Welcome to my Bugeye project

Welcome to my latest project. I am building a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite with a little twist. I'm putting in a 3.0 V-6 SHO engine.
Be sure to check back for updates on the progress and please leave a comment if you have any questions, feedback or advice for me.

modifying Ranger transmission to fit SHO engine

For commenter Daniel. In the upper left corner of the bellhousing you need to cut away a bit of material so it clears on the engine
better detail. its not pretty, but it works great.

There is another picture of this cut somewhere on the internet, but for some reason i can't find it right now. I just cut it out with a grinder and a thin cutting blade. It all bolts up no problem now. And yes i am getting those freeze plugs to fix the leaky seals. Thanks



firebat45 | April 14, 2009 at 4:31 AM

This is the first I've heard about needing to modify the transmission. I have an M5OD in my garage bolted onto a bare block and it seems to go together fine. My M5 is from an early 90's Ranger, what is yours from? Is it something I'm missing?

Ben.. | April 14, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Hey Firebat45

I'm still learning as i go on this one and from what i've learned from people that i've talked to this is necessary on those transmissions. and i know this for a fact now after trying to install the transmission before removing that area to fit.

here is what one guy told me:
the only issue was on the inside of the bellhousing upper right lookin at the back of the motor.
One of the bolts that holds the rear main seal cover on the SHO, just hit the inside edge of the bellhousing.
It is a very thick piece in the casting and 5 min with a small grinder had it clearanced enough

It may differ between transmissions maybe?

I had an M50D but it was the wrong bellhousing pattern and did not fit at all with my SHO engine.

I've gone through 3 transmissions now to find the right one that fit. I was first told than any 3.0 or 4.0 would fit, and that was wrong. Only the 3.0 has the right bellhousing to fit with the SHO.

there is a good picture of this cut out on the transmission from someone else floating around on the internet but for the life of me i cannot find it now.

hope that helps


firebat45 | April 14, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Ah, that would explain it. I don't have the rear main seal on the engine. I'll be sure to grind that out of there before trying to bolt it up for real, thanks.

And yes, tracking down the transmission is tricky. Has to be the M5OD-R1, from a 3.0 Ranger, Aerostar, or Mazda B3000. There are other M5ODs, the R1HD, the R2, and other R1s from different engines, but they will not work.

Have you owned a SHO, or are you just interested in the engine? It's great seeing another project to put the SHO in a RWD application.

Ben.. | April 14, 2009 at 9:20 PM

I'm mostly just interested in the engine, but i did own a sho briefly... only to tear out the engine for this project ;-)

my wife was not happy with me having yet another car on the side of the house tearing it to pieces. but i did it quickly and its now gone.