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4 Wheel Drive/SUVs/1987 f-250 transmission troubles


i have a 1987 f-250 4x4 with a t18 manual transmission. The truck has a 6" lift with 35" tires.It currently has the t18 4speed with bull low first. My highway rpm's are right at 3,000 at 55mph. Recently i lost 3rd gear in the tranny so i am looking to swap, however i was wondering two things. First is there an aod transmission available that will drop in without having to change drive shaft lengths or transfer case positions. Secondly would i be better of just trying to locate a 5 speed manual if there is one available. The truck gets mostly driven on the road and any wheeling locations are hours away from me so it always involves a decent ride at fairly slow speeds to get there.I'm also thinking that an automatic would be less worrisome over time when off-roading. Thanks John


The t18 is one of the strongest transmissions on the market.  A good replacement is the t19, which is basically the same as a t18, but has a synchro low gear.

For information on what will fit, I would contact Advance Adapters.  They specialize in conversions.  I purchased a NV4500 transmission and all the conversion parts for my 4 cylinder Jeep from them.  They can tell you which transmissions will fit and what modifications may be needed.

As far as automatic over stick shift, that is a personal preference, as many drivers will argue over the benefits of each type.  

There are many transmissions out there that will work.  Contact some local wrecking yards and see what is available, then contact Advance Adapters to see what is needed for the installation.


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Carl Brandt


Will discuss suspensions, lifts, lockers along with tire suggestions. Trail ratings and possible requirements needed for specific type of trails. Safety equipment and what you should carry with you. Certified off-road instructor. I am not a mechanic, and 4-Wheeling is a hobby, so if I can't answer a technical question it is due to my mechanical knowledge being related to vehicles that I have owned, or have worked on. I do not have manuals on all vehicles, and I suggest that you obtain a repair manual for mechanical problems and do some research before asking your question. Most mechanical questions can't be answered completely without looking at, or listening to the vehicle in person.


40 plus years of 4 wheeling in a variety of vehicles. At the present time, my major off-road rig is a 94 Jeep Wrangler with a spring over and a 1 1/2" suspension lift. This gives me a total lift of 7" or so. I have lockers front and rear. I have removed the track bars, and sway bar for maximum articulation. I am running a stock 2.5 ltr 4 cylinder with a Jacobs ignition along with a cold air high flow filter. It has 4.56:1 gears with a Dodge NV4500 transmission along with a 3.8:1 Atlas II transfer case. This gives me a final ratio of 105:1 in low gear/low range. Other vehicles I own, are a 96 Ford F-250 with a 6" lift, posi rear end, 36" Hummer tires, 5 speed with a fuel injected 460 ci engine, an 87 Samurai with an 8" lift, Ford 9" rear end with a spool, Chevy Dana 44 front end with an electric locker, 5.88 gears, 16% reduction in high range and a 6.5:1 low range with 35" Baja Claws, and a stock 2003 Grand Cherokee Overland. Trails I have run are the Rubicon (10 times), Dusey Ershim, Fordyce Creek trail, McGrew trail, several trails in Moab, Utah along with local monthly runs.

Lost Coast 4x4's Cal 4-Wheel Corva UFWDA Blue Ribbon Coalition

Certified off-road instructor - Certificates in engineering/electronics

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