 94 & up harness AND ALSO connected the clutch switch on the pedal?

I have no "Cruise Control" features or circuits to worry about, and I will soon get a tune mailed for the SCT X3, to "delete" the auto tranny from the ECU.

Please comment if you have something to share that might help me finish my conversion as cleanly as possible.

Also, if you want to mate the M5R2 to a 4.6 and have any questions, I can help too :smile2:

Thanks is advance for your help.
 

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I'd like to see this just out of pure curiosity, there is a factory 4.6 block with the SBF pattern and a M5R2 case with the normal modular pattern I knew to be possible, I never knew the specifics of the mismatch so I'd definitely like to see.

Anyway, the neutral safety switch and clutch pedal switch both use the same starter circuit, (white/pink and/or red/light blue). If the car began life as a 4.6 car there is no jumper under the dash and it isn't prewired for it, automatic SCs have it, but not LXs. You'd have to wire it in if you really want it, which given the tightness means the dash has to come out to open up the harness and cut/tap the starter wire - or run new wire externally bypassing it(not the clean execution I prefer though). The grey plug you mention is likely just the ground junction.


The neurtal safety switch is the better one to have anyway, T45s, TR3650s and such don't have this switch(which is why papa john's article simply jumps it), and both features serve identical purposes so it doesn't matter for safety just having the one. Personally I don't like the clutch switch, it's inconvenient and needlessly loads the main thrust bearing without sufficient oil pressure at startup.
 

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Isn't that tranny only rated about 250ft-lbs of torque?

I hear of people with 4.2l v6 engines breaking them...
 

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OK.

I know several idiots with f150s that broke them in the woods; no telling how.
 

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If they broke an M5R2, they would have broken any other trans. Multiple people on SCCoA have run over 500ft-lbs through them for years without breaking anything. I have also towed over 9000lbs with my M5R2 equipped 260k mile F150 with no ill effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
M5R2's are rated well above the rated torque put out by the SC.

Synchro wear is the real headache with them (if you're that bad shifting and not using the right oil and additives)

There are enough coincidences in the bellhousing patterns to make it work.

The two holes on top are a match, as are two on the starter side and one more on the driver's side.

The dowel pins on 5.0 and 3.8 are solid, whereas the ones on the 4.6 are hollow and, thus, provide two extra bolt locations.

The two bolts on the bottom need custom angle iron brackets made that bolt onto the block using the existing holes and bolts for the oil pan... not my idea, it's @Ty Whutaker ... He wrote about putting a 4.6 into a SC body, but since he didn't upload any pictures, people doubted he'd done it. He was kind enough to mail me some pictures of his brackets for the lower bolts and confirm the swap was doable, as I suspected from some other earlier research I had already done.

The holes on the bellhousing for the dowel pins must be enlarged to 5/8 and they can be used with no problem if the new holes are drilled at the correct angle and well centered, 1mm off and the tranny might not slide in at all.

If I had to do it again, I'd save myself a lot of time and use a bolt-on option, I just wanted to prove myself it can be done, cause, like I said, I like challenges.

I have some pictures.
 

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Most off road guys here drive mustangs on the street, so... :)

I've heard several people complain; but they're driving in really rough conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'd like to see this just out of pure curiosity, there is a factory 4.6 block with the SBF pattern and a M5R2 case with the normal modular pattern I knew to be possible, I never knew the specifics of the mismatch so I'd definitely like to see.

Anyway, the neutral safety switch and clutch pedal switch both use the same starter circuit, (white/pink and/or red/light blue). If the car began life as a 4.6 car there is no jumper under the dash and it isn't prewired for it, automatic SCs have it, but not LXs. You'd have to wire it in if you really want it, which given the tightness means the dash has to come out to open up the harness and cut/tap the starter wire - or run new wire externally bypassing it(not the clean execution I prefer though). The grey plug you mention is likely just the ground junction.


The neurtal safety switch is the better one to have anyway, T45s, TR3650s and such don't have this switch(which is why papa john's article simply jumps it), and both features serve identical purposes so it doesn't matter for safety just having the one. Personally I don't like the clutch switch, it's inconvenient and needlessly loads the main thrust bearing without sufficient oil pressure at startup.
I guess I'll be undoing the jumped cables on the auto harness and running them to the switch on the 5 speed then... i will forget about the clutch pedal switch.

The connector for the clutch switch is in fact there, probably in the American car it isn't, but this a Mexican one and it does have it there, it's plugged.

I attached some pictures of the M5R2 splashguard on the 4R70W bellhousing, as you can see, there are 5 holes that can be readily used: 2 on top, 2 on driver's side and 1 on passenger side... the 2 on the bottom need custom brackets and that makes a total of 7 bolts.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Nice work!

That's some really nice fab work, looks great. :)

Where did you find a mex car?
 

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Impressive work you put into that! Compared to the Mustang swaps it looks quite more involved. I have read that the SC transmissions can hold some serious torque.

IMO the clutch pedal safety switch is unnecessary. At first I was bent about getting it set up when I did my swap. After just doing the simple bypass I am not really worried about it anymore. Parking brake works fine so no need to keep it in gear when parked anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice work!

That's some really nice fab work, looks great. :)

Where did you find a mex car?
Lol... :grin2: Thanks... I'm Mexican... I live in Mexico and speak English because that's what I do for a living (I teach English as a foreing language)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Impressive work you put into that! Compared to the Mustang swaps it looks quite more involved. I have read that the SC transmissions can hold some serious torque.

IMO the clutch pedal safety switch is unnecessary. At first I was bent about getting it set up when I did my swap. After just doing the simple bypass I am not really worried about it anymore. Parking brake works fine so no need to keep it in gear when parked anyway.
Yeah, thanks... It's been a whole mess since I started, especially since I only work on the car on Sundays... But I'm almost through now... :smile2:

I have read that about the SC transmissions as well... and I already had two of them, that's why I had to see for myself that this couldn't be done.

I hope the tune will leave the ECU and engine working as they did before the swap, car was smoooooth and shifts were always on point. I had been planning to do the swap in a couple years, but the tranny oil cooler in the radiator died and it started exchanging oil for coolant and made a mess in the auto tranny, I drained about a bucketful of "strawberry shake" from the auto... sad to see it go this way, it had been well mannered and trusty... RIP 4R70W... :frown2:
 

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Lol... :grin2: Thanks... I'm Mexican... I live in Mexico and speak English because that's what I do for a living (I teach English as a foreing language)
That's cool. :)

I'm from Tennessee, I speak English as a foreign language, to most people. :)



We've been dreaming about finding a good Junkyard down there, as those cars had options like we want, but can't get.

Welcome to the Club. :grin2:

I wonder how hard it is to import a car? Anyone ever done that?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
That's cool. :)

I'm from Tennessee, I speak English as a foreign language, to most people. :)


We've been dreaming about finding a good Junkyard down there, as those cars had options like we want, but can't get.


Welcome to the Club. :grin2:

I wonder how hard it is to import a car? Anyone ever done that?

Cancun is a young city (not even 50 years old) and there are only a few junk yards here. The ones in business focus mainly on cars no more than 10 years old and, considering the city's own age, there couldn't really be many old cars in here (no 50's to 80's cars to use as projects and only very few 90's cars) ... I've struggled to get my parts too, I've had to get parts from eBay and Rock Auto, cause no one carries parts for these cars anymore in town... I'm sure there are no more than 10 or 20 Tbirds or Cougars in driving condition in cancun... :frown2:

Can you name a few options we had in our cars and you didn't?

I wouldn't recommend importing a Mexican car (unless you can be absolutely positive it was well taken care of through the years with previous owner(s))... Cutting corners in Mexico is not the exception, but the norm when it comes to car care.

Economy in the US might not seem good to you these days, but trust me, we know what "bad economy" means, and it doesn't look any like most of US people experience.

Not trying to get into politics or useless discussions, I'm here to make friends and celebrate my love of these cars...:smile2: what I'm trying to say is, money is only spent in proper car care when other areas of the household have been duly covered, and that is frequently not possible in most mexican families, hence, cars are usually neglected: Think oil changes in twice (or three times) the recommended periods. You can easily imagine the rest. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

I'm from Tennessee, I speak English as a foreign language, to most people. :)
Lol...:grin2:
 

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There are good options there for aging cars; manual windows and seats were two that came to mind.

And manual transmissions, which are only in SC's here.

IDK for sure about the windows, I've only heard that.

I've rebuilt all my windows, and do a yearly lubing to try to prevent future problems, and power seat motors freeze as well. :(

I'd be happy to find a manual pedal set. :)



Running cars would probably be the more taken care of ones, but I understand about low maintenance.

But, I know fairly rich people here that buy a car drive it for three years and sell it with original fluids. :rolleyes:
 

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I did some research on these cars a few years ago after chatting with another member from Mexico with a 3.8 supercharged 1994 Cougar XR7, which blew my mind! In the US the supercharged 3.8 was dropped in favor of the 5.0 in 1991, and in 1993 the XR7 was downgraded and applied to all Cougar models, regardless of engine. Also special for the Mexican XR7 is the use of the extremely rare 1992-only 16x7” turbine wheels on the 1994.

Because there was no Mercury brand in Mexico, Cougars were under the Ford umbrella, with Cougars positioned in the lineup as luxury models(mostly with typical equipment we have in the US), while Thunderbirds were low optioned, with some very seldom seen parts, like manual drivers seat, no cruise control, and flat front seats with unique upholstery patterns. In the US the 5-speed was only available in the Tbird SC and 1989-1990 XR7, and Thunderbird SC was top of the line. In Mexico, because the Cougar XR7 was placed as a luxury model, all supercharged Cougars were automatics, and Thunderbird SC were a stripper performance model - no automatic ride control, no cruise control, regular front seats(though they did have the fold down rear), no VMM, no ABS brakes, no fog lamps, etc.

I’ve seen some other differences perusing Mexican classifieds sites too:

•regular 89-93s all seemed to have the digital dash, which were optional in the US

•regular Tbirds and Cougars shared taillight lenses with the SC and XR7s

•I think the fold down rear seat may have been optional in all models

•Base 3.8s used a M5R2 as standard equipment.

•Base models with the 5-speed used the handbrake and corresponding console top with a unique “delete plate” for where the ride control/fog light switches would go on US SCs



Grog is incorrect about manual windows, no MN12 was designed for them. With the exception of upholstery patterns, Mexican MN12s used no parts that weren’t used in the US, but because they were local assembly CKD cars they were put together in their own unique combinations.

They were built at the plant that assembles (or at least used to) Fiestas.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Grog6:

Manual windows were never an option in the Mexican cars, they've always been electric.

Seats, there are both, power and regular.

I am subscribed to at least three groups on FB for these cars and conversion parts come up way more often than in the US, and the parts are also way cheaper than US parts, for example, I'd say you can get the clutch pedal for something around 60-75 US (as opposed to the 200+ I've seen posted on eBay!!)

The problem is, SHIPPPING from Mexico into the US is not as cheap as it is from the US to Mexico, right now I'm expecting the handheld tuner (SCT X3) shipped from Laredo and I only paid 11 US to my door... If I wanted to ship it back to Laredo, it would be around 60 US for sure.

So, it's a case by case scenario to find out if it will be worth buying used parts from here... I'll stay on the look out for a set of pedals and let you know if I hear of something.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I did some research on these cars a few years ago after chatting with another member from Mexico with a 3.8 supercharged 1994 Cougar XR7, which blew my mind! In the US the supercharged 3.8 was dropped in favor of the 5.0 in one XR7 in 1991, and in 1993 the XR7 was downgraded and applied to all Cougar models, regardless of engine. Also special for the Mexican XR7 is the use of the extremely rare 1992-only 16x7” turbine wheels on the 1994.
Wow, you know your stuff well, sir!!:laugh:

Because there was no Mercury brand in Mexico, Cougars were under the Ford umbrella, with Cougars positioned in the lineup as luxury models(mostly with typical equipment we have in the US), while Thunderbirds were low optioned, with some very seldom seen parts, like manual drivers seat, no cruise control, and flat front seats with unique upholstery patterns.
Yes, My 94 has no cruise control at all, that's why I didn't understand all the fuss about "disabling" the Cruise control circuit by installing the clutch switch (which, as I said before, I'm not installing anymore).

In the US the 5-speed was only available in the Tbird SC and 1989-1990 XR7, and Thunderbird SC was top of the line. In Mexico, because the Cougar XR7 was placed as a luxury model, all supercharged Cougars were automatics, and Thunderbird SC were a stripper performance model - no automatic ride control, no cruise control, regular front seats(though they did have the fold down rear), no VMM, no ABS brakes, no fog lamps, etc.
True.
 
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