1994 Ford Ranger With Manual Gearbox Jammed Into First Gear While Driving

What could possibly go wrong?

In a perfect display of curiosity over mechanical sympathy, Mike from Auto Vlog demonstrates what happens when you jam your car into first gear at a speed of 65 miles per hour (104 kilometers per hour). 

For the uninitiated, he has previously performed such classics as throwing his truck in reverse while driving, removing the key at speed, and even filling a Chevy Prizm with milk rather than engine oil. While the previous video featuring the reversing Ranger wasn’t enough to destroy it, Mike wanted to really put the ”Built Ford Tough” slogan to the test with an almost suicidal downshift from fifth to first.

Most of you know that the 1994 test truck isn’t the fastest vehicle on the planet. Since it was only capable of 35 mph (56 km/h) in first gear, a lot of space was needed to get up to 65 – luckily the same quiet stretch of road used in the previous test would suffice.

Fortunately for our viewing pleasure, as forward gears aren’t as idiot-proofed as reverse, Mike could still muscle the vehicle into first. Unlike the previous experiment with wrong-way-drive where the vehicle took a battering time after time, it only took two extreme downshifts for the Ranger to go bang.

The mechanical failure wasn’t nearly as dramatic as we expected; in fact, it was almost inaudible from the onboard footage. There was a muted click after dumping the clutch and then the vehicle wouldn’t go into gear. After parking the incapacitated truck, he had to make the call of shame to his wife to come pick him up and drive him home.

We look forward to seeing the upcoming autopsy on the truck to see what exactly went wrong – we’d wager it was clutch or transmission, but let’s wait and see.

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