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1986 Ford F150

I have a 1986 Ford 150 XLT, 4x4, 4 speed manual. I am tired of the 4 speed manual. I am wanting to know if any of you know what tranmission is in my truck now, and what type of 5 speed I could put into it. thanks!

Well without knowing what engine you have it’s kind of hard to say. I think you have either a T18 or a NP435, with the np435 having a noticable aluminum top housing. I suppose you could install a ZF S542 or a M5R2, depending on, again, what engine you have. But why even change it? Whatever transmission you have is very desirable for it’s very low granny gear and fairly cheap/easy to rebuild. There are many tranmission adapters out there now-days and you could virtually install any transmission you’d like, manual or auto.

Why would you need 5th gear? Were you planning on cruising the Autobahn or something?

An easier solution might be just to get a separate overdrive unit, but I suppose putting in a junkyard 5-speed might be cheaper. Either option is probably going to cost more than the old workhorse is worth. And I really don’t know what you hope to accomplish-- you’re not going to see notably better gas mileage and especially if you’ve got the 300, you’re probably not going to be able to use it much.

I was looking to add a 5th to bring down the RPM. at 70 its hitting 3k rpm. i was wondering what type of transmission i have currently in the truck so I could learn more about it. I am using the 302 Windsor engine if that helps anyone. Thanks.

i’m looking to add some power to the 302 that’s in it. I’m looking for a higher 5th gear because of the high RPMs that it puts out on the interstate. I thought lowering the RPMs might overall help the engine life. Just wondering if anyone has done a similar swap.

3k at 70mph!? You either have extreamly small tires or a very numerically high rear end gear ratio, or both. Forget an external o/d unit as thats usually only for automatics, i’ve never seen one for a stick. A cheaper, easier solution would be to buy some nice big tires. If you figuire out your rear end gear ratio you can use a special calculator online to determine what size tires would best suit your 70mph needs.

hmmm. i’m not looking for any kind of debate of what would be best or not, just…does anyone know what type of transmission my truck may have in it? from all I can tell its a T18 or a ZF something…but I am not sure.

The external O/D’s don’t care what they’re attached to. Some cars actually come with this arrangement with 4 gears and then a button you push to go into overdrive.

I don’t think 3k at 70MPH is at all that high for a pickup. I don’t have a tach in my old Chevy, but I’m sure it runs at least that high on the highway. I do agree that tires might be a good way to achieve the same effect.

You’ll have to crawl under it and look for the tag or any other identification. Try this website for trans id:
Like I said it probably has a t18 or np435, those are the 4speeds available for your year truck. You’ll need to figuire out what you want to use the truck for, bigger tires would be nice to lower the engine speed on the highway for dailydriving, plus the off-road benefits. However if you specifically tow with this truck it may be wise to keep your gear/tire setup and get an overdrive automatic or manual, which you could still keep high rpm towing and low rpm cruising… It’s really up to you. Tires would be my first thing but thats me, who knows what you do/have planed for your truck.

thanks, that’s exactly what i was looking for! thanks again!

I’m real hazy on this, but it seems like there were a number of 4 speeds that would fit. However, they are all 1:1 ratio in 4th gear and there is possibly one 4 speed that has a certain percentage of OD in 4th. (forgot the percentage)

A car type 5 speed could be used but I don’t think it’s a bolt-in deal. Like the OD version of the 4 speed it will require a few parts and modifications.
(clutch linkage, pilot bushing, possible cross-member mod., etc.)

I got into one of these Ford transmission swaps about 15 years ago but I just don’t remember the details behind it as there’s been too much water under the bridge. It’s doable, but it won’t be a purely yank it out, stick it in job.

The RPM won’t hurt the engine life. That 302 doesn’t want to be lugged. You should get the best mileage below 65 MPH with your model truck. Right now, your truck is not concerned with hills and handles them easily. I wouldn’t bother swapping parts because the truck is too heavy to get good gas mileage anyway. 2002 models are much lighter than your truck and don’t cost a lot. You have a work truck, not a highway truck.