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View Full Version : What transmissions will hook up to a 390?


Raptor22
03-11-2009, 09:18 PM
My dad has a rebuilt (and tuned) 390 waiting to into his 1963 Thunderbird after it gets painted. The stock transmission is a C4, and hes interested in having a higher tech and preferably a 4/5/6 speed with an overdrive. The bell housing on the C4 is removable and could potentially be bolted on a newer transmission, however some transmissions are all one piece. What are my options? Do they sell adapter kits? Whats the highest tech one that will work? I suppose we could always put an overdrive after the C4, but thats no fun is it? Besides, we need something beefier to handle the power (it should put out 450+ HP...).

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/Raptor2253/P1010031-1.jpg

UTfball68
03-11-2009, 09:25 PM
If it were me, I'd go with a FE C6 and add a Gear Vendors OD unit. A stock C6 can handle 500hp easily, and if you add the OD unit, now you have 6 gears essentially. One down side to the C6 though, it robs about 56hp as opposed to right around 35 for the C4. But with a C6...you have a nearly indestructable auto tranny.

Raptor22
03-11-2009, 09:28 PM
If it were me, I'd go with a FE C6 and add a Gear Vendors OD unit. A stock C6 can handle 500hp easily, and if you add the OD unit, now you have 6 gears essentially. One down side to the C6 though, it robs about 56hp as opposed to right around 35 for the C4. But with a C6...you have a nearly indestructable auto tranny.

Would anything more modern work? Or are we stuck with the C4/6?

UTfball68
03-11-2009, 09:30 PM
Would anything more modern work? Or are we stuck with the C4/6?



Good question...I think your stuck with matching a FE bellhousing...and I dunno if there are any adapters or anything more modern that will work.

1985 Ford F-150
03-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Ya could get a four speed in it.

UTfball68
03-11-2009, 09:34 PM
Ya could get a four speed in it.



Well yeah that's true...wasn't even thinking about manuals.

1985 Ford F-150
03-11-2009, 09:35 PM
Yeah you could put a top loader in it.

Fellro
03-11-2009, 09:41 PM
Advance Adapters does make adapter for them to mount to other trannies, might be worth looking into.

Raptor22
03-11-2009, 09:53 PM
Advance Adapters does make adapter for them to mount to other trannies, might be worth looking into.

Okay cool. You have a link?

We dont want a standard, it wouldnt work anyway, heres the console area. The car is the same interior but tan.

http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b298/dodgedigger/T-Bird/Thunderbird1963inside.jpg

Fellro
03-11-2009, 10:13 PM
I know I had seen them there before, but maybe they quit with them. Did find this though... http://www.transmissionadapters.com/Pricing.htm

I was wrong, it was Wilcap... http://www.wilcap.com/tech.htm

Raptor22
03-11-2009, 10:49 PM
Hmm... cool. They have an FE to AOD adapter. What transmissions use the AOD bolt pattern?

UTfball68
03-11-2009, 10:51 PM
You mean what engines?????? If so, they came behind 302's and 351W's.

Raptor22
03-11-2009, 10:59 PM
You mean what engines?????? If so, they came behind 302's and 351W's.

No... what transmissions. So if there is an FE bellhousing to AOD transmission adapter, what other transmissions will work? In other words. What transmissions have the same bellhousing as the AOD.

big5oh
03-12-2009, 03:42 AM
No... what transmissions. So if there is an FE bellhousing to AOD transmission adapter, what other transmissions will work? In other words. What transmissions have the same bellhousing as the AOD.

AOD was used on 302s mostly.....late 80s early 90s. However that bolt patern was also used on 300 and 351. Other transmissions that mount up just like the AOD are C6, ZF 5speed, Mazda 5 speed, E4od, AODE. Thats all I can think of. The AOD and AODE arn't cut out for high output motors, not in stock form anyways. From what I can tell, the C6 and E4od are more well suited for higher output motors. The ZF tranny is really nice, the Mazda tranny isn't that hot.

Raptor22
03-12-2009, 04:53 PM
AOD was used on 302s mostly.....late 80s early 90s. However that bolt patern was also used on 300 and 351. Other transmissions that mount up just like the AOD are C6, ZF 5speed, Mazda 5 speed, E4od, AODE. Thats all I can think of. The AOD and AODE arn't cut out for high output motors, not in stock form anyways. From what I can tell, the C6 and E4od are more well suited for higher output motors. The ZF tranny is really nice, the Mazda tranny isn't that hot.

Yeah, a standard wouldnt work for this application, but the ZF is a good transmission, and the M5OD (Mazda) is in my truck. Are there auto transmissions that are the same or just the truck ones. I realize that this probably isnt the best site to ask a TBird question....

Raptor22
03-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Im looking at this A O Dominator custom rebuilt AODE/4R70W zombie performance transmission. What do y'all think?

http://www.transmissioncenter.org/AODom-2.jpg

AOD Transmission Level 4

This is a high performance non-electronic 4R70W transmission. This is accomplished by placing all of the internal parts of an electronic 4R70W or AODE into a non-electronic AOD case. Now you can have an AODE or 4R70W transmission in your 1993 and older Mustang without all the expense of an after market computer and related wiring. This is an easy drop-in direct replacement. Simply remove your AOD transmission and install the A O Dominator. This is a highly modified transmission and torque converter. This package deal comes with a 2200 / 2500 converter stall speed (#16) (non-lock-up only), but can be ordered with any stall speed you need. Some of the features of the A O Dominator are, a two inch wide Carbon Fiber overdrive band, mechanical diode with Spiral "Plus" Ring Kit instead of the stock roller clutch that is prevalent to breakage and a high performance Superior Posi Shift Pac. This transmission has a 4R70W wide ratio gear set, 2.84 ratio first gear (15% lower than an AOD or AODE), 1.55 ratio second gear (5% lower than an AOD or AODE), non-lock-up torque converter, extra hard intermediate shaft (a must for high horse power motors), Superior "A+" overdrive billet servo for added holding power and 8 clutches in the direct clutch drum (Alto Red Eagle Power Pack). This is 33% more than a stock 4R70W transmission, and the list goes on and on. This is a great transmission for towing and 4WD use.

Wait no longer, now you can have the baddest AOD / 4R70W on the planet for $2399.00. No trade-in needed on this one. This transmission is for motors having up to 750 horse power using pump gasoline, see chart below. Add torque converter upgrades if needed. The freight is free to $140.00 in most cases. Call 1-318-7427754 to place an order or ask questions.

That + an FE adaptor would run about $3k

http://www.transmissioncenter.org/

1985 Ford F-150
03-12-2009, 06:11 PM
Mighty pricey.

Moto Mel
04-19-2009, 01:51 PM
The trans you have can be built to take much more horse power than your 390 will put out. Back in the '60s Ford built a lot of Drag cars called "Thunderbolts" and they made more than a few with automatic transmissions. The A/FX 427 cars B/FX 427s and 289 C/FX cars were all available with autos and quite a few were campaigned. I never heard of a failure in competition. The auto cars were usually the ones sold to lower level drag racers and soon converted to 4 speeds, anyway the auto trans Ford used was reputedly a modified Lincoln Cruisomatic which was a beefy C4 from what I understood. Just a year or 2 earlier the Lincolns were using a GM Hydromatic, from what I've been told and according to my reference material.

Raptor22
04-20-2009, 06:35 PM
The trans you have can be built to take much more horse power than your 390 will put out. Back in the '60s Ford built a lot of Drag cars called "Thunderbolts" and they made more than a few with automatic transmissions. The A/FX 427 cars B/FX 427s and 289 C/FX cars were all available with autos and quite a few were campaigned. I never heard of a failure in competition. The auto cars were usually the ones sold to lower level drag racers and soon converted to 4 speeds, anyway the auto trans Ford used was reputedly a modified Lincoln Cruisomatic which was a beefy C4 from what I understood. Just a year or 2 earlier the Lincolns were using a GM Hydromatic, from what I've been told and according to my reference material.

Cool, the transmission I have now is a Ford Cruise-o-Matic which was Ford's medium duty transmission. I just wish it had more than 3 speeds (overdrives could help...)

Fordedselfanatic
06-14-2009, 07:44 PM
My dad has a rebuilt (and tuned) 390 waiting to into his 1963 Thunderbird after it gets painted.
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/Raptor2253/P1010031-1.jpg

How many years has that engine been sitting there uncovered? Just looking at the crank flange, and flex plate bolts, I'd say it's been there a while.

There is at least one, maybe more, exhaust valves open, and a big hole in the back of the intake manifold.

I can't tell from the picture...does it have spark plugs installed?

See all that crap (dirt, sawdust, ??) on top of the engine? It's gonna be on the inside of the engine as well.

Hope it works out for you, but you might get some surprises when you finally get around to running that engine.:shocked:

Raptor22
06-15-2009, 12:16 AM
How many years has that engine been sitting there uncovered? Just looking at the crank flange, and flex plate bolts, I'd say it's been there a while.

There is at least one, maybe more, exhaust valves open, and a big hole in the back of the intake manifold.

I can't tell from the picture...does it have spark plugs installed?

See all that crap (dirt, sawdust, ??) on top of the engine? It's gonna be on the inside of the engine as well.

Hope it works out for you, but you might get some surprises when you finally get around to running that engine.:shocked:

It doesnt actually sit like that. It has multiple tarps and blankets over it normally. It has spark plugs in the side that faces away from the wall. It was rebuilt in '90-'91. And has sat there since '99. That grubby **** on the top is when our old cat got up there and ****ing pissed on it... god damn I was mad as hell....

polarbear
06-15-2009, 02:07 AM
Last month's Hemmings had an article about a C4 to AOD conversion. It mentioned the early AOD's were actually modified C4's, and in theory it was an almost bolt-up deal, and the tranny's were wrecking-yard matierial. This has been a pretty popular conversion for peeps with older classics that want a more modern drivetrain (and fuel mileage). The transmissions mentioned came out of 80-82 Lincolns, Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, and F100 (NOT 150) pickups.

TexasNomad
06-15-2009, 02:51 AM
Can I have your engine?

Raptor22
06-15-2009, 07:25 PM
Can I have your engine?

No.


Wait... how much? :p

mustangtoby
05-18-2010, 08:31 PM
For what it's worth, the AOD is not very strong in stock form, but it can be made very strong fairly cheaply. I'm not up on Auto trannies per say, but contact a tranny shop and talk to them about it. I know for awhile, there were even some of the chevy and dodge guys getting adaptors for them for drag racing because they could be made so strong. Might be worth looking into, I know you can pick up an AOD pretty cheap at a wrecking yard.

FordF-SuperDuty
05-18-2010, 09:28 PM
The C4/AOD is highly efficient too compared to C6/E4OD so that is why when the day comes for me to get a new transmission it will have a built AOD.

chorizogarcia
01-15-2012, 08:15 PM
Any new information pertaining to the swap?